Internet helps online community to inspire and expand rapidly | Sunday Observer
The Travel Brothers - Supun and Harsha

Internet helps online community to inspire and expand rapidly

8 November, 2020

The true strength of an online community is their ability to feed themselves. By merely functioning as it does, an online community can inspire and expand exponentially thanks to the reach that the internet provides. This is no less true for our local travel community, which, not that long ago, was just a fraction of what it is today. Excellent content creators inspire more prospective content creators to join their community and this is especially true for more tightly knit communities such as travel bloggers who, by their very definition, benefit more from working together.

The Travel Brothers (@_travel_brothers_) consists of two excellent travel bloggers and content creators, Supun Harsha (@suppa._) and Thushan Samaranath (@_thushan96). We caught up with Supun, who explained how they got into the community and the process behind travel blogging.

Q: How would you introduce your blog to a new viewer?

A: First and foremost, it is important to get an idea on the desire and the willingness of the viewer. If the viewer is of a positive mindset, I am more than ready to introduce and take him through a wonderful experience. The purpose is to admire the beauty of Sri Lanka. The fact that I am capable of bringing our wonders of nature and the geographical changes over a very limited area is an absolute wonder. Therefore, the ability to capture and let others see the beauty in another lens is a service in itself.

Q: What can people expect out of your content? What sets it apart from the norm for travel blogging?

A: The channel ‘Travel Brothers’ is maintained and handled by myself and my closest colleague, Thushan Samaranath. We bring out vlogs from one- day excursions, hotel viewing, hiking to camping over several nights.

Content varies from the destination to the group of people travelling with us, from travelling with a bunch of colleagues of my University to travelling alone for inner satisfaction. The uniqueness of the content delivered compared to others varies, as we provide descriptive information on each destination for all enthusiastic travellers from planning, budgeting and to contacting personnel for information and other needs.

Q: What gave you the inspiration to start travelling? How did you get into the travel vlogging community?

A: The inspiration on travelling was going through me from my childhood. I always wanted to get out into the world, to seize the opportunity. One of my main inspirations to start a YouTube channel was when I saw the community’s eager enthusiasm for travelling. The fact that people were interested to know more about destinations inspired me to start my channel. I am a self-taught vlogger, I learnt through experience and through my mistakes, I have not modeled myself after anyone specific, but rather gained knowledge over the years.

Q: Do you travel alone or with a team? Do you handle all the responsibilities of your blog?

A: As I mentioned before, I work with my colleague in bringing out vlogs and planning. The team appearing in most of the videos are my friends at my university and has been a continuation of teams of friends. Even though I used to travel alone during the early stage, later most of the excursions became team-based vlogs and excursions.

We have published content throughout, respecting policies and regulations imposed by YouTube itself.

Q: During the worst of the pandemic, were your vlogs completely on hold? How does a travel brand cope in times where it is discouraged to go outside?

A: Let me put it this way. The pandemic has indeed had an impact on travelling. Our channel does not publish vlogs with close breaks; therefore, we have got a couple of vlogs that we have shot before the pandemic which we can publish within the respective time period. We have stopped travelling after the quarantine curfew was imposed.

Q: Now that there is a second wave going around, how do your vlogs plan to proceed? Do you think things will be harder moving forward? Or is there some advantage to be had?

A: As mentioned earlier, as ‘stay at home’ policies are followed in the country we are discouraged to travel. We had to postpone the scheduled excursions and hope for the best for our country and world. I always see a positive side, where the pandemic allows nature too to get a break and regrow from what has been destroyed. Because to enjoy nature, nature should be preserved first.

In the perspective of vlogging, it has indeed become an advantage to explore my video skills, editing and much more. So, excitedly, I look forward to more advanced and high-quality vlogs in the near future.

Q: Considering you have been putting out since the worst of it, how different is travelling now compared to before?

A. Well, there has been a drastic change adapting into the new normal. We always have to take precautions in everything we do. We all agree that travelling was much better than what it is today. Where the freedom to breathe freely has also been restricted.

Q: What kind of advice do you have for fellow travel enthusiasts and for anyone hoping to start their own travel blog?

A: Let me put it like this. The initial steps to climb a mountain would be hard. You ‘ll be discouraged, tired and you will want to give up. But after you get to the top of the mountain all the stress and shortcomings you went through will disappear when you see the results.

Life is also a hike, initiating is hard, making it through will be too, but when you reach the goals your satisfaction is unbeatable.