A Twitter Road Trip Twitique: What Worked, What Didn’t
Travel Blog • Sophia Dembling • 05.08.09 | 9:48 AM ET
My husband Tom and I recently drove a loop south from Albuquerque. (Here’s an annotated map of our route, in case you want to follow in our tire tracks.) This was the first time I’ve Twittered from the road. Interestingly, the great to-Twitter-or-not-to-Twitter debate started up while I was Twittering my trip and triggered a little metacognition about the process. Is it the right thing to do, and what makes a good travel Tweet?
Off the plane. In the car. On the hwy. Out of ABQ. Road trip!
I started composing this Tweet in my head before we were on the highway but refrained from posting it until it was true. I still like it. Its rhythm pleases me and it captures my glee and sets the scene.
Breaking into the gummi bears now.
Another important scene setter, since anyone who road trips knows how integral snacks are to the experience and we all have our favorites. (What are yours?)
The @blackstonehs is lovely. We’ll end our day with a soak.
Fail! This Tweet would have worked if I had provided a link. Without a link, it’s just a dull sentence—and incomprehensible unless you click through to @blackstonehs to figure out what it is. (Blackstone Hotsprings, a hotel.)
$30 of bliss—the Rio tub at the River Bend Hot Springs http://tinyurl.com/dbzpmg.
Not exactly lyrical but at least there’s a link. Note, too, that I posted this after our soak and did not distract myself from this trip highlight—an outdoor tub overlooking the river under a full moon. This kind of activity deserves 100-percent presence. No composing Tweets in your head, even. If you become more about the Tweeting than the traveling, then you’re doing it wrong.
My belly is happy after breakfast at the Happy Belly Deli.
Goofing around a small town. Nothing better.
Laughed ‘til we cried over vintage knitting pattern books in a TorC thrift store. Bought five of them.
Tweeting the small moments in my day was fun ... it’s a moment to pause and review what gives me pleasure in 140 syllables or less. Some Tweets are stronger as a group and these three collectively describe an experience. It’s travel writing pointillism. (By the way, here’s a sample of what made us laugh.)
http://twitpic.com/326v8-The eagle has landed. NM Museum of Space, Alamogordo.
Goofy snapshots are a vacation staple. I like this one.
I have a room with a view—is it really so wrong to sit around and relax?
A couple of hours in the hotel lounge, sipping drinks and playing gin rummy. If that’s wrong, then I don’t wanna be right.
While just idle Tweets, these spurred some philosophical Twittering with @TravelWIthJulie about momentum vs. inertia during a trip. (We concluded that both in moderation are fine.) Nice to know someone was listening, too.
What time is it? Unplugged the clock radio cube when the alarm went off in the middle of the night. Turning it off was rocket science.
Are Tweets like this just Twitter clutter? That is a Twitter philosophical debate. Must all Tweets be useful? I like Tweets that just make me smile and assume anyone who travels has experienced the incomprehensible clock radio problem. I vote “yes” for this one.
So, what would I do differently? First of all, I forgot the hashtag that could have linked the trip Tweets. I remedied that on my next trip. Second, sometimes it’s best to hold a Tweet until you can do it justice with a link or pic or whatever will make it either more fun or more useful. Third, sometimes I Twitter just for me, because making up little word snapshots is fun. Judge me if you must, but I say there’s nothing wrong with that.