The Isle of Man – Too Close To Home?
A Blog Post By Greg
It was while we were halfway through our Honeymoon in Mexico that I was looking at some of the footage we had taken so far on our adventures and I came up with an idea. Why wouldn’t we edit together the footage into a travel adventure video to release to the world (we had planned on making a video for ourselves and our family anyway), and Felicity really liked the idea. Fast forward to late July 2019 and the video, ‘Mexico: Mayan Mystery and Marine Majesty’ was ready for release on YouTube.
I had released videos on YouTube before. Together we had put out a Steampunk series the year before called ‘The Last Airship’, which to date has had an average of 2,000 views per episode. Within a few days the Mexico video had surpassed the views on any of the videos which had been out for eighteen months at that point, and we quickly realised that we had made something that not only had we enjoyed, but also which other people seemed to be enjoying watching too. Could we, we began to ask ourselves, make this more than just a one off, and actually try to make travel film making a career which would allow us to travel the world?
We decided we wanted to give it a try, and the first step would be to see if we could make another video that people liked, and so we began to discuss our next destination. I pointed out that I had a show on the Isle of Man in October 2019, and that instead of just flying over for a night, we could stay for a few nights and turn it into our next travel video. Felicity wasn’t sure, as after Mexico it seemed a little close to home – and so we agreed to film an episode on the Isle of Man, and then later in the year head a bit further away from home for a third video as well (in the end we opted for Turkey, where we filmed ‘Turkey – Fairy Chimneys and Underground Cities‘).
It therefore became my task to try to prove that we could make a travel video on the Isle of Man, as well as in the more far-flung corners of the world. So I tried in the planning to look at the Isle of Man as though we were looking at any other destination we were planning to travel to for a video, to find out what it had to offer, and to see as much of it as we could.
By now, you may have seen the result, ‘The Isle of Man – Railways, Castles and Seals‘, and you may have noticed, even from the title, that in my early research I found three main areas. We always start researching any new travel with a view to any wildlife in the area, as this is one of Felicity’s big passions, and in particular it is marine wildlife which interests us.
Although we were unfortunately out of season for basking sharks, I found that there is a point on the south of the island which is good for spotting seals – and if you want to hear what that was like when we got there, you can read Felicity’s blog post on them here.
Once we have had a look to see what wildlife is local, we then look into the history. In Mexico, this was the Mayan ruins which we visited for most of the first half of our trip, and in Turkey this meant the underground cities and Greek ruins. On the Isle of Man, this meant the castles.
From our point of view, having grown up, and still living, in the British Isles, these castles were a very familiar style to us. While they seemed familiar to us, and we both worried that this might hurt the travel aspect, each of the castles we visited had their own fascinating stories, some of which you can see in the videos, and some of which I will write about in a future blog post. We were reminded that you don’t have to go a long way, or to somewhere ‘exotic’, in order to find something fascinating to see and learn about.
Finally I found an abundance of historic railways on the island, everything from steam trains to electric railways and mountain railroads. I have always been enamoured with steam trains (part of how I got involved in the world of steampunk), and so it was a joy finding out about all of them, and choosing which ones we could fit in to our travel.
We spent a wonderful week on the Isle of Man, and although it was a very different style of adventure from our others of 2019, (in that it was closer to home, we spoke the language, stayed in one place, and everything felt very familiar), it was still an incredibly fun week. When we got to the editing suite we realised that as we had only been there a week that the video would necessarily be shorter – half an hour as opposed to an hour – but that we had a lot of footage.
Once we finished the video and released it, we were so pleased with the response it received. Far from being a ‘difficult second album’, it had been a joy, both to film and edit. People’s responses so far have been really nice, with some people saying it is their favourite out of our first three videos. It was an important lesson to us that with the right planning we can make travel videos even in places which are more familiar. We are also pleased that both the Isle of Man and the Turkey videos have, in their first twenty days, done even better than the Mexico video did in the same window.
We have learned that we have a chance, if we work hard, to make travel our lives – and so expect our videos and blog posts to continue for a long time to come!
If you want to help us with that, then please head over to YouTube and be sure to ‘subscribe’ to our channel and ‘like’ the videos. Perhaps you could also leave a comment on your favourite of the videos to let us know that that is your favourite one, and why, and that will really help us make more videos that you all enjoy!
In the meantime, thanks for reading, and safe travels!