At the end of this month, I will have celebrated my 2.5 years in travel blogging. Through these years, I have visited quite a number of places in the Philippines and abroad – both the popular and the pretty unknown to a traveler’s map. I will forever remember the ecstasy of traveling solo to Carnaza Island in Cebu as well as the kind of tranquility of Lake Chūzenji in Nikko, Japan. Every destination I have been to was worth every penny spent. But along with the excitement (and sometimes, frustrations I experienced) in the destinations I have visited were the lessons learned. Indeed, it is true that a lot of things can be learned only when you experience it yourself.
Throughout my travel blogging, I have learned that…
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Greater support could come from unexpected people
I am not sure about other travel bloggers’ experiences, but mine has revealed one important thing and it is quite telling: greater support, surprisingly, comes from strangers. For instance, useful advice on how to further improve my blog came from people that I never met and, perhaps, will never meet in life. Even when it comes to social media, strangers tend to like and share your post more than the people you have known quite well. So, it goes to show that we should always treat everybody good, even if we do not know them personally. Anybody can be your angel.
Your friends think you are earning big
A pretty common misconception: you are a travel blogger, you must be earning big. Otherwise, you cannot afford going places.
No matter how you explain it to your close friends, they will continue to believe you are earning big even if, in reality, it is not. Earning a decent amount might be true to some, but many travel bloggers barely earn, most especially if your blog isn’t that popular, or if you are just starting, or when you are not blogging full time (like me). In my case, for instance, I earn from ads and affiliate programs just enough to keep the blog running (hey, the hosting is pretty expensive these days). Thus, the bulk of my travel expenses comes from the travel savings I set aside. Despite that, I continue blogging because I love going places – stagnation should not be an option. And, it is quite fulfilling to meet locals (the smile in their faces as they say “visit us again”) and share the experience through this medium. I am uncertain how far I can go with this, but so far, I am happy sharing travel content with just a cup of coffee as my compensation.
It’s quite challenging to keep your blog running most especially if you have a full-time job
Would you believe if I told you that the majority of the posts here were written through my phone? And I did them mostly immediately after waking up? That’s how challenging my schedules were (and still are) since I have a full-time job and other obligations to fulfill. But, as they say it, if there’s a will, there’s a way to do it. So, despite my schedules, I was able to write a pretty good number of travel guides. Yes, I know, of course, that there’s a long way to go.
If you aspire to put up your travel blog but are afraid of not fulfilling it because of time constraints, you should not be discouraged. For as long you have a passion for travel and patience to sit down and document your experience, you should be okay.
Beautiful places could be just some distance away
The Angkor Wat of Cambodia amazed me a lot. The fusion of technological marvel and preserved culture of Tokyo has inspired me to travel more. But throughout my travel blogging works, I have realized that beautiful places could be just some distance away. I have crossed plenty of bridges, climbed mountains, and traveled by planes, but some of the most beautiful places I have visited were just an hour or two away from my place of origin. Lucky to have visited, for instance, the Curtain Falls in Baguio District in Davao City and the Hagimit Falls in Samal. Tumari Falls was a thing to experience as well. All of them are just some hours of land travel and hikes.
It’s quite fulfilling to be able to help other travelers
Whether the message is sent in private, through an email, or written in the comment section in social media, I see to it that I can address all of them. And I must admit that some tend to be pretty annoying most especially if the answers to their queries can easily be found by googling. I answer them anyway. The task is tedious but it is quite fulfilling knowing that you are helping other people/travelers.
For sure, there is still a lot to learn as I continue with my travel blogging. Thus, this post is a work-in-progress one as I document what I learn. Of course, some of them can be quite surprising. 😀
HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!