The truth about travel:
Creating something beautiful… And earnest
Two years ago, I started out on a goal and mission: to create Travel Junkie Diary (TJD), a platform initially in the form of a blog that would eventually grow it into a business platform and search engine. TJD’s mission was to gather diaries from people across the region, allowing them to share personal travel experiences and diaries. Today, we run as a team of three and continue to grow on a daily basis. Don’t differentiate between “This is a job” and “This is what I’m doing for fun.” It’s all synergistic. No one could get this far otherwise.
There are a lot of facts and misconceptions when it comes to being a travel blogger. I get asked a tons of times a day –and yes, sometimes it gets old- questions like: “How much money do you have? or “How do you travel the world?” and my favorite, “Is that even a job?”
Those questions that you have for me, whether it’s all glamour and fun, or whether it’s all play? It’s not.
The Truth About Being A Travel Blogger
Traveling across the world for a living is a blessing, but there are no such thing as a free trip. Working long hours, having the capability to travel quickly, being a mother and tight deadlines are the things that you don’t see. So, for those of you who really want to know, here is some truth on being travel writer.
Here is the truth on travel.
Travel Junkie Diary
- They don’t teach you this in college. I don’t have a degree in writing, nor do I claim that my typos are not real. I do have a passion in expressing myself through writing. I’m not a professional writer, but I do get writer’s block. All the time. So, having a deadline when you’re blocked isn’t fun. Sometimes, I try to say something and it misses the point. Either that or I end up saying the opposite of what I mean. The more I try to get it right the more mixed up it gets. Sometimes I can’t even remember what I was trying to say in the first place. No one or nothing prepares you for this.
- Insist on being yourself, never imitate. What’s the point? Imitating is so easy and so simple that everyone starts to do the same. It gets boring. Working every day to be yourself in a world where everyone competes is not easy. Social media aids us to grow in what we love doing the best. Some fall out and some get tangled up in other ‘blogging hobbies.’ This term ‘blogging hobbies’, is used to refer to those who are all-in-one types of bloggers. They’re fashion, food, travel, lifestyle. That can’t exist. I love fashion, but I can’t write fashion. I love vines and videos, that doesn’t make me a director. You must write for yourself, above all. That is your only hope of creating something beautiful… and earnest.
- There is no such thing as a free trip. No, I don’t fly for free or get paid to fly. I work to fly. Being a (great) travel blogger or an entrepreneur means you are always after a story, and not just beautiful images of yourself. You are out there to report and develop an angle for an article that hasn’t been heard of and done to death. You need to work behind the scenes with hotel staff and on-ground logistics. You meet with F&B departments, housekeeping professionals, PR managers, tourism boards, Airlines, conferences, meetings, expos, travel agents and you go around taking photos of your story- most of the time alone and most of the time using a heavy tripod in scorching heat (or pouring rain). Then, once you do have your footage, you spend your time editing, cleaning, filing and writing, assembling promotional materials, pitching travel and tourism contacts, writing for other sites, Facebook group networking, tweaking site design, tracking financials, link building, doing keyword research, reading other travel blogs, and maintaining a social media presence. Unless you block… And then you’re in trouble, especially when you have a deadline. By the end of the trip, you are beyond exhausted and you recap everything on the flight home before your next project. Did I mention that the next project starts tomorrow? You are tired. But, you are creating something beautiful… and earnest.
- It does get lonely. I was always an advocate of traveling alone. It’s good for the soul. While it’s possibly the best thing you ever will do for yourself, it also gets a bit tough losing touch with friends along the way. That’s when you cherish the ones that stuck by you. Even if you only connect with them once in a while. At least they’re still there.
- It takes 500 to make one. Yes, not all those images you see are a one-time shot image. Every 500 shots, one of them is right. After that, comes editing, planning, and executing to elicit the right message.
- It all comes back to investments. This is not just a hobby. This is a business. It sounds and looks glamorous, but we (like you) have bills to pay and staff to compensate. We work together with clients and projects. That is when you are creating something beautiful… and earnest.
- Be Fearless. I train myself everyday and still have not mastered that. Some days, I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. I take a break and remember why I started this. I started this to create something beautiful…and earnest and most of all because I absolutely LOVE my job! The Truth About Being A Travel Blogger.
- Creativity keep your mind awake at night. There are so many sleepless nights where all I do is plan and think and mobilize ideas off my head. Creating new concepts, staying in the game. The ball keeps on rolling and there is no stop here. You can hit so many bumps and even that doesn’t make you ready for the next one, but your creativity must always be constant and appealing to both…Your clients and your audience. That’s how you create something beautiful and most of all…earnest.
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