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The Truth About Being A Travel Blogger

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
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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.

Love,

Travel Junkie Diary

  1. They don’t teach you this in school 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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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Travel Junkie Diary

A bohemian traveler

7 comments

  1. You Asked, I Answered (Part 2) – Travel Junkie Diary says:

    […] Me, my tripod, my husband if & when he travels with me. I do not have a personal photographer. I invested time and effort into learning how to take my own pictures. I wrote an article about it, you can click here. […]

  2. Travel Junkie Diary says:

    […] Me, my tripod, my husband if & when he travels with me. I do not have a personal photographer. I invested time and effort into learning how to take my own pictures. I wrote an article about it, you can click here. […]

  3. Designer Esra says:

    Thank you for sharing this!

  4. James Daynton says:

    Beautiful article! Well written, you inspire me and I have moved mountains because of your words!

  5. Sana Farallah says:

    You are simply beautiful inside out! You speak right from your heart and people love you for it!

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Follow @ traveljunkiediary
  • It isn’t always easy for me to get those moments shots. Most of the times, I take a million pictures before getting to the right one. If you flip through them, you can get an idea on how I really looked like before looking like this photo here. Just almost like I have it all together. 
Don’t forget @rsainsuranceuae is still running a competition to give a lucky winner Dhs 20,000 for your dream vacation anywhere in the world! All you have to do is upload your photo fail and #rsatravelphotofails to your image and you could win your dream vacation 😊
  • Initially, I wanted to keep this picture for Christmas... but I’m not the most patient person. 
I had asked @dennisstever to help me out with an image I had in my mind. 
After couple of attempted shots, it wasn’t working out the way I imagined it would.
So we just gave up. 
I remember walking deeper in the forest then heard him scream from far: “Michelle, don’t move!” I paused and stood still. 
And he took the shot. 
What you can’t see, is that right behind me was a 6 meter drop to the frozen white lake, snow falling heavily and my heart beating a million beats per second and I was freezing!
I didn’t want to move, breathe or leave. The view from here was incredible. I tossed my baloon up in the air, and waited for it to slowly fall back to me. 
Travel and photography, always an incredible beautiful surprise and adventure. 
Thank you @dennisstever for the photo and for allowing me to put my camera down in subzero temperatures... even for a little while 💫
  • On the other side, is the best version of yourself you could possibly be. Now close your eyes and let go of everything else... only then will you understand 💫
  • I’m not incomplete. I've learnt to fill my own inner void; But I need to keep being inspired and deeply moved to continue forward. 
Our trips are a reflection of who we are. 
The people on TJD trips are a reflection on the energy we attract. Falling in love with their souls, their strength and the small gestures they do to make you feel so important in their lives. And I’ve felt it. 
When I leave a place like Finland, where I find magic, freedom and peace... my strength is put to test, my balance and my willingness to endure. Because, as someone who is always searching for balance, I find it there. Breaking my own limits, outgrowing myself to live the best way I possibly can, and not the life others expect of me. 💫❄️ #TravelwithTJD @ourfinland
  • {Here is how you can win your dream trip worth 20,000 dhs! Anywhere in the world} link in bio
It’s no secret that I, like almost everyone else, have to take a couple of extra (a thousand) shots before getting the right one. But the most difficult ones to take, are the ones with Chloè! 
I cannot get her to stay still!! This was taken 2 years ago unedited. You can see I was desperately trying to keep her still for the shot until she caved in! 
I’m posting this because I’m happy to announce my partnership with @rsainsuranceuae with our second season campaign after the success of the first award winning campaign: ‘The Unluckiest Traveler’ 
Today we launch #rsatravelphotofails - We want you to upload your worst travel photo fail, (because not everyone gets that perfect travel photo) and the winner will get a chance to win their dream vacation!!
Step 1: Upload your worst photo image
Step 2: Tag #rsatravelphotofails 
And stay tuned to see if you won your dream trip worth 20,000 Dhs!!
  • I have so much respect for the emotionally brave. The ones who put in the emotional work and take the real risks of being vulnerable and removing masks. It's easy to make chitchat, but it's hard to speak about what's really under the surface. It's easy to joke, but difficult to cry. It's easy to numb, but hard to feel. That’s what keeps me going with @travelwithtjd and the people I meet along the way. That’s who they are and I love them for it. My love to @dennisstever for taking this photo of me, even when we both knew the ice on the lake was super thin but we braved our way through it. 😊 #TravelwithTJD
  • I can’t find words to describe how I feel being back here in Finland. It’s no secret how much I love this place and how many times I keep coming back. We kicked off our @travelwithtjd trips starting right here and making new friends and sharing some great moments ♥️
  • If you think you’re having a bad day, just remember, there are people that have their ex’s name tattooed on their body... Happy Wednesday! ♥️🤷🏼‍♀️
  • Do you often have picnics?? I found this picnic basket in a store last weekend and, although I don’t do a lot of picnics in Dubai, I bought it, and decided to use it for this photo shoot and get inspired by Italy with the @theitalianwayuae project that I’m so happy to be part of once again this season! Where is your favorite place for picnics??#theitalianway
  • A beautiful day in Dubai with a little too much ice cream! I spent my last weekend with friends & family on the beach before flying back to one of my favorite place on earth to witness the polar nights!! Can you guess where I’m flying back to?
  • I had my doubts when I posted on my stories yesterday on how long many of you here were following my journey. 
The response I had was so far beyond my expectations. 
I got a little emotional when I found out that almost 80 percent of you are here from the very start, 6 years ago!
Your messages this past 24 hours left me overwhelmed with feelings. There are no words, that’s why it took me all day trying to write a caption, and I still came up with nothing’s close to how I’m feeling. 
Everyone I’ve interacted in my life has brought out a side of me, the ones who stuck, where the ones who brought out the beautiful parts of me. 
So, if you’re new or if you’re old here... all I can say is thank you for following my journey, my ups and downs and my job...but most of all, for trusting me and what I believe in.💕
  • Over the weekend I thought a lot about ‘purpose vs goals in life’ and ‘happiness’.
Do we define happiness by reaching our purpose in life or by reaching our goals? 
Either way, I think a lot of us put pressure on the word ‘purpose’ and ‘goals’ in life and forget the simplicity of being just happy. 
In reality, we don’t always get fully to where we want to be, because we always find ourselves wanting more of everything... Personally I know I want to be happy in every decision I make, in my personal and business life and it goes far beyond having body goals or couple goals. 
There are days that life beats me down, and days I feel I’m on top of the world. 
But my purpose?? I don’t know yet, and I may never know.... But that doesn’t matter, because I’m still trying to make every single day count. 
So what is more important to you? Goals, a purpose or simply reaching happiness regardless??