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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!

Leave a Reply

Follow @ traveljunkiediary
  • Would you go to furthermost place on earth? 
I’m so excited to announce our 5th destination release on @travelwithtjd 
Join us on the 1st-6th of May 2020 to the Northernmost Settlement on earth and explore the Norwegian archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole on an Arctic expedition. In this packed polar journey, we have the chance to encounter some arctic wildlife, Kayaking into the glorious glaciers, snowmobiling into the earth’s depends fjords, enjoy husky safari, taste the culinary Arctic experience and learn so much about our beautiful planet.
Few tips on the trip: 
During May, it will be the start of the midnight sun, and so, the sun will not set below the horizon
As flights on our packages are not included, I always suggest to find the best flight deals through @wegoarabia which will give you a range of flights to chose from, matches your budget and connecting flights
Please get in touch if you would like to join this expedition, also, keep in mind that you will need a certain fitness level to join. 
Due to safety circumstances, we can only have 6 guests in one group. 
#TravelwithTJD #CreateYourReality
Photo by @dennisstever
  • Svalbard is a Norwegian archipelago between mainland Norway and the North Pole. The archipelago is composed of nine main islands. 
We visited Pyramiden, 2 hours by boat from longyearbyen, and known as a Soviet Ghost Town, an abandoned Russians coal mine settlement sold to the Soviet Union back in 1927. When we arrived, they told us that they have seen few polar bears around and so had to stay close. 
Barentsburg, the second largest settlement in Svalbard with about 450 inhabitants, mostly, also, Russians... Some of the other islands have amongst scientist and researchers. Needless to say, Longyearbyen is the northernmost capital on earth.
I also want to thank the team at @arcticexpedition.no who were so incredible with us, it wouldn’t have been the same without them, despite me being a little afraid of walking out, they assured our safety ☺️ Make sure you join us on our next @travelwithtjd in May to Svalbard once again!#TravelwithTJD
  • With thousands of years of history frozen in time, the Arctic, for me, is as a place where we can freeze our former selves and visualize what we can achieve what’s found in stories,  books and inspiring people that made it this far. 
It’s just you, the land, and your thoughts, and you can't leave until you've wrestled with yourself and emerged a survivor. 
But then again, the light is much more intense up here and everything looks different because of it. The sun hasn’t set in a couple of months, and you can see things much more clearly when it is light all of the time. 
I’m addicted to the Arctic, it has been so for the past two years as @dennisstever and I set a mission to work together to conquer it on @travelwithTJD 
Thanks to @dennisstever for capturing this moment.
Thank you to the wonderful team @arcticexpedition.no for making this a memorable experience ❤️
  • Im at the Earth’s northernmost inhabited settlement and I made this happen!!
A Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Svalbard is home to the ‘King of the Arctic’, which is the Polar Bear, followed by whales, Arctic Fox, Birds, Seals, Walrus and Reindeers. Svalbard is 600 miles away from the North Pole, the farthest place on earth I have ever been. This is not a dream...I created this beautiful reality. #TravelwithTJD @travelwithtjd @visitsvalbard
  • I’m not sure I can’t explain in words exactly how I felt at that moment. Right, scratch that... I can, because I froze. 
In so many ways. 
Ive always felt that my moods could be best explained in photos (and music) and that’s why I’m drawn to photography because it allows me to portray what’s going on inside when words fail. 
@dennisstever and I spent a week in Finland for the midnight sun, exploring the summer season. He probably took a thousand shots of this moment and encouraged me to keep going despite the cold waves splashing on me. 
But, I’m thankful, because, after a while, the cold numbed me, so I caught my breath, looked around and realized how F*** amazing it is to feel alive!
  • Often, I am noticing more and more on social media highlighting what society identifies as their body flaws and how we are beautiful and ordinary because of it, categorizing it as ‘empowerment’. I’m all for positivity but, I feel it’s giving mixed signals and it’s becoming repetitive, focusing on body goals. Again. 
Loving yourself, or accepting yourself doesn’t start with just accepting your body or its ‘flaws’, that’s not how we become ‘ordinary’, and the constant focus on bodies is directing the false message, denoting how our looks comes first and preaching about it (constantly)is not ordinary. 
Whatever happened to beauty from within? Or education? 
Are we truly loving ourselves if we put our body ‘flaws’ constantly out there on social media waiting again, for others to approve and congratulate you?
Is that not just promoting more “What’s on the outside counts more than what’s on the inside?”
Acceptance and beauty is deeper than that, because, surely, a body’s ‘ordinary’ image, is not solely what we should or should not be celebrating. 
Imperfections comes from the inside... Our actions, reactions, our weaknesses, strengths, our challenges and triumphs, our anxieties.
Loving oneself is accepting our heart and mind’s inability to function today but still give tomorrow another chance. 
We are beautiful for how we make others feel, for being there for one another, for lifting each other, for forgiving, for loyalty, for being there for your children, for your family, for strangers and for those around you and definitely not because we have or have not accepted our bodies and those around us. 
Whoever you are... our ‘imperfections’ in our souls are what makes ordinary and learning to accept it, is what makes you beautiful, and that is what we need to be sharing. 
So let’s highlight what’s on the inside, instead of just purely focusing on the outside. Because, that’s the only way we can truly love ourself, and not by perfect or imperfect bodies.
  • Not your typical photos on my feed... but, why not? I’ve been feeling lately a little uninspired to pick up my camera the past 2 months, so, I didn’t force it, and yesterday, I finally did. 
My collection of images posted on Instagram, are spontaneous memories of living through joy, love, passion, achievements, sadness and struggles. 
My journey, my soul and those in my life, expressed in words and photography. 
I shoot for what is important for me and not for what is expected of me. I post when I want to, and not when a schedule says it’s time to. 
I might have fewer ‘likes’ on some images than others and I’m not consumed by it because my reality is keeping me ‘disconnected’ from social media ... In my real world, I have those around me who make me love with every heart beat, laugh till my stomach hurts and lift me up till my hands touch the sky. 
My intentions is to always stay true to myself first, to my passion, to my photography. I believe that’s the only way one can create something extraordinary. Thank you for all the support throughout the years, or if you have just followed... thank you for your messages and your words of encouragement. 💫
  • Home at Beit Douma, this is how a traditional restored 19th century Lebanese mountain home looks like from the inside. Douma is one of the best-preserved villages in Lebanon, lies at an altitude of over 1000 meters.  The name in Phoenician means “calm and rest”, in Greek it means “house”. 🇱🇧 #Home
  • I believe in giving people time...Time to process the good and the bad because there is something so beautiful about unforced bonds. 
I’m a forever kind of person. I don’t have room for temporary. I believe in big love, of growing old with your friends and soulmates. I believe in being there for people through thick and thin. I believe in not giving up when things get tough. I believe in relationships that can make it through everything... 💫
  • Will probably delete this later but just couldn’t NOT post this video! I’ve always dreamed raising a golden retriever since I was a little girl, and in February, it became a reality. This was Charlie at 3 months and slide over the photo number 2, today at 8 months. 2 more weeks and I’ll be back with him!!! Share your advices on raising a Golden ❤️ I would love to hear your experiences.
  • I read once that some people have the ability to magnetize the people they need to help push them even further into greatness. Some take them for granted, some don't see it because they are too blind. But for those who can see it, be grateful for it, because even if you think you don't need them, one day you might understand the chemistry 💕
  • Bird’s eye view from @joalimaldives 
I can never get bored of this view! 😍