You can treat this as a confession of sorts.
In December of last year, we’d published this blog. Just after 2 months, I’d started doing some serious reflection on where we should be heading. Basically, I wanted this blog to be ours — I want it to showcase our travels and thoughts about it, about life in general, about being together.
What happened is that it turned into a typical travel blog, with detailed travel guides and itineraries.
Although I love the look and feel of it, I think essentially what I want is to give it a little more soul.
This is me, the one you don’t know about
This part is where I’ll talk a little bit about myself.
Personally, it’s challenging for me to put myself out there because (1) I’m a private person, (2) I’d always been guarded even with people close to me, (3) I’m weird like Phoebe-in-Friends weird.
If I add a personal detail, I’ll have to ask myself, “Am I revealing too much of myself?” and then step back. If you’re one of my selected friends in Facebook, you’ll notice that I rarely upload photos or publish any personal stories.
To prove this point, let me tell you that I’d re-written this article about 100x already. It’s been sitting in my drafts folder for months.
In the Internet, it’s even more difficult to be yourself. People are judged based on certain standards, and it’s risky being different or at least having a different set of beliefs.
For travel bloggers, I believe the pressure is even bigger. Travel bloggers have an impeccable image to keep. I really don’t know why, but travel blogging nowadays is synonymous to glamour. You always have to look like you’re having the time of your life, wearing gorgeous summer dresses or OOTDs and so on.
Nobody imposed this to anyone, it’s just the way you’ll find life to be once you step into the stage.
This is why I write, why we keep a blog
One of the misconceptions people have is that we travel to blog. I’m always surprised when people tell me this. We travel because it’s something Hali and I both genuinely enjoy. In fact, there are trips I don’t write about. More often than not, I also purposely delay writing so we’ll have ample time to appreciate our trips before publishing them online.
I write about our trips because it’s what I do. I like writing — especially if it’s done as leisure. I like tinkering our website’s design — I’d applied a theme of course but most UI revisions were done by me. See those cute brown boxes in the side bar? I did that. It’s the same for Hali. He likes taking candid shots of people and travel photography. In fact, he’s been doing that way before we met.
Each of us have different reasons for starting out a travel blog.
To be honest though, there is also a narcissistic, egoistic side to it. At one point we are all driven by it. It’s the same reason travel blogs churn out the same headlines: listicles and clickbaits. I can’t explain it better than Gaspar, who wrote about it in his blog I Left Home:
You see, when it comes to travel blogging: It’s all about popularity, it’s all about numbers.
Sure we like sharing our adventures, our pictures and our genuine vision of the world. Sure we do that because we’re motivated by passion and an unshakeable will to help fellow travelers but, honestly — and mainly — we’re doing it for the likes, the pins, the retweets, the shares…
Oh and that elusive dream of getting money out of it.
It is personally a challenge to go beyond this narcissistic tendency and stick to what I really want. That’s what I’m doing now.
This is where we’re heading
So, you can probably guess where this is going. Basically, I want to add a little more personality, more space for personal experiences and viewpoints, more freedom to be honest and at times critical.
I want to write more thoughtful articles. What’s it like to be an introvert on joiner tours, what’s it like to backpack with your boyfriend — the good, the bad and the awesome, what I think about hugot memes and why we don’t post it in our Facebook page and so on. I’d like to write more on Filipino culture, its inherent spirituality and mindfulness. I’d like to expound more on some of Hali and I’s advocacy — responsible travel, support for local tourism, learning how to immerse in cultures rather than just passing by, even voluntourism.
I want to inspire, not merely inform.
I hope we get to inspire you guys not just to travel and to take a deeper look of how we go through life, in general. Also to have a more loving, optimistic view in life through appreciation of nature, people and culture, friendships and romantic journeys.
(Because come on if white-sand beaches and locals living happily in their small communities don’t make you feel hopeful, I don’t know what will.)
I will, of course, retain the travel guides. It isn’t much effort to write them. I do research prior to trips, even when we’re joining packaged tours, so I already have information and contact numbers. Practically speaking, the guides are also useful especially since most of the destinations we visit are on off-the-beaten tracks. I know this from the tons of messages we receive. And let’s be honest, they also do bring good traffic and may be good for us in terms of sponsorship.
Let me end this article with this quote:
No one is ever going to ask you to do the thing you really want to do. So think about what you’d like to do, then start doing it. – Jordan Bach
Happy travel and reading, you guys. 🙂