Time flew by so fast, and I’m now celebrating seven years of travel blogging. Who’d have thought? Honestly. I started this blog just so I can share my thoughts and experiences about a trip. I wanted it to be a resource for other travelers who, like me, turn to the web to find any and all the information they can about a place they want to visit. I never thought I’d be able to accomplish so much in seven years.
Through blogging, I have met plenty of people, who are as passionate about traveling as I am. Just yesterday, I was asked about traveling solo, and I was surprised to realize that I can hardly remember when I last did a solo trip. Certainly, I have changed. Years of traveling on my own and with company taught me several things: that if I can avoid it, I will not stay in a dorm room, no matter how cheap it is; I will gladly pay extra for comfort and a clean toilet, and; I really enjoy being in on my own. The last is at odds with the statement that I haven’t traveled solo for a long time, but times are really different now.
In 2006, when I started traveling, I had no choice but to travel alone because it was so hard to invite people to travel. It’s either they’re not really interested, or they’re interested but their budget would not allow them to travel. Nowadays, since I’m surrounded by equally travel-loving people, it’s as easy as casually asking friends if they want to go to Bangkok to eat Thai street foods and buying a ticket afterwards. True story.
I love being alone, but I also love being with my friends. I may be anti-social, but surround me with people I like and people who genuinely like me back, and I’m happy.
Blogging has evolved through the years and it has opened plenty of travel opportunities for everyone. I have been extremely lucky to have worked with brands and companies like Muji, Taal Vista Hotel, Shangri-La Hotels, Misibis Bay, and Philippine Airlines. Thank you so much for trusting your name with me. It’s always an honor getting invited and having a chance to work with any brand, and I am grateful for every opportunity. Special thanks also go out to Nuffnang, who tirelessly help with getting me connected with some of these brands, and in some way, helping me get closer to reaching my goals.
I have received recognition for the work I have done with Just Wandering, and I’m hoping I’ve managed to keep the quality of the blog, despite the rise of sponsored posts and lesser posts about my personal travels. The thing is, when you start to travel for the blog, it becomes like work, and it’s not fun anymore. Sure, I’m doing what I love, but having to think about what to blog about while I’m supposed to be relaxing and enjoying myself is not what traveling is supposed to be (for me anyway). So I hope you understand why I hardly post about my personal trips now. I’ll write snippets about it, upload photos, and post trip expenses, but there’s a high chance I will not write as extensively about it as I did before. Every other travel blogger post detailed guides and itineraries anyway, so go visit their blog for that.
Last year, I co-produced a travel reality show with other Pinoy travel bloggers. PHL360° takes you around the Philippines, giving you a fresh look at favorite destination and exploring places that may have missed your notice. It has been a huge undertaking to produce a show, specially if you don’t have any experience in video production, but thanks to the effort of everybody in the team, we managed to pull it off and finished all 16 episodes. However, as much as I love travel and promoting Philippine tourism, video production isn’t for me. As they say, you can’t say you don’t like something until you’ve tried it. I’ve tried it, gave it my all (literally), and in the end, I have to beg off the show to focus on other projects. Ron and the team are continuing with it, and I hope you continue to support PHL360°.
I have made a full circle.
I thought leaving PHL360° meant no more time in front of the camera, but that changed when I got a call from Malacañang. The Presidential Broadcast Staff Radio Television Malacañang produce this weekly show on PTV 4, called Gov@Work. Basically, they interview the Secretaries about their respective jobs. It’s a new show that only stared airing in April 8, 2013. The second episode was to feature Department of Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, and in one of the segment, they needed two bloggers who will ask the secretary questions about his responsibilities in the DOT. Bogart the Explorer got one slot, I got the other. How can I turn down this opportunity?
I did not watch this.
April is nearing it end, and before we know it, the year would be halfway over. I feel as if my 2013 has been really slow, with no major trips happening. I’m crossing my fingers for a couple of exciting ones later this year, including a couple of tours that you can join. One’s going to be to Penang, Malaysia, the other to Chiang Mai, Thailand. Yes, and independent traveler offering a packaged tour. I know packaged tours aren’t everybody’s cup of tea, but if it’s yours, drop me a line and I’ll give you all the details. It’s going to be this October and November. Details of each trip will be posted soon.
Though I have been slowing down on my blogging and traveling the past years, my goal still remains the same: to travel. To see the world. To experience the places that I have always dreamed of visiting. I’m not sure how long it will take me, but I’m slowly working towards it. So I guess that means there are more travel blogging years to come!
P.S. I’m cleaning out my room and selling books (travel books, guidebooks, fiction, coffee table books, manga) and toys (collectibles). Check out my inventory here.