Oh my, how three years have passed! This travel blog has been with me on many firsts: my first solo backpacking trip to Thailand, my first trip to Australia, my first trip to Tagaytay (undocumented, though), my first hike up a mountain, my first festival, my first trip to Mindanao and my first trip to Batanes.
I have been lucky enough to have second chances on many of those firsts: I’ve been to Australia twice, (unwittingly) went up a mountain the second time, went to several festivals around the country, went to Mindanao for a second time, and to Tagaytay several times after that first one. I’m still hoping for a second chance at Batanes.
Truth be told, I started Just Wandering not just to document my trips and to share my stories, but I also had plans of monetizing it. That time, I was already reading about people making money off their blogs, and I thought to myself that if it can help me fund my travels, why not? It was a slow start, but with some hard work and much trial and error, I was able to finally start earning from my blog. I’m not rolling in cash, if that’s what you’re thinking. But any amount is good enough if it’s going to my travel fund 😀
Manila Post Office, as seen from Escolta. Photo taken with the digital camera that blogging bought 😉
I was also lucky enough to get some sort of sponsorship from South East Asian Airways (Seair) for flights around the country, and from Columbia Sportswear for travel gear that are now first in my packing list. To Mr. Patrick Tan & Czarleo Gimena of Seair and Dino de Leon of Columbia, thank you from the bottom of my heart! Another shout out goes out to the PR firms that invited me to countless events that helped me come out with new contents for the blogs. You guys know who you are 😉
With Karla, Marc, Gail, Eric and Dino of Columbia at the Basco Airport, waiting for our Seair flight back to Manila
Blogging has also paved a way for me to meet new people I wouldn’t have otherwise met (specially since I work at home). Through blogging, I have met and made several friends both online and offline. Some have even become my travel buddies! To Eric, Gail, Melo, Marc, and Karla, it was great to have traveled with you! Kelan tayo uli aalis? 😉 My travel blog has also let me connect with my readers, some who are now friends as well. It feels great to receive messages saying how my post have helped them plan for their own travel, or how I’ve inspired them to travel. To all Justwandering.org readers, thank you all so much! You are sources of inspiration to keep this blog going, not to mention a great motivator for me to post an entry!
So what’s in store for Just Wandering this year? Well for one, I’m hoping to finally finish my back log…. >_< After a year of traveling around the Philippines, I'm looking forward to traveling overseas again. I've already been to Hong Kong this year, and this coming June, I'm going on another (and longer!) backpacking trip through Southeast Asia. Looks like it's going to be another awesome year 😉