Just Wandering turns 7

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.

Balay Idang
One of my favorite places, Balay Indang

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.

Roxas City
Place I would like to explore more: Roxas City, Capiz

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.

We went to Bangkok to eat.

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.

Wards Island
In Ward Island in Toronto, Canada

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.

Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa
My “work” for Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa Resort

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°.

RELATED:   Finally home

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.

Penang 19
Taste the yumminess that is the Penang assam laksa

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!

RELATED:   All blogged out

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.

Article by Nina Fuentes

Nina doesn't aim to travel to every country in the world -- she just wants to travel to the places that means the most to her. She started traveling in 2006, and hopes to travel for as long as she can. Her travel blog, Just Wandering won the Best Travel Blog in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and in the 2011 Nuffnang Asia Pacific Blog Awards.

This Article Has 33 Comments
  1. Sky says:

    Happy 7 Years of Travelling Nina! Btw, I had seen you personally sometime in March when I photocopy some stuff in National Bookstore, Robinsons Galleria, but I was to shy to say Hello :)

  2. Kat says:

    Happy anniversary! Hi, Nina. You are one of my pegs it comes to blogging. Cheers to more wanderings!

  3. Happy seventh, Nina! It may have been slow (thus far) this year, but you still continue to inspire. I still vividly remember the first time I met you, along with other travel bloggers. And it’s one of the most awesome moments of my erm… Travel blogging life. LOL.


  4. happy 7th Nina! I remember our first meeting, you guys had a talk sa AIM. nagpapicture pa ako! hehe, second naman inuman na with Monette sa North Edsa!

    more travel blogging years to come! congrats!

  5. Camille says:

    Happy blog birthday, Nina~

  6. Shie says:

    Congrats on your 7th year and more power. I always check your blog if I needed tips on my next travel destination :)

  7. flipnomad says:

    Happy 7th Blog Anniversary Nina :-)

  8. ..i still remember how starstrucked i was when i first met you. i wont get tired of telling other people kung pano ko nastarstruck sayo. haha

    and now, you’re one of the very few people in the blogging world who i really trust and look up to. pramis!!!

    congrats teh. lets celebrate, soon! wee thanks sa invite =)

  9. Yey! Happy seventh Nina! :)

    Congratulations on your milestone. We wish you more travel, fun, wonderful memories and friends :) sana makasama ka namin sa travel soon :)

    See you around! :)

  10. Happy anniversary, Nina! Your blog has been incredibly helpful, not just to me, but to a lot of other travelers. Thank you and congratulations on reaching this milestone!

  11. Congratulations Nina! You’re one of my inspirations why I started a travel blog (helpful ang Boracay posts sa first trip ko dun with lolo and lola :D). More trips to come :D

    Also, more contest din (para strike 3 na ako lol)

  12. Riz says:

    Happy 7th! :) You’re one of those bloggers who inspired me to start my blog.

    I hope to travel with you! Would love to see you in Malaysia.

    Keep inspiring and more travels to come!

  13. ody says:


    FORMS 47SP -40SP


  14. Congrats Nina!!!! Checking out your books now hehe

  15. davidd says:

    Niña! Seven years? Has it really been SEVEN YEARS?!? It seems like not so long ago, certainly not seven YEARS ago, that you were a girl who liked Pinky:st dolls who was saving up for and anxiously planning her first trip, and planning to stay in hostels while keeping costs to a bare minimum. And now here you are… a TV star! Well, a TV “personality” at least; and more importantly, a respected travel journalist! You are a true example of someone who pursued her goals and through persistence and conscientious effort turned her dreams into reality.

    And you even went to Africa!

    You’re awesome, Niña! Always have been, always will be!

    (Oh, and… thanks for the link to that blog post where one of my photos appeared last week! That was fun!)

  16. Manny says:

    Hi Nina. Congratulations on seven years of your travel blog. I’ve gone here from time to time to check out possible destinations whenever we plan our trips to the Philippines. I don’t know if you have any plans of traveling to the US, but I’m sure you will have a great time (and plenty to write about). Safe travels!

  17. TW and Jo says:

    Happy Bloggerversary (i know… there’s no such word). We are really glad you have this blog, cause that’s how we manage to hook up. You’ve inspired us on our travels and your advice was invaluable for our trip through the Philippines.

    2013 might be slow … but you have that BIG trip to South America/Brazil next year! So that is something to look forward to.

    Stay Awesome!

    • Nina says:

      …but being awesome is such hard work!

      Thanks guys! One of the best things this blog has brought are the people I met through it, including you two! I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll be headed there again. I would love to meet with you two and I won’t be late this time!

      South America’s been pushed back (yet again!), but something’s brewing to replace it ;)

      • TW and Jo says:

        LOL. And we won’t run off early again too!

        Would love to meet up with you again and spend some time together. We were actually planning a diving trip to Philippines too… but life sort of got in the way….

        Oooooh… sounds intriguing… can’t wait to find out what’s the new plan!

  18. Dennis says:

    Belated happy 7th anniversary Nina. I see South America is already in the works….you’ll get addicted to this continent, promise.

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