Wednesday, October 27, 2021

How did I grow as a travel blogger

Hidden swing in La Jolla, San Diego overlooking downtown San Diego.

Travel blogging
. What is it? It is a platform in the blogosphere where, people, who love to write and wander, exchange helpful travel information and ideas, fascinating travel narratives, and inspiring travel stories that give us a bigger perspective on life and connect us to the outside world. A passion project for some, a hobby for others, and a source of income for many.

I started my travel blogging journey in 2016. Because I love traveling and writing, I thought it would be nice to create a travel blog so that I could be able to share travel tips and inspire fellow travel enthusiasts to be more adventurous. In the beginning, the struggle was evidently real. I didn’t know what to do or how to do it. I was totally clueless and blank about setting up a website, buying a domain, purchasing a hosting, and creating a design for my blog. I only knew two things: to write stories and to take pictures. At the very least, I have two fundamental skills, which are the significant foundation of blogging. Apart from those, however, I had no idea of making a blog whatsoever.

Starting a blog is laborious. Writing a story is sometimes simple, yet most of the time arduous, especially if, in the middle of the writing process, the weaving of words comes so uneasy. Taking photos and editing them is the easiest thing to do; sorting them out and putting them in one album, though, is a bit tricky for me.

As I set up my blog, I was ecstatic. I bought a domain and a hosting, online tools that would be used to put up the site. I researched about everything I needed, collating details, and templates, and styles. I read articles on Google that helped me build my website. When it was done and already up for public readership, the “Utopian Wanderer” was born shortly thereafter.

Some would ask how I came up with the brand name. The story behind that branding was kind of deep, like the depth of an ocean. The meaning of the word “utopia” is perfect, imaginary, and ideal. A wanderer, on the other hand, is simply a traveler, sightseer, or tourist. The literal translation of the name is “perfect traveler”. While it was good to be considered a perfect traveler, I didn't want to live up to such a connotation. I believe that's pretty much elitist. I just wanted to make each of my trips perfect instead.

Do you know what's perfect other than my travel experiences? Travel blogging has opened a lot of opportunities for me. It allowed me to meet like-minded people who have huge interests in writing and traveling, and they eventually became my friends for life. It also brought me to places I never thought I would get to visit. I had tasted different culinary cuisines from various regions in the Philippines. I covered cultural festivals, which were fun to attend. I got to work with travel writers and brands, and organizations and companies that paid me well. It's perfect, isn't it?

It's humbling to remember every single place that I have been along the way. Each taught me to be more accepting and more understanding and more open to responsibilities and possibilities.

In my five years in the travel blogging community, I have observed that the blogging scene has been constantly changing, ever-evolving. I am a firm believer that the need to saturate a specific target market has been enormously growing. I have seen more and more online platforms being used to reach more people and tap more readers and viewers. As a result, I have been more receptive to new applications, than I thought I should be because, just when I thought technologies were at their peak, there were more to come. And, as travel blogging grew, so did I as a travel blogger.


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