9 things I learned in my 1st year of blogging

1 year ago, on 17th of May, 2015 “born” my travel blog. Honestly, I didn’t plan to become a travel blogger. In the beginning, I just wanted to have a virtual space to share my experience, tips about Indonesian cultural Darmasiswa scholarship that I got. I thought this information can be useful for the next year students.

But later, I saw that during my trips in Indonesia I found out things that I didn’t know before visiting some of the places. I thought that this practical information can be useful for other travelers as well. So, little by little I started to make notes from my trips which turned into the posts (unfortunately not all stories are told yet :)).

Later on, I felt in love with Indonesia and after my scholarship finished I decided to start my life here – become a full time travel writer/blogger. Truly to say, I’m not naive person, but this time I thought that to be a travel blogger will be so easy – I will just travel, write and get income. I was wrong! Nothing was (is) so easy how I expected it will be. But the main good thing – even if I didn’t reach my aim yet, this 1 year of blogging gave me good lessons to learn.

9 things I learned in my first year of blogging

1. Blogging is a tone of work

I read that some of the people write a post within couple of hours. Maybe they have a gift to write? For me to write 1 post takes at least 2 days: writing draft, couple times of editing, selecting and preparing photos, adding post to the blog and etc. Later, after 2 days of preparation, more than half of the day takes to “spread” it in social media and other sources. But each moment spent on single post give me a pleasure to remember all discoveries during my trips.

2. It’s freedom to do experiments

It’s not possible to find out what is working what is not without trying and making experiments. Travel blog is my own, so I can do things without asking permission of any people. I try different posts structures, different ways of present information and analyzing what readers likes more. I’m not scared to make mistakes and I’m trying to learn how to make better posts in a future. When I was working in the company, each mistake cost not only more work for me but sometimes influence my colleagues work as well. Now I’m free to stumble and learn from mistakes without involving others.

Blog
Sometimes the wrong choices bring us to the right places

3. It’s an opportunity to learn new things

I never wrote any article or post for anyone before. I started my first post in this blog from 0 knowledge about it. Only now, little by little I start to understand what does it mean a “good post” and I’m learning to write such ones.

I’m learning how to make my content interesting, trying to understand how people behave while reading posts, what they find the most interesting, why they like to share my content and etc. It’s like learning people’s behavior psychology which I find very interesting.

Before I was just ordinary social media user. Now I know much more about it. I read many articles, was searching for answers to understand how different social media is working, how to engage people with my content, what is more important in social media and etc. I found it so challenging but at the same time really thrilling.

Because of blogging I even learned some programming codes. Now I’m able to fix some problems in website design, adding new tools, codes and etc. I never thought that I will understand such things.

4. Need to move out from comfort zone

I’m the type of people who can’t sell things which people don’t need. I believed that if anyone needs something they will find it by themselves. But blogging taught me that “promoting yourself” is one of the most important things in successful blogging. I need to be proactive if I want to be known (especially among thousands of other travel bloggers). I need to engage people to meet with me, suggest ideas. I need to convince possible clients, partners that I can be useful for them even if they didn’t think about it yet. It’s not easy to leave comfort zone – but it’s really worth it.

Blogiversary
A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there

5. Blogging is not a game

To have a blog and wishing to make a living from it, means to think about blog like about business. Make a strategy, understand markets and target groups, planning budged, participate in networking events, make evaluation and etc. It’s non-stop process and full time job.

6. Need to understand what you pay for

I used to pay for services expecting that I don’t need to know anything about them. I pay because somebody will know more than me. But I learned that whatever service I buy, I need to know about it at least a little bit. Not all the people who do business and sell services will do it in a fair way and right price. Just to avoid overpaying for anything – better to understand what you are buying, how long it takes, what the result can be expected.

7. Nothing will be perfect

No matter how hard I will try to make my blog perfect – I always will find something to correct, to add, thinking how to make it better. But I understood that blogging isn’t meant to be perfect – it’s a journey of making mistakes, learning and growth. If I would wait to make perfect blog design, perfect posts, probably even after this 1 year it wouldn’t be published yet.

Blogging
It’s ok not to be perfect and not make perfect things

8. Don’t have expectations to get backing

Many people don’t understand what does it mean to be a blogger. Especially when it’s presented like a full time job. I can’t expect that people from my surrounding will know as much as I know now about blogging, how works social media, what is important for each blogger, what means to be “a good blogger” and many other things. Because of that I don’t have to expect that people from my surrounding will be the most engaged readers.

9. It’s never ending personal growth

I became more curious about things which I write. I want to give for my reader’s correct information and it’s a big responsibility. Before publishing any post, I check other sources, speak with people and etc. just to prove that things, I’m writing about is correct.

I learned to pay attention in things I’m writing about and how I do it. Sometimes things which looks usual for me, for others can sound like offence. I’m learning to use filters in each of my sentence.

I realized that having a blog and trying to reach aims I need to become really patient: in learning, getting answers, answering questions, growing my blog reader’s community, getting income.

Having a blog, it’s growing a strength not to give up when something doesn’t go like I want. And each time finding a strength to try harder, search, see new opportunities and thinking positive.

Blogging taught me to be more flexible. If something goes wrong – try something else and new but not stuck on the same things.

Travel blogger
Every experience makes you grow

In conclusion – I had a year of awesomeness, but I believe that the best is yet to come!

 

Have you tried blogging? What kind of lessons you learned? Do you think it’s worth to be a blogger?


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Guidelines how to become annoying tourist in Asia

While you are traveling you almost can’t avoid meeting other travelers, tourists on your way. But let’s be clear who is “tourist” and who is “traveler”. Most common definition of “tourist” is “a person who is traveling, especially for pleasure”. “Traveler” – “someone who is traveling or who travels often”. I think (and I use this description in this post): “tourist” a person who comes to a place just to take what he wants, needs, put “check” on the “been/seen/done” list. He thinks everything goes only around his needs; “traveler” – a person, who comes to a place to give, understand, be a part of local culture. Who wants to make trade – take but as well give something in return.

If tourist wants to get the most benefits of being a tourist, be noticed by local people, other travelers – he should follow these guidelines. Then he can claim to get award of most annoying tourist in Asia.

How to become the most annoying tourist in Asia

#1 Become a speaker

How will people know you or understand better, if you won’t share how you feel, think without saying it? It’s too tiring to speak with each person about yourself? So just be sure to speak as loud as you can with a person in front of you. Then everybody who is around (workers, other tourists, travelers) will hear you and you will get attention, even if you are not the most important person in that place.

#2 Be proud of your success by showing how much money you have

You feel that people won’t give attention to you if you won’t start to show/tell how rich you are. And because of it you can get everything you want? So do it! Don’t accept any negative answer to your wishes, just tell people that you have a lot of money and you can buy everything you want: respect, justice, people and etc. Like you believe people in Asia are poor, so money the only way to solve problems, get anything.

Tourist in Asia

#3 Forget your clothes

You have worked so hard in the gym a month before the holiday (just to look good in photos that you will share in your social profiles). So why you should cover your body with clothes? Swimsuit is not only for beach, walk with it in the city as well. Why you should dress properly in front of local people, respect their religion and culture? Who are they – just locals, don’t care about them. Don’t forget you are the main person!

#4 No need to use simple humanity rules

Local people don’t understand when you are polite with them. Only if you scream, showing disrespect – they will solve your problems. They are not normal people like you or those with whom you deal in your own country. So act differently than you do in your country.
You respect only those who are wort it, right? Who are local people? You don’t know them, you don’t understand them. So, why you should respect them? Don’t do that, act with them like they are not humans.

#5 Delete words “local rules” from your vocabulary

You should forget expression “local rules”. You are not local, you are tourist, just temporary staying for your vacation. You should have good time, do things that you don’t do in your own country, without thinking about anything. Remember – “rules” are not for you! Drive motorbike without helmet, as fast as you can, with as many people on motorbike as you can take and etc. Don’t think that it can be danger for you and other people. If others do like this, why can’t you? You don’t need to think, you left your brain at home and want just follow others behavior – it’s much easier.

Tourist in Asia

#6 Make a challenge for yourself

Alcohol in your country too expensive? Don’t have reasons to get drunk there? Yes, the vacation in Asia is right time and place to be drunk whole days! Get drunk till stage when local people try to help you find where are you staying or call for help like you can’t even stand up (and your friends just left you lying somewhere). Holiday is all about it – be drunk all the time.

#7 Take pictures of local people like in the zoo

While you are completing your “been/seen/done” list, you will meet local people which maybe you will find interesting. So just go to them, put photo camera in front of their faces, no matter what they are doing at that time, and try to get the best shot. Don’t forget make as much as possible shots. As well don’t think to be polite and ask people permission to make their picture. Some locals in Asia don’t speak English, so why you need to waste your time for asking permission? Feel free just behave with them like with animals in the zoo.

Tourists in Asia

#8 Follow your animal instincts

You feel passion here and right now? So have sex straight where you are, for example in the public hotel swimming pool. Who cares if somebody will see you? You feel passion and want to demonstrate it. After all, you do the same in your country, in other countries outside Asia while you are traveling. So, why you can’t do it here as well? And don’t forget to “order” local females/males for your sex games – like “it’s part of the culture”, “you can help them to earn a little money” and they “enjoy working this job”.

#9 Leave your brains at home

You worked hard for long time to get these couple weeks of pleasure. So just leave your brain at home and do things that you never do in your country or outside Asia. Get crazy, do dangerous things, don’t think about anything. Try everything that locals suggest even if you don’t know what this is. Vacation is the time when you don’t need any limits. And Asian countries just waiting for your craziness. Here is one of crazy thing which you can do in Asia.

So it’s all my tips to get award of most annoying tourist in Asia. Maybe you have suggest other tips?

Annoying tourists pinterest

 

I hope I haven’t offended any of you. But at least you know now how sometimes your behavior looks like from other point of view. And why local people treat you in the way which you don’t like. Keep in mind that everything is written in sarcastic way from my personal experience during traveling in Asia.

 

Pictures are taken from internet sources.

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Memories of 2015 in 15 travel photos from Asia

It’s only passed couple days after New Year celebration but 2015 is already the past. Looking back to my 2015 I can honestly say “it was crazy, adventurous, inspiring year”. I’m happy to watch all my travel photos from Asia and remember all routes, met people, stories that I had.

It’s quite hard to select only 15 photos from all trips in 2015 (I was traveling in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Norway). Like not possible all memories put to such small amount of photos but I took this personal challenge and selected :). Here they are (according to the sequence where I traveled from the beginning of 2015)!

My 2015 in 15 travel photos from Asia

#1 Peaceful time in Labuhan Haji beach, Lombok, Indonesia

Travel photos from Asia - Lombok
I just need some time in a beautiful place to clear my head

#2 Intact children in Sa Pa, Vietnam

Travel photos from Asia - Vietnam
Be happy for now reason like a child

#3 Incredible rice paddies in Sa Pa, Vietnam

Travel photos from Asia - Vietnam
Enjoy the little things

#4 Time to get lost, Halong Bay, Vietnam

Travel photos from Asia - Halong Bay
Getting lost is not a waste of time

#5 Wonder moments in Bukittinggi, Sumatra, Indonesia

Travel photos from Asia - Sumatra
Never lose your sense of wonder

#6 Exploring Ramadhan time in Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia

Travel photos from Asia - Yogyakarta
Don’t try to understand everything, because sometimes it’s not meant to be understood but to be accepted

#7 On the way to meet with orangutans in Borneo, Indonesia

Travel photos from Asia - Borneo
My destination is no longer a place, but new way of seeing. Marcel Proust

#8 Curiosity moment for both of us in Sulawesi, Indonesia

Travel photos from Asia - Sulawesi
Replace the fear of the unknown with curiosity

#9 Faith time in Tirtha Empul temple in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

Travel photos from Asia - Bali
Never lose hope, keep the faith. Joyce Meyer

#10 Inspiring moment in Batu Cave, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Travel photos from Asia - Kuala Lumpur
There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs

#11 Discovering time in Clan Jetties, Penang, Malaysia

Travel photos from Asia - Penang
We live to discover beauty

#12 Magical moment in Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand

Travel photos from Asia - Bangkok
Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen. Goethe

#13 Colorful time in Bangkok, Thailand

Travel photos from Asia - Bangkok
Enjoy the colors of life

#14 Tasty hours in Bangkok, Thailand

Travel photos from Asia - Thailand
You have to taste a culture to understand it

#15 Bewitching place in Tanah Lot temple, Bali, Indonesia

Travel photos from Asia - Bali
In a place where there is will. There is a road. Korean proverb

How about you? What were your travel memories of 2015?

Wish you in 2016 travel more, meet interesting people, try new things and never stop believing in things you do! :)


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