I started this blog as a travel blog. Some of you may remember the Couple of Wanderers version. But, I came to realise that it was not a reflection of what I was trying say and so I changed it to what it supposed to be… the log of my journey to the world and back. But let’s start from a beginning, it all started some time ago…..
A few years back, when there was a big boom of travel blogs, I too wanted to start my own blog. I mean c’mon, who wouldn’t? Escaping the real world with just a backpack, discovering new places, staying in beautiful hotels, eating delicious food and having fun all day long in exchange for a few Instagram snaps and the occasional blog post….and bonus – no CV or interview needed. Of course, we now know (thanks to some honest travel bloggers who are willing to reveal the ‘behind the scenes’) that it is not as easy and effortless as it looks. And sadly, a lot of them portray a make-believe fairy-tale life (with a specific marketing strategy in mind) rather than real life with all of its raw moments.
Anyway, in that moment of excitement back then, I sorted all of my travel photos into organized folders, purchased a domain and changed my Instagram account to a ‘travel blogger’ profile. I started following some travel accounts, which was not hard seeing as they were mushrooming all over the place. Around that time, I started my undergraduate degree and studying alongside work kept me so busy I didn’t have time to pursue my ‘travel blogger’ career. Plus, having to spend even just a few extra minutes a day on a computer to write a blog post would probably have killed me. However, I still continued stalking all these #ig_travelers (btw I still am) and every year I renewed the domain without writing anything… until recently. I felt ready to say what I have to say.
One of the lessons I learned is – I better try and fail than do nothing. The very first version of this blog was a trial. It was not a failure but something went a bit wrong on the way. It honestly saddened me to see what has happened to all of the magical travel blogging. It is no longer fun, rather it’s a race, a business and a full-time job. More countries, more followers, more likes, more reviews, more sponsors … the pressure and stress are ever present. And what’s worse, the competitive hunt for amazing Instagram photos often drives people to do dangerous or irresponsible things by which they either harm Mother Nature or even put their own lives in jeopardy.
Ok, all negativity aside, there are still many inspiring travellers out there who really do what they do because they enjoy it and not ‘for the gram’. Some of them also do amazing things to support charities or mental health and environmental projects. Let me tell you, these are a delight to follow!
My point is that somehow, somewhere along the way, people started to forget to enjoy the moment because of that overwhelming need to re-create a famous Insta pose. I’m not judging, I was one of them. Once, I made my husband travel for hours in 40 degrees heat just to take a photo in a pink lake – it turns out that you can’t even swim in it and that all those photos on Instagram were taken by breaking local rules and harming nature. As I walked around the place trying to overcome my disappointment, I realised how breath-taking that place was. There were flamingos around, it was so peaceful and unique. I probably wouldn’t have seen this had I been posing in the water too busy making sure the camera was at a flattering angle for my stomach.
On another occasion, I asked him to get out of the car in the middle of a rainforest to take a photo of me on the roof of that cool jeep we were renting – you know for my Insta. We both ended up being very badly bitten by mosquitos… I hate that photo so much- my body gets itchy just by looking at it. There are plenty more situations when I put us through ordeals just for that perfect #ig_goals (and I apologise for that to my beloved other half again), but there was one particular situation which was my wake-up call. I wanted to recreate one of those #breakfast_goals photos. We picked up some food from the hotel restaurant and I made sure to take lots of fruit, vegetable and other things – you know, to make it look rich and colourful. My husband got really upset with me but I didn’t understand why. Then he asked me – “are you really going to eat all of that or is it just going to go to waste?”. There I was – feeling embarrassed and guilty just thinking of all those people living in poverty that we had seen along our way, whilst holding a plate full of unnecessary food that I’d assembled JUST FOR A PHOTO!
I almost gave up on blogging and Instagraming in fear that in a world where people aim to build a brand and a huge business out of their blog, I was going to look foolish. Plus I did not want to continue with my photo hunt as described above. Then I realised that I do not have to do it that way. I can don’t have to be re-creating other’s model that does not say anything about me or about what I have to say. My aims behind this blog have always been simpler than giving up my life and becoming a digital nomad or a model. I just want to keep a log of my life experiences, thoughts and events to be able to reflect on them one day and perhaps to entertain or maybe (dare I say it) inspire some of you out there to make the most out of life in your own way.
And so I decided to change the whole blogging thing into my liking. Because at the end, that is the whole point of it. With the travel concept, I felt like my hands were tided. I have set an expectation of my audience to read about travelling tips. But the message I really wanted send did not fit into that box. Most of the experiences that I have were gained during (or rather thanks to) traveling but at the same time, they are not related to traveling. I hope I make sense here. Most of all, I wanted to share what I have seen, learned and experienced along the way to entertain and perhaps motivate people around the world not to be afraid of being who they want to be, no matter what people say. I was blessed to have an opportunity to go through the paths that I did, I do, and I will. I feel like I have a responsibility to share with others what life was willing to show me. And because I too was, and still I am, inspired by stories of people who found a courage to rewrite their stars.
Be who you want to be, do what makes you happy, share it or don’t share it, and do it the way you want regardless of other’s people comments or number of likes. As my husband often says, “life is short, enjoy your coffee” – to which I would add “enjoy your coffee which is made exactly to your own liking”.