September is Travelosyo’s second year anniversary. I can’t help but be thankful to everyone who has been part of my achievements for the past 2 years.
5 years ago, the year I graduated from college, I started working as a call center agent for 2 years. People called me best in tourism because I acted as the secretary of the Department of Tourism, bragging about the Philippines to my callers.
I’m not the usual agent who would simply ask the common questions, “How are you today?” or “How’s the weather?” I was the type of agent who asks, “Do you love to travel?” “Have you been to the Philippines?” Since the type of call that I handled required a long process, I took the chance to introduce our country to the Americans about the beautiful things in the Philippines, sharing a part of history on how America was a big part of it and introducing some of the Filipino cultures.
Sometimes, I had to remotely access their computer; while waiting for the program to be downloaded, we browsed photos of The Philippines to show them our wonderful islands.
Some places are El Nido, Coron, Cebu, Bohol, Banaue, and much more. Then they would ask me, “Have you been to these places?” I’d answer, “Not yet, maybe soon.” They told me that my country is so beautiful and that they would like to spend their next holiday here. I didn’t pity myself because I can’t explore my country yet. I knew that someday I would.
Aside from the usual vacation near Manila and Romblon, which is my province, the farthest place that I’ve been to that time was Puerto Galera. Some people wouldn’t find Puerto Galera special but for me, it was the most beautiful place at that time.
I love exploring places since then but as a fresh graduate, I didn’t have enough money to travel so I’m contented browsing various tourist destinations.
I know by heart the things to see and to do in some places, I’d take note of the hotels where I would love to stay and I check where the best places to eat. I planned an itinerary as if I was going to travel anytime soon.
Time flies so fast; I remember when I started writing food reviews at blogspot because I can’t travel to different places yet. Now, when I have time to read my old articles, I’m happy because I know I improved a lot.
Before I just write whatever I want. I didn’t care if the photos were low resolutions, I didn’t know anything about SEO, and I didn’t have any idea that blogging is time-consuming, informative, and should be quality.
No one guided me when I started blogging, I can say that I learned through reading, watching videos, and from talking with friends. Managing a blog site is like managing a business. You need to invest your money, time, and effort.
If I didn’t start blogging 2 years ago, I wonder what kind of life I’d have now (probably, a boring life). I go to office 5x a week then spend the rest of the weekend at home, reading some nonsense newsfeed on Facebook, sharing a selfie on Instagram, and tweeting on Twitter.
I was nothing but the same with hundreds, maybe thousands of people, who watch drama series at home, feeling jealous seeing their Facebook friends who travel to different places, and limiting their life in the four corners of their room.
I didn’t want that to happen. I dreamed big and become ambitious. If I don’t have extra money to enjoy a luxurious life. Why not use my skills to experience it?
Then I started writing and traveling, I saved money. How can you be a travel blogger if you don’t travel right? I started to explore places near Manila, patiently waited for seat sale, stayed at hostels, dined at a cheap eatery and ate street food. That’s how I started traveling. Who said that you need to splurge to enjoy traveling?
I met different people on the road, I heard a lot of humble stories, I lived like locals, I traveled solo overseas, I had unfortunate events, and it didn’t stop me from exploring the world. As of the moment, I visited 36 out of 81 provinces in the Philippines and 4 countries.
2019 UPDATE: I’ve been to over 60+ provinces in the Philippines and nearly 10 countries.
Soon, I felt that I have worth because this is what I want to happen for Travelosyo.com. I want it to have value. I wouldn’t deny that I’m accepting sponsored hotel reviews and there’s nothing wrong about it. They get my service and I experience their service too.
My reviews are 100% mine even if it’s sponsored. I dream of staying in different accommodation, whether if it’s bed and breakfast, hostel, or 5-star hotel. In the span of 2 years, I made it.
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I work with different brands, received payment for online works, and got extra money from the affiliate program and these didn’t happen overnight. I had to work with different areas of blogging including, marketing, meeting with clients, maintaining and designing my site, which until now, I’m still working on.
What made all these things rewarding is, I’m doing most of the tasks by myself and I’m glad that there are people who are supporting me.
Recently, I had the chance to interview Taal Vista Hotel’s General Manager – Mr. James Bevans. At the end of our interview, he asked me about my current stats and how long I have been blogging.
I told him I have been blogging for almost 2 years now with monthly page views of over 50,000, Facebook followers of over 5,000, Twitter 1,700, and Instagram 1,700.
2019 UPDATE: I now have 60,000 followers – all social media accounts combined
He said “Wow you managed that in less than 2 years and you have this production team,” pointing to the people behind the camera who were taking videos and photos. I was overwhelmed, just smiled and shook his hand.
Now, I want to go back to you. Why are you afraid to start your long-time dream? What’s bothering you? Are you afraid to fail? I will tell you again, I failed a lot.
The beginning will always be the hardest part. I’m not yet at the peak of my blogging career but regardless if there are times that I failed and will fail, I will never stop trying. Because at the moment you stop that’s the real failure and if you will not start today, you will still be the same person as yesterday. Chase Your Dreams
2019 UPDATE: I’m now a freelancer, managing social media accounts of small resorts here in the Philippines and a full-time travel blogger. I also had the chance to work with international tourism offices for their campaign and international hotel chains. I also had the opportunity to signed a contract to a big online travel agency as their social media promoter.