I just came back from TBEX Europe that held at Girona, Spain. The hospitality was amazing. I bet every single attendees had an amazing time, and went back home hoping to come back to Costa Brava soon. I certainly did. Now, I know I don’t normally talk about the business of travel blogging here, but after attending two travel blogging conferences in last few months, I’d like to share some thoughts. These are mostly a message to myself.
Are you a professional blogger, or blogging as a hobby?
Do you want to be a great writer, or great at marketing?
Is running a successful blog is your goal, or something beyond that?
There are such a many fine lines in-between these questions, but need to be answered. For who? For me.
For the last three years travel blogging has been my life. I write, I photograph, I communicate and most importantly I travel, but I always thought there’s more than just blogging. Building up the readership and a certain level of popularity was my goals for a long time. After all, the blogging business doesn’t mean anything if no one’s reading. So I reached the point that I have quite a solid readership. Because you are reading this right now. I thought that was the highest goal I can get. But as I’m standing here, I know that I want more. Traveling the world is great, but that’s not everything I want. I want to be better at story telling, sharing my experiences, and be an expert.
What do I want? What do I have to do to pursue my goals? The answer to that is the key to my next move.
Now, let’s say you know what you want. The next step would be finding the path to walk on. Be focus on your goal. Don’t be afraid to take that step forward. Don’t be afraid of not knowing the future. The possibility is various; it can be a cliff that you’ll step in, or a beautiful meadow filled with butterflies and sheep. Who knows what’s there? All we can do is to believe we’ll be reaching to the meadow, at some point. Failure is a scary thing, but it’s so much better than stuck and regret. The reality will kick our butt, but that’s the wakeup call, motivation and the starting point. If you see the cliff, just turn around and find another path to the meadow.
I think I reached a certain point of the success. I have readership, I travel the world, I have a group of people who recognize me from my website and I’m happy most of the time. So yes, life is so much better than when I was stuck. I’m keep reminding myself to be humble and generous. That’s another goal. Quiet different than a lesson I got from the last conference: ‘Be the best of what you do. If you can’t be the best, be an asshole. Don’t be a mediocre.’ I don’t want to be a mediocre but I want to be a nice person who is the best at what I do.
So yes, once you found what you want to do, be focus, be brave and be humble at your success.
When you see the room full of famous people (it means we know who they are from the internet), it’s easy to think ‘Sh*t, I’m too late. I’ll never be like them’. Just like Chris Guillebeau said in his closing speech, maybe yesterday would’ve been better, but today is okay, or tomorrow. And remember, you don’t have to be like anyone; just be you. Travel is possibly one of the largest fields in the world. Everyone loves to travel, or desires to travel, and there are people who are making that possible. Hotels, airlines, trains, writers, and photographers… a huge group of people are making it happen. Travel blogging is getting bigger and powerful, and it is growing every second. Which means the competition is getting tougher but the good news is there’ll be a room for everyone.
If you want to travel, or start the blog, or start the business, or want to working in the field, it’s not too late. Today is better than tomorrow, and certainly better than 20 years later.