Looking Back at My (Travel) Blogging Journey
Looking back at the first day when I posted my first blog entry (in 2003), I didn’t realize that blogging and telling stories would become my career. I wrote under the name of ruthilicious and from there, it opened so many opportunities for me for growth that take me to places I never imagined I could visit.
I was young but always curious about new things. I always thought that internet is a dangerous place so the plan was to write under the name ruthilicious. There was a little debate in my mind at that time and thinking of going for ruthism. (Thinking of it now, I should have gone with ruthism; but here we are now in 2021 and the internet knew me as @ruthilicious).
Decades ago, people in the internet use a “handle” or “nickname” to register to different forum (ah, the time when there was no social media yet – but Friendster). There was no such thing as personal branding. We conceal our identity. People don’t post “selfies”, and there is nothing “viral”. At that time, I didn’t think of getting my name as my username.
I didn’t want people to find me. But brands found my blog. From the daily stories, discoveries and musings, I found myself getting invitations from brands to attend product launches and tell their brand’s stories. It was in 2010. That is the year when I started blogging professionally.
I had to make a decision – to show myself as the writer behind the blog. I remember being too scared to include my photos on my blogs. I see it as a risk that I have to face.
It was fun attending events, dressing up according to style pegs, seeing celebrities and toasting with company CEOs for their new product launches. I got a zillion photos from different photo booths and a collection of Premiere Night tickets of different movies.
I got my first invitation to travel in 2012, then in 2013 I got to fly to another country for an event. From then, I always get invited to travel every year. It is always exciting to receive a travel invitation! Imagine combining two things you love. For me, it is travel and blogging.
The truth it, I oftentimes ask myself, “why me?”. I know that there are more popular travel bloggers and influencers. But I just say yes to awesome opportunities and always do my best.
The most awesome thing is when my favorite brand contacts me to work with me. It is still the same feeling every time, even now. 💖
It is always my dream to see places and experience new things. Travel blogging has opened so many opportunities for me, not just for writing, but for my personal growth. From jumping off to the plane, cruising and even flying a hot air balloon, I enjoyed every travel and experience even at sometimes it means dealing with delayed luggage and getting lost in the city.
My style of blogging has also changed from writing my experience to providing more value to my readers. It is nice to write and document my personal encounters, but I make sure that I also provide more information about the destination and things to do whenever I write travel blogs.
Photos can tell stories, and I enhance my skills at taking photos and capturing meaningful things I can share with my readers.
At that time, I didn’t know what to call the industry I am in. When friends call me “influencer”, I always tell them, I am a blogger. The future of Influencer Marketing is ever changing, and it is important to embrace new challenges and changes.
I love that I get to experience amazing opportunities, while still having the privacy I want to keep.
The pandemic might have put my luggage on vacation inside my room, but I am thankful that travel brands are constantly connecting with me to help them share their stories and updates.
Although I personally didn’t have new travel stories to share, I continuously wander and explore to provide meaningful content to my readers and followers especially during this time of pandemic. Next time, I would share my journey as a LiveStreamer.
I hope soon, as the world economy recovers, I will get to board the plane again and I can take you to a new destination. For now, follow me @ruthilicious for more stories.