Ciao, Roma!

Every turn on the streets of Rome will lead you to fountains and churches. There's really a lot of things to see and do at what was once a great empire.

Soulful Seoul

Seoul is full of soul when it becomes dramatic during Autumn!

Temple run!

The secret to enjoying Angkor Wat's famed temples now revealed!

Spring blossoms

One of the best times to mount that trip to Japan is during Spring when cherry blossoms abound!

Oui, Paris!

More than the Eiffel Tower, there's so many things to see and do in this dream destination.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Why I stopped writing about my travels

Why I stopped writing about my travels

So many changes have taken -- or are still taking -- place. Looking back at my past posts, things are way different now from when I’ve started doing this.

Doesn’t sound like my usual posts where I describe a particular place, you would think. Why this kind of post, you may ask?

You see, I haven’t been posting for the longest time. I have been travelling, sure, but I have realised many things as months and years went by, which put into question why I shouldn’t write about these things.

IF THERE'S ANYTHING that didn't change, it's my habit of lugging around my DSLR.
And my FILM SLR. Ta Prohm, Siem Reap. February 2019.

Back in 2008, when I started out blogging, my original intent was to inspire everyone to travel and see the world, and aid prospective travellers with the information that they would need as they embark on their trips.

When I first travelled solo back in 2008, I felt that I ought to help everyone in providing the necessary information – where to go, what to see, what to eat, how to prepare. And inspire those who will come across my blog to pack up and check out what’s out there.

For the financially challenged, I hope I served as an inspiration for you to finally save up, do that dream getaway, and find those affordable accommodations and cheap eats on your destinations.

But you see, since I started this blog, so many other travel blogs and websites have sprouted. Instagram has practically became a phenomenon where everyone strikes a pose by the Eiffel Tower, makes that perspective shot by the Leaning Tower of Pisa, or does those generic poses by the Angkor Wat. We’re not yet on Facebook where millennials show off their deliberately done candid shots or so-called blogger poses.

Almost everyone’s travelling now, thanks to cheaper airfares and the availability of information as to where to go and what to see.

Before, I thought I’m adventurous enough compared to the average Filipino for going beyond go-to Hong Kong and ventured into uncharted territories like Morocco or Luxembourg. As of this writing, at least three friends have gone off to see beyond the walls of the Medina in Marrakech. So many friends have gone to the far north and experienced the auroras. And many, still, have made their rounds of the usual destinations in Europe.

And so I stopped writing about my travels. I felt that the information I’m getting is no longer relevant. I felt that readers would find the information they’d need elsewhere.

And then there’s the “blogger” phenomenon – the emergence of writers and content producers who regularly upload stuff on their respective blogs and websites, making them -- at least not all of them -- a separate category for advertisers and publicists to reach out to their respective markets.  Many of them are really helpful, while others are said to be merely basking on the sheer number of their followers and page views.

“We’ve started this and now everyone’s into blogging!” my colleague Iris, who also used to blog, told me when I was working on her own dot-com for her blog.

It's a different game now, I told her.

Everything’s just totally different, and in those times that I haven’t been sharing my travels, I felt that I ought to be silent.

Friends have been asking what happened to this blog, and I just told them I’m not taking this off even if I’ve already gave up my own domain name and settled for the Blogspot address.

The Adventurer on a Shoestring is still there – still here – only that it’s not updated.

What happened so far                                                                      
And so since the last time I have made a post here, I got into a relationship, got married, and had a baby. And another baby’s coming. And still travelling to local and international destinations in between.

This sort of introspection has been going on ever since my wife asked me to join her and her doctor friends to a trip to Cambodia.

How was my trip to Cambodia in 2008? Check it here.

The first thing that came to my mind was, wow, it’s a come-back after almost 11 years! I came face to face again with the Angkor Wat, the 300-or-so faces of Jayavarman at Bayon, and cruised through Tonle Sap, and even discovered another destination: Battambang.

WITH THE DOCTORS at the Angkor Wat's east gate (technically back entrance).
February 2019.

The trip was so different from what I’ve done before. Let me tell you why:
1.       It was some sort of a business trip as my wife and her doctor friends had to help out another friend working in a hospital in Battambang;
2.       It was a trip organised by a travel agency, complete with a hired van and a tour guide;
3.       And most importantly, I wasn’t travelling alone.

Angkor Wat was no longer the early-morning-calm-in-a-far-off-place that I experienced way back in 2008. The main temple was so packed with tourists. Ta Prohm, which I call the “Angelina Jolie Temple” for easier reference, was literally in shambles and was undergoing repairs. It was also impossible to take decent photos as the place was so packed with Chinese tourists who always try to cut in the lines for photo ops.

TRAVELLING WITH the wife. And also added so much pounds. Looolz.
February 2019.
I can also feel the impact of global warming: it was February and yet heat indices can go to as high as 39 degrees. It was so hot that we only managed to visit three temples. I checked out not lower than 10 temples during my trip in 2008 but this time, I can’t even suggest to our group to at least check out a nearby minor temple or travel the extra mile to Banteay Srei, also due to the sweltering heat.
I was also tasked to go on trips to Malaysia and Thailand, also two of the other destinations I’ve been to in 2008, and everything looked and felt way different than before.

As trite as it may seem, change is inevitable. But I also believe that we shouldn’t just stop just because .

Am I back? I'll do my best.

The things that I will be posting from hereon would still be about travel.

And I will try my best to still inspire all of you out there, in another way.

Thanks for sticking with The Adventurer on a Shoestring.