Visiting Asia has been a long time dream of mine. Hong Kong was not on the top list, still you don’t pass up the opportunity to see a new place and experience a new culture when you fancy yourself a traveling enthusiasts with dream of one day having a burgeoning travel blog.
My original travel plan this year was to visit Bali for my birthday in May. Why Bali particularly? you ask.. well you know how everyone has a one idyllic place that they want to visit at least once in their life time, Bali was it for me. I could have said, that it was because I heard it is a really lovely place from people who have visited. But really Bali was that place for me even before I had met or spoken to anyone who had visited. I guess whichever travel magazine or TV ad I may have seen of the place really sold the it to me. Ha! So finally, I had decided to bite the bullet and visit Bali. Around the same time my mother was planning a business trip to China and had asked if I could accompany her. Shockingly I didn’t jump at the opportunity instantly, purely because of the timings, I wanted to travel in May, her travel plans was in June. Which meant I had to move my trip back. In the end though, the decision became easier since I had left booking flights and hotels to the very last minute. It gave me a little bit of time to book while avoiding last minutes astronomic prices. So I had two countries on the list. I wanted to avoid a possible long visa application to China, so I added Hong Kong to the list. Through my research the visa application process from Hong Kong to China seemed way easier and straight forward then getting Visa through the consulate from the UK. As well, why would you go all the way to Asia and not travel around to near by countries, it will be a shame, right? With three countries on the itinerary, I thought not bad to test out travel blogging. I decided to use this trip as a trail to see if it is something I would enjoy doing or even be able to do. I had always fancied sharing on here some travel photos and stories, but when travelling I always forget to write down important notes or take good pictures worth sharing. So I went prepared ish.. as prepared as you can be on your first go. I got some tips from the pros of youtube but let’s face it I wasn’t going to get kitted out like a pro but at least I be aware of what was required.
I realised quickly, even before I had left London how weird and difficult it would be for me to pull it off. From talking to the camera or vlogging as it’s termed to trying not to invade people’s privacy. I was so conscious of not offending any body by unintentionally filming. All is to say I knew it would not be an easy task to make great content in the end. No wonder it makes a good paying full time job for some, because it is not easy. There are a number of posts you’ll find online on tips to becoming a travel blogger or going professional. But this is personally my account on how I found it for my first time. So if you are considering it perhaps being aware of these will be helpful if you didn’t already know.
1. I couldn’t be present in those beautiful moments
Being in the moment but still remembering to collect data is nearly impossible. As you start to enjoy a scenery you are quickly reminded of a need to document that, either as a picture or a film, oh but if only that was easy. You are thinking it needs to be great and worthy to share and that can mean taking many shots, the lighting needs to be right, your settings, compositions and so on.
Naturally I want to do my best, so you can see how that can easily cause frustration when you can’t seem to capture on camera the vision you have in head. Sometimes missing the opportunity as was the case in Bali -at Tanah Lot to see the sunset. This was especially not fun, it made me want to give up on documenting entirely and just be there and take in the scene. I don’t know it may just be me, and my improving photography skills, but I am really interested to know if you are a beginner travel bloggers/vloggers or even experienced, if you had this experience at some point?
2.Awkward filming yourself
This will of course depend on how conformable you are with a lot of attention and also having no or less regard with people’s ‘privacy’ I guess. It was unconformable enough filming myself while walking on the busy streets of Hong Kong, but also just filming what was around. I fear someone would punch me in the face for filming them without their permission. Well maybe not that extreme but it was a concern. So it was awkward either way.
3. Technological Saviness
It quickly became apparent that the research I had done on the possible issues with mobile wifi, cloud storage, uploading issues etc was not sufficient. I had issue of storing the data I had collect, bandwidth issues, so longer time for photo uploads. It was taking me days, dropbox issues (Arrrgh…), not to mention how hard it is actually holding an SLR to face for hours. I did have a small digital camera with me, but the quality of the SLR was better.
4.The long haul flights and jet lag
Before my flight I was indifference when it come to flying whether short or long haul flights. But I realise this was because I hadn’t done that many long haul flights. In total I took 6 flight within 2 weeks, with the long flights lasting 15 hours. This was the most difficult and I think the one you would still have to deal with even after years of experience. A couple of my flights were extremely unpleasant. I had so many aches and pains it was no joke, economy is no joke on long haul flights. How is it in first class ? I should work on finding that out soon..Ha! But I definitely think if it is your job to make such long trips then you definitely would want be doing it in first!. I was not prepared for the jet-lag so be prepared and make time for it on your itinerary. It was hard for us to adjust to the time difference, so the first day arriving to Hong Kong, was just sleeping, eating and more sleep, even though we had slept through almost the entire flight journey there. But it was good, we were refreshed the day after. Luckily we could do that, but I can imagine if you are there for work on a tight schedule you may not be able to take a break like that. I am sure the more you do this, you will get use to it or come up with ways to beat it. Oh and on a much serious note, I experienced a horrible turbulence on one of my flight, so bad I thought that was it… but I will save you the details. It was all good in the end. All I will say is I have a new goal to get right with God and get myself to a place where if it was all to end whenever I would feel no regret and feel I worked on what I was called to do.
So after this trial would I say travel blogging is for me? I think yes, but if on my terms. Looking back at the film at home myself and with family I have enjoyed looking back at it. Whenever I have watched the films, they have taken me right back there, on a busy street of Tsim Tsa Tsui next to a food stall asking for the price of a juicy long-tentacled octopus. I have enjoyed the process of film editing and what started as a cringe watching myself on camera is starting to grown on me. There is always good and bad bits to anything.
Are you embarking on a career as a travel blogger? or already doing so as a hobby. I would love to hear from you and your experience. Please leave your thought and comments below. Thanks for stopping by, see you here next time.