Most of my friends and followers (mostly non-travellers) look at my blog notes and see the photos from my travel saying my life is great and so cool, I have a holiday all year long exploring amazing places, having fun all the time, etc. Yeah, I know how it looks like and what some people might think about travelling. Some told me that “Travelling means doing nothing, doing whatever you want when you want with who you want”. I would strongly agree with it, except the “Travelling means doing nothing” part. So here I am telling you that actually travelling and blogging full-time is not an everlasting holiday on the beach with some palm trees around. It is actually a hard job, sitting in front of your computer for more than 8h a day, spending most of the time on the bus writing your posts on a piece of paper, reading manual for ages to take good quality photos, learning foreign languages while catching up with your mates, families, travelers you met and your followers.
#1- Irregular working hours
When you have either your own blog or website and you are a serious blogger or admin you work constantly around the clock. It doesn’t matter where you are or where you are heading to- you keep working. The work includes writing your blog, editing and publishing photos, managing your web/ blog, taking care of your Facebook fan page and Twitter account, interacting with other travellers (commenting their blogs, checking their galleries, etc.) and replying to comments, e-mails and all posts. You need to do it daily, otherwise you will be overloaded with your work the very next day. This is why it is so important to work up to date, you need to be systematic and well-organised. Serious blogging requires irregular working hours. Sometimes you might work for 3 hours, the other day 8 hours and the very next day you will spend at least 11 hours to sort everything out.
#2- Improving your skills
If you are a serious blogger or/and a website admin you want to make a progress and improve your skills. In order to do so you need to learn from other travellers, get to know them, keep asking for advice on how to improve your writing, photography or promoting skills. It requires a lot of time, stamina and involvement. Moreover, you need to constantly update your blog in order to make it interesting and focus on promoting it to get more readers and followers on Twitter. Believe me, there is always something you need to work on- either your design or writing skills. The more you visit other travellers’ sites and read their blogs, the more you learn and the more beneficial it is for your blog.
#3- Long distance travelling vs. tiredness
Travelling itself can be pretty exhausting. Ordinary holiday makers don’t feel it this way. They go for a week or two somewhere nice to chill out and then get back to their work. However, long time and distance travels are tiring and you feel so knackered at the end of the day. You spend hours on the train, on the plan, sleeping in different hostels/ hotels, going trekking, sightseeing, etc. not including the time you spend on your website, bargaining with locals, looking for a place to stay overnight, getting lost, etc. When you finally get to your hostel/ hotel room you feel so exhausted that you have no energy to take a shower, you are dying to get some sleep in a nice and comfortable bed but …… NO you have to work ;). For example now it’s 2.40 am and I’m still writing this post :-).
You have to manage your time on your own. Nobody can tell you, except yourself, what to do, when to do and how to do it. Therefore, it is very important to learn how to manage your time and use it sufficiently. If you hit the party and get drunk, you will not be able to respond to some important e-mails the same night and you can miss a good deal or job offer (like we are providing WordPress services- installation, migration and management and checking e-mails is crucial). Less money, in our case, means shortened travels.
Biking in Vietnam and blogging
Currently, I am biking Vietnam. We spend more or less 8 hours cycling during the afternoon and at night while working in the morning and during our lunch, dinner and coffee breaks (5 hours in total) trying our best to manage our website, updating blogs and the gallery. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. It happens that I’m too exhausted to take a bath or even turn my laptop on. Nevertheless, we always reply to most of the e-mails either from the cell phone (which makes everything easier) or from our laptops. Cycling requires a lot of physical effort from us and blogging requires a lot of intellectual effort. If you sum it up it’s sometimes too much for us but guess what… we are still enjoying it. If you have a passion and desire to do something, then you are never too weak to handle it.
Limited Internet access
The Internet is almost everywhere in Vietnam. Unluckily, we always get the hotel room with either no Internet or very limited Internet access. It means we can’t work properly which is so frustrating! It has happened a lot recently. The less we do during our cycling days, the more we have to catch up with once we have our “long stays in hotel” times. Practically, after 3-4 days of cycling we book a hotel for 3-4 nights in a row to do some washing, to get some rest, to work peacefully. I am trying my best though not to neglect my blog duties.
To sum up, travelling and blogging turns to be a very hard job and you need to dedicate a lot in order to become a successful blogger. At the end of the day it is all worth it though! :)