“Nothing worth having comes easy”
Last month, on August 2nd, 2020, this blog turns 5! Wow… This blog is finally half a decade years old. It’s been such a long journey to get here, but it’s been a fruitful one.
If I have to sum up my fifth year in a sentence, then I think this is it:
It’s been a hell of a roller-coaster ride!
It was full of extreme highs and horrible downs. Let’s dive into the details.
Where I Traveled to
August 2019: Bangkok
September 2019: Bali
November 2019: Malaysia
January 2020: Malaysia & Indonesia for Chinese New Year
February to July 2020: stuck in Singapore
Highs and Lows of Traveling
1. HIGH: Climbed Mount Batur
Climbing a mountain always gives me a feeling of achievement and empowerment that few other activities can. After a long hiatus from hiking, I’m so glad to stand on top of Mount Batur in Bali.
2. HIGH: Exploring new places in Bangkok
Bangkok is huuuggeee! Even though I visit Bangkok often, there are still many places I haven’t visited yet. So, when hubby and I went to Bangkok in August 2019, we used the opportunity to explore the Grand Palace.
We accidentally found out that there is a highly efficient river transport network in Bangkok. The river boats became our favorite transportation method in Bangkok because it allowed us to escape the traffic jam and overpriced BTS.
3. LOW: Stuck in Singapore
From March 2020, borders around the world are closing, thus, everyone is stuck in their own country. It was a hard time for me. I missed the 1-year-passing-anniversary praying of my dad. I missed the wedding of a best friend in Bangkok. I missed the birth of my nephew in Medan. And it looks like I might miss more important events in the near future.
I try to think positively. That it’s more important that everyone stays healthy and safe, rather than risking everyone’s health because of me traveling. And that I can use this time to explore my own backyard in Singapore.
4 . LOW: Unable to use my airport lounge access
Because I’m not flying at all since February 2020, I can’t use my airport lounge access. All of my lounge access for this year (11, to be exact) will be forfeited. Oh, no! It may sounds trivial to some, but to me it’s a big deal because I love spending time at airport lounges and writing reviews about them. But, I’m reminding myself that everyone else is facing the same problems as me, and there’s nothing I can do except to learn to be patient.
Highs and Lows of Blogging
1. HIGH: Joined Mediavine
As a reader of Trevallog, you may notice that I have ads all over my site. These ads have “Mediavine” label because Mediavine is a premium ad management company that I trust to display ads on my blog.
The revenue from ads helps me maintain this blog by covering my blogging expenses and travel expenses.
2. HIGH: Blog income surpassed my salary in Dec 2019
Thanks to my highest ever traffic in a single month (80k sessions) and the holiday season, in December 2019, my blog’s revenue surpassed my salary.
By this time, I was confident that 2020 was going to be my best year in blogging. Well..
3. LOW: ‘Rona decimated my traffic and income in 2020
Of course, you can’t get too confident and too complacent. 2020 is a year when travel comes to a halt and the whole world fell into recession. So, goodbye my goal to make 2020 my best blogging year.
The impact of ‘rona (you know, the monster who shall not be named) on my travel blog is tremendous. At times, I felt like I was back to square zero.
Thankfully, things started to pick up from June 2020 onwards. Singapore came out of Circuit Breaker (aka lockdown) in June, people start exploring the tiny red dot again, my articles get read and I started to earn revenue again.
4. LOW: Lockdown Slump
Singapore, the country I live in, went into a lockdown for 2 months, from early April to early June. In the beginning, the lockdown was a great breather for me to catch up on sleep, learning to cook, spending time with hubby, and taking care of myself.
As time goes by, I started to recognize the unhealthy effects it had on me, such as lack of movement, weight gain, loss of motivation (because everything was so bleak then), loneliness, feeling trapped in my own apartment.
Thankfully, things started to get better when the country entered Phase 2 of re-opening. We’re allowed to go out to meet our friends, dine out and visit selected attractions. Life’s still restricted but life’s good!
1. More Singapore content
I guess domestic travel is THE only thing that everyone can do during this ‘rona situation. So, I’ll be exploring more of Singapore and writing about it on my blog.
If you’re living in Singapore, I hope my blog can inspire you to explore our own backyard more. If you’re not living in Singapore, I hope my blog can be a good resource for your future trip to Singapore.
2. A new site about blogging
I feel weird saying this but Blogging changed my life. It gives me a sense of purpose. I feel fulfilled helping people planning their travel through my blog. I’m touched when my readers told me how my posts have helped them travel independently. I’m grateful I could build a business that combines my passion, my skill and what people are looking for.
I wish to help aspiring bloggers find their purpose and have their lives changed for the better. At the same time, I wish to debunk several myths that “digital marketing gurus” are spreading around the internet, such as: blogging is passive income, you can be successful in blogging by putting just a few hours a week, etc.
To do that, I decided to start a brand new site. On this new site, I’ll share my own blogging journey, blogging strategies, tools that I use, and many more topics that I think will be beneficial for aspiring bloggers.
Right now, my new site is still under construction. If you’d like to hear from me when the site goes live, leave your name and email below and I’ll keep you updated 🙂
3. Blog Coaching
I’ve learned so much from fellow bloggers/content creators and I want to pay it forward by helping other bloggers who are just starting out, who are stuck at where they are, or who haven’t started a blog yet but want to.
To celebrate my blog turning 5, I’m offering free blog coaching for 5 readers. To register, send me an email with description about yourself, your blog, and what advice you are seeking; and I’ll schedule a 1-to-1 coaching session via Zoom/Google Meet with you.
I’m truly humbled by how much support I’ve received all these years from my friends, family as well as YOU, the one who reads this blog.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
Here’s to many more travel in years to come!