I have been toying with the idea of running a blog for several years- most ended after it started. I could not sustain the frequency of posting, as internet connection was not under my reach nor did I have a laptop or computer or for that matter not even a smart phone to operate a blog. I was well aware of the Google’s blogger, and WordPress was not that enchanting a decade back. But those were my undergraduate days. Now during my doctoral studies, I had everything mentioned above. WordPress had become a well-developed Content Management System (CMS). Since, I Iiked travelling, I considered it better to jump into the ocean of travel blogging, which many veteran bloggers consider as saturated. WordPress vs. Blogger wasn’t debate in January, 2016, as I was convinced WordPress was better. Less than 24 hours compelled me move from a free WordPress to GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress (a mistake!). Probably, the initial price offering from the GoDaddy was the one that prompted me. Among many, I also wanted to develop a portfolio with a travel blog- to introduce myself at bloggers’ conferences- as and when I participated in TBEX Conferences, meant for Travel bloggers.
Before I started a travel blog, I had travelled to South East Asia and South America, had a smart phone and had a lot of photographs to post. I also regret that I did not have a camera phone while I explored many places over the years in India- where I live. I finally launched my travel blog on 31st January, 2016. Like every blogger, I hoped my blog would gain a decent traffic, which of course did not materialise. With all the technicalities that frustrated me, finally my blog was getting a single digit traffic, and just a ‘like’ came after several months. Just to assess the progress report of my travel blog as on 31st January, 2017, there are few achievements and many regrets. The achievement is – my blog is still not dead and is still getting a single digit traffic on daily basis. Most posts have single digit likes, few comments- however, I have managed to take the number of followers to double digit. When I started the blog, I had to work hard to bring the traffic from my Twitter handle to my blog, but presently just posting in response to WordPress Prompts can do that.
I live in India and an Indian by nationality. I contemplated in my first post, I only need to travel abroad to see how the outside world is like- as I believe I don’t have to go outside India to see the mountains, snows, beaches or deserts. However, being a research student- there are academic pursuits that take me abroad. As I mentioned, before I started this blog I had travelled to South East Asia – Indonesia (for a Student Summit) and to South America – Peru and Ecuador, primarily for academic reasons. My first foreign trip was also the moment I boarded a flight, as in India, trains are more or less the most common means of transport.
My blog completed one year on 31st January, 2017 and by then I had visited Cambodia (for a Cultural event), travelled twice to the United States and once to Brazil. I also spent a night at Addis Ababa during transit (in hotel!) without going anywhere in the city. Altogether I had visited 11 cities January through January- I did not update that on social media that would help connect my followers. I had lot to write on the places I visited. I could have reviewed the flights and the inflight vegetarian menu. At least I could have posted on the Visa related procedures for Indian nationals. I didn’t. I remained lazy. I did not go to TBEX either. By the end of the year i.e. 2016 I realised that it costed me money to start a blog and a charge on my credit card was awaiting renewal in two months, if I wanted to renew the current plan on GoDaddy. I made a serious decision to only renew my domain and map the same with WordPress free plan. I cancelled the GoDaddy Managed WordPress Plan. It consider that to be an excellent decision. What I wish to say that I became quite serious: I was trying to revive my blog, by at least regularly posting on WordPress Prompts. For exposure I went to WordPress WordCamp 2017 at Udaipur in January 2017. I learnt a lot but also realised—- that specific WordCamp was dominated by tech people.
On the eve of my blog anniversary, I confess that I travelled a lot, had a lot of other things to write on but I didn’t. You may see that even this blog post is behind the schedule at least by a month. But I affirm to keep this blog alive. Being preoccupied with my doctoral research is only an excuse- I take this New Year resolution to keep posting.