Wait whut! Are we really nearing the end of 2018? Who agrees with Erik the Hungry Traveller, that the year just went by like a flash or just like The Flash?
I could still vividly remember how I was very excited to start 2018. The plans and the New Year’s resolution that I absolutely did not follow through.
But despite some promises that were broken, my year was definitely a positive one. Heck I’m claiming my December to be magical, like getting a letter from Hogwarts magical!
Sparking the Change
For Erik the Hungry Traveller 2018 was definitely one remarkable year.
Before the year comes to a close I find it but appropriate to create an article focused on the journey (and struggle) behind creating this travel and food website.
I hope that you my dear readers allow me to share a bit of myself to all of you. And hopefully be inspired by my journey towards pursuing my dream in becoming a successful food and travel blogger.
How it all started
For those who have been following my journey in social media you may already have an idea how this travel and food blog originated.
But like 99% of you who just stumbled upon my page out of boredom well this is your lucky day! As I am about to narrate the origin of Erik the Hungry Traveller.
The Origin of Erik the Hungry Traveller
Like any of my endeavors this travel and food blog concept started off very random. 2016 was the year Erik the Hungry Traveller was conceptualized.
This was after my solo trip to the islands of Boracay, Philippines. The first of many solo travel experience.
While staring at my computer screen bored to death with my work. I decided to write down my solo travel experience on the island.
I wanted to relive the memory of Boracay for as long as possible. The only way I know how I can preserve that memory is through writing my adventures.
Why the Name: Erik the Hungry Traveller ?
I needed something catchy, fun, and original. A screen name that can best describe me in person. My complete name is Erik James Requina. I needed to incorporate that in my blog.
Erik James that’s what people usually call me. But that’s too long for a blog name. Thus I decided to drop the James.
Then by process of elimination I went to the root of what I love the most about traveling which was tasting the FOOD of the places I visited.
I went with a list of names: Erik the Explorer, Travels of Erik, The Tasty Travels of Erik and finally it hit me how about: Erik the Hungry Traveller.
Erik the Hungry Traveller had a nice ring to it and I always trusted my gut feel and when I wrote it down it just felt right. And with that friends firstname.lastname@example.org became a reality.
Solo Travels of Erik the Hungry Traveller
I loved solo traveling and already had confirmed flights for the remainder of 2016 and 2017.
I wanted to generate buzz with the goal of making my blog popular. Thus I shared the link to my posts in social media, coerced my friends and officemates to view my blog (for that I sincerely apologize 🙂 ).
Oh man despite my efforts I failed miserably during that time.
Blogging Aint for Dummies
The goal back then was to be a famous blogger. Don’t get me wrong it still is up to this day. But what I lack back then was research , experience and perhaps the most important aspect: genuineness.
I wanted instant gratification. I got overconfident about my skills in writing and thought that was all that was needed.
Frustration sunk in and led me to put a hold on writing/ blogging.
I stopped traveling and settled for an office job and accepted the fact that being a travel blogger will never happen for me.
I went through the rest of the months of year 2017 with that mindset.
The Rebirth of Erik the Hungry Traveller
I welcomed 2018 with little excitement. I thought the year would be the same as the rest of the years. Despite my gloomy outlook Erik the Hungry Traveller was always at the back of my mind.
There are days that I wanted to start again, but the unknown source of pessimism just continued to loom in my thoughts.
I can no longer remember the exact moment how I picked myself up from the gloominess but I do know the person who encouraged me to start over.
A lot of my friends have always been supportive about my endeavors but Mich was on the top of that list. Together with her boyfriend they gave me ideas of how to redo my site.
It even came to a point where I requested Mich’s boyfriend to set up the website for me but that did not materialize. Thank goodness for that coz I saved a lot of money by setting up the website on my own (LOL).
Erik the Hungry Traveller Take 2
That was nearing the end of March 2018 where I decided that I’m going to give my travel blogging career another shot. I bought the .com domain in wordpress and began writing more articles.
Did my research about SEOs, the proper way of writing a blog, understanding how the blogging community works and a little bit of coding.
I tell you up until today my head still aches when I read articles about SEO and all the technicalities that comes along with starting a blog.
Later on I realized that I needed plugins. Heck I never knew plugins existed before this year. Before 2018 I only associated that word with electronics… Plugins (earplugs or plugs for electronic gadgets).
This later on made me purchase an account in Siteground as my wordpress account did not include installing of plug ins. Costly, but totally worth it. And oh never making that same costly mistake again.
With that last bit of tweaking Erik the Hungry Traveller was now officially LIVE.
The New Mission of Erik The Hungry Traveller
I intentionally chose April 9, 2018 to be the date when erikthehungrytraveller.com went live. This was a holiday in the Philippines: The Day of Valor.
Quick Philippine history The Day of Valor or Araw ng Kagitingan is to commemorate the heroism of Filipinos and American soldiers when the Japanese occupied the Philippines during World War II.
The Day of Courage. I wanted to also make it my day. The day went I valiantly decided to start again. This was also the day when I knew the new mission of Erik the Hungry Traveller blog.
This was to encourage people to travel. More specifically to encourage them to try solo traveling.
Yes, I do not want to be a hypocrite I still wanted to be famous as a travel blogger but this time I now know my niche. I knew my purpose. I have defined who I am in the travel blogging community.
Making My Mark in the Blogging Community
I still want to be a known travel blogger but that was not my main purpose when I created new posts on my blog.
I just genuinely enjoyed writing about my travels and I wanted to share with my audience my honest and fun experience while on the road.
Perhaps, when you’re genuinely enjoying what you’re doing that’s when the magic happens.
Throughout the course of April to November 2018. I can definitely say that I slowly was carving my path in the blogging community.
2018 Blogging Milestones:
Last August 2018 I was included in Feedspot’s Top 15 Philippine Male Bloggers, Websites & Newsletters in 2018. I was in the company of famous brands and influencers in the Philippines. I even made it at the 10 of that list.
Moreover, I was also included in their Top 100 travel blogs for 2018. A great feat considering they had thousands of travel blogs registered in their website.
The blessing continued to flow during the next months. Paid guest posts, hotel and restaurant invites.
I’d take all of them if not for the fact that most where far from where I was currently based.
Although I eventually agreed to visit Hotel Benilde Maison de La Salle as this was just located in Manila.
One Last Thing or People to be Thankful For…
Lastly, and perhaps the most important milestone for me was meeting fellow travel bloggers and establishing a friendship with them lot. You can check them out through my post: My Solo Travel Experience: The Lies About Solo Traveling.
I call her my big sis as she from now on until eternity is family. People like Ashley, Joe and the rest of my travel blogging family are very essential with why I am more motivated in pursuing and succeeding in my travel blogging career.
I can go on and on expressing my gratitude and my love for these awesome people and perhaps I will on my future posts.
DREAMS DO COME TRUE!
Yes, you read it right. Dreams do indeed come true. I started off with this blogging journey with the wrong motivation and purpose.
I stumbled and definitely fell of the rails a couple of times. But I did not give up. I persevered and went after my dreams.
This is why I created this post. To share my story. In no way am I claiming to now be a successful travel blogger but I can definitely claim that I have moved the needle towards becoming that.
I am uncertain how many people I am able to reach with this post. Perhaps you may have skipped the rest of the blog and went ahead to read the last part. Heck, majority may just have moved along and got bored.
But as long as I have a few people whom I inspire with this post, even if it’s just one single soul. Then this article has delivered its purpose.