It is that month of the year again, when WordPress sends me a reminder and ask me to keep up the good blogging.
I don't know if it is good blogging or not, but the fact is that I have started this 'trablogger' thing 5 years ago on a free WordPress platform.
When I came back after a month-long journey from the mountains and logged in again to my blog, it gave me this notification
" Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com! You registered on WordPress.com 5 years ago. Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging."
On this special occasion let me share with you my blogging journey so far.
2013 was the year when I decided to quit my last known corporate job. From mid of 2013 I didn't have any solid plans in life and I was trying out different things and traveling on and off randomly. After a while, waking up every day morning without any meaningful things to do, started to become quite frustrating.
I guess it was after reading one of those self-help books, one day all of a sudden an idea to create a travel blog came to my mind. Somehow it was the first day of September and the year was 2014.
There is a beauty in working on an inspired idea. It makes you feel alive. I felt alive again.
My days started with the blog and my days ended with the blog. I responded to comments as soon as it was posted. I was churning out posts and making newer friends everyday and enjoying the whole aspects of blogging. I'd say it was the golden period of my blog.
First six months of the blog went at full throttle and I made most of my blogger friends during that time.
2015 slowly made its presence. Things were going great. After gaining some confidence from blogging world, I even attempted to write a full length fiction and self published the book. Exactly on the first year anniversary of this blog, the book was made available. (In case you haven't seen it, it is still available on amazon.)
With the credibility of having a travel blog and self published book to my name, randomly a travel related job found me while I was on the road. [ You can read the story of how I found a job while traveling here.]
Having a job that let me travel was definitely cool. But it affected the quality time I had with my blog. Slowly the frequency of posting reduced.
2016 was a continuation of the previous year, though I happen to find another cool job. This time I was part of a team that managed a backpacker hostel.
During this time I did travel a bit, but more than that the world travel was coming to me. Meeting backpackers around the world on a daily basis was interesting. But it again took my attention away from the blog.
Blog postings, mainly were limited to "Mundane Monday Challenge", a weekly blog challenge I started to focus on the beauty of everyday objects.
In 2017, I started to spend my time for a team who were into cool cycling tours and the same thing followed; focus from the blog was taken away. Though many blog worthy things, such as doing a motorbike trip to Nepal, finishing the basic mountaineering course, visiting Paris etc happened during this year, I couldn't sit down and write about it. The self motivation I used to have in 2014 was nowhere to be seen.
2018 was another new beginning for the blog (again!). I tried to rekindle the love for blogging again. I started with sharing a funny travel memory of my first flight. Later in 2018, I decided to quit all the 'jobs' I was doing and start to travel again. I thought traveling was my calling, and not doing travel related jobs.
I tried to replicate what I used to do back in 2014; to travel and blog about it at the same time. It worked for my trip to Auroville back in 2014. So I started it again by writing about day 1 on the road, about my thoughts while on the train. But it didn't last more than 6 days. A 3 month-long motorbike trip from Kerala to Mumbai and back was also went without being documented on the blog.
It is the year I discontinued the weekly photography challenge that I started (after 150 weeks!), just to focus more on travel stories. But many of the travel series I started didn't take off much. So 2018 was a year of many failed beginnings. I even forgot to create a 4th year anniversary post!
I wanted to start 2019 in a very different way. So I decided to start the year in a new country. That is how I visited Malaysia and Thailand for a whole month for the New Year. Later this year I happened to drive a tuk-tuk across half of Sri Lanka. I was also lucky to be part of almost one month-long trek to Kailash - Manasarovar during August 2019.
It wasn't part of a travel bragging campaign that I've decided to share all of this here. But it is part of building up a social pressure so that I can make a come back (hopefully without failing again) to the blogging world at least on this 5th year! In order to build that social pressure I need that old and new friends of mine, whom I have found through blogging. I need all of your encouragement to stay on track and to share the stories here.
Here are the people I have made friends through this blogging world over the period of time. I am not sure if many of the people are still blogging or not. If you are still active on blogsphere, please do say hi. Lets refresh the long-lost friendship.
Opinionated man who first reblogged my post and boosted my stats when I had just started my blog.
Optimistic kid for being my early follower, I think the first one!
Aruna, Agent Zee, a regular indian girl, Aadhirai, Aakansha, Aanchal , Ady , Amy, Andy , Anne, Anoop, Afrin, Ailene, Amrita, Ameena, Alison and Don, Archita, Arundhati , Ana, Ankita, Asil, A Momma, Autowire, Carl , Cheefhobo, Divyakshi, Dr. Himanshu Bhatnagar , Estelea , Gill , Himanshu, Ivy Mosquito , Indah ,keyur ,Lataji, Lucile , Mauvora ,Mel , Priyanka , Poodle , Perelincolours , Rashmi , Sayali , Shooting star , Sweety Kannoth, Somni vision , Tanvi , The failing adult , Tidlidim , Upasana , Nisha , wise monkeys abroad, Babe, Boeta , Belle, Badfish, Backpacker Lee BeTravelSmart , Boho Hobo , Canaf , Cee , Chloe , Capt. Jill , CC , Cheryl , Crazy Colorful Turtle , Dewin , Desley , Diana , Doda , Debbie , Dhidhak , Debbie , Delida , Faith , Faraday’s candle , Fimnora , Felicity , Hafza , Hanne , Hargun , Hogrider Dookes , Indian Drifter , Ish Kish Mish , Jaaz aka Ajanta , Jenny, Julia , Joshi Daniel, Jul , Jonathan , Jenny, Jenny of Bull Dog Travels, Kamila , Khloe , Kerry , Kamal, Klaus & Sebastian, Kavita , Kriti , Lisa, María, Maniparna, Manasjaran , Mandi , Madhu , Maria , Moon , Meher , Margarita , Madie , Namrata, Niki , Nina , Nishita , Nimmi , Neerja , Naddieh , Nurul , OnChi , Otto , Principessa , Prreeya , Paula , Pamela , Peter , Prajakta , Prakash , Pancake Bunnykins Rob and Diane, Rosalyn, Rajiv, Rocio , Rachel , Rashida , Ruchi , Rajiv , Rosanne , Satyender , Shruti, Sima , Souzapalooza , Sandy , Svetlana , Shashank , Samjoth , Saana, Spanish Wood , Shoma , Secret Parade , Surlene , Soumya , Suyash, Tish, Trina, The doctor , Paula, Upen , Uma, Vibha , Vivek , Vyom , Yuliya
It all started with sweetykannoth, continued by Soul n Spirit.
Then these awesome people joined
Kevin , Ruth , James , Saya , Wandering StoryTeller , Sona , Manvi , Fren , Austin , Abirami , Yinglan , Dr. Ko , Phaena , Toby , Priceless Joy .
So if any of you are around, lets catch up again. Lets have some commentervesations just like the old days. With all your support, I hope I will be able to get back to blogging and share more travel stories with you all.
PS : Many of the bloggers have shifted focus to Instagram. So if you are more active there, you can find me there as well @trablogger
Looking forward to meeting you all soon. And congratulations to me to push myself to get this post done as the first step!