The start of the year marks the first anniversary of this Blog. I could still remember that one quiet and fateful day of January 1st, 2012 when my first blog post was published and Adventuroj.com went live.
And born on that day – a new fantastic journey to a place that I had only imagined before, a journey towards the realization of my dream to travel around the world, starting of course in my beloved homeland, the Philippines quest for the #80 provinces.
How AdventuRoj Started?
Fueling my Dream to Travel
I had long wanted to travel. I want to be a location independent freelancer traveling the world with a backpack to carry my stuff, a camera to capture thy precious moments, a laptop to fund my travel (yes I’ve been an Odesk Freelancer for almost 2 years now), an adventurous feet willing to venture into anything, and an open heart to absorb all the world has to offer and in return, give back to it by sharing the travel experiences I’ve had. And that’s why I’ve decided to put up a travel blog.
Why I Blog?
Serving as an ‘Eye’ for Others
There’s just too much beauty in the world to see, that I just can’t afford to experience it on my own and let it pass by without sharing what I saw to other people.
I SOMEWHAT admire those individuals who have the luxury of time and money to travel the world with ease and comfort, for they could go wherever they want, BUT I PITY more the fact that they go around exploring WITHOUT sharing what they see. What selfishness there is!
To travel is to share. I like to believe it that way. Probably the most that we could do when we travel is to advocate the beauty we’ve experienced, not just for the sake of having bragging rights to our friends, nor of being able to upload Facebook photos to let everyone know how lucky you are.
I also knew that there’s a lot of souls out there, who like me, also share that same desire to travel the world but cannot because they are restricted usually by their career or family responsibilities. At least through my blog I could let them see through my eyes the experience of going into places where they wanted to.
Traveling Need Not Be Expensive
Lastly, I want to blog to let everyone know that YOU DON’T NEED TO BE RICH TO BE ABLE TO TRAVEL. That’s why here in my blog I also wrote of budget travel tips and tricks for everyone. And if you’re thinking that traveling cheaply is ain’t fun, YOU’RE WRONG! Actually it is a whole lot more fun – for when you travel cheap it follows that you get to interact with the locals more, sleep with them in terminals, eat with them in local carenderias, talk to them, ask for directions when lost, learn how to live like them, ride with them in public transportation vehicles instead of availing tour packages, and even sleep with them rather than staying in luxurious hotels.
Now you may ask why AdventuRoj?
Simply because of my love for ADVENTURE.. plus my branding, none other than my name ROJ, from Rojae (which I loved so much for its uniqueness, mysteriousness, and ambiguity. (Haha. Why? Do you know of any other person who goes by the name ROJAE? If yes, lemme know!).
Therefore, ADVENTURE + ROJAE = ADVENTUROJ (pronounced as ‘Adventure+roj’ or somewhat like that. I hate it when people don’t know how to read my domain properly, usually the ‘Ad-ven-to-roj’ pronunciation they tell me. Strict ano? haha!
Journeying Down Memory Lane
In honor of my one year blog anniversary I thought I would like to share with you the feats and notable memories we’ve had in the past year. I hope you all enjoy!
My Year Ender Video Special
If you haven’t watched my video nor read my blog post of my year ender special of all the travels I’ve had for 2012, here’s a recap. It is actually my first time to create a year ender, and I’m really excited for this brand new year 2013’s year ender!
My First Major Blog Award
I started blogging for travel and self sake, not for glory nor fame nor riches (yes, I don’t earn a single penny out of my blog contrary to what others believed. I fund my own travels, no sponsors whatsoever, I wish! *wink).
I have never claimed to be a good writer, but I know it has helped for me to have a place to get my thoughts and feelings out. I love this little blog world. I thought this could be my personal scrapbook / diary / album of travel memories so when I get old I have something to look back to, something that can never be robbed from me nor destroyed.
But there was a time in July 2012, when my home province, South Cotabato hosted a Blog Writing Competition.
Through my father’s and friends’ encouragement I joined. I also wanted to blog and tell the world about the lovely beauty of my province, contrary to the usual mindset of other people upon the place ‘Cotabato’ as being a place of war and terrorism.
I also want to let them know that SOUTH COTABATO IS DIFFERENT FROM COTABATO.
So I submitted my entry, a product of venturing out and experiencing the T’nalak Festival first handedly…
And with much luck, prayer, and effort, yes! We were able to get hold of the crown. Adventuroj won the T’nalak Blog Writing Competition!
Recognized as Top 10 Filipino Travel Bloggers
The year didn’t end there for AdventuRoj. Come the month of November 2012 when I got an email from one of the administrators of the group Filipino Bloggers Worldwide, better known as the FBW, informing me that my blog was one of the nominees for the Top 20 Filipino Travel Bloggers. I just can’t imagine the joy I’ve felt hearing that unexpected news!
Came December, after the votation was done, Adventuroj unexpectedly emerged triumphantly again, coming out as TOP 2 Filipino Travel Blogger. A BIG WOW!!!
Being nominated is a blessing enough, what more belonging to the Top 10! Maraming maraming salamat po!
My Most Precious, Highly Acclaimed Award
However the most rewarding feat that matters most to me is not the awards nor the recognition, but the people whom my blog is intended for – my dear readers, friends, family, fellow travelers, and all the amazing people I met on this journey.
You became a part of my support system. You fuel my desire to travel and to continue blogging. I had to be honest that there had been times when I feel like giving up this dream, lazy enough to post my adventures, to stop writing and just rest my pen, but I cannot.
You ask me why, and the answer is YOU.
I just couldn’t stop knowing that I have my blog readers waiting for updates, or lost individuals seeking answers through my blog.
And so today I would like to offer my heartfelt gratitude to all of you. Thank you to all of my readers and to those that have offered their support over the last year. Your friendships mean the world to me.
Thank you also to fellow travelers whom I met along the way, to the PTB (Pinoy Travel Bloggers) group, travelers who had already lived the dream of conquering the #80 Phil Provinces, or are still on their way like me. They had been truly an inspiration.
And to my wonderful travel buddy, Kathy, (na may ma-‘kathy’ ring paa (Itchy feet), who ventured out in the wild with me, and together we’re conquering the world starting from the Philippines, one province at a time! Thank you!
Launching of a Brand New Website
As a matter of fact, we’re planning to launch a new website – the travelers in red and blue, contradicting colors, contradicting personalities, age, but complimenting in dreams on travel and adventure. Not your ordinary travel website, for this site will blog more of PHOTOGRAPHY AND POETRY, instead of the usual stories, paragraphs, etc. (But of course, my Adventuroj.com site will take care of that so you don’t get short of budget travel tips and tricks.)
The new blog will probably go live along with our launching of Project #80 Around Pinas, as we plan to go, leave our homes, and live on an on-the-road-around-the-world-nowhere-to-be-found quest to cover the entire country, traveling and working online at the same time.
We’ll probably even meet you on the road!
– – –
In this brand new year for AdventuRoj, I’m definitely looking forward to new opportunities, to travel, to give, to share and to love. I really hope that this quarter will be the one that makes all the difference, in the name of travel and adventures. After all, this is a new season, which means new beginnings.
Happy New Year to all and Cheers to More Travels for the Year 2013!