Asia, Experience, Inspiration, Personal Essay, Philippines, Travel

The Journey that Made Me a Travel Blogger

travel blogger - words and wanderlust

On July 2, 2004, I wrote my first blog entry for Tabulas from a 20-peso per hour internet cafe. I will always remember that day for it unearthed a passion I never knew I had. Back then, when blogging was more passionate than it was strategic, I found my happy place.

When I eventually decided not to pursue the degree I studied years for, the link to my blog was the only arsenal I armed myself while traversing the big mad world. And I slew.

travel blogger - words and wanderlust - solar system
2005. The Solar System, my life-long friends and elite circle of wordsmiths and musicians

Blogging provided an avenue for me to bare my spirit without the pressure of awkward real-life introductions. I was led to friends of like mind, of people with whom I shared the madness with.

Together, we called ourselves The Solar System. Together,ย  we unraveled life while weaving art over coffee, Redhorse and sometimes, Marlboro lights. We explored islands, conquered cities and dreamt of, until now, unrealized Batanes.

Then matters of consequences happened. I left the country and took on a job that didn’t inspire as much writing. But I earned well. I earned well enough to buy myself tickets to everywhere. I took advantage of the privilege of having the currency to pursue a passion at whim. Traveling became the rock I held on to when making a living didn’t necessarily mean making a life.

Travel Blogger - Words and Wanderlust. Backpacking Bohol Philippines
2006. Maiden backpacking trip to Bohol with my bestfriend.

Since then, my blogs slowly evolved into travelogues and narratives. My poetry began to take root from the imageries of places I’ve been to. Not only did I redeem myself by traveling, It also allowed me plenty of brooding. As the whole world spun madly on, I kept pace by rereading my archives (to understand) , writing continuously (to grow), and seeing as much of the world possible (to live).

Years passed and I went on wayfaring. I went on until things began to be more traveling than writing; more of the present than the past; more creating than mending. It was in the spirit of this awakening that one day, I decided to break free from all that was going on to pay the happiness forward to the world.

Travel Blogger - Words and Wanderlust - Island Hopping Cebu
2007. Weekend escapes to Olango while corporate whoring on weekdays.

On October 15, 2011, I overhauled what was then a dumping blog of prose, poetry, photographs and turned it into a still personal, but more travel-related blog. My first post was a letter addressed to Kathmandu, a Kiwi Outdoor Adventure shop, after a shopping spree in preparation of my quick Southeast Asian escape later that year.

One day, while surfing the internet for ideas on how to kickstart a travel blog, I came across Ron and Monette’s Flip’nTravels. Right then and there, I was enlightened by the reckoning that yes– to move, to remind, to inspire and to have people relate to my travels like how Flipn’Travels resonated with me, that’s what I wanted. For days, I found myself digging up their archives, kicking myself for only knowing them then. Eventually, they led me to Pinoy Travel Bloggers. I wasn’t surprised I saw my friends Aileen, Marcos and Yowee in the group. I’ve known them to be wayfarers ever since.

Hamilton New Zeaaland
My first Road Trip in New Zealand was to Hamilton, Waikato in April 2008

Not knowing who he was to the travel community then, Journeying James added me to the group. But it was The Pinay Travel Junkie, GayE, who added me on her friends list first. When I think of it now, I cannot help but be proud, that it was actually PTB’s most famous who welcomed me first.

For a time there, it was hard to point a finger to the source of my euphoria– finding a community of vagabonds as travel-hungry as myself, girl crushing Gay Mitra-Emami, or being secretly thrilled by the fact that James Betia was (and still is) single.

It was humbling how, instead of imparting the ultimate travel experience to the world, the world imparted the same to me. Same, but different. The Rashomon Effect. It is by such principle that travel blogging is made possible– we see the same places, but we always tell different stories. It is in this fashion that a world so small like ours, is made bigger, boundless.

As for me, the wanderlust has just been rippling since. I am afflicted, and there is no cure.


This is my entry to the Pinoy Travel Bloggers’ Blog Carnivalย | Theme: The Journey That Made Me A Travel Blogger | Host: Edmar Gu Quibb of Edmaration Etc.

Published by Rain Campanilla

Born under the star of Sagittarius, the centaur of adventure; and in the year of the Rat, the ever curious--- Travel is my birthright.

23 thoughts on “The Journey that Made Me a Travel Blogger”

  1. Marky says:

    I stalked Gay Emami Mitra’s multipy page too after I came across her blog. I think I ran into you in blogosphere before at Multiply, since Aileen is our common friend.

    Yeah blogging then was more a product of a passion than today, wherein branding and promotion, promise of added income makes it kinda steer off a bit from what supposed to be an extension of ourselves. Nevertheless, reading your blog and not selling out still, I will try to go back that form of blogging and traveling.

  2. mheanne ojeda says:

    love how you write Rain and glad to know the story behind your travel blog!

  3. rakistangnars says:

    Turns out PTB’s a case of one blogger stalking another, hehehe ๐Ÿ™‚ With regards to passion vs strategy, i am still trying to create a neutral ground for both, to make peace. Not closing my doors though, the ultimate goal is still to be able to travel and write without having the need to work/keep a day job.

    You still write very well, Marky. Always. (But i’d be lying if i’d say i don’t miss the multiply days you– bibliophile and conio, hahaha.)

  4. rakistangnars says:

    thank you for reading atty mheanne. write your entry na din. i’m keen to read your story ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. mheanne ojeda says:

    i will surely participate coz never miss a blog carnival but a crammer like me submits at the last 2 minutes haha..we’ll see this time when i’m inspired by your story and those early contributors!

  6. Mai Flores says:

    Hear Hear, Rain! ๐Ÿ™‚ I love how you write! ๐Ÿ™‚ And of course, I admire your passion for seeking betterment in both life and traveling. Cheers to more travels.. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. rakistangnars says:

    Hi Mai! thanks heaps! I am yet to read your story, will comment too! mwah ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. angge says:

    You are so great! such God-given talent ๐Ÿ™‚ I could almost feel the excitement you felt while reading your blog…well-done Rain..once again, you’ve outdone yourself…thanks for sharing your experiences. looking forward for the next blogs to read ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. rakistangnars says:

    thank you for reading Ate Angge. It makes my heart swell knowing that what I do moves people as awesome as you. mwah! <3

  10. Renevic Amago says:

    i’m grateful that my mouse led me to your page. great blog rakistangnars. i like the way you write. clear. and this post, exciting. ๐Ÿ™‚

    happy travel!

  11. Ephraim says:

    Very nice! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. violy says:

    first time to visit here and I so love how you write! Goodluck on your travels!

  13. rakistangnars says:

    Hi Renevic! thanks heaps! happy travels to you too ๐Ÿ™‚ expect me to drop by your blog soon!

  14. rakistangnars says:

    Hey Violy! Salamat naman at naligaw ka dito ๐Ÿ™‚ here’s to hoping i can keep up writing. <3 happy travels to you too!

  15. roman leo reyman says:

    Hi Rain! You’ve got a fan in me. ๐Ÿ™‚ One of my favorite entries for this blog carnival.

  16. WANDER SHUGAH says:

    Hi! Its my first time to visit her but I guess ive heard of your blog from someone. You write very very very well and I admire you for that. Thanks for sharing to us on how you started blogging/travelling <3 Will surely be a frequent reader from now on.

  17. rakistangnars says:

    aww, that is so sweet of you, Roman. <3

  18. rakistangnars says:

    Hey Wander Shugah (swell name, btw!), thank you for dropping by. will try to write as often as i brood. lovelots! <3

  19. kura says:

    tatambling si shakespeare niyan. hahaha! Ang galing mo mag sulat. Sumakit ang ulo ko sa inggit. ^_^

    Ikaw pala si rain. hihihi! Congrats sa lovelife! Nabasa ko kasi yung collection ni edmar sa carnival. It was nice that you started this blog because of other bloggers as well. I guess most of us ganun yung reason. First time here btw. And this will definitely not my last. Na-hook na ko. ^_^

  20. rakistangnars says:

    hello kurapengpeng! salamat naman at nagustuhan mo dito. i’ve been your lurker for quite sometime na din, kakatawa/kakatuwa ng mga blogs mo <3 <3.

  21. Drew says:

    You write so well. I’m glad this blog carnival theme allowed me to discover you site. I’ll follow your adventures from now on. Be safe where you are and happy blogging!

  22. rakistangnars says:

    aww, that is so heartwarming, Drew. thanks!

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