It feels like April here in Cebu; for someone who brags about the seeming eternal summer in her country, I find the heat almost unbearable. And for someone who brags about having a life-work balance, here I am so caught up with revising Backpacking with a Book’s feel and content.
These past years, I took BWAB as a repository for my published articles and photos. I never considered it a possible place of and for awesomeness; by awesomeness, I mean a beautiful, interactive travel blog that readers can visit again and again, a place where they can find not only travel narratives but also fun travel hacks and honest reviews of products I have been using. No, the reviews are not paid, I’m not a popular travel blogger whose thoughts are sought-after.
Something big is going to happen in 2016, and what you can see here on BWAB is a series of transitions.
You may have noticed the new look. I really spent money for BWAB’s redesigning. I wanted it neat, functional, simple, and elegant. Something that is reader-friendly. There are still parts that I am not entirely satisfied, but an awesome designer Gay Dumaguing and I are working on them. So bear with us. I am working on the final logo and the main timeline photo as well with the help of a creative young woman named Monica Alcudia.
But what do you think of the new look so far? I would love to hear your opinion.
If you are subscribed to BWAB via email, what you have received is a tasteless, bland, and imageless Jetpack email delivery that may have discouraged you to open the link. I am going to deactivate Jetpack and switch to a monthly newsletter to avoid spamming your email with Hipmunk articles. I cannot give Hipmunk up; it is my travel fund’s primary source.
So what is inside the monthly newsletter. A lot. From my upcoming personal trips to more travel stories (working on a collection of travel essays), travel tips and hacks (for example, the necessary steps to take before traveling long-term), and more travel photos in an engaging magazine layout. This should be enough motivation to keep my blog breathing and alive.
Last July and August, I traveled to Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar. It was my first trip abroad, and I was crazy and arrogant enough to skewer five countries at once. To say that the trip was enriching would be an understatement. But I am such a lazy, slow writer, more so a travel blogger. But I would try to update the blog as often as possible from now on.
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By Travelers for Travelers
With the labeling of what constitutes a traveler, I think it is high time to put an end to this nonsensical discrimination: a tourist is less of a traveler than a backpacker.
If you are looking for a community of travelers, please join us on By Travelers for Travelers, an online travel community that welcomes all types of travelers: if you are a backpacker, you are welcome; if you are flashpacker, you are too welcome. We are all humans united by our passion to travel.
New Project: Our Skin Diary
When we travel, we become, we are the skin we are in; and oftentimes, we are misjudged and judged. Our skin color—a testament of where we come from—affects how we view the world, affects how the world view us.
Since the publication of my social commentary on Being a Dark-Skinned Filipina Traveling around the Philippines, there is a need for me to follow up on this one. So I come up with a new project on BWAB that accommodates different views and perceptions on our skin color: Our Skin Diary. I know you might think that this is not travel-related at all. But it is. When we travel, we become, we are the skin we are in; and oftentimes, we are misjudged and judged. Our skin color—a testament of where we come from—affects how we view the world, affects how the world view us.
I know we associate the word travel with escapism and happiness, but travelers know that it is not the whole truth. There are so many issues concerning the world we are traveling in.
Expect more on Backpacking with a Book
Since I started traveling abroad and since I keep on traveling in the Philippines (I just got back from a four-day trip around Eastern Samar), there are more narratives waiting to be written, photos to be sorted out. I’m crossing my fingers and toes that my external hard drive can be fixed. My whole 2013 and 2014 travel photos are all there! And I have not written and blogged them yet! So I am really hoping to have it fixed.
I traveled to Onomichi City, Hiroshima, Japan for a sponsored trip organized by the Japanese government in early November. (This is for print media but expect me to post lovely photos on BWAB.) And from December 17 to January 17, I would be back in Malaysia or Singapore (caught between Georgetown and SG’s botanical gardens) for three days before heading to Indonesia for the rest of the holidays.
I know you have been wondering how I fund my trips. I’m going to disclose that in the coming days.
So thank you for sticking around.
Enduring the Cebu heat,
Jona of Backpacking with a Book