PRESS PLAY: Manu Delago feat. Isa Kurz – Disgustingly Beautiful
I am imploding with stories.
…and I can’t seem to write them.
Life is happening so fast sometimes I couldn’t even catch my breath. One day I’m in the Philippines, the next day I’m back in Germany. When I wake up I’m somewhere in Tel Aviv and when I go to sleep I’m somewhere in Berlin.
I can’t wrap my head around it. Everything is happening so fast.
This is not me. But this is also very much me.
As a travel blogger working in the travel industry, the way I travel has changed dramatically.
I wake up one day and I’m in a five-star hotel in Paris. I sleep the next day and I’m crashing at my friend’s place in Lisbon. At lunch I’m eating $1 Thai soups on the streets of Silom. At dinner I’m devouring a five-course gourmet meal in Stockholm.
In the morning, I’m barefoot running around Boracay island. In the afternoon, I’m lounging at the infinity pool by the Dead Sea. Sometimes I’m flying on a hot air balloon over Barcelona. Other times I’m chasing the Northern Lights in Finnish Lapland. Most of the time I’m walking around places Instagraming colorful things.
It’s so hedonistic. I love it.
But is this me? Why am I scared to write the stories about these places?
Now that I have half a million readers a year, why am I holding myself back? Why am I scared to share all of them here? Isn’t this what I’ve always dreamed of?
Before I started my blog, I wrote my goals on a notebook. I wrote that I wanted to get paid to travel the world. This has kind of happened. As the blog grew, I got a lot of invites for sponsored travel and brand collaborations. I turn down most of them.
Because they don’t fit with my travel style. Because I don’t have enough time. Because I don’t want to travel with a bunch of strangers like a herd of cattle. Because they don’t actually really pay me to travel.
I have seen a lot of travel bloggers who only travel if it’s fully sponsored. They are the ones who attend ALL sponsored trips even if their so-called brands don’t fit with it. They are the ones who can only afford a day trip to the border of Ukraine or some dirty little Polish city no one really cares about.
I don’t want to be one of them. I want to travel on my own terms. I want to collaborate with destinations and companies that fit with my personal brand.
And so I said NO to a trip to Ibiza, a trip to Tuscany and a trip to France. I said NO to free tours in Paris, Rome, Madrid. The list goes on and on. And I said yes to some of them and I always disclose it to you anyway. Some bloggers don’t.
I have struggled to embrace this aspect of my travel blogging life in the last 2 years.
I am slowly accepting the fact that I will never travel like I did 8 years ago.
Remember how I tried to live out the confusions until they become clear?
I think I finally figured it out.
I have to stop worrying about these things.
On the same page in that notebook I wrote that I wanted to have a travel blog to inspire more people to follow their dreams. And to help them make these dreams happen.
Obama once said (and yes, I’m quoting OBAMA!): “Because if you’re worrying about yourself—if you’re thinking: ‘Am I succeeding? Am I in the right position? Am I being appreciated?’ — then you’re going to end up feeling frustrated and stuck. But if you can keep it about the work, you’ll always have a path. There’s always something to be done.”
I felt that way. A bit frustrated. Stuck. Growing but feeling stuck.
So I will focus on the work.
This is not all about me. But this is also all about me. Does that make sense?
The work is to get you excited about travel. The work is to get you off that chair and explore the world. The work is to write stories and information to help you achieve your dreams.
And in doing so I will also achieve mine.
All of me,