taraw cliff

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.


My favorite city, Stockholm.

My favorite city, Stockholm.


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.


The gorgeous Herods Dead Sea hotel in Israel.

The gorgeous Herods Dead Sea hotel in Israel.


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?


paris birds

Happy in Paris


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.


thai food

Not Thai soup, but this was delicious.


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.


Dreams look like this

Dreams look like this


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.


airplane sunset

It’s always humbling to look out the plane window


All of me,



DJ Yabis is the poster boy of Dream Euro Trip and a modern day renaissance man. Originally from the Philippines, he loves throwing dinner parties and stalking rock stars in music festivals. Subscribe or follow his adventures LIVE on Facebook or Instagram. Learn how to plan your own eurotrip.

What do YOU think?

32 Responses to “Is this my work and purpose as a travel blogger?” Subscribe

  1. Aaron June 19, 2015 at 5:41 AM #

    sick life bro, im so jelly

    • DJ Yabis June 21, 2015 at 8:27 AM #

      dont be. go live your own dream life!

  2. Sofie June 7, 2015 at 7:58 PM #

    Just read this post now, but I’m struggling with the same thing: how do I want to keep on traveling? Will it all be work, or will some of it be for me as well? And do I want to or need to share it all?
    Tough question, but keep on traveling I shall.

  3. Aijika April 28, 2015 at 3:23 PM #

    You have a great post. thinks for this sharing informative stuff like this. you make me smile and happy for this post. inspire people to do a lot things that he want do to.
    Nice post DJ
    Keep it great ! 😉

  4. Fashion Girl | Fashion Travel Accessories April 12, 2015 at 7:59 PM #

    Hey DJ,

    This post made me laugh 🙂 I just found your blog after receiving your comment in one of my Instagram photos. I really enjoy reading your travel blog so far. Keep doing what you love. I am also passionate about Europe and have been there at least 3 times. I’m not a full time traveler, as I love to travel slow and I travel at least once a year.

    I’d like to see some of your sponsored travel posts. Could you type the links below this comment? 🙂

    There’s nothing wrong with sponsored travels and in fact one day I’d love to experience it. But I only just started blogging last year about Fashion Travel Accessories.

    I also like to travel in style, chic, sophisticated and fashionable. Whatever you wanna call it! I like to walk and sightsee with stylish sneakers or flats with some stylish tops, pants, dresses and coats. I have nothing against tourists dressing like a typical tourist but I prefer to be at least presentable, simple and chic. lol

    Anyway, I look forward to your next post 🙂 Write your sponsored posts below, as I’d like to read it 🙂


    Marj from: Fashion Travel AccessoriesFashion Travel | Fashion Girl

  5. Katie March 19, 2015 at 11:34 AM #

    When you get busy, it can be hard to find the time to write. But battle on, my friend … the best still lies ahead!

  6. Victoria@ The British Berliner March 16, 2015 at 4:02 AM #

    Such a great post DJ and btw, so lovely to have actually met you at last. 🙂 I know you’re going to make it, you’re one of the good ones. You’re both funny, clever and inspiring. Go forth my good man and aim for the sky. ‘Hope to see you soonest xxx

  7. Nina March 14, 2015 at 4:28 AM #

    I completely get what you’re saying here, mainly because I’m feeling the same. I can’t deny that I enjoy the perks of travel blogging, but at the same time, I know that nothing comes for free. Something is expected of me, and it’s hard to write when reality falls short of your expectations.

    I’ve lost the drive to write, and left writing only about the trips that was sponsored. My personal trips are only posted on social media now, hardly ever on my blog. 🙁

    • DJ Yabis March 15, 2015 at 6:23 AM #

      Hi Nina, thanks for sharing your thoughts. So true. But so far I haven’t arrived at that point yet. Hopefully it won’t happen to me!

  8. Gustavo March 13, 2015 at 7:37 AM #

    Quoting Obama hahaha!!!
    Ok, I just can say that: “The work is to get you off that chair and explore the world” Is working I’m planning right now my scape, maybe it’s not going to be Europe but I’ll defenitly make that happen.

    I hope you can laid-back and relaxed, i think is ok to say NO sometimes whenever they don´t fit your goals so, congrats for that, and keep writing about your travels i really enjoy them.

    Greeting from Mexico.

    • DJ Yabis March 15, 2015 at 6:24 AM #

      Hi Gustavo, thanks a lot! It’s always good to hear from loyal readers like you. I will relax from now on and just enjoy myself 😛

  9. Raphael Alexander Zoren March 12, 2015 at 10:18 PM #

    Very well said, my bro!!! It’s to have you as a friend since you’re one of the few Travel Bloggers who have really earned the respect and admiration of the Man of Wonders!

    Thanks for writing this and I’m sure we’ll meet each other sooner than later, player 😉

    PS. I really wonder what type of Travel Blogger would go on a FAM trip to the Ukranian border? o.O

    • DJ Yabis March 15, 2015 at 6:26 AM #

      Awwww that is so sweet of you to say. Good to hear you still respect and admire me after, you know, the discussion at the Vietnamese restaurant at ITB. See you in Romania?

  10. Adam March 12, 2015 at 7:24 PM #

    Stop comparing yourself to other bloggers and just do your own thing! Life is better that way.

    • DJ Yabis March 15, 2015 at 6:28 AM #

      Hi Adam, thanks for chiming in. Actually, it’s not even me comparing myself to other bloggers. It’s more of me comparing my new self to my old self before blogging. I guess I have to stop that too since people and circumstances change!

  11. Edward March 12, 2015 at 10:27 AM #

    Well. Reality is that you are a total looser DJ, or whatever your name is. Most of the times you seem to travel when someone is paying for it, how is that independent travel? You stopped worrying about hings? Really? If it is not your German boyfriend paying for your lifestyle, how are you even affording “living your dream” in Europe? Did you even get a visa to stay on your own? Or are you totally depending on him?

    I used to be like you, you know? Thinking I made it, until I started to earn money on my own. Now that I do, I look back to people like you and think “was I such a loser living someone’s elses dream?”.

    So, do I want to travel in my own terms? Yes! I want! But that doesn’t involve marrying someone so I can stay in Europe because I couldn’t find a way myself. As I said, I am not a loser.

    So, do I reject trips? No, of course I don’t. I am not even offered to give my ass for traveling. I usually PAY for my own trips wherever I want to go. No matter if I support Obama or if I agree to be anyone’s hooker.

    I AM my own person. Are you?

    And you might think I am a hater. But I am really not. I earned a better life than you did, without marrying anyone. What is your biggest accomplishment? Being someone in bed? Good for you I guess!

    • penny March 12, 2015 at 11:19 PM #

      you should try dj in bed and then you could not say a word silly edward 🙂

      • DJ Yabis March 15, 2015 at 6:25 AM #

        LOL right? I CAN’T EVEN.

    • DJ Yabis March 15, 2015 at 7:05 AM #

      “DJ, or whatever your name is” LOL. As someone who pretends not to know my name, you seem to know details about me that I haven’t mentioned in the blog at all. Coincidence much? Don’t even pretend you don’t know I’m a smart, fabulous overachiever. Anyway, we were laughing in bed when we read this. Thanks for providing yesterday’s FB status update. I’m sorry no one loves you.

  12. Rhonda March 12, 2015 at 5:23 AM #

    I just found your site off facebook and LOVE this post. While we are relatively new to blogging, etc and DO hope to also make our living off our passion for travel, food, culture… we are new enough to simply be confused by all of the different options out there but also know we don’t want to go down the path of sponsored travel. I want to make money living the life we want and create for ourselves and then sharing it with others and inciting passion in them. Keep doing the work and you’ll get it all figured out (love that Obama quote)

    • DJ Yabis March 15, 2015 at 7:13 AM #

      Hi Rhonda, thanks. I will for sure focus more on the work 😛

  13. Sab March 12, 2015 at 3:04 AM #

    Hahahahahaha…. “some dirty little Polish city no one really cares about….” I can’t stop laughing…. Got your message 😉 Happy travels, I feel you. After all this traveling, all i want is to settle down on a tiny island in the Philippines and relax, breathe, watch the sunset and drink some san miguels…

    • DJ Yabis March 15, 2015 at 7:15 AM #

      HAHAHA you know what I mean. OMG me too. I already have my dream tropical house in my head. Can’t wait to settle down in the Philippines when we’re older! We could be neighbors!

  14. Amni March 12, 2015 at 1:48 AM #

    I totally aspire to be like you. I want to get paid to travel the world. At the same time, I want to be able to help people & inspire them to reach their dreams. One day, soon.

    • DJ Yabis March 15, 2015 at 7:16 AM #

      Thanks Amni. If I can do it, you can do it. Good luck on making your dreams happen. I’m always here if you need help and advice.

      • T March 19, 2015 at 8:35 PM #

        What are some tips for starting out to get the attention for paid travel? Appreciative..

  15. Steph March 12, 2015 at 12:10 AM #

    Love this! I have had a similar identity crisis several times in this business. It’s a hard line to walk between following you dreams, taking sponsored stuff and still feeling authentic. Everyone has to find a balance that works for them (for me it’s making sure at least 50% of my content is unsponsored). Figure out what makes you feel good and stick with it.

    • DJ Yabis March 15, 2015 at 7:24 AM #

      So true. Happy for you that you’ve found what works for you. I have been struggling with this for awhile. I actually know what will make me feel good. I just need to work on it more and make it happen!

  16. Nicole March 12, 2015 at 12:04 AM #

    Great post! I for sure hear you. It can become a bit overwhelming…but when I get messages from people saying I inspire them, then I’m reminded of why I do this!

    • DJ Yabis March 15, 2015 at 7:25 AM #

      Right? In the end, it’s all that matters. Always happy to read this kind of email.

  17. JB & Renee March 11, 2015 at 9:15 PM #

    Thank you for writing this. It was timely and really resonated with me. 🙂

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