Behind the Scenes at What an Amazing World!

64 comments
Asia, Europe
Finding Out What's Behind the Scenes

What is It Behind the Scenes? (Photo: Finn’s Beach Club, Bali, Indonesia)

Last week marked the fifth anniversary of my blog, and over the years this blog has evolved in many ways, most notably its visual appearance and writing style. Many of you, dear readers, have been very kind in leaving comments, thoughts, even emails allowing me to know what you think and feel of certain posts, photos, and some of you even shared your personal experience of the very places I went.

It’s been a while since the idea of writing a post about how this blog is written first popped up in my mind. So when Madhu from The Urge to Wander, one of my all-time favorite travel bloggers, nominates me to take part in the ‘Behind the Scenes’ Blog Hop, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Many thanks to Madhu for that!

What am I working on/writing?

You may have noticed that last year I didn’t travel as often as I did in 2013. However I still have more than a dozen posts to write from my previous trips to Hong Kong, Singapore and Bali. Why does it take so long to publish those posts? You might ask. More on that on the following sections on this post.

Meanwhile, apart from writing regularly for the blog (I try to publish between 3 – 5 posts every month), I recently resuscitated my Instagram account (h_bama) which had laid dormant for months. As of now I still can’t tell how consistent I will be posting photos on Instagram, but the blog will remain my first priority.

Attention – What Every Blogger Should Give to Their Blogs

Blogging is A Hard Work (Photo: A Seaweed Farmer at Nusa Lembongan, Bali, Indonesia)

How does my writing differ from others of its genre?

Travel blogging itself is already a niche in the blogosphere. Nevertheless, citing an online source on travel writing, it can be classified into four categories: descriptive, evocative, narrative, and instructive.

In this blog’s early years the posts were written in so many different styles, from listicle as you can read in my post on Vienna to exhaustively descriptive post as my first post on Kuala Lumpur shows you. However as time goes by and more blogs and travel articles inspire me along the way, I find a bigger interest and enjoyment in writing my posts in narrative style, because not only does it allow me to write with more depth, but also it conveys better perspectives on the places I go, the people I meet, and the food I try.

Had I traveled to the island of Flores five years ago I would have had written about my experiences from the island in one extremely long post. But I believe each place has its own story, secrets, and charms, hence its own dedicated post. One of the pieces I enjoyed writing the most with this kind of spirit is the post on Manggarai.

Rough Time Can Come When You Least Expect It

There are Rough Times (Photo: Devil’s Tears at Nusa Lembongan, Bali, Indonesia)

Why do I write what I do?

After my first trip abroad to Europe in 2007 I wrote about the highlights of that trip with a word processor and added a few thumbnails, so I would never forget about that amazing one-month trip down to the details. Then a friend saw it and asked “why don’t you write an online journal?”

Stepping into the sixth year of blogging at WordPress I learn that this blog today has grown into something more than merely a ‘memory bank’ as my perennial travel buddy, James, put it. It is now also a means to share travel inspiration with each other, which in turns reminds us all that we live in one amazing world, regardless the bad news we are constantly bombarded by the media.

So Does Calm Time

But At the End of the Day It Brings Joy (Photo: Calm Waters at Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong)

How does my writing process work?

It is a very long process, to be honest, thanks to my proclivity to become obsessive-compulsive when it comes to blogging; very much different from how I live my life, some friends said.

It all starts with the trip itself, obviously, with some note-taking and lots of picture-taking along the way. As soon as I return home I make a list of posts I want to write out of the trip, which post comes first, and the overall chronology of the series of posts for the upcoming weeks and months.

From there goes the writing process; usually begins with drafting and fact-checking, then first editing a few weeks later, and second/final editing on the day I publish the post. Sometimes I can write a post even before embarking on the plane back home, like I did for the post on Rinjani for it was such an arduous, physically-exhausting, mentally-depleting, but truly one of the most unforgettable trips I have ever made by far. But some posts took months even more than a year to materialize. Writer’s block is the one to blame, as writers say. Parallel with the writing process is the photo selection, which is both time-consuming and fun. As a visual person it’s one of the steps I enjoy the most in preparing a post.

The lengthy process explains why I never post while traveling, although I need to find a way to sort that out should I travel for an extended period of time one day.

Blogging is A Work of Love and Passion

Most Importantly Blogging is A Work of Passion (Photo: A Beach Decoration, Dili, Timor-Leste)

I sincerely thank you all for your encouragement, kind words, moral support, and most importantly, for reading and following my journey for five years. Now allow me to nominate two bloggers to participate in the ‘Behind the Scene’ Blog Hop:

Kelly from Compass & Camera

Indah from Indahs: Travel Story & Photography

Kelly was born in Montana and raised in Colorado, but calls Lake Tahoe, California her home. While Indah left her native Indonesia for Rotterdam to live with her better half and a Black Labrador. Both of them share many things in common: they are avid travelers, talented photographers, and they always find their ways to keep coming back to Southeast Asia.

Kelly’s journeys have taken her to places like Bhutan, Peru, Morocco, Indonesia and the Maldives. On the other hand Indah has been gallivanting around the globe and visited Mexico, Cuba, Turkey and India to name some. She is also a seasoned scuba diver who has dived in some of the world’s most incredible diving sites.

Kelly and Indah, there is no obligation to take part. I have enjoyed your stories and photos, and I wish others enjoy your blogs as much as I do. To all of you, dear readers, thank you for reading!

Posted by

Based in Jakarta, always curious about the world, always fascinated by ancient temples, easily pleased by food.

64 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes at What an Amazing World!”

  1. BAMA! I’m SO honored to be chosen by you!!! What a wonderful gift to receive today. I’m filled with gratitude and I would love to take part. Extra special super THANK YOU! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Kelly, the pleasure is all mine. You’ve visited places I’ve been dreaming to go, including your most recent country to visit: Oman! So at least I can travel vicariously to those wonderful places through your posts. Look forward to reading your ‘Behind the Scenes’ post!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing the intrinsic details of your travel writing. 5 years of travel blogging is a long time!! It is an interesting coincidence for me that it marks my 5th month in wordpress 😉
    Happy travels 🙂

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    • Hi Kak Indri. Thank you so much! This kind of post acts as a reminder of how far we’ve gone after all these years of writing. 🙂

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  3. really interesting post. it’s difficult to analyze the process of a writer. Love your blog and your travels, you always make me dream 🙂

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  4. Nice one, Bama. I especially like the choice of photos and captions underneath! Has it been five years already? I also started mine in early 2010 and am amazed at how far we’ve both come. I don’t particularly like reading my older posts… some of them are pretty cringeworthy. Looking forward to reading Kelly’s take on this challenge! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, James. I had a few ideas on what kind of photos I would use for this post, but I ended up choosing those five which represent some emotions I experienced in keeping this blog running. A while ago I took a look at my older posts too, and oh my, those days when I had more passion than the actual ability to write. 🙂

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  5. Here’s to the next five years and beyond! Thank you for sharing your adventures, and helping to inspire those who, like myself, are only five months into the world of blogging!

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    • Thanks for the uplifting comment, James! Blogosphere really is a place to inspire and be inspired — one of the reasons why I love writing on my blog. Whatever happens, keep writing!

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  6. It’s so interesting to read of your process in putting together posts. One thing both you and James said is that you don’t post while you’re travelling, whereas I have no choice. More on that when I get to my own behind the scenes post (eventually). But at the same time there is much you say that I will also say (choosing photos time consuming and fun!) and how much your writing style has changed since the beginning. Looking forward to many more posts from you.
    Alison

    Liked by 1 person

    • Considering the amount of work I (and James) normally do to prepare a post, I really don’t know if I can ever write while I’m traveling. But your case is quite different, Alison, as you and Don are constantly on the move and blogging while traveling is the only way to keep your blog alive. I really really want to learn how to do that without getting too distracted from the real sights and experiences I encounter on the road. Thanks for reading and following my stories, Alison. Looking forward to reading your take on Behind the Scenes Blog Hop!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ternyata udah ngeblog lima tahun yah… Super! Tulisan dan fotomu sampai sekarang tetap menginspirasi pembaca setiamu, Bama ( termasuk aku salah satunya hahaha ).
    Always keep writing and travelling. Yayy 😀

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    • Iya, gak kerasa udah lima tahun… Dulu sempet memulai nulis di blog dengan tulisan curhatan gak jelas, sebelum akhirnya beralih haluan ke travel blogging karena di situlah passion saya berada. Thank you ya Halim udah setia mengikuti cerita-cerita di blog ini. Blogmu juga menginspirasi saya banget, dan sering juga menohok karena sementara saya lompat sana lompat sini, kamu telaten menyusuri tempat-tempat dan kota-kota yang sering luput dari pandangan wisatawan kebanyakan. Keep up that spirit! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Great job Bama. Your opening shot is an inspired choice. Interesting that we all share so many similarities. It has been a pleasure following your evolution as a blogger. Look forward to tracing your (and James’) footsteps in Indonesia, although I am aware that we might be too old for some of those adventures :-).

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    • PS: I am a fan of both your nominees and look forward to behind the scenes insights into their writing processes.

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    • Madhu, I still remember the first time I discovered your blog was when you were writing the series on Egypt. From that first encounter I have been so captivated by your evocative stories and photos! So again, thank you for asking me to take part in this Behind the Scenes Blog Hop. Speaking of age, never say too old if I may suggest — I watched this old couple from the US who did rock climbing, running, and many physical challenges in one of The Amazing Race seasons. They finished as one of the top 5 teams! However when you’re traveling in Indonesia one day you surely can take things the way Indonesians do: slowly but surely. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Gara says:

    It’s such a pleasure reading on how writers do their job. And as they say, every writer has embarked on so unique a journey to who they are today. I sincerely hope that you won’t stop writing and sharing your journey’s stories to all of us, since yours are truly inspiring and, as I have said before, unique. :))

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    • Hi Gara. I can’t see myself stopping from writing on this blog since I love it so much. I’ve been encouraging some of my friends to consistently update their blogs — to varying results. Thank you for reading, leaving such an encouraging comment, and sharing your thoughts!

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  10. Congratulations on 5 years of amazing posts about this Amazing World! Your descriptions and photos are always creative, inspiring, and informative, and I have learned so much about your part of the world.
    I (and I’m sure other travel bloggers) can relate to your comments about the time it takes to put together the blogs – I too have a long list of ideas, folders of sorted photos, and partially written drafts. Often that next trip or activity just gets in the way!
    I am currently participating in the Blogging 101 so I can learn how to better navigate wordpress and improve the appearance of my blog, as I am quite un-technical and don’t enjoy slogging through explanations (does anybody?) I didn’t even know the definition of a widget.

    I fully intend to go back and read your early posts and those of the travelers you recommend.
    Thanks for sharing your travel adventures and learning with all of us!

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    • Thank you very much, Marilyn. Taking part in WordPress’ Blogging 101 is a good start to maximize your blog, as I believe you have so many great stories and photos to share. But whatever lesson you learn, however hard a few things may seem, never forget the reason why you start blogging: because you love it, don’t you?

      I really appreciate your time to explore more of this blog and the stories I have written earlier. Keep writing!

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    • Hi Sue! Now you know how much passion I have for this blog. 🙂 Thanks for being such a great reader and for inspiring all of us to stay healthy and happy!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hey! Great job on 5 years of blogging! We are just at a year and realizing the hard work that goes into it keeping it alive!
    Great to read your process of blogging and some of the issues are being faced by all travel writers all around 🙂

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    • Hi Sonam (also Roomi, Nandhini and Shilpa). Hard work is one thing, but having that burning passion to write and share your travel stories with others is what you need to keep your blog alive — that means no matter how busy you are, you will always find ways to take care of your blog, instead of reasons to abandon it. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. maymayo says:

    Hai, Nice to found your Blog Mas Bama. Your blog very awesome and inspiring..!
    Salam kenal ya…

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    • Thank you, Nurul. It’s amazing to know that an Indonesian is in Bukavu at the moment. Are you working there or just traveling?
      Thanks for reading!

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      • I’m working in Bukavu at the moment..
        If you have a plan to travel here, I would be glad to assist…

        cheers..

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      • Thank you for your offer. I have yet to make a plan to visit the DR Congo anytime soon — you definitely live in such an interesting place!

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  13. Happy anniversary Bama! Thank you so much for inviting me to participate on this – it is an honor and I am sincerely happy that you like my photography 🙂

    I have participated before and publish it through this post http://indahs.com/2014/11/06/a-writer-blog-tour/ I am not sure if I can do it again..but I hope my previous post would help to explain behind the scenes of indahs travel and photography 🙂

    Have a wonderful Friday!!

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    • Thank you, Indah. Where have those five years gone? 🙂

      Ah, it’s my mistake then. So sorry for not noticing that post of yours beforehand. However, you can consider this post as my gesture of appreciation since I’ve been really enjoying your photos — your underwater shots are truly world class!

      Have a great Friday too!

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  14. Hi Bama, congratulations on your 5th anniversary on the blogosphere. My blog is a baby compared to yours and it’s great to learn how yours have evolved through the years. thank you for sharing all your wonderful travel experiences and photos. I know all the hardwork it entails and I truly appreciate them.

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    • Thank you, Marisol. Age-wise your blog is younger than mine, but content-wise yours cover way more places than mine — something we all envy! 🙂 It’s a good envy, though, since it encourages us to keep traveling to see the world and its peoples.

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    • Thank you, Suzanne. It’s a long process but I always enjoy every single step of it. Whenever I encounter writer’s block then I turn to photo selection. Speaking of my Instagram account, you remind me that I have to post more photos! Oh well. 🙂

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  15. Okay here I am again commenting on one of your posts, but I just love to read your stories. And I appreciate it that you gave us a behind the scenes look. Always interesting to know how things actually work.
    So as a European girl I obviously noticed that you came to Europe some years ago. Which countries did you visit?

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    • Thank you for following my stories — bloggers are nothing without readers. Yes, I went to Europe in 2007 for a month. I visited Germany, Austria, Belgium, France and the UK. The next time I go I really want to explore the Mediterranean countries.

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      • Very very true! Yes you should definitely. Italy and Spain are great. Especially Venice, Barcelona and Tarragona. The last city is also in Spain. It has a lot of great must see ruins. And as for Barcelona, the city is insanely gorgeous. I advice you to check out the magic fountain show. It’s so beautiful and something I’ve never seen before. And another touristic hotspot in Europe would be Krakau in Poland. It really is a historical place.

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      • At this point I have already had an exhaustive list of places I want to see in the Mediterranean Europe: Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Salamanca, Bilbao, Granada, Cordoba, Venice, Rome, Naples, Siena, Florence, and the list goes on. 🙂 I have a soft spot for ancient buildings, so I’m really looking forward to going to those places one day (soon enough I hope). Thanks for your recommendation!

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  16. I seem to drift in and out of blogs, but now recently retired, I can concentrate a bit more on wonderful travel blogs like yours. I’ve enjoyed them over the years, and I’m always happy when I see someone take their travel dreams in hand and go for it.

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    • Angeline, that is really kind of you. Thank you. Traveling the world definitely is my dream, and along the way, starting from baby steps, I begin to live that dream — often without even thinking of it.

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  17. Great insight into how you get it done Bama ~ and it inspires us all. Your caption at the bottom of the Victoria Harbour photo says it all: “…At the End of the Day It Brings Joy”

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    • Hi Randall. Actually I’m really curious with your own writing process, but I read on your About page that you don’t take ‘nominations’. But if you feel interested in doing so, please consider this as my invitation. 🙂
      The reason why I use that photo of Victoria Harbor is because of its contrast: it’s one of HK’s busiest places, yet I felt this sense of peace looking at that photo. Thank you for reading, Randall.

      Like

  18. how i wish i could travel like you to see every history and beautiful places in different parts of the world…It keeps me dreaming of going to the place i would like to go….thank u for those beautiful pictures….u already take me there…

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    • Thank you for reading. Dreams can be frightening, but most of the time they push us to boundaries we never thought we could go. So never stop dreaming to see the world!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. baru berkunjung ke blog ini karena rekomendasi teman saat saya bertanya tentang travel blog yang menarik, ternyata memang benar.

    salam kenal, mas bama. senang membaca kisah-kisahmu. 🙂

    Yuki

    Like

    • Halo Yuki… salam kenal juga. Senang dapat teman baru, dan salam untuk temannya ya. Titip pesan terima kasih ke dia karena sudah merekomendasikan blog saya. 🙂

      Like

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