Exactly one year ago today I created Greta’s Travels. It looked very different at the start, having started with only a YouTube channel and an Instagram account. Over time it has evolved to encompass other social media platforms and also this website. It has grown and changed over time, just as I have.
When I first created Greta’s Travels I was still working 9-5 in a corporate office in London. I kept seeing photos and videos of successful travel bloggers making a living while travelling the world and I thought; I want that life too. I’ll be honest and admit I had no clue what I was doing when I first started. I thought it would be enough to create an Instagram account, start making videos on YouTube and eventually people would start giving me money to travel. The reality is very different from that. There is a huge amount of work that goes into travel blogging that you never see behind the perfectly curated photos for social media.
I spent the first half of the year travelling during weekends and my time off from work, all while making videos and working on Greta’s Travels in my free time (of which you have very little of when you work in a Big Four office). I escaped the office for short weekend trips like to Seville, Rome or Bath, but also longer trips like Canada, Kenya and Thailand. I became known at work as the person that was always on holiday, it didn’t bother me as I knew I was never going to stay for long. People kept asking so much how I could travel all the time while keeping my job that I even wrote an article about it that you can check out here. I don’t regret the time I spent working in a corporate office. Even if I didn’t enjoy it I met some really great people and learnt a lot about how to work with others. If anything, it paid me enough so that I could save some money to now travel and blog full time.
Five months ago I quit my corporate job to pursue this passion. To be entirely honest with you, this was a huge leap of faith. You always hear professional bloggers say how you shouldn’t quit your day job to blog until your blog makes a liveable income. Greta’s Travels wasn’t making a liveable income when I quit my 9-5, it still doesn’t. I always tell people how terrible my corporate job was, but the reality is that it wasn’t actually that bad, I’m just not made for the office. In the 20 months I worked there I was able to save up enough money, which even after five months of travels to Iceland, Sardinia, Croatia, Ireland, Bucharest and Cuba I still have most of. I am going to keep travelling until my savings run out and hope that Greta’s Travels will start making a liveable income before then so that I can keep going.
I am no longer the naïve girl that thought making videos and posting them on YouTube is enough to become a successful travel blogger and influencer. I now know more about the huge amount of commitment, work and dedication it takes to be successful in this industry. In the past year I have learnt more about blogging, travelling, social media and myself than I ever thought possible, and whilst I have been blogging full time for five months now I do not have the presumption to call myself a professional blogger yet. Every time I meet another blogger or travel influencer I learn something new, be it about Pinterest, SEO, video editing, social media or working with brands. Being a blogger is the most challenging job I have ever done, as it requires you to cover so many different aspects and constantly learn new things. It is also the most rewarding and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.
So what’s next for Greta’s Travels and me? That’s a good question. I have a one-way ticket to go back to Indonesia next week to meet up with some bloggers I have known online for almost a year. I love the connections I’ve made through Instagram and other social media, however it’s about time to start meeting some of my new friends in person! I also know I will be headed to Australia in March 2018 (anyone going to be around then?) with my flatmate and best friend. I am still not sure where I will be in the time between after Indonesia and before going to Australia. The one thing I’m sure of is that there will be a lot of work going into Greta’s Travels in the near future. I have recently learnt a lot about blogging, now I need to actually implement it all!
Thanks for taking the time to read this and for following along on my adventures for the past year. If you haven’t already, do check out my Instagram and YouTube accounts, I’d love for you guys to see more of my work. I have learnt a lot in this first year of blogging and I’m looking forward to what the next year has ahead.