The Struggle to Juggle Life as an Aspiring Travel Blogger

Wait… what! A blog post from The World n Us. I know, it’s been 2 years since our last blog post and it would have been fair to think our blog was well and truly dead. Well I’m here to tell you it’s not, but I want to explain why we haven’t been posting. There is no doubt we’ve struggled to juggle life, our blog and social media as aspiring travel bloggers. But before I get into all that, I thought it would be cool to go back to the beginning and tell you a bit of our story. After all, a lot has changed since this all started.

WHO ARE WE?

By the way this is David and thanks for checking out our website.  My wife Elisa and I love to travel with our kids and we hope you come along to follow our adventures.  We consider ourselves to be aspiring travel bloggers and hope that one day we can do this full time. You can learn a little more about each of us by clicking on our photos below.   

The following article will also serve as our About page, as we feel it talks a lot about where we’ve come from and where we are now on our travel blogging journey. We have saved our previous About page here for everyone to look back on when our blog first started.

HOW IT ALL STARTED

It was 2016 and we had just planned a trip to Thailand with stop overs in Bali and Singapore.  Our son Javier was about 2 and a half and Joaquin was just 3 months old.   We were so excited about the trip we decided we had to go and buy a new camera.  Our previous camera died on our last trip to Bali which left us taking photos with our phones and a tablet.  Not ideal.  

We ended up buying a Panasonic Lumix TZ100.  It was just a point and shoot camera but had some pretty cool features for the price, including 4K, 10x zoom and could record in slow motion.  

When our trip came around I was capturing as much of our holiday as I could.  There was no vlogging.  We weren’t vloggers then.  I was just capturing memories for our little family as we roamed around South East Asia as a family.  I thought it was pretty amazing our 2 young boys were already world travellers.  Something most of us would never have had the privilege of doing at such a young age.  

We had an amazing holiday and after 4 weeks, 6 flights and hours and hours of footage, it was over.  Still no plans on starting a travel blog.  I went back to work and Elisa continued to look after the boys from home.

THE BIRTHDAY PRESENT THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING

A few weeks later it was Elisa’s birthday and she really needed a new phone. Her old Samsung just wasn’t getting it done anymore. So I bought her a new iPhone 7, an Apple Watch and a MacBook Air. Maybe I went overboard but I really wanted to treat her for being such a wonderful mother and wife. Obviously, she was extremely grateful and loved her new toys.

While setting up Elisa’s MacBook Air I noticed it had iMovie.  I watched quite a few YouTubers at the time and I recalled a few of them used iMovie to edit their videos.  So I thought I might use it to put together the footage from our holiday through South East Asia.  About a week later I had already finished editing a video from Sanur in Bali and part of our trip to Bangkok.  This is was the moment I put it to Elisa that we start a YouTube channel and create videos about travelling with kids.  

OUR LITTLE SECRET

Here is something that probably not a single follower of ours knows.  We have another channel!  It’s called David and Elisa.  You’ll be lucky to find this one in search.  We have posted just 3 videos and have zero subscribers and zero likes.  Two of the videos are from some footage we took while travelling Argentina in 2011 and another is of a random time lapse from our back verandah at home.  The videos from Argentina I edited using the YouTube Video Editor.  I don’t even think that’s a thing anymore.  

As bad as the videos were, it’s still nice to look back on them.  One of the videos is of the incredible Iguazu Falls.  Possibly the most amazing place we’ve ever visited.  We tell everyone they should definitely try visit Iguazu Falls if you have the chance.  One day we will definitely go back with the kids.

WHAT DO WE CALL OURSELVES?

We had a decision to make.  Would we continue to post videos to our existing channel or would we start something fresh.  Going by the name of our website, you’re already aware that we decided to go with something fresh and came up with a new name for our channel, The World n Us.  It probably took us a week to finalise this as we wanted to make sure would have a name that we would be able to use on not just YouTube, but also Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and also have our own domain for our website.  We had a few other names short listed but we thought The World n Us best described what our channel would be about. So we went for it!  Before we had even posted a video on YouTube we secured the domain for theworldnus.com and set up all our social media accounts.  

We were now ready to start sharing our videos. It was early April of 2017 when we posted the first 2 videos. I made the mistake of uploading them at the same time. The video that was suppose to go first finished uploading second, so now those 2 videos will forever be in the wrong order on our channel.

WHAT DID WE SIGN UP FOR?

What started off as me just editing some family holidays had just turned into a whole lot more work and learning a whole lot of new skills.  I’d never designed a website before so I was learning from scratch.  Also creating websites back then was a bit more involved and needed some level of coding to create.  These days there are lots of drag and drop type builders which make building a website a lot easier.  

Despite this, for quite a while we were very consistent.  Our website was up and running and every night after we put the boys to bed, Elisa and I would be working on some sort of content.  I would usually be editing a video and Elisa would be writing a blog post.  It was new, exciting and we thought we had something special.   We managed to post a new YouTube video and blog post every week and this seemed very manageable. 

OUR VIDEOS WERE  SO GOOD

Back then we thought our videos were pretty good. We just thought we just needed people to see our content and we’d surely gain thousands and thousands of subscribers. Well today, I’ll be the first to admit our old videos were not too flash. Well that’s a polite way to put it, but let’s be real here. They were crap! Don’t get me wrong. I love the videos and they bring back some great memories from that holiday. But from a YouTube perspective they were, I’ll say it again, crap!

For some reason, back then I felt like I had to use as much of the footage we captured as I could.  Most of the footage had little thought into what I was capturing.  It was just me walking around South East Asia with my family pointing the camera at anything and everything.  It didn’t matter if the footage was shaky or clips were too long.  They pretty much all made it into our videos.  Fine for our family to watch, and maybe for our relatives, but there was really nothing we were offering the YouTube audience that would make them want to watch the entire video or come back and watch more videos.

Still, everyone has to start somewhere and this was just part of our journey.  The videos are still on YouTube and if you are brave, you can start watching the first season here. 

WE HAD TO UP OUR GAME

After a couple of months we were running out of footage and had to think of our next move.  We did two things.  First we booked our next trip to Melbourne and Adelaide to catch up with some relatives.  We figured we could create some content during those trips that could keep us going for a few more months. 

The second thing we did was that we bought a drone.  I watched quite a few YouTubers at the time.  Casey Neistat and Christian Leblanc were a couple of guys I followed religiously and I was always in awe of their drone footage.  I thought if we got a drone, we could be successful just like them.  That’s all it would take right?  So we became the proud owners a DJI Mavic Pro.  This was the start of my addiction to buying new gear to help create better videos for our channel. 

GOING NOWHERE

For the rest of 2017 we continued to upload a new video every week.  We created a few videos in our home town in Australia as well as the trip to Adelaide and Melbourne.  Towards the end of the year we also went on a camping trip around different parts of North Queensland.  During these trips we always managed to film a new video almost every day.  So a two week trip would provide us enough content for a couple of months.  

The problem with what we were doing is that we were still just showing people around the places we were visiting.  I wouldn’t say we were offering anything of value that would make people want to continue to come back week after week.  It was hey look at us.  Today we’re here.  Let’s go this way and over there.  I would also say the places we were visiting weren’t all that popular in terms of YouTube content.  These sorts of videos might become popular coming from famous personalities, which we are not.  

TALKING TO THE CAMERA ISN’T AS EASY AS IT LOOKS

I don’t know about you, but when I watch some big time YouTubers I think, I could do that. Well, this was how I used to think. I’ve got to tell you it isn’t easy and is a skill that takes lots of practice. I wouldn’t say Elisa and I have these huge bubbly personalities. In fact, I even consider myself to be an introverted type of person. While I think we’re getting better at talking to the camera, we can still feel quite uncomfortable doing so.

We’ve always done these long trips and filmed everyday.  By the end of a trip we’d start to feel pretty comfortable with what we were doing, but then we’d take a several months off filming to edit our videos before our next trip.  By the time the next trip comes around, we’d feel all awkward again when we start to film ourselves.  Particularly when out in public for everyone to see. 

THE SERIES THAT ALMOST ENDED IT ALL.  INDONESIA

I just mentioned that we’d do these long trips and film everyday.  Our trip to Indonesia in 2017/18 was about a four week trip which meant we had loads of content to create when we got home.  This was great because it did mean there was no rush to make our next trip.  But…  we love to travel so much that we still kept an eye out for deals on flights in the months ahead.  

It was coming up to our 5 year wedding anniversary and we’d always talked about going back to Hawaii for our anniversary every 5 years. 

Lo and behold, we found an amazing deal on flights to Honolulu when our anniversary fell.  We couldn’t give up the opportunity to visit perhaps our favourite place on the planet and share this with the boys.  So we booked another holiday to Hawaii.  

Then just a few weeks later, before we had even been to Hawaii, we found an incredible deal on flights to Japan. Another country we absolutely love! We had just visited Japan about a year before we started this travel blog, back when we only had our son Javi. Being the budget minded travellers we are, we couldn’t resist and booked another trip to Tokyo.

THE PROBLEM WITH THESE LONG SERIES

So we had all these trips planned out and even after we got back from Japan and then Hawaii, we were still sharing our 1 month long trip to Indonesia.

The Indonesia series ended up being an epic 34 videos long and to be honest, it could have been even longer as we still have so many video ideas and footage from that trip that we haven’t shared.  But we had to move on.   At some point during the sharing of the Indonesia series I was feeling the pressure to finish editing those videos, while knowing I still had two more series to edit.  Because of this, the blog was pretty much forgotten.

A NEW ARIVAL

Something that happened in Hawaii was that we made another baby.  Yes, our daughter Eva was made in Hawaii. We introduced Eva to our channel right at the end of the last video on our Indonesia series in January of 2019.

So we had a new baby, two energetic boys and still 2 series we wanted to share on our channel.    

LIKE THAT WASN’T ENOUGH

A huge decision we made towards the end of 2018 was that we were going to leave Australia.  We wanted to explore more of the world and experience this with our kids.  No we’re not one of those “we quit our jobs to travel the world” type vloggers.  Yes, I decided to leave my job teaching in Australia, but only to accept another teaching job in Qatar.  We figured Qatar would make a good base for a few years to explore The Middle East, Europe and parts of Africa.

We spent the first half of 2019 getting our house in Australia ready to be rented and got rid of most of our belongings.  There is a bit more to this story which I won’t go into in this article, but it’s fair to say it was the most challenging time of my life.  I explained everything that had happened in this video. 

We have now made this video private so only those of you reading this article have access to the video.

MOVING ON

Sadly, we didn’t share the Hawaii and Japan series before leaving Australia.  We made the decision to move on and start sharing what was currently happening in our lives.  On our way to Qatar we spent 1 month in Kuala Lumpur and we managed to share a few videos while we were actually in the country.  This was a first for us.  It felt so good being able to create something current and in the moment to share on our channel. 

WE MADE IT TO QATAR

Settling in to a new country was new, exciting, yet extremely challenging. Living in Qatar was very different to where we’d come from in Australia, particularly because of where we were located in the country. We live in the city Mesaieed, which is about 30-40 minutes outside of the capital Doha. This would usually mean one to two hours of travel any time we wanted to go into the city. Which isn’t really fun with three young children. But we had to do it. A lot! We were getting our new home ready and made quite a few trips into Doha working out how we would furnish our place. So again, YouTube and the blog was still on hold while we made the adjustment.

WE WERE BACK!  BUT…..

After living in Qatar for six months we finally released our first impressions of Qatar and a tour of our home showing off our IKEA haul videos.  We had also just purchased our car and were ready to start exploring more of the country. 

We also had a holiday booked for Jordan and Egypt and we were extremely excited to share all this on our channel.  But then, as you’ve probably guessed, the Covid-19 Pandemic came along and ruined all that.  

I was now working from home. Elisa and the kids were pretty much stuck in the house due the restrictions that were put in place. In Qatar children weren’t allowed in shopping malls. Beaches and parks were closed. Plus Elisa hadn’t got her Qatari drivers licence yet. We were literally about to organise it the week all the restrictions were put in place.

ONE GOOD THING

The pandemic did mean we were spending a lot more time in our home and had a fair bit of spare time.  So I managed to edit the 12 videos from our time in Hawaii in 2018.  About 2 years after it was filmed. 

It was kind of nice looking back and seeing how much the boys had grown since that trip, but also weird not seeing our baby girl Eva with us.  I promise one day I’ll get around to that Japan series.  

WHERE TO FROM HERE

Well our dream to explore more of the world is still on hold.  Like everyone around the world we hope the current pandemic will come to an end soon and we get back to doing what we love.  We will still continue to share our life in Qatar and are going to start posting to our blog regularly once again.  

THE DILEMMA

The dilemma I have is quality over quantity. This is something widely discussed by the YouTube gurus. The truth is I get a lot of joy learning and trying new things to improve my video editing skills. The downside to this is that it does become very time consuming to edit a video. It’s obvious I need to make some adjustments to the videos we share so we can get back on track sharing a video and blog post every week. Oh and posting to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. But one thing is for sure, we need to post consistently to help our channel and blog grow. Like many aspiring travel bloggers, our dream is to one day do this full time, but unless we are consistent it will never happen.

Thanks so much for checking out this article.  If you haven’t already please check out a video over on our YouTube channel.  Perhaps drop us a comment and say hi.  Tell us where you’re from and if you are someone who also loves to travel with your family, or if you are an aspiring travel blogger too.  We’d love to hear from you.

Happy Travels
David
The World n Us

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