Every Sunday I sit down and reflect on the week that just passed, I prepare to collect my thoughts. I try and write something a bit different each week. Some weeks I share what I have been doing throughout the last seven days. However, some weeks I try and let you into my headspace a little bit. This week I’ll do both.
My first ever blogger workshop ended on the 11th of March. There was no time to rest as I boarded a plane that night for a red-eye overnight flight to Cairns, Australia. Arriving with only two hours sleep under my belt, I touched down in Australia, my home country, ready for a new adventure.
For the next week, I would be teaming up with Tourism Queensland on a campaign to run alongside the Commonwealth Games, which is in Queensland this year. The aim of the campaign was to show all of the unique adventures you can have in Cairns and the Tropical North Queensland region.
Along on the trip were three women from Malaysia and Wales who were writing feature articles for their respective magazines and newspapers. I was the only photographer, content creator, influencer. Whatever name I’m going by these days, I was the only one. This proved to be challenging when trying to create content but just involved a little bit of thinking outside of the box and some tidy drone work.
Courtney Atkinson, the Commonwealth Games Ambassador, also joined us for the first couple of days. Courtney is a former Olympic tri-athlete and an all-around machine. The guy runs adventure races all around the world. On our trip, Courtney would go for 15k jogs before breakfast making me feel lazy on my 3-5k runs. Stoked to meet such a dedicated athlete and see the moves he is making in the content creation field with his epic videos documenting all of the crazy stuff he gets up to. #redbullsponsored
Chelsea and Liz from Tourism Queensland were on for the ride and had organized the whole trip with the help of their awesome team back at the office. It’s always nice to be able to focus on your own content and be in your own bubble when all the travel details, meals and timeliness is taken care of.
Those were the logistics of the trip. Here is a quick overview of what the hell we got up to in a week. I’ll take a deep breath because life on a media trip ain’t no cruise, we go hard.
Welcome to a week in my life:
- Babinda Boulders
- Devils Pool
- Josephine Falls
- Mission Beach
- White Water Rafting on Tully Gorge
- Great Barrier Reef Pontoon Experience
- Overnight stay on Great Barrier Reef Pontoon
- Helicopter over Great Barrier Reef
- Daintree Rainforest Skyrail
- Daintree Rainforest River Cruise
- Mossman Stand-Up Paddleboard Tour
- Mossman Gorge Indigenous Dreamtime Walk
- Cape Tribulation Beach
- Cape Tribulation Great Barrier Reef Snorkel
- Jungle Surfing Zipline in Daintree Rainforest
- Cow Bay
- Thala Lodge
- Bungee Jumping 3x Cairns
Along the way, I am creating content for all activities, sharing Instagram stories, Instagram posts, and Facebook posts. It involves a lot of car edits, late nights and falling asleep on my MacBook (Just ask Liz who drove our car!)
I’m extremely blessed to be given opportunities to experience all of these epic locations and activities. I’m also honored to be given the shared responsibility of promoting Australia and more specifically Queensland to the world. Can I create content that will bring thousands of tourists to our great country?
Here are some of the visual highlights of the trip! Below these photos, I’ll share with you a bit about what’s going on inside my head right now.
I think awareness is something really powerful. If you are aware of your actions, your feelings and your directions you have the ability to mold all three. I often ask myself what’s coming next and why? What is my purpose? Do I even have one yet?
I’m still evolving towards a new challenge but I know right now I’m currently inspiring thousands of people to do several things:
#1 Get out of their comfort zone
When people see me jumping off cliffs, pushing my limits, hiking, visiting new cultures, running workshops and pushing myself way beyond the comforts of an average life.. they themselves are taking actions. I get countless messages a day thanking me for this inspiration and that’s a really great positive impact my journey is having on this community. It never feels like I’m doing anything too outlandish but I have adapted to my lifestyle.
I understand travel isn’t for everyone, which is why you will rarely see me pushing people to do so. If you are up for travel I help guide people as to where to go or how to they might like to do it. However, I do believe that travel is a positive experience for most people. Not that they have a great party and visit some viewpoints. That stuff is inevitable but not what I am talking about. I’m talking about meeting people of a different skin color, different cultures, and different religions. I’m talking about hearing new languages, new ways of cooking and accepting that people all around the world do things differently.
We all grow up in our own little bubble and this can be a dangerous environment, especially when we begin to believe our bubble is the ‘right’ bubble (*see religion). If those of us who can afford to travel did so rather than building our little empire on our own block, likely inside our own bubble, I believe the world would be a little bit more empathetic and understanding.
#3 Chase their dreams
Two years ago I graduated college and since then many of you have been following my journey on Instagram and my blog. I never knew either would make me a cent. My only ever aim was to make $800 USD a month and to be honest I only had a few rough ideas as to how I would do that. I knew if I made $800 a month I could survive in Asia, traveling around and buying me some more time to get my online earning potential on the rise. The day I left college, I left with less than $5000 in the bank. Since that day I’ve single-handedly grown my blog into the number one adventure travel blog in Australia.
How did it all happen
Journey Era was recently ranked the 45th biggest travel blog in the world, on a list dominated by couples and veteran bloggers. I’ve spent countless hours honing my photography skills and have since sold numerous photos to Tour operators, Tourism Boards, Campaigns, and Airlines. I’ve been invited to multiple campaigns around the work with Tourism Boards and Travel Companies like Royal Caribbean. The reason this all happened comes down to the following three reasons.
#1 I worked my ass off
I still do. Those who surround me know that I am that guy on the computer. If it isn’t an adventure, working out or working on improving something then let me chase my dream. I’m not here to sit still, it’s just not how I operate.
#2 I try my very, very hardest to be a yes man
Never say no to a new experience, new country or new opportunity. This attitude has forced me to follow through on so many halfway thoughts. Experiences like running an adventure travel workshop on a remote island in Indonesia with ten people. Things like hiking to Mt. Everest Base Camp in the middle of the off-season with just myself and a guide. I use these as examples because I had doubts and fears about both but I always fall back to my standard attitude of shooting for the stars. Usually, everything works out, even if you have to push yourself way into the unknown to find that out. It’s called growth.
#3 Think differently
I constantly look at what everyone else around me is doing and figure out how to be one step ahead or even better a step sideways. I think long-term and try and strategize my moves in a chess-like manner rather than stumbling my way from one manoeuvre to the next. It might not be the best analogy considering my poor chess ability but you are following me surely. If you are trying to start a travel blog and there are 10,000 blogs ahead of you, the majority of which are trying the same tactics to promote themselves and grow, you need different. Find your different. This applies to all jobs, careers, and aspects of life across the board. You aren’t going to cruise to your goals if you are copying the pack. Don’t compete, be different.
Why I hate money
I never made my life about financial goals. For me, that is a tragedy. The idea of chasing a dollar to pay for a plot of land, to build a home, to drive to and from each day in a car I own sounds incredibly uneventful. To each, their own and there are multiple ways to do this thing we call life. However, I am all of a sudden in the position where I am not making $800 USD a month. My value to marketing departments, tourism boards, brands and travel operators has risen significantly.
I haven’t yet touched a cent of anything I have earned outside of my $800 USD month travel expenses. I still travel incredibly cheap. The most I have ever spent on a hotel or hostel is $12 per night in almost two years of travel. I am saving my every cent I earn. I have a financial goal for my 27th birthday, which is on October 22nd. This financial goal leads to a project much bigger than me or any material desires I may have from time to time.
I’ve been dealt one of the most fortunate hands this life can offer. I’m hyper-aware of that and I’m going to make it count.
I hope you all had an awe-inspired week and furthered yourself one step closer to your goals of 2018!