Happy Blogiversary – Travel Lush Turns Two!

Jeez, I can’t believe it’s been a full year since my first blogiversary!  And I seriously can’t believe how much has changed since then.

The Forbidden City - Beijing, China - Travel Lush
Yep, I somehow live in Beijing now…

When I think about it it’s kind of crazy that I’ve spent a good portion of these past two years pouring myself into this blog. I’m not entirely sure why I keep doing it…except that I love doing it.  If you’re not a travel blogger, I can’t convey how much time and effort goes into it.  Over the past two years I’ve spent countless hours composing blog posts, editing photos, struggling with technology and tinkering around on social media.

Chatuchak Market-statue

There is so much that goes into blogging and the crazy part is, I don’t get much in return, monetarily speaking.  (Maybe someday, but definitely not yet.)  I do it because of everything it gives me personally – and this blog has given me a lot.  I do it because I love learning about new places, people and things and because it’s a constant learning process. I do it because I love connecting with new people around the world.

Basically I can’t imagine not doing it.

TBEX Bangkok - Travel Lush
Hanging out with my fellow bloggers at TBEX. That’s me on the left, FYI. (Photo courtesy of Adventures Around Asia.)

The things this blog has taught me during the past two years is incredible.  It taught me early on that I actually did want to write professionally again.  That the career in writing and editing that I’d more or less given up on nearly four years ago was clearly something I needed to pursue.  It taught me to be a different traveler, a slower traveler, one that remembers and relishes every moment, good, bad and everything in between.  It taught me that I’m not the only one in the world who is taking the road less traveled – so to speak – in life; that plenty of people manage to find ways to balance real life with wanderlust.  It taught me to be more independent, that I could conquer things and go places that put me completely outside of my comfort zone.

If you’ve been following me for a while then you know these past two years have pretty much been insane.  I started out as the girl who had quit her job to travel, who was panicked because she had no plans for what would come next.  Two years later I’ve somehow turned into an expat who has lived and worked in, count ‘em, three different cities – Jakarta, Phnom Penh and Beijing.  This blog has seen me from the highest of highs to some pretty serious lows.  There have been so many crazy experiences and the cool thing is that it’s all documented right here on this site.

Leo Carrillo Beach

I’ve said this many times, but I never intended for this blog to be my profession.  But what I didn’t know when I first started this blog while backpacking around Indonesia exactly two years ago, is how many professional opportunities would come my way because of it.  When I first started writing on this site, I didn’t tell a soul I knew that I had a travel blog (aside from my boyfriend).  I think it took a good six months for me to even muster the courage to tell my family about it.  It took well over a year to tell acquaintances about it.  Two years in and I’m still slightly shy about admitting that I’m a blogger, but I’m getting there.

Koh Rong pier

But at some point I did realize that while I might feel foolish saying “Um, yeah I have a travel blog” out loud, people don’t necessarily think it’s all that lame.  This little tiny blog has connected me to people across the world.  It has landed me freelance work for newspapers and magazines across Asia.  And it has led to other exciting things that I won’t go into here.  A girl has to keep some secrets!

Sulitan Beach, Nusa Dua Bali Indonesia - Travel Lush

I think my point is that when I published my first-ever post on March 31, 2014 I never really expected anyone to read it.  I didn’t even know if I’d ever have the courage to publish another post.  But I just kept doing it – growing more and more addicted to it – and slowly but surely people did start reading it.

Some of you have pretty much been with me since day one, which is amazing to think about.  So thank you to everyone who has come on this wild ride with me.  Obviously the only reason I’ve kept at it for two whole years is because of you.

Forbidden City

I might go through my ups and downs with blogging, but Travel Lush is definitely here to stay.  So here’s to year number three!

About Justine

Justine Lopez is a California native who always seems to take the unconventional route in life. She also suffers from a serious case of wanderlust. In 2013, she set out on a yearlong round-the-world journey and never looked back. Since then she's lived the expat life in both Jakarta and Phnom Penh. She's now living and working as a freelance writer in Beijing. As she meanders her way through Asia she's always seeking out great vegetarian food, budget travel deals and amazing new travel destinations.

14 thoughts on “Happy Blogiversary – Travel Lush Turns Two!

  1. Wow – big congrats. I could have sworn that I have been reading your blog for a long time already, that’s just how it feels to me… has it really only been two years? Well done, and to many more years to come!

  2. Happy blogiversary! It’s been so much fun to follow your journey the past two years, and I’m so glad you plan to keep up with blogging. I’ve always felt the same way–even if it never turned into a profitable venture, it’s still a passion project I could never imagine giving up! Cheers to many more years Justine!
    Leah recently posted…5 Things to Know Before Traveling to Beijing

    1. Well, I’ve loved following along on your journey too Leah. We’ve been on two very different paths but it’s cool to see where this crazy blogging and semi-nomadic lifestyle has led both of us 🙂

    1. I know! I feel like I’ve been reading your blog forever. And you really have been with me since my Indonesia days! It feels like a lifetime ago! I’m so glad to be a part of this crazy blogging community. It seems like we should have met at a vegetarian restaurant in San Diego but meeting at a blogging conference in Thailand works too 😉

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