It’s the quintessential quarter-life dilemma: live the life cultural norms dictate, or live the life you want. For most of us, it’s never an easy decision. Everyone is different, everyone has his/her own definition of happiness, and everyone has a distinct set of goals.
For Carla, though, it wasn’t that hard when she quit being a bank teller. What was difficult was convincing herself to remain in a routine that offered no clear-cut purpose. “I was there at the ‘teller’s cage,’ looking at all the cash, checks, computer, and everything else when I finally decided that I’ve had enough,” she recalls.
A year and a degree on education later, Carla found herself in the wild world of public school as a teacher. And it was then she also discovered the fun of traveling, going to various places and documenting her trips in her blog blissfulguro.
How exactly did you start traveling?
It was in 2011 when I started traveling “hardcore.” I was bored with the long Christmas and summer breaks so I booked a flight to Cebu without knowing anything about the place. I read some travel blogs to research, including Chyng Reyes’ blog. I was inspired by these bloggers’ travels that showed somehow you don’t have to exhaust your wealth to explore.
But you’re also working as a teacher and I understand that it entails a lot of work. So how do you balance your work and traveling?
We have a two-month leave every summer, aside from the Christmas break and semester break. So I don’t have problems regarding work. Outside those breaks, I travel on holidays. Where I go depends on where my feet want to take me. I don’t plan much. I go wherever I get invited.
Okay, we’ve mentioned you being a teacher. Do you feel you’re on the right track, considering you left a stable job in a private company?
I’m doing what I love to do so there’s no setback there. I don’t mind the pay and everything because I’m single anyway. And I don’t think there’s this thing as “stable career” because people are always changing. So I am where I want to be and doing as much as I can to fully utilize my knowledge, skills and aptitudes to share it to the young ones. No regrets. I don’t know if next year or the year after that I’ll still feel the same way. What is sure is right now, I’m okay with teaching.
Your passion in teaching has definitely given a unique angle to your travel stories, which earned you a runner-up prize for the story on your Sulu trip. How has this affected you as a traveler and blogger?
I was shocked and honored when I was nominated in the Skyscanner Asia Pacific Region. It was when I really felt appreciated for my blog posts, aside from those who comment on my blog. Other than that, nothing has changed. I’m still the same.
But are there any difficulties in handling a blog? I mean aren’t you pressured now that you’ve gained more readers?
I don’t really see “blogging” as work. If I don’t feel like it, I don’t write. But when I do feel it, I write a lot. So there are no maintenance issues.
Speaking of blogs, how large do you think is the role of social media in traveling in today’s age?
Really great! It made me realize that I can travel and explore places even without much money. Each traveler is different and travel styles vary, and you will know that in social media and blogs.
Suppose there’s a traveler who’s asking for advice on how to break into the travel blogging scene, what would you tell him/her?
For travelers, writers, photographers, bloggers, and lovers – just be true to yourself; don’t try to be someone you’re not.