Hello there, thanks for being curious to find out more about me.
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If you’re trying to find my name or a picture of me, I’m sorry to disappoint you as I prefer to remain “somewhat” anonymous (or at least I feel so). It has been 9 years since I first started travel blogging and I am still not comfortable with showing my face on my blog. My face does show up occasionally in group photos but most of the time, it’s just my lovely travel friends that are willing to pose for me. My traveling bears (Duffy, Paddington & recent addition of Captain Rila) and my hand (sometimes with fancy manicure art) will appear more frequently.
I started blogging since I was 13 (back in the Diaryland/Blogspot days) but the entries back then were more about random musings of school life and song lyrics. Travel blogging only started after I returned from my USA Work & Travel Program back in 2010. It was a 3 months adventure (my longest overseas stint to date) and there were many lovely memories to reminisce about.
As time goes by, I discovered that I really enjoy travel planning. Years ago, I frequent the library to read travel guide books as these books were too expensive to be bought. I do it all the time, whether I had plans to travel or not. Today, everything can be found online and even the maps in these guide books may be outdated. Now, google controls more than half of my online life..
So.. People often ask me what is the motivation behind all my writing; and my answer to them is.. If people like me didn’t exist, will you be able to find the information you need for your own Free & Easy trip? It is kind of like a pay-it-forward mentality. I blog useful information to thank the community which fed me with the useful information which I needed while planning for my own trip. It’s such a simple yet important reason but it is also the only way that keeps this information bank growing strong!
In case you’re wondering.. nope blogging does not pay well at all. In fact, for the first two years of converting my free site to a .com, the amount I ‘earn’ from Google Ads is not even enough to pay my yearly domain and hosting fees. It took me a while to grow my fanbase and after a few viral articles here and there, I was on track to break-even from August 2017 – which was the third year of owning a dot com.
Another sad truth I learned along the way was that while it is easy to be a blogger (well anyone can do it and it’s free) but it is not easy to be a full-time blogger. I really respect the many individuals that are able to make their passion their career and (for now) the wanderlust dream will still be a dream for me.
I still do not have the courage to quit my full-time job and backpack around the world. I need a full-time job to finance my travel desires and having the freedom of choice to not opt for the cheapest option all the time. At the end of the day, the travel that I enjoy should be the kind of relaxation/healing and I don’t think that roughing out on a shoestring budget for every single trip is enjoyable. When I was younger, I did aim to scrimp and save every single cent by camping overnight at airports, staying in hostels or eating kebabs every meal but now that I am older with a somewhat stable income, I try to strike the balance between budget and comfortable experience. I guess growing older made me derive more satisfaction from staying in a $200/night ryokan as compared to staying in a $30/night hostel. Maybe one day, these thoughts might reverse again. Who knows?
For profiling purposes, I’ve decided to add some stats:
- Flyhoneystars.wordpress.com (free hosting & domain) started in December 2010
- Website was “upgraded” from www.flyhoneystars.wordpress.com to www.flyhoneystars.com (paid hosting & domain) in August 2014
- Latest Alexa ranking (25 Nov 2018): 513,493 (Global); 4,996 (Singapore)
- Latest Similarweb ranking (25 Nov 2018): 1,913,569 (Global); 55,063 (Singapore)
- Singapore Best Travel Blog (2016) by Homeaway (Expedia)
- Top 10 Finalist for Best Travel Blog – Singapore Blog Awards 2015
- Third Prize for Master Planner Challenge 2014 by Korea Tourism Organization
- Consolation Prize for Master Planner Challenge 2013 by Korea Tourism Organization
- Participant (Most Active SNS user in Asia) for Asian on Air Program 2012 by Korean Air & Korea Tourism Organization
Sponsored Vacations (Invitation & Contests)
- 2017 Media Trip to Fujisawa Design Week
- 2017 Media Trip to Kumamoto & Himeji by Kumamoto/Himeji City City
- 2016 Media Trip to Bangkok by Tourism Authority of Thailand
- 2016 Media Invite for Shipsomnia (Costa Victoria)
- 2014 Bloggers Media FAM trip to Kota Kinabalu by Sutera Harbour & Sabah Tourism Board
- 2012 Asia on Air Program by Korean Air & Korea Tourism Organization
- Ninja Wifi in Japan (You will receive 20% Discount by using my referral link)
- Kkday – Tickets/Experience booking (Headquarters in Taiwan)
- Klook – Online Travel Experience Booking Website (Headquarters in Hong Kong)
- Trazy – Your Travel Shop for Asia (Headquarters in Seoul)
Non-Travel related Invitations
- Nov 16 – Artemis Grill Food Tasting
- Jun 17 – Spa Express @ Changi Airport
- Oct 17 – The Bird Southern Table & Bar @ MBS Food Tasting
Top 5 Articles base on views (March 2017)
- [Filming Location] Goblin: The Lonely and Great God
- [Filming Location] Legend of the Blue Sea
- [Filming Location] Moonlight Drawn by Clouds
- Fuji Hakone Odakyu Pass – booking, itinerary and experience
- Goblin Filming Location in Quebec – The Ultimate Guide
Random Fun Facts