I’ve already written about my time spent diving diving in Alor, Komodo as well as Raja Ampat, however they were mainly just detailed guides about exactly how to get to the sites as well as experience the diving in Indonesia. I wished to compose a separate article from my perspective, as a travel blogger, being invited to take part in such an incredible trip.
When we very first started this blog, our dream was to someday get paid to travel the world, however that dream felt so far away that it seemed to be just that… a dream. In the beginning, our blog grew extremely slowly. I’d inspect the stats daily to see 10 or 15 people had visited our pages.
Over time, as we started composing a great deal of guest posts, getting featured on huge media sites as well as properly advertising our blog, it began to grow. After about 2 years, we started getting offers to get paid to travel.
First it was Mashable who hired us to take part in a campaign they were working on with Cathay Pacific. They paid us a wage as well as flew us to new York for a weekend spent offline. since then we’ve dealt with the Malta tourism Board, find Kyrgyzstan, find new Hampshire, Juicertrip as well as numerous other brands on paid travel campaigns.
Being interviewed in Upstate new York during the Mashable / Cathay Pacific campaign
Pretty much every single one of these trips that Dariece as well as I have taken part in have been container listing travel products for us. They’ve all been extremely well-organized as well as none of them have felt like an organized tour.
We can’t picture being shipped around a bus with 40 other people, which is exactly how many of these press trips are organized for travel bloggers. We generally turn down any type of trip that would feel like an enormous tour group.
Turning down free as well as paid trips is definitely a high-end that we never would’ve pictured having when we very first started travel blogging. Lately though, it seems that there’s an email in our inbox every month, inviting us to some exotic land on a paid “press trip”.
It seems like it’s as well great to be true, as well as it type of feels that method too… however there is a significant amount of work to be done for every trip.
We get paid to travel, as well as in return, we offer a great deal of exposure, videos, articles as well as all develops of digital storytelling for the brands, boards as well as business that we partner with. We do our finest to share both the positives as well as the negatives of the locations we visit.
People always ask us why we want to show people how to begin a travel blog. We have it published around this website: “Start a travel blog today as well as get our free ebook that will show you exactly how to grow an audience as well as make money online!”.
☞ SEE ALSO: exactly how to select a travel blog name – finest blog name concepts & names to Avoid
Quite honestly, it’s the very best decision we ever made. That’s why we want to assist others begin a blog to share their stories as well as info with the world – while being paid to travel as well as online abroad.
Had we not started this blog back in 2012, where would we be? What if we hadn’t checked out that publish by Johnny Ward that influenced us to begin blogging? What if we had checked out it, however never really complied with with on producing Goats On The Road?
We look back on those days like a lottery champion looks back on the day they bought their winning ticket. “What if I hadn’t walked into the store that day?” – “What if the person in front of me bought the ticket instead?”
We did buy that ticket as well as since of that decision, I was able to take part in the trip of Wonders 2017 diving dive trip.
Getting invited on experiences such as this reminds us just exactly how fortunate we are as well as exactly how happy we are that our paths brought us here.
For those who like travel, composing as well as photography, travel blogging is the ultimate job. This is the very best method to integrate the things you’re super passionate about, while earning money at the exact same time.
When we got the email from The Ministry of tourism Indonesia, stating that I was invited to take part in the scuba-focused trip of Wonders 2017, I was blown away. This was truly the trip of a lifetime as well as it was with an incredible team of people.
Meet The Team
The trip of Wonders took 10 on the internet influencers to the 3 finest dive places in Indonesia. The trip included everything, flights to as well as from Indonesia, flights between islands, all transfers, accommodation, diving as well as food… everything.
This was all organized by Boulle, a miracle worker who somehow put this whole thing together with his team as well as it went off without a hitch. Our trip leader was Pinneng, a hilarious guy from Kupang, Indonesia who all of us came to phone call Dad.
Me & Pinneng On The Liveaboard Dive boat in Komodo
There were likewise numerous people from the Ministry of tourism who joined the trip at different times. In total, most of the time we were travelling with around 15 people.
From the moment the trip started, it was obvious that we had a fantastic crew. nobody was a diva as well as everybody was out to have an adventure. all of us satisfied for a “welcome dinner” at the Novotel hotel at the Bali flight terminal as well as while it was a bit peaceful since everybody was jet lagged, it was still fun to satisfy the group as well as hear more about our upcoming trip.
The very first morning of the trip, I had to state goodbye to Dariece. We hadn’t spent more than 48 hours apart in 10 years! This was going to be 12 days as well as it was definitely a unfortunate goodbye. She stayed in Bali, while I took off on my diving diving adventure.
From Bali I flew to Alor as well as that morning was the last time I had to bring my backpack. Boulle had the trip so well-organized that we actually didn’t even touch our bags on travel days. We’d leave them outside the hotel space door as well as the team would pick them up, take them to the airport, inspect them, as well as then take them to our hotel space on the other side.
We didn’t have to offer with any type of of the irritating things that generally come on travel days. We flew economy, however enjoyed lounge gain access to at every stopover. What service!
Landing in Alor, we hopped on a bus that took us to a regional tribe where we witnessed a truly awesome traditional performance. It felt a bit bit “put on” for tourists, however the dancing as well as the music was gorgeous as well as it was fascinating to see their traditional clothing.
The next day the diving started. I have to state that Indonesia truly increased the bar of what makes a great dive. In Alor, every dive was phenomenal. We had exposure as much as 30 meters as well as there were such thick clouds of fish that they blurred my vision as well as partly blocked out the sun on a few of the dives. It was incredible!
On one of the dives in Alor, I keep in mind being at around 15 meters as well as a smile creased my face. suddenly it hit me. I was being paid to do something that I love. I was being paid to diving dive.
I keep in mind the day (back in 2008) when I got my open Water dive accreditation in Thailand as well as exactly how excited I was. I paid a great deal of money for that program as well as a great deal of money on the dives that followed. I would’ve never believed that a person day I would be hired by a tourism board as well as get paid to dive in a few of the very best places on Earth. What a job!
After Alor we hopped on one more flight that took us to Komodo Island. My buddy Justin had dived in Komodo in the past as well as told me that it’s the very best diving he has ever done. Justin has done almost a thousand dives, so it was a huge statement coming from him.
In Komodo we satisfied up with the livaboard dive boat, which is where we were going to online as well as dive for the next 3 days. I had never joined a liveaboard before, so I was extremely excited to experience it.
The boat was awesome. There were lots of areas to lounge as well as relax as well as our cabins even had air conditioning! I was lucky to have my own personal cabin as well as although it was small as well as rather fundamental (there were no blankets), I was happy that I didn’t have to share a space like a few of the other people on the trip.
Our Liveaboard Dive boat in Komodo
That very first afternoon in Komodo all of us jumped off the side of the boat, swam, drank a few beers as well as watched as the sun set over the rippled, curtain-like surfaces of the Komodo Islands. As the sun dipped beneath the Savu Sea, huge bats started emerging from the horizon as well as their flapping silhouettes flew right over our boat.
It was the perfect end to our very first day in the national Park.
The complying with morning we woke up at 6:30 (we woke up early every single day on this trip), had breakfast on the liveaboard boat as well as then hopped on a smaller boat that took us to Rinca Island. This is where we saw the huge Komodo Dragons.
Dariece aswell as I visited Rinca Island back in 2009 as well as not much had altered since then. We walked around the island with a ranger as well as spotted over a lots of the 200lb lizards. I’m still shocked at exactly how close the rangers enabled us to get, I could’ve actually poked one of the dragons with my GoPro selfie stick at one point.
These things can run at 30km / hour as well as are able to take down buffalo, so I wouldn’t be surprised if these relaxed regulations modification in the coming years. It will only take a few more tourists to get devoured by these lizards before they tighten up the rules (yes, there have been incidents in the past).
After the dragons, it was back on the little boat to begin diving in Komodo. The very first dive site was Manta alley as well as I was dying to area a manta ray – an experience that has been on my diving container listing for years.
Luckily we saw two enormous mantas on that dive! one of them swam right towards us as well as as I fumbled with my GoPro to try to hit the record button, I was actually staring down the throat of the 7 foot wide ray. It banked left at the last minute as well as I have some amazing shots of it (don’t miss the video at the bottom of this post).
That very first dive was incredible, as well as they just got much better as well as much better after that. We spotted lots of turtles, eagle rays, sharks, crocodile fish, octopus as well as eels in Komodo. The fish life was just as plentiful as it was in Alor, however there were so many big pelagic here, so I believe it was a much better location.
On the second night in Komodo there was a night dive scheduled. I had never done a night dive before as well as I have to state that it’s an eerie, however thrilling experience. We went down with flashlights in the pitch black as well as spotted sharks, octopus, squid, lion fish as well as some giant puffers.
On the night dive, even if I lost sight of the group for a second, my heart would begin racing. There’s something nerve-wracking about being in the middle of the ocean at 18 meters depth, with nothing however a flashlight as well as the noise of your own breathing.
The second morning in Komodo we woke up at 3:30 am (I know… crazy). all of us rolled out of bed like zombies as well as hopped on the little boat that took us on a short trip over to Gili Lawa. We shown up on the beach in the pitch black as well as started hiking up the greatest hill on the little island.
I was exhausted, trying to get my body to move when it wished to be back in bed. I looked up as well as saw a sky full of stars – the kind that you have to travel far from civilization as well as light contamination to see.
Sunrise at Gili Lawa
When we reached the top, all of us set up our cameras as well as waited for the sunrise spectacle to begin. When the sun lastly started to increase above the sea as well as illuminate the folded surfaces of the Komodo Islands, I was speechless. I seldom get up for sunrises, however this was worth every missed minute of sleep.
After the sunrise, we had two dives organized as well as they continued to amaze me. Castle rock dive site was astonishing as well as we completed Komodo off with one more go to to Manta alley where we spotted one more manta ray.
After Komodo we hopped on one more series of flights to bring us to Raja Ampat, the final place on the trip. once again we didn’t touch our bags as well as they were magically put in our spaces upon our arrival to the Raja Ampat Dive Resort.
This was my favourite part of the trip by far. Not only is Raja Ampat a extremely remote dive place that few people get to visit, it’s likewise one of the most visually stunning locations I’ve ever seen in my travels.
Tiny coral crusted islands dot the sea, their white sandy edges diving beneath the calm surface – illuminating the water around them in a brilliant aquamarine glow.
Villagers passed by in their little boats looking at our big dive boat with curiosity. They were most likely taking their kids to as well as from institution – their lives, although passing so close to ours, seemed so far away.
We inspected into the dive resort as well as it was my favourite lodging of the trip. The word “resort” truly doesn’t do this location justice. There were 8 cool bungalows sitting right on the sand overlooking the bay.
Mike as well as I shared a space in one