A Long Read: We are Lost and Wonder

Another year has come, and it is a usual practice for most people to create resolutions. We envision a better version of ourselves through writing a list that would bring change to our monotonous daily lives. This includes spending more time in the gym, immersing in a new hobby, be more organized, save more money, and many more.

Others are not attuned to this kind of practice because they believe that these resolutions are destined to fail; in fact, only 8% of those who set new year’s resolution are achieved.

Nevertheless, I will still create check boxes for this year. I’m a kind of person who loves to jot down notes specially when a great idea pops out like a mushroom in my head. In this way, I am more organized. With my thoughts being materialized through random scribble of notes, I can have laser light focus directed towards achieving goals and objectives. Although evidence shows a slim chance of achieving your new year’s resolutions, still 8% is better than none.

photo of top load ride in kalinga

It was a Mess

I launched this blog last April 2017 with a mess. Its identity and character was vague, its objectives were out of focus, and the content was somehow derailed and misaligned. It was like, “I just want to blog all my travels and shit, and that’s it!”

I was in a hiatus for 5 years in the blogging industry, and I was surprised on the changes that took place while I locked myself inside the hospital premises. Bloggers are more inclined in social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I find these platforms helpful in disseminating information to a broader range of audience, and I never underestimate the power of the ‘share’ button; which can start a wildfire of information and web traffic madness. To be honest, with the power of social media, some of my helpful posts reached thousands of shares across these platforms; and I am happy with it.

Never underestimate the power of the ‘share’ button; which can start a wildfire of information and web traffic madness.

The only problem I observed with this kind of practice is the intense inclination to numbers. Many bloggers nowadays are so focused on monitoring the number of likes, number of followers, and everyone seems like on a race in hitting that viral formula. These numbers somehow reflect your ‘influencing’ power towards other people. I’m not saying these metrics are wrong or bad. These data are actually good and helpful in tracking your brand’s performance; it provides insights on your strengths and weaknesses. The only thing which concerns me is the quality of the contents produced. I’m just being honest here. Most creators or bloggers or so-called influencers are so focused in reaching specific targets; hence compromising content.

I tried to follow these trends last year; and it plainly sucked. My blog’s niche was almost ruined because of stochastic posts unrelated to its intent. One time I registered in an advertising group who’s looking for bloggers willing to share a sponsored post. I was accepted, and to my surprise, the topic of the sponsored content was unrelated to my blog’s niche (It was a post regarding an invite for a job fair!). The accepted bloggers must share the post in exchange of a gift certificate. Yes, I put my blog’s content into confusion and jeopardy just for a shallow gift certificate. Honestly, I think this practice works to other bloggers. In my case, I think it’s a red flag, and it’s something that doesn’t work for me.

Photo of National Museum of the Philippines Staircase

By the last quarter of 2017, I struggled to update this blog due to personal reasons. Even though this blog became silent for a short period of time, I am still willing to pursue and continue updating it. I believe this blog has potential to become prominent among the other blogs out there, but I am not here for competition. I am here simply because, I just want to help other people through writing quality, useful and informative posts about food and travel. My inspiration in pushing this blog to the next level for 2018 comes from the encouraging words of my brother, loyal readers and followers. Like what I have mentioned previously, I’ll be doing some tweaks and refinements in this blog. With the mistakes I had last year, I will improve my practices and change my perspective towards various issues.

An Unexpected Situation

Have you ever came in life to be acquainted to a stranger; but later on, everything turns out to be different? I believe anyone could experience this; and ironically, this unique encounter comes from the most unexpected people.

I’ve been joining photography sessions in Instagram, and it’s actually a trendy activity for months now. There are community accounts who instruct their followers to share photographs on a given time with a specific hashtag, and followers will have the chance to view shared entries of other users through set hashtags.

Such online activity is an opportunity for people with the same interests communicate and share ideas. This is how I met Leo.

photo of leo and blaine of lost and wonder

Leo has great passion in street photography. He is fond of expressing his thoughts through a click of the shutter button, and his images speak louder than his voice. He uses his photographs to channel emotions, convey messages and emit inspiration to his viewers. He is a practical user of his talent, and amid the monotony of life, he can see new things day by day; which fits well in his username as LeoWonderer.

Leo is fond of expressing his thoughts through a click of the shutter button, and his images speak louder than his voice.

We started sharing our talents through visiting museums across the metro, and traveling to various places. After months of sharing interests in faith, travel, food and photography, we decided to impart all these through a blog.

Re-branding ‘Blaine is Lost’

With my eagerness to pursue this blog and put it on another notch, I decided to include Leo in this sojourn. I was a lostboy, and Leo is a wonderer; thus we ended up re-branding Blaine is Lost into Lost and Wonder.

photo and blaine and leo of lost and wonder

Lost and Wonder comes out to digital reality through combined creative juices of various interests; ranging from travel to adventures to food trips and personal insights. This new chapter will set this blog to a higher bar through our collaborative efforts. We will focus on writing quality and non-sugarcoated contents amplified with riveting photographs captured through our own mobile devices (#iPhoneOnly #ShotoniPhone).

Leo and I were brainstorming for months now, and we already have plans laid out for the upcoming quarter. We will reveal some of the details in the future, so just stay tuned in the know.

Photo of Leo and Blaine in Arca's yard in Baguio City.

This is a new beginning for all of us. It may look like everything is back to square one, but we believe that great things come from humble beginnings. The journey can be challenging or difficult, but it will be worth it. With the predicaments I faced last year, Leo and I are prepared to face challenges heads on. Come and hop in board our ship, and join us in this lifelong trip; let’s all get lost and wonder.

Words by: Blaine Chrian and Leo Ceasar