Coachella Blues? There Is Always Next Year



If you are still crying over the fact that you did not get to see BeyoncĂ© Run The World at Coachella or Slim Shady reunite with Dr. Dre and 50 Cent, it is time to get rid of those Coachella blues and start planning your trip to this amazing festival in California. Coachella delivers musical greatness every year, so don’t worry that you missed out on the headliners this time around; they are bound to be just as incredible in 2019, 2020, and so on! So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some tips on planning the perfect Coachella getaway…

Have a meeting point – Although we have Wi-Fi today, a meeting point will always come in handy. You never know, someone may run out of battery or lose their phone! However, be mindful of choosing the spaceman, as he moves!

You will need a plan – One thing a lot of Coachella newbies do not plan for is just how long it is going to take to get from stage to stage. When it is crowded, it can take you a good half an hour to get from the main stage to the Sahara tent, so make sure you keep this in mind. It is a good idea to print out the set list and take it with you. While there are staff members handing out pamphlets, the last thing you want to do is waste your time chasing down one of these. Instead, print out the set list in advance so you can make a plan for the day. This will ensure you do not miss anyone you want to see live.

Book accommodation early – Needless to say, you are going to need to book accommodation early because California will be jam-packed at this time of year. There are lots of great places to stay here, with something for all budgets. There are popular hotels like the Aqua Breeze Inn, as well as motels and cheap B&Bs. You can also find lavish villas and penthouses if you really want the five-star treatment during your festival getaway.

Buy merchandise on the first day – Like any tourist, you are probably going to want some Coachella merchandise to take home with you. It is advisable to buy this on the first day. At the end of every evening, the merchandise tent is heaving. You will find yourself waiting in the queue for 30 minutes only to discover the T-shirt you want is sold out.

Take it slow – A lot of people feel the need to rush around Coachella because they worry that they are never going to get to see everything. Don’t panic. If you have ever been to Glastonbury or Budapest’s Sziget Festival, Coachella is actually smaller. Plus, there are plenty of chill spots, which you should definitely make the most of.

So there you have it: some useful tips if you are planning on experiencing the Coachella Music Festival yourself. Hopefully, the advice above will help you to feel more prepared if you have never been there before. One thing is for sure, though; you will have an incredible time!


Dear Diary 001: Life Lately



I just spent a month in my hometown. It was a working vacation for me - if there's such thing. Also, this is probably the first personal post I've written since the end of last year. Yup, I kinda miss this. Very spontaneous. 

For the past few months, I've been posting sponsored posts and guest contributions just to fill the emptiness of my blog. I sighed at my domain fee increase but I still chose to renew it because even though I wasn't as active here, I still want to keep it. It's crazy how I struggled with finding my niche for so long, working so hard to be a credible source, or for my blog to be an authority on something. Why? Because that's the way to go if you want to level up your blogging, as they say. 

Somehow, I set my mind to maintain my own "photoblog". I learned photography but never really got good enough at it. Not enough for me to make it a source of income. Of course, it was because I couldn't find time to professionalize it. I couldn't put it on my priority list. And the only way to be better at photography (or any other things) is to practice and learn more, which I never really did religiously.

I got obsessed with Instagram. I wanted to grow my follower base because I wanted to use that platform for possible business opportunities. My Instagram has grown organically through consistent posting of photos during consistent times of the day. But that also meant that I had to up my photography game.. and my editing too. That also meant I got tired of it - and did not enjoy it anymore.

I love Instagram and when I wasn't enjoying it anymore - I stopped posting. I saw that my follower count decreased. My engagement and likes also significantly decreased. But obviously, that's to be expected. I also love photography and the art of taking photos but for a time, I also didn't enjoy taking intentional photos anymore. And by intentional, I meant going on photo walks or taking random photos just to practice. Suddenly, I didn't find time to edit photos anymore. It's sad.

I still want to create. I still want to blog about my travels but I don't want to travel and work. When I travel, I just want to travel and not feel like I constantly have to take photos or videos because I need to fill my blog with something interesting. I just want to blog and share my stories and photos because I love doing it!


I just want to vlog or take videos of my trips or random stuff because I want to and love to, not because I feel the need to update my page, my YouTube channel, or my blog for a certain audience or a certain brand or whatever. It's tiring. I just want to share things on my blog whenever I want to, and not because I have to consistently do it so that I won't be left out, etc.

But these things also meant that I can't expect my blog to grow and use it consistently for business opportunities or to earn money. I knew that for sure - being a blogger for so long myself, and having seen how blogging has become a tool to earn income in the past few years.

Of course, if you want to earn, you have to hustle and have a plan. I still want to have a niche website or platform, but I don't want it to be overly personal. So late last year, I started planning Call Center Ninja - my niche website. It was just an idea that I didn't think was actually possible but I knew I had to give it a try.

Here's what I really wanted: I wanted to have a niche platform where I'm confident of imparting what I know to other people concerned. I wanted something where I can really say "I have a solid experience with this." so let me help you. I wanted a platform where I won't hesitate in sharing what I know. And let's admit it, I wanted a platform where I can possibly earn extra income or maybe possibly be my full-time income stream in the future. Lastly, I wanted a platform I can enjoy that doesn't necessarily involve having to stress over posting or editing beautiful photos on the blog.

Hmmm, does that make sense? ;) I found all those things I wanted from Call Center Ninja. This is not to plug my channel because for sure, the audience of this blog is very different from my niche website. I originally planned to focus on the website and write high-quality articles. I did it for the first few months. But unexpectedly and surprisingly, I found myself making videos instead!


From the very first week of January, I vowed to publish one video every Friday and amazingly, I was able to do so until now! I even originally planned using Facebook as my main video channel but then over time, I'm gaining unexpected traction on YouTube so I'm using it now as my main channel. My channel is growing, the feedback is good, and the reception has been welcoming so far. Plus surprisingly, I actually enjoyed doing the videos and editing them!

I think I'm loving what I'm doing so far. It's a very focused niche but I like it because I know exactly who wants to watch my videos and who wants to learn from them. I can say that it's something I'm credible of doing because of my experience in the call center. Even though I hesitated with doing videos for so long because of my insecurities, I'm happy to say that I have somehow overcome the challenge of having to show my face to people - including strangers. ;)

Finally, I think I have found something I like where I can help people, and possibly, just possibly create a business in the future. I hope Call Center Ninja will turn out well. We shall see. ♥

Of course, it's not that I don't like Blissful Snapshots. This is still very me which is why it's ever-changing. What I don't like is the feeling of pressure when I cannot post because I didn't travel yet or I didn't take photos yet. You know what I mean? I mean how can I maintain a photoblog if I can't even put photography on my priority list anymore? I don't like that kind of pressure - that I have to take photos constantly just so I can update my blog. I want to take photos at my own pace and not stress over it. In short, I just want this blog to be personal.

I have to admit. I just want to write anything I want on this blog but probably more on being a mom who wants to share her travels and photos from time to time, as well as some personal things going on; throw in some sponsored posts here and there because let's face it - I need even just a few dollars to keep this site working. LOL

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By the way, I deleted my "business" or blog profiles on Instagram and just retained my personal account. Maintaining several accounts is taxing! I want to live a peaceful life, haha. So I decided that my blogging stuff will be on my Facebook page and I just want to keep my Instagram my personal platform. I want to enjoy it again. 

And slowly now, I am back to enjoying Instagram and I'm glad that I don't feel sad anymore if there are unfollowers, or if my engagement has decreased. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! I don't want to be constantly nagged in my head that I have to grow my Instagram for it to work. Whew! 

If you also notice, the title of this post is Dear Diary. I planned on making this a consistent thing because I truly miss enjoying the diary way of blogging which I'd say is the original form of blogging. You can argue if you want. Haha. I want to keep writing even though I'm already into video creation for my niche site.

I want to keep blogging without worrying about pageviews and stats, hits and misses, and without bothering to think whether I've written a short post or a lengthy one. So this is my way of keeping my writing spirit alive, plus I have my paper journal for more very private stuff that I don't wanna share. ;) 

Also, a few weeks back, my younger sister messaged me and said that she found my old diary when she was cleaning our old cabinet. It was the one I had back when I was in college. One of the many, I supposed. She told me that she cried so much when she was reading it, so I wondered what I wrote in that diary that made her cry.

When I went home, I saw the diary and re-read it. And yes, I cried too. Haha! I can't believe I was so diligent in writing back then. I was writing almost daily, if not daily! Maybe because I had less access to a computer and I didn't have a smartphone so writing on paper was the only way to go. So here I am writing this. Back to this.



5 Cities That Are Great For Family Breaks



*This post is contributed by Ellie Jo for Blissful Snapshots. 

When it comes to planning your family vacation, you may find that you often run out of travel ideas. Because let’s face it, trying to find the perfect place for your family to go on vacation can be really tough. You often have so many factors to keep in mind and lots of different tastes to keep happy. 

You also want to make sure that the travel experience will be painless, and that you’re not going to have to deal with any meltdowns while you’re away. So, the best way to counteract this is to make sure that the place you’re heading to is going to be perfect for families, that there’s a lot to keep you all entertained, and that your kids are catered for at all times. 

Unsurprisingly, cities are often great for this. So let’s take a look at five of the best around the country.

San Antonio, Texas

First of all, you’ve got San Antonio. Here’s where you’ve got a bunch of great child-friendly attractions, like the Zoo, Children’s Museum and attractions like Sea World. Make sure you get a great central location, like Staybridge Suites San Antonio SeaWorld, and plan a trip or attraction for each day. When you plan your itinerary in advance, you’ll be able to make the most of your time here. There’s also a lot of open space, the River Walk to enjoy, or even a boat trip.

Portland, Oregon

If you know you want somewhere really easy going, then go to Portland. You’ll enjoy the usual city attractions like museums but at a more relaxed pace. Here’s you’ll also find the city zoo, but there’s also the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry which is cool for kids too. There’s a planetarium, lab demonstrations and a submarine tour and your kids will absolutely love it. Transport is affordable and you’ll find great kid-friendly restaurants to dine at too.


Orlando, Florida

And, of course, there’s always Orlando. If you’ve never been before, make sure you take in the best planning tips to get the most out of your stay. Because there’s just so much to see here. There’s Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Universal Studio among others, so pick out a few parks and give the kids the trip of a lifetime.

San Diego, California


In California, you’ve got the beauty of the incredible weather to enjoy, which is always great to fall back on if everyone gets tired out by the activities on offer. In San Diego, you’ve got the zoo, gardens, and 14 museums too. So it’s safe to say that there’s something for everyone.

Washington, D.C.

Finally, you might also want to visit Washington D.C. with your family too. There are plenty of Washington, D.C. Family-Friendly Hotels and many of the attractions for families here are free - so it’s a win-win. From the Nation Air and Space Museum to the National Museum of American History, again you’re going to find that there’s something for whatever your family or children’s interest may be.


Things To Do In Thailand



*This post is contributed by Ellie Jo for Blissful Snapshots. 

One of the reasons why Thailand has become such a popular tourist destination is because there is so much to see and do. However, while this is a benefit, it also means that it is a little bit overwhelming when planning your trip, as you don’t know where to start! With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best things to do while visiting this Asian hotspot.

National parks and ancient ruins

Firstly, you have the national parks and diverse landscape in Thailand, which are known for their scale and beauty. You will also find a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, as well as lots of biking trails and superb hiking trails. Some of the best national parks include Khao Sok National Park and Doi Inthanon National Park. Do your research beforehand to figure out the parks that you want to visit.

Floating markets

It would not be right to talk about Thailand without mentioning the floating markets. This is a place where you will find bargains, colourful local produce, all of which are placed on rickety wooden boats. Not only is this a shopping opportunity, but it is an experience. Make sure you bring your camera with you so that you can remember this traditional part of the Thai culture.

Enjoy a yoga retreat

A lot of people visit Thailand purely for the purpose of having a wellness break. It is not hard to see why. A yoga retreat in Thailand is an incredible experience, one that will leave you feeling at peace and with your emotional health boosted. But, what is it about yoga in Thailand that is so special? Firstly, you are able to practice yoga in some of the most scenic and incredible locations – it beats a yoga studio any day of the week! Not only this, but you can connect with like-minded people, gain perspective, and deepen your yoga knowledge.

Festivals

There are many different festivals that go on throughout the year in Thailand. It is a good idea to try and plan your visit so you can experience at least one of these occasions. Some of the best festivals include the Naga Fireballs in October, the Thai New Year water festival in April, and Loi Krathong in November.

Island hopping

Last but not least, a trip to Thailand is not complete without doing a bit of island hopping. After all, this is a place that has more than 5,000 miles of coastline, which is just waiting for you to explore. Not only is the scenery amazing, but you can enjoy activities such as snorkelling too.

Hopefully, you now have an idea regarding some of the things you would like to do while visiting Thailand. As you can see, there is something for everyone to enjoy. No matter your interests, you are bound to find activities in Thailand that appeal to you so you can have a vacation to remember for all of the right reasons!


5 Tips to Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro



*Photo credit: Pixabay

Mt. Kilimanjaro is regarded as the tallest mountain in the beautiful African continent. It boasts of having three distinct volcanic cones, two of which are already extinct. More than 25,000 people strive to climb this magnificent mountain every year, most of whom successfully reach the peak.

If you’ve been dreaming of summiting Mount Kilimanjaro for the longest period, now would be the perfect time. You’ll get to experience the stunning natural landscapes as you climb up. Team up with a group of likeminded travelers on your way to the majestic summit.

Here are 5 tips to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro:

1.Get acclimatized

Before hiking the great slopes of Kilimanjaro, it’s crucial to get your body acclimatized first. You’ll be constantly gaining elevation as you climb up the mountain, regardless of the route you follow. Your body will likely react strangely due to the altitude – some people develop mild altitude sickness while others get exhausted fast. 

As a warm up, try jogging every day for a month. Carry water with you since you’ll need to drink plenty of it. As the saying goes, slow but sure wins the race. This especially rings true when scaling the great Mt. Kilimanjaro.

2.Choose the appropriate route

Plan your trip beforehand, and select the best route for your climb. Make sure that your expedition lasts more than 8 days – anything less and you won’t have a fun wholesome experience there. There are a total of seven routes to follow while climbing up the great Kilimanjaro. The Lemosho Route, for instance, is fun and exhilarating. It’s also safer to follow this route since the ascent is much slower thus giving your body ample time to acclimatize. 

3.Gear up properly

You don’t need to have any specialized climbing gear or technical prowess to climb the great Mount Kilimanjaro. Therefore, you needn’t spend all your earnings on brand new equipment. Some items that you’ll certainly need to carry include a fleece jacket, headlamp, hiking shoes, a warm hat, silk underwear and comfortable clothes. You’ll also need a sleeping bag as well as a walking stick to wade your way down the mountain.

4.Keep your energy levels elevated.

Most people find it hard to eat when subjected to high altitudes. Although you may not feel like eating while atop Mt. Kilimanjaro, you’ll be burning major calories during your long trek. You’ll certainly need to replenish those lost calories in one way or another – and what better way to restore your lost energy than munching on your favorite treats? Be sure to carry some goodies with you when you climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

5.Enjoy yourself

Remember you’re on vacation, so have as much fun as possible when climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. You’ll be spending most of the day trekking for hours and enjoying the magnificent terrain up there. There’s plenty to look forward to: long, hearty conversations with other travelers, the warmth of Kilimanjaro residents, breathtaking sceneries, amazing wildlife – you name it! 

So grab your camera, saddle up and travel to the land of great promise. Check out https://www.kandooadventures.com/climb-kilimanjaro/climb-kilimanjaro-for-charity/ to learn more about how you can climb the great Kilimanjaro.



5 Tips to Choosing a Tour Company to Help You Explore a Safari



Going on a safari is a once in a lifetime trip and you want to make sure that you get the best service no matter how much you spend on your trip. If it is your first time, the task of choosing which tour company to help you with your vacation might seem daunting.