Dream: Become a travel blogger
Step 1: Start a blog ✔️
Step 2: Research, travel, and write ✔️
Pockets: -$0.00 ✔️
Step 3: Cry ✔️
Becoming a travel blogger is hard! I completed the above steps for a few awesome trips and eventually hit a brick wall. I was out of creativity, out of cash, and out of motivation. Everyone was hyped for my website to go live, only to see me stop producing content after a short while. Who was I doing this for? Did anyone really care what I was writing about or posting?
Then I found out about a blogging retreat held on the gorgeous, sun-drenched island of Bali, Indonesia. It was to be a ten-day immersive course all about blogging and turning it into a profitable business. It was being hosted at a luxurious villa fully equipped with a personal chef, a sleek infinity pool, and rooms with beds so comfy you could probably nap forever. Not only was this extensive blogging course offered, but it would be taught by Kiersten Rich, better known as The Blonde Abroad.
A week later they reopened applications due to a few dropouts. I reapplied and was chosen! You can imagine the hysteria that ensued, and my husband’s no-really-I’m-excited-but-financially-conscious expression he wore for the next few months.
Bali, Here I Come!
I went back to a full-time position at my job in order to make enough dough to take me to Bali. This was the opportunity of a lifetime and I wasn’t about to waste my second chance by just not going. As my first real solo trip, I was pretty freaked out and anxious, but I needed this course, this trip, this incredible experience to be mine.
The next few months were spent preparing my little corner of the internet to be given a full makeover. Before I knew it, it was time to go! I hopped on a plane (three actually) and arrived in Bali three days later. Dying from lack of real sleep, I made it to the villa but was suddenly wide awake. I met all my fellow bloggers, my mentors, and suppressed an extreme amount of fangirling when I met Kiersten. 😀
It seemed like forever until I could stop taking pictures. What an incredible learning environment to take this course in! Everything seemed to be set up to be the perfect stress-free environment, complete with poolside puppies and ice cold drinks. The other bloggers and mentors were so chill and fun to be around. I was going to like it here.
We were briefed us on our ten-day schedule and when I went to bed that first night I was beaming with gratitude. I looked up at the ceiling and just paused in the beautiful moment that was my life.
Each day I sat with the other girls early in the morning as we powered through key elements of blogging and social media strategy. We learned what led The Blonde Abroad to achieve such great success so that it could help us on our own blogging journeys. She and the other mentors helped us one-on-one as we created or revamped our websites to make them look just the way we envisioned them to be in our heads. And, of course, we got to learn a touch of coding so that we could put some personality into our blogs.
The class would often break for brainstorming sessions to get into groups, take a dip in the pool, or snack on something yummy to refuel our creativity. There were sometimes a few workshops set up for us to choose from in order to get some hands-on learning experience. Then we regrouped and continued to soak up the wealth of information we were being given. We covered so many topics in ten days! Topics like:
- creating a blog
- photography and professional photo editing
- tips and tricks for excelling at WordPress and SEO
- effective time management skills
- good content creation
- social media planning and traffic
- working with brands and making a profit
And I thought I knew enough about blogging before the retreat! This course not only taught me everything about blogging, but how to apply all of those things to my blog and brand. Now I know the road to success, I just have to stay on it.
You can’t come to Bali and not explore! Almost every afternoon when we were all finished with class, Kiersten took us on some awesome adventures that doubled as learning experiences. We went to several insanely beautiful places to practice our photography skills and to just have fun.
It was so inspiring to be surrounded by so many motivated and talented people, to get to know their stories around a dinner table, and to help them get that perfect shot while taking a stroll on the beach. We rode on jet skis and went parasailing over the ocean, chilled with monkeys and danced in rice fields, shared coconut drinks and watched the sunset as the tide came in. The adventures we shared were sublime, and yet Bali itself was only the beginning of the blogging adventure we will each pursue in life.
The Healthy Lifestyle
Morning yoga, meditation before class, incredibly healthy snacks and meals— this place did the body good. I really felt nourished in every part of me as I took on each day’s goals. I really don’t think I’ve ever lived healthier than when I was in Bali at this retreat.
Every meal we had was almost too pretty to eat! I mean, look at these smoothie bowls…
This healthy lifestyle is definitely something I want to stick with. It was totally worth it to wake up early and get my energy flowing as the sun rose to greet each new day. We exercised both our minds and bodies and they were one. After feeling that great, understanding the course material was a breeze.
How I Grew There
Being in Bali for those ten days meant the world to me. There we all were, a handful of people from across the globe, who had come together to chase their dreams. None of us expected to gain lifelong friends and mentors from this retreat, but that is just what we got. I feel like the people I met there helped me broaden my horizons and opened me up to tons of new ideas. Now I can bounce those ideas off of them, visit them when I travel, and sit back and enjoy the ride as I watch their success stories take off.
Our little group was the first one Kiersten had ever taught herself at a blogging retreat. So we were one for the history books! It was fascinating to watch her and her assistant work and collaborate with one another, whether it be getting shots for her own blog or staying up late to make sure they had the best information to present to us the next day. It was an absolute pleasure to learn from and just chill out with Kiersten! She’s such a genuine person who deserves all her hard-earned success. I feel like I found a true friend in her and all those who were a part of the retreat.
The information I learned there is completely invaluable and I could not have learned it anywhere else. It was really a life-changing ten days. I thought this lifestyle was impossible, just a pipe dream. No one thought it was legitimate or that anything would come from it. I can say with confidence that I now know how to succeed at doing what I dreamed of doing with my life, and I am so ready to put everything I’ve got into it!
Why You Should Sign Up
This sounded like the coolest opportunity to me because I had so many unanswered questions when it came to blogging. No matter how many articles I saved and read about blogging, there were still holes that needed to be filled. After the retreat, I can honestly say that this isn’t an issue anymore. I feel like I am overflowing with useful information and creative ideas that I lacked before. If you are asking yourself any of the following questions, you should absolutely sign up for a blogging retreat:
- How do I start a blog and make it look great?
- I want to understand marketing my brand and how to apply it to my website, but I’m not sure where to start
- How can I turn my blog or brand into a business and actually find success?
- Where can I find equally motivated individuals who want to learn the same skills as I do?
The most important thing I learned is how to turn my blog into a profitable business. I feel like the internet is filled with ways to have your brand stand out and lists ways you can create your business, but it is sometimes very shallow information. Kiersten was very open with us about the ins and outs of her business so that we could get a solid idea of what we need to do in order to find success, which I really appreciated.
The Blonde Abroad is hosting multiple retreats throughout the coming year that you can sign up for! Her courses are geared towards females that want to seriously improve their skills and hone in on creating something that changes their lives.
You will be paying a price for the course, but it is all-inclusive. So you’ll be paying for the classes, but you will be getting a ton of sweet experiences with that price! All the homemade meals, your stay at the luxurious villa, transportation to activities outside the villa, admission into certain lovely spots around Bali, morning yoga classes, a Balinese massage, one-on-one coaching… it’s all wrapped up into that price, which is seriously awesome.
So if you’re thinking about being a part of this fantastic program, do it. You’ll fall in love with life.
A huge thanks to The Blonde Abroad for inviting me to her fantastic blogging retreat. It was like living in a dream.
Have any questions about the retreat or want to sign up? Head over to Kiersten’s website to claim your spot. Or, sign up by clicking the button below!
What do you think? Would you ever be interested in participating in something like this? Leave your comment below! 🙂
All opinions stated in this article are my own and are accurate to my personal experience at the retreat.