Hello please introduce yourself and your blog to our readers.
Hi, we’re Monique and Chris from MC Adventure Blog. In 2017 we made a decision to move from South Africa and start teaching in South Korea to help us make our dream of travelling a reality. We also decided to start a blog so that our friends and family could keep up to date with our adventures and maybe someone would stumble across it and find something useful.
We had our basic blog running for about a year before we decided we wanted to take blogging more seriously and hopefully one day earn something from it. So in June this year we upgraded our WordPress account and have made a concerted effort to create content that is both fun and informative about our travels.
The main focus of our blog is sustainable travel. Not only ecotourism and green travel but looking at ways to finance your life of travel and sustain yourself mentally. Monique trained as a drama therapist in South Africa before we left so she runs the mental health section of our blog.
Our blog name was decided while we sat on the floor in Hong Kong airport, nearly dying from travel fatigue and jet lag. ‘MC’ relates to our names and ‘Adventure Blog’ is pretty self-explanatory!
What plans do you have in the future for your blog?
Our plan is to grow our blog into something that can sustain our travelling dreams and serve as a helpful guide for travellers, tourists and other budding bloggers. Because we have only recently changed to serious blogging our site is still quite small and our main focus is building up as much quality content as we can.
Our next destination is going to be Vietnam. We will have been living in Korea for 2 years when we leave and have built up a decent list of unusual things to do and see here. We will also be looking to take up English teaching jobs in Vietnam which will give us ample time to explore and write about the best things to do, see and eat!
We are working on several collabs at the moment and trying to put together one of our own that looks at the best airport restaurants. If you have any great airport restaurant stories be sure to get in touch!
Does your blog cover anything else other than travel?
A very important part of our blog looks at mental health. Travelling is a highly stressful activity and it often isn’t sunny beaches and breezy bus rides. Our mental health section takes a real look at the reality of travel and hopefully travellers who are going through tough times can read it and realise that they are not alone!
What can our readers find on your website?
On our blog you will find useful travel tips, researched information and fun travel stories from our many adventures while living and working in Asia.
Do you have any travel tips or advice for our readers that might want to start a travel blog?
Travel can be scary but it is always worth it. If you have the opportunity to travel don’t turn it down. We have spoken to so many older friends who have expressed regrets at not taking the opportunity to travel when they had it and now they regret it.
Starting a blog is a great way to keep memories of your travels. Travelling is such a shock to the senses, there is so much to take in. After a few years it is easy to have forgotten things that you told yourself you’d remember for the rest of your life. Even if it is just a free blog for you personally, I think it is worth the time to start a travel blog.
What are some of the highs and lows of travel blogging?
The greatest high of travel blogging is having natural and positive responses to your posts. Knowing that what you have written has actually helped someone have a good experience. It is also great fun to go back and read what you wrote a few months before to see how much you’ve grown and changed in such a short space of time.
A low is having to find the energy to keep up consistent posts. Also constantly watching your domain authority, hoping for a little leap. It is not easy!
What type of traveler are you?
At the moment we work full time and squeeze in travel whenever we can. This is mostly in our summer and winter vacations but there is often lots to do on the weekends. We are hoping to slowly progress to the lifestyle of digital nomads.
As someone (if this relates to you) who works full time, how do you fit in travelling around your work schedule?
Vacation days are golden and we usually make travel plans that use up every last minute of these! Weekends are also a great time to make shorter day trips and try out restaurants and attractions right on your doorstep.
What sites or other resources do you use to decide where and when you will go to a certain place or destination?
At the moment we are restricted to school holidays so we can’t plan ideal, off-season travelling. Otherwise we find a destination that is Visa free and start googling for ideas. There are so many different blogs around that finding travel ideas is not difficult for almost any destination.
We use kiwi.com to find the cheapest and most convenient flights for our vacation days.
Do you have any favourite travel books you have read or use?
The Rough Guides are often a fantastic resource when we’re looking for good advice on budget travel. Otherwise we just rely on resources like tripadvisor, blog posts and tourism websites.
What’s been some of your favourite destinations & why?
Our first big holiday was to Borneo so it stands out as one of our favourite. We stayed in a rainforest and spent each day out on boats looking for the local wildlife. We did get to see orangutans in the wild which was incredible.
In Bali we had the opportunity to swim with manta rays twice. It was an incredible experience to swim with such majestic animals.
When we were still living in South Africa we went on road trip through the Karoo. It was so much fun to be a tourist in our own country, stopping in quirky little towns and having awesome adventures!
During Chuseok (Korean thanksgiving) last year we visited Jeju, Korea’s Hawaii. Stunning beaches, picturesque mountains and great parties. Definitely a must see if you’re in Korea.
What equipment do you use to blog or for your blog?
We mostly blog on a laptop and iPad. Our photos and videos are most often taken with our gopro but our phone cameras are also more than capable of taking high quality photos! We have recently invested in a drone but we haven’t started using it for our blog yet.
Do you have any photography or making travel videos tips?
Equipment wise I would highly recommend getting a gopro. It is incredibly versatile and tough. You can be filming underwater or taking high definition photos anywhere. It is also small and easy to carry around with every kind of clip and harness you can imagine!
Always edit. Even if it just means balancing the light levels. Unless you are a professional photographer you are probably not getting perfect photos on your travels so take the time to edit. We are checking out as many blogs as we can to get tips and ideas and a well edited photo makes the difference between a good post and a great post. Adobe Lightroom is a fantastic resource and it is free.
What’s the TOP blog posts on your page?
Do you have any tips or suggestions on how bloggers can earn an income from blogging?
What we’re working towards at the moment is getting our monthly views up so that we can apply to Mediavine. Everything that we have read says that it has the best ad based revenue.
Other than that we’re starting to apply to affiliate programs, like booking.com, to hopefully earn income from clicks through our posts.
Top 5 Bucket-list Destinations?
There is so much we want to see that it’s difficult to narrow it down to 5 but here goes (in no particular order).
- Japan, Hokkaido
Top 5 travel experiences you can’t wait to try out or do?
- Scuba diving in the Red Sea
- Scuba diving with whale sharks
- Hot air balloons in Cappadocia
- Seeing the Northern Lights
- Trans-Siberian railway
Do you have a money saving travel tips?
There are so many different ways to save money and most are what you’d do at home to save money. Use public transport instead of taxis. Eat local, don’t only look for food you are used to. Talk to people who live in the area, they will usually know the best and cheapest places to eat. You don’t always have to eat out, buying some bread and cheese for lunch can go a long way and save a lot on eating out.
Book in advance or have a clear idea of what tours will cost so that you are not ripped off. Use reputable companies. Set yourself a budget and make sure you stick to it.
Do you have ay funny or strange travel experiences to share?
When we were moving to our new island home a couple of writers for a Korean TV show spotted us on the ferry and were interested why 2 foreigners would be going to Ulleungdo. It is a very out of the way location and Western tourists are not common there.
After a comedy of errors we ended up being part of their show which looks at rural police officers. It was a rather complex story getting there but it was a lot of fun in the end and we became local celebrities for a little while! You can read the full story here – https://mcadventureblog.com/our-korean-tv-debut/
Was there a place you visited that did not live up to your expectations & why.
We try to always look for the best in things and we tend to plan a lot in advance so we have a pretty good idea what we’re getting ourselves into.
What’s in your travel bag?
- All your chargers
- Camera and necessary accessories
What travel apps do you use and why?
The most useful travel app that we have found is Maps.me. This app is invaluable in that you can download the appropriate maps before you visit a country and then it works as any normal gps but you don’t need any mobile data or a wifi connection. it is fantastic.
Others include Airbnb and booking.com which have been great when we were suddenly stuck without any booked accommodation.
What are 3 things travelling has thought you?
- To be okay with being bored.
- Eat adventurously.
- Be open-minded
Have you encountered any travel mishaps or scary moments if so what happened?
No major mishaps, but just recently we missed the major earthquake in Indonesia by a few days which came as bit of a reality check!
Do you have any recommendations for cities and beach places that you have visited and loved?
Ubud is probably one of the most beautiful areas we’ve ever visited. It is packed with the most amazing design and architecture. Every home has its own temple and it is just gorgeous!
Hongdae beach in Busan is also a top destination. The sea is relatively calm and it stays flat for quite a way out so it is easy swimming. The beach is large so there is a lot of space. It can get a little crowded but it is a great place to spend the day.
Where do you see your travel blog in two years?
Successful enough to use it to sustain our travelling without having to have a fulltime job. Hopefully it will slowly take over as our main focus and we can offer high quality and fun content.
Please share one travel quote you love?
“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings.