Follow Your Heart, Bring It On! I reveal part of my tough journey on AroiMakMak.com
When I saw this new ad by Singha Life, I felt very strong emotions as it resonated with my situation, life and journey on AroiMakMak.com.
Many of you see AroiMakMak as a successful travel website today, with popular posts shared and linked by many. But the journey to what it was today was definitely not easy and many of you, not even my close friends know what happened.
I got my Thai friend to translate the meaning of the video for me and here are the main messages.
“To those who follow their hearts”
In 2012, I left my new job of 6 months. At that time, I had just graduated from University of Birmingham. I wasn’t happy with the boss, wasn’t happy with the work I was doing and I felt that I could do something more meaningful.
To take a break, I went to Bangkok with my friends. My heart and inner spirit suddenly told me to do what I was good in. I knew how to create and set up websites. I was very familiar with Bangkok and every friend who visited Bangkok would ask for my itinerary.
That was how AroiMakMak.com was born. At the start, I did not even have the proper equipment to take good photographs. I did not let that stop me. In life, you just have to take action and make it happen. If you think of this and that, it will never ever happen!
“To those who trust their instincts over reasons”
Not many were supportive of the route that I had decided to take. We were taught to study hard, get good grades, go to university and get a good job that came with a good salary.
Yet, I did not really like working for others, be controlled and be made to do something repetitive every day.
AroiMakMak began as a hobby. I did some other freelance work here and there and with whatever time was left, I gave it to AroiMakMak. My life then was always about AroiMakMak.
“To those who know how to have fun while being responsible”
Many people have free time to watch TV, go to the movies, play games, hang out with friends or go out for drinks. For me, I sacrificed all of that and I chose to face the computer most of the time to update the site. Of course, I still took some time off for friends and family because these people were still important.
What did I do for fun? To me, I felt happy working on articles to help others plan their trips to Bangkok. I also felt happiest whenever I was in Bangkok, looking for content. I knew then I could do this every day even though I felt very tired at the end of the day, after walking almost the whole of Bangkok the whole day. I felt that I was doing something meaningful which would benefit others too!
“To those who give it all for what they are passionate with”
Tremendous effort has been put into AroiMakMak.com.
Many people had given feedback on how the website had helped them in their planning and how they were so grateful for AroiMakMak.com.
I am passionate about what I’m currently doing and I want to do it better. Every day, I learnt something new.
But to do what I had envisioned for the website, I needed more time and finances, especially if I wanted to do this full-time. Unfortunately, for the longest time, I did not have the luxury of the above two factors.
“We salute those who trust their intuitions”
Fast forward to 2015. Time and finances were not my side still. My finances were depleting as I didn’t have a full time job and my freelance work was not thriving too.
Many times, I thought of giving up. “Why not stop AroiMakMak since I was not earning anything despite putting in so much time and effort?”
Many people told me that “It’s not worth it, you need a Plan B!”
I tried looking for jobs similar to what I had been doing, mainly related to social media. I did find some but did not have the urge to send in my resume. I procrastinated. Because in my heart, I knew that my work for AroiMakMak was something I loved and I knew that one day, something big would happen to it.
In 2016, something big did happen (details to follow!) and we are starting with a bang, firstly with a revamped AroiMakMak, that now boasts a clean design. Secondly, we are also going beyond Bangkok, and developing content for Seoul and Tokyo too!
Whenever I travelled beyond Bangkok, I found planning the itinerary very difficult with the deluge of information online. Oftentimes, I thought to myself: If every country had something like AroiMakMak, wouldn’t that be great?
And again, I followed my intuition, and thus the site will now also provide content for Seoul and Tokyo.
What are you waiting for?
If you are unhappy with what you are doing, make a change! Do something that you like.
But before that, ensure that you have practical means to do so. I went through a stage where I did not have sufficient financial means and it was an extremely difficult stage. You have to be realistic and patient too, even when you’re working on something you’re passionate about.
Follow your heart, Bring it On!
Share this with or tag anyone you think needs a reminder to follow their dreams!
AroiMakMak.com is the brainchild of Wilber Suen. He is based in Singapore but loves Bangkok so much that he keeps returning. He loves travelling, eating, technology and has high standards for them. In his free time, he will be sourcing for new places to visit so that he can document and share. Try to catch him in Bangkok eating local dishes, enjoying aromatherapy spa or chilling at a rooftop bar.