2018 has been a good year to Ynah and me. Cliché as it may sound but it is an unforgettable year for us; much more than the years before it. In 2018, we embarked on a different journey, an adventure that, for us, is greater than anything else in this world.

We became parents for the first time in 2018. Our son, Kahlil Miguel, was born on January 5, 2018. It was the best possible way to welcome the New Year.

2018 updates

Being new parents, we had to realign our priorities so our travel plans, most especially, had to take a backseat. During our first three years of marriage, Ynah and I would make it a point to celebrate our birthdays and wedding anniversary out of town. But even if we wanted to travel, we would not be able to because our hands our overflowing with parenting duties. We are not complaining though because parenting is one task that we would not trade for anything in this world.

Being a new father also allowed me to learn a good number of new skills. I do not have any prior experience with caring for an infant, including how to carry, clean and bathe, and feed a baby. I had to learn everything from the nurses on the spot when we were still at the hospital. It goes without saying that we also had to test several brands before settling for products that work well for our baby.

Throughout the year, it was a continuous learning experience from our friends who are also parents as well as from the things that we discovered along the way. Ynah and I are most particularly interested in ways of raising a child who is loving, smart, confident, and with positive values. Anyway, just seeing our son’s development day after day is like witnessing a story unfolding before our very eyes. 

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Despite our work and being full time parents, Ynah and I are very fortunate to still be given the opportunity to take a few out of town trips last year.

When Miguel was about three months old, we were able to bring him to my hometown in San Antonio where he spent the Holy Week break with his Lolo and Lola. After Holy Week, we had an overnight stay at Anvaya Cove in Bataan together with our family. Past summer, most of our trips were to visit my parents in Nueva Ecija plus a trip to Tagaytay in December.

2018 highlights with Ivan+Khris’ Travels

In 2018, I had the opportunity to work with two international brands and two local brands for content development. Bulk of the income from this blog was from sponsored content. On the advertising side, I am not yet earning much from ads because my blog’s traffic is still low although I was able to secure two ad placements last year. I wish Edsa traffic would just move to this blog but, alas, that is not so. Luckily, I was able to secure two direct ad placements late last year which was additional income for Ivan+Khris’ Travels.

2018 blogging updates

Last year, Ivan+Khris’ Travels was included in Feedspot’s top 100 couple blogs in the world and a finalist in Promocode Ph’s Best Travel Blog category.

Aside from brand collaborations, it was also my goal to connect with other bloggers. However, as much as I would like to sign up for events, I cannot do so because I choose to prioritize my family. In 2018, I was able to attend two events and was able to meet a few bloggers. This year, I hope to be able to expand my blogging network.

But being an introvert, I am aware that this will be a challenge for me. I have no problems being with small groups but I do find interacting with a large group quite intimidating so I seldom approach big crowds. I hope I can work something out in spite of this fact.

Learning the technical side of blogging

In the middle 2017, I decided to move my blog to a self-hosted platform. My objective back then was not really to monetize it but I wanted to learn the technical aspects behind blogging. Prior to shifting to a self-hosted blogging platform, I maintained a personal blog for almost a decade using www.blogspot.com before I shifted to www.wordpress.com. Both of these are free blog hosting services that I connected to a custom domain name. That was my most technical feat as far as blogging is concerned.

Back then, I did not know anything about the technical side of blogging. I know how to write, add photos to my post, and publish but I could not even figure out how to put sidebar gadgets in BlogSpot, despite keeping a blog for a long time. Not wanting to remain in the dark, I took it as a challenge to learn some basic technical aspects of blogging.

Over the course of one year after maintaining a self-hosted blog, I was able to learn about search engine optimization (SEO), plug-ins, photo optimization, embedding of codes into my blog’s theme files, editing CSS, promotion, traffic generation, and the like. I also realized that I now research, write, proofread, and edit faster as compared to how I was the previous years. My blog celebrated its first anniversary in mid-2018 and I am proud of the vast amount of knowledge I have gained through it.       

That about sums up my 2018. I hope this year remains good for all of us. I wish for you a successful year and may you realize all your dreams.

As I am writing this article, Ynah and I are busy preparing for Miguel’s first birthday celebration and baptism this coming January 5, 2019.

Happy 2019!  

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Author: Ivan Jose

Narrating stories from the perspective of two souls who are both devoid of pretensions or appetite for anything ostentatious. This blog is about living life, pursuing passions, realizing dreams, appreciating culture and history, and just being happy.

44 Replies to “2018: a year of abundance for us

  1. Happy New Year! What a wonderful way to start 2018 with the birth of your child. It sounds like you are off to a spectacular 2019 with what you have learned about blogging and the various aspects of it. I understand it can certainly be a lot to digest. You are well on your way!

  2. Looks like you had an fruitful, amazing year in 2018. Fatherhood has it perks and challenges, yet I know it is also priceless. Good to know to that you invested efforts to know about the technical side of blogging, at least in that way we keep learning. Just keep learning and growing!

    Advance happy birthday to your son! 🙂 congrats!!

  3. I’m sure parenting causes most people to shuffle their priorities. You seem to have found good work-arounds to still doing things you enjoy.

    1. Thank you! No, I did not sign up. But they initially approached me to offer me a set up/promotional package where I would have to pay a certain fee. Of course, I declined but they still included me, anyway.

  4. I am super happy about your 2018– both for you personal and blogging life! Your baby is super cute nakakagigil! I was also planning to switch my blog from blogger to a self-hosting platform. I hope you can make a blog post about your journey and tips for that. Thanks Ivan!

    1. Maraming salamat! Yup, I plan to so that post, yung super simplified para sa mga kagaya ko na hirap na hirap din intindihin yung mga popular post sa internet about self-hosting.

  5. Congratulations to the new addition to your family! I could really relate on you about blogging struggle. That is why I am keeping my day job.

  6. congratulations on your life change, you bundle of joy is one year now. you may learned lot of thing, in these 12 months. You can learn more as years passes.

  7. Happy New Year, and thanks for sharing! Life can change so drastically in just a year but it sounds like 2018 was amazing for you. I’m still trying to find that magic bullet to turn my blog into something that makes me money and your post definitely provides encouragement!

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