Travelling to various unique destinations seems to be a dream for many—to enrapture the beauty of nature-carved landmarks and to experience the diverse cultures around the globe. A valiant and venturesome 27-year-old traveller, Jojo Aquino, had been to many places that have enriched her curiosity for exploration, perceiving the breathtaking sights forever embedded in her memory. She founded her own company called Piña Social Media and now works there as a social media manager. A lot of people know her as a blogger at Traveling Petite Girl, a travel blog she created to share travel tips and guides with female travellers. Born and raised in Guam, who grew up in Manila, and attended college in Seattle and San Francisco, she currently resides in Guam but is making moves towards Okinawa. With a blissful disposition, Jojo answered my questions with solid and constructive responses revolving around her life as a travelling vlogger.
Can you tell our readers about yourself and your blog?
I’m a traveller and have travelled to 18 countries (and counting!). And in the last 6 months, I haven’t stayed in the same place for more than 3 weeks. I share travel guides & tips that inspire women to travel, live on-the-go, and get outside their comfort zones on my blog and YouTube channel.
Describe how did you first get into blogging?
Oh my. I first got into blogging when I was 13 years old, back when Xanga was THE platform. It just seemed like the popular thing to do, so I did it. Since then, I switched between different topics from personal to beauty to lifestyle to photography to now, travel. I started Traveling Petite Girl when I was 25 years old so my blog is now a little over 2 years old.
Before I began my travel blog, I had accumulated quite a bit of travelling experience that family and friends would come to me for travel advice. I’m a photographer and have a love for writing, so I started a blog which served as an outlet for creating, connecting with others, and travelling.
How would you describe your blogging style?
My style is more like your sister guiding you on how to travel to specific places, how to avoid the mistakes I made, and how to live an on-the-go lifestyle. I love creating videos so most of my content is videos and it’s fitting for my style because it’s personable and makes my viewers feel like they’re travelling with me.
What would be your ideal working environment?
My ideal working environment is sitting next to a window, on a comfy chair with a sturdy desk, a powerful laptop, a bottomless mug of tea, and a blanket across my lap.
How do you manage time to run your blog efficiently while working?
Well… I’m still trying to figure that out. I own a business as a social media manager but in order for me to put out good work for others, I need to take care of myself and a huge part of that is expressing myself creatively through blogging. Without doing it, I start to feel exhausted, run down, and stressed. None of which do any service to me or others. It also depends on which is the higher priority at the moment, my business or my blog. Sometimes it’s 50/50, 80/20, or 20/80.
How do you want to improve yourself this year?
As a blogger, I want to grow it further to the point of financial stability. That and posting videos consistently, 1 video per week. It’s a struggle because right now, my priority is my business, so I’m looking to find someone to edit and manage my blog and YouTube for me while I work on my business.
Tell me about your proudest achievement?
In my blogging career, my proudest achievement so far was a dream of mine. I got hired as a TV host that travels in and around the Philippines. A Guam-based TV station was looking for someone with travel experience to host the show, and they came across my Instagram page when someone they knew, who followed me, recommended me. My next goal is to be sponsored by Potato Corner, a popular french fry franchise in the Philippines. That’s when I’ll know I’ve made it.
Who has impacted you most in blogging and how?
My family, friends, and boyfriend. They know how much blogging is important to me, so they make sure I’m always posting, help me shoot content, and give advice on how I can better expand my presence to others.
What do you do in your spare time?
I spend time with my family & friends. Being a blogger, social media manager, and TV host takes up a lot of time, so I like to spend extra time with the people I love.
Can you name some of your favourite bloggers and explain why they are your favourites?
My favourite is The Blonde Abroad. She’s been travel blogging for years and travelling for even longer. I like her because even with all the successes she’s had, she’s still humble, approachable, down-to-earth, and vulnerable with nothing to hide. She’s herself without trying to look good because she knows she doesn’t need to.
How do you motivate yourself to keep the blog up and running?
It’s a mix of “I have a life worth sharing about,” “no one else has a voice like mine so no matter what I say, I’ll always be different,” and wanting to be famous.
In the future where do you hope your blog will take you?
I hope it will support me financially! That would be great right? Having a successful blog is just the first step– I want to write a book and be a speaker. Right now, I just need to continue living an inspiring life, so it’s worth writing a book and speaking about it. So far, so good.
You are known for your travelling videos. Who was your first inspiration?
Michelle Phan. It’s amazing to have watched her exponentially grow since the time I first followed her during her Xanga & Myspace days, then to YouTube, then to watching her businesses grow, all while supporting & spending time with her mom. She’s also an artist and I love how she mixed both art & business to be successful.
What would you say that is the greatest satisfaction of being a lifestyle blogger? (Invitations to events, interaction with people, gifts, etc.)
I mean, the free flights & accommodations are definitely a perk! But unless I make connections or impact people, it’s not fulfilling. I’m one of these people who highly value deep conversations and connections over anything.
What is your advice to those people who are striving to be the best version of themselves?
Put yourself in situations where you’re scared and vulnerable. Like travelling solo, starting a business, talking to a camera or negotiating a salary. That’s the best way to grow. And remember, the first time is always the hardest, everything is easier after that. And it doesn’t matter what the result is, what matters is that you did it.