2014-11-17 Hostelling International - Argentina - Malaysia

#09 | Why Winning The BigBlogX Meant So Much To Me

Two months ago, I wrote a post about my winning the Big Blog Exchange (BBE) 2014 organised by Hostelling International.  In it, I described how I felt (and reacted) when I learnt that, together with 15 other bloggers from around the world, I´d won the competition.


Having now returned from my most eye-opening exchange to Argentina, I thought it apt that I should share with everyone why winning the BBE meant so much to me.  It is also my hope that this post will serve as humble motivation for those who didn´t succeed in either this or last year´s competition to try (and try) again and not give up.


Here´s why winning the Big Blog Exchange 2014 exposed wide open the emotional side of me.


1.  I PERSEVERED.  For a brief period after BBE 2013 and after failing to even make the finals last year, I was left exasperated - disheartened even - from the battle and indeed was apprehensive about joining this year´s competition (in fact, I´d told a fellow Malaysian blogger that I probably wouldn´t).  Deep down, however, I always knew throwing in the towel was never going to be an option.  A 10-day overseas cultural exchange was too massive and meaningful a prize to forgo without putting up a good fight, however you look at it.  So, soon after my elimination from last year´s BBE (I didn´t even wait for the exchanges to start), I prepped myself (and my blog of course) for another go at this year´s competition.  I was determined to win the BBE at some stage.


2.  I WORKED HARD.  For more than a year, I worked really hard to improve my blog in preparation for BBE 2014.  I open-mindedly thought over my site vis-a-vis those of last year´s winners - even those of some of world´s most popular bloggers.  I revamped my blog´s layout where I felt there were flaws, revisited my writing style, rethought the things I´d write about (without losing my own identity of course), dedicated considerably more time to the activity and, through social media, worked hard to widen the reach of my blog.  I also punctiliously made sure my posts were as interesting and, more importantly, as engaging as possible.  In short, I reinvented myself as a blogger in the hope of going one - or even two - better in this year´s competition.  Time is of the essence in any contest, and when BBE 2014 kicked off in July, I duly joined on its second day - my confidence and optimism significantly higher than they were last year.


3.  I REALLY WANTED THIS.  If, like me, you have an earnest desire to learn about and experience unfamiliar cultures, then giving the Big Blog Exchange a shot (or another shot) really is a no-brainer.  Indeed off the top of my head, I struggle to name another blogging competition that offers a prize as generous as an all-expenses paid trip to a foreign destination complete with itineraries that promise maximum exposure to the country, her people and her culture.  Being the curious guy that I am, I couldn´t let such a grand opportunity pass me by without giving it another shot.  After all, all I had to do was share my daily experiences with the rest of the world through my photographs and, of course, my writing.  I wanted this; I wanted this real bad.


My recent exchange to Argentina was so culturally- and intellectually-enriching that I feel I must share my journey in the Big Blog Exchange with all of you.  The road for me has been a long and occasionally arduous one.  But as with most things in life, hard work and perseverance usually pay.  I mean, just imagine... Argentina.  In fact, winners can look forward to exchanges anywhere in the world; Iceland, New Zealand, Switzerland, Peru or even Japan.


I´m nearly 50; I work 14 hours a day, six days a week and have only 250 blog followers to my name - pittance compared to many of you.  Hence, if I can win the Big Blog Exchange, so can you.  At the end of the day, it all comes down to how much time and effort you´re willing to put into your blog and into the competition.  It´s also about how you project yourself to the judges through your work.  Above all, it´s about how much you genuinely want to be part of the BBE project and how much heart you´re willing to put in to achieve this end.


The wonderful thing about the Big Blog Exchange is that it´s open to all bloggers regardless of age, blogging experience or following.  So do keep an eye out for next year´s competition by regularly visiting either Hostelling International´s official website or the BBE website for the latest news and announcements.   Remember, if this ol´ fella - a mere hobbyist blogger - can do it, SO CAN YOU!

Good luck.


Vincent Quek


Somos Belu, Iña y Ton. Hermanos. De Buenos Aires, Argentina. Nos gusta escribir, diseñar, sacar fotos, viajar, recorrer y comer! Empezamos este blog con la idea de compartir un poco nuestro mundo y ver qué pasa.. Seguir leyendo..




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