Ok so the conclusion of this post first: I’m recruiting team members for Cheeserland.jp!

Now allow me to digress.

Seeing how social media is dominating the world, I sometimes wonder if it’s still worth keeping a blog. I mean, does anyone still read an article longer than a tweet these days?!

I started out as a blogger. 2020 marks my 16th year of blogging.

It shocked me how putting utmost emphasis on creating the kind of photos that will garner maximum engagement for Instagram has killed my ability to write. I will be honest: I have made the decision to close the comment section of this blog for good simply because I wasn’t getting any of them. Even if I do, there wasn’t something substantial worth keeping it alive. Just look at how the random emojis and “great shots!!!” and “beautiful pic!!!” amidst old money collectors’ pleads quickly filling up below an IG photo seeking the same favor in a faint hope to trick the system into thinking that you are more worthy of notice than the latest shitty algorithm decides you are.

Also reflect on the amount of filter apps we download into our app folders, the need to pursue better phones that come up with higher functional cameras with less fake bokeh, the time instagrammers spend sourcing for frilly dresses and big sun hats on taobao that may potentially match the background of their next travel destination…

I am guilty for some of the above too, if not all. All in an effort to stay afloat the game. There’s no right or wrong because when it comes to IG’s fickle algorithm, all bets are on (or, off?) the table.

As much as I agree that Instagram does spark endless travel inspirations when one scrolls through perfectly color-coordinated feed curated through carefully tweaked lightroom presets, there’s something essentially flawed for using ONLY Instagram for a travel campaign.

I was assigned to many, many, many travel campaigns in the past years and although I was very happy with a pretty IG feed, there was no real context out of the whole travel experience when a narrative is absent. Nothing connects together, just fractions of pretty photos floating in between your fingers. You see tons of pictures, but not the whole.

And that pains me. Japan deserves more than just a location tag and couple of hashtags. Stories need to be told. Depth needs to be delved. Japan is more than just beautiful iStock photos.

Which is why, amidst the instagenic vogue of impeccable timeline filled with macarons dipped in rainbowly glitters, I hold my belief firm that words are worth a thousand pictures.

(Although, admittedly, sometimes I type more than I need to. Like this post.)

(Although, also, you probably might not read through all of it too. If you have come this far, congratulations – you are either as ancient as me, or you are incredibly lucky. Because you are equipped to brace thousands of pictures. In words.)

My point is.

I am very greedy. After conquering all 47 prefectures, I have decided to pursue a detailed version of it. And there’s no way I am missing out a single opportunity to venture into each lesser known allure of the land I love with all of my heart.

But at the same time, there’s also no way for me, with a calendar that looks like kuih lapis with different colors layered on top of one after another, to be able to meet the workload of snapping photos of the scenery, of myself using 4 different kinds of cameras, posting live IG stories, recording videos including B rolls, reading signage and taking notes at the same time trying to remember each shogun’s name, editing photos and videos, spending hours picking the right royalty-free music that shall evoke the right kind of emotion, crafting accurate captions, and, AND!!! – producing good-quality blog posts post-travel, when I am already on another trip.

See my dilemma?

I don’t want to just show how beautiful a place is and what I did there (and how successfully I matched my scarf with my boots and melt myself into the background, or pop, depending of what kind of IG feed you are after, if anyone is even interested). I want people to actually take the action and visit the places I so love.

I want people to see what I saw, taste what I ate, and feel the same kind of 感動. (How do you even translate 感動 in English? haha.)

And what’s more important to me than having thousands of likes on a single IG post, is keeping this blog alive. I want my stories to be documented. I want details to be laid out. I want my experience to be replicated. So that includes carefully tracking my journey – How to go? When to go? Where to stay? How much? What to do? Where to eat?

(This is also a preemptive measure against common DMs in IG such as “Cheesie I’m going to Japan next month, what’s the must do must go must eat?”)

Only by fulfilling all of the above do I consider my job promoting a travel destination done. Because when see myself as a traveler, these are the things I seek and need. Not someone’s pretty face on IG. Also because Japan deserves so much more love than just paid #ootds.

So I need your help here.

(Ok finally into the real topic what the hell I can’t believe I typed this long to reach here. My thousand words are probably worth only a pixel.)

So back to the conclusion, which was also the first sentence of this post:

I am recruiting team members for Cheeserland.jp!

As a team member, we work together during a trip, have all the fun, take good photos, lay out all the travel information as detailed as possible, and we will give the best value for a travel destination in hope for an increase of inbound tourism or even just converting people into new fans of Japan.

Are you who I need?

 

JAPAN TRIP TEAM MEMBER 

Requirement:

Passion for traveling and discovering new places, punctuality, basic photography skill, ability in travel-writing, and most importantly – a big love for Japan in all aspects, including culture and history.

What is offered:

1.Round trip flight and transportation during travel (it will help if you are Japan-based)
2.Accommodation
3.Meals during travel
4.Of course, a rare experience to travel to some of the destinations off the beaten path in Japan

What is expected:

1.Photography assistance during travel (videography is a plus)
2.Note-taking and brochure keeping (for post-travel references) during travel
3.Time-keep and be on time for all schedule
4.Three to four travel articles (depending on the itinerary)

So the above is mainly to assist my platforms. But if you have a considerable following on social media/are a blogger, you are welcome to join as a Japan Trip Influencer too. I am also looking for someone I could trust to replace me for a trip if my schedule does not allow.

        JAPAN TRIP INFLUENCER

Requirement:

Considerable amount of following on social media, passion for traveling and discovering new places, punctuality, basic photography skill, ability in travel-writing, and most importantly – a big love for Japan in all aspects, including culture and history.

What is offered:

1.Round trip flight and transportation during travel
2.Accommodation
3.Meals during travel
4.Of course, a rare experience to travel to some of the destinations off the beaten path in Japan

What is expected:

1.Note-taking and brochure keeping (for post-travel references) during travel
3.Time-keep and be on time for all schedule
4.Social media postings and articles on your own platforms

 

* I am not looking for just one member, but a team with members who can jump to my rescue when I, or other key members are unavailable. So this is not a full-time position. It is on an ad hoc basis, and you are free to accept a campaign only if you are available on the dates of travel so of course you can still have your full time job!

 

That’s all for now. ^^

Do send in your resume, and preferably, a sample of a travel article you have written to my email shown at the side bar. ( cheeserland at gmail dot com).

Let’s do this together!

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