Monkey Abroad

Videos and stories of the life abroad – food, culture, travel & work

How Blogging Ruined my Vacation in Beijing


A week ago, I was looking forward to documenting my 5-day vacation in Beijing by creating a short travel video packed with cool shots of the city, travel advice and my personal experiences. That was pretty much my sole purpose for vacationing to Beijing.

Now that I have this blog, I welcome the pressure to post new and relevant videos, photos and stories semi frequently. I came to Beijing expecting to buy a new camera charger to replace the one I lost with my missing checked suitcase last week. But in a cruel twist of ironic fate, I couldn’t buy one.

My camera battery died one day into my vacation and I couldn’t recharge it. The only week I was in Beijing, the week of Spring Festival, every shopping center and camera shop was closed. Sure I took some photos and got a little footage during my first day here, but it isn’t adequate to make a quality Beijing travel video like I had originally planned.

blogging ruined my vacation

Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. One of the few photos on my camera.

Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, and some famous night market streets were among the places I visited. An accomplished Beijing vacation that, for me, was a failure due to the battery life of a certain DSLR camera. Ah, the plights of a blogger.

Instead of just enjoying the impressive sights and sounds of Beijing and being present in each moment, I let my blogging aspirations ruin my vacation. I even spent one entire day in Beijing traveling all over the city with my face buried in a map trying to find an open camera shop, with no luck.

Normally I preach about living in the moment and soaking up life experiences without the hindrance of electronics, social media and whatnot. But the first time in my life, I feel a particular type of creative impotence that only a blogger can know.

Yeah, blogging is creative, but it’s also technical. The internet and electronics involved in the process of blogging don’t have to respect your pursuit of a muse.

Any other week in Beijing under almost any other circumstances, I would have been able to replace my camera’s battery charger and I’d be posting a cool video instead of this sob story. But this week, during Spring Festival, I can’t.

I’ll post stories and advice about traveling in Beijing soon, but it won’t be how I’d originally planned. Oh well. Life goes on.

Blogging itself didn’t ruin my vacation. It was my inability to produce the content I wanted for my blog that ruined my vacation. It’s a bummer how uncontrollable circumstances can totally deflate a creative project, but it’s a lesson learned.

A warning to you bloggers: Don’t let your attitude be so contigent on the creative output of your blog that you forget about the living, breathing world around you. I made that mistake this week and it ruined a perfectly good vacation in Beijing.

Author: Kevin Cook

I want to inspire you to pursue your own dream of traveling and/or living overseas!


  1. Too bad! I was looking forward to seeing Beijing thru your eyes.

  2. Living in the moment/being on a mission. Tough choice

  3. As a blogger, I can understand your pain. It would be very difficult for me to cope with the fact of not being able to capture and share the moments I experienced with others. Good point though for people to remember: enjoy the living, breathing world around you. 🙂

  4. I completely understand the pain of having the inability to keep photos from the experience. Never had a camera break on me, but lost 2 full of photos during random outings. Now anywhere I go, I usually bring a ICL camera, but I always have my Sony point and shoot on my belt ready for anything.

    On another note, how do you sort you pics afterward. Do you keep every single one on your harddrive regardless of quality, or do you end up deleting most.

    (BTW, Bejing had to be uncomfortably cold right now, even for someone living in China!)

  5. Pingback: Weekly Reblog #26: How Blogging Ruined my Vacation to Beijing | Paths Unwritten

  6. Kevin, I just linked to this post for a Weekly Reblog on my site and used your pic with a copyright credit. If you’d like me to take it down, just say so.


    • Ben,
      Thanks for choosing my article for your weekly reblog!
      I keep most of the photos on my hard drive but I also delete many of them to make room for new or better stuff.

  7. Hello, Kevin. I just found your blog, and I know this is kind of off-topic from this post. But could you talk about your hometown Rizhao some more sometime? I would be interested to learn if it is still sitting well with you and if the winter season has been much of a rigor. Also, does Rizhao live up to its accolades of being environmentally-friendly, or are you getting the smoggy skies and industrial effluent colored rivers there too at times?
    Your blog is good reading! And well-written. Thanks so much for sharing your adventures.

    • Thank you for the kind words. Sometime soon I will do an update on my goings on in Rizhao, and how it has been living here. The skies aren’t as clear as I expected (1 in 3 days is clear), but from what I’ve seen and read, it’s still one of the best.

      • Oh man, that stinks. I’m sure you were hoping for a more pristine environment than that. I was searching around for a relatively unpolluted locale myself, and it wasn’t easy to find one. Places that seemed to match up to that standard (e.g. Zhanjiang, Guangdong; Tianshui, Gansu; Mudanjiang, Helongjiang) were pretty out there! I don’t know, maybe someplace like Weihai, Shandong or Xianmen, Fujian would work out alright. Well, I look forward to hearing about your experiences in Rizhao and elsewhere in future blog entries!

  8. Who is the girl in all your photos? Girlfriend or just a friend.

Let me know what you think


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