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learn about their lives away from social media platforms and even gain insight into their private spaces.
Behind those viral videos and stylish photos, what are they really like?
Are they as glamorous, fun, and free in their personal lives as they are on social media?
A writer who doesn’t want to educate isn’t a good blogger. Who hasn’t had to edit photos and reply to messages late at night while also struggling with sickness or lack of phone signal while on the road? In the sixth instalment of KOL Diaries, blogger @jennynui defies convention and leads by example to show you what it means to chase your dreams and progress with increasing courage!
Travel & Fashion Blogger | @jennynui
Place of residence: Shanghai
Occupation: Full-time blogger
Active platforms: Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu, Douyin and more
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When I was in primary school I wanted to be a teacher. Although I contributed columns to magazines and newspapers in college and won many travel awards, I never considered becoming a blogger. I like to write and take photos and love to share, so gradually I became a full-time blogger.
Caught the 6:50 am flight to Lanzhou, Gansu province. On the way to the airport and in the terminal, I scrolled through my DMs and comments on my posts on Weibo and WeChat, responding to messages.
No wifi signal during my flight. I caught up on my writing and drawing. I also had to take photos for my collaboration with the airline: the food, cabin, and scenery.
Disembarked and waited for the group to gather to travel to the first restaurant to start taking photos. Used my phone, SLR and video camera to shoot all kinds of Lanzhou cuisine, haha.
Hotel visit and shoot. After that, it was dinner time, and I also got to wear the traditional clothing worn by the local ethnic minority.
Evening tour and bonfire party at Hezheng Fatai Shan scenic area.
Edit photos and post on Weibo.
Ate and I took photos of my breakfast.
At Hezheng Fataishan I promised an influencer I would join them to experience amusement rides including a high-altitude water ride, 360-degree rainbow slide, 5D glass bridge, and more.
Over lunch, I responded to the followers’ comments.
Climbing at Hezheng Fatai Shan.
More shooting over dinner. After that, I used the evening to post on Weibo and other platforms.
For breakfast, I tried a bowl of authentic Lanzhou lamian, then took the bullet train from Lanzhou to Zhangye’s Minle County. I wrote and edited photos during the journey, and while eating lunch I responded to comments from my followers.
Drove to Biandukou, where I’m staying in a little cabin.
Saw the most stunning rapeseed and rode the mountain on horseback.
Again, shooting during dinner.
Took in the starry sky on the plateau.
Travelled from Biandukou to Dunhuang. Upon arrival at the train station, I was presented with a lovely toy camel.
I arrived at the Dunhuang guesthouse, where I enjoyed the Dunhuang dance show Flying Apsaras and ate a specialty lunch.
On to Mingsha Mountain and Crescent Moon Spring, where we rode camels, hung camel bells, wrote prayer cards and tried on traditional clothing.
Tried a Dunhuang banquet dinner, a treat formerly reserved solely for nobility.
Shot night scenes wearing traditional clothing.
Arrived in Dunhuang.
Dressed up in traditional Chinese costumes and ate Chinese food at the Yumenguan ruins.
I watched the sunset at Yardan National Geopark.
The barbecue and bonfire party carried on until 9 pm, then we found a secluded spot at Yardan for camping and shooting night scenes.
Up early to see the sunrise!
Shoot in traditional costume.
Visited the Mogao Grottoes, but no photography was permitted inside.
What I found most moving today was this was the first time my birthday has fallen during a business trip, and the organisers prepared a birthday cake and celebration for me.
Visited the Dunhuang night market.
I still remember that in college, when my roommates were playing games, watching soap operas, eating and drinking, I was writing the planning book for the national undergraduate entrepreneurship contest, contributing to all kinds of newspapers and magazines and also volunteering.
When they find out I’m a blogger, many people say:
“Oh, I really envy you, getting to eat, drink and have fun every day.”
“Oh, so much fun to get out and about …”
“I wish I could be like you …”
Perhaps you see how full of energy I am in front of the camera or my videos. But behind the scenes, there are many challenges to being a travel blogger as a full-time career. Flying regularly means you’re always jet-lagged, and you need to be very adaptable to handle switching between locations with differing conditions. On a tight schedule, it’s physically challenging to manage the content gathering, releasing the content, negotiating with brands and communicating with followers. You become accustomed to bearing all kinds of wounds.
There’s no certainty that you can realise your dreams, but you’re certain to fail if you don’t at least take a step forward. I still want to double my efforts and move forward. I need to give myself chicken soup for the soul and pump myself up. Let’s go!