I have run my own website since the late 90’s when I was a kid. That was a time of nostalgia, when we had to dial up our Internet connection through the phone line which ran at 56 Kbps; when there were no sophisticated features of Web 2.0 to experiment with or amazing content management systems like WordPress to put content together.
Damn, the concept of “blog” wasn’t even in existence yet when I had my first website. Yes, we built and coded each page of the website using HTML. And then the explosion of blogs, blogging, and bloggers happened. I remember we had famous bloggers like Kenny Sia and XueXue and mrbrown. These were the pioneer “social media influencers”!
My webpage evolved from a HTML one hosted on a free web hosting platform to one run on blogger.com, and subsequently to one hosted on a dedicated server with its own domain.
As of this year (2022), the domain mrdefinite.net is close to a decade old but the history and the content of this website span over two decades! Looking back, it’s really amazing to realise that I have actually grown with this website over the years.
I feel blessed that this platform has allowed me to express so many thoughts and views of mine, as well as to document my travels, feelings, and experiences. Being someone who is passionate about travelling, one of the turning points was to have this platform turned into a travel blog — the very form you are seeing right now. Of course, I would blog about stuff unrelated to travel, like my personal thoughts and opinions from time to time, but the core theme of this blog has always remained travel.
Some of the entries managed to attract thousands of unique daily hits when they were popular (today people would call it “viral”) – you can check out some of the popular entries on the right sidebar. At the height of the popularity of this blog, I’m proud it managed to garner thousands of unique reads everyday as a whole, so it allowed me to earn quite a bit of side income via Adsense and advertorials.
Today I no longer have the time to manage this site. I no longer produce as much content for it. Thus the number of daily unique hits have fallen to under 50 for the most part.
Oh well. Nothing is forever in life. Our priorities change all the time.
One of the most remarkable things about this platform was for me to have blogged about my life as a teacher in Thailand. Somehow, one or two of those blog entries went viral, causing me to be featured in some online portals and a Chinese newspaper. Following that I received a request to be interviewed on Hitz.fm and another to record for a travel segment on BFM89. However I had to politely decline them as I wasn’t very comfortable being in the center of so much attention.
I have always loved producing content since I was young. I have always loved writing. That’s why this blog exists in the first place.
As much as I still enjoy creating content and love curating blogging material as I travel — never mind the fact that I’m no longer single and carefree like last time, the sad truth is that I don’t have the energy I used to have anymore. There are many hats that I’m wearing at the moment.
I have spent the past three years tirelessly building my academic profile, to the point that I have had little break for myself and for the other half. I have been working over the weekend for the longest time, writing academic content and making sense of research data. And all these are on top of teaching, doing consultations with my students, guiding them in their research, and the nitty-gritty.
Many don’t understand why I suddenly have to go this route, considering it isn’t my first time doing the job. The truth is that while I may have been teaching for over a decade, I’m considered a beginner in research. And both are different things altogether and require so much of my energy. Many times, I may look like I’m doing things for the game. But really, I’m just doing things I’m passionate about.
I’m still into doing content, except that this time around it’s academic content rather than the regular leisure content that I’m pursuing. I reckon it’s no longer sensible for me to be maintaining this blog, considering my lack of time and the increasing hosting fee. Nevertheless, I appreciate all the opportunities and good things that have come my way because of this blog.
With the cessation of this blog, I wish to have a better focus on a bazillion of other things in my life: my better half, the kiddo, my new crib, my PhD…
This blog may have come to an end, but its history and the memories will live on, somewhere, somehow.