First of all, this is my first official #roadtosteefest post. I have been meaning to jump on this train for a while but I didn't have the much needed nudge to get it going. But after reading a couple of other Steemians posts this past week, I am super pumped to give this a shot. So here we go...
For those of you that have been following my blog for a while now, you might have seen my vlogs where I shared on my interest to attend Steemfest 2019. I was actually super hyped about it when the dates were officially announced a while back, but then Steem price happened and that dream has been slowly drifting away.
I am a full time Steemian which means my trip will have to be 100% Steem paid. But after reading @soyrosa's SteeMFEST Budgetting Post, I have slowly been coming to the terms with the fact that I might actually NOT be able to attend this year's steemfest in Bangkok. To fully sponsor my trip with Steem at the current price, I'd literally have to sell every single Steem I have, and even then, it would not be enough to have a longer stay in Thailand. So what's the point right?
Some of you might wonder, Why then I'm I writingng for the #roadtosteemfest tag right? Hold on, we'll get to that shortly...
Thing is, there is free Steemfest Tickets & Accommodation to be Won, courtesy of @blocktrades & @steemhunt currently. If I'm being honest I think the Steemfest ticket itself is over priced. Perhaps it has to do with the logistics of planning the entire event and what not, but seeing that I am already a Dolphin, I'd some to part with $502 to get an entry ticket, Approximately 2960 STEEM.
I've been thinking it would be better to show up in Thailand to Meet other Steemians, but not to actually attend the event itself if I cannot afford the SF ticket itself. After all, meeting community members is the highlight of the event right? If I won a ticket, it might be the much needed motivation to move a few pieces of the puzzle to help everything else fall into place.
As it is, for me the highest expense would be the flight ticket, which is approximately $850 right now. I am guessing the closer we get to November the more expensive it will get.
Talking of flight tickets, are there contests going on to help with this? Flight ticket alone at the current Steem price would be around 5,000 STEEM. Isn't that insane? I worked for an year before I could accumulate 5,000 Steem! It seems like such a waste to just throw it away to attend an even that happens every other year right? I know every year is different, but still, would it really be worth it?
Thailand if fairly inexpensive if you know where to look. Thankfully Waybe aka @waybeyondpadthai offered to help should I get stuck. Of Course if I am to make for the trip I would have to stay longer. I think I have spotted a couple of $25 Airbnbs. Going with that rate, a month would approximate to around $750, approximately 4410 STEEM!
And then there's the miscellaneous expenses like food, transport, shopping etc which I'd budget for around $700, equating to 4120 STEEM..
All this to give you guys an idea of what budget I am looking at, a total of 16,500 STEEM Which is way more than what I currently hold. Hopefully the Steem Price recovers before Steemfest and turn things around for most of us, but if it doesn't this is the budget I am currently looking at... If I could have the SF Ticket & Accommodation budget lifted of my shoulders, I think I could find a way to get a flight ticket with the help of family or friends. That would leave me with sorting out the Visa-$60 & Miscellaneous- $700, and also my extended accommodation stay,which I can solve by selling some Steem..
So, Why Do I Want to Attend Steemfest 2019?
Oh Man. There's a lot of reasons I can think of right now, but I'll share with you guys some of those that are close to my heart.
Steem Has Helped Me Get Out of My Comfortzone
I have been a doing this full-time Steeming for over an year now, close to be 2 years soon. I had zero expectations when I started out on Steem. I was actually just looking for an escape from everything that was going wrong in my life. I started out as a blogger. I used to write articles and newbie guides on topics I was interested in. It was more of passing on information I had learnt to those guys I started out with, whom I think have left the platform by now. I probably did 5 posts a day that barely made 10 cents combined lol
The first real money I ever made was a blog post that made $5 & I think that was when I got sold. The moment I realized I could actually make money from nothing, for just sharing my hobbies& writing, which is something I had been doing all my life for free. That was the best $5 I have ever made in my life & it is what sparked some fire in me to keep on writing. Looking back, I kind of feel overwhelmed and proud that I stuck it out.
Writing was a Comfort Zone. Vlogging Wasn't
I've met a lot of people on this platform who have had an impact in my life in one way or another. But if I had to really chose, @steemcafe is the person who has impacted my journey the most. He is the person who introduced me to @dtube. He literally forced me to do my first vlog. I remember we were just from having a video chat and at the end of it, he said he wanted to see my DTube intro video the next day. I was nervous as hell. I had never been the kind of person who'd be comfortable infront of the camera. But he saidPractice Practice Makes Perfect... I have been doing daily vlogs since then. It also helped that my first ever @DTube Vlog remains one of my highest paid Steem Post, I made $80. Of Course after that the upvotes stopped coming and it was hell of a roller coaster to get in the momentum of things, but patience pays.
Meeting the Global Steem Community...
I have only met 2 Steemians in my life. The first was @harshilpatel sometime last year on his trip to Kenya. And I recently met @jeanwandimi who's Kenyan and also among the first Kenyan Steemians I stumbled on when I joined Steem. Truth is, there aren't many active Kenyans on the platform which means there aren't many to meet up with. I feel envious when I see all the random Steem Meet Up's that happen with @teammalaysia or the London Meet Ups that @adetorrent constantly shares. Steemfest 2019 would be the first group Steem Meet Up. Which would also give me the opportunity to put some faces to some of the usernames I see floating around here. I don't want to mention names as the list would be endless, but I know you get the drift.
Experience New Culture with Fellow Steemians...
I think this is part of the reason why so many people want to experience Asia and partly why Thailand is a leading tourist destination. But if I'm being honest, FOOD! FOOD! FOOD!! :D That's something I'd really love to explore, but mostly importantly, to vlog and share with fellow Steemians on the trip... Pretty sure the Island get away will be nothing short of amazing! And probably I could get some Steem Interviews out of a few Steemians, that would be epic.
I think this one is the closest to my heart. It's no secret it's been very hard for the African community to attend the previous Steemfest's due to Visa Struggles and restrictions. It's such a shame and very unfortunate, but it is what it is. I remember following closely last year of guys in Nigerian trying to make it to Poland only for their Visas to get denied the last minute. That was heart breaking.
Luckily, this year's Steemfest destination is a lot more favorable for Africans. I can't speak for other countries, but in Kenya we have very good relations with Thailand so getting a Visa shouldn't be much of a hustle. I hope it is so for the rest of the African Countries, that way, we can have a bit more representation in this year's Steemfest. And I would totally love to be among those representing Africa. I haven't seen a lot of #roadtosteemfest entry posts from Africans yet, but hopefully we'll have a couple of them representing at SF19.