Constance is one half of The Adventures of Panda Bear travel blog. Along with her boyfriend, Jimmy, they typically blog about weekend travel itineraries, foodie guides, and architectural sights to see. They are currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area so enjoy traveling domestically in California as well as Jimmy’s home state of Michigan and internationally. By day Constance works as a graphic designer and Jimmy works in biotechnology research, and on weekends and days off, they travel, eat, and explore. Follow their adventures on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
What inspired you to start blogging?
Our friends would often ask us for our travel itineraries and recommendations on where to go and places to eat. People also wondered why and how I managed to travel so much and how I was able to explore new cities all within a weekend.
Originally my “guidebook” was my brain, but with multiple people asking how, what, and where we were able to do all of these travels, creating a blog made it easier to keep track of everything. Plus when we decided to catalog all of our travels online, our itineraries became easily accessible to anyone who might need them.
What are your blogging and travel plans for the next 12 months?
As far as blogging goes, we had a monthly page view goal that we wanted to hit, however due to recent Google updates as well as COVID-19, we are currently just hoping our traffic returns to normal. We are also planning to create more content since we are super backlogged on all of the posts we have to write, there’s so much to do but so little time!
COVID-19 has also changed our travel plans for the rest of the year. We were originally headed to Hong Kong later this month but our flight was cancelled. We are still in a wait-and-see mode, we both have full-time jobs so our day jobs’ workload is something we always keep in mind when we make time to travel. We are planning on heading to Louisiana later this year. Otherwise we’ll mainly be traveling locally in our home state of California, perhaps Big Sur or Pinnacles National Park. We love maximizing our weekends whenever possible to travel without taking too many days off from work.
Where is your happy place? Your favourite destination in the world?
My happy place is home in the San Francisco Bay Area. I grew up here and I love coming back to “the city by the bay.” As much as I enjoy traveling, there is no place quite like home. I used to dream of moving to far off places, but it is also nice to have a home base to come back to in between all of the travels.
It’s so tough to choose a single favorite destination in the world. Iceland is one of my favorites just because of its beauty and different landscapes. Croatia was amazing with delicious food and a unique culture. Hong Kong is where my family is from and is my second home, I miss the food there every single day.
Which blogs do you love to read for inspiration?
There are a few blogs I love reading especially when I plan my trips. I love Practical Wanderlust and Along Dusty Roads. To learn more about other cultures (as well as some travel tips), I love How Not to Travel Like a Basic Bitch.
Can you share the three most popular posts on your blog?
- 3 Days in San Francisco the Local Way — Things to Do & Places to Eat
- 3 Days in Taipei, Taiwan: A Foodie’s Sightseeing Guide with a Day Trip to Tamsui
- 3 Days in Amsterdam: A Museum Lover’s Guide to the Best Off the Beaten Path Spots
Can you share any tips for newer bloggers who would love to set up a travel blog?
First things first, I’d say that I wasn’t joking earlier when I mentioned that “there is so much to do but so little time.”
For me, blogging is a labor of love because managing the posts, the website, technology, social media is a lot of work. I would make sure you are doing it for the right reasons and not just to “get free trips or gifts.” We truly enjoy what we do and do our best to ensure that all of the brands and companies we work with get as much value from our content as possible.
If you could go back in time to when you first set up your blog would you do anything differently?
I would recommend writing more blog posts before actually launching the blog. We only launched with 3 posts but looking back, it would’ve been better if we had 10-20 posts when the blog went live so that our readers would have more posts to click through and read. My blog would have definitely had a stronger start if I had put in more time and effort to create the momentum in the very beginning.