Mithamo: I get a rush from discovering new places

Friday December 03 2021
:Marion Mithamo.

Blogger :Marion Mithamo. PHOTO | COURTESY


Travel blogger and content creator Marion Mithamo gets a big rush from discovering new places, cultures and experiences. Since 2016 she has been living her dream life.

It all started with health problems.

“I had severe back-pain that made it difficult to work. Consequently, I resigned from my job to take a break and reflect on what to do next,” said Mithamo.

It was during her recuperation that she made a commitment to pursue what she loved and felt passionate about.

“That passion is travelling and writing. I didn’t grow up travelling so it has always been a childhood dream,” she said.

Mithamo started by writing a travel and lifestyle blog Scrapbook Journeys, to showcase Kenya's beauty, “while also shaping positive perspectives about the country and the African continent".


Since then she has expanded into content creation on social media and YouTube.

Mithamo has travelled to several places in Kenya, as well as Rwanda and Zambia. Her favourite experience is chasing humpback whales in Watamu, an activity she had dreamed of since childhood.

“Sometimes my audience members write to suggest places to visit and sometimes clients reach out to me wanting to be featured in my blog,” she said.

Travel bloggers seem to lead a dream life, visiting amazing destinations and getting paid for it. But behind the scenes it is a different story, one that is less glamorous.

“What the audience sees is just a small percentage of the work I do” said Mithamo.

When she is not travelling, Mithamo spends a lot of time researching places, writing proposals, sending pitches to potential clients, and figuring out logistics such as accommodation, transport and costs.

Affordable trips

Although she visits top-end destinations, Mithamo says travel does not have to be expensive. Her tips for holidays on a budget are to plan ahead, start saving for the trip, book early especially with airfare, and take advantage of low-season offers.

During an out-of-town project with her, I noticed that she was constantly on the move with equipment and a change of clothes.

“My mind is always switched on, constantly contemplating what to capture and include in my content because you don’t get to do some experiences over again,” she said.

On travels with other content creators they will sometimes help each other out, but usually it is a one-person job. When a trip is over, her days are filled with editing photos and videos, uploading content, writing stories and drafting new proposals for future partnerships.

Mithamo never formally trained in photography. She says she picked up her skills on the go and by watching YouTube tutorials. I was surprised to learn that she creates her content with just a mobile phone — an iPhone 8 Plus — and a phone tripod stabiliser.

“I opted for mobile photography because it is much easier and faster to navigate,” she says.

For editing pictures and footage, she uses the iPhone’s in-built photo app, and other apps like Lightroom CC and InShot.

For those looking to take up content creation professionally, Mithamo says one must be clear why they want do this.

“Over time, your audience chooses to follow you because they can relate to your content. That is the beauty of content creation. There is something for everyone.”

Content creation is ever evolving, she says, so stay updated by watching YouTube tutorials and following other creators.

Her favourite content creators are travel vlogger Lost (Christian) LeBlanc of Canada and American actress and YouTuber Liza Koshy.

Often proposals will get rejected by clients and during a trip, things can go wrong so she is constantly adapting her plans. As a freelancer one does not have the security of a salary.

“The most challenging thing is that my work can be seasonal,” says Mithamo, adding she has gone for months without an income, like at the onset of the pandemic which heavily impacted the travel industry.

An advantage of working with a paying client is they have all the logistics already planned out. Nevertheless, Mithamo still enjoys creating her own material as it gives her the freedom to explore subjects like mental wellness, yoga and selfcare.

“Content creation has its ups and downs but I love what I do, so it is all worth it,” says Mithamo.