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Why I Took a Hiatus from Travel Blogging (+ goals for 2017)

why i took a hiatus from travel blogging

Crap. Was October 12th truly the last time I updated my blog? Really? REALLY? Wow. That’s … horrific. It would actually be funny if I didn’t feel so disingenuous about it.

Dear god, I owe you all an apology.

The truth is I took a sudden/unannounced hiatus from travel blogging, a hiatus that lasted a little over 2 months.

My break was necessary. Still…

why i took a hiatus from travel blogging

Can you forgive this face?

I’m super sorry.

I should’ve had the decency to write a quick post, explaining updates would be sporadic (aka non-existent) for awhile. You’ve all been wonderful readers. Believe me, I recognize names of people who comment on my posts again and again. Nothing brings a smile to my face like a familiar person writing something insightful on a new post or reaching out on social media.

So why the disappearing act (sorry, sorry, sorry)? Uh, three reasons.




why i took a hiatus from travel blogging

Work, English teacher, work!

My New Job Took Over

As you know, I scored a new teaching job in August. I’m happy to announce my employment situation is wonderful. And no, I’m not just saying that to protect myself if my principal discovers this blog, haha.

My kids make me laugh every single day. When you’re a teacher, it means a lot if you’re still smiling after Christmas break. So yeah! I absolutely love my school and co-workers. My mentor teacher, co-teacher, lunch duty buddy, supervisor, all are a true pleasure to work with.

However, even though I have zero complaints about my classes, every new job has an adjustment period. I put so much energy into making a good impression that I craved Netflix and food all the time. Not much creativity left over for writing, I’m afraid.

So it was easy for this blog to slip further and further down the priority list.

why i took a hiatus from travel blogging

My Social Circle Needed to be Re-Built

At heart, I’m an extrovert. I feel like we’re a rarity on the grand ol’ internet, but there you have it. My anxiety kicks into overdrive mode if I don’t speak to someone at least once a day. Is it pathetic? Eh, maybe a little.

After moving my stuff and settling in my apartment, the realization hit me that I’d have to make a huge effort to make friends here. So I threw myself 100% into creating an outstanding social life that suited me and my work schedule. In the past two months, I went to local events, met other people in my apartment building, enjoyed a few dates, etc.

Slowly, my new city feels more like “home” to me, but I needed to set aside time to accomplish that goal for myself. Again, not much left over for tweeting and photo editing.

why i took a hiatus from travel blogging

But most importantly? I Blogged for the Wrong Reasons

Okay, some hardcore honesty awaits so I wanna throw out a disclaimer.

The travel blogging community has impacted me in many positive ways. The people? Are wonderful! I’m blessed to know so many inspirational folks, all who I encountered in diverse places. Online, the TBS facebook community, BlogHouse and TBEX, trips. You name it.

Trust me, the “wrong” feeling wasn’t the fault of other bloggers. But me.

Throughout September and October, I compulsively read about buying cycles and affiliate programs instead of focusing on taking care of my site. I checked my Amazon sales more than replying to emails. I crafted pitches to tourism boards and companies rather than think about whether a post was truly worth sharing with the world. I wrote unfulfilling goals for my site – based on page views and instagram followers – rather than my number one priority. My audience. You.

why i took a hiatus from travel blogging

The original reason for creating this blog, carving a virtual space to inspire travelers and raise my self-esteem, officially lost itself in a sea of dollar signs, editorial calendars, and social media algorithms.

Meaning? Blogging transformed into a chore. It stopped being fun. And what’s the point of writing if you don’t love it? There is none. No one wants to write bland crap posted for the sole reason of hitting a quota. And no one wants to read it either. Who has time? I don’t.

So no more stressing about monetary success and instafame.

I mean, I’ll keep my editorial calendar, because it forces me to stay organized. I also love Pinterest so I don’t mind creating a million boards, but fretting about page views and affiliates and the follow/unfollow nonsense on Instagram? Nahhhhh.

I wanna blog again because I love traveling and writing, not to hit “50,000 pageviews and receive a swanky check.” Well. That’d be an awesome perk and congrats to those who do it, but I think having fun for myself (and you guys!) needs to come first.

why i took a break from travel blogging

Goals for 2017

  • Write quality content for my readers first. You come way before sponsorships and pageview goals. You want more of something on this blog? Tell me. I’m serious.
  • Take care of myself mentally and physically. Moving to northern New Jersey has been awesome, but new stressors? Ugh. I need to manage them in a healthy way. For example, I’ve gained weight from comfort eating so taking better care of my body is wildly important.
  • Laugh. Compare myself to other people less. Pretty self-explanatory goal, huh? Haha.
  • Travel more meaningfully. I need to travel less in 2017 because of budget restrictions. So I want to appreciate each trip 100x more. Meaning I’ll have to close Facebook and Instagram, and breathe in a new city’s sights, smells, tastes, and sounds.

What are your goals (travel or otherwise) for 2017? Share them in the comments. And if you’re still hanging around these parts, uh, thanks. For real. You’re the best ever. Kisses. 

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15 Responses to Why I Took a Hiatus from Travel Blogging (+ goals for 2017)

  1. Rashaad January 3, 2017 at 8:25 pm #

    What are buying cycles and affiliate programs?

    • Rachel Elizabeth January 3, 2017 at 8:32 pm #

      Rashaad —

      Affiliate programs are when you join a program, promote their products on your website, and earn a small commission if you make a sale. A buying cycle is the pattern a customer follows when making a purchase. There’s nothing wrong with either – especially for people who make a living off their blogs. And I’m definitely keeping my affiliates and disclosing them. It’s just I got a little obsessive with the whole concept, haha.

  2. Kara January 3, 2017 at 9:07 pm #

    Hi Rachel!! Great to see you back! I still checked your blog and thought of you. I love you honesty. It shines through your blog. The fact that you’re writing for others and for what is in your heart is what makes it all worth it! It’s ok if you need to cut back a bit on travel in 2017. You health comes first! All the best girl!!

    • Rachel Elizabeth January 4, 2017 at 8:18 am #

      Kara —

      Thanks so much for your supportive comment! You’ve been such a loyal reader, and I really appreciate all your comments! I’ll keep writing what’s in my heart, for sure. 😀

  3. Kate Storm January 3, 2017 at 9:08 pm #

    Glad to see you back, Rachel! I’ve always enjoyed your writing and wondered where you ran off to. So glad the new job is going well!

    • Rachel Elizabeth January 4, 2017 at 8:17 am #

      Kate —

      Thanks so much! I’m happy and excited to be back again. Happy New Year!

  4. Amanda C | The World Incorporated January 3, 2017 at 10:44 pm #

    FORGIVEN!!!

    I’ve missed you! And I understand that black hole you fell down… that’s how I started feeling before Bloghouse. Once I rebranded and rediscovered my purpose for writing, it’s been all uphill. You got this!

    I’d love to see more posts about travel and literature — I love that you’re passionate about both of those and enjoy reading the fusion of the two. Your joy for both topics really shines through when you write about them!

    cheers to 2017!

    • Rachel Elizabeth January 4, 2017 at 8:17 am #

      Amanda —

      YAYYY!

      I’ve missed you too! I’m thrilled your re-branding has been going so well. Major congrats. BlogHouse was such an inspiration. We need to catch up! I wanna hear all about the amazing progress you’ve made on your site.

      As for a travel/literature post, I’m actually writing one this week! Keep your eyes peeled for it! Cheers.

  5. Amy Trumpeter January 4, 2017 at 2:57 am #

    I love the picture of Riga! Also I totally relate to the ‘blogging for the wrong reasons’ issue. When it becomes a chore and an earner, it fills your creativity. I’m thinking that TBEX Jerusalem will be my last blogging conference for a while. Hope to see you soon.

    • Rachel Elizabeth January 4, 2017 at 8:15 am #

      Amy —

      Aw, I miss you so much! I hope our paths cross soon. I can’t wait to hear all about TBEX Jerusalem, though. It’ll be a remarkable experience.

  6. Kelly January 4, 2017 at 11:00 am #

    Welcome back! And congrats on figuring out that you weren’t in it for the “right” (aka authentic) reasons relatively quickly. Better now than after investing lots of time and effort in something you weren’t truly enjoying and burning out. 🙂

    Like a previous commenter said, your posts about travel + literature definitely help you stand out. I’d love more of those!

    • Rachel Elizabeth January 7, 2017 at 9:13 am #

      Kelly —

      Thanks so much! I’m glad I came to the realization myself! Writing lackluster posts for another six months would’ve really sucked, haha.

  7. Brit January 10, 2017 at 5:56 pm #

    Great goals for this year. Superb!

    I think a hiatus is a good thing for all writers / bloggers. Important to step back and ask some hard questions. Also, good to get some rest.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Rachel Elizabeth January 10, 2017 at 6:01 pm #

      Brit —

      I absolutely agree! I feel a lot more focused and relaxed after taking my hiatus. Thanks for reading!

  8. Liz | poulet s’il vous plaît January 11, 2017 at 10:07 pm #

    Welcome back! So glad you’ve started writing again. Maybe you could write about your experiences settling in and making new contacts. Almost an expat style series, I think a lot of people would be interested. Keep it up!

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