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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.