Think back nine years. In other words, cast your mind back to the faraway year of 2010. Where were you and what were you doing?
When I started That’s Life Capture It! blog in July 2010, I never expected it would be anything more than a hobby (that’s all most blogs were back then). Had you told me back in 2010 that I’d still be chugging along, spewing out posts about the places that capture my attention, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. A lot has changed since those early years, from my own personal experiences to the general landscape (less bloggers, the rise of Instagram and social media overall). Quite candidly, it’s sometimes been more than enough to want to throw in the towel, especially as I still have a full-time career and a half-completed academic course study. But now, with more than 250 posts, thousands of visitors from around the world and countless memorable experiences, I’ve never been more excited and committed to the possibilities that lay ahead. I’m so happy to get to do something I love and call it my passion, and I’m proud of it I’ve built along the way.
My greatest learning has been the importance of accepting myself. Of being proud of what I put out there, of the message I send and of the type of blog I am creating. If you have been along for the whole time you know the blog has taken many turns…some better than others but all with the true intention of creating content that is authentic and organic.
Comparing myself to my fellow travel blogging peers has been a struggle; I am human. But what I have learned is that we are all on our own journey. And while our paths may cross, and often times do, we all have different goals, different passions and different dreams. Each one of us is pursuing happiness. I feel nothing but inspiration and motivation. And so I use that inspiration and motivation to drive me forward. In a saturated “market” of blogging, it is important to stay in my lane; to be true to myself and remain authentic and real. I know that my learning is not done. Almost everyday I learn something new about this journey.
On to the travelling part…
But enough about blogging itself, because That’s Life Capture It! is all about travelling, right? So I wanted to address the single most often-asked question that I’ve got since I started my blog. Well, it’s not always phrased as a question, but I have had many hundreds of people contact me over the past nine years with variations on this theme: should I travel?
As I get older (because, annoyingly, as my blog gets older, it seems that I do too) I get bolder about telling people what I think. And what I think about travel is: everybody should do it. A lot. As much as possible. In fact, travel teaches you so much, not just about other countries and cultures (which is good in itself) but about you, your values, your thoughts, your ambitions, your relationships, basically everything important.
My answer is below.
In summary: there is very, very, very rarely a reason to NOT travel.
Some of my favourite emails and messages come from friends and fellow travellers who have seen a lot of the world and are keen to share some of their own similar experiences. I love that my own tales can help people remember and reflect on their own travel experiences, and perhaps even see them in a new way, and even learn something new from their travels. And of course, we all love to get inspiration for new places to visit, or new ways to see old places, and I totally love the messages I get saying someone has just booked a trip somewhere because of a post they read on my blog. I want to keep giving people those moments of travel inspiration.
This time next year my blog will be reaching its double figures birthday. That seems incredible! I hope we can all think up a really cool way to celebrate that big milestone. I wish I can know where this journey would take me (sure would make planning a lot easier). But what I do know is that I am excited about the potential for the next few years in terms of professional and personal self. I am ready to learn more and to achieve more. I am anxious for what comes next and while I can’t tell you exactly what that is but I am confident it will be riddled with tears, laughter, learning, falling, success and growth. When you put your mind to something you can accomplish anything!
Above all, this blog wouldn’t be possible without all of you, the readers. I’m so grateful to you for your support over the last 9 years. I couldn’t have gotten to where I am without you, so thank you for all your encouragement, comments, likes, shares, and more. It has meant so much to me. Publishing a blog is pretty satisfying in and of itself, but it sure gets a whole heap better when you hear back from your readers. Here’s to many more posts and much more energy to actually finish them (there’s only oh, 15 posts sitting in draft form right now) :-)
Be happy and healthy always,