Jeez, I can’t believe it’s been a full year since my first blogiversary! And I seriously can’t believe how much has changed since then.
When I think about it it’s kind of crazy that I’ve spent a good portion of these past two years pouring myself into this blog. I’m not entirely sure why I keep doing it…except that I love doing it. If you’re not a travel blogger, I can’t convey how much time and effort goes into it. Over the past two years I’ve spent countless hours composing blog posts, editing photos, struggling with technology and tinkering around on social media.
There is so much that goes into blogging and the crazy part is, I don’t get much in return, monetarily speaking. (Maybe someday, but definitely not yet.) I do it because of everything it gives me personally – and this blog has given me a lot. I do it because I love learning about new places, people and things and because it’s a constant learning process. I do it because I love connecting with new people around the world.
Basically I can’t imagine not doing it.
The things this blog has taught me during the past two years is incredible. It taught me early on that I actually did want to write professionally again. That the career in writing and editing that I’d more or less given up on nearly four years ago was clearly something I needed to pursue. It taught me to be a different traveler, a slower traveler, one that remembers and relishes every moment, good, bad and everything in between. It taught me that I’m not the only one in the world who is taking the road less traveled – so to speak – in life; that plenty of people manage to find ways to balance real life with wanderlust. It taught me to be more independent, that I could conquer things and go places that put me completely outside of my comfort zone.
If you’ve been following me for a while then you know these past two years have pretty much been insane. I started out as the girl who had quit her job to travel, who was panicked because she had no plans for what would come next. Two years later I’ve somehow turned into an expat who has lived and worked in, count ‘em, three different cities – Jakarta, Phnom Penh and Beijing. This blog has seen me from the highest of highs to some pretty serious lows. There have been so many crazy experiences and the cool thing is that it’s all documented right here on this site.
I’ve said this many times, but I never intended for this blog to be my profession. But what I didn’t know when I first started this blog while backpacking around Indonesia exactly two years ago, is how many professional opportunities would come my way because of it. When I first started writing on this site, I didn’t tell a soul I knew that I had a travel blog (aside from my boyfriend). I think it took a good six months for me to even muster the courage to tell my family about it. It took well over a year to tell acquaintances about it. Two years in and I’m still slightly shy about admitting that I’m a blogger, but I’m getting there.
But at some point I did realize that while I might feel foolish saying “Um, yeah I have a travel blog” out loud, people don’t necessarily think it’s all that lame. This little tiny blog has connected me to people across the world. It has landed me freelance work for newspapers and magazines across Asia. And it has led to other exciting things that I won’t go into here. A girl has to keep some secrets!
I think my point is that when I published my first-ever post on March 31, 2014 I never really expected anyone to read it. I didn’t even know if I’d ever have the courage to publish another post. But I just kept doing it – growing more and more addicted to it – and slowly but surely people did start reading it.
Some of you have pretty much been with me since day one, which is amazing to think about. So thank you to everyone who has come on this wild ride with me. Obviously the only reason I’ve kept at it for two whole years is because of you.
I might go through my ups and downs with blogging, but Travel Lush is definitely here to stay. So here’s to year number three!