I write this as I sit in an airplane, on the journey back to Los Angeles from Uruguay that would take us across 5 countries in 36 hours. Read: a lonnnng and tiring day. Even though I should try to settle in for a much needed nap, all I can think about is: how am I going to meet my blogging goals this week?
Believe it or not, when I first adopted my new full-time travel lifestyle, I was a tad nervous that I may be bored without a job to go to anymore. Like I’d be lost without a purpose. Which is why ever since I quit my real job to travel, I’ve thrown all my energy into blogging. There’s no denying that blogging is hard work, and I enjoy it, really! But in the process, I’ve kinda turned into a crazy superblogger lady.
For example, I NEVER used to take pictures of food. And now? I take like, a dozen pictures of almost every meal I eat, in hopes of getting that one perfect shot that maybe I’ll use in a blog post someday. If you think that’s bad, it doesn’t just stop with food.
“Stop it with the pictures,” D would say. “Can’t you just enjoy it with me?”
“Yeah but you like it when we can relive our memories from my blog.”
“Well, you’re ruining the experience. Just be present.”
Those words stuck with me like sweat on a muggy day. Be. Present.
I’m completely guilty of spending a meal with my nose in Twitter, because that’s the only time I have to make a social media presence that day. Or of looking at a sunset through my iPhone camera screen, because taking the perfect picture for Instagram is more important than actually seeing it with my own eyes.
Ok, maybe I exaggerate a little. Honestly, I do try to enjoy everything I see, but a lot of time (too much time) is spent thinking about how to make this blog better.
At what point do you go from enjoying travel for travel’s sake, to traveling for the sake of running a blog?
After 3 months of full time travel, even if I’ve learned nothing else, I learned that I want to be a traveler first, and blogger second.
Because travel isn’t about how many cities you tick off from your list. How many countries you add to your total count. Or how many sites you race through in a day. And then the blog post you write about it. I think too often, we get so caught up on the big picture that we lose sight of the little moments that make travel sacred.
Rather, meaningful travel is about the small moments. It’s about how that dish tasted and who you shared it with and what you talked about. It’s about drinking in that perfect sunset and getting lost in the very best of nature’s paintwork. It’s about taking in all the new sights and sounds and smells with our senses, and not through the screen of a camera.
It’s about being fully present.
But when mixed with blogging, it’s a hard concept to practice. Even today as I’m sitting either on a plane or at a gate for 25 hours, I see it as 25 whole hours to work on blog drafts. I never get that amount of time! Think of all the posts I can write in that much time! I can actually get a head start on the next few weeks!
But then I remember that traveling is about enjoying the moment more than anything. So I wrote this post instead. And from now on, while you can still expect plenty of tips and guides, my posts will focus more on the little moments that make an experience.
Because I want to remember my travels through the moments that matter, rather than through landmarks and sites.
And now if you excuse me, I’m shutting down the electronics and turning on the seat-back TV to watch Tangled for the 20th time. Because it’s the most magical movie ever made.
How do you find the balance between travel and blogging? Or even more impressive: travel, full-time work, and blogging?