*cracks knuckles* You know what, friends? Let’s just jump right in. I’ve wanted to restart my blog for literally years, but the idea of cracking open that door again and trying to update you all on my life over the past nearly three years was incredibly daunting. Even though that sounds completely self-absorbed (because I’m sure you all haven’t been waiting for my words with baited breath), I couldn’t really figure out how to present myself to you all after so much has changed in my life and what I want to say.
This blog started out with the simple goal to encourage people to travel and explore the United States of America, then I pulled a fast one and moved to Madrid, and then it became about showing you all the often messy things I learned as an expat. During my time in Madrid, my blog changed the most. I realized it couldn’t just be vapid posts titled “Here’s what I did on my weekend in Paris”. Why the hell would you all want to read that? I mean, I guess some people like to read those sorts of stories because they can be aspirational, but I didn’t want you all to live vicariously through me, I wanted you all to be inspired to take risks and travel the world or lived abroad for yourself!
So once it became clear that ya’ll were not interested in reading that shit (seriously, my traffic numbers were lowwwww), I started to get real about what I was experiencing emotionally and sometimes physically in Spain. I made a shift to make all of my content serviceable, to show how and why I did something or if I was feeling awful, how I moved through it. I talked about the pain of losing friendships back home with people I cared about because we simply didn’t understand each other anymore, I talked about what it was like to experience the sudden death of a family member while abroad and how I handled it (albeit not well), I even tried to messily tackle my experiences with racism in Madrid and how it was a different brand of racism in the United States and frankly one that I would have preferred if I had to choose the lesser of two massive evils. Then, on the lighter side I discussed how to apply to my program to teach Spanish abroad and the little tricks and pitfalls the application doesn’t warn you about, how to apply for your visa, and how fucking great it felt for me to be honest with myself about the fact that I wanted to move home once my year was up.
So, now what the hell do I talk about? How can I be of service to you now that I’m (still) living in North Carolina with no plans to move abroad ever again? Well, I have a new career to tell you about. In fact, I have two. One has done well, and the other could be perceived as a failure by some folks but I believe failure truly does not exist if you learned something (more on that venture later!). The first and main career is the one that I’m certain you’ll be most interested in.
After my stint as digital editor for Four Seasons Magazine, I broke the chains of the corporate world (lol so dramatic!) to become a full-time freelance travel and food writer. Long story short it has been a wild ass ride. Yes, as most would suspect, I’ve gotten to do some amazing things like ski in the French Alps, float in the Caribbean waters in St. Barthelemy and Turks & Caicos, ride in a hot air balloon in Albuquerque, but I’ve also fretted about health insurance, cried multiple times over late-paying clients and gained nearly ten pounds over the course of one summer due to eating shitty airport food.
The number one question I receive when I meet people, or even sometimes from close friends and family is “how did you become a travel writer?” so I decided I need to go ahead and take my talents to this here blog to explain it to you. There’s no magic answer and frankly there’s nothing I can write on this blog that will guarantee that you will publish a travel story if that’s what you wish to do. But what I can do is ramble about what I did, who I talked to, the risks I took and what I strongly advise that you NEVER do because I think the best advice I can share is what I’ve learned from my mistakes. Ok kids, this is getting lengthy so I’ll quit here but buckle up for a wild ride. I’ll see you soon.