It’s time to change things up.

My husband and I in a vineyard in Stuttgart, Germany

It’s been close to two years since my last post here. Why is that? Short story: I lost the pleasure of blogging, and I just got too damn busy.

Long story? Let’s dive right in.

Initial motives for this blog

I first started this site to document my adventure of moving abroad for the first time. I wanted it to be a way not only to let family and friends see what I was up to (but let’s be honest, not too many people actually care) but also something for me to look back on in the future to remember all of the smaller details and finer nuances of travelling that are so easy to forget.

I was pretty good about keeping it up in my first year living in Barcelona (and I really only expected to be abroad for that one year), but then I met my now-husband and I was too caught up in adventures to really bother with this blog (which I guess in itself is a good thing, right?).

I would still post occasionally, but it became a bit more out of guilt that I was letting this hobby go than actual pleasure. However, after lots of back and forth between California and Barcelona, I finally made it back to living in the Catalan capital with my beau – and just one big problem: I couldn’t find a legitimate job. And I was sick of teaching English.

So what did I do? I continued teaching private lessons on the side and trying to update this site as I went, looking more into opportunities to grow my audience and hopefully have it take off just enough that I could make some money off of it. It actually worked out in a way – I was able to network with some more successful travel bloggers and small businesses, and one thing led to another. I think my experience with maintaining a blog and promoting it via social media was also one of the main factors that I was able to find the job I’m at now here in Germany. So I guess it all worked out in the end.

When work and hobbies become too intertwined

I work in marketing for a medium-sized tech company. I’m really happy with what I’m doing, and I can’t even begin to explain how much I’ve learned. But basically since that point is when I stopped touching this site at all. My work-life had become too similar to maintaining and promoting a website. I no longer found pleasure in it in my free time.

Additionally, although I enjoy working in marketing, you really do come to realize just how ‘fake’ everything is. It’s something that I’ve been feeling for years now, which is also why I’ve basically abandoned my social media channels. Of course no one posts anything negative on social media (except maybe your over-sharing aunt) – only their perfect, curated images and stories to make their lives out to seem as perfect as possible. I know I’ve been guilty of it, because I mean really, what is the alternative? Posting all of your negativity and dirty laundry for the world to see? No thanks.

Do I regret basically giving up on social media? Not really. In fact, there are so many studies that show the correlation between dissatisfaction in your own life and the number of hours that you spend on social media, because you’re constantly comparing your life (which of course has its ups and downs) to the perfect depiction of someone else’s. I do think I’ve become more of a positive and well-balanced person by basically avoiding social media.

So why am I back?

Well, honestly it’s a bit of guilt like it was before – I have this site that still occasionally receives comments of some type, and I honestly did enjoy the work I did with it before. Also, I’m stuck paying for the technical side of things on a yearly basis.

That’s what got me thinking – I know I don’t want to keep up a travel blog like what I was trying before. There’s way too many ‘influencers’ (I still cringe at this word – does that make me old?) and travel bloggers that have flooded this space, although with COVID-19 we’ll see what happens with the industry.

I want to take back this blog for me – and only me. If you’re reading this, that’s great; you’re getting a glimpse into my world, but I’m not writing this for you. I hope to continue this site in a way that makes me happy – not in a way that will increase my traffic or audience. I could honestly care less. But if what I have to say helps someone else going through similar life obstacles, then that’s killing two birds with one stone I’d say.

I’m also slowly creeping back into social media again, more to help document my photos and keep in touch with family than anything else. Oh, and to show pictures of my ridiculously cute kitten. But we’ll see how that goes.

The Seasoned Travelr, 3.0

So moving forward, this site will be an eclectic mess and more of an honest reflection of my life, hobbies, and struggles. I want to document my experiences and accomplishments as I learn new skills, being sure to also explain all of my failures. Because without failing, how can you ever really learn?

To keep myself from falling into the same trap as before, I am going to try to keep this as low-effort as possible so that it doesn’t become dangerously like a second job again. That means I’m not going to spend forever editing and proofreading posts, or planning what I’m going to say – I’m just going to say it. I’m also not going to waste my time trying to promote this constantly on social media, or participate in those god-awful Twitter chains or communities anymore. It’s just such a fake and time-consuming way of trying to boost your views and comments – and I no longer care to make money off of this.

So here’s to a new start, to something hopefully a bit more genuine. We’re just a few days away from the start of 2021 – can’t think of a better time to hope for something better. Cheers 🥂

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