I started last year with really
good intentions when it came to my blog, but things didn’t quite pan out as
2018 was my fourth year on the road, travelling slowly around Europe while running my business. And it was an excellent year, both in terms of travel and my freelance travel writing business. I had a handful of new clients and several fantastic travel copywriting jobs. Add in a fair bit of housesitting, and financially my year was incredible – I completely sorted out my finances and treated myself to a new camera and phone. Finally.
Aside from the odd affiliate
I’m not making much money from this blog yet, though it serves as a portfolio
for my writing, so I had to concentrate my focus where the money was. My big
jobs involved writing lots of content, and when I finished writing I wanted to
be out exploring the new places I was travelling and living in. And
housesitting isn’t a free ride; there was a lot of dog walking, dog and cat
grooming and playing, and gardening and housework to maintain.
All of which meant my blog took
a back seat for the year. I was stressed about it for a while, but I had to let
go. Sometimes it simply isn’t possible to do everything – a lesson I have
difficultly accepting at times – and sometimes that’s OK.
I think there’s also an element
of struggling a bit with the blogging side of things. Working out what I want
this blog to be, who I’m writing for, what my special sauce is. Plus I’m a
massively private person, so finding that balance between writing about what
I’m doing while maintaining my privacy can be tricky. So I’m still trying to
figure a few things out and find my blogging mojo.
Last year was bloody brilliant
in many ways. Here’s my travel review of 2018.
Today, I have a first for The Road to Wanderland – a guest post from fellow travel blogger, digital nomad, and history lover, Stephanie Craig, who I met at TBEX Jerusalem earlier this year. Steph’s coming to visit me here in my little island home on Gozo next week. In this post, she talks about her previous visit to Gozo, the loss of the Azure Window, and the art of travel by intuition.
Take it away, Steph…
I learned about it on Twitter.
I was still lying in bed, my nine-pound dog standing on my back making chattering noises at me, telling me it was unacceptable to be in bed so late in the day. She wanted breakfast.
I wanted to sleep, but I made my first move to oblige her by picking up my cell phone and, with one eye open a peak, checking each of my accounts one by one: email, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
Until I got to Twitter. That’s where I saw the news that Malta’s Azure Window had collapsed into the sea that morning. I continued to blink at my phone, wondering if the single eye I had allowed open was adjusting to the light properly. Maybe it was playing a trick on me?
But it wasn’t. The headline was there, and the window was gone. I burst into tears.
The tears surprised me. I was one of the lucky ones. I’d gotten to see the Azure Window in person a few years earlier. Shouldn’t I feel relieved I’d made it before it was gone?
At the end of January, I celebrated my two-year nomadiversary – for the past two years I’ve been living as a digital nomad, travelling slowly around Europe running my business on my Mac while exploring different places, experiencing other cultures, and trying lots of delicious local food and wine!
Life as a digital nomad and solo female traveller has been as exciting and fulfilling as it has challenging and, at times, downright testing. I’ve had incredible highs and some fairly low points too.
If you’re curious about digital nomad life or thinking of giving it a shot, here are some nuggets of wisdom I’ve learned from my first two years on the road.
Mid-July, I took a deep breath and headed to Stockholm for TBEX, widely regarded as the travel blogging conference.
I’ll admit to slight nerves, mainly because my blog is fairly new and I wasn’t sure if I should be better established before mingling with the travel-blogging elite.
(Also, ahem, because it followed the Worldwide Festival in Sète – one of my highlights of the year – a seven-day music festival that finished at 4am on Monday morning, with the official opening party for TBEX Stockholm taking place that Thursday evening. Ouch!)
So was I glad I attended and what did I learn from the experience?