Six months ago, on January 15, 2015, I decided to stop thinking and start doing: I launched The Globe Getter, my travel site and passion project.
Since then, I have become a Yahoo Travel Explorer, started contributing to Examiner.com, went on my first press trip on behalf of Travel Noire and had several of my posts published on The Huffington Post. I have also established several travel partnerships through my blog and, most importantly, met people who are as addicted to travel as I am. It's been a jam-packed six months, to say the least.
To make it even more jam-packed, I have had to figure out how to balance this blog with my full-time career and the rest of my personal life. I'm still figuring that part out.
I have learned some valuable lessons along the way that I hope, in some way, help those who are thinking of making the plunge into the world of travel blogging. Here is what it's really like being a new travel blogger:
I'm going to take a guess and estimate there are approximately one billion travel blogs out there. Plus me. So, make that a billion and one. I have no idea if this is actually true, but this is what it feels like. There are many travel bloggers and many of them are seriously impressive. They've built a following, they consistently produce amazing content and they're just killing it in the travel game.
This is a little intimidating for a new blogger like myself. Actually, very intimidating because I feel as though I'm about five years behind, and there's no way I can catch up. But then I think to myself, Tausha, did you start this blog to "catch up" to other bloggers or because you love to travel and write and tell stories? That question reminds me that it's not about comparisons. Everyone's situation is different and everyone has their own starting point. January 15, 2015 was mine.
Just as I find the world of travel blogging to be intimidating, I also find it to be extremely motivating. By that I mean that I'm constantly feeling pushed to continue writing and thinking of what's next. I realize it's only been six months and I shouldn't get ahead of myself, but when you're excited it happens. I find inspiration in random places and am always jotting down blog post ideas or changes to my site I hadn't thought of.
The Globe Getter is very much a work in progress. I know that a year from now I will likely look back and think an idea I have now ended up being the worst idea ever just as one could end up being my best idea ever (where are you when I need you, crystal ball?). Whatever the outcome, I remain motivated to keep writing and seeing where my blog goes next.
I find inspiration in random places and am always jotting down blog post ideas or changes to my site I hadn't thought of.
Yes, I feel frustrated at times, for a few reasons. The first is that, as any blogger knows, website metrics can be a frustrating experience that truly requires patience and persistence. There have been moments when the traffic to my blog is amazing and I think to myself, ahh, I've made it! And then there are times when the traffic is so low, it may just be my family reading (maybe not even them).
Then there are times I write something and put a ton of effort into it thinking it will be a big hit but instead I am met with crickets, while other times, blog posts I didn't think would do as well have ended up getting a lot of attention. And then, to be fair, some posts I thought would be popular do end up being popular. So, I have learned this is how the blogging process works and it's certainly frustrating at times, but you just have to be patient and persistent with the content you put out there.
A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about celebrating my birthday alone in Mexico. It was then published on Yahoo Travel's homepage, which has happened with a few of my posts, so no surprises there. But then, my story ended up being featured on Yahoo's main homepage, which had never happened before. This resulted in a flood of emails and messages, some from friends and colleagues but many from people I had never met. They wrote to tell me about their similar stories and to thank me for sharing mine. One man told me about the road trips he used to take with his wife and children decades ago in Mexico. Another woman wrote to say she was glad to see others out there who weren't afraid to solo travel and go off on their own.
For me, this is what travel is about: experiences that connect us even though they may have happened years apart or in completely different time zones. It's a powerful thing to read a story from a stranger and have it resonate with you in ways you had not anticipated. By far, these stories and responses have been the most rewarding part of this travel blogging journey. I did not expect it, but I'm extremely grateful for it.
It's a powerful thing to read a story from a stranger and have it resonate with you in ways you had not anticipated.
At the end of the day, I'm so glad I started this passion project. It's not always easy navigating work and this site, but I have already learned a ton in the last few months, and I look forward to learning more in the months ahead. We'll see what the one-year mark brings!