I was feeling a bit philosophical lately after doing some of those recap posts, such as the Story of Brooke vs. the World. My mind got to thinking about why I’m even in this whole blogging business, and if it is worth continuing (not that I could really give it up). There’s a mad rush in the travel community to build up followers and get the hits and become a bigger fish in a huge sea of dreamers – and I can understand why many people strive for this: they want to make money.
As much as I love to make a buck or two off this site, it doesn’t really happen often enough to pay for the time spent fiddling around. Perhaps if I plastered ad blocks everywhere (I’ve been tempted on many occasions), I could probably make that change, but at the same time I hold back a lot (not completely mind you) because of the fact I don’t want this website to stray too far from its original purpose of sharing my personal story and experiences (and hopefully inspiring and entertaining a little in the process).
In that sense, it makes me sometimes wonder whether or not caring about stats and readers is worthwhile. I’m often torn between letting things just roll on their own and trying to instigate growth (because it’s a challenge?). It does make for a good hobby at least.
In the midst of all these thoughts, I was able to see the light. Travel blogging has impacted my life in several ways throughout the years for the better. It may not pay the bills, but it does have other benefits.
It hasn’t been the place where I divulge all my deepest and darkest secrets, but it does help with the venting and sharing process regardless. Really, I try to stay away from too much *emotion* in general, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t write it down. There have been a few occasions where I’ve deleted entire paragraphs before publishing, yet still felt better getting it out in words before doing so. Being able to share stories with others that can relate and comment is also a major bonus.
The Inspired Emails
The emails I get from people asking me how I did it, or how they’ve spent hours trolling the site in awe are some of the best reasons to keep going. It makes me feel good that others can benefit from my own experiences, much like I was inspired by many other bloggers back in the day. It sort of makes it feel as though I’m paying that motivation back.
Believe it or not, this blog has been a factor in getting a few of my previous jobs. Blogs are big business nowadays, and if you can show you know how to write for a web audience, you could be on your way to a few of your own. It’s hard to think about how something that seemed so trivial in the beginning of my travel infatuation could result in the amazing, awesome position of guide writer for WhyGo Australia (part of the BootsnAll Travel Network). It’s definitely one of those things I couldn’t have pictured four years ago when I was working the IT help desk at Caterpillar. No way.
The Introduction to Twitter
If I hadn’t been in the business of travel blogging, I probably would never have gotten into Twitter. To be honest, my first impression of the social media tool was a bit on the negative side. However, time let the benefits of Twitter show themselves, and I am hooked to say the least. Without those tweets, I wouldn’t have met some super cool people, been introduced to the Sydney Travel Tribe and made numerous other connections.
The People I’ve Connected With
Beyond Twitter, the blog itself has paved the way for connecting with some amazing people around the world. One contact in particular goes back to the early planning stages around 3.5 years ago – Bethany of Beers and Beans. It was through my blog that Bethany found me, and even though we’ve never met in person, she is someone that I still to this day share most things about my life with, and vice versa. Pretty cool, eh?
What about you guys? How has travel blogging impacted your life for the better?