It’s been days and days (okay, a little over a month) since I’ve written a word for this blog. This blog that’s my pride and joy, that I’ve spent countless time creating, that I’ve poured a pretty penny into, and that I love working on more than anything. It’s gone eerily quiet. Like, crickets quiet.
At the beginning of 2019, I was so gung-ho for my blog. I bought a pretty day planner and I made a very well-thought out editorial calendar. This was going to be the year I focused on Taylor On A Trip as a priority and took it to the next level. Yet, despite posting three times within the first two weeks of the year, any hopes for consistency were quickly abandoned, and every post idea sat dormant in my planner.
While I’d love to pin this absence on a specific reason, in actuality it has a lot to do with my workload, a bit to do with feeling jaded about the industry and unsure of my direction, and somewhat to do with the fact that I’m far more productive when I let my inspiration flow versus following a calendar. Oh, and it has lot to do with a cyclical pattern I’ve noticed — despite my blog being a major passion for me, I just tend to go AWOL every now and then.
That’s not to say I haven’t been writing. In fact, I write about two posts a week for other online publications that, quite frankly, I enjoy working with and help to pay my bills. So, while my own blog sits a little too neglected, I feel like I’m getting closer than ever to making a career out of doing things that I truly love and working with people that energize me.
And as much as I hate to admit it, when I’m feeling busy my passion is the first thing to drop out of my to-do list. Anybody feel me? Or are you the kind of people who get ENERGIZED from pulling off-the-wall long hours? TELL ME YOUR SECRETS.
Oh, and of course there’s that other thing I’ve been grappling with — self-criticism. In the travel blogging industry, it’s so easy to look at other people’s work and profiles and compare myself to them, despite having completely different circumstances. I constantly look at my blog, make a list of things I’d like to do with it and new directions to take, and then become completely overwhelmed and end up sitting in front of the TV binging Jane the Virgin.
Not to mention, it’s so easy to look at my peers, see how many trips they’re taking, and get down on myself on the fact I haven’t even left Alberta since Christmas. Although I know there are some very real reasons for that (which I’ll get to in a sec), I can’t help but think — some travel blogger I am, eh?
Of course, I’m working on battling the self-criticism, and a big part of that has been cutting back on my social media use. A few months ago, I was following every major blogger under the sun. Now, I only follow the ones that I feel inspired by or know personally — people that make me feel excited about the industry. Does this make me feel a little out of the loop? Maybe, but if it helps me get back into my groove then I’m all for it.
Now, back to the reason why I’ve holed myself up in my apartment for the past three months like J.D. Salinger — I have some very big life changes on the horizon. As of May 9, my one-year contract working at two radio stations in Alberta will be over, and as of June 1, I will have vacated my apartment, moved all my stuff back into storage at my parent’s house, and will once again become a drifter.
In preparation for this, I’ve been working my butt off, having some introspective what-do-I-want-next kind of moments, and trying to get back into the come-what-may state of mind.
Which brings me to travel.
Unlike last time when I quit my job and travelled long-term and at least had a basic outline for my life, I’m not exactly sure what my plan is going to be. I know that I’ll be spending time in Toronto, Boston, and the American South. I know that I’ll eventually make it out to British Columbia and California. I know that if I don’t get another steady gig within the first couple months I’ll likely be spending my days in Mexico and Central America (hellooo land of affordable housing). But I don’t know what my next gig is going to be — whether I’ll find a way to fully support myself with location-independent work (like, enough money to live in Canada) or if I’ll move somewhere and strike up another life of domesticity.
I’ve been asked a lot lately what my upcoming travel and life plans are, and the fact is that I feel hesitant to really book anything, as until I’m in the moment, I don’t know what my life is going to look like in six months, let alone three. It’s a weird position to be in, not knowing what is next on the horizon, and it’s one that I simultaneously find terrifying and exciting. I’m learning to surrender to the universe and take opportunities as they arise, but damn if it isn’t hard squelching that little voice in the back of my head telling me I’m going to fall flat on my face.
And apparently, there’s a technical term for this (because of course there is in 2019). It’s called Uncertainty Intolerance, or UI. Okay, so I feel like this is SUCH a millennial thing to even term, but it’s a legitimate psychology idea that refers to a large group of people (mostly my generation), that has a growing fear of the unknown, and adjusting their life choices as such.
Of course, this is no doubt amplified by the fact that many people my age are in more precarious financial situations than older generations were. I talk to millennials time again that are struggling to pay bills (despite holding multiple jobs), holding off purchasing big items such as houses and cars to stave off debt, all the while trying to find purpose in their lives.
And here I am with a life consisting almost completely of the unknown. My early twenties consisted of going into the same office building every day and, while it was an exciting environment, I knew what to expect from my days and there wasn’t much uncertainty. But now, whether I want to take the leap or not, I’m going back on my own, back into the abyss.
So I guess all of this is me saying that I don’t know what my blogging schedule is going to look like over the next couple months, but I’m still here, and I still love Taylor On A Trip with my whole heart. I’m not sure what the next chapter of my life is going to bring, but I know that it will be worth it and full of memories and opportunities to grow.
And as always, thanks for tagging along for the ride. xx