I have been watching the lovely Alex Beadon’s YouTube videos for a while now. She posts all kinds of motivational material about chasing your dreams (and she isn’t only talking to entrepreneurs!), as well as the finer details of setting up and growing your own business. So when Alex posted about her Feel Good Blogging Challenge, I figured that I might as well give it a go. I am late to the party, but better late than never!
Her first challenge is to give a simple introduction by answering 5 questions:
1. Who are you?
I am a 24 year old country girl from the UK who is currently living and working in Australia. My “Once-In-A-Lifetime” year long trip through South America, New York, California and New Zealand somehow turned into me staying in New Zealand working for 12 months. And just two weeks ago I moved to Oz.
Other than that, I love hiking and camping. Cats are my favourite animal. I studied Political Science at university. I hate swimming and it is possibly my biggest fear. The heaviest items in my travel backpack are my notebooks because I insist on keeping paper journals. I adore craft beers but am terrible at remembering their names. My favourite language is French. My favourite landscapes are rainforests and mountains. Before travelling I thought that I wanted to work either in/alongside British politics or as a lawyer (I know, I laugh at that too now.)
2. Why did you start blogging?
I actually started blogging in 2011, though not seriously. All of my friends were setting up their own blogs, and I thought it would be fun. (Aside from my cats, literature and writing are my two big loves.) I tried out different subjects and styles, and various blogging sites and names (I probably have about four cringe-worthy blogs floating about in cyberspace somewhere), but nothing really fit. Consequently, no one ever read my blog or enjoyed it.
Then I went travelling and set up a free WordPress.com blog to document my travels for friends and family. After just a few posts and no advertising beyond my own friendship circles, more people were reading my travel blog than all of my other blogs put together. I was enjoying my writing and thus people were enjoying reading what I had to say.
3. Who is your blog for?
My blog is for people who want advice about their travel plans and dreams. I have written a number of my articles specifically for nervous first-time backpackers because I know firsthand what it is like to be facing a huge international adventure alone, and how many questions and worries that you have before you leave.
I want to inspire people to travel the world and to overcome whatever fears, anxieties and problems that they have in their everyday lives. However, not everyone can embark on long-term travel, and I honestly believe that people can cultivate the same happiness in their everyday lives without flying thousands of miles to do it. (The Everyday Wanderlust series is a good example.)
80% of the joy in travelling is in the mentality that travelling develops and requires. It’s not just about the sights that you see!
Basically, I write for women who want personal positive change, a good laugh, some self-love and some solid travel advice.
4. What’s something you’ve been working on that you’re really proud of?
I have just moved to Melbourne, Australia, with limited funds and no job. I have also decided that now is the time to take my writing seriously. Pushing on a long-term career plan that holds no immediate security or outcome a million miles from home, in a different country, when you are penniless, unemployed and homeless, is pretty challenging. Particularly when you are specifically saving for further backpacking adventures.
All in all, it’s bloody hard work and I may have succumbed to beer and cigarettes to get me through the pain of dealing with the UK Student Loans company (I needed to prove that I wasn’t secretly making millions in the lucrative business of housekeeping), but I am proud of myself for how I have been handling things and the progress that I have made.
5. What’s one message that you hope people take away from your blog?
That they are capable of doing what they want to do.
18 months ago I never thought I would do half of the things I that I have done. I hadn’t even been to London on my own, let alone another country. And OK, so I still can’t cook and the most exciting healthy meal that I make is boiled broccoli with salt and pepper (I wish I was lying.) But I did travel around the world by myself, and that is pretty cool.
I am someone who has always been very cynical and pessimistic. I am not one of these “you can be anything that you want to be” people. I’m British: complaining and seeing the negative come naturally to me.
But you know what? We are freaking capable of more than we think we are. Many issues that seem so impossible can be overcome. And I think many women out there deserve more than they think they do. Everyone has their own version of the Good Life…it’s up to us to seek it and nurture it.
At the very least, I hope that people can read my blog and have a laugh at my expense.