January is always a time for reflection isn’t it? When I think back to this time last year my family was starting 2020 with so much excitement. We had a really big year to look forward to, with three weddings and the birth of our little adventurer on the horizon.
But, along with so many others, we could only watch in dismay as one by one the things we had been counting down to were cancelled or postponed.
As Covid numbers began to soar across Europe, we made the difficult decision not to go on our holiday to Albania the night before we were due to leave. Everything was so up in the air and we just didn’t feel that we could risk making the two-week trip when I was seven months pregnant and with a toddler in tow.
In hindsight, that was totally the right call. But it did mean the only holiday we managed to take was a brief trip to Wales, in between lockdowns.
Which, while a lovely break, doesn’t provide much content for someone who calls themselves a “travel blogger”.
A change of direction
So what do you do when you’re a travel blogger who can’t leave the house? Over the last year it’s a discussion many bloggers in this area have been having.
If anything, one thing it has taught us is how fortunate we were. How lucky were we to live in a country where it’s relatively easy to travel? Where our passport opens up the world to us? Where we could hop on a plane at a moment’s notice and be in another country within hours? I hope we all remember that when the time comes to be able to travel safely again.
Over the last few months I’ve watched in awe as bloggers and travel writers have effortlessly pivoted to talk about interior design, their families and even their baking attempts.
We’re constantly being told by those in the know to share more of ourselves. Apparently our followers are more likely to interact with us if they feel connected to more aspects of our lives.
But what if that’s not you? While I love travelling and sharing my adventures and hopefully inspiring the odd person or two to take a grown up gap year, I’m quite private about other areas of my life. I live a very specific part of my life online and there’s a reason for that.
Obviously I have many other sides to who I am. I’m a mum, I’m a wife, I’m a journalist (when I’m not on maternity leave). But these are topics I rarely blog about.
Because the more we share of ourselves the more open to comment we become. I love the way we are raising our children, but personally I don’t want strangers questioning my parenting skills. We are lucky enough to live in a beautiful home, but I don’t want people I don’t know commenting on my choice of interiors (and quite frankly, I don’t have the time or the energy to keep it as spotless as it would need to be!).
Don’t get me wrong, I love learning more about other people and the parts of their lives they choose to share online. But I know from other way more successful bloggers than me, that that sometimes comes at a cost.
I’ve always run this blog as a hobby alongside my day job. I don’t need to make money from it, so I’m not as dependent on clicks and visitor numbers as people who do this as their full-time job and, understandably, are affected by the slump in viewers many of us have seen.
What’s next for this travel blogger?
So for those of us who don’t feel comfortable sharing every detail of our lives on social media, what’s next?
For me, this last year has been thinking about what’s important in my life. Seeing our second little adventurer so sick in hospital really reinforced how important family life is to me and spending time with my children, especially now when they are young.
We’re currently looking at ways we can continue to have family adventures in the future, including potentially buying a campervan. So I’d love to hear any tips you may have on that! We’re also hoping to go on a big trip in 2022, and beginning to talk about that is reigniting our wanderlust.
I can’t deny that I’ve really missed our smaller trips too. I’ve missed visiting family and friends, something we regularly did in our ‘old life’. I’ve missed our regular visits to Brighton and our camping adventures. So we’re hoping that in the not too distant future we’ll be able to do that again.
So I guess for the time being I’ll call myself a “travel blogger in waiting” and I hope that when it’s finally safe to travel again, you’ll be able to join us for the ride.