“Are you employed?”
“Yes, I’m self employed. I’m a…blogger….” I say with uncertainty, knowing my answer would be met with a familiarly blank expression. “I’m a travel blogger,” I add with a bit more conviction.
“A….blogger….? That’s your job…?”
I know the drill now. Her expression will either turn from confusion to intrigue as she begins asking approximately 400 questions (none of which I mind answering btw). Or she’ll try and pretend she understands this is a legitimate job and will breeze over the question with an, “Oh…OK….” As she writes it down on the form and quickly moves on.
I’ve filled out a lot of forms recently due to the endless appointments you have when you have a baby. I have no idea why my employment status is relevant when having a baby but it keeps cropping up and it’s got me thinking a lot about what a blog actually is – I have been asked enough times recently!
It’s also got me thinking about what my blog is.
To me, a blog is really personal. It’s a person’s slice of the internet where you can share whatever you like. It almost feels like a person’s online home. You fill your home with photos and trinkets, your favourite things, souvenirs, letters, postcards and notes that make you feel good or bring back memories.
Opening up a blog for the first time is a little like walking through someone’s front door. You’re stepping into their life, their personal space, their happy, safe place.
I think this is why so many people love blogging. You feel like you’re creating something worthwhile and something that’s going to last. It’s something other people can enjoy but, ultimately, you do it for yourself. It’s a creative outlet and a way to store your memories and thoughts, a little like the modern version of scrapbooking.
But for so many people, myself included, you stop seeing your blog as an online scrapbook when people start reading it. And then lots of people start reading it and you have an internal freak-out at the thought of them peaking at your personal scrapbook. I mean, you’ve said some stupid stuff over the years and now actual real people are going to read that! So you start altering your voice, changing your tone, blogging about normal stuff and the kind of stuff people are Googling. You write lists and imitate other bloggers and you watch your pageviews go up and up and up. And you feel proud and amazed that so many people are reading your blog… but it doesn’t always feel quite right.
Things have changed and it isn’t about you anymore. It’s about everything surrounding you, but not you.
And then I feel like I’m totally self absorbed wanting this website to be all about me. Do people even care? But that’s what started this in the first place to maybe they do…?
According to Google (the fount of all knowledge), a blog is “a regularly updated website or web page, typically one run by an individual or small group, that is written in an informal or conversational style.”
So I think it’s time to start having a few more conversations on this blog.
I’ve loved every single second of working on this blog. I’ve loved the little team who’ve joined me and I love working with them on amazing travel projects and campaigns. This has all been so much fun but it’s time to get personal and show who we really are. I don’t just want to talk about our adventures, I want to talk about us. My favourite blogs are more about the people behind them as much as what those people are actually doing.
So you’re going to start seeing more personal posts here on The Travel Hack. There’ll be more peeks into my life at home and more vlogs that show you what we’re really up to. Don’t worry, we’ll never lose our travel focus and we already have some exciting trips coming up for 2017!
An exciting announcement
Yes, you’re going to be seeing more vlogs hers on The Travel Hack and to kick things off I’m going to be doing Vlogmas!
For those of you who’ve never heard of Vlogmas, it’s a YouTube thing where vloggers make a video every day in the run up to Christmas. It begins on December 1st and some vloggers do it until Christmas day and some will do it all month.
Elle and Char are also joining me in the challenge to do our first ever Vlogmas so check out their YouTube channels too. Elizabeth has done this all before so it will be her second year doing vlogmas.
If you’d like a behind the scenes look at my life then subscribe to my YouTube channel for a daily video.
For me, Vlogmas is about more than just making a video each day. It’s about challenging myself to learn a new skill and stretch myself creatively. I’ve been blogging for so long now and it comes so naturally and easily to me. This is brilliant but it’s been a long time since I’ve pushed the boundaries and done anything really new and creative.
I miss those early days when I nervously hit ‘Publish’ and sat there hitting ‘refresh’ to see how many people were reading my posts. It took me hours to do anything and I pondered every process. Everything was so new and scary but exciting and challenging. I loved this and I want this feeling again. And making videos definitely gives me this feeling!
The second reason I’m interesting in making videos is for the memories. I love using photography as a way of capturing memories but video is even better. You get all the little details with videos like the sounds of the birds early in the morning, first giggles, first words or even the sizzle of a steak as it fries in a hot pan. Videos really bring memories to life and I’m already excited to make videos just to watch them back in years to come.