Yes, you read that right. Blogiversary. There is such a thing in the blogging world.
Today marks one year since I launched leadtoroam.com. Although I technically started this blog as Land of Oz in August 2014. And actually, I’ve been blogging on and off for almost six years back when I was a wee lass heading off for my first stint living abroad in Montpellier in 2010. But today is about Lead to Roam. And it’s Lead to Roam’s first blogiversary.
Since starting Lead to Roam a year ago, I’ve visited 4 countries: Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Mexico (well, 5 if you count returning to the US). It’s been a great year.
When I started this blog a year ago, I had big ambitions. I wanted to learn how to code and design my own template. I imagined creating a thriving travel blog with thousands of followers. I thought about trying to score free accommodation or tours by writing reviews to my imagined thousands of followers. I hoped to one day generate some income from it and turn it into a business like others have successfully done. And I had people supporting me; specifically my friend Sara who helped me with come up with the name and offered her design skills, as well as my aunt Ann who always reassures me I would make a great travel writer or TV host.
I tried at first. I started by writing guest posts for Hostelworld to gain exposure for my blog (here and here if you’re interested.) I drafted posts for my blog that would get more attention, with Buzzfeed-esque titles such as ’27 Reasons to visit Australia NOW’ or ’53 Ways You Know You’re a Backpacker.’ I branded myself as ‘Lead to Roam’ on Instagram, Twitter and a dedicated Facebook page. I obsessed over my Instagram, researching hashtags to reach wider audiences and checking back every 15 minutes to see if I had new likes. I would constantly stress about how many days had passed since my last blog or Instagram post.
I realized that creating a successful travel blog was going to turn into a full-time job, one in an over-saturated field. There are easily thousands of other bloggers out there doing the same thing as me, but better. And when I say better, I mean with more commitment. I love traveling and I enjoy blogging, but I’ve decided not to pursue the full-time blogger route. I don’t want to spend all my free time behind a screen when I could be outside. I don’t want to spend 30 minutes taking hundreds of photos to get that one perfect, Insta-worthy picture when I’d rather set the camera down and enjoy the experience.
As jealousy-inducing as it is to look at others who are able to travel full-time through their blogs and freelancing/consulting gigs, I have come to terms with the fact that it’s not what I want to do with my life. I would rather devote my time and energy to something I’m passionate about, like pursuing a career in marine conservation.
This in no way means I’m going to stop blogging, stop posting Instagram photos or stop traveling – I love doing all those things. But it will just be for fun, with no big intentions or ambitions, and I won’t stress about how many likes or views my blogs and photos are getting.
My future travel will probably be geared more towards gaining experience in the marine field. Like potentially going to Africa to work with mega fauna, or going to Indonesia to complete my divemasters course. Who knows! In the meantime I hope you continue to enjoy following me along on my adventures 🙂