A couple weeks ago, I was interviewed by an Oxford student via Skype doing research on the “digital nomad lifestyle.” It was by far the most interesting interview I’ve been a part of.
Some of her questions really struck a chord with me and left me reflecting on them, especially:
How has your travel blog changed your life?
Maybe I shouldn’t start this list off with such a negative point. However, I have always said that in my blog I am my authentic self, and this ugly part of blogging has been at the forefront of my mind lately.
When I first thought about writing about my life and travels, I never considered that there would be haters. Unfortunately, when you put yourself out there, bare your heart in your soul in written form on the internet, offering an unadulterated version of yourself, there are people who will hate what you write and hate what you stand for. From the nastiest of blog comments to attacking emails, the impact never really leaves.
Sure, I have read various opinions out there that I found blatantly wrong and offensive, but never have I felt compelled to virtually attack the author. There are some really hateful people out there.
On the flip side of that, if it weren’t for my blog I would never have met my boyfriend, Dwayne. He stumbled across my blog and sent me an email. In it, he told me that he was living in Medellin too. I invited him to a meeting of our local entrepreneur group where I was giving a talk on social media. Over a year later, we are still together and still going strong. I have my blog to thank for that.
When I think about all of the amazing opportunities that have resulted from my blog, my mind is blown. Such as my entire work life – truly I’ve developed all of the skills I get paid for now through working on my blog. In fact, many people I’ve worked with, past and present, hired me in part because my lifestyle is cool. I’ve even been invited to stay for free in different places and generated side income with this blog (and others).
Ultimately, my blog has impacted my travel experience in many ways. As most travel bloggers will agree with, once you are dedicated to your blog you’re constantly thinking, “What am I going to write about next? Will my readers like these photos? Don’t forget to write down the costs of x.” I’ve met people who don’t even travel with a laptop… impossible if you’re a blogger. The blog is always present during your travels.
I’m not the most outgoing person around. I prefer having one on one conversations with people then being the center of attention at a party. Through the emails and comments I get, I’ve been able to “meet” people from all around the world. Some feel stuck in their 9-5, some feel that itch to dump it all and travel the world, and others share their love for a particular place I’ve been or have questions about my lifestyle. This blog is a two-way conversation, and It’s been really cool hearing about your dreams, struggles, and experiences.