5 Ways This Travel Blog Has Changed My Life

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?

1. Hate

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.

2. Love

Dwayne and Jasmine

Us in our Colombia jerseys. Photo by Joel Duncan.

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.

3. Opportunity

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).

4. Experience

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.

5. Connection

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.

Do you have a blog? How has it changed your life?

  • Definitely the connections I’ve made!! I get comments and emails from people all over the world. And sometimes they’re traveling to where I live and want to meet me, so I’ve gotten more than a few free rum punches out of the deal :)

  • Haha free rum punches, nice :)

  • When I was doing my blog GlassDuffle, I definitely experienced much of the same stuff you list here. Crazy how big of haters some people can be huh? Damn internet anonymity! But yeah, while I was traveling with my blog, definitely was constantly asking myself “what should I write about?” as opposed to just living in the moment and having fun… sometimes the blog got in the way.

    Nice insights J!

  • Yes, being anonymous seems to bring out the worst in people.

  • wyatt4500

    Well done, Jasmine! I´m Doug Heller, creator of the Montevideo Language Exchange and jumped off the 9-to-5 merry-go-round in 2005 and don’t regret it for a moment….something about living an authentic life (for me). Your reflections resonate deeply with me. I admire your courage and ingenuity. Overcoming one’s inner fear, the “I couldn’t do that!” syndrome is tremendously liberating. I wish you well. Maybe I’ll run into you and Dwayne sometime in Medellin. (I’m currently 9 months into Asia~The Philippines, after 8 years in South America~But Medellin has been calling to me.) Ciao.

  • Thanks for your note Doug. Hope you’re enjoying Asia, it’s one of my favorite regions of the world.

  • David V

    Got to say I’m a fan of your blog, I find it genuine and insightful. Like you I also went to USF and recently moved to Colombia for work, don’t think I consider myself an expat though (born in Cali, but lived most of my life in the states). This post got me thinking about my experiences and the opportunities to make new connections, so thank you for that… who knows maybe I’ll too start a blog.

    cheers.

  • Andy

    I can really relate to these points Jasmine. The amount of opportunity that comes out of a blog for example can be really great. Additionally, the ability to connect with people as you mention is phenomenal. Meeting like minded and people with differing opinions from around the world.

    Andy
    BackpackingDiplomacy.com

  • Naomi Todd

    Blogging definitely opened my eyes to all the opportunities out and it’s reinforced the idea that I don’t have to follow the status quo. Whilst there are plenty of haters or people that don’t support my opinion, this only makes me more determined to go out and do my own thing. Keep blogging Jasmine, I love seeing updates about Medellin – I miss it so bad and I’m already planning my return back there!

  • Thanks for your comment Naomi. I’m sure Medellin is looking forward to your return too :)

  • Great post, Jasmine! Staring a blog is a life-changing experience. We’ve been doing it for one year and a half, and I can’t imagine my day without it.
    I’m surprised with what you’ve said about hate, our experience has mostly been positive. Don’t let then ruin it for you, though! Keep up the great work and travel safe!
    p.s. Thanks for connecting with us on Twitter.

  • travellingforfun

    Very true post. I’m only a newbie on this whole blogging thing but have been travelling for years. Since I started my blog I’v noticed that so many things change about what you do when you travel, what you need to remember or take notes on. And of course a laptop.

  • Thanks for stopping by :)

  • Totally. It’s definitely different from traveling with no blog.

  • Philip Lee

    Awesome and inspiring results from your online blog! Getting your boyfriend alone was very worth starting the blog! :)

  • Very true!