I have a shocking piece of information: no one in their 20’s has anything remotely figured out. After many mental breakdowns and reevaluations of my life and career choices, I realized that writing is the only thing I have ever known that I was good at. And I know that someday I want my sole income to be based on my words. So I decided now was as good a time as any to redesign my blog and see what happens.
Step one: time to research some other travel blogs. There are ridiculous amounts of people doing crazy things all over the world and writing it down. My favorite travel blogger is Nomadic Matt for a comprehensive guide to almost every country. There are plenty of other blogs that focus on different aspects of travel: budget backpacking, food, and fashion just to name a few. They all feature amazing photography and quick lists of tips and that’s when I realized that I don’t really fit into the category of “travel blogging.” All these bloggers are amazing writers, photographers, and entrepreneurs and it’s so refreshing that there is an entire business focused on people doing what they love. But, I’m not sure if that’s my specialty.
I’ve read a lot about how to start a successful travel blog. One thing that I keep reading over and over again is to “find your niche.” You have to separate yourself to get readers and cultivate a following. So that’s what I’ve been asking myself: what is my niche? I’m not sure if I have the answer but I know that I want to create something totally different. I don’t want articles titled: Top 10 Cheap Eats in Chiang Mai. I want to write long think pieces about my struggle with traveling and disordered eating. I want to write about things that are real. No Pinterest bullshit. Life is tough as nails and sometimes I don’t have the toughness to match it. I’m not sure exactly how big of a component traveling will be in my future writing. But I still want to write and I think some fellow lunatics might want to read it.
This is an experiment of branding myself and my thoughts as my business. I want to start real conversations between people of all different backgrounds. I want to explore how my American-ness contributes to my view of the world. I want to hear from people who aren’t upper middle class white people with college degrees. If there’s one lesson I’ve taken away from traveling, it’s that there is more good than evil in the world; of that I am absolutely positive. Early adulthood is one big life lesson. Class is in session, time to pay attention.
“Searching means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal. You, oh vulnerable one, are perhaps indeed a searcher, because, striving for your goal, there are many things you don’t see, which are directly in front of your eyes,” -Hermann Hesse