Day 275: Cuenca, Ecuador
2010 was enormous for me both personally and as a writer. I went from:
this is a blog for my mother
this is a travel blog
The last month or so in Cuenca I’ve been thinking about the year and I was going to write two separate posts, one for my personal life and one for the blog.
But I realized that Bacon is Magic has changed because I have changed. So it’s a bit of a mish mash but here was my year:
What I did wrong
1) When I launched the blog almost a year ago I knew nothing about self-hosting and just chose a template that looked pretty. It was the closest to Everything Everywhere, a blog I admired and read regularly so I jumped in with both feet and learned blogging the hard way.
The template is pretty but it’s not functional and the back-end is a mess. I wish I had gone with Woo Themes.
It’s odd to have a personal blog and claim that you don’t like a spotlight but I really hate self-promotion and asking people to join my FB page felt like screaming ‘please validate my pathetic existence.’
But I have learned that Facebook is so important to reaching non-bloggers and I wish I had done it earlier.
3) I didn’t really have a clean start. Sure I talked a good game and said I left a relationship of 5 years to travel but my heart was still at home.
I was scared to be totally and completely alone so I hung onto something that wasn’t right.
I’m finally ready to move on. I’m no longer afraid to be alone.
What I learned
1) People actually give a shit about what I write.
You come, some of you comment, you come back again. After I wrote the 12 things I hate about traveling I realized that there were people who cared, that I hadn’t even met yet! I may not have met you in person, but you are not strangers to me.
2) To write in my own voice.
Just as the first season of Seinfeld was a bit meh so was the beginning of this blog. I’m not a Lonely Planet guide so I’m shedding all the jargon and telling you what I really think.
Sometimes it sounds whiney and I know you’re thinking ‘oh you poor bitch complaining about surfers on the beach‘ but you should know its not all mojitos and piñatas.
3) To open my heart.
I’ve always been reserved and border on cold with many people. I learned in both my blog and in life that I need to open up a bit more.
Being vulnerable doesn’t mean you aren’t strong.
I have the Latin culture to thank for that. A year of encountering people who were so open with their affection, disdain, lust and anger it really made me question why I was so reserved.
What you will see in 2011
In December I really started thinking about the blog, my life and where I was going with both. I’d love to say that I have the answer, I don’t but Reverb10 really helped me evaluate what was important to me.
1) New site design, yay!
It’s not a complete revamp and won’t have all the bells and whistles that I would like but it will be a heck of a lot more user friendly and will help others find me better on Google.
2) I will be using Facebook more.
I see a lot of interesting things on the road that don’t warrant a post but I still want to share them. I’m also looking at designing a FB page and learning from others on how to best connect with people on Facebook.
3) Writing more about the emotional journey.
Sure I want to share my highlights of the trip but I’m learning this journey isn’t about tours and souvenirs but figuring out what in life.
I’ve learned there are many people like me that somehow can’t put a finger on it but they know they aren’t as happy as they could be and are looking for ways to change that.
Ive been getting more into the lifestyle design, self-help-get-off-your-ass-if-you’re-not-happy genre. I’ll likely talk about my own journey here.
I promise not to get too preachy or new agey
Success and happiness come in many forms so I’m going to share my journey of how I get there.
I can afford six more months of travel on my savings and I’m dedicating those 6 months to finding out what I really want vs. what I think I ‘should’ do.
I hope you stick with me for the journey.
Feliz año nuevo,