The Year Bacon Got a Little Crazy

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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

to

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:

girl squinted into sun

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.

2) I started a Facebook page very late and only after the bloggers from FoggOdyssey and GoSeeWrite hounded me.

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.

 

lake atitlan guatemala

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 piΓ±atas.

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.

 

Volcano silhouette

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 aΓ±o nuevo,

Ayngelina

Join the Conversation

  1. I always enjoy reading your blog. It seems that you’ve had a pretty amazing year. Cheers to a wonderful 2011.

  2. turkey's for life says:

    Happy New Year, Ayngelina. Looking forward to more posts in 2011 and watching your blog develop. πŸ™‚

  3. I was late to join the whole Facebook fanpage thing too & finally started one last week. It just felt so… weird. Me? Have fans? WHY? But it has been interesting to see people pop up on there that I’ve never seen before both in real life & in Twitter life. So that’s cool. And, yeah, I’m getting used to having fans too. I mean, hey, who doesn’t want fans?

  4. Fantastic post! And I’m so excited to follow your adventures and travels into 2011! Happy new year!

  5. Again, your words truly inspire me. We miss and love you and are so excited for what 2011 has in store for you! Happy new year.

  6. Love, love this post! So glad you are growing and your blog is as well! I can’t wait to keep up with you in 2011 and see how it goes!

    I agree with the self-promotion thing, I’m still struggling but I’m hoping to change my attitude in 2011 as well!

  7. Skott and Shawna says:

    Happy New Year!!! You have an amazing blog – keep up the awesomeness! Maybe, just maybe we will catch you in the new year! Cheers!

  8. I am amazed in seeing your personal growth…. I know that some “truths” are very painful but necessary…these types of post always touch me deeply…because I know you are a remarkable person and it has been great following you on this journey. Just be safe and keep in touch daily!

  9. Great end of year wrap-up! I know what you mean about starting the Facebook page – it felt weird to me and I had no plans to it until you and Michael suggested it in the Travel Bloggers group. And like Sally said, it’s kinda fun to see who’s popped up on it so far!

    Happy New Year! I look forward to reading more of your adventures in 2011!

  10. Jill - Jack and Jill Travel The World says:

    That’s how I feel about a FB page too. But sometime this month I’ll quietly start one and see where it leads.

    Congrats on an awesome 2010 and maybe we’ll see you somewhere in South America in April?

  11. It was great to read about the bumpy road you took to where you are today! Thanks for sharing and keep at it! Best to you in the New Year!

  12. retrotraveller says:

    Great post – I enjoyed reading this… 2010 has seen me getting to grips with this travel blogging lark… grappling with WordPress and Facebook pages – lets hope 2011 brings exciting new thing for both of us…

  13. Bring on 2011! I always love seeing how other bloggers have grown and evolved over time, and I love your honesty. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings for you!

  14. Bryana Dickens says:

    Feliz Ano (writing that without the “tilda” on the N kills me) Nuevo! I just want to add another coin to box of well-wishes. Except my coin is made out of chocolate. πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

  15. Ditto on your Mom’s message…you are amazing. I am so glad to know you.

  16. I just found your blog and I admire your honest and spirit. Best wishes for 2011.

  17. Cathy Sweeney says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts here. I’ll definitely be sticking with you for the journey!

  18. Glen Abbott says:

    Great job with the blog; look forward to 2011!

  19. Wishing you a happy new year and good luck on your forthcoming travels, this is my 1st visit to your blog. Looking forward to dropping by again.

  20. I give a shit what you write! I love your blog, Ayngelina.. but that’s largely because I think you, too, are fantastic.

    Happy 2011!

  21. I’ll be along for the ride. πŸ™‚

  22. Ayngelina, I have always enjoyed reading your blog. I consider it to be pretty open and true to your feelings. Plus, it always gives me an insight of what you are experiencing wherever you are.

    Like you, at first I thought no one would care about what I had to say, but clearly, even if they are just a few, people do care and they look to learn more about the journey and the experience.

    Here’s to an even better 2011 and to a positive blogging evolution!!

  23. “Being vulnerable doesn’t mean you aren’t strong.” really speaks to me… I have always found this to be a hard balance, but it’s totally true. And I think when we are able to express both sides, people want to read and get to know us more. I jumped in feet first, but didn’t really find my “voice” until recently. Happy we met online, and would love to meet irl. Hopefully, 2011 will include that!

  24. It’s a fantastic progress you have made over only one year and it’s great that you share yozur experiences. Like you, I’m learning the hard way and I’m not shy to say that your blog serves as a model too. Facebook is importnat and so is joining grozps on linkedin which vae nothing to do with travel. Gives you a broader audience. Will faithfully follow you in 2011.

  25. I loved reading this post. πŸ™‚ So much of what you wrote resonated with my heart and I even got a bit teary. I’m SO glad you feel more free and confident to be alone, to be yourself, to share your heart. I look forward to getting to know you better on your newly designed site. πŸ™‚

  26. Dave and Deb says:

    It’s been a great year for you and I know 2011 is going to be awesome! Looking forward to seeing where you go and what you’ll do. Happy New Year!

  27. Yay yay and YAY! You’re awesome girl.. and so is you blog. Admire you for your courage, honesty and super dry sense of humor! We (C&C) are fans of BACON IS MAGIC!

  28. My first reaction to reading the title of this post and seeing the bacon picture was an irresistible urge to yell “hell yeah”!

    After reading the post I feel the same way – all of the best on a strong start to 2011.

  29. Good for you Ayngelina. It sounds like 2010 has been a very productive learning year for you.

    And yeah, I think most people would rather read someone who is honest any day, over someone who bullshits and glosses over the bad parts of traveling or the bad parts of life — even if that does mean complaining about being on a beach with hot surfers πŸ™‚

  30. Looking back always seem to have a way of moving you forward. Seems like you got a push in the right direction. Good luck, Ayngelina!

  31. adventureswithben says:

    Isn’t blogging a fun and wild ride! Enjoyed your lessons and best of luck in 2011. Can’t wait to see what emerges.

  32. Christy - Ordinary Traveler says:

    I’ve always appreciated your honesty in your posts. Your blog is one of my favorites! I look forward to reading more in 2011!

  33. Love all your perspectives– I agree about opening up, it’s what I personally have struggled with as a writer for many years. So good to follow you and see what you’re up to. Happy 2011!

    charu

  34. Justin Hamlin says:

    A blog, like life, should constantly be reinvented. You don’t stay the same, why should your blog.

    Looking forward to everything you have to offer in 2011.

  35. Michael Hodson says:

    I’m excited to see 2011 for you!

  36. DTravelsRound says:

    I love your blog and can’t wait to see where 2011 takes you. Here’s to safe travels — both inside and out. xx

  37. Kirsten Alana says:

    Like others have said, I enjoy your blog and will look forward to following your continuing adventures this year. I am so glad you can experience positive growth and apply the lessons you’ve learned here!

  38. Corinne @ Gourmantic says:

    Happy New Year and here’s to more bacon goodness in 2011! πŸ™‚

  39. It’s great to see how your experiences traveling throughout South America are similar to what I’m learning in Far East Asia!

    I’m certainly learning the art of being patient, which I didn’t even know it existed when I lived in Europe.

    You’re right, being vulnerable doesn’t mean you’re not strong, I think everybody traveling alone is vulnerable to some extent, and being able to manifest it is your strength.

    Great achievements you’ve made so far, looking forward to your new posts!

  40. Woohoo! I love New Year posts, so much inspiration. I have yet to hop on the Facebook bandwagon. I LOATHE when people add me as a friend on Facebook and then immediately ask me to “Like” their site. Hate hate hate. I figure I’ll come clean with my own blog this year too though, and my mother will have to get used to the fact I love the word “fuck.”

  41. Love your blog but if you feel it is time to redesign then it is. Happy new year BTW.

  42. Great photos, its pretty inspiring to see someone take their life into their own hands and travel around to see the world. I think the current blog design is fine as well but im not sure if its the old or the new one :/

  43. Congrats on an epic first year – I’ve enjoyed following you throughout most of 2010 and look forward to more in 2011. Safe and happy travels & good luck with the redesign!

  44. After so many comments, what more can I add.
    I like your blog….:-)

  45. I look forward to all these changes in 2011 Ayngelina, your blog is one great example of world travel and self learning.

  46. A Tramp Abroad says:

    Happy new year! I love your blog and my favorite part is hearing about things from your unique perspective. Good luck in the next year – I look forward to following your journey.

  47. Globetrottergirls says:

    Happy New Year! Sounds like there are a lot of exciting things coming up on ‘Bacon is Magic’ – looking forward to see the re-designed site! We didn’t go with Woo themes from the beginning either, and are happy that we were able to change our theme. We’re wondering where the photo of you at Lake Atitlan was taken – was that in Santa Cruz? Looks great!

  48. Lindsay aka @_thetraveller_ says:

    Kudos to you lady! And don’t stress about your theme, mines fucked too and it’s a woo theme. It won’t do ANYTHING I tell it too. I think I will also need a revamp

  49. Zablon Mukuba says:

    i always enjoy your blog, am looking forward to your posts for this year, happy new year

  50. Ayngelina, I love your honesty and can’t wait to see what you do in 2011!

  51. Great blog and I’m so glad that I’ve “met you”. Just keep being you. πŸ™‚

  52. 2010 was a good year for me. In fact, I think it was probably the best year I’ve had as a functioning adult. Looking forward to what 2011 will bring me! πŸ™‚

  53. Another honest and heartfelt post, Ayngelina. I definitely care about what you write! I hope that you find some of your answers about what you want, and enjoy the journey along the way.

  54. THere’s a lot I;d like to say in response to this post, but instead of writing an entire treatise, I’ll limit to one thing.

    I think it actually makes you strong to be vulnerable. It’s not easy to open up, show emotion, admit mistakes and be human in front of what could potentially be the entire (online) world.

    As for the rest, very well said. I’m glad we’ve connected through our blogs. Happy happy new year to you! All good things.

  55. wanderingtrader says:

    Great post! Can’t wait for the new site design!

  56. Cornelius Aesop says:

    It is amazing how much a year can change even if it is just the life of this blog.

  57. As always, you inspire me. And as always, I need to work on my blog….

  58. Great post, A. I like how honest you are about your goals, and I’ve enjoyed reading your writing as you’ve changed focus in these last few months.

    Also: PLEASE tell me someone has bought this for you – http://www.thinkgeek.com/geektoys/plush/e1d0/ ?

    1. Ayngelina Author says:

      @Jodi

      Thanks, you know oddly enough I think that toy may be in a care package sent to me. I like that when you squeeze it he says I’m bacon!

  59. I’ll be here!

  60. We’ll be following your adventures Ayngelina. And on to a crazier 2011!

  61. Oh la la, can’t wait to see what the new site looks like. Happy New Year!!! 2010 has been such an awesome year for you, can’t wait to see what adventures you get up to in 2011. Come to Argie in May!!!!!!!!!

  62. Interestingly, I have a lot of similar plans for my blog in 2011 and reverb10 helped me out too – great minds think alike!;-)It seems like you’re off to a great start. All the best in 2011!

  63. Lorna - the roamantics says:

    so excited for everything to come and am so amazed by all that you’ve done so far! so glad we *met* and can’t wait to meet in person. this is going to be one hell of a year lady πŸ™‚

  64. Heather on her travels says:

    Sounds like 2010 was a bit of a voyage of discovery and 2011 will have lots more exciting exploration both personal and travel

  65. Thomas - IT Blog says:

    Hi.
    Great blog you have and a lot of people following I can see.
    Thanks for sharing.

  66. Adrienne l ShenVenture says:

    Hi, I’ve been reading diff travel blogs b/c I’m taking my own RTW trip later this year and stumbled across your site. i found it very insightful! your honesty about “what you did wrong” was helpful to me. I am so new to blogging and social media…so hearing how much you’ve grown is inspirational =) I already went with WooThemes, so I guess I got that “checked”, but have been kicking around the idea of starting a fb page. Thanks for sharing!

  67. James St. James says:

    “Life-style design” Do I hear a Tim Ferriss fan? Looking forward to seeing your progression, I have alot to learn.
    JSJ

  68. I’m looking forward to your 2011 revamp site design. I’m sure it will be more hotter again! I love the interaction between blogger by commenting and reply to the post or the conversation like you. It shows people do read the post. You feel like there is a audience out there. I’m one of your fan πŸ˜›

  69. Have fun! I hope all your dreams and plans come true for you in 2011.

  70. Hi new reader here! I’m interested in going travelling in the next year or so, and so I am more than interested in your plans for the next six months. Happy travelling!

  71. Kristi Robinson says:

    I happened upon your blog today. I’ve spent almost the whole day reading your posts from the beginning. Much of what I’ve read greatly resonates with me. Thank you. πŸ™‚

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