Am I starting off the New Year on a negative note? You tell me….
That’s not really the best title of a blog post for a blogger who has been gone for a very long time, is it? I realize this, but I feel like I need to be truthful. I’m never going to be a “cool” or “good” travel blogger. I’ve thought about this post, and I think it will be rather therapeutic for me to just be honest with you all. I’m never going to be a GOOD travel blogger. As I make the slow march towards middle age (I am much, much closer to 40 than I am to 30 these days), I think I am much more secure about not giving a f&*k. Does that make sense? Since my mind works in lists, I’m going to whip out this list below.
1. I’m usually NOT traveling. Many travel bloggers are always on the road, are expats, or are just about going somewhere and anywhere constantly. Even in my pre-child days (I’ll get to that part of my life, don’t you worry about that), I usually went just to 1 to 2 international destinations per year with domestic side trips here are there for varying lengths of time. I gotts a job, y’all; and I’ve got to battle this horrible U.S. work culture that doesn’t allow for much time off to go much of anywhere. Husband J (remember him?) and I have no current plans to be expats, so this means that I am in New York City more than I’m not. Sometimes I feel like this makes this blog not as good as others, but I’d rather go in-depth into a country on this blog life rather than tick off countries. At least you know where I am most of the time.
2. I have a child. While there is a whole family travel blog community out there (I’m still discovering it), there is often a anti-child/family undercurrent in some (not all, just some) travel blogging and travel communities. There’s often this sense that having a child makes you somehow less “evolved” or less committed to travel. I’m not going to sugar coat my travel experiences with Toddler C, but I don’t think the fact that we’ve chosen to expand our family means that I don’t love travel. I get the desire to be free from commitments and attachments so that I can travel non-stop all the time, but I don’t get to indulge them at this point in my life. That doesn’t mean that my life or my travel is any less interesting.
Also Husband J and I live away from our families, and we’re trying to be the best parents we can be. That means Toddler C has to come first sometimes and that may mean that we don’t go on a trip at all, or we decide on certain locations over others because she has joined our travel brigade. I’m cool with that. It just means that I’m not going to be telling you about the most “authentic” of places, how to survive on $18 per day in western Europe, or about the best nightlife spots (although did I ever blog about that? Not really.). Besides, I think she’s cute, and I like hanging out with her.
4. I’m Black. Woo chile! I done did it! Yes. I went there. This is not about why I don’t travel, but I think it’s a factor in why my blog was not as big as others even at its height. Since I started this blog over 5 years ago, there are so many more Black bloggers talking and writing about travel. I’m so happy to see them!!! Yay!!! That said, the upper echelons of this genre and still very lily, and folks that are doing good work don’t get the credit they can or should. Bloggers seems to stick to the same circles of people who look like them and that can hurt others ability to get opportunities to grow their blog. Again, this is changing, but I still find many of my fellow travelers to be surprised that I have gone where I have. As one of my favorite travel groups would say: “We out here!”, and we’re writing about it.
5. In my professional life, I do things that have nothing to do with travel, blogging, or travel blogging. I feel very lucky that my job has lots of meaning to me. When I was younger, I decided that I wanted to do the most good for the most people that I could. I had been given a lot of great educational opportunities and I’ve always wanted to give back and help others. I do have a bit of creative saide but the “do gooder” in me always seems to win out. That means those “heal the world” tendencies often beat out travel when I’m searching for things to do professionally and sometimes in my free time. I don’t know if this will stay the same, but it is where I am now. That said, does this doesn’t mean that my latent desire to be the Black female Anthony Bourdain hasn’t gone away. I just plan a little differently.
5. Blogging is a habit, and I’m out of practice. This one is just me being honest. When you blog regularly it becomes a part of your life. It’s like exercising. Once you’ve started you need to keep it up. Being an engaged writer takes work, and I’m so much more of out practice. It takes a lot more of me to produce a good post these days, so please bear with me.
Anyhoo, these are where my thoughts are right now…I’m still here chugging away. 🙂 Stay with me!