WRITE ON TRACK: ONE YEAR OF TRAVEL WRITING

Don’t hold me back. Sometimes you have to go down the unfamiliar track to end up on the right one.

It has been over two years since I have left home. Fast forward, I didn’t feel like I would still be living a nomadic life abroad in Europe. I have to laugh at my situation at times. For the most part, its amazing and its ridiculous also. Utterly ridiculous.

Right now, hopping off everywhere still seems to be working with me and I am just riding on the coat tails of where it is leading me professionally.

Never in my wildest dreams, someone like me that struggled with putting an essay together at high school and at university thought that writing would slowly become my career path. It certainly is exciting to see it evolving and of course being at the helm of it all. It is a lot of tough work as I don’t think anyone else could rival me being the biggest procrastinator of them all. I had never aspired to be my own boss either.

It all started by an accident really.

My former colleague and housemate had asked me to write a travel blog for the company she was working for back in Sydney and since at this stage, I was working night shifts in a hostel in Estonia with nothing better to do in the wee hours besides baking bread (which I find extremely satisfying), I said sure. I thought it would be great to get my dormant creative juices flowing again and travel was something I really enjoyed writing about on a personal note.

I had put a few articles up on Facebook just to share some of the stuff I had written for this organization and also just to let people in on what I had been getting up to on this side of the world. It was nice to be able to share a story besides just putting pictures up online without giving context or putting a personal touch to it. After I shared a few articles via Facebook, I then had an other friend of mine suggest I should pitch my writing somewhere. I was actually taken aback by that. I don’t think my writing is the best thing ever but I certainly don’t think it is the worst. But it was encouraging to think that if my friend enjoyed it, maybe others would also.

With my attitude being that I had nothing to loose, I thought why not. I spoke to some of my journalist and media friends in regards to pitching and I pitched to a few publications back in Australia. I was amazed at the response I got.

Come July, my face was plastered as headline news. Fair enough, the title under my picture wasn’t the best and certainly wasn’t something I wanted my parents to see or be associated with but nonetheless, it was my first story. I had been published by a major publication!

The next story about my solo travels caught me off guard. I didn’t expect for it to be published. I wrote the piece more of a diary entry but to this day, to be able to share about my thoughts, feelings and emotions with the world and to recount my travel experiences and possibly encourage people to explore the world is the piece I am proudest of. I still look at it and it blows me away that I had written it, it was published and that people actually enjoyed it. I had strangers email me about their experiences with solo travels or that my story inspired them to travel. It blew my mind!

My third published piece on the Berghain nightclub in Berlin has been my biggest so far. Not only did it feature as top story for 12 hours but it was the most read article on that website on that day and for some bizarre reason, got picked up in Belgium. To this day, I still haven’t grasped how big this article was for me.

I have kept writing for this organization on and off and now have also branched writing for other publications.  I even wrote a dating piece for Elite Daily much to my humour as I have a very dismal, if not non-existent dating life! Well truth be told with constant moving around, it is also by choice and is tough to navigate.

Writing dating or travelling articles, it is all very exciting nonetheless and I treat every email that I get back from an editor as if it is a Christmas present. Sometimes much may not be said but it is encouraging that I am having conversation, getting tips and advice and growing this passion of mine into a career. I can’t say it is making me millions just yet (movie deal down the line perhaps?) but I am one that is not motivated by money (although I do joke that I am currently on my quest for a sugar daddy). There is more to life than that but sure, it certainly helps. Its like when people say that old saying do something you love and you would never work a day in your life – well I feel like I am heading towards that.

I am not writing this with intent of bragging about my how great my articles have been or the success that may have come with them. I write this with having a reflection on my year of writing. Something I really never did before and strangely now, it is my lifestyle and newfound career. I feel like because I have been alone for so long, some of these ‘milestones’ I haven’t really celebrated them as ‘achievements.’ But they are. And I encourage us all to share and celebrate our achievements whether how big or small they are. And to reflect how far we have come. Give yourself some kudos!

I know I certainly need to stop being so hard on myself and praise myself more.

Having you read this is an achievement so thank you. Thank you for coming along this journey of mine and encouraging me to keep striving. I don’t know where I am headed but I certainly know I am right on track.

Special kudos to the following people that I have forced my writing upon to provide me with feedback – good or bad – I have grown from it so thank you.

Ro, Lloyd,  Courtney, Kevin, Kimberley, Jane, Micaela, Bias, Britt, Nadia A, Nadia M, Emma, Laura, Suzie, Clare, Charlie, Julie, Mathew, Mei, Ricky

And to those who have shared my articles – muchus gracias!