A Travel Blog in the Making: My One Year Blogging Anniversary

One year ago today (well, not really today but it was a day around this time and that’s good enough for me), I was suffering from the insomnia of a shift worker. A typical night really. On these nights I daydream, catch up on the latest gossip on Facebook, and sharpen my skills at Bejeweled. On one of these nights, I lay there thinking. Thinking about hobbies that I’d like to pursue more. Saddened by my lack of time in doing those, since I was a new mom.

All of a sudden it hit me. A way to bring many of my hobbies together in harmonious matrimony. A reason to keep “messing” with my hobbies. A reason for Robby to continue letting me “mess” with my hobbies.

Blogging. I knew little about it really. A gal I had went to high school with had just introduced Facebook to her blog (camillestyles.com-quite brilliant really) and boy, was I intrigued. Here’s a medium to tell the world anything you want to tell them. I had so many stories already brewing in my mind, ready to spill to the willing of ear.

All our backroads travel stories. Before the days of parenthood, Robby and I spent so many lazy days roaming back country roads of Missouri, anxious to find a hidden gem of a place. And we did find them. And I know there’s still so much exploring to do.

That’s how The Gravel-Roadin’ Guru came to be. This gives me reason to continue to get out and explore, sharpen my photography eye, and brag on my beautiful baby girl (who, by the way, is not a baby anymore but I will refer to her as such for many years to come).

 

Oh my. I just can’t get enough of this face!

It was really discouraging at first. I wrote and wrote and wrote and for weeks (months, really) I think the only people who read what I wrote was Robby (and no, not just because I made him either) and my best friend, Lindsey. It was hard to keep my head up and difficult to see that the things I say really might matter to somebody someday.

About a month into all this shenanigans, I realized I was going about things all wrong. I had been telling my stories but leaving out little in regards to myself and my personal life. After getting addicted to some other, very wonderful travel blogs, it dawned on me that I was missing the whole point. People have blogs because they want to talk about themselves. And people become blog subscribers because they want to hear about others lives.

I made an initial goal to make it to six months and if I was still into it, I would upgrade my blog to something with a better format than my free blogspot (not to dog blogspot because they are free, but the site just isn’t any sort of eye candy).

I hang my head a little in shame that when it got to six months, I had fallen off the blogger wagon. It wasn’t that I had tired of it but I was having trouble finding the time and material on which to write about. Robby and I bought a house last summer that needed quite a bit of fixer-uppering (thanks to my hubby, The Handyman!!) and this consumed soooooooooooooooooooo much of our “free” time. Robby spent nearly every single weekend at that house from June until February. Quite a few weekends, I was found there too, paintbrush in hand and paint from head to toe. Seriously. I am the messiest painter. I couldn’t leave the house without paint in my hair. It was ridiculous.

So, we’ve finished that project as of February and my blog-fire has been rekindled. I’ve been writing again. Robby, myself, and Olivia have been getting out and about more. Leaving me with much more to write as of late.

I’m pleased to announce that now, my one year anniversary, I am upgrading (finally!) to that fancy new site. It’s in the works right now. My logo should be on the design table (thanks, Trisha!) and I’m working on my new platform. I’m hoping this year to be bigger and better with more content than last year. My focus remains on inspiring travel and exploration for people of all ages, with tales of travel mostly in Missouri but around the entire US (as I do take regular vacations and love to dish about those trips too).

I still try to keep my head up. I do, on occasion, get discouraged by other travel bloggers. My favorite travel gal, Geraldine, from everywhereist.com is always on the move. Within the last several months she’s been to Australia and South Africa and Lord knows how many other fantastic locales! I mean, how can I compete with such awesomeness? Kristin of camelsandchocolate.com is getting ready to launch on her 55 day cruise excursion and writes travel pieces for Southern Living (seriously, my super duper dream job!). Yep, no competition. None. Zilch.

During those times where I look at all the things others are doing in their lives, and feeling a little blue about how insignificant mine feels, I pull myself back to reality. I know I have to have a job and Robby has to have a job. I don’t know exactly how others do it but we need money to live on. Of course, I have Baby O so I don’t have the luxury of spurting off at the drop of my flower-brimmed hat to have a weekend away.

Which is all fine. In the grand-scheme of life, I just have to give my all at all I do and hope that at the end of the day, I’ve done what God has planned for me to. Would I rather be a travel writer, scoping the globe for the world’s best travel find? Absolutely. However, I spent years becoming a trained ER nurse, a pretty good one, I think, and that’s what I’ll be doing for some time, I’m sure.

 

Hard at work as usual.

I am also a wife to one of the best catches an awesome gal like me could land.

 

Check out that handsome dish, would ya?

And of course a mother to whom I think is the most beautiful baby girl around.

But, underneath it all, I am Pan, The Gravel-Roadin’ Guru.

 

Sarcasm at it’s best. This was sent to my friend, Andrew, after he sent me a pic of him standing, thumbs up, on the beach in Cali

Here’s some of my favorite travel blogs that have lead to laughing, inspiration, and jealousy:

everywhereist.com
camelsandchocolate.com
insidethetravellab.com
legalnomads.com
somanyplaces.com
livingif.com