Brace yourself, because this post is one from the heart. I was recently inspired to take Teryn’s Travels to the next level and actually market my site for the first time, but I’ve had a lot of hesitations leading up to that. I decided to embrace my doubts because I was inspired to expand my thoughts into a blog post. So here it is – the reason behind Teryn’s Travels and my hesitations/motivations and basically everything you need to know about this website that I proudly created!
THE ORIGINAL MOTIVATION:
I originally created Teryn’s Travels as a blog & hashtag to use when studying abroad in 2015, and all I did with it was write about my travels so that I would remember them. My posts were raw and unapologetic, as I was struggling with leaving home for the first time. I wrote about the places I went with few to no pictures, and I also spent a little time writing about my state of mind at that time (aka my realization of self love, which hit me around my 20th birthday). But, the purpose of creating my blog was because I was traveling alone. I’m an only child and as such I consider myself pretty independent, and when traveling I realized that there was a difference between being alone and feeling lonely. I never was bothered by being alone because I had family and friends (both in Spain and the US) at the touch of my smartphone, and there were always other travelers around me. But I realized that I was unable to share my experiences with anybody who I’d be able to reminisce with. I was traveling to AMAZING cities and then I would text my parents or post a picture on Instagram and it wouldn’t even begin to capture the experience I was having! Writing was the closest thing I had to sharing the whole story with the people who cared, and if you’ve traveled anywhere by yourself then you totally know what I’m talking about.
The second reason is that I actually want to talk about my travels, but when someone asks about a trip where do you even start?? Most people care where you are or what you’re doing in the moment, but if they ask after the fact they only want to hear a highlight or the best part, not the whole story. So as someone who wants to share my experiences I feel like I HAVE to have a blog because if anybody is going to the same city I did, I would want to give them pointers! Similarly, I always ask other travelers for tips about my future cities, so why shouldn’t I be someone’s travel inspiration or their tip-giver when I have all the tools to be? That is basically the motivation behind the start of Teryn’s Travels.
From there, I fell in love with travel writing. Not only did I love experiencing new cities but I learned to see cities in a new light because I was writing about them. I saw people as the heart of a city and wanted to talk to all the locals just to gain insight from their perspective. So many times we become tourists rather than travelers, and I think that solo travel or finding a like-minded travel buddy is the best way to avoid that. The best travelers leave a place the same or better than they found it. Writing about new cities also gave me a new perspective for my life. I learned to live in the moment and that mishaps and mistakes in life make it so much more unique – a perspective I did not have before I started traveling… If everything goes to plan, where is the funny story to tell my kids in 20 years? I’ve learned that everything works out how it should, even if that isn’t to our original plan, and that we just have to roll with our punches and react fast.
So I just talked a lot about why I love travel blogging, but what held me back from writing during most of the last two years? Honestly, criticism and self worth. I’ve definitely had my ups and downs with esteem and self-worth but who hasn’t in the age of electronics? I find myself constantly playing the comparison game and that mindset was/is detrimental to me. Not only does the age of electronics come with unintentional comparing, but it also comes with endless criticism. Blogging can seem like a selfish job, and I can see why people say that. Bloggers are essentially creating and marketing their own brand which is something that they put all of themselves into, so it HAS to be selfish if they want to be successful, but not in the bad connotation that the word is usually used. Blogging is a job and if someone chooses to take it on full time and get paid for their articles and hard work, then they have to talk about themselves and their passions and they should not be judged for following their dream of inspiring others. We’re all just trying to make this world a better place at the end of a day!
This was a very hard concept for me to accept because I am horribly self critical, and I judge my own work the most. I’m a complete perfectionist and I held myself back from writing about my travels because I didn’t think I was good enough. I didn’t think I had information that hadn’t been shared before, or good enough photography because I don’t have a great photographer friend or boyfriend to take pictures of me (and timing my camera to do it myself hasn’t worked in the past). However, I’ve realized that I can’t put one of my passions aside just because I haven’t found my aesthetic yet or because of photography struggles. Part of creating an authentic and genuine blog is fully embracing the fact that I don’t look perfect all the time, honestly I don’t even get ready for the day unless I have to, and when the camera goes off in my lesser moments it may make for a funnier or
better more unique picture!
THE NEW MOTIVATION:
Ok negative rant over, and if I offended other bloggers I’m sorry, but I’m a full believer in feeling an emotion to move on from it. With my hesitations around embracing Teryn’s Travels as a potentially successful blog, I wrote this post so that I could fully feel the anxiety and the doubt, which I now can leave here and start confidently marketing this blog as best I can. Writing just gives me so much clarity, again why I started a blog!
My true new motivation came from a combination of my friends following their own passions, and an Instagram post by Shayla Quinn of NAMASTSHAY. She posted an interpretation of something she heard from her own yoga teacher (Nicole Sciacca), and it resonated with me SO MUCH I just couldn’t help but both share it and find a complete sense of peace and self motivation from it. I don’t want to quote her whole post on here because I don’t want to take another person’s words (it’s in her insta though), but I do need to quote the punchline: “in the world of business, when a brand or business tries something new and it doesn’t work out, they simply refer to it as RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT.” In order to find what works for you, mistakes can be unavoidable, heck they’re OK! We are all researching and I am sure as hell still developing my blog, so I found so much motivation in the fact that my numbers may be low, and my pictures may be a work in progress, but I am in a beginning phase and if one personal marketing strategy doesn’t work then try another – but don’t give up on the dream!
So what’s the point?
For those of you that read this whole post, I commend your perseverance and thank you for taking the time! For those that don’t have time, here are my 4 takeaways –
- When you find something you love, embrace it in its fullest! Maybe writing isn’t your thing, but if you have a passion that you haven’t put your whole heart into yet then I strongly encourage you to take the leap! At least TRY!! The worst that can happen is “research and development!” 🙂
- Self doubt and comparing yourself to others is detrimental. Just because somebody else is good at what you’re passionate about DOES NOT mean that you give up the dream. Everybody comes from different backgrounds leading to different experiences to pull perspective from. My perspective of my recent trip to Austin, Texas was completely different than anybody else who visited, especially who visited on a different weekend. When struggling with comparison, doubt, or self worth just be sure to notice and accept the emotion. Don’t hold it back or lie to yourself or else it will just cultivate more negativity. Accept what you feel, feel it at its worst if you have to! And then move on and focus on a positive mindset.
- Don’t give up on a dream just because of one (perceived) failure. YOU’RE GOOD ENOUGH! So you went a little too far down a wrong road or made a mistake, hey now you know not to go there again! Research and development people…
- Motivation comes at the least expected times. If someone told me in 2015 that I would do not one, but TWO complete redesigns of Teryn’s Travels and find a new and improved passion to pursue my blog, I probably would be baffled and excited for the future. Don’t hesitate to be happy! Just go for it!
I would LOVE to hear your thoughts about this!! Do you agree or have you had any of the same feelings? What’s you’re best coping strategy for doubt and comparison? And most importantly – WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST MOTIVATION?
Life is an adventure, so keep exploring it and following your passions!