This is the first blog post I’ve posted in 3.5 months and written in 5 months (I was ahead in my content calendar at one point). I figured it’s time for life and blogging updates.
What was planned to be an Instagram break turned out to be an entire blogging break.
Although I had full intentions to blog, I needed to make 2020 suck less for me by focusing on myself, friends, and my new full-time job.
One month passed…two months passed…and I realized I didn’t miss blogging. I found new appreciation for my privacy. My overall happiness and self-confidence increased, too, by the decreased use of social media and blogging.
Plus, I had been questioning my authority to write about the environment. I have no qualifications and zero environmental work experience. Heck, I’ve never even attended a climate protest.
As the Black Lives Matter protests increased globally, I learned a lot about white privilege in the sustainability movement. I am the typical image of a zero waster and travel blogger–white, thin, female, cisgender, heterosexual. What right did I have to take up more space when the people affected the most by the environmental crisis struggle to make their voices heard?
Finally, I was scared. Eco-anxiety hit me hard. Usually when I face eco-anxiety, I combat it with action. I make a new change, help a friend make a zero waste swap, write to a business and suggest plastic-free alternatives, etc. This time, though, I couldn’t find the strength to do that.
I forgot my reusable bags countless times. Truthfully, I wasn’t even trying to remember them. Consequently, my plastic bag collection grew to the point I couldn’t find second uses for all of them.
Instead of buying secondhand or sustainable products, I bought stuff without regarding the company’s ethics. I even bought from Amazon a few times, which I typically try to abstain from.
How could I write about sustainability when I couldn’t lead by example during difficult times?
Finding Sustainability Work I Love
After some time, I had an itch for making the travel industry sustainable again. It really is a personal life mission. Blogging didn’t seem to be answer, though.
At the same time, the owner of Authenteco Travel asked me to come back to work for her. It was the perfect time and the perfect match.
One of the hardest parts of blogging was doing it alone. It was completely a one-woman show. By working with Authenteco, I don’t have that problem. My boss, Shelby, is more of a mentor and friend. The Authenteco mission aligns closely with mine, giving me a great sense of fulfillment.
It’s amazing working for someone and something I completely believe in!
At times, I found it difficult adding in yet another project to my schedule, which was already in a delicate balance. I slowly got better with identifying my priorities and outsourcing parts of my daily life. My time management is still a work in progress, but I’ve learned a lot.
Then the election got closer. Activism on social media increased. I wanted to join the conversation, but wasn’t sure how to without depleting my minimal energy stores or letting go of the privacy I had grown to value. Previous doubts crawled back into my mind. What information and stories did I really have to contribute to the conversations?
My love of policy and research rekindled. The itch to share zero waste and sustainable solutions grew unbearable. My drive to be sustainable returned. It was time to think about how to fit blogging back into my life.
I’ve Moved to Germany!
Then my work offered me the remarkable opportunity to live and work in Germany! Americans aren’t allowed to go to the EU right now due to COVID, so it’s incredible that they could pull this off.
Currently, I’m sitting in a hotel room with my cat quarantining. Eventually I’ll find a place to live, set up a bank account, and do all those other important adult things that living abroad requires. COVID is making this a very interesting process.
I want to blog again, but making the most of my time in Germany is my priority.
So I’m back, kind of.
Life and Blogging Updates
I’m removing the pressure I previously placed on myself to make this blog profitable. I have a full-time job and part-time job, both that I love. This blog, and writing in general, is a source of joy for me. It should remain that way.
I’m removing the pressure of deadlines I previously placed on myself. It’s okay if this blog doesn’t become the next award-winning blog, as long as it helps someone.
Even without me actively present, people found this blog. They emailed me and commented on posts saying how helpful my content was for them on their journey to live and travel sustainably. This proves to me that my words are helping people. Otherwise, I would’ve kept writing in my journal!
So what’s to come from Getaway Girl?
Basically, whenever there’s something I want to say, and I have the time to say it, I’ll write a blog post.
As a result, I’m cutting out content I don’t enjoy writing as much.
Before, my content strategy was to write a bunch of smaller and more SEO-friendly articles, then combine them into an “ultimate guide.” This got me publishing more frequently and ranking higher in Google.
This is a great strategy. It was effective for me. But that’s not my goal now.
- I won’t write product reviews for every zero waste product I try. The structure of these product reviews rubbed me wrong. Products that work well for me may not work for you. And vice versa! Plus, no sustainable company is perfect. My sustainability values may be different than yours. Sustainable businesses are also typically small, meaning they don’t have the immediate resources to be super sustainable. Their sustainability efforts will likely adapt over time! My reviews shouldn’t discredit a small businesses’ efforts just because they aren’t perfect.
- I’ll write more posts on environmental policy and theory, since that’s what I love. I want to write about intersectional environmentalism, interview people, bring in reputable resources, and have conversations. There are many disagreements and issues within the environmentalism space, so let’s talk about them. Environmentalism is much more than zero waste and I want to explore those ideas, too. Zero waste was how my environmentalism journey started, but it certainly didn’t end there. Discussing more than zero waste is only representative of me.
- My blog is now open to guest posts. Unfortunately I’m not in the position to pay guest writers (yet), but I want to add voices and perspectives unlike mine (so, anyone who isn’t white, thin, female, cisgender, or heterosexual). Read more here.
- My email list will always receive updates when there’s a new blog post, so join that below if you haven’t already. Instagram will occasionally be updated and is a fun way to stay informed on things that might not make it to the blog. A lot of my Instagram content is also posted to Facebook, but I’m not as active there. I switched my Pinterest account to a personal page for now, so you can check that out if you’re curious about recipes, home decor, fashion, sustainability, and travel! No promotions there.
- Less photos of me. As much as I love good photos of me traveling, I dislike how stiff travel and sustainability content is on social media. When I take travel photos, it’s for me. Sometimes I’ll post travel photos, but don’t expect it nearly as much as before.
- Less stories of personal travels. When I attended TravelCon in Boston in 2019, one of the most impactful sessions I had attended was on diversity in travel. The panel discussed how white travelers go to BIPOC countries and write about their white experience in that country instead of promoting the local voices. They agreed that, while it’s not inherently wrong to share your personal experience (because travelers like that blogger will want to know how they were treated and if they enjoyed visiting that destination), it’s tasteless to ignore the locals completely from that narrative. Truthfully, talking to locals and learning more about other histories is one of my favorite parts of travel. Whenever I feel like writing a travel story, I will find a way to share the local history and stories from locals, along with my experience. We have a lot to learn from others, and I hope these travel stories will promote shared learning and mutual understanding.
- More sustainable living and house decorating tips. This is something I’m super excited about and will likely be a forefront of content for a while. I already have dozens of Instagram Reel ideas! I’m about to move into my first unfurnished apartment…which means I can decorate! I love interior design and architecture, so decorating my home is something I’ve looked forward to since I was a teenager. The time has finally come and I’m thrilled to share how I’m doing it as sustainably as possible, and on a budget. Travel consumes a small percentage of our lives and, although sustainable travel will still be a focus on my blog, I’m excited to share sustainable advice that will green-up the other approximately 98% of our lives!
- I’m in Germany, but I won’t reveal exactly where I am. Please respect this boundary.
This blog post is longer than I expected, so thank you for sticking to the end.
If you have any post suggestions or questions, feel free to comment below or send me an email! firstname.lastname@example.org