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Where We Go From Here: Travel Blogging

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I woke up this morning with more energy than I've had for the past 4 months.

I feel hopeful and excited about a better future. I realized that it feels a lot like 2008 in a way, and I started thinking about how much comfort this blog brought me back then and does now, too.

Just being able to put your feelings into words and share it with others is so therapeutic.

My blog started as a passion project blog about saving money and couponing in the early 2000s. Even from the start, I always dreamed about turning it into a money-making business.

That dream came true… beyond my imagination really, but it has given me and my family so much more than that.

Maybe the best part about this blog, even beyond the income it has earned, is that it has allowed me to connect with others near and far. This is something that I am especially appreciative of right now when none of us can get together in person.

Our quarantine story started back to the very end of January when I knew things were going to be bad.

But at that point, we had only slowed down going out. Within the next month, Emmy stopped going to her enrichment classes and her teacher stopped coming to our house. Maddie stopped going to her in-person college class and Ash and Pete stopped going to the gym.

For me, I stopped getting lashes, and my hair and nails done. I haven't been this “natural” since I can remember, and I've realized that I was a little too hardcore with it all. This time has been hard for everyone, but one good takeaway is that I have received clarity in ways I never could have imagined.

I hope I never forget the lessons that I have learned.

The cat is the only one I know who loves all this at home time.

Emotionally, some days I feel like I've only just survived. Other days I feel like I have thrived and actually felt optimistic about the future. I've come to accept this and allow myself to have a full range of emotions.

When this all started, I could never have imagined all the mental highs and lows I've cycled through over the past 130 days (and counting).

I've learned that I need to embrace them all. I need to let the bad days play out and really grasp the good days and roll with them both.

I remember back when this all started thinking that there was a very low chance of us having to celebrate Maddie's birthday in quarantine… and yet here we were mid-April rockin' the Zoom birthday party.

And I just shared how we are changing how the kids learn until there is a good treatment or a vaccine… but looking at this picture from a couple of months ago, I love what her new classroom looks like.

And then there were these little notes Emmy left for us all over the house.

I know this is a lot to process for us adults, and it is even harder for a child that has only 10 years of life experience.

What we know from past hard times is that nothing lasts forever, but they can't really comprehend that, even if we tell them.

This was her way of doing something about what was happening and trying to understand it all. These will for sure go into our memory box to remind us all when this is over that the little things we are able to do every day, like eating at a restaurant should not be taken for granted.

And of course, Pete and I continued on our nightly walks.

These walks have saved my sanity.  We plan our time outside the house for when everyone else is inside so we can take our masks off whenever we are not by anyone else and we pull them up if anyone gets close. This might not protect us, but it will help protect others, and that is very important to us.

I love knowing that I can keep my community safe just by staying home as much as possible and covering my mouth and nose. I feel so lucky that that is all I have to do to have such a big impact. Plus, when our future grandkids ask us what we did during these times, I can answer them with pride.

I also have been over supporting the local restaurant community with takeout and delivery. Oh and for groceries too.

This warms my heart every time I see it on Balboa Island. I think we all could use some extra love right about now.

We also have been celebrating every single happy moment.

Each day I take a picture of something that made us happy. A double rainbow for sure filled the gap one day. So does family game night.

One day we went for a ride around the neighborhood.

Emmy put on Christmas pajamas and ate Cheerios. She was thrilled to be out of the house. Again, I have been centered so much by this experience, and seeing something so basic bring so much joy to Emmy.

And then there was Easter.

We have never had an Easter without our extended family but we made the best of it and the day was still lovely. Anytime we get sad about not being able to see those we love, we all stop and think about just how much we have to be thankful for.

We are all healthy, and those that we know that have contracted the virus all have survived and we have the ability to stay home and stay safe. 

So where does this leave us when it comes to blogging and travel blogging specifically?

I've been asked this over and over again and I've shared a lot on Instagram about this, but halfway through the year, we have realized that this is nowhere close to being over.

We were optimistic at the beginning that by now we would be able to start traveling again to take and share some exceptional family road trips. We were not as hopeful about international trips but thought car trips would be a go.

This isn't the case. We know others are doing this, but we feel a strong obligation to not travel, but also not to encourage others to either.

We are based in Orange County and San Diego, both virus hotspots. Even if we thought we could safely travel and keep ourselves from acquiring it, we are even more so concerned about spreading it to other communities- especially ones that don't have the same robust health care systems as we have in Southern California. We have no reason to believe that we have the virus, especially since we have only left the house a handful of times, always wearing a mask and only for essential needs… but we also know that nothing is fail-proof and we care about other people.

This hasn't been easy on Pete or I and it has been harder for the kids. But we don't complain or wallow in it because our situation could be so much worse. Historically, there have been situations where people have had to quarantine or hide for years in harsh conditions. That is not what is happening to us. Perspective is huge.

We also want to look back and know we did everything to help our community by putting others' health and lives ahead of our desires.

Lastly, we know this will not last forever. We already see the light at the end of the tunnel. When it is safe and responsible to travel again, we will be back at it. We can't wait to start exploring again and sharing it all with you to inspire your own vacations and travels. I actually have articles to share from our last visit to Europe that I'll be publishing soon because now is a great time to start planning your next big vacation. We plan to have a blockbuster 2021 and hope you are too!

If you are a travel blogger, you should be very optimistic about the future of travel blogging.

Back in the early 2010s, as the economy was recovering from the great recession, the opportunities to help promote travel all over the world here huge. As travel bloggers, we have a huge opportunity to help share with our readers' inspirational travel adventures and at the same time, we can help this hard-hit industry recover. There has never been a time like this in the past and with it will come a lot of opportunities in the travel blogging industry.

 

Heather Reese
the authorHeather Reese

6 Comments

  • Hey Heather – thank you so much for this post! It gives me some great ideas for my own blog. You have been a huge inspiration!

  • This is great info, ty for sharing, I can’t wait to read more. I am on you tube, struggling to share content, I’m also on FB 4 pages, and I’m on Instagram but don’t totally understand Instagram.

  • Hi Heather, It was so great reading your blog. I will be taking your 5 day course starting this week and am so looking forward to getting started. Reading your post has given me inspiration and a good sense of where to start. I look forward to your future posts. As of this moment…I am a bit confused on where and how to begin but I am sure that once I take your course, things will be a lot clearer. Can’t wait!

  • Hey there! I love reading all of your family stories. I am glad to see you are all doing well with everything going on right now! I have taken your Blogging Blastoff 2.0 Course and recently launch my blog!

    You inspire me so much to be a successful blogger. I am wanting to be a full-time blogger and making enough money to provide for my family. I would love to be able to tell my husband that he can quit his job and that we are going to travel the world together. Thank you for everything! xx

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