A Little Celebration… A Little Adrift’s State of the Blog Address!

Two years ago today I posted one of the first posts here on A Little Adrift: A Little Inspiriation…My Ah-Hah Moment. It took every ounce of willpower in my being to link to that post without editing and changing it first (ok, I admit that I edited out a part that sounded incredibly snotty and hoity-toity in retrospect), but the rest is the same.

The site was a newbie back then and marked my first entry into the world of blogging; I had no clue what I was doing! There were no photos on the post and my brain was scattered because it was just 36 days before I left on my RTW backpacking trip…and at that time there were still only a handful of other travel blogs offering up tips (Uncornered Market and The Lost Girls are two I used that are still active now).

It was ugly back then too!

Old ALA header

My very first (obviously) self designed header

But in the past two years this whole travel blogging “thing” has transformed into more than I ever expected. I found a community along the way and a better purpose to the posts. Just my dad and a few Florida friends followed the journey in the early days through Australia and now I am continually wowed that other people care enough to comment, tweet, stumble, email, and read along.

Circular Quay in Sydney Harbor

Day One of my RTW Trip: Sydney's Circular Quay

A humble thanks friends :-)

I truly appreciate your support.

So I pondered hard – what type of post is in order as I round the corner on my terrible twos? And concluded a “State of the Blog” address! Then I mentioned it to Jodi and realized she already did this same concept for her trip’s two year anniversary too (likely my subconscious inspiration); I liked her format and re-did my suckier structure but must give credit to her cleverness – hugs of thanks.

A Little Adrift’s State of the Blog Address

Environment:

I’m in the US right now and will be for the next couple of months at least – quite the change from Bali, where I had planned to live this fall! I’m spending my days in constant transit so my home is the buses, trains, planes and cars that take me on the Geeks Without Bounds hacker and maker space US tour. In between, I’m free-loading back in Florida…I’m just not ready to commit to an apartment in the states.

Economy:

The job front goes well enough for me; internet work is steady but often boring…I’m in a transition phase in my life right now and that includes my work. This post-travel travel transition has me really confused and I’m working with GWOBorg throughout the fall…there are opportunities abounding but I’m floundering in a post-travel transition confusion.

Healthcare:

Random illnesses and injuries in the past eight months have passed and I’m healthier than I have been in ages!

Agriculture and Food:

I dabbled in the world of fish earlier in the month – still fully vegetarian though. The fish phase lasted just one night. I desperately miss Asia for its constant access to affordable and plentiful fruit. Bali is a haven for the vegetarian and I ate so well there – tempeh and tofu are local foods, not just there for the tourists.

nasi campur

Nasi Campur - Traditional Balinese food

Allies:

The travel community is larger than I ever could have imagined two years ago and I am amazed by how much it is a part of my life right now. TBEX in June connected a lot of the dots and I was able to put in-person personalities to the names – a lot more fun than just guessing based on 140-character tweets! A Little Adrift is on Facebook and the community and interactions are growing there in addition to the blog – I love that people who might never comment on the site are using Facebook to chat and make our community just that much more connected.

Domestic Affairs:

Personal: Once I got back from my “official RTW” (that ended last September) my life sort of lost direction a little – that fact was reflected in the blog. I was working on some internet projects through the winter with Andy and the blog chugged along until I made it to Central America.

I thought everything personally, travely and bloggy would just slip back into place once I was back on the road again but that didn’t happen thanks to a series of family issues throughout the spring and summer, health problems and well, life. It seemed like I was paying off a massive karmic debt to the universe for about eight months there and it made me constantly on edge and wondering what crap was going to rain down on me next and from what direction.

Wandering the Parks in Ambleside

Now, a lot of that…angst?!…has passed (thankfully!), but there’s still this pressing question…“ok, now what?” I’ve been pouring my heart out to Jodi (Legal Nomads) this past week in NYC since she’s facing some similar transition questions.

We didn’t figured out any answers but it’s nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of since she’s in the same boat: post-travel but still not ready to stop traveling. It’s funny, sometimes I feel like my name choice for the site is a blessing and a curse – love the whimsy of the name but it’s unsettling to always be so intangibly adrift!

Bali decoration

Blog: I have some goals for the site right now, things it’s lacking at the moment and room for improvements!

The concrete plans:

  • Take better photos. I bought a new camera (Lumix GF1) and have no clue how to use it but I feel like this is an area where there’s a decent room for improvement on the site, so I’ll learn! (And my Orlando friend Abe is coming to the rescue and teaching me some tips for the awesome price of a lunch and a beer!).
  • Don’t post crap. So many other blogs are able to pump out a lot of great weekly content and I get behind on that, get depressed and post thus sporadically…or shove a post up just for the sake of new content. Now I’ve got an editorial calendar (again) and I can make no promises for what you think is crap, but whatever I post I’ll make sure I don’t think is crap. :-)
  • Stick with personal. My inbox has been flooded with advertising inquiries and sponsored guest post offers. And there’s been a raging debate in my head for months about how to handle it. I decided that it makes more sense, with my site’s goals in mind, to stick with personal posts and affiliate content I personally use and recommend. Guest posts from other bloggers, like real people, is still quite welcome!

Foreign Affairs:

I have no earthly idea when I’ll leave again or where – new ideas crop up almost daily now. I’m not done with the traveling but I am done with the constant movement stage of my travels. I see myself settling down within a year somewhere in the world…maybe. There was a thought of heading back to SEA for the holidays. Now perhaps Syria (so random…ask Earl). Pondering India. Also promised Japan in the Spring to Florida friends.

So. Many. Choices.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the blog; anything you’d like to see improved in the coming year?! Please share candidly and honestly! And again, truly thanks so much for all of your support :-)

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32 Responses to A Little Celebration… A Little Adrift’s State of the Blog Address!

  1. Cath October 8, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    Your blog reminds me of my wonderful travel memories of Europe, Asia and America. Not necessarily the sites seen but the emotion behind the journey. A cracking read.

    • Anonymous October 9, 2010 at 6:00 am #

      Thanks for following along Cath!

  2. Audrey October 2, 2010 at 8:31 pm #

    Haven’t been to Syria yet, but think that idea is awesome! Have heard great things about people and culture there!

    As for still figuring things out, I think that’s what we’re all doing. When we took off we thought we’d travel for 12-18 months. Obviously, that didn’t really turn out as planned. But, now we’re taking things a bit slower and changing our travel style a bit. It’s all about figuring out what works for you. Good luck and I look forward to following along, wherever you may go (or not go)!

    • Anonymous October 3, 2010 at 12:18 am #

      Glad to hear good things from you too – Earl was pretty convincing that’s
      its safe and the culture really welcoming, so I’m excited at the
      possibility. Like you guys, it’s always interesting to see how plans shape
      and change on a regular basis :-) Thanks for all of the support Audrey!

    • Anonymous October 3, 2010 at 12:18 am #

      Glad to hear good things from you too – Earl was pretty convincing that’s
      its safe and the culture really welcoming, so I’m excited at the
      possibility. Like you guys, it’s always interesting to see how plans shape
      and change on a regular basis :-) Thanks for all of the support Audrey!

    • Anonymous October 3, 2010 at 12:18 am #

      Glad to hear good things from you too – Earl was pretty convincing that’s
      its safe and the culture really welcoming, so I’m excited at the
      possibility. Like you guys, it’s always interesting to see how plans shape
      and change on a regular basis :-) Thanks for all of the support Audrey!

    • Anonymous October 3, 2010 at 12:20 am #

      Glad to hear good things from you too – Earl was pretty convincing that’s
      its safe and the culture really welcoming, so I’m excited at the
      possibility. Like you guys, it’s always interesting to see how plans shape
      and change on a regular basis :-) Thanks for all of the support Audrey!

    • Anonymous October 3, 2010 at 12:23 am #

      Glad to hear good things from you too – Earl was pretty convincing that’s
      its safe and the culture really welcoming, so I’m excited at the
      possibility. Like you guys, it’s always interesting to see how plans shape
      and change on a regular basis :-) Thanks for all of the support Audrey!

    • Anonymous October 3, 2010 at 12:23 am #

      Glad to hear good things from you too – Earl was pretty convincing that’s
      its safe and the culture really welcoming, so I’m excited at the
      possibility. Like you guys, it’s always interesting to see how plans shape
      and change on a regular basis :-) Thanks for all of the support Audrey!

  3. Akila October 2, 2010 at 11:30 am #

    Congratulations on 2 years! :)

    • Anonymous October 3, 2010 at 12:26 am #

      Thanks Akila! Appreciate the support from you guys :)

    • Anonymous October 3, 2010 at 12:45 am #

      Thanks Akila! Appreciate the support from you guys :)

  4. Megan October 2, 2010 at 2:52 am #

    Syria!! I can second, third, fourth and fifth that recommendation! It’s awesome, and super cheap. Can’t wait to read more adventures from you.

    • Anonymous October 3, 2010 at 12:13 am #

      Thanks Megan! The thought of it kinda makes me nervous, but Earl has assured
      me it’s awesome and safe so I am glad to hear from another female that’s
      it’s a great place to visit. Thanks for the support! :)

  5. Earl October 1, 2010 at 9:29 pm #

    You have no idea how happy I was to see Syria on the list! Glad to know that you didn’t throw out my ridiculous idea as pure nonsense! I’ll be announcing the random idea within the next week over on my site. It’s all happening!

    • Anonymous October 3, 2010 at 12:11 am #

      I’ve been telling everyone that I may head to Syria/ that region by the New
      Year! Can’t wait to see what you come up with Earl – whatever it is, I’m
      sure it will be randomly awesome :)

  6. Flipnomad October 1, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    love your blog… and what an incredible journey… your post reminded me of when i was starting as well and i dont know what the hell is going on with the blog… andnow it became my medium to connect with fellow travellers like you… keep on travelling and keep on writing shannon…

    • Anonymous October 1, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

      Thanks for the words of encouragement :) I appreciate your support along
      this journey and look forward to following your own on your blog!

  7. Lisandra September 30, 2010 at 11:14 pm #

    I’m very proud of you Shannon! I’ve enjoyed being a part of your journey- from helping you pack to reading up on your latest adventures. Congrats! :)

    • Anonymous October 5, 2010 at 6:21 am #

      Thanks Lisandra! I still remember you forcing me to assess all my junk and toss the well loved objects-I mean crap – before I left. without your help I would no doubt have at least 10 extra boxes stored in houses all over the US. Hugs and thanks for the support! :)

  8. Nomadic Chick September 30, 2010 at 6:43 pm #

    I think you have some exciting adventures ahead. And isn’t it about time you and Andy just put up stix and share an office already? Mind you, that means you’re tied to one place. That would make me ansy. :) Love how you’re keeping the direction of your site genuine.

    • Anonymous October 5, 2010 at 6:22 am #

      Thanks Jeannie! Andy and I have talked about it…but it is tough for me to commit to a place..but seriously considering picking a spot and developing some more stuff with him! :) hugs!

  9. GlobalButterfly September 30, 2010 at 12:11 pm #

    What a great post!!! I can tell you put your heart and soul into the blog, all I can see is keep it up! :)

    • Anonymous October 1, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

      Thanks so much Andi, I appreciate your support and frequent comments! :-)

  10. a wandering sole September 30, 2010 at 12:38 pm #

    Congrats on two years! I think your blog is fabulous :) It will be interesting to see what direction you decide to head, as I’m curious what I’ll be doing when I get home in two months as well. Who knows!

    • Anonymous October 1, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

      Thanks for the support Laura! The transition is pretty strange but once you
      get to that point we can brainstorm if you turn out as lost as myself! :)

  11. Candicewalsh September 30, 2010 at 3:56 am #

    I think you’re flourishing just fine. :) Happy blogoversary!

    • Anonymous October 1, 2010 at 4:15 pm #

      Thanks Candice! Appreciate the support and encouragement.

  12. Stacey Cornelius September 29, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

    Shannon, I hope you don’t feel like you *have* to stop traveling. Some of us can’t go on adventures because of money constraints and/or food stuff (how do you travel when you’re gluten free and dairy free?). Besides, you’re only a little adrift. I personally prefer people who are a bit off-kilter. Makes them more interesting, don’t you think?

    Many congratulations on your anniversary. I look forward to what comes next for you. More pictures? Great. More food pictures? I think you know by now the fastest route to my heart.

    • Anonymous October 1, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

      Thanks for the support Stacey – I guess it’s not too bad being a tad
      adrift…I would hate to think I was totally mainstream and normal :)

      As for you – I am still convinced this can work…I mean, vegans
      travel…it’s tougher but they do it. I’m a problem solver so you’ve
      challenged me to brainstorm! ;-)

  13. TacoBillMcGuinness September 29, 2010 at 6:02 pm #

    You forgot that some of you SoCal friends were reading your blog, too! ;) Really enjoyed the state of the blog address. And though your new header is much more professional, I’m a big fan of the one you designed yourself, although the only adjectives that are coming to me right are “cute” and “kitschy” and the like, and those always seem to have a less than pleasant connotation. I don’t read as often as I used to, and I comment even less, but you are always in my thoughts. Keep the blogs and the travels coming, Miss!

    • Anonymous October 1, 2010 at 4:09 pm #

      Aww, thanks Bill, I will adjust that reference to include my Cali friends
      :) Thanks for reading along my dear – I will see you next time I come
      through LA! xoxo

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