OK, it’s bit of a bombshell for today’s post…but maybe not a huge surprise…?
I’ve been thinking about this for a very, very long time. About 3-4 years if I’m totally honest. I mentally wrote this exact post about two years ago, but I was always too scared to even type it up.
The words were going around in my head but I couldn’t bring myself to see them in black and white on a computer screen. But there they are, plain as day. I DON’T WANT TO BE A TRAVEL BLOGGER ANYMORE.
I didn’t even want to admit these words to myself.
I’ve worked so hard for 10 years to build and sustain this incredible travel blogging career…giving it all up would be crazy.
I’d be stupid to quit travel blogging…completely bat shit crazy…it’s absurd…isn’t it? This is so many people’s dream job!
Travel blogging has been my life, it’s been my everything for so long!
And for 10 years, it really paid off. I had one of the biggest and most profitable travel blogs in the UK. I had an endless stream of press trip invites and daily travel opportunities pinging into my inbox. I have my own range of luggage for goodness sake! (I know I’m bragging here but I am super proud of it!) It was the dream.
And then….well…then it wasn’t the dream anymore.
So what changed?
I changed, I guess. And travel blogging changed a bit too (but progress within the industry definitely hasn’t influenced my decision. I’m not one of those bloggers who’s saying ‘it was better in the good old days when no one got paid and no one really tried!’)
And then I had children and, while I was adamant that having children wouldn’t change me, it did.
And then the world changed. The world changed in such a huge and unpredictable way and it’s made me rethink everything.
Coronavirus forced me into a situation I wouldn’t have chosen for myself but I’ve loved. My life has become so small. Lockdown forced our lives to become contained within the four walls of our homes. Everything is now within our little bubbles and our tiny communities and life feels very different. It was a big shock, but once I’d adjusted I started to enjoy it. Really enjoy it.
My life began to feel very different without looming deadlines and a calendar full of flights. And I liked it.
And that’s when I realised that maybe I didn’t want to travel anymore.
It’s actually something I’ve known for a while but it’s taken me even longer to accept it. Like I said, being a travel blogger has defined who I am for so long and it’s an identity I’ve really enjoyed having! I’ve loved being the friend who is always jetting off around the world. I love being the person people turn to for holiday inspiration. It’s also really fun meeting someone for the first time and explaining what I do.I love seeing the shock on people’s faces when they hear I make a living through travelling. I essentially get paid to go on holiday. How cool is that!? It’s a great conversation starter and I love it when people start telling me about their favourite holidays and the hidden gems they’ve discovered.
As amazing as it’s been, I’ve also felt trapped within the confines of being ‘a travel blogger’. It’s like having a hobby and all you’re allowed to talk about is that one particular interest. Imagine if your hobby was knitting and all your friends ever wanted to talk to you about was knitting. You try and bring up a new topic but all they want from you is your knitting tips!
I feel like a one-trick pony and I’ve been doing the same trick for 11 years. I’ve created this amazing community, a group of people who feel more like friends than online acquaintances, and many of them expect me to talk about nothing but travel, like a broken record saying the same things on repeat.
Of course, most people who follow me know that I blog about much more than just travel, but I do get the occasional snarky comment when I dare to go off topic.
‘What’s this got to do with travel!?’ they ask. ‘I signed up to a travel blog, not a mummy blog. UNFOLLOW!’
These people are the minority but we always seem to hear the negative voices the loudest.
One of the problems with being a blogger, or any kind of online content creator, is that it’s so much more than ‘just a job’. It becomes hard to separate what’s work and what’s fun and what’s family time and what’s down time. Travel bloggers don’t have holidays because every holiday is such a perfect opportunity to work! But, more than that, almost every waking moment is an opportunity to create content and life becomes very blurry when you’re not sure if you’re doing something for fun or doing it because it would make a great photo for your Instagram feed.
For the past few years I’ve felt like ‘The Travel Hack’ isn’t actually me. The Travel Hack was an excited 21 year old, setting off on her first adventure with bright eyes and a bushy pony tail. She had a one-way ticket to Australia, a terrifyingly small amount of money in her bank account and an irritating level of enthusiasm for EVERYTHING! OK, maybe I am still irritatingly enthusiastic but this girl isn’t me anymore.
My love for travelling has never waivered. I still LOVE travelling and I still LOVE blogging about my travels. I love planning holidays and sharing the little details from each trip….I just love other things now too and The Travel Hack just isn’t me anymore.
I’ve considered selling the blog and was offered a generous amount of money in February 2020. My heart was telling me to sell it but my head told me I shouldn’t and I held off. Then COVID happened and the travel industry crashed and…surprise surprise…no one wants to buy a travel blog when barely anyone is searching for travel articles! So the moral of the story there is to trust your heart and that’s what I’m doing now.
So yea…there it is. I’m quitting travel blogging.
Come back later in the week to see what I’ll be doing. If you aren’t already, you can subscribe to my newsletter here for the latest updates.