Have you ever had one of those weeks where the little things pile up and you feel like everything is going wrong?
It's not like we have had to deal with the Tornadoes of the Mississippi or conflict and war so it feels trivial to complain. I wouldn't even say that I am complaining here, I am just feeling the need to share my feelings today. Between the financial burdon and snags in planning for the Mongol Rally, the workload of upcoming projects and the fears that creep into our lives every day, we have been feeling a little overwhelmed.
Thoughts on the Blog
Lately we have been thinking that we have let our blog become too mainstream. We haven't been personal enough and have become disconnected from our readers. I have been so proud of Dave's photography that I want to showcase it in every post. And rightfully so, his photography and pictures of the day have given us tremendous traffic.
We were at a meet up last night with the Toronto Travel Tribe and after leaving I realized that I just wasn't in the frame of mind to network. The stress of the week had been building up and I couldn't be my usual positive self. We had just come from our accountant only to find out that an error we made earlier in the year will now cost us $1000. We were bummed because it could have easily been avoided. We forgot to mail in a simple piece of paper. While we were galavanting around New Zealand, we forgot all about it. Now we have to pay the penalty. It doesn't matter how much we made (or didn't make) this is simply a set fine.
TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange)
That was still on my mind when we went to the Tweet Up and when we started talking about TBEX, I sort of lost my temper. I was annoyed that not a lot of information was given last year. Especially regarding monetizing the blog. We flew into New York specifically on the Sunday from our Alaska Twitter Trip to learn as much as we could from the experts and thought that all our prayers would be answered about monetization. They weren't, (not even a little bit) and when people asked me if we were going this year, I replied a flat out NO. The same speakers will be there as last year that didn't share much of their expertise in the first place, so why should I go this year to throw away my money on an expensive trip to British Columbia to not learn anything new?
I have heard others complain about last years TBEX but then I see that they are going again. Dave and I can't understand why people would go to something that they found to be unorganized and lacking in information in the first place. Yes the Networking can be a good thing, but I have gotten more out of tweetups and coffee than I ever got from TBEX in New York City.
Dave and I talk a lot about our blog and pride ourselves on telling truth about our life and our travels. I stumbled upon the original Julie and Julia project blog the other Day (the blog based on the movie Julie and Julia starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams) and I found myself mesmerized by her writing. There wasn't a photograph in it and there wasn't any fancy formatting. It was her telling a story and captivating her audience. She wrote about her fears and her triumphs and she talked to her audience as friends.
We have become so worried about how we are going to pay for our travels that we are constantly thinking about how the next post will sit in the search engines and how well the public will respond to it. We have a right to worry abou this because we gave up everything we had to pursue our dream so naturally we are allowed to think about how we will become a success at it. Every company has to have a business plan and every company has to have a way to generate income.
Last week a good friend of Dave's killed himself. He seemed to have it all. He was a successful rigging gaffer (the same job that Dave did in the industry) and was about to start working on the new Total Recall with Colin Farrell. It was a shock to everyone as he seemed so jovial and open. Things are never as they seem. When we went to his funeral we saw all of Dave's old work buddies it was bittersweet. On one hand it was wonderful to see everyone and to know that you aren't forgotten yet it seems that we only come together lately when someone dies.
It validated the fact that we made the right decision to keep searching for happiness in life (Life is very short and a person should be pursuing their dreams and constantly searching for happiness) yet it didn't ease the fears that crop up every day. Dave is sad for his friend and I am sad for Dave. I asked him about 100 times if he was certain about his decision to leave his lighting career behind. He has had several offers to come back to work. Even at the funeral people were asking him if he would like to work. It would definitely eleviate our financial woes, but it would cause us to give up everything that we have been working so hard for.
We are 40 years old and we are starting over. Yes, things can set me off and I can go away from a tweet up and feel bad about myself. Yes, I have insecurities and worries and yes I can have unpopular opinions about people in the Travel Blogging world and certain conferences out there. But it was Dave's parent's email the other day that sums up our feelings and reminds us that we have to stay true to our beliefs and keep going down this path.
I will leave you with Dave's mom's words.
“We just want you to know how proud and happy we are that you both have found your passion and are living it out. We love you and are so proud! Keep on living your passion because you bring a lot of joy to a lot of people – talk to you soon – Love Mom & Dad xoxo“