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Jan 13 2018

2017: A Year of Reflection, Refocusing, & Planning


As I write this, we are already in 2018 – OMG, how time flies!  The fact that I have written and published this is a miracle since I haven’t published anything in almost a year.  I’ll be coming on to that in a bit.

So much happened in 2017 – I travelled lots, changed jobs, bought a car, found love, and moved (again), but not in that order.  Yep, I obviously love taking action, as well as change and a challenge!  There was also some reflection, refocusing, and planning in the mix, but almost no blogging.  I’m going to focus on travel, since this is supposed to be a travel blog, and blogging.

Travel

I kicked off the year by going to the Maltese Islands, although I almost didn’t get there when I accidentally missed my plane for the first time in my life.  Nonetheless, I had an incredible time exploring Malta, Gozo, and Comino.  At Easter, I went to Cape Verde.  I had actually wanted to go to Cape Town, but having left it so late, the flights were extortionate.  I found cheap return flights to the island of Sal in Cape Verde, so I went there instead.  Well, it had Cape in the name!  I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect because I do love a bit of adventure.  I read so many negative reviews about the island, particularly about how boring it is. Since I was going to be there for a week, I was a little concerned.  It just shows, once again, that you really need to go and find out for yourself because I had an incredible week, full of relaxation and adventure, so I am pleased I went.

I then had a few weekends and weeks away in Europe.  I went to Sofia, which was my first time in Bulgaria; Craiova, Bucharest, and Transylvania for my first time in Romania; Sardinia, which I had wanted to visit for years; and various parts of the UK, travelling for business and pleasure.  My travelling came to an abrupt end, pretty much, when I started my new job.  I have had and am continuing to have a steep learning curve and a ton of work to do.  Seriously, there was no let up until I finished for Christmas and New Year on 23rd December!  So much to do and never enough time.  Know that feeling?

Blogging

It has also taken me until the beginning of 2018 to write this because I still hadn’t fully sussed out this whole blogging issue I’ve been having.  You know… the one about me publishing precious little on this blog for the past couple of years.  As you can see, I haven’t been sitting on my laurels.  I have been busy. In the few spare moments I’ve had, I have actually done some writing, I just haven’t finished anything.  I have also been taking photographs and sharing them on some of my social media sites.

My reason for not publishing on this blog for ages is, in part, because it’s… a hobby blog.  There, I said it.  When I started this blog, I had no idea what a blog was.  I began because people kept saying how brave I was to pack in my job and travel the world and how they couldn’t do what I had done.  I wanted to show that, actually, they could.  I also wanted to share all the information I had accumulated and the photographs I had taken.  A blog seemed to be a good place for that at the time.  Then, I found a travel blogging community, and that opened my eyes to the possibilities of turning it into my main job. The thought of travelling and writing about it for a living was so appealing that I spent a long time trying to somehow turn it into something that I could do full-time.  That didn’t happen.  Some bloggers have made it work for them.  For others, it supplements what they earn.  For me, it doesn’t do either and never has.

It is time to face facts – my attempts at blogging have been spectactularly unsuccessful.  I am not being negative because I’m not that type of person. I’m just being truthful.  My site has consistently had embarassingly low visitor numbers.  Not just my blog, though, I hasten to add.  My social media sites, even the ones I have continue to post on regularly, get very few likes, comments, and have had hardly any new followers over the years.  Don’t get me wrong.  This isn’t an, ‘Oh, whoa is me!’ or anything. I’m merely stating facts.  In order to change something, you have to identify the problem.  Only then can you make a plan and develop a strategy to improve the situation.  For this blog, taking a break from it, as I have done, has been good.  I actually haven’t looked at the site for almost a year.  I have only been to the backend to reply to comments and do very basic maintenance, such as updating plugins etc.  Looking at it for the first time in almost year has enabled me to see it with fresh eyes, and I can see that it needs a facelift; a complete revamp, in fact.  The two social media sites I have been continuing to post on are different.  I have no idea why these haven’t done better.  That’s something I will need to spend time thinking about when I can.  This is a hobby blog, so I will do what I can, when I can. That’s going to be my new mantra.

2018: A Year of Letting the Dust Settle

So, what will 2018 bring?  Honestly, I have no idea.  Given that 2017 was a year of an incredible about of change, 2018 needs to be a year of letting the dust settle.  It’ll be a time of getting to grips with my new job, travelling, enjoying time with my partner, getting fit, and sorting out this blog.

How was 2017 for you, and what are you focusing on for 2018?

About the author

Teresa Keane

Teresa has been to almost 60 countries. She started travelling independently at the age of 38 when she gave up her job, rented out her house, put her possessions in storage and spent a year travelling the world. It changed her life. She now creates, publishes, & promotes online travel content and is an experienced freelance trainer & EFL teacher.

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