I am a private person. I don’t discuss a lot of what I am thinking or feeling with many people. However, I’ve bared my travel soul. A little over a year ago, I shared my travel confessions and some tough life lessons I learned from traveling.
I was surprised when other travelers bared their souls and shared their travel confessions as well.
People have said they admire me because I am able to juggle a full time job, a blog, travel, and family. I wrote the Elmer Fudd guide on how to balance life as another confession about how bad I am at doing this.
So why am I sharing more travel confessions? Because I learned some important lessons about life.
Baring my soul – my travel story
Last week, I shared my travel story. It’s been filled with ups and downs, high and lows, life lessons, and learning experiences.
Honestly, my life is boring. I like comfort and security. Routine is my friend. Familiarity breeds contempt for some. For me, familiarity breeds content(ment).
Travel seems like the antithesis to my way of life. However, it stirs my passion, emotions, and cultural yearnings. Travel has allowed me to become a different person.
Travel has exposed pieces of my soul that I never knew existed, like buried treasure that was lost and now found. Travel has helped me conquer my demons, shatter misconceptions about who I am, and see that some things I believed about myself weren’t true.
In the last few years, I’ve gone from traveler to travel blogger in an attempt to share, encourage, and inspire those who love to travel. Now my travel blogging has taught me some important life lessons.
9 life lessons from a travel blogger
I write to inspire, educate, and entertain people. I want people to connect with their travel experiences and see the world in a different way.
Sometimes I write so others can learn from my failures, mistakes, and flaws.
These travel confessions are different than the others. Here are life lessons I’ve learned from travel blogging.
Life Lessons #1 – Know who you are
As a blogger, there is nothing worse than not knowing what you are about. We call it an elevator pitch. Mine had too many ups and downs. I never knew what floor I was on.
I’ve got an about me and getting started page. Both of those will change.
After writing for a few years, who I am as a traveler has evolved. My upcoming travels now include a sports and travel series that’s bigger than ever – the College Football Travel Tour. Obviously, sports and travel are passions of mine but there is more to me than that. I am finding my identity.
A great example of travelers finding their identity is the story of Dave and Deb from The Planet D. The travels and trials in their relationship helped them find their bliss.
Life Lessons – Don’t live to please others. Live a life that helps others become better people by being the person you were created to be.
Life Lessons #2 – Be open to change
As I’ve gotten older, my perspective has changed. Sometimes my experiences have taught me new things. Sometimes it’s a matter of growing up and maturing. Other times my circumstances have given me a different point of view.
I love sports but I never wanted to write about them. I wanted to write travel tips and destination stories (and I do). Two years later, I sat in the first row of the end zone at the Army – Navy football and thinking Annapolis feels like home. My travel focus was changing.
Keith Savage wanted to share his stories as he traveled the world. One day, things completed changed. Now he shares stories about his travels in Scotland.
Life Lessons – Life happens. We grow and change. Know who you are but be open to becoming someone even better.
Life Lessons #3 – Make priorities in your life and stick to them
This is probably my worst travel confession. With my travel writing, I get overwhelmed with all that I have to do. I become obsessive about the blog and spend more time on it than I should. Is it the top priority in my life? No.
However, my life doesn’t reflect that. I was reminded of that recently. I’ve had to change my priorities a little. I am still bad at it. However, I am getting better.
Life Lessons – How you spend your time tells you what your priorities are. Spend your time on the things that matter most.
Life Lessons #4 – Learn to say no
As a travel blogger, I get opportunities to do things – advertisements, products, trips, guest posts, pitches. My mailbox isn’t full of these. Some of these fit who I am and some don’t.
I love to be wanted and I like it when others are interested in what I do. However, not every opportunity makes sense for me.
If you are true to yourself and live your life according to your priorities, you need to know when to say no. A good opportunity isn’t the right opportunity if you do it to please someone else.
Sherry Ott walked one of the greatest pilgrimage trails in the world – the Camino de Santiago. Like many on this path, she had some time examine her life. She learned to stop paying attention to everyone else and be true to herself and her audience – even if that meant saying no.
Life Lessons – Learn to say no to some opportunities so you can say yes to focusing on the things that matter most.
Life Lessons #5 – Schedule your time
I’m not good at this. I’m unorganized and lack focus. I spend time on Twitter, write, check Facebook, check email, read blogs and comment, check Twitter and Facebook again. The pattern continues.
Then I wonder why I never get anything done. Time management is not my strength. Organization is not something I do well. I need to set aside time in my day to write, read, network, and email.
What does that balance look like? How do you deal with the pressures of life, this thing in the US called the “American Dream”, and your own desires? Caz from yTravelBlog talks openly about finding a balance between life, dreams, and travel.
Life Lessons – Plan your time so you can get things done. Always schedule time for fun. Most importantly, schedule time with people that matter.
Life Lessons #6 – Do what you love
Another travel confession from a travel blogger – I write about things I don’t want to write about. Why? Because it’s good for Google, it’s news, and it will get me in the headlines.
You will do things you don’t want or like. Welcome to life!
What do we do with the time we have? What do we want to do more of if we had more time?
I’m not telling you to quit your job, end your relationships, and go travel the world to find the answer. The solution is much easier. Do what you love. Find what it is that inspires you.
Spend a few minutes doing something you enjoy. Maybe it’s just a hobby. Maybe you start a new career.
Do something you enjoy that makes you a better person.
In 2003, Matt Kepnes quit his job to travel the world. He quit the American Dream. He started living his own dream. Maybe that isn’t your dream. Expedia says it best – “Find Yours.”
Life Lessons – Find something you love and do it. Do what you love so that you become a better person – for yourself and the people around you.
Life Lessons #7 – Don’t procrastinate
Want to go on a trip? Do it. Want to tell someone you love them? Say it. Keep putting something off thinking you will do it later? Stop that.
Here’s another travel confession – 95% of all the posts I write are written that same day or the night before. Because I procrastinate, my blog suffers.
My stories aren’t as good when I wait so long to tell them. Many of my stories happened weeks, months, or years ago. The details fade. My recollection of the events changes. I lose the connection to the story.
My posts are just stories about travel. I forget things, miss other opportunities, or lose the connection. However, those same things cost you a lot more when it’s your life and not a travel story.
Life Lessons – Procrastinate on things that don’t matter. Don’t miss the opportunities, people, and moments that matter because you waited too long.
Life Lessons #8 – Don’t give up
I’ve quit travel blogging six times now. Life was too busy. I was burned out. So I quit.
The longest stretch was 6 weeks. Other times it was a few weeks. People think traveling and writing is a never ending vacation. Add a full time job to that, a family, and other commitments, and it can be overwhelming.
Being a travel blogger is hard. Kate McCulley gives an honest, candid look at life as a professional travel blogger.
Do what you love. Be true to who you are. And persevere.
Life Lessons – Don’t ever give up. We all need people in our lives to help us. Embrace them, love them, help them, and keep going.
Life Lessons #9 – Tell your story
As I writer, I am nothing without words. This is one area where I want to improve the most. I want to tell a story with all five senses. I will be a great travel writer when I learn to write a great story.
My words are meant to inspire, contemplate, and encourage. However, my travel stories have a limited reach and audience.
However, your story can change people’s lives.
Regardless of who you are, what you do, or where you live, you have a story that can touch people’s lives each and every day. Find your story. Understand where you came from and where you want to go. You get one shot at this. Make it count.
Spencer Spellman tells his story. It’s not your story. However, he will inspire you to live a story worth telling.
Life Lessons – Don’t write a story. Live a story. Make your life count and use it to inspire, love, and encourage others.
Sometimes travel confessions lead to some important life lessons.
When success is failure
I don’t want to be a success. I don’t want to be a travel blogger. I don’t want these things if I am not a better person to the people that matter.
Life lessons. Travel confessions.
Know who you are. Spend time with the people that matter. Do what you love if it makes a better person for it. Write your story. Make a difference in the world.
What are your travel confessions and life lessons?