October 24, 2012. That’s the day everything changed.
While I was in Miami for the Expedia College Football Travel Tour, everything went wrong. I was as lonely and discouraged as I’d ever been. I was burned out, emotionally drained, and didn’t want to travel any more. I missed home and the people closest to me.
I arrived home that day as low as I’ve been in a long time. I made the decision to quit. But I quit the wrong thing.
It was one of the biggest mistakes I’ve ever made.
Why I’m retiring from travel blogging
I used that experience in Miami and turned it into life lessons from the day I almost quit traveling. I wish now that it wasn’t “almost.”
A few weeks went by and I got a little more energy again. I finished up the College Football Travel Tour. I found inspiration again and pushed through the struggles. I enjoyed my travels and had some great opportunities in 2013.
Around my birthday, I had some new ideas not related to travel. I wrote them down. I even wrote about them. I filed them away, ignored them, lost hope, and moved on. My heart was showing me that I needed to move in a different direction. I didn’t listen.
Instead, I took a dream birthday trip and discovered Yosemite in Winter. That experience stirred my photography passion and became the subject of my first and only ebook (you can now download my Yosemite in Winter ebook for free – no strings attached).
New opportunities. A passion for travel photography. I was writing better stories as my creative side flowed. And I continued to make the wrong decisions.
For the last four years, the pattern was the same. Work a full time job, travel, write, and maintain a home life. Some of those I did well. On the most important things, I failed miserably.
Every two to three months, I would get burned out and take a break. Finally, I attended World Domination Summit in Portland. It was both eye opening and tragic. My life was broken in so many ways.
As a result, I’m trying to put my life back together. Not the life I thought I wanted and spent too much time pursuing. But the life I really want.
This past week has been one of the toughest of my life. And it’s all my fault. It all goes back to October 24.
As I slowed down this week, took a break from travel blogging, and listened, I saw the writing on the wall and the messages that were meant for me. Like the movies Bruce Almighty and Fools Rush In, I realize now that the signs were everywhere.
I didn’t see them.
This week it all came crashing down. After all the turmoil, stress, frustrations, and lack of sleep due to travel blogging, this was the final straw. This wasn’t worth it any more.
I’ve made the decision – I’m retiring as a travel blogger.
Budget Travel Adventures will continue
I’ve gotten rid of a lot of things this past week. I’ve cleaned up some others. It’s time to put some things behind me, getting rid of some people and baggage in my life.
I’ve thrown away almost everything related to travel blogging. Business cards are in the trash. Social media accounts and email removed from my phone. And the Budget Travel Adventures blog has been turned over to someone else.
Dave Parkinson enthusiastically contacted me about my blog telling me he had been searching for the right site to start his travel adventures with his family. He lives with his wife and 5 kids in Utah. Reading his story, I knew he was the perfect one to take over.
Dave stated he wanted to keep everything I had written on the site, including my bio and how the site was started. I am very thankful to him for that. Now is the time to transition over to him. Budget Travel Adventures will continue.
Dave has a passion for travel and adventure that he wants to share with you. I couldn’t be more excited about leaving. The timing and the transition are perfect. As I leave this behind, I’m happy to know that Budget Travel Adventures will continue.
In the next week, the transition will be complete. Dave and his wife are taking over the blog and the social media pages for Budget Travel Adventures. I hope you will support and encourage him like you have done for me.
What’s next for me?
For years, I’ve always had a project. I traveled for a while and got into golf. Then I went back to school for a year and a half. For the last 4 years, I’ve been a travel blogger.
Now it’s time for me to do nothing and focus on the things and people that really matter in my life. I’m at peace knowing this is the right decision for me.
This may the toughest, most wonderful adventure of my life.
To sacrifice means to give up something you love for something you love even more. For far too long, I had those reversed – I was giving up something I love even more for something I love.
It’s time to change that.
I’m not going to travel for a while. I’m canceling my trips for the rest of the year. I’ve got nothing else planned. I’m going to rebuild and repair my life from the bottom. I am going to focus on what matters the most to me. I’m broken and it’s time to get fixed.
Thank you to all who have supported me over the last 4 years. I am grateful for the friendships I’ve made and the people I have met. Thanks for your encouragement. The travel community has been wonderful. Thanks to Expedia and others who took a chance on me. I am humbled by my travel experiences, the people I’ve met, and the places I’ve been.
Dave has left the door open for me to contribute to Budget Travel Adventures somewhere down the road. Maybe the time will come where I will return to travel blogging. But not now, not for a long time.
Budget Travel Adventures will continue with Dave. My own budget travel adventures will continue – in a much different direction.
This will be my last post on Budget Travel Adventures. I will miss travel. However, the sacrifice is worth it. I really am retiring from travel blogging.
So thank you, goodbye, and happy travels!