To be completely honest, I don’t know if anyone still reads this blog. Does anyone read any blog anymore? But this isn’t a post about “how blogging has changed” or why I’m quitting travel blogging—yet.
Blogging is broken. My motivation and inspiration gone. A passion for traveling—broken (partly from the pandemic). This blog is broken. I haven’t written for months.
But while my digital presence may be broken, I’ve also been hard at work on myself. I’ve been journaling and trying to find what it is that I actually want. What do I want to do with my life, with my work, with my brand?
Like most of my reflective blog posts, this was triggered by something going on in my life. With the way this year has been going, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect on my career goals. But it was also my birthday last week.
Every birthday I’ve ever had has always served as a marking point. A moment in time where I can record where I’m at and how far I’ve come to achieving my goals. The past three years living in New York City, my goals have been muddled and there were lots of distractions along the way. This year, perhaps even more so—just because all my plans and goals for 2020 were thrown out the window when the world changed.
Now, with renewed energy and my birthday (again) behind me, I’ve recalibrated my goals. I’ve spent a lot of the pandemic trying to keep a daily gratitude list, and that’s helped to define some of what I want in the future. So here it goes
A Broken Blog
When the pandemic hit hard in March 2020, my blog traffic and a lot of the tourism marketing I do for work took a deep dive—which affected my livelihood and sent me into unemployment. It was an abrupt and harsh reality, compounded by my own personal struggles and the global crisis.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I was ~in a way~ already preparing for a content shift on travelsofadam.com. Tired of constantly traveling and looking to nest a little better here in Brooklyn, I knew travel needed to become just a part of my story, not my entire story.
I was also apprehensive about 2020 even before the pandemic hit. Worried that a recession was on the horizon before the idea of coronavirus had even hit the headlines, I was trying to add new types of content to my blog—ones that I would hope be recession-proof. The 2009 recession still fresh in my mind.
On a more personal level, I was looking for new content ideas and less travel in 2020 because a life of constant travel makes both dating and friendships challenging. I won’t say too much, but my travel schedule in 2019 definitely was a strain on my last relationship. As it turns out, dating and friendships are equally difficult during a pandemic that terrorizes your hometown, but that’s another story.
With all this background and then the dramatic shift in online content and website traffic away from tourism, I’ve decided that my travel blog is broken.
And I don’t really want to fix it. I want to change it.
A New Beginning
This year I’ve seen quite a few other bloggers change their strategy; some abandoning their blogs entirely, others shifting with new content or new websites entirely. I’ve had plenty of ideas on what I could do, and what might work for me (and my level of interest), but I’ve been hesitant to start on my own new journey.
Well, first, I was afraid to give up on what I’ve spent 10 years building. But that was a mental hurdle around semantics that I’ve simply needed to shed.
Second, I was overwhelmed with ideas. Too many ideas and not enough energy to get something started.
That brings us to today. And a desire to just do it. Whatever it is.
So, with my blog standing still as it is today, I’m starting fresh with a new focus and a new energy. Rather than the usual trepidation I have with publishing content, I’m simply going to act.
If I’ve learned one thing from 2020, I’ve realized there’s no time like the present.
Here’s what’s going to happen
My blog is broken. But I’m not quite ready to call it quits. Consider this a last stand. Things are going to change dramatically because the world has changed, the online content industry has changed, and, to be frank, I’ve got nothing to really lose here.
I’ve felt stuck for a long time because my blog name has two words in it that I don’t really identify with anymore. I lost my passion for travel a few years ago, at least in the sense of the word I originally meant with it. A type of travel and exploring and curiosity. The deeper and more entrenched in travel writing I got, the more I realized how the sausage gets made—so to speak. And it’s pretty ugly.
That’s the trouble with turning a hobby or passion into a career.
This blog also has my name stuck to it. In the URL and all my branding, and frankly, I’m tired of it. When brands and businesses start to *tell* me my brand, my content, my creation, is worth this or that amount, and the fact it’s quite literally tied to my name, to photos of me, to my deeply personal stories and private, actual, true life experiences—-it’s hard. Businesses are applying numerical values to my actual real self, and that experience has been extremely toxic and dangerous.
I never liked the idea of being an influencer. I simply wanted to tell my stories and provide help to an audience looking for my insight. But that’s not how this industry works; oftentimes the work created is less about providing value to an audience and more about selling. During a pandemic, a recession, massive unemployment, and political turmoil, I just can’t see myself participating anymore.
So here’s what’s going to happen.
This blog will become a lot less personal. I am not rebranding or changing much, but new content you see here is going to be a lot more different. I won’t be sharing myself or my stories as regularly, but instead will share news that comes my way. I receive 100 press releases a day from a wide variety of sources, for no apparent reason, and rather than fight and filter for relevance, I’m going to try something new.
And just publish it all. (Well, not all of it.)
Instead of using my own well-being and mental health to curate and create something here online, for free, I am going to turn my brain off. I’ll publish with abandon and worry less on its impact on my image, my career, or my brand.
Freeing up that mental space of “thinking about my brand” will allow this site to continue its little bit of existence, and also ~importantly~ allow me to better focus on myself in my own time and my own privacy.
That’s the plan today. As the world continues to change dramatically, and there’s still a lot of uncertainty about the future of both the tourism industry and content creation, I’m simply doing what I feel I can do. New content will show up and there’ll be a lot less of me personally here.
I’ve already made my social media private on Twitter and on Instagram. Doing so relieves some of the pressure from a public existence, but of course it’s still possible to follow and stay in touch. I’m not disappearing from my brand, but simply removing some of mental attachment to it.
Again, I don’t know who’s out there reading what I’m writing right now, but if you’d like to be in touch, I’m still here. Just a little further behind the curtain.