Your Career Is Something and Your Blog Is Nothing. How Is It?

Sunset views

I’m a hobby blogger. I’ve started writing a bit more than a year ago out of a simple desire to leave my footprints on Earth. Since my travel blog is pure passion and not my career people in my surrounding tend to ignore or at least undervalue it. Do people around us understand the real meaning of blogging?

I gave up my 9 to 5 in 2013 to live a year or so entirely for my wanderlust. Ever since I can remember my travel style has become more sophisticated and now I see myself as an ambassador when it comes to venturing off the beaten track. When I put a break on my career I was led by a simple idea. Scribble down my experience on the go to show a different perspective on travel to the ever-increasing circle of globally mobile people. Since then I’ve been documenting all my journeys while looking behind the touristic track. Traveling and writing fill my days and I did not only live life to the fullest around the globe but simultaneously met fellow writers in the blogosphere who inspired my steps.

One piece that I hadn’t realized for a long time was missing though. And this thing is called recognition. Recognition from people occupying the closest place to my heart, my relatives and friends. After I had spent some time away from my homeland I understood that in their eyes my wandering life and blogging enthusiasm was a diversion in life not worth to talk about.

The story is that I spent two self-organized months in India and as usual updated my blog and personal social media channels on the go. I lived, cooked, ate, traveled, celebrated and prayed with the locals and learned about their culture more in-depth than any pre-organized trip could have granted me. I returned home after Christmas full of enlightenment eagerly waiting to share my travel tales with my nearest and dearest.

Now guess how many people ventured beyond the courtesy question: “How was your trip?”

Well, not even a single. I thought it’s because most of them were not familiar with the country and didn’t know how to approach the topic but I was too naive.

Someone very dear to me, let’s call her ‘close fellow’ happened to be in Thailand for a week for business during the same period I was in India for two months. Close fellow is in tourism and was invited for a group study tour to Thailand. When she returned and later I returned from India we started to catch up with friends and relatives together for the regular post-Christmas, holiday season get-togethers since we share nearly the same circle of friends. So how did it exactly go? An array of questions were raised accompanied with a widely sensible curiosity, like “why did you go”, “where did you go”, “what did you do”, what was the most…” “what was the least…”, “your photos are truly amazing” and fill in the blank. So all the usual questions were asked and compliments were made. To close fellow. About Thailand.

Hey, everyone! I’ve just come from India after two months, you know the land of diversity! And I lived the authentic lifestyle! I blended in! I blogged about it! I think I heard something here and there that my photos on social media are cool. But in reality no one listened anymore. They rather went into the teeny-weeny details about my close fellow’s business travel… Did they actually ask about the color of her underwear she had worn on the third day? I’m not sure about that because by the time I was all by myself deeply with my thoughts where I tried to come up with a reasonable explanation on the situation. Was it due to the ever-growing popularity of Thailand? Or because of the pics she shot with her professional camera? Is she more popular shadowing my existence?

Nope. None of the above. Things took a turn this way because she is meeting social expectations. What do I mean? She is traveling. And she is writing about it… And she is earning money with all these.

Now here’s the trick. While she is enjoying what she is doing she does it for her living. This is her career she has been building up deliberately and proficiently while I do something along this line out of pleasure. I chose to be out of the rat race for a while and society chose not to take me serious anymore.

Our culture neither understands nor accepts that I took a break because I needed a break and went on a different path for something I will call the best time of my life in order to create, see, inspire and learn.

Folks in my life simply ignore the importance of today’s blogs and they just call it a “time-pass” that doesn’t move me forward in life.

I’ve been on the road whenever I wanted to be. I returned whenever I felt like. Did I sacrifice my career along this journey? I think so. Did I give up financial savings? Looks like. Do I mind the past 17 months? Not even for a blink of an eye. While I need to find my way back to career shortly as financials are knocking on the door I remain a BLOGGER who creates and motivates off the beaten track.

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18 thoughts on “Your Career Is Something and Your Blog Is Nothing. How Is It?

  1. I guess not everyone gets it. I myself think I don’t get it most of the time. Sometimes leaving my life to travel is all I can think about, cause it makes sense. Sometimes, I can’t believe I’ve even entertained the idea, cause it doesn’t make sense. And maybe these people, they just don’t want to enter into a discussion that might create some clash, knowing that you are so passionate about it (cause they should know at least THAT, that you are passionate about travel, in the non-touristy kind of way). Anyway, I don’t know if my comment made sense – just wanted to somehow encourage you to keep at it. Because you are being recognized. 🙂

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    • Yeah, that is also true. I paused my career and pulled out of the so called normal life to pursue my passion. People around me have other priorities and desires, so at times it’s hard to find common ground. I’m definitely going to keep it up 🙂 Thank you!

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  2. A writer friend once told me that when people don’t seem interested in a piece or series that he has written, he tries to step away from himself and ask the hard question of whether the specific written work actually is interesting. He then solicits feedback from a colleague whom he knows will be candid and asks that person the same question. I try to apply a similar tactic with my photography, although not always successfully. My writer friend handles criticism far better than I do;-)

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  3. I’ve had a pretty similar experience… It seems that unless you’re a professional author or a celebrity that your writing is viewed as a silly hobby.

    As to the other things you said, it does seem that others view extended travel as either quitting at life or as some privileged experience, either way something they don’t understand or wish to emulate.

    Good luck!

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    • Looks like we don’t really care about each other’s pastime and when we get together from time to time we want to hear about nothing else just his new position at the company, her recent business trip or their family matters. In the past one year I’ve started writing, I learned basic yoga from an 80-year old man in India and acquired a new language in my ‘free time’. Even though I would have loved to discuss my experience with many, most of them were not very interested in further details. On the other hand this gives me more encouragement and confidence to keep going and record my experiences. Thanks for your comment!

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  4. I think people sometimes have difficulties understading anything that is not 9 to 5 or that doesn’t translate into a full salary. It happens with blogs but also with unusual work arrangements (i work from home, part time: nobody gets it, they all think I am a stay at home mum). But literature is full of writers who only got recognised very late, maybe they never even saw that satisfaction, but thankfully they kept writing. I hope you keep writing too: cricisism is hard but necessary and often useful… I guess we just need to learn to discard the criticism that doesn’t make sense to us or is not given in good faith. I myself hate to be criticised so I’m very much saying all this to myself 🙂

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    • Indeed. While the majority is focusing on building a career and getting the best jobs at top companies, there are alternative forms of work evolving. You might pursue what your heart says and create a small business out of your hobby while working part time from home. I always respected people who enjoy what they do and managed to build something out of their passion. We just need to learn how to use criticism to our own advantage 🙂

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  5. Planning and mapping are the cost we pay for what we love. We work extra hard to earn added moments away from our work. I like you want to share what I see, to encourage and be encouraged. Yet, it is true few who do not know, will understand and few who do not see will ever see. At best they look at pictures taken at 4:45am with expensive camera gear in a frozen wilderness and compare it to a cheap photo shop hack job. Most never read the text you lament over, but in the end you express and share because it is your art.

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    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I’m writing to get people excited about seeing the world whether they are heading to the next city 10 miles away from their home or flying over continents to find themselves the opposite side of the globe. As you say, it’s my art, that’s how I’m trying to contribute to society and encourage people to always walk with their eyes wide open.

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  6. This is an amazing piece! There is such a stigma attached to stepping away from the 9-5 and that security, but i feel like what people don’t understand is times are changing. I think a lot of people in my age group are becoming very disulsioned and blazing thier own paths. Props for getting out there and doing what you love!

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    • Thanks for your comment. Breaking free of social expectations can be challenging and that puts some of our relationships into risk but it looks like a good number of us want to experience what’s out there, what we are capable of constantly pushing our boundaries be it an epic adventure, a start-up business or a whole new lifestyle.

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  7. I have lived a long time experiencing what you have experienced. My family were travellers, thank goodness, so they got it but friends; not so much. I rarely am asked about my trips. It is outside of most people’s comfort zones and as a result, I think fear prohibits some of the questions. They simply don’t know what to ask because they don’t know much about India for example. Or they know they couldn’t do it so maybe they don’t care? I don’t know. But rest assured that people you don’t know, who share your interests, do care about where to go in Goa etc. and will read with interest. Happy travels and continued blogging, Cheryl

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    • Thanks Cheryl. That’s exactly the reason that I keep on writing as I believe people with the same passion are happy to learn more about that city or coastal village in-depth or looking out for practical infos so they can plan their upcoming journeys accordingly. Cheers to many good trips ahead!

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