It’s only now, when we’re just about to set off on a new adventure, that I’ve felt inspired to sit down and write. Amongst all the recent summer house sits, family get-togethers and work, I somehow lost my will to write. Now the car is ready to be packed, there’s a map with a route through Europe etched in our heads and I’m ready to face the road, and the blank page, once again.
On blogging and lacking inspiration
We’ve been in the UK now for almost three months, a relatively long time in our nomadic life. While this period has been filled with things we love, like hanging out with family and friends and revisiting London, it hasn’t felt adventurous. The UK, to me, rarely does. Having lived most of my life here this island is just too familiar, especially after the intensity of hiking to Everest Base Camp and novelty of living in Thailand. Perhaps this lack of adventure is what’s caused my dearth of inspiration because for a long time now I’ve had nothing to say, about travel or life.
Part of this writing drought is also down to the fact that I’ve been blogging for over five years now and while I love it, (I wouldn’t have kept it up otherwise), there are inevitably times when I wonder what the point is. It can be hard to ignore the inner voice that pipes up and asks, is anyone actually reading this, who really cares about my narcissistic navel gazing and does the internet really need more travel articles? Plus, this site really needs updating with a new design and shouldn’t I be putting more effort into my SEO and monetisation?
The world of blogging has changed since I began, when it used to be about finding blogs that resonated with you, really reading content, commenting and connecting with others. Now, it feels like it’s all about social media, stacking up followers and relentlessly sharing. There are fake Instagram accounts and automated comment bots, endless sharing threads and scheduling tools. It’s exhausting. Despite all that crap though, I keep going because I love it when that spark of inspiration does come, when I have an adventure and feel that itch to sit down and write out what that experience meant to me and share it with even just one other person.
Work woes and facing the future
This summer has also been unexpectedly hard on the work front too. When we left Thailand in April I felt like we were smashing our digital nomad goals, we had a dream lifestyle in Chiang Mai and were actually putting money back into our savings account. Things definitely took a downturn over the summer though. I lost a regular, high-paying freelance client that I’d been relying way too much on and Andrew’s online teaching trailed off as his French students took summer breaks. We’ve definitely learnt some hard lessons about the unpredictability and seasonality of freelancing.
While we’ve still been earning, I feel we badly need to knuckle down again. We need the space to get back into a weekly working routine, which I hope we’ll find in the monthly apartment rentals we’ve set up in Porto and Prague – this autumn is full of P’s! Workwise, we’re also looking to the future. Whilst I’ve set up my own freelance website and hope to continue building my writing business, Andrew isn’t keen on teaching online forever. He wants to get back in the classroom, and having one full-time, guaranteed salary alongside my freelance income would certainly take the pressure off our finances and allow us to save consistently.
With this in mind, we’ve been talking more about the future, specifically where we’ll be this time next year. The whole reason we got married in Thailand was to make it easier to live and work in other countries. If Andrew gets a teaching job in the USA or New Zealand, for example, it’s likely that I can come along on a spousal visa and continue to work freelance. So, a key task for Andrew this autumn will be researching and applying for jobs starting next September. The outcome will determine the trajectory of our journey and next phase of our life.
Travel in the here and now
So that’s basically a mishmash of everything that’s been running through my mind these last few months and paralysing my writing muscles. Now, as we prepare to catch the ferry to mainland Europe on Saturday, I feel that familiar itch of excitement return. All these years on, travel still has the power to inspire me in a way nothing else does. I can’t wait to watch the road unfurl in front of me as we spiral our way through Europe, bask in Portuguese sunshine and hop from one historic city to the next.
Here’s what our European adventures look like so far:
- 23rd September: we leave the UK and take the ferry to Dunkirk.
- 23rd – 29th September: we drive down to Portugal via Amsterdam, France and Spain.
- 29th September to 8th October: we’re housesitting some dogs and pigs near Lagos in southern Portugal.
- 8th – 11th October: a quick stop in Lisbon (which turned out to be too expensive for us to rent an apartment in) where we’ll catch up with my little brother who’s currently walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain!
- 11th October: 8th November – we’ll be in an apartment near Porto where we’ll get back into a proper work groove while exploring the area, we also hope to meet up with Patti and Abi from One Road at a Time, who will also be in Porto.
- 8th – 17th November: we’ll make our way over to Prague. The exact route is yet to be determined but we’re hoping to stop in Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany and Ljubljana along the way.
- 17th November – 17th December: we’ll be working away in our Prague apartment whilst enjoying the city and receiving family visits.
- 18th – 21st December: we’ll drive over to France for our ferry crossing to the UK on the 21st, Just in time for Christmas.
Pin Me For Later!
We’re also ready for a big, new adventure in 2018 and will be booking flights to South America in January soon! If you’ve made it to the end of this long post thanks so much for reading and following our journey. Let me know in the comments what your upcoming travel/life plans are and if you’re a blogger, how you deal with dips in inspiration.