Hello blog friends!
It’s been some time since I last posted. If you recall, 2022 was to be my “Year of Reckoning” (https://suehenninger.com/a-year-of-reckoning/ ) so that’s what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks-deciding the fate of my travel blog. It’s been an incredibly bittersweet process. I was able to travel to all the places I’d planned to visit and even add a few bonus outings. I went to Key West, Chicago, Phoenix, Santa Fe, Bethel Woods (Woodstock!), Roanoke, Cape Cod, to name a few, and let’s not forget one of my crowning achievements-attending the Iceland Writers Retreat, then driving the Ring Road.
I took a flying lesson at the Penn Yan Flying Club, attended the National Women’s Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Geneva, sailed on a gundalow in Portsmouth, saw the ponies swim in Chincoteague, and visited a carousel, a Wizard of Oz, an elevator, and a penis museum, as well as a secret garden (my first parrot sanctuary). And do much more. Plus, I finally made it to the Philadelphia Mummers Parade on New Year’s Day which was like nothing I’ve ever seen before!
Covid and all its mutations didn’t make starting up a full-time travel blog easy but, the reality is, there will always be internal and external pressures that shape and impact whatever you’re writing. 2020 just happened to be a perfect storm. And, despite the pandemic, I never once felt like I was wasting my time, regretted any of it, and I learned a lot about our world and myself along the way (https://suehenninger.com/two-years-later-what-i-learned-about-traveling/)
However, as in love, travel blogging and I still haven’t connected the way the way I’d hoped. Even after two years of hard work, trying new things, and increasing the quantity and quality of my online presence, sadly, the spark just isn’t there. It seems I’m not cut out to live the influencer lifestyle. I realized early on that I don’t enjoy running from place to place, creating “best of” lists. I prefer spacing things out and delving deeper into locales. Another unexpected discovery was how time-consuming blogging was. Ultimately it ended up costing me more money than I was making. Math isn’t my strongest point but even I could see the cost/benefit ratio wasn’t working. And, quite honestly, I’m tired-tired of having carefully planned logistics mess up at the last minute, trying to remember which locales have which health and safety protocols, the ongoing chaos and struggle that airline travel has become, and of having to constantly balance what I want to do with the increased cost, the likelihood of becoming ill, or the possibility of getting stuck somewhere.
Though my inner critic (and possibly some of you) might disagree, amazingly I don’t feel like a failure. One of my goals of travel writing was to show the general public that travel isn’t just for the rich and famous; anyone can go anywhere, with anyone they want and have a marvelous time! I definitely achieved that, over and over again. Other things I have to show for the past two years include unbelievable memories of time spent with friends, family, and strangers, a portfolio of unique posts and photos of all my excursions and expeditions preserved on a good-looking website, and plenty of in spiration and cocktail party snippets to share!
What’s next? We will see! I know I won’t stop traveling or writing and travel memoir is a genre I have yet to attempt. In the meantime, stay tuned because I’ll be taking my first European river cruise this May. I’d love to tell you all about it when I get home!