Change is gonna come…

It’s been a while since we’ve spoken and I’m sorry for that. Truth is, I’ve missed you.

I could tell you that I’ve been busy or that I’ve had a serious case of writers block but it would be a lie. I’ve been ill. Again. I know, I can hear you all rolling your eyes; I’m rolling my eyes with you. Every time I think I’m getting better, out of nowhere I get hit by the preverbial truck and I’m right back in the crapper. However, things are beginning to change in my life (all will become much clearer over the coming weeks!) and on the desired track of change, I wanted to clue you in on a few new directions I’m taking…

Firstly, my blog ‘genre’ is changing. When I started writing way back when, it began as a diary for my family and friends to be a part of my travels and by the time I had returned from Asia, I had rediscovered my love of writing and ‘launched’ my site properly. I announced myself as a budget solo female backpacker – not because I wanted the label for ‘bravery’ but because, at that time, it was exactly who I was. However, this is one of the first things I will be changing. From now on, if anybody needs a label from me, it will simply be a travelling female.

Why the change? Because I’VE changed. Africa changed me beyond my own recognition. I don’t just want to be known for budget prices because honestly, I am a big believer in paying for experiences. If I want to spend hundreds of dollars on something like microlighting over Victoria Falls, I’m going to do it because life is all about experiences. When others on my trip to Africa couldn’t afford even one adventure activity, I bought 3 and those experiences will stay with me for life because, whilst I knew I had a rough budget in mind, I recognised, like the quote says, that travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer.

I’ve become far more open to life since Africa and my illness last year; if I want to stay in a serene, luxurious hotel for a few days or a week when I’m travelling because it makes me happy then I’m going to do it because ultimately this is my life and everyone in life should do what makes them happy. It’s one of the reasons that I’m not using the word ‘budget’ anymore. Whilst I will still be travelling at the lower end of a budget, I will pay out for luxuries and don’t want to be restricted by a label that I have defined for myself.

I will also be adding a new dimension to my site. My site will always have travel at its heart and I hope that vein will continue for many years to come but I have come to realise that I have so much to say outside of the scope of travel that I’ve felt that defining my blog as purely travel has prevented me from writing about some of the things and feelings I treasure the most and I no longer want to restrict those words.

And so, I want to take my blog into the direction of personal development.Β Am I saying that I’m qualified to be a ‘life coach’? Of course not. Am I saying that I give the best advice or write the best words in the world? Hell no! But what I do have is the ability to be honest in both my writing and my opinion which will hopefully inspire you to do the same or something similar.
But don’t worry. I’m not going to suddenly start telling you to cut wheat out of your diet since it’s healthier because I think we’ve already established that I’m an ‘eat cake and work out later’ kind of woman. I’m not going to say that yoga heals the soul because honestly, I prefer my exercise faster and I can’t meditate to save my life. Neither am I going to lose my ‘voice’; I will still write with humour and use swear words for effect, I will still be sarcastic because I’m British and it’s what we do and I’ll still write my opinions whether I think you’ll agree with them or not. Call it ‘life coaching for the non-bullshitters’ if that makes you feel better.

Which brings me to the second part of my blog change; projects/series:

I will be adding two new series to my blog channeling two very different themes.

The first is called ‘It’s Ok…’.

These will be inspirational/life coach blog posts aimed at helping you realise that you’re not alone in life and hope you help you achieve the goals that you want from yourself and from life. These are the posts where I’ll be getting really personal; opening up to you in the hope that it helps just one of you realise that you’re not alone when the tough times in life come knocking.

I began the series with my first post a few weeks ago named ‘It’s Ok…to feel lost in life’

The second theme will be:

‘I’m a lousy backpacker because…’

This will be a humorous look at life on the road in which I poke fun myself and other (generalised) backpackers about the supposed things we do ‘wrong’ on the road and the consequences of that. Posts will include titles such as: I’m a lousy backpacker because I don’t like hostels or I’m a lousy backpacker because I take too many clothes.

Elephant!!

The Big Project…

I want to look into the treatment of animals in zoos and sancturies around the world. Ever since Africa stole my soul I’ve been enthralled by majestic creatures such as lions, rhinos and elephants etc and unfortunately over the last couple of years there has been a huge increase in poaching leading many in the animal community to believe that these animals could be wiped out in our generation if we don’t do something about it.

Just the other day the West African Black Rhino became extinct and it didn’t even create a ripple in the world which brought me to tears. Actual tears. I have huge respect for (the good) zoos and sancturies around the world that are doing all they can to ensure further generations of us get to see these magnificent creatures but my curiosity wants to delve deeper to find out just much these ‘safe havens’ can help impact on the worlds’ endangered species. I want to go behind the scenes of these establishments and find out how they work and what people really feel about them. I hope to be able to shed some light on places that we so often take for granted and see as entertainment rather than life savers as well as get to answer some of your important questions about the subject along the way.

There are other smaller changes that I’ll be making along the way but for now, that’s all the updating you need. Β  Is there anything you want me to write more about or a direction you’d like myself and my blog to take? Β Let me know in the comments below or send me an email at reclaimingmyfuture{a}gmail{dot}com

As the great singer Sam Cook once sang:

Change is gonna come…

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16 comments

  1. Good for you! We’ve founded an Ecotourism & Adventure Travel Writers group on FB that your wildlife-related posts would be a good fit for. Also, not sure if you’ve heard about our new EcoAdventure Media group, but we’ve combined forces with 12 other major blogs to expand our reach and hopefully impact the travel industry by focusing on more sustainable, responsible eco- and cultural travel. Let’s keep in touch!

  2. Good to see you back, and taking charge of the direction you want to be heading. You have always impressed me with your bravery, and continue to do so. I can’t wait to see what this next stage of your life holds, and look forward to reading all about it. The world is yours πŸ™‚

  3. Glad to see you back. I’m sure all of your new ventures will be fantastic. Can’t wait to read the new series’.

  4. Your new direction sounds very exciting! I am glad you are back in business! I am really looking forward to your animal and travel mishap posts!

  5. Loved reading this, Toni, because I relate to it. Something about the way I travel is beginning to change, too, and I think that’s also affecting my ‘blog genre.’ I’ve always been a low-budget traveler, but now I’m at the high end of that range (or at the low end of mid-range). πŸ™‚

    Cool that you’ll be writing about non-travel topics.

    It all sounds like a great change. Best of luck!!

  6. There’s just something about sleeping on train station floors that doesn’t work once you’re above age 27 or so. Weird, huh? And I think travel-related growth is close enough to personal growth in general that probably everyone will tag along for the new ride anyway.

  7. Hey Toni,

    Good on you for doing the changes you need to do. It’s scary when you need to change the genre yourself. But the ideas you have coming sounds unbelievably amazing so I look forward what you have to say. Just be true to yourself and I’ll still love you.

  8. Look forward to reading the new series – I’m a fellow rubbish backpacker (can’t get up before 9am, super picky eater and hardly ever travel solo) so will no doubt recognise a few of those! On a more serious note though it’s great to read about someone who is dealing with a tough situation and acknowledging it instead of brushing it under the ‘travel fixes everything’ carpet. As someone who’s had a lot of anxiety problems I know you can’t outrun your problems but have to face them wherever you are. Hope everything works out well for you in Oz/NZ.

  9. Bret – thanks! Your project looks really good – good luck with it!

  10. Hannah – Thank you so much for your kind words sweetheart; they’re truly appreciated and felt with lots of love πŸ™‚

  11. Erik – thanks! Here’s hoping I manage to get all the words on to the digital page πŸ™‚

  12. Tammy – thanks lovely! I can’t wait to start writing them πŸ™‚ Glad you’re joining me for the ride!

  13. Lisa – I think, as in ‘real life’, we all change and grow as people and therefore our writing is bound to change; changing with it is the best way to honour ourselves because writing what we want and how we want, remaining honest, is what keeps us writing! πŸ™‚ I think it’s great that you’re recognising that you’re changing and you’re comfortable changing with it! High five to us! πŸ˜€

  14. OCDemon – haha yes, train floors? No thank you! πŸ˜€ Thank you for your comment and support – glad you like the changes coming up!

  15. Ed – thanks lovely! I’m really happy with the new direction so fingers crossed I pull it off πŸ™‚

  16. Lucy – haha I think we’d get on if we travelled together πŸ˜€ I am SUCH a lousy backpacker it’s not even funny (but really, it is lol). And thank you for appreciating my ‘seriousness’; it’s not always the easiest of topics to write or read about but I think the more we don’t talk about it, the harder it becomes so it’s best to get talking πŸ™‚ Thanks for your kind words lovely πŸ™‚