• Menu
Home » Lifestyle » Travel News & Random Musings » An Epiphany & A Promise (Life Update: September 2023)

An Epiphany & A Promise (Life Update: September 2023)

This article may contain affiliate links, which may earn us a commission - at no extra cost to you - if you use one of our links. Please see our disclosures page for more information.

If you’re a regular reader of our blog, then you might’ve noticed I’ve been rather lacking in words lately.

And in recent weeks, the words almost entirely dried up.

But I think my writer’s block is now finally gone!

So, I’m back (along with my husband, Scott) to explain what’s been going on and with a promise of what you can look forward to on this here travel blog from now on.

So, I’d love it if you could grab your beverage of choice, pop your feet up and read our latest life update.

And don’t forget to let us know what you think via the comments section below, or by emailing us if you’d prefer to have a private word with us.

Where we’ve been & what we’ve been doing

Justine chilling in the woods
Hanging out in the woods a lot apparently

I’m not going to lie: full-time blogging has been a real struggle for the past few years.

Why?

Well, there are lots of reasons to be perfectly honest.

I don’t really need to mention the C-word do I, but that was just the start. Here’s what else has been going on.

The introduction of AI and writers using it to pump out often non-sensical blog posts (and even actual books!) in their droves has made it harder for our content to get seen.

But it also stole my joy for writing because it became a game of “who can pump out content quicker” and that’s just not what I’m about.

I mean, I can write quickly once I get going, but I also spend several hours proofreading what I’ve written and editing our photos. And then I’ll proofread some more.

I’m obsessive like that.

Justine's tidy desk
My desk in tidier times…

For what it’s worth, I’ve never used AI to help us with the blog and I never will.

Some people might say I’m “not getting with the times” but I’d rather not support an industry that condones plagiarism.

The endless doomsday news of third-party cookies going away and how detrimental it’s going to be for my income hasn’t helped either.

While that fear is still there, it’s out of my control, so why dwell unnecessarily on it?

And speaking of technology, we’ve also had a few technical issues with our website, which Scott and I are slowly fixing as we go.

Alongside all these tech updates and issues, we’ve also had bloggers who really should know better steal some of our best content.

Yep, that dreaded plagiarism reared its head a few times lately!

And that just plain sucks.

Like everyone, the rapidly rising cost of living has affected our mental health (mine more than Scott’s admittedly), which naturally stifles creativity and motivation.

That itself is a vicious cycle that’s hard to break out from.

And finally, pretty much all of this has caused strong thoughts like “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not growing our blog quickly enough” and “Should I even still be doing this anymore?”.

That hasn’t helped my creativity or motivation either.

So, instead of battling through it, I ran scared and hid away from it all.

But it was a much-needed break, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

Instead, we focused on our other businesses: my House of Mahalo craft/DIY blog and YouTube channel and Scott’s 3D printing business.

We’ve also started doing up our house a bit this year, which has naturally taken a lot of time and energy.

the after shot of our garden
The “after” shot of our garden, which we now love

What about travel, though?

Okay, okay, that’s all well and good I hear you cry. But what about travel? Have you guys even been anywhere?

Yep, we have been travelling this year. We’ve just been oddly quiet about it.

We finally made it to Dubrovnik, Croatia back in the spring, which was closely followed by a press trip to a 5-star B&B in Devon.

Views from Fort Royal on Lokrum Island
Discovering Lokrum Island near Dubrovnik earlier this year

This was then closely followed up with a whirlwind few days in Geneva, Switzerland and Annecy, France in May.

Naturally, we’ve also had numerous weekends away and day trips within the UK – from white water rafting in Cardiff, Wales to glamping in Worcestershire and much more.

My epiphany aka what prompted me to say all this?

By now, many of us are used to seeing endless Facebook posts, Twitter threads (or is it called X now?), blog posts and more all about “How to be a better blogger”, “How to make (more) money blogging” and similar topics.

Rarely do we see someone saying that blogging doesn’t just have to be about building a bigger business and making more money.

However, I recently saw a captivating post in a Facebook group I’m in, which was all about people who treat their blogs differently.

As an extension of themselves. As a way to gain a better work-life balance. And as a job that they love doing.

And yet they’re still earning a decent income from their blogs.

Framed shot of Fort Lovrijenac from Dubrovnik's City Walls
Playing with photography in Dubrovnik

While I earn a full-time income from this blog, I still feel like I’ve got a long way to go before I can call it a success.

But… blogging full-time means more to me than just making money.

So, why am I almost exclusively focusing on Google traffic and its rollercoaster algorithms?

Although these things are important, both Scott and I naturally want to love what we do.

Otherwise, we won’t have that better work-life balance we were striving for when I went full-time on the blog and Scott went full-time with his shop.

Quite simply: what would’ve been the point of it all if we stop loving what we’re doing?

That ends today.

So, what’s our promise to you?

Our blog posts have always been about our actual travels.

We don’t use AI. We don’t accept guest posts. And we don’t have ghostwriters.

It feels weird to write all of that, but these days, it’s actually becoming harder and harder to distinguish between travel bloggers who write about everywhere and anywhere versus only where they’ve been.

Anyway, our blog isn’t going to change in that respect.

But what is going to change is how we go about getting our blog posts in front of you.

SEO is important, so I’ll continue to write content that’s optimised for search.

But Scott and I also want to share a few more personal updates with you – just like this one you’re reading right now – as well as blog posts we simply want to write just because. For fun. And because we love the topic.

Like this blog post all about being British and this one about hidden gems in Bristol.

I’m also thinking it might be fun to lift the lid on what it’s really like to be self-employed and a full-time blogger – the good, the bad and the unexpected.

While I appreciate these kinds of blog posts won’t be for everyone, they’ll be there for anyone who wants to read them. And we’ll enjoy sharing them with you.

It’s all about balance, am I right?

Over the years, Scott and I have also fallen more and more in love with the great outdoors.

Scott & Justine in the Somerset countryside
Scott & Justine in the beautiful Somerset countryside (excuse the hair; it was rather windy!)

While we still enjoy the odd city break here and there, we’re always donning our walking boots in search of beautiful gardens, enchanting forests and woodlands, sprawling National Parks and blustery coastal walks.

To that end, you can probably expect most of our blog posts to be focused on those things as well.

I’m even currently creating a new series called “Nature Notes” (working title), which will actually take a deeper dive into the great outdoors and all the amazing flora and fauna we see during our travels. More on this later, though.

Hopefully, all of this will make me a better writer and help us both feel joy for our blog again.

No more worrying about the future. What will be will be.

We’re simply going to travel, write about it and hit every obstacle that comes our way with such force and vigour that we can only hope will help make us a success.

We both still hate social media though! We’re just not very good at it… LOL

A final word from both of us

First off, if you’re still reading this update, then thank you! You’re our fave kind of reader! Seriously, though, thank you so much for your support; Scott and I both truly appreciate it.

And I must say, writing all this has been the most therapeutic blog post I’ve written for a long time.

I truly hope this helps you in some way… or that it at least excites you for what’s to come from us here at Wanderers of the World HQ.

Until next time then,

Justine & Scott aka Your Wandering Writers, Editors, Publishers & All-Round “Everythingers”

PS Just because we know someone out there will ask, if you’d like to know how you can support us and our content, then here are some examples:

Speak soon then and happy wandering! xoxo

If you're finding our blog posts helpful, we would love it if you would consider donating to our "Buy Me A Coffee" site. Thank you so much for your support xoxo
Justine Jenkins

Justine is one half of the married couple behind the Wanderers of the World travel blog. She lives in Bristol, UK and has travelled extensively within Europe and beyond since 2013. After her trips, she shares detailed travel itineraries, helpful travel guides and inspiring blog posts about the places she's been to. When she's not travelling overseas, you'll find her joining her husband, Scott on various day trips, weekend getaways and walks within the UK, which she also writes about on Wanderers of the World. Aside from travelling and writing, she also loves reading, crafting and learning about nature.

View stories

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *