I’m spending the summer giving myself a chance to focus on some personal projects. When I get discouraged I find myself regularly asking “why am I doing this?” because I’m an over-thinker. I never really took my blog seriously until now, it was just a hobby and I didn’t have much confidence. Now I’m trying to see what happens if I don’t give up, so this blog is just as much for me as it is for the reader.
I realize that for people that don’t really know me I may very well appear to fall into this category of people on Instagram that I don’t want to. For me none of this is about vanity. I don’t like to post selfies or even show my face in pictures usually, it’s not about me. However, if I’m not in the photo it doesn’t have the same sentiment. So I find ways to make the photo more about where I am than who is in it. The idea is to picture yourself there, not me.
So what IS the purpose of my blog?
- To show people new places they’ve never heard of and make it more than a dot on a map. Writing blogs and creating content is helpful to grow tourism in communities which creates more jobs for locals. Sometimes this becomes overload which is sort of happening in Sayulita but that’s a story for another day.
- Inspire people to get out of their comfort zones. I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin. While some people are okay with staying in one place forever that just wasn’t for me. I like to show people that you don’t have to stay one place forever, and it’s better if you don’t.
- A creative outlet. I love writing, taking photos, and making videos, it makes me happy. Whatever your creative outlet is you should do that as much as you can. It makes everyone happy to be creative. You don’t have to share it on instagram, just do it, but if you do who cares if no one follows you? I don’t have a huge following, I do it because it makes me happy. Plus I get to show people cool stuff and meet others with similar interests. You’d be surprised how many friends I’ve met through Instagram because they saw me and knew we’d get along. Shout out JFloe!
- Educate about different cultures and ways of life. I got this message from a follower and it sums it up perfectly: “you show a side of Mexico that common media has forgotten or wishes not to portray anymore.” That’s my goal!
Basically, I hope that what I’m doing inspires people to travel outside the resorts, helps tourism communities, and teaches readers about new places.
For the record, I’m not rich and this is not my full-time job. It’s really difficult to make a full income being a blogger or content creator, so don’t believe everything you see. If you’re one of the many people that want to travel all the time don’t let that discourage you, this is why the digital nomad trend is booming. You can work a regular job remotely and travel full time. I’d say focus more on that than trying to become a travel influencer or blogger because that’s much more realistic.
When I lived in San Diego and didn’t like my job or the path I was on I started traveling whenever I could. I needed a constant escape from crazy 12 hour shifts in the emergency room. I was an EMT and wanted to become a trauma nurse one day. Consistently learning new things, meeting all sorts of people, helping others, and thriving in a chaotic setting were all things that drew me to working in the ER. Then I realized why I loved travel so much: I could actually obtain all these things from travel too, except helping people, which is what lead me to what I’m trying to do now.
Traveling was what made me the happiest. I loved being in new places, experiencing new things, taking photos and making little videos (far before the time of Reels and TikTok). When I would get back from trips I liked sharing with friends and family about all the places I went and what I learned. Co-workers and friends would always be inspired. The questions would flood in “I wanna go there too! How did you get there?” “What restaurant was that?” “What are the best things to do?”
It feels good to show someone something that will make them happy. I can compare it to something as simple as showing someone a new song, we’ve all done that. Next thing you know they’re rocking that song all week and singing the words with you. That’s a similar feeling I get when I get messages that say, “thank you so much for sharing this place, we had so much fun!” or “you inspired me to travel to Sayulita!”
When I started to hate my job and realized it wasn’t right for me anymore I knew I needed change. Sayulita was, at the time, my favorite place so I dreamt of moving there and starting over. It was the bloggers living as expats that actually helped inspire me to move to Mexico and work in tourism. I knew with a lower cost of living I could figure out ways to travel more, especially throughout Mexico. I lived in San Diego so it felt like an easy jump since it was a direct flight away.
Sayulita and my life now
I initially intended to spend 6 months to a year in Sayulita, I ended up there for over two years. Currently Sayulita is still my home base. I found an apartment and friends that I loved so there was no reason to leave. When the pandemic began I was unable to travel, so I sort of lost all hope in my blog and felt really stuck. I created Sayulita Social thinking that I could be satisfied only sharing about Sayulita and turn it into an advertising platform in the community. Unfortunately that didn’t work out and the small pueblo started to feel more like a cage.
Now I’m back to chasing the original dream, to travel all of Mexico and show everyone how beautiful it is. After that I’ll move on to the next country I suppose, but that’s the best part, it’s not all planned out. Maybe I’ll fall in love and find a place in Mexico I never want to leave. Clearly I really love Mexico, the people, and the culture, so that is very likely. Maybe I’ll move back to the U.S. and be totally “normal.” I just know that traveling is where I need to be right now. It’s not easy and trust me it’s not all curated photo moments, but when it’s good, it feels like the life I want to be living.