Blob, Current Events, Featured, Travel Narrative

The Suitcase Scholar Turns Five

This is just a screenshot from the header space on my Instagram account; you are looking at the last two days of my life. Not bad.

This is just a screenshot from the header space on my Instagram account; you are looking at the last two days of my life. Not bad.

You know all of those people who tell you to follow your dreams, work hard, and everything will work out?  Yeah.  They kind of have a point.

Five years ago today, I wrote and published my first blog post on a WordPress site named Blog on the Run.  I did so for a variety of reasons–to keep in touch with friends and family, to record my experiences while away from home, and to give myself a reason–and permission–to write.  It was less than three hundreds words, had very little point, and contained no photos.  I just wanted to see what it would be like to have a blog of my own.  It was 2009 and I was 29 years old.

I had no idea what I was getting into.

It is now 2014 and I am 34.  Over the course of the last five years–without really knowing what I was doing or why–The Suitcase Scholar has caused me to:

  • Learn to design basic WordPress sites, both blogs and static websites.
  • Design a whole course to teach others to do so.
  • Attend multiple writing workshops and conferences–after all, good writing matters.
  • Attend multiple travel writing conferences and conventions–after all, connections matter.
  • Explore and attempt to conquer the world of social media (no actual conquering has occurred…yet.)
  • Make actual, real-life friends through writing, blogging, and traveling (hi friends!)
  • Learn photography basics–after all, our world is now a visual world.  Images matter.
  • Cry and cheer; experience failure and success, stress and relaxation.

My simple little ‘let’s see if I can blog from an iPhone’ experiment led to all of that.  And then I took a year off from work to write a book; a book which I never finished.  But The Suitcase Scholar remained.

photo (24)

Me, on my way to work last week. Everyone should be this happy on their way to work. Though, uh, most people should have better hair days.

And then, finally, because my compulsion to travel and write and photograph never lessened, I did what any sane person would do–I changed careers to allow for more frequent (ok, constant) travel. I’m not blogging for a living–or even writing for a living, though since starting this blog I have found a nice amount of paid freelance work–but I am traveling for a living.  In doing so, I have seen more of this country than I ever could have hoped in a million thousand years.  I’m writing this from a hotel room in Durango, Colorado (I’m on a legitimate vacation).  Last week I was in Missouri (for work.  Little known fact–southern Missouri is beautiful).  When I leave here, I’m headed to New Orleans (then Lake Charles and Baton Rouge for a conference) before continuing on to Roswell, New Mexico (hopefully by way of Albuquerque, because green chile) and then Dallas (both for work).  Beyond that I do not know.  And that, dear readers, is awesome.

In short, starting this blog changed my life.  Entirely.  I was once someone who wanted to do things; I am now someone who does things.  And I am not special.  If you are reading this and you are thinking ‘well yeah, Tracy, that’s all well and good that you can do this.  But I can’t for ‘insert reason here’–I’m here to tell you: you are wrong.  You can have any kind of life you want.  Start working on it now.  Start focusing all of your free time and energy on that which you love right now, and check back with yourself in five years.  In the absolute worst case scenario, you’ll have spent five years doing something you love.  If there’s one thing of which I am sure it is this: you become what you practice.  Practice your joy and see where it takes you.  Personally, my joy is taking me to the cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde today.  So I’ve got to run.

But before I do, I’m going to tell you something that no blogger should ever tell her readers: stop reading this.  Stop reading it right now.  Instead, go and do that which makes you happy.  Do it over and over and over until eventually, it is who you are.  (Then, once you are well on your way, do come back and visit every now and then.  I’d appreciate it.  Thanks!)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...