I love new beginnings. I love escape and adventure and the unknown. An avid travel-blogger come life-ponderer, I have been writing about all my ridiculous backpacking mishaps for a good three and a half years now as I wander across the globe and share my stories with anyone who wants to listen. It’s been quite the journey, in terms of my writing and my growth as an individual. Over 30 countries, 100’s of miles and countless faces have laughed, cried and learned with me throughout my awkward transitional years between childhood and grown-up-hood. In short, it’s been epic.
My travel blog, backpackingem, has been my diary for my ongoing shenanigans since I was 19 years old and setting out on my first huge adventure to the USA, Peru, Chile and Bolivia. It started out as a way to let my family and friends back home know what I was up to, as well as the kids I used to teach at my former high school. Obviously, this meant that I’ve had to keep things pretty family-friendly. Although this style has developed over time, the aims of my writing have changed drastically and I now write for so many more reasons than to just simply relay silly anecdotes about my travels. Though my love for silliness and travel will never change, I’ve begun to feel like I am outgrowing my beloved blog and I feel I’m entering into the next stage of my life. So now, nearly four years and 173 posts on, I’ve decided it’s about time for a new challenge.
This year has been a biggy for me, with ten months in Mexico and three in Germany giving me way more than I bargained for (a quiet, relaxed year abroad they told me… a quiet, relaxed year abroad my arse). I then made the difficult decision to take a year out of university, which has set me up for another unpredictable year and thrown me into a much needed quarter-life-crisis. It’s the first time in my life that I’ve stopped and taken stock of everything that’s going on around me. I’ve never really been great at slowing down and now that I’ve been forced to, it’s doing me the world of good.
As a long time silent-sufferer of depression, excessive worrier and professional over-thinker, I’ve only ever dealt with my problems by pushing them to one side and carrying on… or jetting off to another country in a futile attempt to escape them. In taking time out and (mostly) staying put, I’ve finally found the courage to face up to my mental health demons, as well as having time to assess where I want to take my life next.
So this blog is shiny and new in many ways. I’ll still be travelling (it’s a bug I can’t cure), but expect more in the way of mental health awareness, LGBTQ+ issues and perhaps the odd feminist rant. I’ve also set myself a challenge which is inspired by both the bucket list I wrote for myself when I was 14 and 100 Days Without Fear, and I have a whole host of other fun, creative ideas that I’m going to play around with. As you can tell, I’m pretty stoked about this new venture.