The End Or A New Beginning?

There’s no real need for me to state the obvious, but I’m going to do it anyway – it’s been a while.

It always pains me when I haven’t posted on here for some time and I guess that’s because I’ve been writing posts for this blog for so long that it’s kind of become a part of me. Scribble, Snap, Travel started out as a real labour of love – a travel blog for couples who wanted more from life than just staring at a screen from 9-5 and wishing their lives away until the weekend. It then transformed into a solo female travel blog as well as a story of perseverance and overcoming personal adversity. This has always been more than a travel blog to me; those of you who have been reading for a while will know that I share just as much about my inner journey as well as my outer. I can look back on specific blog posts and recall exactly how I was feeling at the time that I pressed the publish button, and that’s precious to me.

So yes, it pains me when I don’t post here.

One of the first photos I took on my backpacking trip of 2014 – a calligrapher at Long Son Pagoda in Nha Trang, Vietnam

An Evolving Online Space

Those of you who have been around since the beginning (a big thank you to those who have!) will also know that there were two sets of hands running the show when the blog started out. My then partner and I quit our jobs, sold all our things and were travelling the world. All was great until it wasn’t and it all unravelled seemingly overnight. I’ve never shared the ins and outs of the breakup, although I’m sure it was clear to most that this was no normal parting. There was a lot of deceit and there was pain and there were tears. Neither of us saw it coming.

We didn’t survive the cultural pressures and differences. I get it now.

I felt betrayed and stunned and overwhelmed, but I refused to take it lying down. So I took over the blog on my own and decided I’d carry on solo. Although I sometimes thought that I’d never feel like myself again, I persevered. I visited Barcelona, I did a writing retreat in Skyros, I drank mulled wine and ate German pancakes at Christmas markets in Munich and Salzburg, I walked the historic streets of Berlin, I made my way back to Dubai, I volunteered for three months in Nepal.

Ah Nepal.

Stronger, Wiser, Happier

There’s no denying that something switched within me while I was in Nepal earlier this year. If you follow my Facebook page, you’ll know how much love I have for that country. While I was there, I realised something – my breakup is finally truly behind me. For the first time since it all happened, it felt like this was a completely new chapter and not an add on to the “I’m going to get over this” section of the book of my life. I was over it. And this was the beginning of a new adventure, a new me, a new life.

It felt damn good.

Me in Nepal – happy, peaceful, content

For the first time since it all happened, it felt like this was a completely new chapter and not an add on to the “I’m going to get over this” section of the book of my life. I was over it. And this was the beginning of a new adventure, a new me, a new life.

This also means that I’m at a crossroads again, this time professionally. I’m currently writing what I hope will become my first novel and I’m channelling a lot of my creative energy into that. But (for now) I still need a day job and it’s clear to me that I need a change. Working for an INGO for three months made me realise that I’m better suited to non-profit organisations. I loved feeling that there was a real purpose behind what I was doing other than just making money (and making some other people even richer than they already are). It fits my values better and it just made me so damn happy. I honestly felt so content and at peace while I was there, and that’s no coincidence.

Before I went to Nepal I also invested in a fantastic lens that’s ideal for portraits and I had such a great time taking photos while I was on various field trips (you can see a lot of them over on my Instagram page). I’ve always loved photography, but this was the first time that I really felt that it’s something I would love to do professionally at some point, too.

So I’m currently trying to figure out my career, how I can bring all of these things together, and which direction I want to head in.

The Next Episode

All of these things have also made me think about this blog and the blog I have over on my writing website that has collected even more dust than this one. What do I want from this? Do I continue with sharing my inner and outer journey with the world, or do I put another spin on it? Do I consolidate this with my writing site and make it more of a generic blog? Even then I’d need a niche, and what would that niche be? Or do I do something completely different?

And hence, instead of updating this while I’m figuring all of it out I’ve just stopped posting.

I loved taking photos like this one while I was in the field

I miss travel blogging but I was also growing tired of a lot of other travel blogs and the direction travel blogging was heading in. I have no interest in posting photos of myself wearing floppy hats in front of various monuments around the world or writing listicles. But did the fact that I didn’t do these things stop me from gaining loads more followers even back when I had a really decent readership level? It’s hard to tell, but I don’t feel like doing something just for the sake of gaining more views. So I know which direction I don’t want to take, but that doesn’t mean I know which one I should head in instead.

The thought of saying goodbye to Scribble, Snap, Travel unnerves me. I really don’t want to. This blog has been by my side through three of the most life-changing years of my life, so I really hope I can find a way to breathe new life into this little online space that I’ve carved out for myself. I’m figuring it all out, but I just wanted to pop up, give you all a little wave to say I’m still here and thank you for still reading if you are.

I hope to be back with a new boost of oomph real soon. If you have any ideas, feel free to send them my way!

  • From the start, there is so much here that resonates and you make many insightful points.

    One of the reasons I love reading your blog is because, as you say, you discuss the inner journey as well as the outer. Too many blogs have a habit of placing emotions, personal growth, setbacks, and pain in a box labelled “not to share”. And this is sad (but there is hope — not all blogs are like this!). Perhaps this depends on the readership and market? I know (rather too many, sadly) people who spend their lives sneaking peeks at travel blogs whilst at work, choosing those “look at me, my life is perfect and I’m in country number 62, here’s a list of thirteen floppy hats I own” blogs, whilst telling anyone who would listen that there’s no way they would be able to do that, but oh! how they’d like to.

    So perhaps those blogs — the ones with the floppy hats and the instahorde — perhaps they serve a purpose beyond reality. Perhaps they are actually of use, by making others miserable in their lives, but also by keeping them there, chained to the 9-5 and with no practical advice on how to break out. I often view the human world as predominantly masochistic, willing to allow others to dictate, well, pretty much everything — what they should eat, drink, wear, watch, play, read etcetera. Certainly, when I last worked a desk job in the UK, this was the case. One friend, who I love dearly, would irritate me by literally counting down the weeks of the year to her next summer holiday of two weeks. Imagine that, living for two weeks out of fifty-two?

    I am aware this is turning into a bit of a mini-essay, and I apologise!

    I truly hope you don’t say goodbye to this space. I cannot help but wonder whether your blog name is itself giving you pointers? Indeed, you mention the snap part as something you have recently felt and demonstrated you could do professionally. The scribble part — again, you discuss the potential for merging your sites and, again, the title seems to back up this idea. The travel, well — you’re not going to stop travelling, ever, so that fits too. As for finding a niche? This is something I have rambled on about elsewhere, how I am not always comfortable with those blog-gurus telling others to find their niche — I’d like to think that, personally, as someone who earns their living from writing, who wants to transition from content and feature writing to fiction, as someone who is (finally) travelling, and fascinated with cultures from the point of his archaeological training, coupled with an avid love of nature and our place within it, especially from a perspective of bushcraft and hunter-gatherers, whilst also really into functional fitness, reading voraciously and a hundred other things — that’s pretty damn niche already. I mean, how many others reflect those interests? (And, yes, I get that a niche is meant to be one that attracts a following, a tribe, as it were, but why deprive yourself of talking about things you love? And by you I mean me too!)

    I suppose what I’m saying here, in this extended comment-essay, is that you probably already know what you need to do with this site, and that might well be to stop worrying about what you post, just post the things you love. Whether that is a photo-essay, or a freeform discussion of the pains of writing a novel (I feel it!), or perhaps more discussion of why non-profit work is so fulfilling — it’s all you, it’s all interesting (and can be parcelled into sub-headings easily enough). Is it a traditional travel blog? No. Is that a bad thing? No. The best travel blogs (and blogs in general) have always been those where the writer has done what they wanted, when they wanted, sharing their life and ideas — the key here is to be an interesting person, with ideas and the urge to explore and share continuously. Which is you.

    To conclude (sorry for this length — have been pondering your post for a wee while now!), in my opinion, a combining of your interests here will not be a more generic blog, per se, it will actually be more you, and even more niche in some ways. A journal, a web log, that’s where this all started — the stripping away of personality has left the travel blogging community sterile and bland — but that’s not a trap you have fallen into, so whatever comes next I am sure it will reflect you. Which can only be a good thing. Also, I can’t help but think that all you write here will one day provide interest to a future market, drawn in by your novel/novels and wanting to know more of the author.

    Sorry for the waffle, now I’d best get back to work! Or maybe brunch. Although I’ve only just learnt it’s the new King’s birthday today, so places may not all be open. Hmmm. Hunger.