This exact post is my 1,000th as a travel blogger on this site and there’s a lot to look back and think about. This post is as much about you as it is about me.
It’s Been A Long Road
Last year was my tenth as a travel blogger, I crossed the decade mark in July. After 10.5 years so much of the world has changed. I began writing while on a sabbatical in Thailand as a means to share some of my knowledge, which now seems limited by comparison, with friends and family members. What grew from 70 readers in a single month is now millions annually.
I’ve written for a variety of sites, both on my own and here at LiveAndLetsFly, the majority on this site in collaboration with Matthew. I haven’t shared this before on this site, but I considered many of my now fellow Boarding Area bloggers legends of this great hobby; Matthew Klint is one of the greats among the rest of us mere mortals.
My blogging was happenstance before, but LiveAndLetsFly brought a level of consistency and focus down this decade-long path. I have now been a travel writer for more than a quarter of my life and that is shocking in retrospect.
My Journey Has Had Some Unexpected Twists
During the course of my writing… career… I have had the chance to interview loyalty and airline leadership and got banned from the PR releases of at least one well-known brand after breaking the news about their program changes before they launched. I have been interviewed by major news outlets and sourced for sites across the world.
I’ve been able to meet and work alongside Randy Petersen, perhaps the very reason that our hobby exists.
I never expected any of that.
Travel writing has changed from a limited hobby to part of my identity, and something I am immensely proud of. The reason I write is the same as my reason for traveling: passion. Not every post is an act of passion, but my dedication is an act of love.
I have found myself thinking differently about the act of traveling, the art of documenting these moments in my life, and I look back and see my daughter growing up before my eyes on the back of a Tuk Tuk, at the Taj Mahal, or eating roadside tacos.
I feel as though I have grown too. My understanding of the industry has grown, and changed, and is almost unrecognizable from when I began.
I’m not proud of all of my posts, mistakes have been made. Some of the early ones are downright cringeworthy. I leave them up for the world to see because it’s part of my story, the evolution of me as a writer.
The Readership, The Community
I am so grateful for this community and our readership. Sometimes I write with loyal readers in mind, and sometimes I write for the wider travel audience that may be discovering miles, points, and really traveling seriously for the very first time.
It’s been this community and readership that has meant so much to me over the years. Before I began writing, I was like many of our most loyal and regular readers, an interested party studying, learning, and experimenting with our hobby and sharing results.
It’s been a privilege to write for this community of interested travelers, innovators, and enthusiasts.
What The Next Thousand Hold
I can only hope to improve and aspire to be the writer I’d like to read. I can’t wait to see what unfolds in this hobby over the next 1,000 posts, or decade, the former is more likely to come first. I’ve seen such a sea change from a quiet hobby for traveling consultants to mainstream and TikTokers sharing the things that make this hobby great.
Thousands of hours, late nights, and tense days have gone into the last 1,000 posts and I have no doubt that the same will be true for the next 1,000. I only hope you’re all here with me when I reach that next milestone to celebrate or commiserate.
For what it’s worth, Matthew is approaching 10,000 posts under his own steam – a legend without a doubt. While I quietly celebrate this personal milestone and thank you all for joining me on this journey, I’ll also need help crowdsourcing 10,000 candles and a massive cake for when he crosses that landmark.
Thank you all for reading, commenting, and contributing. It’s been my great pleasure to be a part of this hobby and a member of our mutual community.
On to the next 1,000 posts.