“You do not travel if you are afraid of the unknown, you travel for the unknown, that reveals you within yourself.” Ella Maillart
This quote landed in my inbox this morning, and boy is it ever true!
First, I want to say thank you to everyone who has been traveling along with me through my blog, which I started not only because I wanted to share, but also to help get me back into the discipline of writing again. I set a goal of 100 followers by the end of my Big Trip, and I inched past that marker this week! Thank you for your readership and your encouragement. The Word Press data tells me that even beyond those 100 followers, I’ve had more than 10,000 clicks on this site, which kind of blows my mind. I can’t figure out the Facebook stats, but from what I can tell, there seem to be a couple hundred of you following there as well. However you’re following, I hope that you’ll visit some of these places for yourself. For those of you who have shared that you aren’t able to travel, but have enjoyed reading my descriptions and seeing my photographs, please just know that has been super rewarding for me.
As far as a summary goes, I can say the short version is that all the hiking and traveling and reflection helped me to recover from a rather challenging life experience, and overall burnout. I’m in a completely different place now, with far more hope for the future and a more compassionate understanding of what’s going on in this country. Above all, travel requires flexibility and getting along with people you know nothing about, so I found a huge lesson in that alone.
The longer version is worthy of more than a blog post, and for the past few months I’ve begun to write a book about the whole experience. It’s not a rehash of this blog, but more of a memoir about how I was shaped by the people and places along the way. I thought I could write that in just a few months, but it turned out I needed some guidance on memoir writing. Now that I’ve done that, it’s full steam ahead. Hopefully it will be finished by the end of this summer. Writing a book is a lot harder than I expected, but I’m loving it.
This blog will continue, because I enjoy both the writing and the photography, and while writing a book is a very solitary process, this blog is interactive and I love that. You’ll notice that I don’t post as frequently now, and that will continue, but I’ve still been traveling around New England, picking up new stories and photographing places that I find interesting. Upcoming posts will include a number of stops in the Berkshires, Cape Cod in the off season, and Newport, R.I., among others. I’m also traveling soon to Colorado, and later in May I’ll be heading to Ireland for a couple of weeks. This fall, I’ll be hitting the road again for another trip up to Nova Scotia and the Bay of Fundy, then follow the coast back down through New England. There’s definitely more discovering ahead, and lots more to share!
As always, this will remain a free space, and I try to keep it fun. I don’t sell your email address, and I have no interest in posting ads. To me, it’s entirely about sharing and connecting with readers. I hope you will continue to enjoy it and please spread the word!
Finally, as a special thank you to everyone who is following me, and to mark both the occasions of reaching 100 followers, and finishing up the posts for my Big Trip, I’ve decided to pick a random follower to receive a signed print of any of the photos I’ve shared here (in any post, not just this one). If you want your name to go in the drawing, please just comment on the photo and which blog post it was in. I’ll confirm I’ve got the right photo before having a professional quality print made for you. If you want it signed, I’m happy to do that, otherwise I’ll just send out the photo.
Thank you again and I’m looking forward to sharing more stories and photos!
Peace, love and happy traveling,