On Not Growing Out of My Wanderlust Yet

Believe it or not (I certainly didn't)... I started my blog two years ago this weekend. My very first post on the Sarah Going blog went live on March 30, 2016. It was appropriately titled: "On Not Growing Out of My Wanderlust". 

While March 30, 2016 does feel like yesterday to some extent... a lot has happened, both on the blog and in my personal life, since sharing that first post. I thought this second anniversary would be a good time to reflect on the past two years, talk a bit about what's to come, and of course... give this site a much-needed facelift!

While I may not be the world's most consistent, disciplined blogger at this two year mark, one thing is for sure: I'm no closer to growing out of my wanderlust now than I was when I pressed publish on that first post.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

The First Two Years of Sarah Going

Washington, DC: a freezing cold day in January, 2016... before starting this blog in March, 2016

Washington, DC: a freezing cold day in January, 2016... before starting this blog in March, 2016

These first two years on the blog have been a learning experience for me in a lot of ways. Perhaps most importantly, I've learned that it is difficult to build an audience when you publish ten posts one month.... and one post the next (working on that, promise).

Personally, I've learned a lot about the type of writing I enjoy. The blog has served the purpose it was created for in my personal life: to be a creative outlet where I get to write for fun while (hopefully) also helping people in some small way. 

Professionally (to the extent that I could be called a professional blogger... and that's a stretch), I've learned a lot about the ways that bloggers make money and discovered a lot of bloggers whose content I enjoy and respect. I've also learned a lot about the travel blogging industry, where I fit in that industry... and the fact that I may not actually want to fit in that industry after all.

My Life Over the Past Two Years

Since my first post on this blog March 30, 2016, just a few changes have occurred in my personal life...

I quit the corporate finance job I'd started right out of college for a similar job role at a nonprofit small business lender. I moved out of the Nashville apartment I'd lived in for four years, that had taken me from college, to my first job in the real world, and ultimately to the end of that chapter. I moved back to my hometown for three months to save money for a house, then decided not to buy one. I moved back into a Nashville studio apartment for a year. I started kickboxing. I got fed up with renting again, and finally bought a fifties fixer upper it took me three months to get livable (finding and scheduling plumbers who actually show up in Nashville is no joke).  I visited 3 new countries, and went on my first solo trip abroad. I turned 26, then turned 27. I read 50 books, in addition to going after a plethora of other goals in 2017. Then, I set even more aggressive personal goals in 2018.

I also spent a lot of time navigating and celebrating big life events with friends: my best college friend graduating and getting her first job, my best high school friend getting pregnant with her first baby, my best work friend getting married, my two best friends from my previous job both getting engaged, my best finance boss lady friend also buying her first house and navigating a renovation as a single, professional woman in Nashville (thank goodness I have her as a buddy in all this fixer upper madness!)

These past two years have been an adventure, to say the very least. 

The Blog Birthday Re-Brand: Choose Adventure

As I've gone through the aforementioned changes over the past two years, I've noticed a shift in my writing. I'm still traveling, and love writing about travel. But I've noticed that I'm drawn more to travel stories and tips relevant to people who have to balance travel with other competing priorities than to strictly destination-focused posts (here's where you should go, here's what you should see, etc.). I'll note things I've done in the places I've traveled, but I'm more interested in talking about the why of travel and the how I pull it off with a full time job in finance, a fixer upper, aggressive personal goals, limited funds and life in general.

In a nutshell, I view travel through a lens of reality... and that's exactly how I like to write about travel. 

I want to focus on authenticity. On presenting the real story, as unedited and unphotoshopped as possible.

I've also noticed that I want to write about the other adventures in my life currently: my DIY renovation, navigating work issues and work-life balance, learning to be smarter with my money, friendships, relationships and of course shunning Southern society's expectations about relationships (ya know... the fun stuff). 

Because those are all adventures I'm navigating too. 

So going forward, Iā€™m going to share my own adventure story here at Sarah Going. 

And as always, I'd love to hear from you about your own.

Thank you for being a part of this adventure over the past two years... I can't wait to see what adventures we get up to over these next two!