Well, I can’t believe it. Travelling Table Tales has officially turned two. And what a remarkable two years it has been.
When I started this blog, I had absolutely no idea what it would become. For years I had been told repeatedly by a number of people in my life that I should start a blog. I like to think it’s because they thought I had good ideas to share, but it was probably because I am overly opinionated and recipes sent via text message often get lost. Nevertheless, what a good decision it has been.
Looking back, I was in a very strange place in my life when I first claimed this little corner of the internet as my own. Actually, to be completely honest, I was totally lost. Having always been working towards a project or goal, for the first time in my life I was neither studying, nor planning any significant event, and I was working full time. Additionally, the previous two years had been some of the most transformative of my and my family’s lives. We lost a close loved one, had a few major life changes, managed to do a bit of major overseas travel, all while dealing with my extended recovery from an illness that was one of the biggest learning curves of my life. So at the time, I didn’t know how to move forward. Admittedly it also didn’t help that I was working in an environment that didn’t fit me – or, more accurately, I didn’t fit into. It seemed that I knew absolutely nothing that I needed to know, and couldn’t get anything right. The more mistakes I made, the more hopeless I felt – a feeling that was not something I had ever truly experienced before. The only thing that I seemed to be good at in my work was writing and relating to people.
Starting a blog is not exactly easy when you decide that you want to create your own website with very limited website design knowledge. Thankfully the internet is full of information about how to do things on the internet. And so, one domain name (that, like many great epiphanies, came to me in the shower) later, and many, many tech forums later, I was ready to go. For the first month, I worked every single night on the blog and posted daily. Having eased back to once or twice a week over the past 12 months, I cannot believe that I did that. Many of you who have followed me for a while would have seen the evolution in appearance, content, and usability. From where I started two years ago, I am still amazed at where I am today.
Not long after I started Travelling Table Tales, I emailed Chelsea Thomas from one of my favourite blogs, I Heart Bargains, and got this as part of her reply: “Well done on starting a blog – keep going – that’s what sets the successful ones apart from the ordinary ones – you just have to keep going.”
This blog has certainly taught me how to be persistent and disciplined. Even when stressed, busy, and completely unmotivated, it has been a place where I have had to refocus to create something that I hope is of worth. It has been an amazing place to develop my writing and photography skills, and, the greatest surprise at all, even a place to make friends. It has given me encouragement that even when I feel as though I am falling apart and can’t do anything right, that I can still do this – a constant in what has been a rollercoaster 24 months. In a strange way, this blog has helped me in my journey to find myself and my voice again.
Would I be where I am today with Travelling Table Tales? Do you know what? I don’t think I would. I don’t think I would have the confidence in me and my abilities. It was through writing this blog that I became closer to an inspiring family friend, now role model and mentor – who actually gave me the encouragement I needed to complete my Masters at Bond. I don’t even know if I would have gotten the job that I have today without this portfolio of me included in my resume.
For anyone thinking of starting something like this, pursue it. Technically, it’s not too difficult to figure out (I used a variation of this tutorial). As for what you should write, the lovely Kristy from Southern in Law recently commented, “Take the blog in whatever direction you’re going in – and focus on whatever it is you’re loving. Passion and life stories are what endear people!”.
So Happy Birthday to Travelling Table Tales and a MASSIVE thank you to everyone who has and continues to support the blog, and me. Here’s to another wonderful year of adventures ahead.
P.s. Because every birthday should have cake, here is my absolute favourite carrot cake recipe.