The thought of blogging again has crept into my mind now and then over the past couple years. I have visited places or experienced things and thought to myself that I wanted to share more than just my photos on Instagram or Facebook. I continue to get messages from readers with questions about my past travels and every now and then I still hear from other travelers who were inspired to travel by my blog – like this fun Twitter exchange last summer:

Speaking of writing a book, I am hard at work on a book about my career break travels – at least as hard at work as I can be while holding down a full-time job anyway. But the more I have focused on that, the more I have realized I really miss writing. Thus, another reason to pick up blogging again.

Of course, when I mentioned on Facebook that I might start blogging again, while I was met with a lot of encouragement, I was also immediately given advice about how to monetize my blog this time around. Sigh. Blogging has never been about money for me. While I tinkered with affiliate links and ads and took a handful of discounted or complimentary tickets or hotel stays in the past, I never got into blogging for the money. And I have no desire (or need) to do so now. This is purely for personal enjoyment and fulfillment, with the hope that the stories and photos I share can inspire, encourage or otherwise entertain at least someone out there who doesn’t share my last name.

So what’s coming up?

It’s funny, I wrote in my “goodbye” post that my lust for travel was waning and I had nowhere I was dying to go. I can’t even believe I ever typed those words, although looking back at what was going on in my life then, I sort of get where I was coming from. Nonetheless, since I wrote that post, I have been to Russia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, Rwanda, Zambia, Thailand, Myanmar, Kenya and Jordan. I can’t promise that I’ll go back and write about all those places, but I did keep journals for some of the trips and I had experiences in those countries I would like to share – like my first ever safari, visiting the genocide museum in Rwanda, running a marathon in Kenya and exploring Petra in Jordan.

I also have some great trips coming up this year, starting with a week-long trip to Uganda in March with my friend Ali of  Travel Made Simple. Then, in June I will visit Mozambique (which will be country #60 for me!) and then South Africa again, where I will run the Big Five Marathon. In the fall, I plan to head to South America (either Chile or Colombia) to check off that continent on my “run a marathon on every continent” bucket list and then, over Thanksgiving, I will take my mom to Tanzania for her first ever safari experience.

My guiding principle through this return to blogging will be to simply follow my gut and desire to write. If something happens, either in travel or in life, and I want to share, I will. But I won’t force myself to come up with content just to fill space and I won’t decide on whether to do something based on whether it would make a good story for the blog.

I hope to have my “first” post up again shortly…stay tuned, and thanks for reading!

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