Motivation, disillusionment, and getting sh*t done.
Hello. Are you listening? It’s time to get something off my chest.
Probably just like you, I have a to do list. It’s bright yellow, resembles a post-it note, and sits on my desktop. I add to it. I cross things out. Sometimes I sneakily add things to it I’ve already done just to feel like I’ve achieved more. Guilty. Shh, don’t judge!
After months of it seeming like a never-ending, unachievable list of humungous projects, campaigns and reports, I hit the end. The deadlines were reached, everything submitted… hurrah? Hmmm or not. Rather than popping corks and raising a toast to a successful few months (which, when I think back, it has definitely been with a dream gig for Lonely Planet in New Orleans, video projects in Hawaii, adventures in Spain and Austria ) I freaked out. Yes, yes, yes there will always be things to do. SEO I should study to improve blog post rankings (yawn – that’s one thing I’ll never get around to), Pinterest graphics to make, and blogs I’ve never got beyond a catchy-ish title.
Freelancers fear quiet. Quiet is scary. Quiet is an unknown future. And August is notoriously quiet in the travel blogging world. Why? Most people take holidays around now so a) places are booked up, b) travel prices are high and c) destinations don’t need to increase tourism as they’re busy enough!
It’s funny because I have trips to Berlin, Sicily, Mauritius, the Caribbean and Florida coming up. I’m about to show the world why England is amazing with my Visit England Ambassadorship! WOW what a dream role that is.
If it’s about to be anything but quiet, why am I not savouring this mini silence?
So what do you do when you run out of things to do? Either a self-starter instinct kicks in, or you have a mini-meltdown.
Usually, being a positive, glass half full kinda girl I choose the former, but this time I went for the latter.
I felt disillusioned by Instagram after it seemed to turn its back on content creators like me, who loved posting inspirational travel pics, only to see followers disappearing and likes limping to an all-time low.
I felt disillusioned by my self-made videos after being fed inspirational, big-budget viral vids on Facebook, feeling like I’d never come close without years of training and a tonne of new tech kit.
I felt disillusioned that I was struggling to scramble together enough money to rent a decent flat in London, while others were living in a rose gold world, decorating their designer flats, complete with an endless supply of Jo Malone candle.
I felt disillusioned by far–flung travel after too many back-to-back long-haul trips across the Atlantic led me to the point of exhaustion.
I felt disillusioned by my body after endless Instagram photos of girls in pretty dresses and bikinis, while I attempted to rid myself of my muffin top… while reaching for a muffin.
I felt disillusioned by my wardrobe, realising I was still wearing dresses from 10 years ago.
I felt disillusioned by my relationship, worrying I’d chosen a career that took me away from someone I cared about, more than it allowed me to be with him.
But, this isn’t a pity blog. It’s a get sh*t sorted and get on blog. I’m usually a positive bean but everyone has off days. And it’s good to share right?
And reassuringly it’s not just me… a heap of my travel blogging pals have talked about similar struggles recently.
Vicky Flip Flop just summed up a very similar feeling in her post about Feeling Left Behind. She’s combatting it with a series of fixes – lots of inspiration and something I need to do too!
Emily Luxton revealed Instagram Is Ruining Her Life, and decided she’s ready to quit trying to fit in with clichéd photo trends, and be herself. I hope more people follow in her footsteps.
Laura from Twins That Travel spoke about Imposter Syndrome and how she often lost confidence when introducing herself as a travel blogger, rather than standing proud. Certainly something I can relate to after plenty of situations when I’ve felt everyone around is more experienced, qualified or higher profile.
And Where’s Mollie revealed she thinks Social Media Is Destroying Our Generation Of Travellers. I know what she means, particularly after my recent holiday, where I experienced Croatia with my eyes rather than through my phone!
So what’s the fix.
Am I really disillusioned? Nah. I’ve just reached the end of my to do list and freaked out!
Tomorrow there will be new things on it, and I’ll be moaning about how busy things are… and perhaps even wishing I had time to finally tick off that blasted SEO update!
It’s funny how cathartic writing about it is. I feel a twinge of motivation in my stomach already. Either that or my chocolate craving has kicked in.
Thanks for listening.
Now let’s get sh*t done.
Do you relate to any of this? Love to hear your thoughts and tips for motivation!
Enjoyed this post? Pin it for later…
10 thoughts on “The Disillusioned Travel Blogger”
omg this made me smile and nod all the way through, every year I say I am going away for at least 3 weeks at summer, I need do then feel like this. My job list is done and all is calm and quiet and I hate it, what I realised is I thrive of deadlines and pressure and not calm and rather than enjoy it I feel more stressed these 2 weeks than any other time of year ! Next year I WILL be away, thanks so much for this post Chloe I needed to read it!
Thank you Sarah! It’s always nice when you realise you’re not alone in your thoughts! I think I need to create some new deadlines to keep motivation up! We learn… 🙂
Ahh…this blog has made me a little less dissolusioned than I was feeling previously. You speak about them in passing, but the strides you’ve made and the trips you have planned all sound amazing (not to mention that Lonely Planet gig), but I agree, I feel Instagram has created a monster out of travel bloggers whose focus used to be on writing and now is on popularity, bikinis, and 2″ photos shot with top of the line cameras. Your post is a good reminder to put our phones down from time to time, and to be fearless in the face of free time. Thank you!
Thanks Amy! That’s so lovely to hear it helped a bit! I certainly know it goes in patches and sometimes when you’re in a rut it’s hard to see the way out, with no colleagues to motivate you! Hope you find a path that works for you too 🙂 Cx
Ah great post Chloe – you know I’m feeling the same at the moment and it’s tough! Sometimes I wish we picked different, easier jobs. Here’s me scrabbling about for money and other people are earning thousands a week (or so it seems). I think we need to start taking more of those things with a pinch of salt. It might look like someone lives in a beautiful flat with all the pretty accessories and everything is all perfect and expensive and wonderful… but like all social media you have no idea what’s going on outside of the Insta-filter do you? You ARE an amazing blogger and you totally deserve all the stuff you do get, and you’re doing just as well as the rest of us (if not better) – so don’t stress! Now if I can just take my own advice… X
Thanks Emily! It’s reassuring to hear nice words like that and to realise we’re all in the same boat! It’s a tough challenge mentally sometimes, but it’s nice to know we’re not alone!! Cx
This is such a good post, brutally honest and sometimes thats what is needed.
It really struck a chord with me. Thank you for sharing 🙂
So glad you enjoyed the honesty! It’s important to say it like it is sometimes! Cx
This is such a great post, Chloe. I was nodding all the way through and can totally relate to what you’ve said. I don’t think anyone’s life is how it’s represented on social media, unless you’re a crazy rich billionaire! Even though we know this though it can take its toll but maybe that’s when you take a little step back and take time out to focus on ourselves, the people and the places around us. You are an awesome travel blogger and such an inspiration, and hopefully that glass half full mentality is back in full force soon 🙂
Ahh you’re too kind Emma. Thank you so much. I’m glad it’s not just me feeling it sometimes. I’m much perkier and happier now I’m busy again!