Oh, 2020… if stranger things happen before your time is up, it will not surprise me. If someone told me in January how this year would pan out, I would’ve never believed them. But it’s time to get back into blogging after a COVID craziness hiatus, and capture my thoughts from the last eight months. Then, I’ll get back to writing destination and travel-specific posts.
HERE, right here, is where I stop myself from complaining. Everyone will have a 2020 story (or many) to tell. But the reality is – many people have had it way worse than me.
So that is why, when it comes to my blog, I’m not going to complain about:
- Becoming completely demotivated to continue travel blogging as of March 2020.
- My website traffic tanking (temporarily) after spending two years building it up.
- Not being able to travel internationally and blog about it since January 2020.
- Having to cancel our family trip with an amazingly adventurous itinerary to Peru in March, my husband Nick’s 40th birthday trip to Chicago with friends, and a New Years trip to Jamaica.
- That I won’t be going to Africa for my 40th birthday in 2021 like I’ve dreamt of for years.
The above pales in comparison to the lives crushed by the repercussions of COVID 19. People who worked their asses off – their whole careers – to build a business… only to have it fall part because of lockdowns and closures. Those who have become mentally ill (or were already mentally ill), having to face unprecedented COVID woes that push them to the brink of despair. Some who no longer have the means to provide for their family. Those like my grandma, who are in long-term care facilities and haven’t seen their families for more than seven months. People who, while told to stay home for months on end, endured domestic abuse during all those long days. I could go on. And on.
I looked at my website traffic statistics in April and immediately shut the computer, disgusted. I didn’t revisit my stats again until June. When I did though… what the?! How is my traffic higher than it’s ever been? Turns out one of my 30+ blogs gets a shitload of page views. The one about Okanagan wineries. I guess all those local travellers needing to drown their COVID sorrows by tossing back copious amount of wine found my blog. Perfection.
But even then and through the summer, I wasn’t ready to get back. I posted the occasional photo or article on Insta or Facebook, updated a few blogs, and made a bit of passive income off ads. COVID demotivation, combined with having my kids home for six months and little ability to travel, had me down.
But now my kids have been back to school for almost two months and I’m ready to get back. Plus, Nick and I just took a sweet trip to beautiful Jasper, Alberta. So I’m keen to get writing again and working on past ideas from older adventures, as well as Kelowna and Okanagan content.
NOW… here’s where I start giving thanks. Thanks for:
- The opportunity to experience three awesome trips in my “backyard” since COVID struck. One to Tofino and Whistler, B.C., one to Invermere/East Kootenays, B.C., and one to Jasper, Alberta.
- Checking on where my blog posts fall in Google rankings and realizing many have crept their way up to page one of Google results for multiple search terms. I hope they reap the benefits of higher traffic when people start travelling more.
- Rapid testing starting in airports in Canada so that we can maybe, just maybe, travel internationally in 2021 without having to quarantine for two weeks.
- The motivation to get back into doing something I love.
I read something the other day that said, “For a lot of us, 2020 has been a major setback. But it’s all about what we do from here, moving forward, and building ourselves up for the comeback.” Yes, it’s been a year alright. But I know that in the future, people will travel more again, and I’ll blog more again. COVID or no COVID, I’m still a YOLOer, and I’m ready for that comeback. Now let’s get praying to the Travel Gods that some of these YOLO experiences can soon again be YOLO Travel Experiences.