Two Year Blogiversary, 2018 Travel Updates, And More!

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NYC Skyline Greenpoint, Brooklyn Transmitter Park
Honestly, I’m not really one for those #instaworthy back-to-the-camera travel photos with the big, floppy hats… this is the best I got! Me in NYC.

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been blogging for two whole years. I pretty much started this blog on a whim, after one of those “maybe I should start a travel blog?” kind of thoughts. And we have arrived at this: the empire that is In Locamotion today.

And since I started this blog, well… I’ve had all sorts of life changes. Two years ago today I was working a job that I hated, imaging traveling the world and living the idealized life of the perpetual nomad. Since then I quit that job, left my beloved home of Baltimore, traveled on and off for about a year, moved to New York City, and I’m yearning for a cubical job once again. It’s kind of an interesting full circle that I’ve come to.

So for this post, I wanted to give you a brief update about what’s going on in my life and what my future travel plans are, and also give myself a nice tribute to two years of blogging. Happy blogiversary to me, and happy 2018 to you all!

Where am I in the world?

Generally when I bump into friends and family members who I haven’t seen in a long time, I get asked the similar puzzled question of, “So where exactly are you in the world, Alissa? Based on your blog I thought you were living in Mexico or something…”

As much as I would love to live in Mexico, I am not. I’m currently bearing the cold (begrudgingly – did you know that I hate the cold?) in New York City. This was an unexpected turn for me after certain life events occurred, which caused me to leave Maryland and return to New York, where I grew up. (Also, a quick side note: In Locamotion is a non-chronological blog and the timing of blog posts should never be taken for where I’m physically located in the world. You have been warned!).

So yes, for right now New York City is my home, which is strange and good and challenging in so many ways. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about New York, so you know that I’ll have some posts sharing all those thoughts and more soon enough.

Battery Park Manhattan Sunset View of Jersey City
At least in NYC there are some cool views! Here’s a snapshot of the New Jersey skyline, taken from Battery Park at the southernmost tip of Manhattan.

My priority at the moment has been finding the right job for me. I have loved taking this time off from the 9-to-5 lifestyle, especially after the years that I spent working in Baltimore, which were particularly grueling because I was working jobs that were not right for me. I love having the freedom and the flexibility to travel, and I’ve been enjoying working some odd jobs around New York, but I am also ready to go back to something more stable. The fact that I was able to have this wild last year and a half of travel was both a privilege and a blessing, and I feel like my time away has helped recharge me to return to the 9-to-5 lifestyle (for now!).

I’m hoping to stay in New York at the moment. While I’m not sure I see New York as a place where I would like to live long-term, for now at least it is a good place for me to be. There are so many opportunities here, both personally and professionally. Plus, the dance scene here in NYC is pretty freaking great. So there’s that! I’ll be a New Yorker for now.

But what about travel?

Ah, travel. Can you believe that I don’t have any upcoming travel scheduled? I’m hoping to escape the cold for a hot second down in Florida, and I would love to do some more East Coast traveling once the weather gets better… but there’s no big, international trip scheduled for me right now.

Miami Beach Skyline
Wouldn’t mind being on the beach in Miami right about now… we’ll see if I can make it happen.

I’ve traveled so much since leaving Baltimore in August 2016, including trips across the United States and to four different countries! (Mexico, Colombia, Spain, and Morocco). There is still so much of this big, beautiful globe that I want to see… but at the moment, I feel okay staying put. My focus lately has been on establishing myself here in New York.

I am happy to say that I fulfilled two of last year’s travel goals, though! In early 2017 I manifested that I wanted to return to both Spain and California, both of which happened this year! And both of which also happened very spontaneously and last-minute, which I enjoyed quite a bit.

As for 2018 travel goals? Well, I would say my goal is to travel internationally at least once this year. It doesn’t have to be a months-long journey like some of my other trips, but I would love to go abroad at some point, hopefully for at least a few weeks. I love international travel, and I believe that while travel doesn’t have to be therapeutic, there is something about leaving the country that can give a person the necessary time and distance away from their regular life to see things in a new light.

Countries that are still high on my list? I would say Chile, Slovakia, Egypt, Nicaragua, and El Salvador are definitely up there. We’ll see if I can make any of these happen this year…

My United States bucket list still contains a trip to the southwest. I’ll make it happen at some point.

But yeah, for now I’ll be here in cold New York, and in spite of my shivering I know that it’s good for me to be here.

Happy blogiversary to me!

I’ve learned so much since I started this blog, and it’s opened all sorts of doors for me that I never would have imagined before. I really knew nothing of social media, the travel industry, or the blogging world before embarking on this journey.

I don’t want to wax poetic about the wonders of blogging, but as a tribute to my two year blogiversary I will leave you with two thoughts that I have on my blog, and on blogging in general. One being the thing that has most surprised me about blogging, and the other being the greatest gift that I believe that blogging has given me.

The biggest surprise that I encountered related to blogging? Honestly, it’s that I thought by now I would be much more successful. Don’t get me wrong, I think that my content is pretty freaking great and important to write, regardless of whether I have 10 readers or 10,000 readers. However, I did buy in to the blogging ideal that success (which here I’m defining as high traffic and income-generating, resulting in fame and fortune) is something that simply comes to bloggers as the blogging process goes on. There’s this myth that one tends to come across in “How To Start A Blog” type articles, which touts a “create great content, and you’ll get readers!” type of approach. And what I’ve learned is that, sadly, blogging does not work that way.

Tulum, Mexico Beach
Isn’t travel blogging all about getting paid to sit on beautiful beaches like these? No? Oh well… Shot from Tulum, Mexico.

So much of blogging is constant marketing, networking, and always being on (social media, of course). The actual creating of blog posts is only about 20% of the work that goes into blogging. Because in order to get your content visible, you have to market yourself well. I’ve always been a little social media shy, so exploring the social media marketing aspect of blogging has really taken me out of my comfort zone. And to be honest, I don’t think it’s my strong suit. I would much rather spend hours crafting an honest and vulnerable travel narrative than I would participating in Twitter chats, pinning on Pinterest, or trying to figure out the ever-changing and endlessly frustrating Facebook algorithm.

So yes, after two years of blogging I did think that I would be more successful, in the sense that I would have fame and fortune and a whooping 6-figure salary like the top travel bloggers who say, “want to work remotely while traveling the world? Just start a travel blog!” But alas! However, I do think that I have found success through this blog in other ways. It’s helped me develop my voice as a writer, because once I started blogging I was writing all the time, at least weekly but oftentimes daily. Blogging has also shown me the importance of challenge and creativity in my professional pursuits, which I have been keeping in mind recently in my job search. Plus, as someone passionate about social justice issues, it’s given me the forum to provide educational resources about many important and pressing issues. Some of those include: negative impacts of tourism and privilege in the travel sphere, street harassment, responsible travel, internalized sexism and societal views towards femininity, sustainable menstruation, the importance of consent, and more! And you know that I have plenty more to say on many other issues of gender, race, class, sexuality, and more, so stay tuned for future posts.

And that greatest gift of blogging that I mentioned earlier? It’s hard to pinpoint one thing, honestly, because I have learned and gained so much during these past two years blogging. However, I would have to say that blogging returned to me the gift of writing. Before starting this blog, it had been a long time since I’d sat down to write for the sake of writing. But writing, while grueling and arduous at times, fulfills me in a deeply profound way. Getting words out onto the page, telling the stories that I have to tell… it feels both necessary and right. So for that I’m deeply grateful for this blog, and I plan to continue writing and telling the stories that I feel are important to tell, hopefully for a very long time.

Williamsburg Bridge, Brooklyn
Here would have been a great place to insert a “blogging from the beach” photo, but since I’ve never actually blogged from the beach here’s my favorite photo from NYC instead. Consider the flower a metaphor for one’s growth as a writer (or something!)

En fin/Your take

I would love to get your feedback (if you’re so inclined to give it!). What would you like to see more of on this blog? Less of? Do you have a favorite blog post? (Or a least favorite blog post?) If you follow me on any of my social media channels (I am on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest) what would you like to see more of or less of there? I take feedback very seriously, so please let me know if anything comes to your mind.

Otherwise, I’m looking forward to year three of blogging. Thank you for reading, following, sharing, and supporting my work throughout these past two years! Y’all are the best. Sending love and locamotion your way.

Two Year Blogiversary, 2018 Travel Updates, And More!

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