Journeys and Jottings – Happy 12th Anniversary 41


Little did I realize that when I started travel blogging in 2005, that I would see a twelfth anniversary. So , here I am after twelve years of travel blogging, wondering about how I stayed committed.  It has been made possible, only because of you, my reader.

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Nostalgia grips me as I write this post. The travel blog, to be honest was an afterthought. I had a personal blog – a diary of sorts, which used to contain bouts of writing but I did not want to share that side of me in public. The travel blog was born a year later in 2005  out of a lust – a lust for travel, a lust for writing.

My first post on the blog – Heights of exuberance – Living in a tree house at Masinagudi

I took it seriously around mid 2007, only after I had quit my job. The blog became my companion. During those days when I had my worst lows in life, I used to travel and blog. I have always spoken about how I quit my job to travel. But it was not an easy decision. It was nothing to romanticise about. I had thrown a career away, a career I was really passionate about . It had defined me at one point of time.  And when I quit eight years ago,  I was also taking home a seven digit salary. And that was not easy to let go.

I started freelance writing when I was 19 and I landed my first professional job when I was 22. I grew from a mere correspondent to a VP of a company, I took up challenges and risks . But there was a time I was completely burnt out. The desire to quit was born out of a quest to see and explore something new and to live life according to my terms without being a corporate slave . But it was also a negative work culture that had sucked me high and dry.  My biggest fear was that I would just stop growing. And that is when I decided overnight on an impulse that I had to press the CTRL -ALT- DEL button and start all over again. And since travel and blogging were the only two things I knew, I plunged into it, without any idea where it would take me.

Whenever I was plagued with doubts, when friends and colleagues thought I had made a wrong move, when I was unsure about my future, I would seek refuge in my travels and my blog became an anchor. I felt independent, unburdened from the shackles of a corporate life. I was happy to be lost in the world, to be a microcosm in the vast universe where my insecuries melted away with the elements of nature. And my blog became an identity, an extension of me. And looking back, those were the best days of blogging. It was intense, it was personal and yet I touched the lives of several people with whom I shared a unique bond.

What I really enjoyed the most was spending my afternoons reading posts, commenting, sharing experiences and making friends around the world. All of us bonded on just one thing – our love for travel, to see places far and wide and to share our stories and experiences. We all travelled virtually with each other as we read each other’s blogs. It was almost like a habit – I used to mark a day in a week just to read and comment.

I still love those days – no DSLR, no fancy mobile cameras, no knowledge of SEO and awkward  layouts. Those were the days we did not have to worry about Google ranks, Alexas, DAs and PAs. All we wanted was to travel and to tell fascinating stories and for people to read our blogs.

As bloggers we have come a long way from those days. We are professionals, we land up with opportunities and campaigns and we travel far and wide, much more than what we could in those days. But somewhere I feel we have lost the essence of blogging, of sharing, of commenting, of building a community and bonding. One of my new year resolutions is to read as many blogs as possible and comment on them, whenever I can – just to keep the tradition going.

I am planning a post later this year to share my journey in the last 12 years – the transition from an amateur hobbyist to a professional blogger, my learnings, experiences, challenges. But for now, you can ask me any question you want about blogging, creating and  maintaining a blog and earning through it. Post your questions in the comments section here. I will publish one post every month, answering your questions .

And thank you so much for being a part of my journey, all these years and for virtually being there, egging me to continue. Looking forward to hearing from you.

Also read  

Ten years, ten posts

My 500th post – Travel Writing is such hard work 

 

 

 


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41 thoughts on “Journeys and Jottings – Happy 12th Anniversary

  • Ranjani Shivashankar

    Hello! I really liked this post 🙂

    Its interesting how freedom and creativity can trigger such a massive change in one’s life!

  • Anindya Sundar Basu

    You are an inspiration for all of us Lakshmi. I have always been shouting about this that seniors like you should mentor newcomers in blogging world in whatever capacity possible so that the community grows. Have been reading your blogs for the last 4 years and must say it has been a wonderful experience. Times have changed. Competition has increased. But whats the competition for? When all of us started blogging did we want to enter a rat race? competition? no. The moments of truth are when we ask we we started blogging? That will answer lots of issues. Thanks for the inspiration. I will send you separate mail on questions that I have if you get time please answer them.

  • Rajiv

    Three cheers for the twelfth anniversary!
    I can relate to almost everything you say here. From the traveling just for the love of it to the throwing away a career many out there dream to have to the reasons for leaving everything behind.

    And yes, your first few sentences also made me remember how I too, in the beginning, used to write just for me. Never wanted anyone to read them (I still do that on another blog of mine 😉 ).

    Here’s to many more Lakshmi!

    Cheers,
    Rajiv

  • Prasad Np

    You know folks like you have created a full-fledged respectable career/ passion for many an aspiring blogger ( both pros and hobbyists ),… All I can say is keep traveling and keep inspiring like you have always to many like me…Also so glad that you are so candid about the quitting job aspect 🙂

    • Lakshmi Sharath Post author

      Thanks Prasad 🙂 I have always felt that passion should never be let go in the pursuit of my professional goals and yes, I have always said that media is something that is an integral part of me and my identity..it will never go away

  • Prathap Nair

    Very earnest and felt Lakshmi. Loved reading it and congratulations on keeping up with it! Here’s to many more years of blogging. I hope your interest never wanes and that you see the rest of the world’s corners that hasn’t been covered as yet in your travels!

  • Suruchi

    You are such an inspiration. I read so many of your posts.After reading this article I felt I am at the position where you were 10 years back. I was working full time and left my job just for traveling. Now I am running a blog but there is so much of competition. The day starts with commenting, stats, GA, DA, PA, ranking and so much more.Sometimes I wonder this was not what I left my job for? It will be great for your guidance and mentorship. Keep inspiring us. Thanks

  • Deepika

    Love how you have bared your heart out. Just one regret however, but you having experienced it makes me feel so much better. The whole point- where you mention that you didn’t have to worry about PAs/DAs is amazing. You wrote and traveled for the sake of writing and traveling. Hats off! 🙂

  • Samod

    As always loved reading the blog and like always it leaves me asking for more. Please keep writing and as someone said, ‘the nation wants to know’ about your travels.

  • Ramya

    Congrats for your blog anniversary Archana. I too started my blog in 2005 but took long breaks in the middle due to personal and professional life changes. I love travelling and follow your blog to learn about how to write interesting travelogues. I would be very happy to know your experiences from an ameatuer to a professional travel blogger.

  • Arun

    Hi Lakshmi,
    Congratulations on your 12th anniversary of blogging..Your posts have always been very informative and has always inspired me to travel more.
    One question- I have recently migrated from blogspot to my own domain. However, I am not very sure of how this will help me in the long run. Just out of suggestions I have purchased a domain name. Can you please help me to understand the advantages of it and how to make proper use of it?

    Regards,
    Arun

  • neha

    Congrats Lakshmi for the 12th anniversary. I started travel blogging, seriously, last year. And my story is very similar to yours. I am in a corporate job earning a handsome salary but still don’t see a satisfying and fulfilling future. I have been following your stories and interacted with you couple of times. I see a mentor in your. I have not one but many questions. Very specific to where my blog stands as of today and how to shape it for the future where I can say goodbye to the corporate life. I will rather prefer to drop you a mail, would you like to be my mentor?

  • Becky the Traveller

    Wow such an awesome inspiration. I have just started blogging. 10th January to be precise!! I’ve actually been travelling for the last 8 years so have loads of material just need to find time to write.
    My question is stat related. I love seeing each day who has read my posts but what does good look like. What’s the average views your blog needs to be classed as successful? I need to know when I can quit my job ha ha!!!

  • Priya Aggarwal

    Hi, thanks for this truthful post. I, and I am sure many here, would like to know how you began pitching your stories to digital and published media. Recognition is something that does not come easy for sure, so how long did you have to try before you got your first break as a professional travel writer. Any tips for the budding ones?

  • Sheena Varma

    Congratulations on your 12th anniversary.
    You are a true inspiration for people like me. I believe, your decision to quit job in 2007 and move to freelance writing was the turning point of your life. But in this competitive world, many people are scared to take the risk of sacrificing their job to develop their dream life or passion and they keep complaining about their existing life which they selected on their own. You took that risk which helped you in achieving an inspirational life.
    Your blogs are the proof to show the world that how happy and satisfied you are in your life now. I wish you good luck…

  • Ashfin

    I was really wondering how to explain things to two of my friends who r ladies willing to do something like this to live free
    I tried teaching them about blogging , traveling meeting new people, life that is beyond what we think it is be creative , to evolve as a human ,

    So now I have your blog as example I have a hope I can show them an example

    Please support for more such kind of activities help people know what it is to be a gypsy