2011: A Fresh Start

Good riddance, 2010. Sure, you had your moments. Colombia was fantastic. You can sign me up for another couple of weeks there.

Moments from the Yellowstone roadtrip will forever live as legend. And we proved once and for all, that neither tornadoes, nor torrential rains, nor wind-whipped snow can hold us down (or keep us from sleeping in a tent).

My baby brother graduated from college (what?!). Jeff and I celebrated five years of marriage. We rallied for sanity by going to an insane rally. We watched friends wed and celebrated new life with other friends.

We traveled, not nearly as much as the year before, but to places both familiar and new. I drove over 8,000 miles in Kentucky in the name of research for a new guide book. We began to get to know Durham and the state of North Carolina.

2010, overall, was good to us.

Yet, to be honest, 2010 was a challenging year for me. I felt unmoored. Certain questions hung over me all year. Who am I? Who do I want to be? When we left for our round-the-world trip, we threw off the bowlines. Goodbye job. Goodbye home. When we came back to the U.S.,  I found that I wasn’t certain where I was supposed to tie up.

Did I want to be a writer? And what did that mean anyways? Novels, short stories, travel articles, marketing copy? Did I want to be an editor? Did I want to be a teacher? Did I want to throw in my hat to the travel blogging ring? I had no idea. I hemmed and hawed. I flitted back and forth. I tried this and that. I did a lot of things but not very many of them well. I lacked focus. I’d decide that I didn’t want to do something and then I’d read about someone else succeeding at it, and pride would have me back at the thing I’d just decided against, because if they could do it, well, so could I. I often asked myself “What do you want?” or “Who do you want to be?”, but I didn’t really take the time to answer that, at least not honestly.

In some ways, this blog was that indecisiveness personified. I neglected it. I brought it back. I re-designed it. I ignored it. It crashed. This blog was begun as a round-the-world travel blog, and just as I couldn’t figure out how to redefine myself post-RTW-trip, I couldn’t figure out how to redefine Lives of Wander either.

But I think I’ve figured it out. Both what I want to be and what I want this blog to be. As for me, I want first to be a fiction writer. That’s priority number one. Then comes making a living, which I would like to do through editing (at least until I show up on the NYT Bestseller List or get one of those genius grants!). I love comma splices (or more accurately, I love correcting them). What can I say? And also on the priority list is travel writing. Though I’ve tried to talk myself out of it about 8,372 times this year, I just can’t escape from it. I love to talk travel, read travel, write travel, and just flat out travel. And that’s where this blog comes in. You see, as the title says, this blog is about my life of wander, a life that did not begin nor end with our round-the-world trip, and thus Lives of Wander lives on, though in a new, updated format. I hope you like it. I hope you take the time to explore. I hope you come back and join in the conversation, because even when I haven’t known anything else, I’ve always known that it’s the people that make the journey worthwhile.

[Thanks for your patience and encouragement through this topsy-turvy year. I’m still working through some of the glitches of re-launch, including re-sizing photos and correcting the text that got messed up during the transfer from one host to another. Fingers crossed that by Monday, January 22, I’m up to speed with new, exciting posts about travel and the places life takes me.]

9 Replies to “2011: A Fresh Start”

  1. Welcome back Theresa! Don’t beat yourself up about the time it’s taken you to get here…all that figuring it out is part of the process I think. In fact, I would predict that this time next year you will have evolved again. Embrace it and enjoy the journey! I’m looking forward to hearing from you more often again. Cheers!

  2. I believe I told you and others long long ago that I knew one day you would write Fiction. Guess now I just have to sit back and wait for your first work of fiction to be published. I know it will be a Best Seller!

  3. I hear you on hemming and hawing. Unfortunately, as I’m finding out, even exploring the world for a year doesn’t always give people the big answers they are seeking. We’re towards the end of our trip and I have no idea what I want to do when we get back. I’m not sure why I keep putting pressure on myself to figure it all out for our big return.

    That’s awesome you were able to make some decisions about big life questions. I wish you the best of luck in pursuing your goals and look forward to reading more on the blog. (p.s. We just completed a motorbike trip in Southern Laos – inspired in part by your motorbike trip, as well as One Year on Earth and Johnny Vagabond).

    1. Try to enjoy the rest of your trip without worrying too much. Trust me: you’ll have plenty of time to think about it when you get home. And I think the key thing to remember is that we can always have a do-over. I try to remind myself of that. There’s no harm in trying one thing, not liking it, and then trying something else.

      I hope you had fun on your motorbike tour of southern Laos! We thought it was a really fun way to see that region.

  4. Welcome back Theresa!

    So stoked to read this post, especially this part:

    —- ” I often asked myself “What do you want?” or “Who do you want to be?”””

    And the fact that you’ve finally figured and laid it all out is absolutely fantastic. I call it finding (and sticking to) your own path. I trust your path as a fiction writer, editor, and travel writer will only solidify now that your energies will be focused on them, and 2011 will definitely be your year of focus.

    Trust me, as a fellow travel writer, it’s easy to look around, see how others are walking their (own) paths and get discouraged. The minute we look, we stray from what we’re supposed to be doing in terms of advancing down our own path.

    Looking forward to following your travels and writing this year!

  5. Welcome back! I’ve been reading along for quite awhile now (since your RTW anyway!) and haven’t commented, but just wanted to send out my thoughts to cheer you onto your goals! looking forward to reading more from you 🙂

  6. I totally know how you feel! I thought I’d leave for our travels, have time to enjoy myself, think, and figure things out for what I want to do in my life and come back to put those ideas into action without a problem. Yes, I did enjoy myself, think and came up with lots of ideas of things I’d like to do but I got home and well these ideas are all swirling in my head and I’m having the hardest time figuring out which one to actually snatch and work on first or which ones to just forget about… It’s almost worse then before we left! SO, instead I’ve been distracting myself so easily with anything else but what I want to do for myself and my own travel blog has suffered due to this… Bah! I think it’s time to travel again…. lol!

    Nice to see you are back… Been trying to get back into the swing of the blog world again myself too!

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