5 Life Lessons I've Learned from 5 Years of Travel Blogging

Thursday, October 01, 2015

I've been feeling like time has been flying by super fast lately. All of a sudden, there's only 3 months left in the year! It was no wonder that our blog anniversary has come and gone unnoticed. On September 10, 2010 we had written our first blog post.

I could not believe that We Are Sole Sisters is now 5 years old! That's longer than any job I've ever had! I've taken a long break to think about what's next and refocus on the things that really matter. And I realized that although a blog is just a blog, this one has enriched and empowered my life in more ways than I could have imagined since starting it.

Here are 5 Life Lessons I've Learned From 5 Years of Travel Blogging:


1 Telling my story is a great way to empower others. 

When I first started, the blog was based on a lot of personal (and often self-deprecating) stories that I've experienced while traveling. I've shared about the time when I had to tell my dad I was quitting my job to travel the world. I've talked endlessly about Southeast Asia and how I emerged transformed from that 6 month trip. I've cried when my Spain Dreams came crashing down. I've talked about falling in love on the road. I've even shared about my journey of motherhood and finding home.

Although these stories have happened only to me, I realized that all our stories are entangled and strangely similar. I've received countless emails sharing their own stories of visa denials, solo travel, love on the road, and that unscratchable itch to see the world.

Although this blog was started simply as an outlet to share stories and bits and pieces of what I've learned while traveling, I realized that more of you have gained the confidence to make travel happen- no matter what.

2 Nobody really knows exactly what they're doing. 

After being featured on several magazines and TV interviews, many people see me as a travel expert. Or a blog expert. Or both. But the truth is that I'm just as clueless as everyone else. When I first started travel blogging, I had never traveled long term or backpacked before. I simply did it. Then I just figured things out along the way.


3 It's never just about blogging or just about travel. 

Travel Blogging for 5 years seems like a long time for such a new "career path". I've mentioned that it has started to feel like a job. It's not as glamorous as everyone thinks it is when people say "You're so lucky, you get paid to travel!"

But I'm still doing it. I'm still in love. Because I never saw it as being just about blogging or just about travel.

What I love about it is being able to connect people and ideas.

Lois With Baby Lighthouse Spain

4 Life isn't a support system for art. It's the other way around. 

I'm quoting Stephen King on this because it's just a great reminder for all of us. Whether you're a writer, or a designer, or someone who simply creates things (who doesn't anyway).

I've had a lot of sleepless nights when I'm typing madly on a keyboard and my husband whispers "Try to get some sleep." I've been guilty of snapping an instagram photo of amazing landscape while ignoring the baby beside me who needs attention. I have to stop myself from wanting to document every place and scenery that we chance upon when my husband says "Let's just keep some things for ourselves."

We have to remember that our work is important. But we also need to see the people we love, the people right in front of us and remember who and what really matters.

Sole Sister Adi

5 It's always more fun to do things with others.

I sometimes like doing things alone but I find it more fun to collaborate with others. Whether it's traveling, doing random projects or simply starting a new life.

Which brings me to you. I'm glad you're here. I'm happy you've found this place, a place I've inhabited for 5 years. Where I share the joys of travel, that maddening desire to experience places that stay in my heart forever. Where I've inscribed all those disappointments, heartaches, longing. Where I dream little travel dreams with my Sole Sisters and we conspire for our next escape. Where we put together bits and pieces of our adventures.

Though I can't always inspire you to travel, or cry you through that visa denial, or whisper the right words in your ear when you finally meet that person of your dreams only to have to jump on a flight the next day. I can't always convince you to follow your heart because I also didn't know when was the right time to follow mine. I can never get you ready enough for that trip of a lifetime, because nobody ever is.

But if through a single photograph, or a story, or a string of words, I can encourage you to take that small leap of faith- that little step to making your travel dreams come true, then I would think that you and I have both done well.

Forever in love with travel and words,
Sole Sister Lois

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  1. Great words Sole Sisters. I really felt your heart in this post. The points you shared are some of the reasons why I really want to travel. Yes. I've been wanting to travel but there are still doubts in my mind, whether I can survive or be able to sustain myself while on the road. Glad that I can reference with travel blogs such as yours for guidance, and inspiration. And to that last paragraph of yours, I will keep. Thanks you! Looking forward for more of your adventures, and happy 5th anniversary wearesolesisters.com! :)

  2. That's so sweet Jeff! Thank you so much for those kind words. If you still need further advice or guidance, please send me an email. I would love to help out. Happy travels!


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