Hey, I missed you guys! I thought this would be a good time to return and explain my absence and abundance of guest posts recently. I’ve had a couple of events that have really facilitated some personal and professional reflection, and getting back into the grind has honestly been a little difficult. Doing stuff is hard, but the first life event is a good (albeit time consuming) one.
Last month I got married! That means the months leading up to that I had to plan a wedding. The wedding was great and I kind of nailed it ;), but the wedding industry is a horrible monster. I never want to think that much about napkins again, or worse yet, about what’s wrong with me for not caring about napkins when it’s the most important thing to ever happen to anyone and you only get one shot at it. Those guys really work hard to break your spirit and the happiest day of your life is kind of soul crushing. So, that took up a lot more of my time and emotional energy than I had budgeted for and unfortunately the blog suffered for it. Great news though, the wedding was great, my soul has recovered, and I never have to do that again! And you, dear readers, might get to see a bit more of my husband (that still sounds weird) lurking around here in the future.
Shortly after the wedding I headed off on a very long press trip (there is a Bali honeymoon in our very near future though) that left much to be desired. I’m still trying to sort through my feelings about that experience and what is appropriate to share with the world (though I’ll happily tell you all about it over a beer), but I will say that I’ve never before been treated so disrespectfully as a professional or even as a human and it’s caused me (and I know several others on that trip) to reevaluate this career or at least the kinds of projects I sign on to in the future. It was not all bad however, as I met several other bloggers who I’m sure I’ll work with again, as soon as we all recover enough to remember why we enjoy doing this.
While organizers of this press trip were the most egregious, my fellow bloggers and social media gurus has me thinking about my place in this industry as well. There was so much chatter about numbers, page rank, do-follow links, bots, and the like. What there wasn’t much talk of, was travel. This is a job (and nowhere was that more evident than on this trip) and all of the technical nitty gritty is important, but there has to be happy medium. You have to still enjoy traveling at a bare minimum right?
You can’t really blame bloggers for getting caught up in the business and losing sight of the “why.” In this industry we are constantly fighting to be taken seriously and to prove our worth to brands and destinations, but no one is in it for the money. Even the bloggers you think are making money, likely aren’t making much money. Certainly none of us are making enough money to give up what presumably started as a passion for real experiences in exchange for a life behind a screen.
What’s far worse than the bloggers that have gotten bogged down in the technical nitty gritty, is the number of people I watched out right lie to followers on social media and blog posts. I watched several people complain along with the rest of us (and rightfully so), and then turn around and post about the wonderful completely amazing once in a lifetime best experience ever they were having #liveauthentic.
I don’t want this to come of as “blogger bashing.” More than anything, this experience caused me to examine my own approach. I too am guilty of portraying experience through rose colored glasses or even omitting bad experiences all together for fear of being labeled “negative”, but omission is a bit different than a complete misrepresentation and what does a blogger have to offer if not authenticity?
So where do I fit in here? I’ll never be glamorous enough (or have the energy) to bring wardrobe changes on hikes for instagram, or the thigh gap and perfect hair to make that worthwhile, or the patience to Photoshop all of the people out of city streets, or the will power to do a full photo shoot before diving into my dinner.
What I have to offer is a rarely glamorous, sometimes negative, but always authentic (if at times a bit sarcastic) take. For the time being, I don’t make nearly enough money to pretend I’m having fun for the cameras (though I do have a price, inquire within). That being said, I’m not hard to please and I do genuinely enjoy most things, but sometimes things suck and people need to know!