My Very First Blogaversary Celebration…with Bacon Soda

April 2016. That’s when I started this little endeavor which has grown into a big endeavor with stars in my eyes. I still feel green and like I’m just starting. But as I reflect on my first Blogaversary, I also know I’ve come so far. Far enough to drink bacon soda to celebrate.

Bacon soda is a celebration for a travel blog? Hey, it was a gift bought in Louisiana; and I’ve only visited that state once. Talk about a taste of the Southern U.S.! Watch my video for more on that misadventure.

Bacon soda notwithstanding, if you asked me to join, for instance, Snapchat two years ago, I would have laughed and staunchly refused. Then, I would have told my Random Friend what crazy request of the day you fed me. Today, I’m knee-deep in the social media world where I’m sharing all my adventures and where I feel like I’ve only just scraped the surface. And I’m asking Random Friend to follow me. (That’s a hint, reader!)

Travel Reflections On My First Blogaversary

Cummins Falls State Park

In my previous life, I did not travel much. Travel can be expensive, and life’s curveballs can wipe out an entire life’s savings fast. I wasn’t living though; I was merely scuffling through my life with a plan to save as much as possible. Money would be used on a curveball or donated to missions upon death. Not really living, right? Life charted a different course for me, and I’m glad I paid attention!

In my first business-official year of travel, I locally and regionally explored. I visited and filmed in Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. I saw the best rock concert of my life, sat in the middle of a waterfall with a randomly met new friend, discovered Chicago hot dog diversity, and learned that today’s cornbread is not your momma’s cornbread. I learned I love the ocean. I learned that solo road trips make me feel alive. Travel gave me a new sense of life and an excitement I have rarely experienced. And it gave me a longing to go beyond the United States. Year One committed me to Year Two.

And so it’s quite difficult, as you can imagine, to be fairly tied down due to my surgery recovery as opposed to jet-setting my way around the country and world. But it’s okay. There is a time for everything, and my time to heal and create awesome content is here. So I’ve been toiling hard for blog posts and vids. That includes my content in the world of social media!

Social Reflections On My First Blogaversary

Social media is difficult. Really difficult. Apparently, an entire world of travel bloggers exists. And all of them want you to follow them. But they may not want to follow you back. A lot of self-interest instead of other-interest or relationship-interest exists. Then again, it’s hard for a blogger to know every single follower and have a connection with them. The larger the followership, the more each follower blends into a sea of other followers. It’s a difficulty of distribution management I’ve encountered in my corporate life. You want to have a personal connection with everyone, but there is only one of you.

So a lot of individuals simply follow people en masse and then unfollow en masse. It’s a pattern I have not fully embraced even as friends surged to followership levels of 10,000-60,000 people. And for a couple of those friends, I eventually blended into a sea of other followers. It’s all an interesting game that can be exhilarating and depressing all in one moment depending on your mental perspective. I am quite thankful for the few travel blogger friends I’ve made, and I know I’m going to see at least two of them this year. (Woo-hoo!) I’m also looking forward to reaching higher thresholds of followers over the next year. I’m just not quite sure of my strategy for tackling that yet though. (That’s another hint, reader!)

Other Reflections On My First Blogaversary

Melissa With Bacon Soda

What I do know is that I am going to continue blogging and creating videos. I’m going to learn and practice stabilizing video footage. I’m going to lay plans to travel solo beyond the country. I’m going to look to God to guide my footsteps and jet trails. I’m going to figure this thing out, and then I’m going to rock it. And I most certainly am NOT going to figure out bacon soda nor ever “rock it” again. Ever.

But I will fly, prance, dance, climb, and dare to dream small and big. I have purpose in this site, and I’m only just beginning. When I sponsor my next charity event, I’ll be more successful than the one with Blood:Water Mission. I was disappointed that I was the only one who donated, but I’m glad I participated. Like I said, everything improves as I enter Year 2!

So look out world…here comes Melissa ready for Year 2! It’s going to be great!

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