And just like that my three months in Rio seem to be over. I had these grand plans of things I would work on during my three months off. Skills I would improve, fitness I would continue the routine of, blogging ideas and of course the fun I would have. Except like all grand plans it didn’t work out.
Let’s Catch Up On The Last Three Months
My laptop broke within a few weeks of arriving and I could not longer blog or improve my Photoshop skills like I wanted. I ended up with a full time job and had no time for fitness or plans. At first this concerned me, I wanted to keep to my blogging schedule and summer goals. I wanted to tell you all about my then recent holiday to Portugal and my adventures here. But then I ran out of energy to worry anymore. I stopped thinking of how to turn my life into constant blog posts. I gave up with regularly reading blogs and because it took me two months to get a Brazilian SIM card I even ended up on a unintentional break from social media.
Instead I became concerned with filling my time with adventures. Making sure I was making the most of every day I had in this amazing country. I saw 23 of the Olympic sports, I took thousands of pictures, I climbed two mountains, I worked harder than I possibly ever have before. I spent quality time with my boyfriend, caught up with other friends and of course made some new friends too. I visited America and Argentina and took stay-cations in the state of Rio de Janeiro. I gained new experiences for my CV and was actually employed to take photos at the Olympics. I stopped living in my own head and began living in the expat bubble of Rio life.
I lived every minute, not daring to waste one precious one.
Life carried on without the blogging. For the first time in years I wasn’t posting 2-3 posts per a week. I did miss the record of the blogging my travels but never once did I stress about not having a blog ready for the coming day. I read social media when it suited me and posted even less. I stopped trying to fit into the blogging world and fully lived in my own world. A world where I didn’t have to try to be someone, instead I was someone, I was me. I began listening to Podcasts, regularly reading paperback books and just taking in the world. Knowing that the best way I was going to remember my summer was to just take it all in.
I took more steps back from my blog than I ever have since creating it and that was actually okay.
Surprisingly my stats didn’t drop, I received more emails in this time than I had in the many months previously. And it gave me chance to reflect on why I actually blog, something that had been bothering me throughout this year. Just because my blog is called ‘The Little Backpacker’ doesn’t mean I can only blog about backpacker things. I’m ‘The Little Backpacker’ because I wear a backpacker, because I’m little and because I travel. All of the things I am make me The Little Backpacker and if I want to write about something else except backpacker travel then I will. This is my blog, a blog which I have no intention of making money from and therefore no need to follow the ‘rules’.
This break from blogging has helped me to see that this is my blog. A blog I still want to use it for the reasons I made it for in the first place. Firstly it is a place where I can document my travels and life. Secondly it is a place where I can provide information for others. And finally it is a place where I can publish exactly how I feel, because writing about my feelings actually helps. There is no need to compete with every other travel blogger, no need to compare and worry if I should be doing something different. It made me realise that as a blogger, I should be doing and writing about my life. I should not be trying to make my life into something that I think people will want to read about.
So. I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry that I disappeared without much warning.
I’m not sorry that I haven’t kept up my blog this summer and I’m not sorry that it might continue to be that way. Everyone should make sure they spend time offline each year, because I honestly believe that it is good for you. You need to spend time living your life, being in a situation where you don’t need to compare yourself to anyone else.
You need to be you offline before you can be you online.