December is always an interesting month. The end of the year usually means I have plenty to think about in terms reflecting on the past year, what I loved about it and what I could do better in the next 12 months.
I was originally planning on being in Scotland for NYE this year, and even though I’m sure that would’ve been an epic time, I’m glad I chose to stay stateside instead. I ended up having one of my favorite NYEs in awhile, and I celebrated it with one of my closest friends and 60+ other wonderful people on an estate in the middle of nowhere.
My last month of 2017 was mostly spent taking little trips around northern California, preparing my business and mindset for the new year, and appreciating where I was at and who I was with.
I’ve been focusing more on the video side of blogging recently. I wanted to share with you all my brand spanking new vlog around my hometown of Santa Cruz, California.
I spent a day filming around my favorite spots to give you a glimpse of Surf City USA from a local. If you enjoy the video, make sure to like it and subscribe to my YouTube channel. I’ll be attempting to do weekly videos on there from all over the world, so stay tuned!
You can’t go wrong with the little beach side town of Santa Cruz! Up until now, I’ve mainly talked about what you can do in the warm months to soak up those lovely rays of sunshine, but today I’m here to tell you that Santa Cruz is just as fun to visit in the winter.
When I originally contacted Brion about wanting to experience a cozy accommodation in my hometown of Santa Cruz for my short trip this winter, I had no clue how much of a quiet retreat I would find when I stepped into the Adobe-made house on Green Street.
I can’t believe this is my last Atlas Weekly! I started these in the summer as a way to reflect on each week in detail, to track any progress I made, and to be able to look back on daily life for at least part of 2015. I hope you all have enjoyed these weekly updates as well and the little touch of insight they give into my life right now.
As you may have read from my last post, I am home!! Besides one set back in getting sick with the stomach flu, I’ve been enjoying my time at home, relaxing and catching up on everything I need to get ready for 2016.
As I wound through the dark redwoods on Highway 17 with an eagerness to get home, I couldn’t help but feel a certain gratitude. Santa Cruz is one of those places that can make me feel strong emotions no matter how many times I come back. It’s home.
There were so many good memories to look back on this week!
After coming home to Portland from the Oregon Country Fair, my boyfriend and I had a marvelous reunion and date night on Monday, drinking sours at Cascade Brewery, trying Blue Star Donuts in Hawthorne (finally!) and seeing the new Minions movie at the historic Baghdad Theatre.
Last week, to my excitement, I was nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award by Amy ofGlobetrotter Guru!
How it works
The Sisterhood is a way to show appreciation of other female travel bloggers, and to connect and discover some awesome new voices in the travel blogosphere. If you’re nominated, after thanking your fellow blogger, you answer the questions they present to you. You then have the chance to nominate up to 10 other blogs and ask 10 of your own questions. Pretty cool, right?
My Questions from Amy:
1. What do you love most about Travel Blogging?
I love the freedom. Now that I’m freelancing full time, I can take off for a weekend of galavanting around the Pacific Northwest if I want. I also love sharing anecdotes and keeping friends, family, and readers up to date in the form of a story. I love to write, be free, and travel so it has turned out to be the perfect career for me so far.
2. What drawbacks are there to travel blogging that many people don’t realise?
There’s the cliche idea that travel bloggers don’t really work, they just get to go on vacation all the time, write a few articles, and take some pretty pictures. The truth is, I’ve never worked harder in my life for a job. The pay is pretty horrible and after my 20+ hours of freelancing I use most of my free time promoting my blog on social media, planning press trips, or constructing content – all of which I don’t get paid for.
Surprisingly enough, I really enjoy being a travel blogger. It’s a career that would be hard to give up, and one that requires a lot of passion to keep at it.
3. Tell me about a place have you visited with the most diverse Wildlife?
Australia is up there in terms of the diverse range of animals that can kill you, but I think my favorite animal diversity has to come from Costa Rica. Every time I would go on a hike in the forest I would come across some exotic species I had never seen up close before. And, of course, you can’t go wrong with sloths.
4. What was the most amazing Religious Site that you have ever visited?
Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and the Bayon Temple were all remarkable in Cambodia. Dragging myself out of bed in the dark morning to take a tuk-tuk to watch the sunrise over the temples was something I’m not soon to forget. Even with the hoards of tourists, there was something special and breathtaking about such ancient sites. My favorite would have to be the Bayon Temple with all of its many faces.
5. What is the best local drink you have ever had and where?
I’m going to have to keep it close to home, and say the first time I ever tried Sculpin IPA by Ballast Point when I was at college in San Diego, my craft beer world was changed.
6. What was the most amazing train journey you have ever been on and why?
To be honest I haven’t explored that much via train travel, because it tends to be more expensive than the bus in most place I’ve been. With that said, it’s hard to beat the train ride along the Southern California coast from San Diego through San Clemente and finishing in Los Angeles.
7. Tell me about the worst ‘travel scam’ or situation while travelling that you have experienced?
I’ve been fairly lucky (knock on wood) with avoiding travel scams, but there was one time in Thailand where the majority of my cash was stolen on an overnight bus while I was sleeping. Apparently, it happens all the time, especially on the buses to and from the Full Moon Party, so make sure to watch your belongings and sleep with your valuables.
8. What is your motivation behind your travel blog?
My love of travel, simple as that. I love sharing stories and perspectives with others, of course, but that’s only possible through the passion I’ve always had for discovering new cultures.
9. Where is the next place that you will visit and why?
Well, I’m touring the Pacific Northwest at the moment with my base set in Portland. I have a trip back home to California next week (and another road trip!), a trip to Montana, Idaho, and Washington in September, and I’m flying to Florida for the TBEX Conference at the end of October.
Outside of the States, my next country will most likely be Canada.
10. How can travel bloggers earn on money on the road to sustain their nomadic lifestyle?
I just started monetizing my travel blogging lifestyle so I’m still pretty new at this, but I lucked out with right away finding two stable freelance jobs that are providing me with a fairly decent part-time income at the moment.
I’m hoping in the near future to make money in more passive ways through my blog – selling photos, writing a mini-book or E-book, perhaps a few advertisements on my blog – so that I can spend more time actually writing and traveling and less time working.
In the past, I’ve always taken on a myriad of jobs to keep my travels funded, so there’s always bartending too!