It was March 2010 and I had been working consistently for nine years give or take a couple of months. I finished my studies at the end of year 11 in 2000 and started working the next year. Besides the occasional trip to Northern New South Wales to visit family, I hardly went anywhere since I was a child.
A Choice To Work
Of course, this was not for any other reason than my personal choice to do so. I decided to get a job and go to work and just kept on working. Finding that first job did take a little bit of effort. Subsequently, in that first couple of years, I also bounced from one job to another. Eventually, in 2006 I found the job that seemed to stick, well at this point it is the job I held the longest. Coincidently at this point, it is also the most recent job I had.
In the beginning, the job seemed great, I was making reasonably good money, and the only downside was that it was night shift. But fast forward a couple of years and the hours only seemed to get longer and longer. Soon I found myself going from casual work to permanent work and from 25 hours a week to 55 hours a week. The only plus side is that I was getting paid for every hour I worked. The mistake I made though was instead of taking the holiday leave I accrued, I would get it cashed out and keep on working.
Working To Much
I somehow kept up a regime of working anywhere from 45-55 hours a week for nearly three years. I think in large part due to the work not being physically challenging but more mentally challenging. But no matter, if it is physical or mental doing these sort of hours on a night shift, can take its toll. Especially when you make that sort of decision not to take holiday breaks and keep at it week in, week out.
Eventually, in early 2010, I knew I needed a break, working like this is not what life is meant to be about. I could have continued to make a choice to work, but I could see that would not go so well in the long term.
A Well Needed Holiday
In March 2010, I finally arrived at the decision I needed some time off and booked a week of annual leave from work. I had less than two weeks to book some airfares and accommodation. But on the 20th of March, 2010, I boarded a plane for Melbourne.
In some ways, it feels a little weird to say this but at the age of 26 years old I was taking my first trip away by myself. But that is very much the result of the choices that I made along the way. Week after week and year after year I decided to work and push off the idea of travel.
The Choice To Blog
It might come as no surprise that while I was planning to travel friends and family showed an interest in the trip. Coincidently I had been looking for a way to focus what I had previously been doing with blogging. To share the details and activities of my trip seemed like a great idea.
At the time I was probably approaching the idea with some degree of laziness. I did not particularly look forward to the idea of retelling the same story over and over again. So the idea that I could write the story once in the blog and direct people there was a positive for me at the time. However, this is definitely something that has changed since I am more than happy to walk at length about any of my travels.
In many ways, through sharing your story on a blog you can add a lot more value than the spoken story. It allows you to better integrate specific photos at just the right time. While also sharing the details in a logical order and not missing a key point.
Getting Started With The Blog
Starting a blog for me was rather easy and straightforward endeavour. I had previously built or worked on a number of different blogs, but none that were as focused on one topic. Initially, I used a personal domain name that did not lead to any idea of the topic. However, in recent times I did change the name to come under the Travel Explored banner.
I started the blog six days before leaving for Melbourne and shared a couple of posts before leaving. I continued posting, each day while in Melbourne. Sharing eight posts which totalled some 6,000+ words and included over 50 images from the trip. The feedback that I received from family and friends was extremely positive and made the experience very worthwhile.
Travelling & Blogging More
If you have read much on the blog here you will see my trip to Melbourne was just the beginning. I have continued to blog each and every overseas trip that I have taken. That totals 35 countries, over 90 days cruising, probably close to 100 flights and I am sure many other statistics.
Now that is a little of the backstory around how I got started over eight years ago. But the trigger that moves you towards a blog, or sharing your story can come from just about any place. In the near future, I am thinking of offering some posts that share how to start your own blog. But would like to hear some feedback from you. Is this something you would like to read about? Let me know in the comments below.