Since having moved to East Tennessee earlier this year, I’ve found a new interest in the winter months. Growing up in the Midwest, winters were brutal. Once October rolled around and the temperature began it’s slow decent into the single digits, so did my spirits.
The curtains were drawn when I woke up this morning, giving a false sense of early darkness. My dog was snuggled up to me sound asleep as I reached for my phone on the nightstand. 7:55am. My first recognizable thought was, “What am I going to write about today? What do I want to share with the world?”
What a privilege. How exciting, to love what you do.
I began today like I begin most things; by multi-tasking. Squeezing some Crest onto my electric toothbrush, I flicked it on, brushing my teeth as I drew the curtains back, letting the morning sunshine flood the room. As I opened my laptop and hit the power button, I shoo’d my pup off of the bed and pulled up the covers, fluffed the pillows, and filled both of his food and water dishes. As I rinsed my toothbrush in the sink, I went over different topics in my head. I reflected on something I had read the day before, from Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, “Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear”
Ideas have no material body, but they do have consciousness, and they most certainly have will. Ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest. And the only way an idea can be made manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner. It is only through a human’s efforts that an idea can be escorted out of the ether and into the realm of the actual.
Where was my idea? Had it just not found me yet? I opened up my website dashboard and saw that I had a new comment — I had been nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award! I’ll be honest, I wasn’t even sure what that meant. But it had to be a good thing.
So …. what is the Blogger Recognition Award?
The Blogger Recognition Award is given to bloggers by bloggers who appreciate the hard work, dedication and vast amount of hours we all put into each and every post, as well as keeping the website current and updated. Thank you to Preeti Gaur at Scenario of Life for taking the time to check out my site and nominate me!
After 5 months of diligent persistence, my hard work is beginning to pay off. I’ve experienced my first round of sales, seen a spike in my engagement percentage, and now I’m being recognized!? I couldn’t be more pleased. When I began this venture I knew absolutely nothing about creating a website. What an accomplished feeling to come so far in such a short time!
How my website got started
I know that there are hundreds of others doing the very same thing that I’m doing. And I know how often it feels so dire, so lonely, and so pointless. It’s important to push through those feelings – because feelings are fleeting. But hard work leaves an evident mark, and someone is bound to notice. If you are at all curious with my story, the how’s and why’s, the set-backs and achievements, please check out the following links.
- How I started my website and how you can too!
- My first 5 weeks
- My first 3 months
- My first 5 months, New theme and First sale!
2 Pieces of Advice for New Bloggers
This is interesting for me because I still very much consider myself a “new blogger.” But part of this process is giving new-er bloggers some advice, so here’s mine.
- Unless you are tech savvy (I wasn’t lucky in this way), be sure to find yourself a community and a support system. I talk about this a bit in my progress blogs, which I’ve left links for in the above section. I failed miserably my first time around, which was about three years ago. I didn’t have a clue what I was doing or where to go for help, and it has made all the difference for me this time around to have a support system. You can find support at a platform (Mine is Wealthy Affiliate, which has an incredible group of individuals who consistently have my back). You can also join FaceBook groups for networking, blogging, comment exchanges, writing advice, and the like. There are also GooglePlus communities, Instagram Pods, etc.
- Treat blogging like you would any other job. Sure, there will be times that an idea strikes at 1am, and you’ll jump out of bed and hammer out a rough draft. But for all intents and purposes, do your best to have a daily start and end time in mind. When I first began, I was awful at this. I would start work before showering, work through lunch, and then before I knew it 9pm had rolled around and I hadn’t even eaten dinner! My social life hurt, my sleep schedule was off, my diet was pitiful, and after a few weeks I was burnt out. I learned the hard way, but you don’t have to! Take a shower, put on make up, or whatever you typically do to get ready for the day (not for anyone else, but for you!) Take a lunch break and have a general stopping point in mind. Treat it like your typical 8-5 job if you can. You don’t need to be super strict, but be sure to not let it consume you entirely, and make time for yourself. Don’t get me wrong, I love writing, but it’s most healthy to have balance in everything you do!
My Nominees for the Blogger Recognition Award!
I’m not sure who it was that first said, “A little recognition goes a long way.” It seems that quote has been around since before sliced bread (the first loaf being sliced in Chillicothe, Missouri, back in 1928 I think. But I’m no sliced bread expert). What I do know is that a little recognition does, indeed, go a long way. I’ve both experienced it and implemented this notion several times in my life; as a friend, as an employee, as a manager, a coach, a teacher, a role model, and in my relationships. Now here I am doing it again.
It is my pleasure to announce the 15 bloggers I’ve chosen to nominate for the Blogger Recognition Award, in no particular order!
- Ina at OffSheGoes – Traipsing, exploring, and munching all across the globe
- Kylie at KylieandTheWorld – The Independent Traveler
- Laura, Priscilla, and Joel at FunLifeCrisis – Have More Fun Worry Less
- Alyse at TheInvisibleTourist
- Claire at ClairesFootsteps – EcoTravel & Anecdotes by One Of The World’s Clumsiest Girls
- Brianna at ArchivesOfAdventure – Inspiring Ordinary People with Ordinary Lives to Travel to Extraordinary Places
- Alysha at AdventurousAlysha – Challenge the Limitations of Anxiety through Travel and Adventure
- Natalie at NattieOnTheRoad
- Nicola at SuitcaseAndWanderlust
- Tasha Amy at BackpackersWonderlust – The Budget Backpacking Blog
- Sabrina at JungleExploring
- Becky at TrekkingWithBecky – Tips, Tidbits, and Treasures about Travel and Living in Japan and Russia
- Dannielle at WhileImYoung
- Last but certainly not least (and for the life of me I couldn’t find these ladies’ names) at CrazyTravelista
- And APackedLife – Travel * Lifestyle * Planning
You may notice that this is a list solely comprised of ladies. I found that while scouring my blogging groups for dedicated nominee-worthy bloggers, I felt impressed to promote my fellow gal travelers. This may not come as a surprise to you if you’ve seen my own tagline, “Gearing up Gals to Travel the World.” If any of you follow me on any other social media, you may have seen this recent image I shared and believe in.
**No boys were unempowered during the writing of this blog 🙂
If You’ve Been Nominated!
When you are nominated, there are few simple steps that you need to take to accept the award nomination and the guidelines are as follows:
- Write a post to show your award.
- Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
- Give a brief story of how your blog started.
- Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
- Select 15 other bloggers to nominate.
- Comment on each blog’s “About Me” section and let them know that you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.
Congratulations to all of the nominee’s!
And once again, thank you very much to Preeti Gaur from Scenario Of Life and the kind words,
Courtney, your blog looks great and you write beautifully! I can see your dedication. I really appreciate it and you definitely deserve this nomination.
If you’ve found yourself here on this page, I would love it so much if you shared in my recognition by subscribing to BackpackingRuffian. Also, please feel free to leave comments on this post – What do you enjoy about my site? What would you like to see more of? I always enjoy hearing from you and look forward to replying to your comments!
It had been yet another lazy morning, which seemingly without notice had already turned into another lazy afternoon. As we sat at a table in one of our favorite coffee shops, the sun streamed in through the glass warming me to the point I decided to shed my jacket. I draped it over the back of the chair hoping very hard that I wouldn’t forget it. It was day #5, and over a second cup of hot chocolate we decided we needed to get out of Amsterdam. For the next hour we talked about where we might go next, and eventually booked our train tickets for the following morning at 11am.
“I’m not sure how anyone gets anything done around here!” I exclaimed to Kendra, my traveling companion, while lounging at one of Amsterdam’s infamous “Coffee Shops.” A hot chocolate on the table, a joint in one hand and a chocolate edible in the other. It was our fifth day hanging out in the Dutch capital, and by that point we had gotten lost in time and space and everything in between.
Music has a way of transporting us home while we’re abroad, or whisking us away while we’re stuck at home. It’s our escape on long overnight trains and on noisy buses. It soothes us during sleepless nights and accompanies us during curious wanderings in foreign cities. Music enriches our experiences, provides a colorful backdrop for our memories, and connects us in a way that somehow touches our souls and transcends language barriers. Get ready to load up your IPOD! Here are 30 of my favorite backpacking and travel songs!
Traveling is a pretty hot topic these days, and everyone seems to have a relatively strong opinion on if you should travel, where you should travel, when you should travel, and so on and so forth. And it’s funny, because the strongest opinionated people I’ve encountered are generally the ones who’ve never traveled anywhere. So let’s explore the 5 Myths about travel that we so often hear, and 5 Truths to debunk them!
Here’s a short list of travel accessories for women that I find to be very helpful to have while traveling. Whether that be a weekend trip to another city, an overnight greyhound, or months abroad. Check out these 7 great additions to your own packing list, or make them gifts for a friend!
PricePoint: Less than $20.00 each!
Here lately I’ve come to realize that having any way to defend yourself is better than having none. Sounds obvious doesn’t it? But so often I’ve relied on my gut instinct, my intuition, and the basic smarts and common sense that we all generally have to stay out of harms way.
It was midnight when our train pulled into Krakow, the cold glass windows offering an empty view of the train yard. I swung my pack over my shoulders and tightened my hip belt as I stepped down onto the platform, my breath visible and my beanie pulled down over my ears. The girl I was traveling with just steps behind me.