Top 5 2013 Travel Highlights.
Happy New Year! Thanks for rocking with me even though my blog posts have been so few this year. I was hesitant about writing about 2013 highlights because it felt a bit pretentious and touting to do that. I mean who really wants to see me brag? However, I was inspired by this post from fellow travel blogger Oneika Raymond and saw that she was in the same space I was. I had to check myself and be proud of my achievements in 2013. So many of you write and tell me how you are living vicariously through my posts and travels, but I’m not doing anything special really. If I can quit my job and move across three time zones you can do it too. Going into this year, I have adapted the mindset of working on my goals every day. Doing a little bit every day and enjoying the journey. Believe in yourself, I work on that every day, because doubts do creep in, even though I have realized my dream of living in Bali. So here are my top travel moments of 2013. I’d love to hear about your highlights, if it made you happy it is a highlight, no matter how small you think it is. Let’s celebrate our small victories!
I Made an App
My app is about Indonesian street food. I do love to eat and write about food and it was a natural fit for me. I don’t know how to code or HTML. I found a company Map2App that did all the technical stuff and I just provided the writing and photographic content. The app also has bonus information on eating street food safely and a few phrases you will need when ordering Indonesian street food. It is available for iPhone and Android platforms.
Photo Exhibition in Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum
This opportunity blew me away and it stemmed from doing the food app. The museum’s curator saw my blog posts on Indonesian food and asked I’d like to be a part of the exhibition on Indonesian sweets. It lined up perfectly with what I was doing and I happily provided photos. The exhibition, “Sweet” is still on display January 5, 2014. If you’re in Seattle please check it out.
I was and still am excited about this. I’ve wanted to broaden my writing from travel blogger to a travel journalist; after all I do have a BA in Journalism. I pitched a story on travel warnings to CNN Travel and I was published. I want more bylines in distinguished publications like this in 2014.
Travel Essay Accepted into Black Women in Asia Anthology
My dream is to write a book on being a black woman is Asia. I was writing about my experiences on my blog. Again, I was contacted to see if I was interested in this project. I was already writing about my experiences, so I didn’t have to start from scratch. I joined Nanowrimo, which disciplined my approach to writing every day. With my fingers crossed, I submitted my long form essay. My essay was accepted and the book will be released in February 2014.
I’m Getting Paid to Write About Food
Finally! I’ve wanted to break in to food writing for a long time. I was referred to the editor of Epicure Magazine (the Indonesian version) to Food & Wine. He was in a bind and needed a writer based in Bali to cover three major fine dining events. The deadlines were short and pay crappy, but I sucked it up because it was a great opportunity to break into this genre of writing.
As the year came to close I was depressed, anxious and angry at some personal problems. I had to go away and deal with them. One of the benefits of living is Bali is that I can find a resort with spa treatments and happy hours in any direction. But I wanted a more meaningful travel experience. A co-worker referred me to Bali Silent Retreat. I did yoga and meditated multiple times daily during my four day stay. I gained perspective on my problems and left the retreat with new found energy and drive.