It’s hard to believe that it’s already December and New Year’s is just around the corner. This whole year has been a crazy roller coaster with many ups and few rock-bottom lows. If you asked me in January where I thought I would be, it definitely wouldn’t be where I am today. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though.
My blog has officially turned two few days ago and that makes me happy. I never thought I would be doing this full time and definitely not this long. It’s easy to be swept up in the hype of blogging, but the long-term goal can get complicated, challenging and right out boring. Blogging is a lot of work, especially if you want to make it your business.
Back in January, I quit my full time job to blog full time. I realized that I needed a lot more time to work on my blog if I wanted it to succeed. I spent months writing new content, rewriting old posts, updating and optimizing things on the back end of things, and learning new things. So much time and effort go into researching and planning the posts. Then there are the images, links and keywords that I had no idea about when I started.
The blog isn’t yet at the point I want it to be, but it’s getting there. The whole year of work I’ve put into it makes me feel more accomplished than I expected. I’ve also learned a lot about being a blogger. Down time is essential and sometimes things come up that are beyond your control. You have to learn to move past them and carry on. That’s the note I’ve decided to enter 2019 on as my blog baby grows up.
The ups and downs of life
Sometimes the best laid plans fall through, forcing you to recalculate. I don’t mind things like that, as I enjoy problem solving, but they can get frustrating. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll remember that we had plans to relocate to Italy permanently. We sold our house and were ready to go when we realized that few things stood in our way.
As only one of us is a dual Canadian/EU citizen, we have to figure out few things before we can benefit from this perk. I asked others what they felt dual citizenship offered and the consensus was that it had major advantages. So what does that mean? Next step, necessary paperwork, which translates into a bit of a delay.
Moving abroad is not as easy as they make it out to be on TV. We definitely knew that and the bumps along the way are simply delays. We lived in Italy this year for about three months and will be returning next year, hopefully with some of these wrinkles ironed out. Meanwhile, we are enjoying our condominium in Toronto. It’s in a great location and offers a fantastic space for future planning.
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Today I found out that a friend of mine passed away. For the last eight years, we got together every once in a while, talked about life and everything in it. He was one of those people that was supportive and encouraging without expecting much in return. The last time we met few months ago I've just quit my job to run after my dreams. He said he was proud of me. Life is not about Instagram likes and that perfect photo to show the world. It's about appreciating what you have, chasing your dreams and being grateful for those that support and challenge you. Here is to you Jerry, wherever you are. ... #dreams #mindset #ambition #hustle #blogger #travelblogger #traveltheworld #travelblog #ilovetravel #traveller #globetrotter #travelawesome #travelgirl #instatravelling #travelwriter #passportready #postcardsfromtheworld #writetotravel #travelstroke #seetheworld #instapassport #italytravel #italytrip #visititaly #traveldeeper #artisticphoto #arountheworld #torontoblogger
It’s hard to say good-bye
In 2018, we lost two of our pets, which left a deep void in our lives. I also lost a friend who was a huge source of support and inspiration over the years. He wasn’t into social media so I will keep him out of it, but his loss cut deeply. How I wish we had more time.
Right after we sold the house, we lost our chameleon Monroe. By any standards, he lived a long and healthy life and died of an old age. It was difficult watching him slip away and even though we knew that moment was coming, it was still hard to see him go.
At the beginning of December, we said good-bye to our dog Snoopy. He was a major part of our lives for over 14 years and his lost broke me. He came with us to Italy where he enjoyed the beach, strolling on the streets of Rome, being fed by strangers at restaurants in Florence and driving along the Amalfi Coast. Not long after we came back to Toronto he started to deteriorate quite rapidly.
He became a distant version of himself. When the vet told us she suspected a tumor, we knew we had to make that hateful decision. I felt like a monster even though inside I knew it was the right decision. I couldn’t bring myself to write, create anything or even talk to people since then. There is a dark and empty space inside me that dulls everything else. It’s even harder to watch our other dog, Moka, as she mourns his loss.
In a way, I’m glad that we are in a new place where we don’t have memories of him. At the same time, I’m sad because I know he would have enjoyed certain things about it. It gets a little bit easier each day, but the pain is still there.
2019 goals and plans
At this time last year, I had so many plans. Some of them worked out, some didn’t. I also created new plans and hope to get them done in 2019.
I’ve been planning to write a couple of travel-related books. With everything that happened, the project ended up on the back burner where it’s still simmering away. As far as projects go, this will definitely be a major goal for me for the upcoming year. I am excited about the possibilities and the many directions this can go. Who knows, maybe by the time I am writing this next year, I will be able to share this as an accomplishment.
In addition to books, I’ve been exploring developing guides, courses and of course, growing my other blog that focuses on Italy. Part of me is super pumped to channel our time in Italy into this project and the possibilities that it brings. Now that I have some time on my hands, I can really dive into the details that have been waiting patiently for their turn.
Then there is the travel. I am looking forward to discovering new destinations and revisiting old ones. What will 2019 bring? Hopefully, lots of great new experiences. After all, have passport, will travel.
I haven’t written anything for about two months. There were too many thing going on and others took precedence over writing. The writer’s block that’s engulfed me seems to be lifting slowly. As difficult as it was to come back to writing, it’s also been great to discover that it still holds healing powers. I constantly tend to forget this important fact.
I’ve decided to end 2018 on this note and focus on the future. After all, it’s only a few days away.
Thanks for sticking with me for another year. Whether you’re celebrating the holidays or not, I hope you have a great December and a fantastic New Year’s. Catch you in 2019.
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