It has been a crazy career path I’ve taken. I know that. And I’m not even sure what I have now is actually a career. But it’s getting there. I do have a business that is growing every year, even though the plan is constantly changing. One of my main goals this year was to increase the amount of writing that I do for outlets other than my own blog. And I am going to brag a little big here: I’m doing it!

I have to admit I have been terrified to pitch stories. I know some people come off the starting blocks saying “I think I’ll be a travel writer! I’ll pitch a story about my great trip to National Geographic/New York Times/BBC Travel/Lonely Planet. Of course they’ll run it!” It never even occurred to me to pitch those places. I thought, “I’ll write some stuff on my blog and maybe some other blogs and then maybe I’ll see if someone might want to think about maybe publishing a tiny piece I’ll write about, like, ‘the best non-hideous hiking shoes for women,’ or ‘fanny packs are back – for real this time!’ – you know, the little blurbs at the front of magazines you flip through and forget about.

This year I decided to think bigger. That was my only New Year’s Resolution:

Think Bigger

So no, I’m not writing for National Geographic (yet). But I’ve got some other travel writing gigs to be proud of:

  • I’m been chosen (there was competition and everything!) to be a Travel Mamas at Home contributor for the lifestyle section of the Travel Mamas website. I had to choose a nickname, so I’m the Startup Travel Mama, since I’ve ‘started up’ a few businesses and nonprofits in my time. I’ll be writing about all sorts of issues, not just business and finance for mamas, but that’ll be my niche over there.
  • I published an article on craft beer in Costa Brava on a website called Two Backpacks One Adventure
  • I found a few sponsors for posts on my website. One was so thrilled with my contribution they included it in their B2B newsletter as an example of the great work they do.
  • I pitched a story about an arts project in DC to an international web magazine, and when they wrote back saying they liked my work but wanted researched pieces, not like personal pieces in my portfolio, I stood up for myself and said I could do that, and I delivered my first draft one day after it was assigned, two days ahead of schedule.

The travel planning part of my business is growing and evolving. I am planning some great trips for clients now to Ireland, Scotland, Italy and the Caribbean. And I love doing it!

Oh and my blog just hit number 37 of the top 1000 travel blogs, according to Rise/Global.

Business-wise, I’m thinking bigger, too. I’m not sure yet exactly the form that will take, but I applied for and got a business line of credit so I can grow this business.

I’m working with some other bloggers to start a company dedicated to providing immersive local tours around the world (announcement and details coming very soon).

Why I’m bragging

I’m bragging on myself a bit here because it has not been easy and it has taken a long time to reach this point, and I have put a lot of hours into making this happen. Yes, it also results in me traveling and doing fun things that I enjoy, which I couldn’t do without my family’s cooperation, which is not always easy. “Sure honey, I’ll get up at 4 am on a Saturday and take the kids to the regatta while you take a train trip to California!” “Yes, dear, I’ll be happy to come stay with your husband and shuttle the children to all their activities while you go to Spain and drink Cava every day!” Amazingly, I did hear these things come out of my loved ones’ mouths. So I know I’m lucky.

But my main goal is not to inspire envy, but to inspire people to travel, make connections across cultures, and create great memories. How about you? How are you thinking bigger?

 

Thinking Bigger