An update, and our plans for 2017
We've just landed in Australia for a surprise visit home, so we thought we'd update you on our last few months, and our plans for 2017!
After spending hours upon hours holed up in our tiny Melbourne apartment crafting our very first blog post, the thought of doing another 99 seemed daunting and impossible. Our first ever post, in all its awfulness, was to be the start of a long, life changing journey. This post was written long before we’d decided to quit our jobs to travel the world, and to be honest, we had no real strategy around what we were doing; we just knew we wanted to share stories of our adventures. After all, our favourite quote is “Stories are the currency of human relationships”.
Fast forward to today, and we’re posting our 100th post.
At no point of writing our first post did we ever believe we’d be here, 15 months into an epic world over adventure and 100 posts down. Which kind of leads us to the here and now...
SO, WHERE ARE WE EXACTLY AND WHAT ARE WE DOING?
After all the travel in 2016 (28 countries, WHUT?!), we were utterly burnt out, both mentally and physically. The three months we spent in southern Africa were perhaps our favourite; a time when we both felt truly free (poor internet reception does that!). But deep inside we both had an unmistakable feeling that, despite how free we felt, we were actually over travel. Over the delays, over the transport, over the hassles, over the hustle, over not having a home, over the food and over meeting new people. There were times where we couldn’t bear to go outside, or to write, or to take photos.
We felt ashamed - “we’re living our dream but we can’t enjoy it anymore”.
It was time for a change, a time to slow down and a time to allow us to fall in love with our passions again. So, after toying with the idea of living in Cape Town for summer, we decided to settle in London, to become ‘normal’ again for a short while, and use it as a base to explore as much of Europe and north Africa as possible.
Here in London we’ve settled into a relatively normal life; yep, we even have our own permanent room and dinners to cook every night. And we’re totally embracing the Netflix and chill phenomenon which we didn’t get to in 2016! We’ve made new friends, caught up with old ones, and we’re doing everything in our power to embrace the London life. We’re even accepting the weather.
We’ve also managed to visit two European cities, Porto and Barcelona, and have embraced #travellyf once again. Slowly but surely we’re falling in love with travel and sharing stories again.
While living in London, our focus is to build this, our little space onto the internet, into something much, much more. In November, we attended the World Travel Market and met a number of bloggers, photographers and freelancers who were making it happen and suddenly it all seemed within reach.
Now, we’ve finally got a clear strategy in place, and the knowledge and expertise to drive it forward. And we have time, glorious time! It’s kind of exciting, and we’re both really content with our decision to stop full time travel for a little while, and start focusing on us, our business and our passions.
KEEP READING: 7 REASONS WHY YOU NEED TO TRAVEL WITH YOUR PARTNER
WHAT DOES 2017 HOLD FOR THE COMMON WANDERER?
We’re really excited for 2017, both personally and for the blog. There’s something about the new year which leads to renewed motivation, and also allows the past to become just that. We’re no longer feeling burnt out from our full time travels, and we’ve now got a renewed lease of travel life.
New year, new life, right?
We’re really thrilled to live in and explore a new part of the world. Sure, we’ve both visited Europe too many times to remember (we spent six weeks travelling around Europe with Geckos Adventures in 2016!). BUT, we’ve never actually lived in the Northern Hemisphere! So, we’re really looking forward to the opportunity to explore the beautiful parts of Europe, the UK and London. Harry Potter museum, anyone?!
We're also heading home for a very quick visit in Feb/March, where we'll be working on a few cool projects, and catching up with family and friends. To say we're excited for this would be a huge understatement! We can't friggin wait.
Photography is a now a big part of our life, so we really want to continue to push the boundaries creatively. Whether those photos end up on the blog our Instagram is another story, but we’re all about learning the craft a little more. Oh, and reading more. We need to read more.
From a business point of view, we’re putting every ounce of effort into continuing to grow our blog and its channels this year. So far, we've had a record page views every month this year, our Instagram has surpassed 20k, and our other social media channels are growing quickly. It's exciting!
We’re approaching the rest of the year like a marathon; putting in the hard yards now and seeing where it takes us in 9 months. Hopefully to Olympic gold and beyond…
We’re also hoping to build on existing brand relationships and create some really amazing content in 2017. From there? Who knows!
Lookout for bigger and better things from The Common Wanderer in 2017! We can’t wait to take you along for the ride.
If you guys have any suggestions for us, please leave them in the comments below. We’re always on the hunt for somewhere new to visit.
As always, we can’t wait to take you along for the ride.
Mark and Mim x