I have some exciting news- I’m now a full time travel blogger!
For the past 15 months I have been juggling my blog and my freelancing business alongside a full time job as a Digital Marketing Manager.
Working around the clock was slowly draining the happiness out of me. I started to lose my voice, my creativity, and ability to get out of bed in the morning.
However it was a true testament to how much I love blogging and showing Scotland to the world.
But now my time is my own, and I get to travel around Scotland and share my discoveries with you!
The journey to becoming a travel blogger wasn’t smooth. Let me explain…
The Path to Blogging
From early on I knew I wanted to be a writer.
Many of my childhood friends were characters from books; I grew up as an only child living in the country, and my family moved around so friendships with kids my age were fleeting.
I found comfort in books and navigating through plot twists with the protagonist. I felt connected to these book characters, even though many of them were works of fiction.
One of my favourite things, even today, is reading something someone has written and thinking ”I totally feel that way too!”
Reading makes me feel less alone, and more connected to people.
When I was older I discovered the best way I could express myself was through writing. When speaking I would sometimes freeze up or find difficulty in using the correct words, however they would flow through my fingers, and I often turn to a pen or keyboard when trying to decipher my thoughts.
It was in my early twenties that I fell in love with Scotland; again it was through books, the newly acquired internet, and hearing stories about my ancestors that had been passed down.
Learning more about Scotland was really a journey inward; you can only get so far researching your family in New Zealand, and many Scottish customs were still being handed down to myself and my cousins.
Visiting Scotland for the first time in 2016 was a life-changing experience for me. I met our Scottish Clan Chief, Donald Angus Cameron XXVII and he took me on a tour of our clan’s castle, Achnacarry.
I remember feeling so at home in Scotland; it’s a hard feeling to explain. I would almost describe it as déjà vu.
In 2018, after living in Canada for 2 years, I moved to Scotland. I visited my 4x great grandfather’s grave, located in an ancient burial ground in Lochaber. I cried and thanked the man that had no idea that his decisions and actions are the reason I stand on this earth.
The connection I felt with Scotland made me realise that I want to help others experience the same.
And so what started as a blog documenting my world travels, eventually turned into a passion for helping others to plan their adventures in Scotland.
Deciding to quit my job to blog full time
After returning from holiday in October, I decided I would give myself 6 more months in my full time job then quit so I could pursue blogging.
I’d already worked on several successful campaigns that year, and work was continuing to pour through the door.
I wanted to make sure I was being smart about leaving my full time job; I was still paying my Invisalign treatment off, I needed to purchase additional camera equipment and I wanted to have 6 months worth of savings so I could make the transition to blogging full time without the worry.
I had freelanced full time in the past- for a brief stint in 2017 and then for several months when I first arrived in Scotland.
I knew I could do it; the reason I started my freelance business was because I was fired from my job in Canada (turns out I’m a terrible bartender) and had only $200 in my bank account. I found enough freelance work to survive and even made enough to buy myself a new snowboard.
Nevertheless, this was still a stressful way to start a business. While I was waiting for payments to come through I visited food banks and lived on a $5 a day budget.
I didn’t want to be in that position again, so giving myself 6 months to leave my job seemed like a responsible thing to do.
However, I started to burn out pretty quickly. I was saying yes to every campaign and freelance gig I could get and I was working non-stop.
My brain fog was so bad, I repeated sentences constantly and often started my days crying over my desk.
By this time I was hating my full time job. It wasn’t a job where I could make a positive impact on the world.
My gut was telling me ”get out, leave now” so I spoke to Craig and he agreed with me that on Monday I would quit and never return.
Ironically when I went into the office on Monday, there was a redundancy letter on my desk giving me two weeks notice and zero payout. I packed my things and left.
I’m taking the next 3 months off to concentrate on writing. I have two books in the works and a bunch of blog posts about Scotland that need writing.
In the spring and summer, I’ll be working on a few campaigns and I’m also going to be running women’s retreats in Edinburgh.
2020 is going to be a busy year for me, so I’m really looking forward to spending the winter months travelling around Scotland and writing.
Mostly I’m excited that I’m now living my purpose. It’s taken me a few years, a few mistakes and many adventures to get here- but I’ve arrived.
I’m so grateful that I can spend my time helping people through my writing, and I really hope you’ll follow me on this adventure!