…Aaaaaaaaaand blog number 40! Yay! Although there were times I thought this day would never come, Easter is finally here and I am finally writing and hitting Publish on blog number 40 of my #40Days40Blogs challenge.
It’s been a bit insane, but all worth it in the end. Of everything that I’ve even given up for Lent, ‘being unproductive’ was definitely the toughest. Just in case you missed a few, for blog number 40 I’ve included a roundup of everything I’ve written as part of my #40Days40Blogs challenge:
One great thing about challenging myself with #40days40blogs is that it gave me the kick up the butt I needed to finally post all my stuff about my trip around Southeast Asia. I had loads of notes and thoughts lying around, but I just needed the time and dedication to edit and publish.
Then, it was onto Cambodia with the detailed Cambodia Travel Advice: My Backpacker’s Budget & Travel Tips, the journal entries that formed Two Weeks In Cambodia | Travel Diary and finally Real-Life Temple Run | How I Saw 10 Temples In Angkor In Just One Day.
Saigon, Vietnam was the next stop, for which I also wrote a guide, Ho Chi Minh City Travel Advice & Budget Planning and another short travel diary entry for my short stay there, Don’t Miss Saigon! | A Few Days In Ho Chi Minh City | Travel Diary.
The last stop was the glorious island of Bali. I shared some information about my trip in Guide To Bali: Budget Planning & Travel Tips, but also some of the shortfalls of my time there too in Two Weeks In Bali, A Series Of Unfortunate Events | Travel Diary.
When I finally had all my content up from my trip, including my time in Myanmar which was published before this challenge, I put it all together in Two Months In Southeast Asia | Backpacking Trip Roundup.
Of course, it wasn’t all Southeast Asia. Something I had been working on since September was A Cinque Terre Guide To Italy’s ‘Famous Five’, so after six months it was finally up! Plus, there was my 24 Hours In Qatar | A Long Layover In Doha, which brought us up-to-date with all my travelling adventures up until the present.
Aside from the destination-specific posts, there were also a few cheeky posts on general travel too:
Backpacker Bingo: The Ultimate Travelling Drinking Game was a personal favourite to put together, while How To Survive Long-Haul Bus Journeys In Southeast Asia was the guide I had needed before I embarked on these journeys.
A bit of pillowtalk with a good friend inspired the post: Bedtime Stories | The Best Hostels In The World (And Some Of The Worst)!, which was also a lot of fun to write and a great trip down memory lane!
You may have noticed me missing my former (sob) home of HK in The Best Hikes In Hong Kong | Treks And Trails For Hikers Of All Abilities and Sunsets & Skylines | The Best Views In Hong Kong. But, the homesickness wasn’t limited to pining for Asia.
In Why Moving Back To The UK Is Harder Than Moving Away I shared my realisations that actually ‘coming back home’ to the UK was tougher than I had anticipated.
The idea of ‘home’ was further discussed in Chasing Home | A Few Thoughts On Being Between Places, a piece I wrote for the World Nomads Travel Writing Scholarship.
Yet, however confusing my feelings are about leaving HK and moving back to the UK, things came to a head in Pico Iyer: Movement Is Nothing Until You Stand Still. This post was inspired by a TED Talk, recommended by a fellow travel blogger who felt my pain. Hey, it’s OK to be still for a while.
On the flip side, I’m definitely not putting my itchy feet up just yet! I let my wanderlust take over for 27 Trips On My Travel Bucket List, 27th Birthday Wanderlust Edition, a list of my dream places to travel to. While in How I Make Friends In A New City (In The UK & In Other Countries) I shared my own experiences in moving somewhere new.
I’ve also spent the past few months playing the tourist in my home country, and explored this in The Great British Cake-Scoff: A Guide To British Food, The Best Free Museums In London and A Day In Oxford City Told Through Oxford Dictionary Definitions.
Guest Posts & Collaborations
These were a huge help in keeping me on target to reach blog number 40 and also a great opportunity to network with and meet other travel bloggers.
The email with Easter In New York City | Top 10 Tips By Stephanie Fox came through on a day I was feeling desperately uninspired and was exactly what I needed!
Later on in the challenge, Spring Foraging In The UK, A British Foraging Guide By Sarah Tamsin came along, which was a subject I knew absolutely nothing about. I definitely learnt something there.
There were also collaboration posts with other bloggers, including Planning A Trip: Are You A Planner Or A Panster?, What We Learnt From Living Abroad and Post-Travel Blues: Two Travel Bloggers Share Their Stories.
Thank you to everyone who contributed and got involved!
Thought Pieces, Topical Subjects & Current Events
I do like a good debate and discussion, I think it’s the English Literature student in me!
Although #NoFilter: The Truth Behind My Instagram Photos was tongue-in-cheek, the message was particularly prevalent. In working on this very blog, I easily get sucked into social media, so it’s important to remember that what happens offline is the most significant.
I also shared my views on a couple of topics relevant to the ‘travel bloggersphere’. Those included How Many Countries Are There? & Other Reasons Why I’m Not Counting, a exploration on ‘country counting’, why it’s something I don’t practice and what really defines a country anyway?
After a huge backlash in the media, I felt like I needed to weigh in on the topic of ‘beg-packers’. So, I offered up some ideas in What Are Beg-Packers & Are They Really That Bad? with the line of argument that yes, beg-packers are behaving badly, but we’re being a little too quick to judge.
There were also some posts inspired by current affairs and holidays too. I tried to look on the positive side in Article 50 Has Been Triggered… So, Who’s Up For A Pre-Brexit EU Road Trip? and did my best to freak out my mom in Don’t Tell Your Mother | A Mother’s Day Special!
Writing About Writing
I’ve initially been hesitant to share poetry that I’ve written, but something about #40Days40Blogs made me challenge myself to publish a couple of poems anyway. And so, The Girl Who Became A Hummingbird and The Pen On The Table are out there for the whole Internet to see! Eek!
And, where would we be without a little writing about the writing? We started with #40Days40Blogs | This Lent, I’m Giving Up Being Unproductive and so we ended with Things I Learnt From Writing 40 Blogs In 40 Days, a little bit of reflection on the challenge and what it taught me.
Blog Number 40
So, here we are at blog number 40.
As luck would have it, my laptop screen cracked just as I was hitting Publish on number 39! After an initial freak out, it seems as if there isn’t any lasting damage, but perhaps this is my machine’s way of telling me: ENOUGH?!
So, thank you all for reading and being patient with me these last few weeks (and congratulations if you managed to read all 40, I’m not sure even I did that…). Now, if you excuse me, I’m going to extract myself from my laptop and take a well-earned week’s break!
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