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Next month marks the eighth year since I commenced my blog. Although it only seems like yesterday, in some ways it seems like an eternity ago. During this eight year period I’ve seen my blog evolve from the ravings of a fifty-something year old to a respectable travel blog.
I must say that travel blogging was my passion, and my life has very much revolved around it for the past eight years. I loved sharing my photos and passion for travel, particularly in my own country Australia.
As my biography says:
I commenced 50 Shades of Age in 2012 as a platform to encourage and inspire women of my age. The majority of us have led a busy fulfilled life being mothers, wives and co-breadwinners. After reaching that milestone age of 50, with kids leaving the nest and feeling unemployable, I felt a big void in my life. It was with this in mind that I decided to start up 50 Shades Of Age – a website where I could reach out to my sisters and tell them that their lives could be so much more. I wanted to be the voice for the new-age over 50 year olds to empower and motivate them to feel worthy again! We have so much to offer.
Even though I wrote this bio at the commencement of the blog eight years ago I still feel that these words describe the blog today. I really did want to inspire women of my age and I hope that I have achieved this even if it has inspired one single person.
After a very bumpy start with my blog I travelled around Australia in a caravan at the beginning of 2014. This was where I changed track, metaphorically speaking, and developed into a travel blog. My newly acquired photography skills influenced me to share some of my amazing photos of Australia and to write about my journey.
Initially when I commenced my blog in 2012 I wrote from personal experiences and some of the things I was going through at that time of my life. After a few months I noticed that some of my friends at that time were very unsupportive of my blog. They simply didn’t understand why I would want to put myself out there on the worldwide web.
As a result I almost gave up on the blog! It was a life-defining point of my journey and as a result I lost two friends. I was completely shattered by the experience. I felt like the victim of a lynching mob! Thankfully I had a couple of friends that stood by me during this time. They had enough intelligence to understand what I was trying to achieve.
So lesson number one was not to write about personal issues and I quickly resolved this by becoming a travel and lifestyle blogger. I was finally free of the naysayers in my life!
The other big challenge of travel blogging was getting my head around a lot of the technical issues. I’ve certainly felt out of my depth on many occasions and have had to struggle my way through. Technology is ever changing and I had to learn (and I’m still learning), new skills to keep abreast with the blogging world.
Following my return from my around Australia trip in late 2014, I landed a job writing blogs and social media promotion for a hotel marketing company. This was a fantastic flexible job that I could do from home and involved a small amount of travel, which was perfect for me.
My travel blog went from strength to strength and I started to earn a small income from sponsored guest posts and travel writing for some tourism websites and a couple of magazines. These included Destination Gold Coast, Discover Ipswich, Better Living Magazine and a famil trip to Japan for Japan National Tourism Organisation. I felt as though I was finally making my mark.
During these golden years I was still learning all the time and managed to do as many courses and workshops as I could to keep up to date. However I could see that the travel blogging world was changing with many new players in the field. Plus Instagram and social media influencers started to make an impact in travel blogging circles. These pretty young things with their photoshopped and filtered images were hard to compete against.
This year has brought on its own set of challenges for travel bloggers. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic not many of us are travelling. It’s a whole new world and we don’t know what the future will hold particularly for international travel.
During the year my husband and I have used this opportunity to explore our own backyard a bit more. We’ve been away in our caravan on several trips both in Northern New South Wales and one trip up north into Queensland (when the border opened momentarily). As an ardent traveller, these trips have been my saviour!
Fortunately this has given me the time to reflect back on earlier travel blog posts and tweak them a little to re-post. I’ve mostly concentrated on regional travel for the past six months. However as the year has progressed I’ve become less and less inspired to write.
Part of this lack of motivation has also stemmed from becoming a grandparent (with a second on the way), and pursuing new interests. It’s time for a new chapter in my life.
So after eight long years I’ve made the decision to discontinue with my travel blog. I will no longer feel the pressure to write a blog once a week nor try to come up with interesting subjects to write about. I am stepping away!
I will continue to be active on social media on my private page and also on my Instagram account. So please continue to follow my daily photographic posts and travels. I’m not giving up on travelling entirely!
This will be my final post here but not the end of 50 Shades Of Age. My website will still exist as a resource for travellers doing research. With a very heavy heart I’m saying adios my friends! I’ve enjoyed the ride. I would like to thank all of my followers for their comments, friendship and support over the past eight years.
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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