Why Do I Blog (Even When No One Is Looking?)

Guess what, wayfarover’s made it to three years of age, making it the longest lasting blog I’ve ever run.

 

I started my first blog seven years ago after doodling stories in notebooks stopped being enough. Since then, I’ve gone through a total of four blogs, none of which lasted more than a few months. When I started wayfarover, I wasn’t sure I was going to have the motivation to keep it going, either.

The first post on this blog was published exactly three years ago and it was titled Hi, I made a thing. The whole post literally consists of one sentence, claiming that I am very bad at beginnings so I was just going to post a picture of myself and get started later.

I hesitated to start for the longest time. (In fact, when I did, my first banner read ‘So not a travel blog’.) Sure, I travelled, but not as much as some that jetsetted off to Bali and New York and Amalfi coast every other weekend. I thought I would just put it off for a few years after I graduated, after I’d gone on that around the world trip I’d always dreamed of.

But it had been months since my last blog had faded out, and I was bored. So I started wayfarover.

some of the earlier banner designs

I remember well how I came up with the name. I was laying on my at-the-time boyfriend’s bed, spinning around different travel related words, and suddenly noticed that they kind of locked together, like pieces in a puzzle. You could easily combine wayfarer and rover. And don’t we often describe far-flung places as being way far over there? It just clicked.

When I browse through my early posts, I know they’re not artistically great, but they are very authentically me – sarcastic, dry, complaining about little things while under the surface I’m really having the time of my life. The earliest guides I wrote were little more than journal entries, offering very little concrete information – and don’t even get me started on the pictures that have been battered and beaten in the process of importing them from Blogger to wordpress.com and the to a self-hosted platform. (I really should update all my old photos.)

Over the years, my writing has become more honed, my pictures sharper and better framed, and my posts better defined, more informative and more personal. How is it possible to get more personal than that??? you ask, seeing that a lot of my earlier entries were basically just travel diary rip-offs. However, the more I’ve written on this blog, the more vulnerable I have been able to become, sometimes revealing even darker parts of my personality that I am not entirely comfortable with. (Like when I talked about loneliness as a solo traveller or confessed that I rode an elephant despite knowing better.) I don’t reveal the really intimate parts about my personality easily even to my closest friends because I am not great at speaking. But through writing, I am able to say everything I want to, and then I don’t stammer.

Continuation to my last post: Writing has been my #1 passion literally since I was old enough to know words. Writing helps me make sense of the complex world within. It makes me work through feelings that I don't quite know how to express out loud, and through that, I have learned to know myself better and – I hope – to understand others, too. . . Photography, on the other hand, helps me make sense of the world around me. In looking for moments to capture, I have become more observant to little details and more appreciative of the beauty that surrounds us. Even when I'm not taking pictures, I look at the world like through a lens. Some people say that we should take less photos and live in the moment. I say: who claims those are two mutually exclusive things? . . How do you express yourself? #pragueworld #instaprague #toppraguephoto #passionpassport #meettheworld #lpfanphoto #femaletravelbloggers #olympuspen #citizenfemme #travelwithme #travelgirl #girlsabroad #globewanderern #teamkaptainkenny #theconstantlycurious #traveldeeper #discovereurope #prague🇨🇿

A post shared by Elina (@wayfarover) on

But I sometimes feel bad about my blog. OK, full disclosure – I feel bad about it all the time. It looks simplistic; it looks exactly like as much money as I spent on it, which is the bare minimum. The picture quality is bad. I write slowly and make typos, and I’m lazy to edit to perfection. Sometimes I take breaks from posting that can last weeks.

And what’s worse – I don’t have an audience. It often feels like I’m just yelling into the void. The blog’s been around for three years, which is a lot longer than it takes for many to establish themselves as trusted bloggers who get offered brand deals, press trips and collaborations. But those people deserve it – those people work hard for their craft, they create beautiful content, and they prioritise their blog over every other career move in their life. I don’t have that, because I have never fully dedicated myself to my blog.

I sometimes feel overwhelmed by all that I want to still do with the blog and what I’m still not doing; and by all the posts I want to write but I’m not writing (because I’m probably on a  Disney binge on Netflix); and how I want to grow it but I just can’t seem to get a grip. When everyone else is doing so well, it’s easy to fall into petty comparisons.

But my work is only comparable to my earlier work. Maybe my photography isn’t great yet; but when I look back on my old photos, I see how far I’ve come already. Slowly, maybe, but at least I’ve progressed. I have a lot to improve. Everyone does.

I was gonna caption this something cool like 'To the moon and back' but in reality, such elegance was far from the truth. I needed to pee SO BADLY but when I saw the huge pink moon and the lanterns, my brain went 'HOLY SHIT THIS IS THE BEST PICTURE EVER' and I had to stop to shoot. . Taking these photos made me so happy. Sometimes I feel silly with this hobby, like can I tell people that I'm passionate about photography? Then they'll want to see my pictures and realise they're not very high quality and they'll think I'm a fraud. . But then I realise that that's a stupid way of looking at it. Liking something doesn't require skill. If it makes you happy, then that's all that matters, not the quality of the end product. . So here's your friendly reminder to do more of what makes you happy and screw what anyone else thinks. You are allowed to enjoy things – even if you're not very good at them ✌️

A post shared by Elina (@wayfarover) on

A new friend recently started reading my blog, and a few days later, he texted me saying, ‘You make the most out of words.’ I think that’s the best compliment a writer can get.

And it made me realise that it doesn’t matter if five people or five thousand read my words; as long as they mean something to them, it’s enough.

So why do I blog?

I blog for selfish reasons. Because writing helps me arrange my thoughts and make sense of the world within like talking never could; because as silly as it sounds, words understand me. Writing makes me feel good, accomplished. It is therapeutic.

I blog to connect with others. A lot of the narrative pieces I write are written strongly from my perspective and I sometimes wonder if they offer any real value as perceptions of the world around or of the places I travel. I mean, who really wants to be the Eat, Pray, Love girl? But then I remember the times I’ve read something deeply personal written by someone else, something that shouldn’t relate to my own life at all, yet somehow I’ve found myself among the words. It is always this moment of, ‘wow, someone else feels this way too, or this has happened to someone else too’. It makes you feel less alone to know that someone else is having the same thoughts – thoughts that you were sure only you were thinking, that would separate you from everyone else and make you an outcast.

Let's talk about inspiration. . With travel media saturated with girls in dresses twirling into the sunset, I wanted to be the one goofing off for the camera. 'Life is far too important to be taken seriously' has been one of my favourite quotes for years. . But under all the jokes and the quirks still lies this vulnerability that urges me to create beautiful words. They are the kind of midnight words that have the power to envelope you, to embrace you, if they reach you in the right moment; but said out loud, they would fall heavy on the floor, flat and overtly pompous. . My writing is always a tightrope dance between these two tones: entertaining but nearly superficial, meaningful but nearly pretentious. My photography has come to mirror this division, too. . I am learning to accept and appreciate this duality in me. One day I'm Chandler Bing, another one I'm the Little Prince. Sometimes I'll stick my tongue out and make a fool of myself; sometimes I feel like dramatically looking into the distance. . Plus, I've got a great butt. It deserves some screen time too. . Do you prefer funny photos or serious ones? Poses facing away or facing the camera?

A post shared by Elina (@wayfarover) on

I blog because I have tried not blogging, but somehow I always keep coming back to it. At this point I have to think that there isn’t any other choice for me. I might not be the most prolific writer out there but hey, Harper Lee only ever published one book, right? This blog is my creative outlet and a space for me to express myself. Maybe I could just keep a diary instead of parading my life around for all to read. Call it some kind of exhibitionism, then.

Every time I make a promise to myself to work on the blog, I end up doing way less than I imagined. So, who knows, maybe this little venture called wayfarover will never take off.

But it’s a hobby, and everyone needs one.

I don’t think fame would become me anyway. I would totally be one of those rich kids who spend their cash on customized horse portraits. And I don’t even have a horse.

Anyway, for now, thanks for everyone who’s been around these last few years (even after I have basically forced you to read my stuff) and those who might be joining the crew in the future. I would be doing this without you guys but, you know, you help. A lot. Thanks.


2 thoughts on “Why Do I Blog (Even When No One Is Looking?)

  1. Karoliina Reply

    Onnea kolmevuotiaalle 🙂

    1. wayfarover Reply

      Kiitos 😀

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