Well today my travel blog is one month old, and I thought I would write some reflections about it.  I know, I know, one month is super short so this might seem pretentious, but I think the beginning of anything is often the most crucial period.  It's a time when constant re-evaluating, re-thinking, and re-planning occurs, because you're a newbie and the learning curve is steep.  Anyways, here goes, question and answer style.  
Merlion Park Singapore
Merlion Park, Singapore. The beginning of the trip that started it all.
How did my blog start?
           This is covered in my Blog Index page, so I won't go too much into it.  However, I think it's good to begin any reflection with a summary of what the past has been like.  In a nutshell, I felt inundated with information after reading several "Top 10" style lists for Singapore, so thought it would be helpful to simply document my itineraries.  Obviously, not everyone will share my tastes and want to repeat my activities, but they can still get an idea of how much to pack into a specified amount of time.  Hence, the name, Charlotte's Itineraries.  Informative as itineraries are (I hope so anyways), they're not the most "personal" or "interesting," so I also write posts more like traditional Travel Articles.  Again, see my Blog Index for an explanation.  
What are my goals with travel blogging?
          For myself, I want to document the adventures I had in my twenties, as well as my reactions to them.  I want to carve a tiny space in the World Wide Web that is me, that is my space, that represents who I am.   I also don't get to write a lot as an engineer, but communication skills are really important in any line of work, so it's never a bad idea to practice.  I'd also like to connect with the travel blogosphere, perhaps discovering some travel ideas or opportunities that I wouldn't otherwise.  Of course, I could easily read other travel blogs without having my own, but I'd like to be a part of the community.
           Also, simple and inelegant as it sounds, I hope to help someone.  Maybe not a ton of people if my audience isn't huge, but someone.  This "help" may come in a logistical form, if someone reads my travel itineraries and it helps them plan their trip; or it may be more on an emotional level, if someone feels "inspired" by my stories.  
Where do I want my blog to go?
           As much as I've enjoyed this past month, I define travel blogging as a hobby.  I'm starting a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering soon, with long term goals of being a technical founder or early employee of a biotech startup, and I need to do well in my program.  This is my top priority and travel blogging comes second.  I have no interest in pursuing travel blogging professionally; as much as I admire the bloggers who quit their jobs to travel the world, I'm already in a career path I love. 
           That being said, travel blogging is a hobby I thoroughly enjoy and take "seriously."  While my food and shelter won't depend on it, I do hope my reader base expands beyond my mom and best friends.  I check my stats from time to time and it's always nice to see the occasional traffic spike.  Also, I've toyed with the idea of submitting some articles to various travel websites, because I like to write and don't get that many opportunities to do so as an engineering PhD candidate.  Also, would I ever monetize my blog?  Well I certainly wouldn't mind because PhD students aren't exactly rich, but with a month old hobby, I'm not in a position to think about that right now.  
Lab Notebook
Where I'm used to writing. A lab notebook. Travel blogging will mix it up a bit.
What are my short term goals?
           Well now that I've gotten the "philosophical" stuff written out, it's time to think of an actual, tangible plan.  When I start my PhD program in the fall, I won't have as much free time to blog as I do now.  At that time, I'm going to set a goal of two posts per week.  The only exceptions to this might be if I take an extended trip and want to write it up before I forget, and of course, during school holidays.  
           In addition to that, I'll try and keep commenting on other blogs.  I don't know if I should set a number for this - like 3-4 per week?  There are seven days in a week, so that allows for the days when I'm swamped with classes or research.  Also, if I get the chance, I might try my hand at submitting to some travel websites.  However, I know many talented freelancers put a lot of time and hard work into their craft, so I won't be upset if this doesn't work out.  At this point, guest posting is on my radar, but I haven't put too much thought into it.  
           Although I've only been at it for a month, I think travel blogging is a hobby I want to keep around.  I'm uncertain about what will happen once my PhD program picks up, but I'm going to try and keep it going.  Also, in other news, my article about Chicago as a biotechnology hub just got published on Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable Review!


           Writing is something I enjoy doing, travel or biotech articles.  Here's hoping I can be a part of the travel blogging community.  What are your goals for travel blogging?  Did they change as your blog progressed?

8/11/2013 03:49:53 pm

Welcome to the blogging world! You may get more swept up in it than you expect! It's definitely possible to pursue a career and develop the blog professionally at the same time. Good luck however you decide to progress with it! :)

8/12/2013 02:55:12 pm

Thanks! It's definitely been super fun this past month, and I've already learned a lot from reading other travel blogs. It's definitely something I want to keep doing.

8/27/2013 05:52:19 am

congrats on 1 month! i think blogging is a difficult discipline to keep up. :) my goal is to at least do one blog per week for a year.. we'll see what happens. best of luck in your travel blogging! cheers!

8/27/2013 01:05:25 pm

Hey yeah it is difficult, I really don't know how the professionals do it! However, I'm going to really make an effort to keep up because I just really want to have something to look back on later, so my travels don't become photos in the corner of some hard drive.

9/18/2013 05:36:50 pm

hi Charlotte.. just read your comment on Ari's blog.. and thought I'd let you know, that despite what it might seem, actually, all we are doing is giving people a flying lesson. The difference is that the experience is in a hgih performance trainer that is capable of fatastic aerobatics. Most people learn to fly in pretty low powered, fairly "tame" aircraft. We just know that this is a WHOLE LOT MORE FUN :) so, if you get here.. we'd love to meet you, and hear about your travels.. I love the travel blogs. cheers.. Vincent

9/19/2013 03:18:55 pm

Thanks for stopping by Vincent! Even though it looks terrifying, I would absolutely try it if given the chance :). I guess it's not too different from being on a roller coaster...except there are no tracks so you're just creating your own roller coaster!


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