Hello, Again! Here’s What’s Going On!

On the morning of my 25th birthday (which was October 28th), I determined that it would be in my best interest to take a break from social media. Over the past couple of years, as social media has become more and more entwined in my daily life, the only time I have taken a break was when I was forced to, due to the lack of Internet available in Cuba. At the end of the trip, I was on such a high and felt amazing about all we had seen and all we had done, until I landed at the San Salvador airport, reconnected to Instagram, and saw what the rest of the world had been up to and (more significantly) how beautifully they had been able to capture it. I instantly felt deflated.

Yet, it took me another 10 months to finally delete the app from my phone. Along with Snapchat and Twitter (both of which I still have not re-downloaded), Instagram was removed from my life for two weeks. I didn’t photograph my birthday, style any of my food, or instruct my family/friends/strangers to document my outfits. I didn’t peak at these sites when working on my computer, I lay in bed at night with a book instead of my cell phone, and I did everything in my power to not allow my brain to wander to thinking about creating content. {I did, however, vlog my birthday and my birthday clothing haul; but, even while I was filming, I wasn’t sure if they would ever get posted.}

It was never my intention to give up content creation and sharing for forever; but, I needed time and space to live, to look after myself post-breakup, and to remember why I started sharing my life online in the first place. When you are constantly bombarded with what everyone else is creating, it can distract and demotivate you from what you truly want to produce.

I needed some silence to reconfigure.

Two weeks after my birthday I headed down to Miami for five days. It was an impromptu trip propelled by incredibly cheap flights, a need for sun, and the allure of a place I had never visited. Again, I wasn’t sure if or how I was going to document the time; but, I trusted that without feeling the pressure of having to do something (and therefore just going through the motions), I would know in my gut what I honestly desired. That of course came in the form of two vlogs (watch them here and here) in the style that comes the most naturally to me and makes me the happiest.

A little style, a sprinkling of personal chats, and a big chunk of travel.

Having the ability and the platform to both show people the world and prove that solo female travel is a viable and exquisite way to live your life is what I desire more than anything. For this reason, I strive to create vlogs that showcase destinations and teach viewers something they didn’t know before, while also including the day-to-day realities, ups and downs, of this type of lifestyle. It is a concept that I know I would want to watch, but still have yet to find in the otherwise overflowing world of Youtube.

Additionally, vlogs more than anything else allow me to remain as connected as possible with my friends and family around the world, as they can relate to what I am seeing and experiencing, making the big chunks of time we spend apart no longer feel so considerable.

So, these vlogs are going to continue: two a week, every Tuesday and Thursday.

Other forms of videos (such as hauls, styling videos and lookbooks, foodie guides, monthly favourites, and tags & chats) are going to continue to be filmed and posted on a Sunday. This gives me more time to create quality content and plan my video schedule in advance when I have a surge of up-coming travel.

As always, I would love to hear what topics or types of videos you would like to see!

But then there is my blog, a little part of the Internet I have confided in and nurtured (on and off) for a decade. It makes sense that out of all the platforms, the blog is the one I toss-and-turn about and pull-in and reject the most often. I have never been consistent with it, I obsess and care too much about it, to the point that months can go by and I can’t even bring myself to log-in.

Yet, I always come back. You see, the difference between theblondera.com and everywhere else is that this space will always (as long as I continue to pay the hosting fees and the domain name) be mine. Instagram can change its algorithm, Youtube can delete my videos for copyright music violations, but no-one can ever kick me out of this space. It can evolve exactly how I want it to and may be filled with whatever words spill out from my lips on a particular day.

In an effort to devise a schedule I can more realistically maintain, blog posts will come three times a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Reducing the weekly frequency will hopefully mean that each post can be of higher quality and feature more in-depth writing and information than ever before. For years I have debated and fluttered between having a pure fashion or travel blog and, considering I still can’t make my mind up, expect to see some combination of outfit posts, travel guides, and life writings each week.

As I am going to daily vlog, I don’t intend to write daily posts from my travels (I do still want to finish them for Cuba), but I will still write travel journals when something sparks my writing buds. More than anything I plan to write more practical travel pieces (such as this one about taking a Soviet-era train from Bucharest to Chisinau) to assist you in your own wanderings. You can experience it with me in my vlogs and then the information you need to bookmark for yourself will be on the blog (at least that is how I envision it!).

To recap (more for myself than for you):

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday = blog posts
  • Tuesday, Thursday = vlogs
  • Sunday = videos

After that first trip to Miami, I went back to Cleveland for two weeks to spend time with my family and to celebrate Thanksgiving. Then I jetted back to Florida for nine days to spend some time with a new male friend. All of this is captured and explained in the various vlogs; but, seeing as this is a catch-up post, I thought I may as well mention it! At this very moment, I am typing while lying on my friend Ava’s bed in NYC, after spending a long weekend here. The vlog will be up tomorrow, but until then there are already lots of pictures over on my Instagram.

Phew! It feels good to get that all out. While it may not have been the most riveting read for you, it felt wrong to not mention the extended break and do some kind of “hello! this is what is going on!” type post, before continuing on.

I hope you are having a wonderful Monday! And I will talk to you soon! Thanks as always for reading and watching!

Jen

xoxo

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