“Do you like that book?” asked a kind-faced brunette about my age standing next to me in the coffee lobby – I mean – at my local Midtown Starbucks counter. I looked up at her quickly from the paragraph I was reading, surprised someone was talking to me at all. Typically there is an unspoken rule at any New York City Starbucks that you don’t speak to each other before your coffee is in your hand.
She smiled and motioned down at the book I was holding – Lonely Planet Travel Writing by Don George. My surprise slowly started to ease away and was replaced by what I would call cautious urban cordiality. I replied that I had just started the book, but it seemed good so far. She was intrigued.
“Do you do a lot of travel writing?” she went on hopefully.
“No,” I sighed. “Not yet. But I’ve been reading a lot about it lately because I want to start a travel blog.”
“How cool! I’ve been thinking about doing some travel writing myself. I’ll be traveling around South America soon,” she continued. “Do you travel a lot?” Her enthusiasm was encouraging. I’ve always had an appreciation for people who felt perfectly comfortable initiating conversations with strangers. I’ve never possessed that trait myself.
“Not a LOT, since I have a day job,” I answered. “But I just got back from Florida on Sunday night and I was thinking about using that trip as my first post.”
“That’s so cool!” she affirmed. Then her coconut latte arrived at the counter. “Well, good luck and I look forward to checking out that book as well!” I wished her all the best on her South America trip as she left the coffeehouse. Soon I walked into work feeling invigorated.
It’s funny how you can be inspired by a complete stranger when you least expect it. Through this fellow caffeinator’s encouragement I realized that it was time to take a leap.
The truth is that I’ve been reading a lot lately about travel writing, as well as brainstorming concepts and content ideas to re-launch this blog. However, I think I’ve been struggling with a lack of confidence in what I can offer. I don’t travel as often as I would like, and not nearly as often as most travel bloggers. I haven’t taken a writing class since high school. It’s easier not to put yourself out there for the world to read, and to always be “thinking about starting a blog.”
This morning’s chance encounter was the jolt I needed to propel me forward. When the woman asked me if I did a lot of travel writing, I felt sad and ashamed saying no. What was all of my research for if I couldn’t say yes?! Everyone who knows me well knows I’m passionate about starting a travel blog. It’s something that I’ve dreamed about, read about, and studied thoroughly. So what is stopping me?
The fact is, starting a travel blog is a lot like travel itself. There are the people who dream about it, and there are the people who just go for it and hope for the best!
So here we go – wheels up!!!