Celebrating 50k! // The Blog Backstory & My Village
It started with an opportunity to move abroad, then I found a heap of inspiration. Thank you, friends, for following along with my story!
Back in the spring of 2013 I didn’t ‘get’ blogging. I knew people blogged but didn’t follow a single blog regularly with my minimal interaction being via recipes that I found on Pinterest. Fast forward to January 2016 and my life
nearly revolves around Bloglovin’ and WordPress.
Recently I received a few emails from new bloggers looking for advice about getting started. I don’t envy those early days whatsoever. I can’t begin to articulate the amount of hours and HOURS I spent playing with logos in Photoshop, writing, editing, then writing some more. I didn’t know what I was doing in terms of editing my images and the CSS in Blogger might has well have been hieroglyphs. !important;
It started with a Google search.
I was given an opportunity with my job to move to Germany. I’d always wanted to live abroad but what was it really like to be an expat? Would I love it or just miss my friends and family? So I Googled “expat blog Germany” and found my way to Casey’s incredible blog, We Took the Road Less Traveled. I ATE IT UP. I loved her way of telling stories, her take on life in Germany and her seriously beautiful photography. Casey’s blog is one of the reasons that I decided to take the offer. Germany seemed like an incredible place to live through her lens and words.
As Dan and I began to settle into life in Heidelberg I added blogging to my hobbies and with each passing week began to dedicate more and more time to it. I’d plug away at the cafe down the street from our apartment for hours on weekends we weren’t traveling. At the time I called my space ‘Guten Blog Y’all’. I thought it was catchy and sounded cute in the same way everyone thinks they have the most adorable dog in the world (which isn’t possible because I have him…) but maybe as an outsider you just don’t quite see it. It was a mouthful and I’m convinced a lot of people thought I was a cacographic food blogger with an affinity for gluten.
So Guten Blog Y’all and I were buddies. I thought about post ideas constantly and daydreamed about what it must be like to have a successful blog. All the while my logo changed with the seasons:
washi tape episode: fall 2013glittering gold phase: winter 2013
minimal preppy phase: spring 2014
‘that time I found an app to use my own handwriting’ phase: spring 2014
when I realized that less is more: summer 2014
After getting married in June 2014, Dan and I had to spend the summer apart while he finished up his grad program back in the States. I used the time to take everrrrry Skillshare class possible relating to blogging, photography, WordPress, and marketing. I learned a lot and loved being to immediately apply myself creatively.
After about a year of posting 2-3 times per week I felt like I’d gotten the hang of it, somewhat found my ‘voice’ and realized that the one tool that was holding me back most was my platform, Blogger. After an exhaustive search to find a theme, I switched to WordPress and renamed the blog completely in November 2014.
I stayed up until almost 2AM the night of deployment testing the new site then trudged to work my full-time job less than 5 hours later. Dan had been incredibly supportive as he kissed me goodnight, somewhat unsure of exactly what I was doing and why ‘WordPress’ mattered. The next day I anxiously typed up the post sharing my big news as though it were on par with a pregnancy announcement (here).
Of course, the header changed to reflect my new name, The Overseas Escape, and my then-newfound appreciation for brush lettering.In early spring 2015 I again modified the logo. Clean and minimal seemed to be new and exciting so I jumped on board:
Finally, later in the spring I hired a professional graphic designer to create the logo you see now!
In March 2015 Dan and I decided move back to the US from Germany. I was SO nervous as I clicked Publish to share our decision. What if everyone would stop following because it lacked the charm expat life in Deutschland? I had a lot of feelings about the transition and did the only thing I knew how to do to best: talk through it… in my first VLOG. The feedback I received was nothing short of amazing – I’m still reeling as to how that post alone received 142 comments. I got SO much great advice and support that eased my concerns about the transition tremendously. While this blog might be bound by the inter-webs, all that sweet feedback was very real and tangible to me.
As for the 50k? I would never say that I feel like I know exactly what I’m doing over here. I certainly don’t know what it’s like to feel like a successful blogger yet because, believe me, I have A LOT to learn. I stumble everyday. Ultimately though, I’m really happy with the content I’ve shared on this space and new content that I’ve got brewing. I definitely don’t think of numbers because what I’ve found so much more valuable are the comments and community I’ve found here! That’s where I find my fire, creativity, and energy towards blogging!
Today I’m somewhere VERY different in my life than where I was in spring 2013. I’m married, loving Virginia and have a suitcase full of stories from our travels. I’m living at a slower pace and am so happy that you’re here for this chapter of my story!
No, I get it, my blog isn’t my child… BUT I can not begin to pretend that this pursuit would be anything without all the people I’ve leaned on in the past two years.
First and foremost, BIG HUGS to all the GREAT
blogging friends I’ve made through community. Sure, I haven’t met many of y’all in person but I know that if/when we do it’ll be amazing! I frequently joke about blogger retreats in exotic places like Capri.. but seriously, WHEN can we do this? We have so much more in common then just having a blog and liking wine! Y’all are amazing and why I keep going. 😀
Whether you have a blog, dream of being an expat, you’re my father-in-law (hi!!) or maybe you just reallllly want to get to Europe one day, thanks to readers for all support and love! I have to give an extra big hug to the folks that comment and send me emails! It absolutely makes my day to hear your feedback. As Casey described it, as a blogger, getting comments on a post is like blogging currency- it is SO satisfying!
Also super special squeeze to all the guys and gals that have agreed (sometimes reluctantly) to be subjects in the content I’ve shared here. When planning trips with my girlfriends there’s a running joke about their roles on my blog and a. whether they’ll get paid (they won’t) or b. become famous (they might! funny that this post has kind of gone viral…I told the gals that soon they’re going to be stopped on the street because someone recognized their back).
Most importantly, I can’t understate the love, support and patience of my Instagram Husband-other half. Below is a pic from our first trip in Europe together in September 2013 and last in July 2015 before we returned to the US. We moved abroad, got married and grew so much as people during our time in Europe. I really appreciate all his support while I’ve spent hours distracted, venting, jabbering about blog gossip, and planning new ways to spend our money! ;D (Have I mentioned that I really want to go to Cuba this year?) I love him more every single day!
Now I want to turn the table right around to YOU! Tell me, who is in YOUR village? Who supports you in your endeavors in the form of inspiration, advice, moral support, or even just sweet comments? I’d LOVE to hear how you guys find your drive to create and improve!
>> If you typically not a commenter please join the convo today! It’s a big one for me and I’d lovvve to hear from you!