Celebrating 50k! // The Blog Backstory & My Village

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!

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THE BACKSTORY:

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.

Heidelberg, Germany - The Overseas Escape-12

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 2013Header4glittering gold phase: winter 2013

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minimal preppy phase: spring 2014Header9

‘that time I found an app to use my own handwriting’ phase: spring 2014

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when I realized that less is more: summer 2014

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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.

Wedding Series - Margo - The Overseas Escape-12

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.Brushletter_TOE6In early spring 2015 I again modified the logo. Clean and minimal seemed to be new and exciting so I jumped on board:TOE

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.

Eating Italy in Rome - The Overseas Escape-42

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!

MY VILLAGE

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. 😀

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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!

London-Margo_DanLuxembourg City, Luxembourg - The Overseas Escape-18

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!

  • 50,000, holy smokes you go girl!!! I am so glad that I discovered your blog (honestly can’t even remember how now!) and that we’ve been able to strike up a sort of blog friendship through it. It is so funny how the internet can bring you friends which is sort of weird but it really is true and it’s not that weird in the end. I really am hoping we can make one of those retreats to Capri happen. I’ve been there in the spring before, so let’s plan for summer? 😉

    Congrats again girly, you deserve all the success you get, I LOVE coming here as a little escape from the day-to-day!

    xo Mary-Katherine | http://www.goldhattedlover.com

    • thank you so much, sweetie! I’m sooo happy that we ‘found’ each other too! I’m jotting down your request for capri in the summer and will be sure to reach out once I can convince an airline to give us free tickets over! ;D hugs, gal! thanks so much for all the support/comments/IG-love!!

  • Congratulations on reaching 50k! You’re definitely going places! 🙂 I’m really happy to have been part of your village in Germany and I’m excited to see where your blog will continue to take you in the future! And I’m definitely seconding the idea of a blogger retreat in Capri – that sounds like the best thing ever and I would sign up immediately! 😉

    • oh man, girl you are a fundamental member of my village, I tell ya! I seriously owe you a few drinks once I get back to HD for all the HOURS you spent listening to be stress over my move back to the US/the blog/whatever else. Thanks for always being such a sweet friend! I’m so glad the internet brought us together!! ;D hugs!!

      • I’ll hold you to it! 😉 And I most certainly hope that you will make your way to HD for a visit soon again! Do you already have any ideas when your travels might lead you to Europe again?

        • no plans thus far other than that I REALLY want to get back there soon! 🙂 definitely crossing my fingers for sometime this summer! I’ll be in touch (of course) once I figure it out! hugs

  • Great post, and fun to meet you in Bangkok. Any further TBEXes or travel conferences planned?

    • Hey Eric! Likewise – thanks for encouraging me to go! Right now the only thing I have on my plate is the travel show in DC towards the end of February. What about you? I remember you saying that the one in Berlin is a must, will you make it this year?

  • Congrats!!! It’s been so fun getting to you know you through this blogging world 🙂

    • likewise, dear! I feel like I’ve known you for SO long at this point too! I’m trying to remember when I first started reading your blog and I feel like it must have been late fall 2013? it was definitely the very beginning!!

      • Wow, time flies!!!

  • Congrats lady, you so deserve this, you are definitely that blogger I look up to and admire!

    • right back at YOU, dear! you’ve developed such an amazing community on your blog and I’m so happy to be apart of it! keep up the great work!! hugs!

  • This is amazing! Congratulations!

    • thanks so much dear!! I appreciate all your comments along the way! You’ve always been SO supportive! 🙂

  • Kari Guastella

    Congratulations! I love getting to hear about how the blog came about. I’m so glad I was able to find it and join in your journey. My village is definitely my husband who is the one who really encouraged me to start the blog in the first place. It means so much to me that he felt that I had something worth sharing!
    Kari
    http://www.sweetteasweetie.com

    • What a sweetheart! It definitely sounds like you’ve got a great man in your life!

      Thanks so much for ALL your support and comments along the way! I really appreciate it, dear! 🙂 hugs!

  • Congrats, that’s a huge accomplishment! I have been following your blog for almost a year now and I always love to read what you have to say, your tips on travel and life in general. You have the most beautiful photos which leave me inspired to see more of the world. For me, blogging has definitely improved my writing skills and boosted my confidence. It’s nice to have a voice that people want to hear and my mom and sister have been my biggest supporters. I guess you can say they are my village.

    http://www.mintnotion.com

    • Thanks so much, dear! You’ve ALWAYS been so sweet with all your comments and support over the year so I really appreciate that. I’m really happy to hear that your mom and sis are in your village – family support is critical, in my opinion, so it sounds like you’ve got a great situation! Keep up the great work!! 😀

  • Congrats on the 50k! Wow. I’ve been following your adventures for some time, and remembered seeing lots of those header changes! I have a blog, and then my husband and I also have a blog that we try to dedicate solely to Peru and travels, tips, reviews & food! (http://imageinperu.com) He’s my village now, but I also find some bloggers very encouraging in pushing other bloggers to share their lives and adventures. One of my favorite bloggers who frequently comments is Anna from Slightly Astray… her blog is one of my favorites! 🙂 Sometimes it’s hard for me to come up with what to write about, and even though some posts are super simple and get hardly any views, they’re ME and I enjoy writing, and that’s what matters. 🙂 Sorry for the super long comment!

    • Mere! You totally hit the nail on the head! I think what matters MOST when it comes to blogging is ensuring that you are enjoying creating the content that you share. As soon as that piece of the puzzle goes missing then the whole thing is no longer a hobby but a time-waster. Sounds like you’ve got it all figured out! Also, thanks SO much for all your comments and support over the year, it definitely means a lot to me. I also totally agree about Anna, she’s got an amazing blog that’s a lot fun to follow along with! Best wishes to you and your hubby on your amazing adventure in Peru. You’ve got a great story that will surely impact your life far beyond blogging!

  • Loved reading this! I moved my blog from Blogger to WordPress, changed the name and totally re-branded a few months ago. Your write-up on your re-brand was one of the resources I used so thanks for that! As for my village, I am 6’2 and mostly write about clothing for tall women. In the past 5 years of blogging, I have become acquainted with SO many fabulous tall ladies and we love to dish about where we’re finding our clothes, the (often amusing) struggles of being tall, the random comments we hear from strangers about our height etc. I was never able to meet up with any other bloggers when I lived in the States but have already met up with 3 “blogger friends” since moving to Europe! The blogging community is truly amazing! And a big congrats on your 50k!

    • Hi dear! I love the angle of your blog, it’s personal yet totally relatable to all the tall gals out there. Talk about a perfect niche! 😀 I’m glad my rebranding process post was helpful for you too. I don’t envy the process of switching over and changing domain names and all that jazz so I’m glad you got through it successfully! 😀 Thanks for following along and enjoy your time abroad! I’m sure you’ll find yourself meeting lots more bloggers throughout your journeys! Hugs

  • Oh my word – 50K – that is incredible (and not surprising). Thanks again for your advice on the blog – much appreciated. My village is small but mighty. It consists of family and a few friends – just when I start wondering why I blog and I consider taking a step back, I will get a message from a friend demanding more stories from my travels – that always makes my day. Still working on growing my blog community – taking small steps daily, but I love the process. Congrats again on 50k.

    • Thanks so much, sweetie! I’m glad I could point you in a few directions that might help achieve what you are hoping to accomplish. Blogging is definitely a labor of love so receiving emails like the one you did from your friend is the perfect blog currency for keeping up your craft. 🙂 I’m so happy to hear about your small and mighty village, thank you so much for sharing! hugs!

  • Ah! I forget that I found your blog through Jordan, until I saw the photo with her! Isn’t it funny how we find so many common friends in blog-land? Congrats on all of your blog’s success!

    • Oh man, I totally agree! It’s so odd how much overlap and mutual blog friends there are in this blogworld. Whenever I talk to Jordan it’s like half our conversations are chatting about the lives of our blog buddies – so funny! Sometimes I tell Dan things like “oh, I know this girl that just got pregnant in Portland” and he’s totally bewildered. ha!

      Thanks for the support and all of your comments along the way! It means so much! 😀

  • This blog is actually the only one I comment on, it has such a friendly
    vibe 🙂 I myself am now an expat, moved from the Czech Republic to Great
    Britain (currently trying to decide which country offers more awful weather
    haha). Started my blog a couple times, last year I finally got it the way I
    always wanted it. I don’t have many followers so far but I just love my
    personal space on the internet. My village is full of my friends who always
    tell me to go forward and publish the next post and my boyfriend who keeps
    planning where I’ll take him as a successful blogger 😀

    Glad you
    wrote this post, made me realize a couple things 🙂

    • Ha, throw northern Germany into the mix and I think you’ll have the trifecta of European overcast/gloom weather! Poor gal! ;D I’m happy to hear that you’ve found your way with you blog but am extra happy to hear that more than anything you simply enjoy your online space, I think fundamentally that’s what it’s all about. Not that I really know what I’m doing, but more than anything I think as a blogger it should be fun for you to go back and read old posts and hang out on your own site… like a hobby that keeps on giving. ha! Also – yay for your sweet friends and plotting boyfriend! Love that! 😀

  • I’m so happy to see how your blog has grown and all the exciting adventures you two have been on! I always thought Guten Blog Y’all was an adorable name, but the Overseas Escape was an equally cute name change. When I debated changing my own blog’s name I remember wailing to my husband, “How do people think of these awesome names??” It felt like naming a kid!

    You’ve put so much hard work into the blog and it shows. I’ve definitely used your travel guides and tips for my own trips. Keep on keepin on, girl! 🙂

    • Shannon! Thanks so much for the kind words and kudos, dear! I’m glad you know the horrific pain of changing a blog name too! (No, that sounds wrong – I don’t wish that on anyone!) 😀 I remember your move back from Germany just as we were getting settled in Heidelberg. It honestly taught me a lot about embracing our time there and appreciating the quirks of Deutschland. So thank you for that! Hugs! 🙂

  • Wow! I can’t say I’m surprised you’ve reached 50K with such a fantastic blog! I’ve been following your blog since Spring 2014, when I was studying abroad in Paris and trying to start my own blog. I remember reading the name Guten Blog Y’all and laughing to myself, thinking what a clever name it was! And you transitioned your blog over to The Overseas Escape (also a wonderful name) so gracefully! I’ve been off and on with my blog since then but I’ve always enjoyed keeping up with yours!
    Your amazing pictures and energetic writing make me feel as if you’re telling me the story of your trips over coffee! 🙂 Thank you for sharing your exciting life moments with us, the heart and hard work you put into your blog is clear to readers and why it makes it such a joy to read! I’m looking forward to reading more about how you bring your expat lifestyle back to the states! 🙂

  • Congrats on 50k! That’s amazing, and a real testament to all the hard work and love you pour into your posts and into maintaining the site in general. You’re so right, it really does take a village! My brother is the one who reads every single one of my posts and encourages me to keep writing even when I think no one is reading — without him, who knows where my blog would be now. I’m so glad Laura introduced me to your blog last year, and I can’t wait to read of your continuing adventures. I’m planning on repatriating later this year, so I might be turning to you for some advice and a friendly shoulder 🙂 Keep up the great work! xx

  • Congrats! It must have been a hell of a ride from the early start of your blog to where you’re today!:) very inspiring!

    • Ha, thanks Tanja! You’re so right and I’m sure Dan would agree as well. If this post says anything at all – it’s been just one huge learning curve for me. I can’t say it’s always been fun but I’m really happy to know what I know now, if that makes any sense whatsoever. Ha! Thanks for all your support and comments along the way! It means a lot! 😀

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  • Megan Vlach

    Oh Margo, this blog was fascinating to me! As an American expat in Luxembourg (with my husband and four young kids), I adore your blog, which I found on Bloglovin’ (we’ll be using your Lisbon guide in two weeks). I’ve written a family blog for 9 years (megrob.blogspot.com), capturing the joy, chaos and memories of our day to day……my village is small. But I’m dreaming about the next generation of what my blog could be as my babies get bigger… Crazy question: Do you offer consultations? I would love to learn from your hard-earned wisdom. 50k congrats on your 50k…what an accomplishment!

    • Hi Megan! You are so sweet, thanks for the kind words about my blog and I’m glad you’ve found it fascinating! I definitely think your story is fascinating too- an expat family of 6 in storybook Luxembourg, how great is that?!

      I think it’s wonderful you’ve been blogging for such a long period of time, you’ve created a beautiful photo album and documented stories that I’m sure are wonderful to look back on now. For me going back three years to some of my first posts is already such a treat, so I can’t imagine what it’s like for you as you raise your children. 🙂

      At this time I don’t do any consultations but feel free to shot me an email if you get stuck on something because I’m sure I’ve been there too! One big question for you to think about – in terms of the future of your blog, what exactly are you looking for from it? A source of income, more readers, or something else? Ultimately I think what’s most important is to ensure you are creating content that YOU love to produce, from what I’ve found as soon as you derail from that then it becomes more of a looming headache instead of a hobby to pour your creative energy into. 🙂

      • Megan Vlach

        Margo! I am so flattered you took the time write such a thoughtful reply to me…I’ve already spent quite a bit of time considering your advice. I’m a total stranger, and yet, you feel like a friend 🙂 Thank you, truly. Best of luck you in all your endeavors. I’m very happy for your success….it’s very motivational. (I would love to meet you if you ever find yourself in teeny tiny Lux!).

        • Of course, dear! I’m honestly just happy to help any anyway I can. As I started taking blogging more seriously I also had so many questions, not saying that I have all the answers (not even remotely), but I’m really happy to share the direction that helped me find the most fulfillment in this little endeavor. Thanks for YOUR support too! Best of luck with everything! 😀

  • Julie Marcus

    So I literally just found your blog through Bloglovin’. I’m right now in the same boat that you wrote about. Did 5 years with blogger and realized early last year that it was holding me back. I’m still not nearly where I want to be (50k – you are amazing!!), but wordpress definitely makes a difference. Hoping 2016 is the year of reinventing and finding a way to make my blog more appealing to a wider audience as you’ve done. I hope 2016 is great for you as well – thanks for the great read – it was incredibly inspiring!!! http://www.theexpatchronicles.com

    • Hi, Julie! Welcome! 😀 Oh man, I don’t envy your recent Blogger to WP migration, I found it to be such a technical doozy (I think I still have nightmares about domain forwarding) so I’m glad it’s over for you as well. WordPress just has SO much more to offer as a website builder so I’m happy to finally be on this side of the fence! Best wishes with your blog’s success, as you saw in the post my growth has been nothing but one BIG learning curve so if you ever feel frustrated I swear I’ve been there too. Promise!! Nothing but good ole trial and error, dear! 😀

  • Yes! 50k. Next stop, 1 million. 🙂 Keep up the great writing and photos. I loved seeing the evolution of your logo! I’m glad “Margoing Places” didn’t win the blog name vote, because your current logo is amazing.

    • ha! Well you never know, Margoing Places could still happen! ;D

      Hope all is well for you dear! I’m so happy that the blogging world brought us together and sincerely appreciate all the professional advice you’ve given relating to marketing. I still follow all the publications you suggested and it’s been so insightful in terms of my career! Hugs from VA!

  • Congratulations! As a beginner blogger it’s so nice to hear about other people’s journeys and what a huge learning curve there really is {so glad I’m not the only one}! My biggest supporter is most definitely my older sister. She runs a fashion/lifestyle/travel blog and began a few years before me so we are always bouncing ideas off of each other and telling each other what we have learned!

    Again, congratulations on reaching 50k!

    Best,
    Sarah

    • That is so great that not only is your big sis your biggest supporter but also that it’s a hobby you guys share and can chat about. That’s some good quality sisterhood right there! 😀 As you noted, to say the least, my journey has been basically one hugggge learning curve and I still have such a long way to go (like how I should start tweeting, periscoping, and everything else!) so feel free to shoot me an email if you ever get down about your progress because I can bet I’ve been there too! Thanks so much for the kudos!! 😀

  • Brandy

    Congratulations! I rarely comment but wanted to congratulate you and let you know that I so enjoy your pictures – they’re beautiful, and really set your blog apart from many others.

    Also, as someone who lives in the DC area, I’m really looking forward to seeing some coverage of Charlottesville on here in the near future! It’s one of those weekend trips I keep saying I’m going to take, but never do. I’m going to make it a priority to visit in 2016, though!

    • Hi Brandy! Thank you so much for the kind words about my photography. It’s definitely something I’ve really focused a lot on over the past few years and what I’d like to think is the foundation for my blog (writing is always far more difficult for me). So, it means a lot that to hear that that’s why you like it! 🙂

      I definitely look forward to sharing shots from Charlottesville. I have to admit for being a bit of hermit lately and limiting my exploration to the downtown mall but Dan and I did just join a vineyard (it’s dog-friendly!) and I can’t wait to get out into the countryside was it starts getting warmer. This town is pretty amazing and, just like you, I definitely never took advantage of it as a DC-er. I’ll do my best to make a case for a weekend getaway for you though! 😀

  • Congratulations!!!! What an amazing milestone!
    I love hearing other people’s journeys in the blogosphere, and hope to one day have as large a community as you do!
    My whole family is my village! Sometimes I feel like I have friends who don’t really “get” the whole blogging thing, but my family has always supported me no matter what endeavor I undertake. My Mom especially shares every post I write. It’s kind of embarrassing, actually! hahaha! But I wouldn’t ask for anything different, I am very lucky!

    • I am totally right there with you, Eva! My friends sometimes don’t get it either.. other than jokingly referencing things as being ‘blog-ably’. I can’t say my Mom quite understands blogging either but mainly for technical reasons (she gets the posts automatically emailed to her so she never understands that it’s an actual website… ha!). I’m so happy you have your village and they raise you up the way you deserve! Thank you for sharing your story and kudos to your chief of marketing Momma! 😀

  • This is a beautiful (and inspiring!) post, Margo! Congrats on your big milestone — that’s huge! My village is literally a little village — when I’m not travelling I live in the tiny but progressive little village of Saxapahaw, North Carolina, population 2,000. I find just as much inspiration when I return here every year as I do when I’m abroad. In a life of travel and blogging, gotta share the love for any and all types of villages 🙂 cheers to yours, too!

    • So your village is a literal village – how great is that?! I haven’t been to Saxapahaw but I’m originally from Roanoke so I’m definitely aware of the small town culture from my visits to some similarly petite communities in SW VA. Honestly, I can’t think of a more warm and supportive place to grow up! While Roanoke is a bit larger, I credit a lot of my own creativity and corkiness to all the great teachers, coaches and community members that told me to embrace it. I’m sure you’ve heard similar feedback on your pursuits with your blog! Thanks so much for sharing and best wishes on your journey around Oz! 😀

  • I remember back when you announced 2k followers – you’ve grown so much! and it’s well deserved. somehow you always find a balance between personal stories, stunning photos, and useful information. congrats, and where do i sign up for this Capri retreat? 😉

    • ha, thanks so much girl! your complimentary flight and lodging vouchers for the capri trip are on their way… just as soon as I can find someone to give them to us! ;D hugs, dear!

  • Arielle Adams

    I have just started focusing more on my blog Clean Mean Machine and I am inspired by your post about all the changes you had to make and how you decided on things. I am in the middle of a career change and thankful for your honesty on the process of life changes. I moved away from family and friends a year ago to live in Florida with my husband. It has been a whirlwind but we are loving it. He is my strongest support, along with my immediate family from afar and two couples here in Florida who are great friends to us and encourage us to follow our dreams. Our villages no matter how large or small are so vital in leading happy lives.

    • You have such a great story – and it’s one that I can totally relate with! When Dan and I moved abroad it really was just him and I for the longest time, having his support of the blog was critical and it sounds like your hubby is the exact same. Lucky us, right? Best wishes with your blog’s success! And remember that so long as you enjoy creating the content that’s what matters most. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  • I love this post so much and congrats on 50,000! You deserve every bit of your success! Can’t wait to read your post when you reach 100,000! 🙂 Hope you’re staying warm in VA!

    • haaaa 100k? eeck, not sure if that’ll happen but thank YOU so much for all the support along the way! you’ve been such a great little pen pal! ;D hugs

  • Alex

    thanks for making my backside famous. Off to the gym to perk my butt up since it’s all over Pinterest.

  • Christina Hall

    Congrats on the 50k! I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now and LOVE it. Really enjoyed reading about your backstory today.

  • What a sweet post, Margo! I thoroughly enjoyed reading the journey of your blog and how much you’ve grown since the beginning… in so many different ways! All of your hard work shows and has paid off. I’m sure every reader / lurker / commenter would agree with me on that 🙂 Putting yourself out there on a blog can be so difficult. Some people are naturals at it and others are a bit more shy and guarded. So I definitely condone you for being able to do that so well, over and over again! I’m looking forward to the day we can finally meet – either in VA or CA!

    It’s a great reflection question to ask who is in your village. I realized I don’t think about it enough! It’s true that all of the comments you receive truly make you feel so “rich”. Whenever *anyone* tells me that they like one of my photos, it makes me feel so grateful that they cared enough to leave a comment. That is definitely motivation to continue to create and improve! And of course the uncanny support of family, friends, boyfriend, coworkers… the people and things that make you feel better on low days. There’s so much to be grateful for 🙂

    • Marlena, you always have the sweetest things to say- they are exactly the reason why I’ve find so much fulfillment blogging! Thank you for all the kind words, girlfriend.

      You’re the best! I couldn’t agree with you more about the impact that kind words on something you’ve created (photography, writing, etc.) makes. With all your breathtaking images I’m sure you hear kudos daily! Also, hats off to both our villages! It’s wonderful to recognize the people that have helped us realize our own dreams. I’d say we’re both very lucky! 🙂

  • Stunning photos and beautiful post. I’ll be checking out Casey’s blog!

    http://www.abigailalicex.com

  • love you Mo Mo and so glad that we connected through this crazy blogging world! Now let’s go to Cuba together?

  • HandLuggageOnly

    This is brilliant Margo! Congrats! (And I remember the Guten Blog Y’all days only too well!) 🙂

    Also, this post reminds me of a conversation we had not so long ago… 😉 (Let me be the first to say – TOLD YOU SO!) Hehehe! 🙂

    • Ha! You are TOTALLY right! One HLO Consult and then I was one my way! I feel like I owe you guys a few drinks or something! ;D

  • I live in Naples and would like to sign up for your blogging retreat in Capri ASAP ; ) Loved seeing the progression of your blog design!

    • Ah! How great you’re in Naples! I’ve been there a lot for work and really do love the grit and honesty of the city. It’s a real dose of Italy!

      I’ll see you in Capri! ;D

  • Congrats Margo! A blogging retreat sounds like a fabulous idea 🙂

  • I would totally be keen for a blogging retreat 🙂 Congratulations – I have loved following the evolution of your blog, your beautiful photography and your stories!

  • Congrats on the 50K!!! I think I began reading back in the second logo? Haha! How time flies! I have LOVED following your journey through the years <3

  • Congrats on 50K Margo! What a huge achievement. I really loved hearing the backstory of your blog and how it came to be the SUCESSFUL blog it is today! 🙂 I’ve been blogging for 2 years now and I honestly still don’t know what I’m doing. If only I had the dedication you do! But I’m lucky to have a small group of readers (who I definitely feel are more like friends!) and of course, my mom, who is my biggest supporter and embarrassingly shares every post!