Happy #InternationalWomensDay to all the little girls who have followed their dreams, taken their chances and made their own lives for themselves without relying on anyone else. I was that little girl once upon a time and now, after all these years, my dreams are finally coming true because I'm finally believing them and I'm finally making them happen 🌟✨ #IWD2017 #girlpower #adreamisawishyourheartmakes
This is literally what I have been saying to myself over and over in my head all day. I can’t believe it’s been three years since Journeys with Jessica was born. I can’t believe it’s still published. I can’t believe it’s grown from what it was to what it is now. I also can’t believe how I, as a person, have grown from what I was, to what I am now. If you’ve been with me from the beginning, you’ll know that I went through the toughest time of my life three years ago. On one day back in January 2014 my life as I knew it totally changed forever. I won’t go into all the details cos you guys have probably heard it all before and are starting to get bored (I know I am), but having my heart broken completely turned my world upside down. For three months I was a complete wreck; I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep, I barely had enough energy to get up in the morning. I had no motivation, I had no interest in anything and I just didn’t know how to pick myself up and feel better. My health worsened, my medical condition was dragging me down, and I really couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, I hit rock bottom and didn’t know where to go or what to do. There was nothing my friends, or my family, could do to make me see that I needed to start again, that I needed to move on and that I needed to find a purpose, until I started my blog.
Blogging gave me a purpose, it gave me a reason to get excited, and it made me realise I could have a life again. When I booked a spontaneous trip to Barcelona with my two best friends I started to write this blog. At first I wrote about my upcoming trip, then I wrote about the trip when I got back, then I started writing about trips I had been on in the past. Then I booked a trip to Majorca. Then Reykjavik. Then Prague. Then Budapest… The list goes on and on, and it’s there that my love for travel, and blogging, was truly born.
Back then I could never have imagined that my blog would gain a readership, or a social following of over 5000 users, or attract messages from anyone other than my friends and family. Back then I could never have imagined that my blog would one day be a source of income for me, or that I’d get invited on press trips or attend special events. Back then it was just a hobby, something for me to do when I was bored, or when I wanted to let my creative energy pour out, but now it’s my whole life.
Fast forward three years and my blog is the best it’s ever been and I, in turn, am the happiest I have ever been. My blog has been nominated for an award, it’s received press coverage, it’s racked up thousands upon thousands of views, and it’s made me actual real life friends with fellow bloggers from all across the world. Without my blog I don’t think I’d have had the motivation, or the encouragement, to pick myself up and get on with my life. I don’t think I’d have quit my job as an estate agent to travel the world, and I definitely would never have launched my own freelancing business. I would never have gone to conferences, or met with travel brands, or made friends with so many like minded people. I’m connected with people on Facebook and Twitter who I’ve never met before, but we speak almost every day and I feel as though we have been life long friends. Without my blog, I wouldn’t have had any of this.
Over the past three years my blog has genuinely brought me so much happiness, and never once have I experienced any negativity from it, or had anything bring me down. Yes it’s hard work, yes it’s time consuming, yes it’s always going to be judged and it can always be improved, but I can honestly say that every single second, minute and hour that I have put into my blog over these past few years has been totally and utterly worth it. I can’t explain the sheer excitement I feel when I receive a new comment on one of my posts, or when I receive a Facebook message from someone telling me they booked the same trip as me because they read my blog post and couldn’t wait to go. Those feelings won’t ever go away, and they bring me so much joy.
I guess I just want to say thank you to all the people who have helped to make this blog a success, because it definitely isn’t just down to little old me! Thank you to my best friends for making me book that trip to Barcelona in the first place. Thank you to my fellow travel blogger friends who continue to motivate me and inspire me everyday. Thank you to my readers who continue to enjoy my posts, and who like following my adventures on my social channels. Thank you to all my voters who helped to get me to the top 10 in the UK Blog Awards 2016 – my biggest and best achievement to date. And finally, thank you to my family for continuing to support me in all that I do, and for not constantly moaning at me to get a ‘proper’ job. Thank you for letting me do what I love.
This is how I feel right now. Today I calculated that I've earnt *almost* as much each month as I was earning in my old 9-5 job! I knew I could do it!!! I've started with nothing and built up my little business all by myself. At times I felt like giving up, like I wasn't good enough, and like I had no right to make a career for myself, but today I've felt so inspired and so pleased that my hard work seems to be paying off. Any doubts that may have been in my mind have now been dismissed and I am SO excited to continue my journey in my new career and see where this takes me! Here's to future success and many more adventures 📝💻✈️🌍 #MondayMotivation #freelancer #bloglife #virtualassistant
It’s been an amazing three years, and what a ride it’s been. Since Journeys with Jessica was launched I have travelled to 9 new countries, visited over 5o new cities and explored 23 US States. Over the next 12 months I will be roaming around Europe and ticking off country after country and city after city as I aim to visit 25 countries before I turn 25 next January. After that, I plan to spend a few months travelling around Australia before returning home next Spring and then deciding what else I want to do with this little life of mine. I still can’t believe it’s been three years, but they have been bloody amazing. If you’re reading this and you’re thinking of starting your own blog my advice is simple – JUST DO IT! Find your niche, throw yourself into it, enjoy every second and you might just change your life. I know mine did, and I wouldn’t swap it for the world.
Love Jess x