In the midst of an internet crisis - yes, it's a first world problem but I had to survive with barely any internet at home for ten days, and I'm afraid to say it was not all that fun - my blog passed its seventh birthday. Suddenly this lack of enthusiasm for blogging I'd developed over a couple of months made sense: a seven year itch! My blog and I were going through a rocky time in our relationship.
It has been seven whole years (and a bit) since I sat down at my little desk in Germany and typed the first post, not really sure who would listen, apart from my mother, of course. Back then, Not A Ballerina started as a place to share other stories I had published, some in small online magazines, some in print, some on large multi-author blogs which went on to pay my mortgage quite nicely for some years. I didn't even see the blog as exclusively about travel, as you can tell from the title, although certainly 90% or more of my published work was (and still is) a clear reflection of my obsession with travel.
Over the years, as I continued to travel, then as I settled down a little more back in Australia to start a family and spent more time looking through old travel photos than planning new trips, Not A Ballerina became a place to describe recent trips and to reflect on past trips. Nostalgic and sentimental should be two of my middle names (although ironically, I don't even have one middle name!), because some of my favourite posts are those on my memories of travelling around Europe as a nine-year-old or Australia at twelve, both in a campervan with my family.
But now I'm changing tack again, a little. There are more than enough bloggers telling you all the insider tips on destinations the world over, and they're doing it better than me because they're on the road as we speak. I get to travel a couple of times a year, but the combination of having a toddler, a business, and living in the most isolated city in the world means that I definitely can't compete with the modern full-time travel blogger who can go wherever they want, whenever they want. (I've done that, too, but unfortunately, pre-blogging!)
Not A Ballerina is going to become a collection of longer posts, of hopefully more meaningfully-written stuff that makes me feel truly happy to write it, and it's going to be about the wider implications of travelling, a topic that's really dear to me: why travel is important, and what travel has taught me. Hopping on a plane or train and heading to somewhere new and possibly exotic isn't just a frivolous act: it can be life-changing, or at the very least, it can break a little chink into the armour of your view of the world and open your mind to other possibilities. I hope you'll stick around for the ride with the new Not A Ballerina. New look coming very soon to match the new direction. I think you'll like it!