A question I get asked a lot is why do I blog? What inspires me to post about cruising and travelling? In honesty, it’s a long story.
When I was growing up I was fortunate that my dad did a lot of travelling with work. This meant we often visited a lot of interesting and exotic places. As part of this, my parents would often go on cruises. They took me on my first cruise in 1993 and it totally changed my world. I’ve been hooked ever since. If you ask anyone I went to school with, any of my friends or even people I work with they all know how much I live for travel and seeing the world by sea.
Like many of you, I find the sea very calming. There’s nothing quite like sitting on deck, or on a balcony and watching the world go by. For me, it is a safe haven from all the stress of everyday life. This is something I shared with my parents; it was always our happy place as a family. In 2001, my mum unfortunately passed away a short time after being diagnosed with cancer. So, in many ways every time I return to this happy place it reminds me of her and all the warmth she brought into the world.
Being part of a community
It’s not surprising that I’ve been active on social media talking about cruising and travel for a number of years. Like many others, through Twitter and Instagram, I’ve been posting, retweeting and following everything to do with cruise ships and travel. I used to and continue to follow and be inspired by the journeys of people like John Honeywell, Dave Monk, Liz Jarvis and Louise Robinson – to name but a few!
I’d also read the amazing and inspiring blogs by people like my now good friend Becky, aka English Mum. I loved reading what was posted and would sit in awe of the narratives that were written. In fact I still do. And this goes just as much for the other bloggers and vloggers I know and work with on almost a daily basis now. I’d like to think we inspire and support each other.
Up until 2014 I’d never given a thought to start my own blog. I was working full-time and also caring for my dad who had Alzheimer’s. Devastatingly in December 2014 he passed away. At that time, I just didn’t have the energy to be able to give back to the community, although it was something I desperately wanted to do.
After Dad died, I did start to use social media more and more as an outlet and I guess that became a micro-blog in my own way. I’d report and catalogue my trips and holidays on cruise ships to the world and really started to enjoy weaving my own stories and sharing my views of cruising and travelling.
Creating my own space
A few months later in 2015 life and loss hit me hard and I was forced to take time off work to take care of myself – you could say I’d hit rock bottom. Suddenly this seemed the right time to spend some time talking about something I loved. So, one day I sat down at my computer one day and just started to write. I pulled together a website and started to put content up. Bit by bit I began engaging in a more meaningful way with the travel world. I wanted to share all my experiences and pass on any knowledge that people might help others get as much out of cruising as I did. This quickly became a creative and therapeutic way for me to support my mental health and feel good about life.
Fast forward a number of years and the blog has taken on a life of its own, but the reasons I do it remain the same. I love sitting down and writing about my experiences, or posting something, even if it seems daft. It is an important way for me to have an outlet and support myself through both the good and bad times. It has also led me to meet so many interesting and amazing people – friends – too many to name here but you all know who you are. And finally, I guess my blog is dedicated to both of my parents, who were taken far too soon, but are still important and guiding lights in my life to this day.
I have so much gratitude to all those around me, to all the companies that take the time to listen and engage with me and for those who continue to read my posts and articles.
I guess this is my love letter to my parents, to my friends, to life, to travelling and to cruising. Here’s to whatever the future may bring and to continuing to be able to return to my happy place over and over again.