Two years ago this month I wrote my first State of the Savage post, and it has been a regular feature ever since. I use these posts to pull back the curtain on Traveling Savage and share my thoughts and proto-plans, to give you a taste of what’s been and what’s yet to come. I definitely don’t show as much appreciation to you for reading as I feel, so let me be blunt: THANK YOU for reading and for your support. It means a lot in this wild and uncertain world of full-time blogging.
Perhaps a little retrospective is in order because a lot has changed since February 2010. Back then Traveling Savage was a mere two months old, and my plan to leave the corporate world to travel the real world was a scant week older. The entire idea was hush-hush as Sarah and I bided our time to see if living on a strict budget – one salary instead of two – would work. The simple truth is that most ideas hatched in pubs sound excellent in theory; in practice they rarely make it out of the nest. Traveling Savage was different though. It had my passion behind it and passion was the element most sorely missing from my work.
The original plan for my travels involved me going to eight different places around the world, which broke down to four one-month trips each year over the course of two years. Two years was the amount of time we gave to Traveling Savage to see if it could become successful or lead to other opportunities. Just 10 days after pulling the trigger and quitting my awesome job I was on the road, a five-week solo jaunt to Argentina in November 2010. This trip turned out to be so far outside my comfort zone I still struggle to believe I actually did it. Argentina made me sweat, smile, bang my head against the wall, and appreciate the good in people. When I returned home, though, I knew my plan needed a revision.
The time in Argentina led to some of my best writing (in my estimation), but it turned out to be different from what I wanted out of travel. I wasn’t as passionate about what I was doing as I needed to be, and I could see the same problems with the upcoming trips I’d roughly sketched out. I put on my business socks, revised the plan, and decided to focus on one country, one I knew would deliver what I sought: Scotland. I made that decision a little over a year ago and all of 2011 was dedicated, as you can see, to Scotland.
It was a controversial decision that lost me some readers. I imagine in their eyes I hit the eject button too soon, that the baby went sailing with the bathwater, [other cliché of your choice]. Perhaps my writing would have soared to new heights had I visited Tasmania, Japan, and Turkey, as I had envisioned. It’s not an infrequent conversation I have with myself, but I’m proud of my work on Scotland.
I’m more than halfway through Traveling Savage’s allotted lifespan and Scotland remains in the crosshairs. The last two years have been amazing from a personal growth standpoint. What does the future hold? Everything will be illuminated soon. Or so I expect. I hope.
Plans & Happenings
All of the logistics and bookings are complete for my upcoming trip to Scotland in just under two months. I’m using the remaining time to catch up on posts from trips last year and to work on top-secret projects. Another TBEX looms in June, and while I have a ticket I’m not planning on going this year. Travel bloggers are an insanely fun and inspiring group, and I loved my trip to Vancouver last summer, but I can’t justify the business expense.
Focus seems to have become a commodity sometime in the Information Age. How many times per day do you click over to Gmail, Facebook, or Twitter? My answer sickens me. What tips, tactics, and tools do you use to remain focused on the work in front of you? I need your help.