It’s my blogiversary!

by Kim on December 13, 2011 · 37 comments

It’s my blogiversary! So Many Places is 1 today.

As far back as I can remember, I have dreamed of traveling.  As a little girl I explored the forests and neighborhoods around my home in suburban Ohio.  As a teenager I packed up my car and drove as far as I could in a weekend: Chicago, South Carolina, Florida.  After college I moved west across the country, where the mountain peaks and jagged coastlines inspired a whole new level of wanderlust in me.  I hadn’t known the world could be so beautiful.

As soon as I could I began to vacation internationally.  I went to Costa Rica, then France, then Italy.  I went to Mexico and Canada and Puerto Rico.  Each time I saw a new place with my own eyes my realm of possibility grew until, at some point, seeing the world felt like more than just an impossible dream.  But I knew that no two week vacation would ever allow me to experience the world in the way that I wanted to.  I knew I would never be content until I traveled without a deadline of having to go home again.

By the time I started this blog I had been considering long-term travel for over two years.  Two years just thinking about the possibility of it, worrying about it, rolling all of the scenarios around in my mind.  Like all things that are big and terrifying the idea seemed, at first, to be utterly impossible.  It was too dangerous, too irresponsible.

Paulo Coehlo wrote: You’ve been asleep a long time.  It’s only natural that you’d wake up slowly. Over time I did wake up and began to find, sprinkled over the Internet, other people who had felt the way I felt and had gone for it anyway. They’d left it all behind and set out to explore the world. Many of them were still exploring the world, slowly and deliberately and without a timeline.  And throughout their stories I saw a common thread: they did not regret living life that way.

A year ago this December I sent my first words out into the universe.  By the time I hit publish on my first blog post I had decided without a doubt that I was going to travel as long as I could.  I didn’t know how I was going to do it or what I would do with my current life, but I had committed myself to following my dream and knew I would get there somehow.

This blog changed my life.  That sounds dramatic, but it did.  Because through this blog I began to understand my own thoughts and fears. Through this blog I told my story.  I wrote about what I desperately wanted to do and then, to my delighted surprise, some of you responded do it. Some of you said, I want to do it too.  And others said, I’m doing itIt’s possible.  This blog has connected me to your lives and through it I have come to have a greater understanding of the possibility of my own life.

When I started this blog the idea of giving up all of my material possessions and traveling the world seemed bat-shit crazy.  Today it seems like something that everyone does.  I laugh to write that, but it’s an example of my shift in perspective.  Chris Guillebeau likens it to finding your own small army My army has shown me what is possible.

A year ago, I wouldn’t have believed that today I write emails to people all over the world. I have drinks with big dreamers and dinner with world travelers. And I have built real friendships with people who read this blog and whose blogs I read.  People from every state in my country and in 141 countries throughout the world read these pages, and in that way alone I feel more connected to the world than I ever have before.

My traveling won’t officially begin until June 1, 2012.  But my journey began when I started writing here at So Many Places. I whispered out into the world, tentatively, I want to do this, but can I really do this? and all of you, sitting in your lofts and flats and huts and hostels and homes turned to me and said YES.

It has been such a pleasure sharing this road with you.

 

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren December 13, 2011 at 5:03 pm

So beautiful! I am so excited for you and B and cannot wait for you to share your world travels with us.

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Kim December 13, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Thanks Lauren :) We will send Harper gifts from all over the world!

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Tracy December 13, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Congratulations on your blogiversary! And thanks for all of the inspiration :)

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Kim December 13, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Thanks Tracy :)

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Ajay December 13, 2011 at 6:32 pm

A BIG, HEARTY CONGRATULATIONS ! Your blog is certainly an inspiration as we prepare for our own journey! We recently spoke to an agent about selling our house in the down market and as I am reading the forms that we need to sign, it makes me dizzy with excitement and fear. I dream about it and often wake up in panic, smile to myself and go back to sleep :-) Sounds crazy, but thats how I feel.
Your blog is one of the encouragement bars I hang on to every day. Cheers and hope to read about your visits SOON!

Ciao
Ajay

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Kim December 14, 2011 at 7:10 pm

Thanks Ajay. Selling the house is a HUGE step, the biggest we’ve gone through so far. It is definitely exciting and terrifying and STRESSFUL but then when it’s over it’s over for good. (thank god). I’m so glad this blog has helped you keep pursuing your dreams, your support and kind comments have kept me going too :)

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Jason @Travel Junkies December 13, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Congratulations! Travel blogging is fun, eh?

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Kim December 14, 2011 at 7:02 pm

It sure is, Jason!

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Dalene December 13, 2011 at 11:30 pm

Beautiful post – oh boy, I wish we had started ours before we left. I felt so alone! Treasure your small army. :)

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Kim December 14, 2011 at 7:02 pm

Thanks Dalene. I do treasure my small army, and you and Pete have been such an inspiration to us!

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Sarah December 14, 2011 at 6:58 am

Happy birthday Kim! You’re blog has changed my life too (and I’m not being dramatic!). You have inspired me to write honestly about my dreams and I look forward to reading every post. Your posts about selling your house and getting rid of your stuff has comforted me no end, as I walk a similar road on the other side of the globe.
Keep dreaming, keep writing and keep exploring the world, I’ll be following along with you. With love from a member of your army :)

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Kim December 14, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Sarah, one of my blessings is to have met you through this blog. I’m so glad that the house posts have mattered to you. I know what you’re going through and have come out the other side and can say IT’S WORTH IT. Thanks for all of your support and for your beautiful blog.

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Carmel December 14, 2011 at 7:12 am

Happy Blogiversary Kim!

It’s funny…it was almost exactly a year ago that I started reading Gillian’s blog (during that boring 2-week temp job), which was what led me to your blog. Something good was happening in the universe at that time.

What a great time of year to refocus your energy and think forward to something you REALLY want instead of wasting your money on more things you will forget about soon–like clothes, presents, etc. I’ll admit, it’s been a challenge. I keep looking at my savings total and watching that percentage get a little closer to our goal is starting to be the highlight of my month.

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Kim December 14, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Carmel! Thank you. I’m so glad you found my blog through Gillian and that you are a real-life friend now. I’m so lucky!!!!! Yes, the holidays are insane as always but it is so nice to look FORWARD and not get too caught up in it. I’m so proud of you guys and your savings. The thing about money is that once you have a little saved it grows, like magic. You guys are well on your way.

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Deborah December 14, 2011 at 9:21 am

Congratulations, Beautiful Kim!! I am so happy to have found you and your blog and certainly include you near the tippy-top of my list of Fabulous Cyber-Friends! So looking forward to what 2012 will bring for you and Brian!!

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Kim December 14, 2011 at 7:06 pm

As always, thanks Deborah :)

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Hannah December 14, 2011 at 9:23 am

Woo hoo! Well done Kim, a job well done! I love reading your blog and would be proud to stand tall as part of your small army. I love being able to share the process of rtw planning and travel with people in similar situations, and truly value the support network we can offer one another. I find your blog a huge source of inspiration and comfort. Thank you x

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Kim December 14, 2011 at 7:07 pm

Awwww… thanks Hannah :) That means so much. XO

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Rhonda December 14, 2011 at 9:46 am

Love the quote from Coehlo!!! On Monday I was re-organizing some things in our office and found the first information I had ever printed off on the idea of a RTW trip in 2002!!!!! It took us 5 years to actually get on the road but our path has changed and our lives will never be the same again. Happy 1 yr anniversary for your blog!

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Kim December 14, 2011 at 7:08 pm

It’s funny because I have an old article from the Oprah Magazine that I read sometime in high school about amazing places to visit throughout the world. I kept it all these years and it’s funny to think that even then I dreamed of seeing all of these places. Ideas sit for years and years before they bloom.

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Ali December 14, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Congrats on one year of blogging! I’m looking forward to many more!

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Kim December 14, 2011 at 7:09 pm

Thanks Ali :)

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Susan December 15, 2011 at 1:55 am

Congrats on your blogiversary! I just started my travel blog, and it is definitely inspiring to see your success.

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Kim December 16, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Thank you!! Congrats on starting your new travel blog. It’s a rewarding (though time consuming) pursuit, and I love every minute of it.

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Kieron December 15, 2011 at 9:10 am

Happy blogiversary! How quickly has 2011 gone? Before you know it, you and Brian will be on the road and all those dreams you’ve been working so hard to achieve will become a reality. :)

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Kim December 16, 2011 at 5:03 pm

2011 has flown! How long have you guys been on the road now? It seems like just yesterday I was reading about your preparations. Thanks for the well-wishes.

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Annie December 16, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Happy Blogiversary, Kim! These next six months will fly by and I can’t wait to see all the posts from around the world! So excited for you.

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Kim December 18, 2011 at 10:22 am

Thanks Annie!

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Victoria December 18, 2011 at 8:47 am

Happy blogoversary! (What a word!) I just found your blog a few weeks ago, but as I start out with my journey (and writing about it in public), your blog is certainly one of the things helping me along. Hopefully I can be some sort of tag-end member of your small army, cheering you along and enjoying your tales. I don’t have a house, but I do have a pretty good life, and that’s the part of your story that resonates with me most: not escaping drudgery or ennui, but reaching for a happier life — that involves adventure, derring-do, faith, fear — from the position of a reasonably happy one. Thanks! May there be many more wonderful things to come next year!

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Kim December 18, 2011 at 10:30 am

Hi Victoria. I’m so glad you found the blog.

It is a different place to be in, having a great life and still wanting more. There’s some guilt that goes along with it, and definitely a time of questioning your own sanity! But I’ve said before that I know that there is a reason why I have to do this (and it does feel like I have to do this, an internal pull so strong I can’t ignore) and so I move along and you do too.

Love and luck to you as you start your own journey. It has been so wonderful documenting it all on this blog so I’m sure you will enjoy your experience as well. I’m going to head over and check it out :)

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Kristin M December 24, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Happy blogiversary! Y’all are incredibly inspiring people. I’ve truly enjoyed reading your blog posts over the past year and am crazy-excited to keep reading about your travels in the future! Can’t wait for your rtw to start to tag along on the adventures with you guys!

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Kim December 24, 2011 at 2:03 pm

Kristin, thank you so much. It is such a compliment to hear such kind things from people that read this blog (I still can’t believe anyone reads this blog, aside from my mom who, ironically, doesn’t actually read the blog!) Anyway, thanks and happy holidays to you.

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Steve Roy December 31, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Kim,
Sorry I missed the big date here! I’m really excited for you and Brian to finally move forward with your dream.

I’m sure you’ll make so many great memories and I’m looking forward to reading about them.

Talk with you soon…

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Kim January 1, 2012 at 9:53 am

Thanks Steve, and happy New Year to you.

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Tracey Tullis May 9, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Thanks for your words Kim. They have helped me get my focus back to where it should be. So excited for you guys. You have been the inspiration my families expat experiment needed as of late!

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Kim May 12, 2012 at 10:02 am

Oh, I’m so happy that I could provide a little inspiration! Sometimes it comes from the most unlikely sources, no?

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