Focused Meandering in 2014

Happy 2014 everyone!

It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to focus enough to write something for my blog. As a ‘travel’ blog, I didn’t really have anything to write after my 2012 trip. And picking up a job with Google meant that my slacker days would have to come to end. Unfortunately, not spending the time to reflect meant that my mission statement to meander was no longer ideally suited to the realities of my life.

Focusing on leaving your schedule unstructured as possible and drifting on a multi month road trip is one thing; trying to that at a new job when I have some severe workaholic tendencies is another. Not having deadlines for my personal goals led to procrastination and an unhealthy default setting of work. From a professional standpoint, it’s been nice to know that I still have it in me. That after months of unemployment/travelling and coasting at my last job for the better part of a year, I was still capable of long hours and late nights. If I had done it only for the money, I don’t think it would have been worth it. But the ability to move forward into 2014 and have the confidence knowing I can do it and choosing otherwise for personal reasons will be a nice change.

My resolution for 2014 will be to make commitments to get work/life balance. Meandering will become more about enjoying the moments rather than full on mission statement. In the context of a more structured life, I think meandering will still bring value. Like a leaf swirling in an eddy, I’ll spin around in the moment before being popped out to continue the rest of my trip downriver.

Travel Blogging

Looking over the Meander 2012 Summary, it’s been rather interesting to see it develop – and deteriorate.  I’m sure this has been said many, many times: writing is a lot of work.  I’m also well aware I’m not very good at it.  But I couldn’t see any better way of remember the trip.  What started as a way to reduce duplicate work turned out to be a good experience.

I started it as much to provide a method of communication so people back home would know I was okay and still alive.  How I wrote and what I wrote about wasn’t as important as some sort of update.  Being out west, data coverage was a little spotty and the key was just to get something out there.

But a road trip does not lend itself very well to writing regularly.  You really do have to make time.  I got pretty sick of setting up, tearing down and packing almost every single day and adding extra time at the end of the day to write wasn’t very high on the list of priorities in the beginning.  I just wanted to get something up and move on.

But the process of reviewing the day really did make the experience richer.  On a trip with as many stops as this one, days quickly blur together.  I recall a few times where I would need the photos and the GPS tracks just to be able to fill in the gaps.  Deciding what to include throughout the day gave a little extra hook to make things just a little more memorable.

Photos with GPS information and the GPS tracks were very valuable in piecing the days back together.