Sometimes my brain tells me I am a bad (insert noun for whatever I am thinking about at the time). I know it’s a chemical imbalance and makes no logical sense but it still creates more doubt about what type of person I am.
I am not going to get down and deep in to the dark places an affected mind can go but rather focus on the frivolous, the questions that make no sense to be asked in the first place, but the questions that come to mind when you read or hear someone else’s opinion.
Let’s start with a couple of easy ones. Since I decided to start this blog I have been reading; tweets, Instagram comments, other blogs and the comments they draw. Now I am wondering if I have any right to be writing about my experiences or if I should simply keep them to myself. The first questions are…
Am I unqualified to be a “traveler” because I carry more than just two backpacks which contain my entire life?
Many comments I read suggest I am merely a “tourist” because I dare venture out into the world with a suitcase, have never stayed in a Hostel, and am willing to spend more than $50 per day to entertain and feed my family when we travel. This makes me wonder if I have any stories worth telling or should stick to spending each vacation at the local Caravan Park, or better still, at home watching real “travelers” on Lonely Planet documentaries.
Am I wasting my money traveling overseas and visiting famous landmarks?
Again I keep reading how people who visit popular places, iconic buildings or landmarks do not have the right to the lofty title of “traveler”. OK, I admit it, I have seen the Eiffel Tower, Tower Bridge, the Colosseum and dozens more touristy things, I will even admit to loving Disneyland!
So according to some sources I am destined for a boring life of the “tourist”. I hope I find it fulfilling enough to justify my continued existence. I do like to get off the beaten path and prefer lesser know and smaller towns to the big city but it seems that “once a tourist, always a tourist” from what I read.
The next area of discussion that gets me questioning my philosophies and life decisions is parenting. I recently read some of the wonderful articles on the Gypsy Nester website which caused some debate over how we deal with our children growing up and leaving home.
Some people believe we should protect our children from the world forever and never let them leave, paying for them to do as they wish as long as they don’t venture far from home, while at the other end of the scale we have parents who can’t wait to get rid of the money pits they brought in to the world 15 or 20 years ago.
These and other discussions have lead me to the following self interrogation.
Am I a bad parent for sending my daughter out in to the dark and scary world alone?
At the beginning of 2016 my daughter will have graduated High School, turned 18, and jumped from our nest with the smallest possible parachute. Some will say it is irresponsible to allow an 18 year old girl to travel and work around the world, especially when even your local area can be a dangerous place.
Should I be keeping her home, funding her University studies at the local institution, or better yet online so she doesn’t have to leave the house, getting her a degree in something she doesn’t really want and will probably never help her find work?
Instead some will say I am throwing her to the wolves, pushing a child out the door with a sandwich and $10, telling her she has had it too good for too long and it’s time she learned some tough lessons the hard way. They say it builds character after all!
Am I a bad parent for destroying my child’s education?
It is fast becoming a jailable offence to take a child out of school for the useless and unrewarding purpose of travel. It seems my daughter is destined for a poor life in a minimum wage job, or with no prospects beyond social welfare because I committed the unspeakable sin of taking her to foreign soils during the school term.
Those few months have now rendered the 13 years of schooling useless, or so some teachers and governments now tell us.
I was under the illusion that a person can actually learn some important life skills by experiencing new cultures, experiencing the places they learn about in history or geography classes, meeting and talking to people of different religions, with different tastes and different ways of living their daily life. Looks like I’m wrong again though.
And finally I question myself about my writing, how I write, why I write, and what I write about. Which leads me to the next questions.
Am I a bad blogger for featuring my family, or for not featuring my family?
“You should never personalise your blog posts as it alienates the reader since it is your experience”, or words to that effect. I have been reading a lot on successful blogging for a couple of months now and thought this was the advice I needed to make a start and to guide my writing style.
“Put yourself in the story. people want to get to know you to make a connection”, or words to that effect. The next day I read this and I almost gave up. Perhaps I needed to create two blogs, one using each piece of advice.
I will say that both philosophies came from creators of very successful blogs which made it even more confusing.
So now I just write and see what happens, even if I am blogging the “wrong way”.
Am I a bad blogger for wanting to make some kind of income from my writing in the future?
The saying goes that money is the root of all evil, and it seems some believe it is also the root of evil bloggers. I feel that you will be cursed and doomed to fail if you consider making money from your writing.
It destroys your creativity, your content will be rubbish, the poor people who mistakenly read you work may go blind, and their computers will inexplicably spontaneously combust.
I promise I will never say the “$” word again, please forgive me.
Am I a bad blogger for not having a perfectly defined niche?
“Only people with an extremely narrow niche focus can be successful bloggers.” But I don’t want to limit myself to writing about three star hotels whose name begin with J, that are within two blocks of a train station in towns with a population less that 12,719 people.
I understand that you shouldn’t write about a ridiculously wide range of topics that have no common ground and expect a consistent and loyal following, but when all is said and done I would rather be writing to 10,000 people on a reasonable range of topics than have every single one of the 87 crazy people in the world that want to know about my niche above, and would hang off every word I type.
Of course there are varying opinions on every topic, and everyone thinks their opinion is the right one. Some even disagree with my opinion but obviously they are misguided. You see, I thought I was wrong once but I was mistaken!
There is no black and white in the topics I have mentioned above so people should write opinions, not make out that they are the one grand authority and everyone else is wrong.
I would love to hear what makes you a bad…. ?