Hello friends, it’s me. Yes, I am back for my yearly TravelingNatural update post! LOL, I am joking.
2020 was rough, and I know I am not the only one glad it is over. Little did we know that 2021 would be a part 2.
Today I want to write an update on where I’ve been and the future of this site.
2020 – Perspective
Did I already say it was rough? Of course, I’m not going to talk about covid-19, but quarantine gave me time to reflect and gain a new perspective on life and the relationships I have with family and friends. Here is a list of the unique insights I gained:
- Family is important.
- If you don’t hear from family or friends EVER during a PANDEMIC, maybe they are NOT your family or friend? Let that marinate.
- Happiness is a choice. And doing tasks every day that excites you can help to maintain your happiness levels.
- Tracking your daily expense is essential.
- Having a plan or budget is important.
- How you manage $1000 is how you will manage $100,000, so build good money habits.
- Learning to invest is a game-changer. I paid $1200 for an investing class, and it was worth it. Sometimes you need to invest in yourself or a coach to get the knowledge you need to prosper.
- Good fitness and nutrition habits take time to build and 30 days to destroy >_<.
- Working from home is so amazing! I am no longer around office gossip or office politics from middle-aged adults.
- Lastly, trying new hobbies is fun, and you are never too old to do so!
Just a few tidbits that I mulled over in 2020.
Thanks for Taking My Survey!
I posted a survey to gauge this blog’s readership and whether or not I should shut it down. Thank you to the few people that shared input. I appreciate it. I have decided I will never shut this site down. It’s apart of me now and needs to grow as I grow. I launched it in 2011 after pondering whether or not to start it in 2009 and 2010. It’s been alive for ten years now! Can you believe it? June 2021 will officially be ten years. Honestly, I must admit that it has been a little discouraging in the past to see other bloggers flourish with readers and income but exist in a shorter amount of time. But I remind myself to never compare my efforts to anyone else.
After all, how consistent have I been?
We will celebrate the TravelingNatural.com anniversary, and I am going to do a giveaway!
Let’s touch on consistency. I have been struggling with it over the years. Not only with weekly blogging but in other aspects of life too. For example, fitness and vlogging for YouTube. I made the goal in June 2020 to post a YouTube video every Sunday from July to December. Also, in 2019 I decided to take my fitness seriously and lower my body fat percentage. I started powerlifting, and I genuinely love the sport. I had to stop because of having a torn retina.
You can watch a video of my fitness journey below:
You can also watch my most recent Youtube video below:
Shaving My Head
I created TravelingNatural.com to document my solo travel journey around the world. And to note how I take care of my naturally curly hair as I move about in spaces where my hair texture was considered foreign or unique.
During quarantine, I contemplated shaving my head. My hair became an afterthought, and it looked unhealthy. As a result, I decided to shave my head. It was the only way for my hair to grow back healthy. In a painting by Toyin Ojih Odutola called “Representative of State,” the black girl with the beautiful afro is my muse. I talk more about my shaved head and the painting in the video below.
Learning New Hobbies
Let’s talk about hobbies and changing the trajectory of your life. I have been learning to code since 2015. And by learning, I mean procrastinating because my consistency was abysmal. I started a blog while in the Peace Corps to document my coding practice. I made one post! Girllll! Lol, I can’t stand myself sometimes. I started and stopped over the years. During quarantine, I picked up with my Colt Steele Udemy course again. From April to May 2020, I practiced every day.
Then fell off AGAIN. In November, I logged in only to find that Colt had revamped the course. My progress bar, which was almost halfway, was back to the beginning. I told myself I would start over in December or January. I have been practicing for at least one hour a day since the second week of January 2021. Once I finish Colt Steele’s Web Developer Boot camp, I will complete the FreeCodeCamp course that I started in 2016. As a motivator, I created a 28-day coding challenge on my other website www.modestlymagnificent.com. Check it out if you are into coding , exploring the GROWTH Mindset or learning to shift your negative mindset.
Applying to Graduate School
From September to December, I focused on applying to graduate school. Yes! Your girl is going back to school if someone accepts me. I have applied to two European schools and one American. I plan on making two videos to discuss the European Erasmus program. If you watched my June update video or How to become a diplomat video, you know I’ve been applying to become a diplomat for several years. I’ve decided that I will try one more time this year and then stop. Along with blogging for ten years, I have been applying to the Foreign Service for the same amount of time. At some point, you have to realize that God has other plans for your life.
The last hobby I want to touch on is soap making. I have posted about soapmaking briefly on this blog. When I was in South Korea, I wanted to do a class. The class I found mostly used glycerin. At the time, I didn’t know this, but I wanted to learn cold process soap making. It’s a very therapeutic hobby to practice. I thought I would start soap making in my retirement years. But I love it so much now. I will start selling my soaps. I have way too many bars, and my family and friends have told me to start selling. It should be a fun little side hustle.
Oh D.C., I love you, but I think it is time we part ways. The District has been in the news way too much in the last four years, lol. The energy here is anxiety-inducing.
I wish I had made a move to SINGAPORE in 2016 after returning home from the Peace Corps. But I wanted to “save money” and “pay off my student loans” first. Now look, we can’t even travel!
Unless someone wants to hire me to be a Full Stack Developer with experience in AI and Machine learning to work at their company and help me with my visa??
Oh, my dream. It will happen. Moving to Singapore, it will happen.
I don’t know how or when, but it will manifest. But as for now, I need to break up with D.C. I will update you on where I end up. Until then, thanks for reading this super long post. Leave a comment if you read to the end. I want to know how you are doing?
See you soon! Or follow me on Instagram.