I thought that, with an extra week to write, NaNoWriMo would be a piece of cake.
My hubris got the better of me.
Last year, I was soooooo diligent in writing my novel, because I didn’t really have anything to do. Sure, I was dealing with Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath, but I also didn’t have internet for about a week, so it was easier to hunker down and, you know, write. I also was able to sneak in passages at my shitty job, and my semester was donezo, so I had loads more time to spare. Back then, I wrote only a few articles for Matador, so NaNoWriMo took up most of my editorial timing.
Now however, I’m working for Matador full-time, and working on some awesome freelance gigs for a major company, and student teaching. I try to write whenever I can, but it’s hard to even get my 1,500 words a day goal in – I teach until 3pm, get home and work until 11pm, and suddenly, it’s time for bed.
I don’t think I’ll be nearing the 50,000 word mark this time around. I’m halfway there, which is admirable in itself, but the odds are not looking good. What is good is that I will definitely be working on this project after NaNoWriMo is over, with plans to publish it sometime this summer. So I won’t be abandoning the idea swiftly, but I won’t be achieving my goal of NaNoWriMo winning for a second year in a row.
But who knows? December doesn’t start until Sunday – maybe I’ll get a second win, and come out all right. For those of you participating this year, how is it going during this final stretch?
Stuff on the internet I liked reading this week…
Revealing My Travel Plans to My Brother, and the Shocking Conclusion - This is a really heartfelt piece by Ryan, who’s backstory is pretty cray/cool/interesting. Travel and family matters are never easy, but sometimes the results will surprise you.
What to look for in a travel rewards program - Candice provides a nice, simple description of a rewards card that works for her. Considering I am a total novice when it comes this topic, it was nice to read a piece about rewards cards that was totally on my level.
Are You a Language Bully? – Seriously, I hate grammar-correcting internet trolls. Unless the misuse of language is totally erroneous, please, shut the hell up. No one is going to look at the comments and think “Wow, this person is better at grammar than the author! I should give them a job.” Matthew provides an entertaining rant with similar sentiments.
Getting to Know East London Through Food - Alyssa will make you drool with her British culinary experiences. Whoever said British food is the worst, is a goddamn liar.
Antarctica: No Ordinary Place, No Ordinary Assignment: This Voice of Antarctica promotion will give a lucky winner the opportunity to team up with National Geographic photographer Jason Edwards to fly to Antarctica for two weeks, in an effort to raise awareness about global environmental issues and the scientific research underway in Antarctica to address them. Watch their video to find out more information.
Have a link you’d like me to include in next week’s roundup?
Drop me an email!
I’m so happy to see that Expedia, one of the leading travel conglomerate resources, is partnering with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to raise funds to defeat childhood cancer and other deadly diseases. Voluntourism is something I firmly believe in, and while I enjoy visiting new places and to help out communities in need, Expedia and St. Jude’s are taking global charity work one step further.
Unlike traditional fundraisers, where people donate money for karma points, Expedia is offering do-gooders the chance to win trips around the world. Similar to the fundraiser held by Passports with Purpose, people donate money for a chance to bid on trips that interest them. Locations include all-inclusive resorts, wineries in California, adventures through Asia, and more. Click here to check it out. You can also find more information on their Expedia Viewfinder blog post.
Each entry comes with a suggested donation of $5, 100% of which goes directly to St. Jude. You can select as many trip options as you like, with the ability to enter each giveaway once a day for the entire month of September (in conjunction with National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month). The limit is one entry for each prize per person/per day during the Promotion Period.
Alternatively, travelers can receive coupons for a donation of $25. These include saving 20% on thousands of eligible hotels when you book using the Expedia mobile app, or 10% on thousands of eligible hotels when you book on Expedia.com. Expedia Rewards members also have the option of donating their points.
This fundraiser ends on September 30th, so make sure you start donating today to increase your odds of winning! Skip the latte and spend that $5 on something meaningful. For less than the price of a movie ticket, you could be helping sick children get better, and be one step closer to traveling somewhere awesome!
Have you donated to this fundraiser yet? Which trips are you hoping to win?
This has been circulating the Facebook walls and Twitter feeds lately.
At first, I just ignored it. Buzzfeed is hit-or-miss, and for this I figured it’d be another “miss” just based on the title alone. But when it was uploaded onto my wall by a friend, I figured, “All right, I’ll take a look.”
Jesus Christ people, we need to stop hating on how much older we’re getting.
I honestly love getting older. Every year that I become a new age, I know there are better and more opportunities for me. I’m a lot wiser now than I was at 20. And I’d rather have a baby when I’m 30, than when I was 18. Every year I get older, I make more money, I establish myself a little more, I see and try new and different things. When we were young, sure, we had fewer responsibilities, but we couldn’t do anything.
Why would anyone want to go back to the days where you had to have sex in your high-school boyfriend’s coupe because your parents had a strict “no-boyfriends-in-the-house” policy? I much prefer doin’ it in the privacy of my 2-bedroom-with-a-basement-and-sun-deck adult apartment.
One of the reasons I love interacting with the travel community is that our youthful spirit abounds. There are people I know who have traveled around the world fifteen times and are 30. There are people who are 65 and taking their first trip abroad. There are single people, couples, families, retirees, and folks who just don’t want to settle down anywhere. All of us however, despite our age, have two things in common -
A thirst – and an appreciation – for life.
You can always tell who travels because they always look younger than they are. Traveling keeps us alive and instills within us a sense that it doesn’t matter how old we get – the world will still be there. And as long as we’re living, we can take advantage of those opportunities.
Instead of counting down the days and years until we die and have nothing to show for it, we understand that getting older only means you have more places to go until you are too feeble not to. And then you can spend the rest of your days flipping through photo albums or watching videos of the awesome life you’ve led.
Not everyone is lucky enough to be a traveler – the lifestyle they have chosen to lead promotes feelings such as listed in the Buzzfeed article. And some people want to feel that way, so they can look back on their younger years and…well, I don’t know, feel depressed?
Not me though. I’m going to fill my life with incredible stories and ideas that will make people think. And every year, I will celebrate my birthday and be awesome because if I don’t, I’m just wasting my life – who wants to do THAT?!?
P.S. it’s totally not my birthday or anything, that happened during TBEX but I have ZERO photos of me from that trip! But a good start to 26 it was!
On June 14th, I said “SEE YA!” to my desk job and “HELLOOOOO!” to working full time for Matador Network. Spending time with the Matador crew really helped me get closer to the company. We had a lot of great conversations and made some serious developments. When I left, I was super excited about the programs to come, and find out where I fit in those plans.
That realization came quite quickly. After a swift trial period, I was offered the role of social media manager at Matador Network. Playing around on Facebook and RTing people is no joke – I quickly realized this was a definite full-time gig. When I was offered a salary that was more than double what I made at my desk job, I pounced on the opportunity. Here was a way I could live my dream of working from home, for a company that I cared about, and an easy out to an old job I had grown to hate.
It’s been an exciting couple of weeks. I’m all set up in my home office, with my maps and healthy snacks for inspiration, but there is still a lot to learn and a lot to adjust to. I have a feeling however, that I am going to like this lifestyle more than I bargained for…
But for now, when you see an update on one of our social media platforms, feel free to say “Hi!”