In trying to find the perfect thing to say or write, I am drawing blanks. I don’t necessarily have a think room here and this Starbucks is sort of packed, so… I’ll just type and hope something sticks. Before I started my abroad experience in Shanghai, I agreed to blog for two websites, Black Beyond Borders and IES Abroad, all while working on my new website and building my portfolio. An easy task for most experienced writers, but for a novice like me, I often myself frustrated at the thought of writing my next blog post. Part of me wonders if it’s pure laziness, but another part of me thinks that deep down I am contemplating what people actually want to read more than just writing what comes natural to me.
When I was younger, my parents would always ask me to take plenty of pictures when traveling. After I’d return home and show them my pictures, they would ask “Where are you in these?” While I was taking pictures of all the pretty monuments and buildings, my dad expressed that if I am not in the picture, no one will ever know I was actually there. He said, “Anyone can search a scenic picture on Google, I want to see YOU.” From that point onward, I became the star of my travel adventures. My PowerShot camera and I took on the world, as I started to get a kick out of posing and becoming one with the scene. I thought I had it down pact! Before I knew it, I had traveled to all these new places abroad and had amazing pictures to show for it. Yet soon I noticed something still wasn’t right. Though in the picture, when looking back at the photos I had taken, I couldn’t remember the name of the places I had visited. Damn!
Two years later, I found myself in Europe. Okay Thibeaux, here goes. Not only will you take cool pictures and try to come up with a consistent theme for Instagram, you will also keep a log of the places you visit and the time you visited them so you can keep track of everything. This plan may sound perfect, but it was extremely tedious and I have yet to match up any of those names with their proper pictures. I could not understand why I wasn’t documenting my travels well enough.
It is for that reason, when the opportunity to blog for two very different platforms arose, I jumped at the opportunity. Not able to use my content across both platforms though, I often wonder if I am saying the same thing or being redundant. Part of me wonders if I should have to both on or just chose to write for just one. Whatever the reason, I made the decision and I have to deal with that. I now see that blogging for these two sites is giving me the chance to capture my experiences in multiple ways. I am the learner, the doer, the teacher, the adventurer, the funny guy, the writer, the director, and more. I am writing for not only myself, but for those that have yet to experience life abroad.
Now, when I think about writing or documenting my experiences, I just do what feels right or authentic to me. A journal or log may not be perfect for everyone. Maybe you want to be the star in some photos or the extra in others and that video blog thing you like may not be your thing after all, and your writing skills may even annoy you to death. That’s okay! Just breathe, live, and do what comes natural. Try things out: be a photographer, model, producer, writer, blogger, and actor. As I did in this instance, I just shut up and decided to write. Hopefully, I helped you and myself out in some sort of weird way. And maybe I didn’t, but at least I attempted something other than just holding my thoughts hostage.
Blog post commissioned by Black Beyond Borders.