Saturday, 19 November 2016

Taking a Pause. Thinking About the Future.

If you've been paying attention you'll have noticed that I'm currently taking a pause from travelling. I'm not at home though - I'm not even in Brighton because my house is still rented out so I'm in a weird in-between place both physically as well as mentally.


Towards the end of my travels in Asia this summer I hit a bit of a wall. I still loved travel but I was really craving the sense of community that you get from staying in one place. I've always dreamt of having a close knit group of friends who want to arrange bake sales, host potlucks, watch movies, cook dinners, and go to protests together but I never really had that in Brighton.
It might sound strange but I have it online and I kinda have it in Austin but I can't live there so it's something that I get to partake in for fleeting moments here and there and then I spend more time missing it than I did enjoying it! I know that I want to feel settled somewhere and to build the community I've always wanted but equally I don't feel 100% done with travel. That wanderlust just won't die! I was a little fed up of rotating through the same four outfits and pulling clothes out of my hand luggage sized backpack every day but maybe that just means that it's time for a different style of travel? 


I just got the seasonal temp job I applied for at Lush's flagship Oxford Street store, I start Monday and I am more than a little excited about it. I've always wanted to work for Lush, a company whose ethics align almost exactly with my own, and working in London over Christmas is sure to feel pretty magical. I'm excited for the opportunity to work there but I'm also really happy that I now have a solid reason to pause for a while.

I feel like it's so good to stop and think about what the future might hold, to research adventures you'd like to take, and to try to visualise where you'd like to be in five years. Not everyone gets the chance to do that and I feel lucky to be able to choose what I want to do with my life rather than life just being a series of events that just happen to me. Right now I'm dreaming of the Northern Lights, gazing at pictures of New Zealand, contemplating another stint volunteering with Help Refugees, and chatting to people in the know about living in Canada. 

With my five year goals in mind I want to figure out how to connect with people whilst disconnecting from the time suck that is social media. I'm not talking quitting Twitter or Instagram but my iPhone doesn't need to be surgically attached to my hand 50% of the time! I want to keep fighting for the causes that I believe in and to fight louder and more often. I want to spend more time learning Japanese and less time watching Netflix. I want to remember that staying active, whether that's protesting or hitting the gym, is good for my mental health as well as my physical health. 

I want to continue writing but I need to decide what to do with my blog. As you can see my posts have become a little less frequent in recent months and that's partly because of the indecisive place I'm in right now - I've been chatting to friends about changing the name of my blog because I don't see myself ending up back in Brighton. I've also been thinking about moving to a self hosted site but I'm definitely worried about ruining my SEO rankings and losing most, if not all, of my followers - so, just the little things! What do you think? I'd love to hear some input whether you're a long term reader, an SEO expert, or a first time visitor to my site.

29 comments:

  1. Please don't give up on you blog. It is one of the few I follow. I like you takes on veganism, feminism, and traveling.

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    1. Ah, thank you! That's so nice to hear. I'm definitely not going to stop blogging, I'm just trying to decide whether to change the name, switch to a self hosted platform, or both.

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  2. If you switch to a self hosted site, I'll follow you there <3

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  3. It's always good to sit and take stock of where you are and where you want to be. Looking forward to seeing where you, and the blog, go next!

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  4. So nice to read your thoughts - I'm at a similar stage of reflection and inbetweenness in my life, and it's comforting to know that others are, too. I'd love to hear your thoughts on Canada!

    I don't even know what SEO means, so, um, definitely maybe? If you move, I'll follow, though.

    Working in Oxford Street? You're a brave soul!

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    1. Haha, I am aren't I?! I like to be busy and Christmas lights are my favourite so I think it'll be fun.

      It's so nice to hear that other people are at similar stages in their lives. I'll definitely be writing about Canada soon!

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  5. Congrats on the job! All the Lush goodies :D I will definitely follow you if you move across - I love reading your blog :)

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    1. Thanks Little Vegan Bear! That's so nice to hear!

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  6. I don't even know what SEO means, but I do know that I will follow your blog wherever it ends up. And however it ends up!
    Congratulations on getting the job!

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  7. Good luck with your job & with taking time to think about your future! I really enjoy your writing, so I'll certainly follow if you decide to move to a new site! :)

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    1. Thanks Julie! I'll keep everyone updated!

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  8. Hi JoJo! I've been reading yr blog for years and always love it.. I feel like no matter what you do, people will follow you and change links. most people seem pretty happy with self-hosting but it seems more stressful than a blogspot.
    Anyway, I'm more of a homebody and I know how important building a community can be. I hope you can feel that!

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    1. I hope so too!! I'm super glad to hear that you love my blog, I love your blog!

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  9. If you want to change the name of the blog, something simple like Vegan JoJo would totally work! :-) tough decisions coming up...but take it one step at a time!

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    1. Thanks Diana! I'm not a tech person at all so these are definitely challenging changes. Looking forward to seeing what happens though.

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  10. Congratulations on the job, how exciting! I'm a longtime reader, and I'll follow wherever you go. Vegan JoJo is a really cute name, I agree with Diana. I find your blog to be so inspiring, and I can't wait to see where you take it!

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  11. Yes, come to Canada =)

    I'll for sure continue to read your blog even if you change the address.

    And congrats for the job at Lush.

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    1. Thank you! Whether I come to Canada has a lot to do with whether Canada wants me but I'm crossing my fingers & sending off a whole lot of paperwork!

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    2. Yay!
      What part of Canada would you like to go to? The whole country is beautiful!

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  12. Hi Jojo - good luck with your new job at Lush. Am sure if I worked for them I would end up spending more there than what they were paying me!!! Please continue blogging - as someone else said we'll keep on following you and reading your blog. I've been reading it for years so wherever your life and blog take you we'll be following!
    Take care.
    Gloria

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    1. Thank Gloria, I will definitely still be blogging! No worries there. I'm hoping that I can keep the Lush spending under control, I always have one eye on my travel fund which usually helps reign in any impulse purchases.

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  13. I was going to suggest just moving to one of the many, many Brightons in the US, but I think we missed our chance for that to happen...

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    1. Haha, yup! I don't think moving to the USA is an option.

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  14. I'm feeling the same with Brighton, I feel a move coming along but I'm not quite ready for it just yet. I check in on your blog every couple of months. I'll still be interested in reading wherever you are or whatever your URL is.

    Aside, have you spent much/any time in Poole and Bournemouth? The Lush head office and factory is in Poole (at least, it used to be when I lived in Poole). There are a lot of waterside properties there, nice walks, ferries to Brownsea islands and the likes, I also think they still have a ferry service to France and/or the channel islands. Not that I'm encouraging a move there, I was just reminded of it by your description of a sense of community.

    Nina

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  15. I've actually never been to Poole or Bournemouth! It certainly sounds like somewhere I should be visiting.

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