Ok, before I get started on this blog I want to inform you that this is not a piece where I am having a pop at you. Whether you're on Facebook all the time or that the youth of today doesn't do anything other than watch YouTube videos on their phones. Quite the opposite actually and I want to highlight a few aspects of my relationship with social media, hence the title of this blog.
When I first started planning this trip one of the main considerations was how am I going to document it. The last time I traveled this big Facebook had only just come on to the scene. I was a MySpace kid that I primarily used for listening to new and upcoming rock bands. They were the days.
Now, everyone is connected. If I'm honest I think it's great. Back in 2010 I was deployed on my last operational tour of my army career and I remember updating family and friends through social media. Here I was in the middle of a war zone and I can watch cat videos and be updated on the latest vegan trends. Both of which I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in, but it didn't matter. I could send an instant message to loved ones and let them know that everything was alright.
Why did I want to do it?
You have to be honest with yourself because that will determine how you tackle this. At first I had no idea why I wanted to do it. It seemed like something that people do, right? All my favourite 'Adventurers' have dedicated pages and websites so perhaps I should. Before I set off on the trip I had everything in place ready to tell the world about this journey that I was heading off on. It was all looking good. Nice pictures, the typical adventurer profile shot with a beard to prove you've been away from a desk in a while, all that, I had it set up. In fact I think I still have those beard shots in place.
I got bored and frustrated very quickly. I was hating it because I thought I had to be a particular way on social media. I didn't know how to report from the field. So when I did it was weak and slightly dishonest to you. I was only posting about the cool stuff. You wasn't seeing the times I was almost in tears because I felt like I made a huge mistake, or how I was descending into depression and dealing with my anxiety when I broke down in Russia. You were only seeing my smiles with a beautiful mountain backdrop. In fact, you most likely didn't even know why I set off on this trip. That has recently come to the surface which I will talk more about in the future.
How did I fix the issue?
Easy. I stopped posting. Gave myself some time to think about the trip and what I really wanted from it. I asked myself a serious question. Am I only doing this trip to prove a point and get attention? I spent five months off this blog, pretty much neglected my dedicated page on Facebook and concentrated on riding my bike and listening to myself. I had to smile on my own before I could smile to you. If you've read my previous blog you will know that this is when I was making some serious changes and a little bit of self healing.
Well... what a change. I have a happy travel/social balance now. I post the odd picture on Instagram and pretty much just use my personal Facebook page for sharing some pictures and mainly networking. I still can't get enthused about the cat videos and vegan trends though. The idea for this blog has evolved, just need to get writing. I was so bored of writing my blog like it was my diary. If I was bored then you definitely were. So stick around and I hope to push out some interesting content real soon and also to link up with my YouTube channel.
The bottom line is...
I travel solo. I made this choice and stick by as the best thing for me. But I will admit that social media is slightly more important to me than say a couple travelling together. I spend a lot of time on my own or socializing with non English speaking people which gets very tiring. When I'm standing in front of a beautiful view I have nobody there with me to share it so I want to share with you. I want you to see what I am seeing and engage in conversation with me. This journey has been great for me and if I can get you to get out there too and chase a dream then that would be amazing. I just don't want all this to get in the way of my own trip and it's taken a while to find the solution.
Thank you for reading. Any comments you have please drop them in the box below and I shall speak to you again very soon.
Aaron and Penny.
Thank you to everyone that has reached out to me with words of encouragement. I use social media for being social and love that I have received messages of inspiration and that I was a part of your process for making a decision and acting. The hardest part is always getting to the start line. My next thanks is to everyone that has helped keep me on the road that little bit longer. Your kind donations are the reason I am still on the road. Thank you for 'buying me a beer'. Take care all.