Muir Beach Overlook: A Perfect California Vacation

Sweet Sixteen

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Today, this blog turns 16. Like every proud parent, I can’t figure out how we got here, how I am old enough have a blog old enough to drive.

This blog has seen me move from New York City to San Francisco to see if long-distance relationship could be a long-lasting one; quit my job in a magazine office to see if the freelance life was for me.

This blog has seen me get married, circumnavigate the world and wind up right back where I started: living in rural Tennessee.

California wedding

This blog has seen my husband and me buy a house, then another; start a business, then another. It’s seen other businesses we’ve attempted fail; it’s seen us through ups and downs, highs and lows, 50 states traveled and more than 100 countries explored.

It’s seen the loss of both my grandparents, the sudden death of my dad, and the birth of my niece and nephew. It’s seen friendships bloom and others fizzle.

It’s seen the adoption of one dog, three cats and many fosters (and counting…).

van Luna family

It’s seen the evolution of our nonprofit, from vigilante art advocates to a bona-fide organization funded by state and federal initiatives. It’s seen the success of Walls for Women and the installation of more than 50 large-scale murals across the state of Tennessee.

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It’s seen most of my 20s, all of my 30s and now the start of my 40s.

Did I think I would be doing this 16 years after starting a free blogspot on a whim while working a research position at a fashion magazine in New York City? Absolutely not. Am I glad it’s been one consistent thing in a life full of unpredictably? Without a doubt.

Working at Lucky magazine

Blogging in 2007 looked very different than blogging today. Back then, people interacted via—and formed full-on friendships through—the comment threads; today, they read and then respond via email, Instagram message, TikTok, LinkedIn or any of a dozen ways we are reachable in current times. (It’s chaotic; I love it.)

Back then, people on the internet were kinder; today, they hide behind the anonymity of their keyboards and take to Reddit threads to air their grievances.

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Back then, writing three posts a week was standard. Today, I’m lucky if I have time to do that in a month. Back then, making your living online seemed implausible. Today, millions of jobs are the result of businesses built via the internet.

Sao Jorge Castle in Lisbon, Portugal

It’s impossible to quantify what this space has brought me: friendships, countless new business relationships, and just as many acquaintances I might never meet IRL but who have my back from their own home offices, wherever in the world they may be.

Portugal writing workshop

And as we move into the 17th year of owning this little corner of the Internet, I’m grateful so many of you have hung around for so long even though you have no shortage of new ways to consume information. I’m also really glad that long-distance relationship panned out after all!

So thanks for sticking with me, with us, for 16 years. Here’s to just as many more of travels and art, twists and turns, pivots and challenges. And maybe another cat or two.

Muir Beach Overlook: A Perfect California Vacation

For more on my travel blogging career, start here:

  • August 1, 2023

    I miss the comments section on the internet

  • August 2, 2023

    Happy 16th good lady! It’s a pleasure to follow along…

  • August 6, 2023
    Mary Jo Daigle

    Congrats on 16 years. I have enjoyed all 16 years of following your blog. Keep up the great job. Mary Jo

  • August 8, 2023

    I love your blog. I’ve been following you on and off for a while. I was impressed with your diving in Borneo (originally from Malaysia, but living not far from you now).

    I’ve been blogging since 2009 myself because I love to write and it helps me remember my travels. I’m old school, so I still do comments. Any pointers or comment will be much appreciated!

    Happy sweet 16!

    • August 18, 2023

      That Borneo trip feels like a dream that happened to someone else! I can’t wait to get back to that part of the world (we’re headed to Thailand next to visit friends). Thank you so much for your kind words, Eileen! I love comments, and I hate that many people don’t leave them anymore, so doubly appreciate you =)

  • August 15, 2023
    Erica L

    Congratulations! I am not even sure how I came across your blog several years ago, but I so enjoy the travel, art, photography and life that you share with us. 🙂 Keep trucking along!

    • August 18, 2023

      Well, I’m glad you’re here! Thank you, Erica!

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