The cat’s out of the bag! The Etsy shop I’ve been building for the last few months has finally been launched and it feels so good to share it with the world.
Starting the Teach and Wander Prop Shop on Etsy took up about 110% of my time this month!
It started when I wanted to spruce up my own online teaching classroom. Before, I had been hand drawing a lot of props to use with my kiddos. Online teachers have very specific needs and it’s hard to find a set of visual aids that aligns exactly with what we teach.
But after a while I decided I wanted to make my props look a bit more professional, so I started playing around on a drawing app on my iPad. I drew digital versions of the hand-drawn props I loved, printed them out, and used them in my classes. My kids LOVED it!
So I decided to polish everything up, put it together in nice neat bundles, and make it available to all fabulous online teachers everywhere! Check out the Teach and Wander Etsy Store and remember to share share share with your teacher friends!
Okay, this is a travel blog, so let’s get back to the travel.
But real talk, I’m probably going to mention my props at least five more times in this post because I’m just that excited about it. Don’t mind me.
This month, I focused on building the Etsy shop, reconnecting with friends, and spending time discovering areas close to home.
Then, just a few weeks ago, I flew up north to Boston! It was my first time visiting Boston and I was there for a very special reason: TravelCon.
TravelCon is a Travel Blogging Conference led by Nomadic Matt. If you haven’t heard of Nomadic Matt, he’s the one who teaches the blogging course I rave about and I actually got the chance to interview him not that long ago!
At TravelCon, hundreds of blogging nerds like me get together and learn, network, get ideas, and, if we’re being honest, have some wild nights out on the town. Though I didn’t do much touristy stuff during the conference, I loved the vibe of Boston.
The city was busy but not loud like some cities are. There seemed to be window boxes filled with flowers on every historical brick home. At sunset, you can watch the sails on the boats in the harbor shift from white to yellow to orange to pink. What more could you want?
Highlights This Month
Even though I wasn’t lounging on Balinese beaches or driving through spectacular Vietnamese mountain ranges, this month still had some major highlights.
My sister got engaged! I know right!!? Are you as excited as I am? It happened just a few days after I got home and the timing worked out perfectly because my grandparents were visiting too. Our whole family got to celebrate my sister and her new fiance, who we all love to pieces. Of course, we also had to marathon 36 episodes of Say Yes to the Dress.
My best friend had her baby shower! You might remember my best friend from some VERY old posts on this blog (she’s the bicycle queen from the Great Greenville SC Biking Adventure of 2016). She’s about to welcome a baby into the world and I’m so happy I was able to celebrate with her.
On My Reading List
TravelCon gave me major reading inspiration! The books below were either written by the Keynote Speakers or recommended to me by my blogging heroes. This is what I’ll be reading this month.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed – Strayed was one of my favorite keynote speakers to listen to. She brought the house down – in laughter, in tears, in uproarious applause. My favorite line from her talk? “I don’t want to be the kind of person who doesn’t do things because they scare me.”
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert – I’ve been hearing about this book and this author (she’s the one who wrote “Eat, Pray, Love,”) for ages. I’ve never read her work but I think it’s time to give this motivational book about creativity a read.
The Caliphs House by Tahir Shah – The reason why I bought this book? A line of Shah’s keynote speech about storytelling went something like this: “We bought a haunted mansion in the middle of a shantytown in Casablanca. It wasn’t very expensive because no one wanted to live in a house filled with genies.”
New in the Etsy Shop
Here we go, baby! What I lack in blog posts this month I make up for in my Etsy Shop. This month I launched four prop packs and two classroom essentials packs designed for online ESL teachers. You can check them out here!
- Classroom Basics
- Math Basics
- Reward Systems Pack 1
- Reward Systems Pack 2
- Reward Systems Pack 3
- Mega Bundle – Reward System Packs 1-3 and Two Bonuses!
What’s Going On In The Blogging World
TravelCon happened this month! Guys, it was so much fun! And I mean like objective fun, not just fun for weirdos like me who enjoy SEO and light website coding.
I arrived in Boston on Wednesday and met up with two friends I knew from Instagram (sounds weird, but that’s surprisingly normal in the blogging world). We walked around the historical district and Boston’s many parks, taking pictures and stopping for ice cream and whatever else looked delicious.
The conference started on Thursday and was pretty jam-packed until it wrapped up Saturday evening. My favorite sessions were on email marketing, scaling a blog and business, and a writing intensive workshop with a professional travel writer.
I also went to several youtube courses. I know nothing about youtube, but I’m told it’s the future and I know I need to start a channel. I’ll get to it eventually. It was helpful to go to youtube classes as a newbie and it made me feel more confident about getting started.
If you’re interested in travel blogging, even if you don’t have a website yet, I highly recommend going to TravelCon next year! It’s May 8-10 in New Orleans and it’s the perfect place to learn the ropes of a fun and rewarding industry.
If you want the inside scoop on this year’s TravelCon, they sell a virtual ticket that you can access any time. It’s a recording of all the lectures, keynotes, and break out sessions so that you can get all the information even if you couldn’t attend. I have the virtual pass myself and I’ll be working through the sessions I missed over the next few months.
That’s it for me this month! I hope you’re all doing well and as always, thanks for wandering with me!