See Nic Wander contains affiliate links and is a member of the Amazon Associates Program. I may earn a commission on purchases made through these links. Read my disclaimer to learn more.
Hi friends. I’m home. Most of you probably are too.
There is a lot going on right now. This is a difficult time and the world feels a bit wild. It can be overwhelming. And for that reason, I want to focus this life update post on positive things.
I think we all could use a little more positivity in our day!
What am I doing now?
Right now, I’m home with family and still staying pretty busy while social distancing.
I’m teaching online a LOT right now. I have VIPKID classes weekday mornings from around 6:30 am – 9:00 am. I also do a few hours on weeknights and a longer 5-hour stretch on Friday nights. It’s been fun to see my kiddos and I like having the structure to my day.
Cooking New Recipes
I’ve always loved cooking and lately, I’ve been experimenting with new recipes. I made this Thai coconut chicken soup recipe for my family and it was so good we made it again two nights later!
Pro Tip: You can replace lemongrass with lemon zest and it works out just fine.
Building A Tiny Dollhouse
I also rediscovered a favorite childhood hobby: building miniature dollhouses! I know, random right??
When I was a kid, I got a dollhouse building kits for Christmas (you know the ones in the hobby store where you get the pieces and have to put it together, like a model plane or model car?)
Well, for months my dad and I built that dollhouse from the ground up! It was our thing! I remember having to glue on every single individual roof tile and installing teeny tiny wallpaper. I loved building that dollhouse!
So a few weeks ago, I was looking for a puzzle on Amazon because I realized that I needed a non-computer hobby, and there it was! A miniature DIY dollhouse kit!
I ordered the living room set and have been building a teensy tiny living room model while listening to episodes of The Office in the background. It’s coming along nicely.
What are my plans for the future?
For the first time in a while, I don’t have any travel plans on the horizon. I’m waiting to book anything until things have calmed down. It’s a weird feeling, but I’m also feeling thankful to be sitting tight for the time being.
Right now my boyfriend and I are long-distance, hunkering down in our home countries until it’s safe to travel again. All things considered, we both feel very lucky to have a place to ride out the storm. But being long distance during a global pandemic is tough and it’s definitely an obstacle we never saw coming.
As far as future travel plans go, I’ve been daydreaming about dozens of destinations, but it will all depend on how things shake out in the upcoming months.
What I’m doing to grow my blog during this time
The travel industry was hit hard by this pandemic. Many people with travel websites and blogs are seeing huge dips in traffic. While this is frustrating and sad to deal with right now, I’m optimistic that travel blogging will bounce back eventually.
Here’s what I’m doing as a travel blogger to stay positive and focused on the long-term game.
Learning New Skills
Even though I’m teaching a lot more than usual, I still have some time on my hands. I’m hoping to use this time to learn new blogging skills.
- Moz is offering all their premium SEO courses for free until the end of May so I’ve been working my way through these.
- Build Blog Freedom Fast Track, the Advanced SEO course I took in September, has some bonus modules about affiliate marketing I’m going through again.
- I’m planning to download Lightroom to learn about photo editing (Finally!!) I wouldn’t consider myself a photography expert and I edit most of my pictures with the built-in tools on my computer. I’ve heard awesome things about Lightroom and pretty much every other travel blogger in the world uses it, so it’s time to take the plunge. (PS: If you have any Lightroom tips or tricks, feel free to send them my way!)
So I have this thing where I’m obsessed with organization and planning, but I can never stick to one system. I have shiny object syndrome so bad when it comes to planners, and time management tools, and to do lists, and task organizers.
So during this time, I want to iron out one streamlined organization system that actually works for me. Ideally, I’ll create a system for writing blog posts and social media posts that I can use again and again.
Also, I’m going to organize my google drive folders and clean all the junk off my computer desktop. So… wish me luck!
Updating Old Content
Sometimes I’ll stumble upon an older post on this blog and think, what was I doing?! I’ve learned so much about how to create better blog posts over the years, so I want to take some time to refresh content I wrote a long time ago.
My plan is to go country by country and give each post a little revamp. Adding more pictures, making sure all the information is up to date, sharing more stories about my experience, those kinds of things. It’s a big project, but I’m excited to dig into those old memories and make this site a better resource for you all!
More Work From Home Content
While I’m still going to write plenty of travel content, I’m planning to beef up sections of my blog about remote work and work from home jobs. With so many people out of work right now, remote jobs are more popular than ever.
I always want to provide you with as much helpful information as I can, so over the next few weeks keep an eye out for new remote work posts.
If there are any particular remote jobs you’d like to learn more about, send me a quick email and I’ll add it to the list.
Things that are bringing me joy right now
Listening to Podcasts
I’ve always been a big podcast fan! Some of my favorites right now are:
- Make Money Blogging by Sharon Gourlay – Great for bloggers who want to learn more about SEO and affiliate marketing.
- History of the 90s by Kathy Kenzora – Kenzora breaks down the top news stories and bizarre occurrences of the 90s. Her shows cover everything from the premiere of “Friends” to the Beany Baby fad to the tabloid sensation of the Long Island Lolita. If you like history, this is a good listen.
- How I Built This by NPR – Listen to the behind the scenes stories of how major brands and companies got built. Very inspiring if you’re interested in entrepreneurship.
- Radio Lab by WNYC Studios – Probably my all-time favorite podcast and the one that got me hooked on podcasts, to begin with! This is a science and storytelling podcast that makes me feel 10000% smarter after listening.
Reading the Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin
Apparently this book has been famous for a long time, but I just recently heard about it! In The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin sets little goals and habits for each month to improve her happiness. It’s an easy, uplifting read about how anyone can make little changes to be happier.
Old Hobbies Rediscovered
Building my dollhouse kit has been such a joy! The pieces are tiny and sometimes tricky to assemble, but seeing it come together has been satisfying. I also have been showing my students pieces of the tiny living room during our online lessons and they are just as obsessed as I am.
Virtual Hangouts With Friends
Even though we can’t see each other in person, I’ve been enjoying virtual hangouts and meetups with friends. In the past, things like conflicting work schedules, social commitments, and time zones made it difficult to see certain friend groups. Now, we’ve been able to reconnect and reminisce.
Thanks for hanging out in my little corner of the internet while we navigate these tough times together. It’s great to have you and I really hope you’re doing alright. To keep the positivity going, I’d love to hear from you!