Sep 19, 2013

To You, My Loyal Readers

I'm the kind of person who doesn't like to stick to one particular activity for too long. Growing up, I cycled through ballet, tap, tumbling, cheerleading, piano playing, basketball, chorus, and softball...never sticking with one extracurricular for longer than 3 or 4 years. I'm obviously a bit of a tumbleweed. As soon as I'd get the hang of one sport (and by hang I mean not sitting on the bench the whole game), I'd change my mind and want to try something else. What can I say? I bore easily. But I also have the need to keep testing myself. Probably why I'm keen on trying new things. Enter: blog world. I started reading blogs just as D was about to go off on his first deployment in 2010. I had this half-brained plan that I was going to write my own blog chronicling our life during a deployment...but, life ended up handing me other plans and my career jumped to the forefront, keeping me much busier than any blog ever could. After D returned from duty, we got orders to Germany and I began thinking about blogging again. I was still reading blogs (mostly military wife blogs at the time) and the challenge of writing about my life still intrigued me. So, upon planning our move abroad and quitting my full-time job, I finally dove into blog world head first.

In the beginning, blogging was just a way for me to keep our family and friends updated on our move to Germany. Today, while it still serves its original purpose, my blog has grown into so much more than I could have ever dreamed for it to become. Being a serial "quitter", as I've been known to call myself, I always figured this blogging thing wouldn't last long. I'd write and share photos for a few months, a year maybe, but it wasn't something I saw myself committing to everyday...or even molding into a business. In fact, I never knew a career or business could be a product of blogging. That thought seemed so foreign to me. Sometime after a year writing whenever I felt like it or whenever I had something fun to share, I got this twinge of inspiration to kick this blogging thing into high gear. Last September, I began networking with other bloggers and really started feeling embraced by blog world. That just fueled my fire to want to write and share on a bigger scale. What was once a fleeting hobby was slowly turning into something I was passionate about doing. All those other sports and extracurricular activities I'd tried sporadically throughout childhood hardly compared to the way blogging made me feel. And for once in my life, I was actually GOOD at the activity I was doing. You guys don't want to see me do a pirouette or play 1st base. It ain't pretty. But blogging, I feel comfortable with. I'm safe with. I'm at home here amongst the computer keys and HTML coding. And it's not because I write like Hemingway. Definitely not. It's because of all of you, my amazing, loyal, fun-loving, wanderlusting readers.

This whole blogging thing is funny, isn't it? Some random person sits behind a computer screen each day, writing about their life and whatever else pops into their mind. Everyday, we grab our cups of coffee, power on our desktops, and click around the blog world reading mere fractions of their lives, hoping to connect with them in some small way. We watch as voices evolve, families expand, vacations are taken, love ones are lost, careers are started, and relationships blossom...all the while becoming invested in the life of an individual we've never met, but have somehow grown to love. 

I don't know how or why, but you guys keep coming back to this little space of mine each week. I am humbled every morning as I open my emails to see another sweet message from someone I've never met, telling me how much they enjoy my blog and how they can't wait to read more. These are emails I never thought I'd be getting, but have become such a blessing to my life. As overwhelming as this blogging lifestyle can get at times, it's something I don't think I could ever tire of. Sure, there are days I get frustrated and want to throw in the towel, but then I see a boost in pageviews or a few new comments from thoughtful readers and all those frustrations fall to the wayside again. I am so grateful to each and every one of you for taking the time out of your busy lives to read about my own. Some days I'm in awe of the community I'm a part of and the connections I've made, all a product of sharing my heart, our travels, and bits and pieces of the things that make me who I am. You've helped keep me engaged and busy on those days where life seems lonely across the pond from all my family and friends. You've celebrated when I've celebrated. You've wandered where I've wandered (virtually counts, as far as I'm concerned). You've encourgaged me when encouragment was lacking. And you've embraced me into a world full of inspiring, like-minded individuals who continue to bless my heart on a daily basis. 

Needless to say, blogging has become an integral and visceral part of me. Believe me, my family is just as shocked as I am. Finally, an activity I couldn't dream of quitting! It's true, I can't quit you people. None of this would be half as fun if it wasn't for each of you. You guys give me the motivation and excitement to keep pressing publish each morning. There aren't quite enough words in the world to even being telling you how thankful I am to have been embraced by this community and to have made so many long lasting friendships through something so wacky and wonderful as the world of blogging. While this hardly scratches the surface of thankfulness in my heart, I want to give you, my faithful readers, a chance to win a little token of my gratitude. I so wish I had the means to give a gift to each and every one of you, but alas, I am not Oprah. Maybe if you guys stick around and spread the word, someday I'll be the next Oprah?! See the things you make me dream about? Today, as I a sit here and revel in my blog-fueled happiness, I hope you'll take a quick second and enter the simple Rafflecopter below. I chose to give you the chance to win some PayPal cash so all my expat friends out there could get in on the fun, too! I'm gonna need Target to get on that whole shipping internationally thing, otherwise, this giveaway could have been way cooler. But, cash works, right? I thought so...now get to entering!

  And as always, thank you for reading, thank you for commenting, and thank you for caring enough to keep on clicking on We Took the Road Less Traveled each day. I only hope this little creative space of mine continues to thrive and be a fun place that inspires a healthy dose of love and wanderlust in each of you. I big puffy heart love you all!

32 comments:

  1. you're so cute! and your travels intrigue me :) although sometimes i hate reading about them cuz it's just one more place i gotta add to my places to travel list. it's getting lengthy!

    keep on keepin on ;)

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  2. I am just soooo jealous of your travels and homesick for Germany :)) I feel like you keep me in the loop :))

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  3. Thank you for writing! I love reading your blog and am so happy you're sticking with us :)

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  4. thanks, for the chance. love your travels. so fun. ( :

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  5. Awwww :) I am so glad I found your blog months ago! I just love it :)

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  6. I love reading your blog and about everywhere you go. :) Thank you for writing.

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  7. Thank you for writing all about your travels! Glad I found your blog a few months ago.

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  8. Your posts always make a great read and I wish I was on holiday in Germany!

    Louisa @ My Family & Abruzzo

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    1. Thanks, girl! Germany is kind of a dream! :)

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  9. I'm glad you have found a niche and community in blogging. I'm just starting out and I love it!
    http://liveitinerantly.com

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    1. Me too! I'm happy to hear you're loving it as well! It's an amazing community to be a part of!

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  10. Ah I'm so glad you're sticking around, and for us?!? You like us?!? Hooray! (I was worried you were saying "thank you and goodbye!) I really do love your blog - helps me figure Germany out just a little more :D

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  11. I love your blog! As my own life has changed and gotten much busier, I've backburnered writing any sort of blog myself and cut out most of the blogs I was reading, but I ALWAYS look forward to a post from you! I love your fresh, cheerful, down-to-earth voice and your great perspectives. I love it that you are a woman of God and are obviously committed to the health of your marriage. I love it that you are super supportive of your husband, and you are embracing the adventure of deployment rather than just pining for home. I love your real, attainable photography (beautiful photos but not so stinkin' amazing that I hate you for it...kidding) and I love seeing photos of my favorite country on earth. Thanks for blogging!

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  12. I'm new(er) to your blog - been reading it for a few weeks - and I love it! My husband is in the Air Force, so reading about your travels and the things that you go through in the military is something that is very relevant to me. Keep writing, sweet girl! We love reading what you have to share:)

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  13. :) Thanks for being such an awesome blogger!

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  14. It's amazing how awesome blogging can be sometimes!!

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  15. Such a lovely and heartfelt thank you note, you're so awesome, Casey! I still enjoy your blog as much as I did when I first found it! Keep up the good work! And have a fabulous weekend :)
    xo Irene

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  16. LOVE this. It's always nice to be a part of a community that is so happy and proud and close.

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  17. Aw, what a sweet post! I just discovered your blog a few weeks ago, and just love it! Thank YOU for your gorgeous pics and inspiring posts :)

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  18. You made me really nervous at the beginning when you talked about quitting activities. SO glad you're not quitting blogging-- I love reading your blog!

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    1. Oh gosh, that makes me smile! Thank you!

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  20. OOOOH! pick me :) PS: LOVE that picture!

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  21. Congratulations! It's so exciting to feel like you've accomplished something you love.

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  22. I am glad that you get so much out of blogging. Love following.

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    1. Thanks so much, Jessica! Happy to hear it!

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  23. I'm new to your blog and was afraid you were going to stop blogging when I first began reading! I'm so glad you're not.

    I am in early stages of planning a trip to Italy and trying to decide on a cruise or not. Your post about cruising encouraged me and I look forward to reading more of your cruising perspective. Thanks for a great blog!

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    1. It seems I did scare a few of you! So sorry! Not leaving you...nor could I ever! I'm so glad to hear the cruising post helped you a bit. Hopefully I'll have part 2 of my cruising tips out soon!

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  24. Blogging is amazing, isn't it? When I started blogging almost four years ago, I had no idea what to expect or what I was in for but it has given me so much! Now I can't imagine life without it.
    Cheers to you Casey, your blog, and many, many more wonderful posts :)

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  25. It is definitely hte only thing I've stuck to, too. I still have my lapses, but is the one hobby I've never given up on and I love that I keep learning from it. Keep it up you are outstanding!

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I appreciate your feedback, friends! I read every comment and try my hardest to respond to each one, but if your email address isn't attached to your blogger profile, you might find my response in the comment thread instead. As always, thanks for reading!

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