And So a New Adventure Begins

by gigigriffis

Today is a big day for me.

You see, I’m fast approaching the official two-year mark as a full-time travel writer. Two years of slowly moving away from advertising copywriting work, of publishing book after book, of pitching magazine stories, and of doing my best to make my childhood aspirations—to write books and to write about travel—into realities.

It was September 2013 that kicked this whole adventure off. I took a month off from my copywriting work to live out of a tent in Switzerland, hiking towering Alps during the days and drinking cold beer with the adventure sports crowd at night. And all that time in the wilderness, all that time not spent worrying about client projects, is when I had the space to consider changing everything.

Could I, I wondered, really make a living as a travel writer?

And so I gave myself a year to figure it out. I wrote four travel guides. I worked long hours. I became a magazine correspondent. And at the end of the year, I wasn’t that far from breaking even.

So I gave myself a second year.

A second year that has been full of really hard work—harder than I think I anticipated. I wrote two more travel guides. I kept up my correspondent gig. I landed some new magazine clients. And I started saying no to projects that didn’t pay well or didn’t feel right. And for a little while now I’ve been above the break-even point.

And after two long, hard years of working toward a childhood dream with no real vacations and a lot of long hours, I’m also pretty damn worn out.

Which is why today is so special. Because not only is September—the month that inspired it all—just a day away, but I’m also taking my first vacation since I started the new business…starting this past weekend.

That’s right: as you’re reading this, I’m already on the road.

And not only am I on the road, but I’m doing something epic:

For the next month, I’ll be cycling across France on the Eurovelo 6 long-distance bike path with everything I own strapped to the back of the bike and Luna, of course, riding shotgun in her special basket.

Because of this adventure, I’m not sure I’ll always be online.

I’ve got blog posts pre-scheduled for the month of September. So all the normal stuff—the travel budgets and photo essays and small dog’s guides—will continue as usual. But I may be slower to respond to emails, comments, or social media. (So don’t fret if I’m MIA.)

That said, I do think you’ll see me occasionally on Facebook and my new instagram account. So if you’d like to follow along as me and my pint-sized pooch make our way across France on a bicycle, those are the best places to do so.

And if you want to make sure you don’t miss any blog posts? (Since I won’t be promoting them on social media as much.) Now would be a good time to get on my email list, which is those same blog posts delivered directly to your inbox twice weekly (nothing more; nothing less).

See you on the road.

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12 comments

Montecristo Travels (Sonja) August 31, 2015 - 6:43 am

What FUN!! we have decided to do a much much mini-er version of this and cycle Ottawa to Kingston (a weekend thing) to see if we may want to do more cycling tours! YOU inspired us!

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gigigriffis September 1, 2015 - 2:43 am

Yay! I look forward to reading about it.

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Ali August 31, 2015 - 7:02 am

Luna is so cute in that basket! I hope you two have a blast on your cycling trip! It’s a well-deserved vacation for sure. I look forward to hearing/reading about it :-)

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gigigriffis September 1, 2015 - 2:43 am

Thanks! Looking forward to seeing you after!

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Julie Mautner August 31, 2015 - 11:21 am

Gigi,
Your bike trip sounds amazing! I’m very impressed…and look forward to reading all about it. Good luck and have fun!
:)

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gigigriffis September 1, 2015 - 2:43 am

Thanks!

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Jenny P August 31, 2015 - 2:56 pm

So excited for you. Thirty years ago I spent 2 months cycling across and down the coast of France into Spain. I can’t wait to follow your cycling adventure from a selfish point of view. Ahh the memories. Enjoy eating everything, cause you can when you cycle!

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gigigriffis September 1, 2015 - 2:44 am

So true! I’ve already become an eating machine.

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Julie September 7, 2015 - 1:42 am

i love that basket for Luna! I am currently eyeing my sleeping beagle and wondering if he would be willing to travel around Europe by bike with me. Granted, he weights 15 kilos, so hauling that extra weight around would certainly be ‘interesting’!

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gigigriffis September 7, 2015 - 12:58 pm

I know of a few people who cycle with their larger dogs. I’ve seen both dog trailers behind the bike and ingeniously someone who made panniers for her two mid-sized dogs.

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Emily-Ann (grownupgapyear) September 15, 2015 - 9:16 am

Sounds like a fantastic trip and you have the cutest travel companion ever! Enjoy the travels :)

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Needed: Your Opinions | The Ramble October 5, 2015 - 12:39 am

[…] officially back from my cycling trip, which took Luna and I over about 1,400 kilometers from the Swiss border to France’s Atlantic […]

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