Insecurities, let’s break up.

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When we began Deafinitely Wanderlust, we were fueled with motivation for first couple of months. Our cheeks often hurt from smiling when we discussed exciting ideas for travel and blog. We were truly enthusiastic about our “baby.” Throughout our journey together, we learned more about our skills and weaknesses, compliment each other and communicate about our thoughts and feelings. We often laughed and felt guilty when many readers assumed that we’re a couple, but we’re actually not (we apologize if it breaks your heart!). When we accomplished something, we celebrated together, “let’s get boba!” Lilo said. She knew I love boba and couldn’t live without it (I’m even drinking boba milk tea at this moment), and she also has her love: coffee.

Of course, our sky did not always consist rainbows and butterflies. We can’t always have butterflies fluttering beautifully around us with a rainbow in the background too, haha, because we also have a fair share of frustrations. Without frustrations, we won’t be able to grow. You may laugh, but sometimes we had disagreements over ridiculous mundane things, such as over damn fonts for our blog. I don’t like that font, it’s too thick for the title,” I said. Lilo half-jokily responded, “I don’t like skinny; I’d like some meat.” “That’s what she said,” I joked back. Even though Lilo and I are alike in several ways, we do have different tastes as well. However, we would find solutions by compromising, to meet both our satisfaction. Even though, there were few times where Lilo and I wanted to strangle each other’s neck, I love the fact that we understood each other completely and don’t let little things ruin our friendship.

Regardless of couple of frustrations, we remained enthusiastic about our blog…until everything went downhill at the end of summer;

we had a major burnout.

There were some times where we had the availability to write couple of posts but for some reasons, we couldn’t type one damn line. We stare at the screen; our minds gone blank. We watched the clock ticked by, and we just couldn’t. It’s like something was mysteriously holding us back too.

For the past couple of weeks, I was reading different travel posts at my desk. Their posts often left me in awe and feeling the damn fernweh (an ache for distant places; a crave for travel). Some already posted about their 2015 accomplishments and their goals for 2016. As I read their posts, mixed feelings built up in my chest: happy, discontent, frustrated and hopeful. Several thoughts ran through my head, from Why in the world did we stopped blogging? to Hopefully we will travel more this year! I also happen to come across posts about insecurities and burnouts. Despite that I know it can happen to a lot of us, the negative feelings I had gradually subsided as I read their posts. Some got back on their feet and become stronger, more passionate and motivated. In order to get up on our feet and climb up the mountains again, we must recognize what could be the reasons that may cause our burnout.


So, what were the reasons that caused our burnout?

Comparing to others. This screams insecurities, doesn’t it? If we tell you that we never compared ourselves to other bloggers, we would be lying. Even though we have the support from our readers, we still have some insecurities as bloggers. We often stress for great quality posts and became picky about what considers worth posting for our blog, Instagram and other social media accounts. “Oh my god, she said it better.” “Look, he is a great storyteller, I don’t have that skills…” “My grammar isn’t really that great…” You get the ideas. We wanted to look good and make readers love us. Heck, I’m even holding back myself to not delete few old posts that seem worthless. Comparing ourselves to others is, no doubt, a huge waste of time. It strips our joy, not only as travel bloggers but as ourselves. We must learn to embrace our individuality, our uniqueness. Just be authentic.

Insufficient travel experiences. Although we started to travel more since summer 2014, we feel that we’re not “experienced” enough to be a travel blogger, as ridiculous it may sound to you. Once again, we admit that it is because we compared ourselves to other travelers. Damn you, insecurities. We saw how many travelers had gone on their journey longer and so much more than us. Despite that we’re aware that it doesn’t define being a traveler or travel blogger, we still couldn’t help feeling that we didn’t deserve to called ourselves a “travel blogger.” Jealously, to be honest, also plays a role here. We became jealous how much the others can travel which only cause more resentments toward ourselves. Therefore, we must loosen our expectations and stop competing with others. It’s exhausting. We need to enjoy our own lives and take our time to travel (including our own backyard) and live in the moment. 

Quarter-life Crisis. “At this age, you’re supposed to have a career. You’re supposed to settle down.” It’s not only an expectation within from ourselves and our loved ones, but it is also a societal and cultural expectations. Apparently at our age, we’re supposed to acquired Master’s degree by now, have a stable career, get marry and prepare for a family. As much we believe in ourselves and say that we’d take our time and settle down when we feel ready, the pressure persists, as if it’s clinging itself on our shoulders. It is because we, as humans, naturally want to belong and contribute to our society as well. The feeling of being lost and unsure which road to take – often asking ourselves if we are really meant to have a particular career that we have in mind, especially the one which we studied for. Having a career (or second career) as a travel blogger is going to be difficult and doesn’t meet the societal expectation because to many, it is “unrealistic.” It will be a long road ahead, indeed, but possible.

Because, Life. While being inactive, we prioritized many other things in our lives. Sometimes when we work on our blog at home or at cafe, our loved ones felt that we aren’t spending enough time with them. Even though we attempted to balance, it sometimes caused tension within our relationship with them. Furthermore, many other commitments ultimately took most of our times which resulted that blogging was no longer on one of our top priorities. We kept on postponing our blog, and then we gradually no longer have the energy and motivation for our blog. Balancing with our life and blogging is definitely difficult for us, but we need to find that balance if we want to pursue our goals for our blog.

Depression. With the inability to concentrate, having fatigue and loss of interest, we just didn’t have a lot of energy to type. It’s not something to just tell ourselves, “just move on.”  Depression is so much more than just feeling sad or blues. It’s that constant lingering feelings that also cling on our backs, unable to have the energy to type a post. Regardless of depression, we often remain being optimistic about our life, knowing that we’re capable to make it through.

Unsupportive loved ones. When we first started, we believed that we would have a lot of support from our loved ones. Well, shit, we were wrong“Blogging is not a job. You need a REAL JOB.” “You’re traveling? Again? Why? Because of the stupid blog?” “You’re taking photos for the blog, huh.”  “You need to relax on this blog, it’s not that important anyways,” etc. Several tones range from monotone to cynical. This, perhaps, is the ultimate reason. We attempt to ignore about it, but it still hurts to know the fact that we really don’t have enough support from our loved ones. Jealously, obviously, plays a major role in most of their responses. Sometimes we’d tell them that it’s possible to travel, it is just mostly about priority and saving. We also tell them that we just wanted to show that Deaf and Hard of Hearing are capable to travel, and many of them showed a lack of responses, wearing a poker face. As much we tried not to let them, they were dragging us down, and we need to get back up on our feet again. We shouldn’t let their actions be an obstacle to our dream.

Okay, insecurities, it’s time to break up. You were clinging, not only on our hands, but on our minds. You have deprived us in many ways: our enthusiasm. Our passion. Our time. Our happiness. Our self-worth. Our confidence. Most importantly, ourselves. However, we don’t regret hold your hands and still won’t regret holding your hands shortly again in the future. We have learned a lot from you and grown more. We will find the balance in our life and try harder to stick to our goals.

No matter how many times more in the future, we’ll become stronger each and every time.


This Post Has 45 Comments

  1. Beautifully written! Sometimes I get in that mindset that I should have a career by now or at least graduating when I see everyone I went to school with graduating too. But I try to always remind myself that everyone lives their life with different experiences that makes them who they are. I am proud I followed my heart. And no one will be able to take away those experiences away! You go girls!!!

  2. Laurie

    I’ve been wanting to travel more. A new baby ended our plans for now. Hopefully soon

  3. I salute you for writing such personal post! I’m sure you’ll get way past those insecurities. Find your voice, your own style, stick to it and never compare your accomplishments to that of others. You’ve done a great job, so far and I can only wish for more success in the future for your guys! huuggsss!

  4. Mags

    Seriously great post! Luckily, my family has been really supportive, but there is certainly social pressure telling us all to “buckle down and get a real job” Insufficient travel experience is a big one for me too. I have traveled much more than most of my friends and family, but when I start reading other peoples writings, I feel like a novice (I know… comparison is the thief of joy). This really hit home for me. Thanks for writing it and keep up the great work!

  5. Eloise

    Great post! I love how honest you are… I feel similar with some of the things you mentioned, but I’m quick to remember why I started blogging in the first place. Staying motivated and finding a balance as a blogger can be difficult at times, I hope you guys stick with it! Bye to insecurities!
    take care!

  6. Jessica Bradshaw

    I am new to blogging and totally see how this can happen. Y’all are wonderful for sharing your honesty and openness. Definitely break up with those and keep doing what you love!

  7. Vicki

    Great post and I love your honesty. I have only been blogging for 3 months but I am constantly comparing myself to others, I know a little competition is healthy – but I can get a little obsessive 🙁 And I’m sad that your not finding the support from friends and family – your blog is helping and inspiring so many people – they must just be jealous! Keep going and I hope you get your passion back!
    Vicki recently posted…Tamarind Laos: The BEST Cooking School in LaosMy Profile

  8. Not a lot of travel bloggers have openly articulated their insecurities towards other fellow bloggers. This is a wonderful post reminding everyone that despite how wonderful our travel experiences are and even though most of the stuff we put up online are well thought out and curated, we still are very much vulnerable and HUMAN. I’m sure everyone can relate to your woes. Comparing is natural. It’s just a matter or whether or not you’d look at it as a constructive comparison that will motivate you to further work on your strengths and weaknesses.
    Don’t quit on what you love to do. You guys will face trials and tribulations on and off the road more often than you’d like but I truly believe that the rewards of traveling, exploring and stepping out of your comfort zone will always be worth fighting for.
    I am so inspired by you both. More power!
    Trisha Velarmino – P.S. I’m On My Way recently posted…Why being lost at 25 is completely okayMy Profile

  9. Kelsey

    Love this post so much!! And completely related to the quarter-life crisis section. All. About. That. Life. This was super inspiring, friend!! XOXO, Kelsey

  10. Erica

    Yes, comparing yourself to others is definitely one of the cause of making insecurities bigger. We all have insecurities and it’s all a matter of handling it. Surrounding ourselves with positive people also is a great idea!

  11. Hannah

    I love this!! Super empowering post. I do all the same things as a blogger, unfortunately. I’m so bad about comparing myself to others. It’s hard not to and I found myself getting more and more depressed on why my blog wasn’t blowing up like some others. It’s all about finding balance and, as you say, saying goodbye to the insecurities!!

  12. anna

    When we first started blogging, I would spend hours looking at other sites so envious of the layout, their tales, etc. Then I realized that this wasn’t what the blogging community was about. You shouldn’t get insecure..other people will always have different experiences. just continue to let your voice shine through! Big love to you both x
    anna recently posted…City Break Guide: The Best of Rome in 48 HoursMy Profile

  13. Such a smart post! burnout is such a real, and little talked about, blogging pitfall. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

  14. Natasha

    Love this post! We are new travel bloggers also and face many insecurities with trying to grow our business. One of the main things we always do is compare compare compare – it drives me insane! I’m glad you’re moving past these insecurities, only helps you grow!

  15. Eugenia

    Thanks for sharing such personal story! You did a great job and this post is incredible! As Kurt Cobain said “Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.” So don’t compare yourself to others, find your way, your own unique ideas and be always positive and have fun! 🙂

  16. Alice Teacake

    Yargh! You go! Happy to see you typing and shoving those insecurities out of you! Your blog sticks in my mind. I like what you’re doing and totally support you to keep going <3
    Alice Teacake recently posted…Jiu Jitsu Moves For Women In ChinaMy Profile

  17. Jackie

    So honest and well-written! I’m glad you have pulled yourselves up and have returned to your blog. I think everyone feels all of these insecurities (myself included), but don’t always share because we like to show the “butterflies.” As for everyone else, you have to make your own choices or be really upset later about not living the way you want. Thanks for being so open!
    Jackie recently posted…A Perfect Ski Getaway to Mont Tremblant, QuebecMy Profile

  18. Ana De- Jesus

    Personally I think your blog is great but I do know where you are coming from. I always feel like my work is never good enough but I need to step away from my insecurities and just accept that we all approach things differently!

  19. Valerie Perry

    The burnout is so real – in the past I’ve gone 6 months without ever writing a post, having no desire to write a post, and not knowing if I ever will. But don’t give up! Inspiration will strike again and you will feel that you HAVE to tell the story. Keep traveling! Keep sharing! Keep writing!

  20. Kaylene Chadwell

    Really loved reading this post! I’ve felt similar in some of these areas recently. I’ve also been having trouble writing as much as I would like to with my current job. I want to spend lots more time on my blog and writing, but sometime it’s hard to get myself to after working long hours, even though I love doing it.
    Kaylene Chadwell recently posted…Why you need to explore San Pedro, ChileMy Profile

  21. victoria

    What a great post and such a empowering message this is really helpful for me. and thank you for making me inspired

  22. Elizabeth O.

    I’m so glad you were able to overcome this. It’s always nice to come out of a challenge feeling fresh and determined to do better! I’m looking forward to more posts and those pointers up there, never forget them!

  23. Jennifer Melroy

    I get some of that (mostly my mother reminding me that I can’t quit the day job until I have spent at least 5 years using my engineering degree). I love reading other people’s blog and not looking at the numbers. I am in the game for the long term and the rest will come just make sure you still love what your are doing.
    Jennifer Melroy recently posted…Walking Along the East Side Gallery at the Berlin WallMy Profile

  24. Chris

    I think as soon as you start writing for somebody else, and not for yourself this can (and possibly will) happen.

    Everybody has blank days, and if you start to compare yourself to other people, well you’ll lose the whole reason for writing.

    To share YOUR adventures, not somebody elses 😉
    Chris recently posted…Machu PicchuMy Profile

  25. Jec

    Love this post! Even shared it on FB. Haha.
    Happened to me all the time – Writer’s Block. That d*mn white screen’s not just producing some texts. Haha. Causes vary from every person but there’s one thing I am sure will always be a part of the reasons – the muse or the inspiration. Let go insecurities and inspirations will certainly come. Keep blogging; keep writing. You’re such a good writer. 🙂
    Jec recently posted…The Best Travel Itinerary in Florida Keys – How to Discover Paradise in 5 Days #SeizetheKeysMy Profile

  26. OurFamilyWorld

    Sometimes, we can’t help but compare ourselves to other bloggers and you are so right, it’s a total waste of time. I am glad that you were able to overcome it. I wish you good luck for 2016.

  27. Ka Yun

    Lilo in bright colored floral bikini top? :o!
    One thing I learned about blogging is it is almost like having another full-time job that schedule is needed to maintain it. But I also learned that it’s your own blog, you blog when you want to just for the purpose of sharing. If you’re monetizing or anything then yes, extra focus is needed but sometimes that’s not the most important thing about blog. 🙂

  28. Tamason Gamble

    Blogging is hard. Yes it can be rewarding but it can also be one of the most frustrating things you will ever do. Myself and my husband frequently disagree about things on our blog. I tend to do all of the writing and social media whilst he does the photography so you could say that there is not an equal split which, at the beginning, really irritated me – to the point of us arguing, me quitting and giving up on the whole idea and then realising that I enjoyed it so what does it matter if I spend more time on it.

    We also feel like yourselves, we don’t travel to some of these far-flung places mentioned by other travel bloggers and whilst we felt inferior to begin with we begun to realise that actually it was a positive for us. If everyone writes about beautiful Carribean islands, Asian delights and unusual rarely travelled places who is left to cover countries and places often seen as mundane by some travel bloggers. I love the fact that we cover places closer to home and therefore make it more realistic for our readers to achieve. Yes, its great to go to Borneo but not everyone will achieve that!

    Don’t let burnout get you down – take some time out, enjoy yourselves and then go back to it! 🙂

  29. I think all of us have gone through similar phases. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve considered throwing in the towel. But here’s what you need to keep in mind: do it because you love it, not because you want to keep up with others and/or travel for free. Those are the wrong reasons to be a travel blogger. If you are committed and passionate, that will come through in your writing. Chin up and travel on!
    Francesca | The Working Mom’s Travels recently posted…The Guesthouse Hotel: Boutique accommodations in Chicago for familiesMy Profile

  30. Terri Beavers

    My mind goes blank sometimes with my blog. On one of them that is. I’ve owned another one for 6 months now and haven’t written the first thing on it. I need to figure out what the problem is and keep my main blog going and start on my other blog that I really want to be a place I can rant or vent on.

  31. I am so glad that you both decided to break up with your insecurities. I have been through a lot of what you talk about here, some more recently than others. Depression has been a lifelong struggle for me and I wish I could tell you that it gets better, but what I can tell you is that you learn how to manage it better over time. I’m sorry you have had to deal with unsupportive loved ones when it comes to the work you put into your blog. Just know that what you do here is not a waste of time as long as it is serving you.
    Holly @ Woman Tribune recently posted…Raising Awareness of Human Trafficking in Today’s WorldMy Profile

  32. Joe Ankenbauer

    Loved the post! Traveling isn’t easy, especially without the support of loved ones. I’m glad you guys are back up and at ’em

  33. Wonderful post – loved it. Insecurities are hurdles everyone faces no matter the profession but I think even more so in a less ‘understood’ or less common field like travel blogging. Good for you for continuing on!!!
    The Educational Tourist recently posted…Timeshare Renting Option: Guest PostMy Profile

  34. Glad I found this article. I’ll bookmark it to remind myself every time I feel insecure to others. Every thing here are true and this is exactly what I need to read this time. Thank you for taking time to writer this. More power and be more inspired.

  35. Amber

    What a great post. I have for sure experienced that up and down of support and becoming so time consumed by the blog and family not understanding why I have to spend so much time on it.

  36. Lauren

    This is a lovely written post, very honest. I am glad that you are going to try to leave these insecurities behind. I think it’s a good idea not to compare yourselves to others – you are completely unique and have wonderful things to offer of your own! It’s tough not getting burned out. I’m feeling it myself these days- it’s hard to balance blogging with a full time job! I hope you keep having awesome travel experiences and sharing them with us!
    Lauren recently posted…St Mark’s Basilica Venice – Skip the Line!My Profile

  37. Mar Pages

    Beautifully real and honest, and so so relatable. Super admirable of you both to be so open! Thank you 🙂
    Also the last photo is the best!

  38. Dean

    A lot of what you have said here is exactly what I was thinking after I came back from my last trip in January. I hadn’t written for the 5 weeks we were away and found it hard to get started again. All the same doubts, inferiority complex and excuses had gotten to me. I have started to push through it and it’s great to see that you have as well.

  39. Elisa

    Very well said! And I am trying to break free from the negative set-backs! I think it will be better if we’re on top of the mountain and shout all the apprehensions. Thank you.

  40. Bernard Tan

    I enjoy your post! I am a new blogger and had only started blogging for less than 3 months. I remember there was once, when I am super stress and was chatting with my friends about how stressful I am to juggle work and to blog. My friends encourage me and told me to go back to my first love, what’s the reason you started this blog? and it sets me thinking. So, whenever I feel stressful or brain-dead, I would go back to my first love, the reason why I started the blog.
    Bernard Tan recently posted…The Essential Guide to Booking Hotels / Hostels in ChinaMy Profile

  41. Elisa martinez

    Funny on the burnout part, knowing you have great saying to share on a blog until you find yourself “blank” at the screen. Totally been there when I started mine back in Dec 2015, couldn’t think of 1 shit to say for approximately 3 months so I left it alone with no motivation between. Not the insecurities at all, I moved across state last year and trying to adjust to this new life. I got busier moving with nothing, gave my car to my parents, only bought 1 way ticket with half of my closet stuff and working long hours with a new job. That’s what held me back knowing I have a blog waiting for me to write. Too busy. When finally getting use to the adjustment, i was finally was able to write a few blogs and picked up from there however not alot of readers leave comments 🙁 Only to read, the heck.

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