When I was younger, I was a good writer. A little unpolished, sure, but strong. Clear. Lately, I’ve felt like I lost my voice. I reread the articles on this blog and yawn. It’s like reading a grocery list. Where is the passionate voice of my youth? Where is the descriptive, and yes, even elegant (sometimes) prose of my teenage years? Maybe more importantly, why can’t I seem to get it back? If I’m going to have a successful travel blog, I need to be able to go beyond telling readers about the places I go, I need to take them with me on the journey. I want people who read my blog to smell the thick, slightly sweet scent of ozone, rain, and decaying plant life when I hike through the Amazon. To taste the tanginess of sauerkraut I buy from a tiny shop in Berlin. To hear the blaring horns and hawking street vendors as I stroll down a busy street in Chang Mai. To feel the Australian sun beat down and the sweat rolling off the tip of my nose when I’m slaving away on a pearl farm near Broome. To experience the spiciness in not only the food of Brasil, but the air, the clothes, and even the way the people move.
I need to lose the fear of not fitting in that we all tend to acquire as we grow up. I want to shed it like a second skin. I’m already doing something with my life that is hugely different from what society tells me I should be doing, so why is it so difficult for me to be true to my inner writing voice? Maybe because I’ve tamped down the somewhat formal, certainly old-fashioned style of writing that felt so good to me for so long that I’ve forgotten how to write that way. Maybe I shouldn’t be looking to go back to that style at all, but instead find the voice that is right for me now.