It’s been a crazy few weeks in my brain since I decided to close down Barefoot Beach Blonde and start up Maps and Mandalas. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Just a few weeks? Doesn’t seem like much time to make a big decision right? Well, when it comes to decisions I tend not to wait around the edges. I’m more of a ‘jump in the middle’ kind of person, which has proven to be both a good thing and a bad thing. In this case, I’m hoping it’s good.
Let me give you a bit of background. You might be familiar with some of this if you’ve already read my About page. In September of 2012 (woah four years ago!) I also had a lot going on. I was studying full-time in the last semester of my three-year double degree and I was working two very demanding jobs, because apparently I’m a crazy person. As is often the case when you’re coming to the end of something, people kept asking me what I wanted to do next, where I saw my life going. To be honest, I wasn’t sure.
I knew that I loved to write, I spent three years studying it after all, and I wanted to have something to encourage me to write on a regular basis. So, I did something totally unique (not) and started a blog. I called it Barefoot Beach Blonde, and designated it as a travel blog. At the time I thought that I would spend my life travelling the world, happily living a life more-or-less on the poverty line, giving it all up just to travel and see every beautiful beach this world had to offer.
For a while, that really worked out for me. I lived on a tropical island on the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef, I travelled South East Asia with a wonderful boyfriend who, like me, loved the beach, and I generally had an amazing time.
Three and a bit years down the line, I started to lose the passion for writing that had led me to start that blog in the first place. Now I was working as a writer more than 30 hours a week, putting out thousands of words in content. Thanks to an expensive visa process, and the high cost of living in Australia, money was tight. We couldn’t afford to travel in Australia, and weren’t allowed to leave the country at the time. It seemed that this travel blog I was running was less about travel, and more about something else, but I couldn’t help but feel that it didn’t fit. Barefoot Beach Blonde was a canvas with another picture on it already, and no matter how much I tried to change it, that image kept coming through.
I realised that what I needed was a fresh start, a new (almost) blank slate for me to launch from. After some deliberation, I settled on Maps and Mandalas, a website exploring travel, photography, art and design. A new place for me on the web.
Of course, Maps and Mandalas is really still in its infancy. I’ve taken my best content from Barefoot Beach Blonde and reworked it, but it’s really just the beginning. As always, I have big hopes and even bigger dreams for what comes next. You can expect photography, a heap of fun DIYs, and of course a chunk of travel. I hope you enjoy it!
If you want to send me any feedback, get in touch with me on my contact page. If you’d like to keep up with what’s happening on Maps and Mandalas, consider signing up for my monthly newsletter below!