When I first moved to Rwanda in 2009 to become a volunteer teacher, I started a personal blog that I kept up for the year. It didn't blow up the internet, but it was something to keep family and friends engaged as I embarked on the adventure. (And you can see, I have a thing for yellow).
But then life happened. I took my website offline and focused on my professional career that led to five years at a social impact startup, two years in graduate school, and three years in real estate development. Through it all, the itch to write never went away, but it became confined to private journals and my computer, never to see the public light.
Even though I stopped blogging, I didn't stop living. In my mid-20s, I taught myself to DJ via YouTube videos and headlined a bunch of large parties. I learned to ride a motorcycle, and then proceeded on a 7,500 solo journey through Southern Africa. I recently finished the wonderful CS50 course through HarvardX, learning the basics of computer programming.
These experiences have provided great conversational material for dinner parties and chats with friends, but that's where it stopped. For one reason or another, I've never shared my life and my work online again.
But then COVID happened. My partner Hannah and I (and our dog Jax) decided to leave our apartment in San Francisco and went on a nine month road trip across the US, which we chronicled (slowly) on a YouTube channel for family and friends. While doing so, I began to read more and more about the importance of "showing my work" on the internet -- especially given our transparent, participatory, and open internet society. If I find things interesting, chances are that others may as well.
I've been most inspired by:
- Elle Luna's story about the importance of choosing "Must" over "Should"
- Seth Godin's advice that shipping creative work is an intentional act of making a contribution
- Austin Kleon's book about how sharing your process can generate valuable feedback for your work
- Ali Abdaal's YouTube video on how writing his blog became a life changing experience
- Nat Eliason's post on how starting a personal blog can change your life
- Daniel Vassallo's journey of building a portfolio of small bets for sustainable self-employment
So in that spirit, I am starting a personal blog again. Since I'm always ready for an adventure, I wanted to start sharing those adventures with others. Hopefully you will find this useful.
This is a side project, so I will aim for a weekly/biweekly cadence to get going. Unlike a lot of the advice that's out there for aspiring blogs and newsletters, I don't have a niche or coherent theme in mind. I'm not aiming for a niche from the start because I just want to get going, rather than spin my wheels in figuring out where in the market I can play. However, I expect that certain themes will rise to the top with time.
Some initial pieces that I'm considering:
- Lessons from 9 months nomadic
- How to prepare for a nomadic life
- Review of CS50 from a non-programmer
- How I started this blog
- How we found an NYC apartment remotely
See you soon!
I've also started on Twitter. Please follow me there!