Laura Adney
Things Nobody Warned Me About Blogging » Retrace These StepsI knew coming into this, that blogging about my travels would take time, patience, and most of all EFFORT. Starting out, monetization was never a goal for me, and to be honest, still really isn’t. I do this because I truly enjoy it. I love seeing new places, I love learning new things, and most of all I love sharing my experiences with other people. I think if anything, travel has taught me that people are generally the same everywhere. You have your friends, and you have your foes. Nobody will agree with everything that you have to say always, and that’s perfectly fine. I have my opinions, and you have yours, and that’s the world that our ancestors fought so hard for us to live in. So why fight it? Agree to disagree. There are somethings, however, that I knew happened to other fellow bloggers, but never imagined happening to me. (I like to think I’m perfect, joke). When blogging, a lot of your site traffic comes from people like you, who are looking for honest reviews, or trying to learn how to do something they’re currently struggling with, or looking for a new place to explore but aren’t quite sure what to do when they get there. Therefore, it is my job to go out and do it, gather the suggestions, and then give my honest feedback. As a result, here I am trying new foods, hiking new trails, visiting popular and not so popular attractions, and telling you about my experience. In the world that we live in today, people are so easily offended. Mistakes are blown out of proportion, assumptions are made without any chance for justifications or explanations. We are misunderstood without trying to understand, and it can make lives for bloggers a living HELL (among other things). The point of this post is to warn those of us who are like me; just starting out, wanting to do something good for everyone, but who lack the experience and in my situation proof-readability of those who have hired virtual assistants, publicists, etc. This is my experience, and I hope that I can help save some of you from yourselves by sharing. Social media is the most perfect tool for getting your content out there. I share on a weekly basis to my followers from afar, friends, family, and anybody else who will read what I have to say. I post on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, you name it in hopes that what I have to say will make someone’s day brighter. Unfortunately, words can get misconstrued, the greatest of intentions can be flip-flopped when repeated by the misunderstood individual, and basically, it can all turn into a big mess. (I mean, I guess all of this had to happen sooner or later, right?) This past weekend, I visited a local wolf preserve Seacrest Wolf Preserve Inc., because (common theme alert) I just love animals so so much of all kinds. I jumped at the opportunity to be up close and personal with the beautiful creatures, to learn more about their lives (in an out of captivity), most importantly to raise awareness on a crucial situation in order to help save the lives of these beautiful animals that have no voice to speak for themselves and of course to share my experience with all of you. It was a rainy Saturday and things were running out of average routine due to the weather. I arrived, I paid the $35.00 fee (+tax) for the tour, and the $35 fee (+tax) for the photo encounter with the wolves. After I had my photos taken I walked over to the small animal encounter and found that it was closed early. I was deeply saddened by this because I drove 2.5 hours from home strictly for this visit and was disappointed not to have received the full package. Walking back up towards the main cabin, I ran into a woman on a walkee-talkee. At this time, I was not sure who I was speaking with, I had assumed she was a routine staff member here, and asked her if they would be opening this encounter again for those who were not able to experience it before the wolf tour. She jumped to attention immediately, and had the individuals running the encounter open it back up so that I could go inside. She even drove me to the gate. I was overly impressed with the amount of customer service I had received from one simple question. She introduced herself to me as Cynthia Watkins, the co-founder of the preserve and I excitedly told her that I was there running an article for my blog and briefly explained to her what my site was all about. She was excited and very friendly with me all day. The animal encounter closed shortly after my visit with the foxes, and I then proceeded to the wolf tour, once again chauffeured up to the cabin by Cynthia in her truck. I entered the tour with the large group of visitors that had reserved for the day, and we were guided through two enclosures (those of the Timber Wolves from the photo encounters, as well as the Arctic Wolf pack they have on site). Here, we were informed all about wolf nature, pack hierarchy, and how they take care of these animals. I took my photos with my disposable camera, was pleased with my day, and happily drove back home, more than excited to develop the film from my experience so I could get started right away constructing this post. What happened next, I would have never seen coming. I was given the photos from the photo experience prior to leaving the facility, and instantly downloaded them to my phone, excited to start editing away and posting to my social media. The following day, I posted my first set of photos onto Instagram, making sure to tag Seacrest Wolf Preserve, hashtag, create a snarky caption, all that jazz. I also shared the photo to Facebook, doing the same here. When I posted the photo to Facebook I was opted to select a campaign to raise donations. I searched for Seacrest Wolf Preserve and assumed (ALERT: THIS IS THE MISTAKE) that they did not have a donatable charity on Facebook listed. Therefore, I chose to tag Wolf Conservation Center instead (SECOND MISTAKE) without researching the center and simply assuming this was a nationwide organization collecting donations to help all over and not a preserve located in New York. All was well. The post received great engagement, lots of FOMO comments from friends, and I was very pleased with myself (even more so when I saw my first $5 donation come through). All of the sudden, everything BLEW UP. I had posts coming from left and right making terrible accusations, assumptions, and threats from people I had never known or met before. It didn’t take long for me to understand what had happened. Seacrest was ANGRY. I had tagged them in the photos but listed the wrong organization. The co-founder had reposted my post, mentioning that I had tagged the wrong organization and that she felt deceived and was very upset. I immediately reached out to her and let her know that I had made a mistake and would rightfully correct it as soon as I had a chance. I never received a response, but did continue to receive angry comments from others. I was mortified. I had never meant to cause anyone so much harm, and I didn’t know how to fix it. Here’s the thing though. To some people, I was a terrible person. What I had said/done was inexcusable, I was a liar, I was a thief, all these things I knew I was not. To others, I had made an honest mistake, owned up to it, and did what I could to try to fix it. Regardless of the side any one person stood in this situation, the most important were my intentions. To raise awareness and funds for these wolves. To promote a really great establishment. To share my experience with the world. Yes, I made a mistake, and one of the biggest I’ve made since I started this little travel journal, and I can own up to that. Seacrest Wolf Preserve needs the funds to operate and take care of their little babies, and so do the other preserves in this world. I would never attempt to take that away from such a great cause. I offer my eternal gratitude to Cynthia for allowing me the opportunity to experience the magic of Seacrest, and I hope to visit many more in my lifetime. I also offer my condolences for making a mistake that caused such a negative uproar. The takeaway here, is that, in blogging (and life, I mean come on) you’re going to come up against so many obstacles. Your words will NEVER come across the manner in which they were intended to every single person, and you will piss a lot of people off along the way. Own your mistakes, right your wrongs, but don’t give up, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Just be CAREFUL what you say on social media. Words are more fragile than ever in this delicate world we live in today, and with social media a bigger presence than ever in our lives, can be spread and twisted faster than you can say “I’m sorry”. As much as I would love to post the photos from this awesome trip, I do not want to further step on anyone’s toes, so I will refrain. Original, however can be found here. WITH THAT BEING SAID Let me take some time to bring awareness to the wolves! That’s what started this whole mess anyway right?! As some of you know, and some of you may not, the Federal Government is working towards doing away with the protection bill against the wolves in our country. Wolves are an incredibly important part of our ecosystem, top of the food chain, and maintaining order in states all across the US. In addition to this, they are some of the most misunderstood and beautiful creatures that exist among us. Without this protection clause, the wolves will become extinct in no time, and they can’t speak for themselves so we need to do it for them! Preserves all across the country are working to keep them alive and save them from this petition and trophy hunters who are only helping to kill them off. So I encourage you to visit https://act.biologicaldiversity.org/onlineactions/A5dfsmmn5US3fSOZ0aCLYg2?&sourceID=1004352 today and sign this petition. Add in a few words of your choice so that this counts as a single vote, rather than one single vote with a bunch of names. I know it feels like it’s never enough, but you have no idea how much it really is. I also encourage you to visit and donate to your local wolf preserves. They’re located nationwide, and are all working towards the same goals. #savethewolves What are some of YOUR favorite wolf preserves? Please follow and like us:
The Confused Millennial Podcast How I Built This with Guy Raz That’s So Retrograde The Balanced Blonde Podcast As Told By Nomads Your Own Magic Ancient Wisdom Today The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard Masters of Scale with Reid Hoffman >>>UPDATED<<< Swipe Up Don’t Keep Your Day Job Growth Now Movement NOTABLE MENTIONS: Podcasts where I’m a guest: RELATED READSLooking for the best podcasts for 20 somethings & confused millennials at heart?! You’ve come to the right place! I’ve rounded up my “go-to” podcasts! Everything from spirituality, business development, and of course entertainment! Let me know in the comments what your favorite podcasts are!! The Confused Millennial Podcast I mean obviously, it’s the title of the podcast! Plus it’s my new podcast! I’m so excited to go deeper into the content you regularly see on the blog, share a little more about myself, and bring on some amazingggg guests that are my greatest teachers! Here are the top episodes so far: Tips & Tricks on Working With Brands ft Katherine from Slightly Savvy, Patience & Stalking: A Millennial Love Story, How To Use Color To Live Your Best Life & Heal ft Walaa from Color-Ways, Entrepreneurship: Tips for finding your place, staying motivated, & what to avoid If you haven’t already, make sure to click here to subscribe/rate/review the podcast!! ***ALSO I have to shout out Asha from Adventures with Asha before we go any further for taking the gorgeous cover photo in this post! After you read my favorite podcasts for 20 somethings & the confused millennials at …
The Fourth Trimester: from the babies perspective: The Fourth Trimester: from mama’s perspective: Here’s a list of tips and things to remember for surviving the fourth trimester The Hand Test Fed is best Baby wearing Skin to Skin Sleep Enlist help Give your body time and support Stay off the scale Express gratitude daily RELATED READS:This post is in partnership with Hancock Regional Hospital as part of their empowering women and children site. All thoughts, experiences, and opinions are my own. Be sure to check out their site for additional resources and support. The fourth trimester is no joke. Even with an “easy” baby I felt like a shell of a human being at times. The fourth trimester is that extra three months after baby has arrived where you and baby are continuing to grow together. I mean, you are probably/hopefully always going to be growing together – but this period is marked by daily, if not hourly or less, life time transitions. You both have been growing and changing at a dramatic rate through pregnancy, but surprise! It’s not over! These next few months you’ll be learning a slew of new things together. The Fourth Trimester: from the babies perspective: Your baby spent the last nine months or so in a climate controlled environment. The temperature was steady, it was always dark, and soft. They didn’t need to experience feeling hungry or having to pas gas or relieve themselves. All of the sudden, baby comes Earth side and his/her entire world has changed. There are new temperatures, …
Raise your hand if you avoid conflict at all costs! How to know if you’re conflict avoidance has gone too far… Why you shouldn’t freak out if you’re avoiding conflict How to keep the peace while working through conflict effectively RELATED READSRaise your hand if you avoid conflict at all costs! Does anyone actually like conflict?! Probably only masochists. I think avoiding conflict is an asset in many ways – it means you’re striving for peace. Truthfully though, avoiding conflict at all costs comes with grave consequences. When people don’t stand up for themselves or advocate for what they believe in they often are known as “people pleasers” and aren’t taken seriously. Why? Because they get a reputation that you won’t create any waves or don’t really have an opinion. Which means that ultimately, you’ll keep getting ignored or passed over, until you begin to feel undervalued and resentful and begin to manifest things sideways. How to know if you’re conflict avoidance has gone too far… No one takes you seriously when you talk You feel undervalued and under appreciated (or maybe even resentful and angry) You constantly obsess over work – even when not at work Experiencing an increase in anxiety or anger Feel stagnant, burnt out, or overly stressed Are beginning to develop more headaches, difficulty sleeping, or other physical ailments Why you shouldn’t freak out if you’re avoiding conflict Listen, rare is the person who jumps up …