Tell Your Story-Lars & Michelle

posted on December 8, 2018

Welcome to the “Tell Your Story” highlight reel.

If you haven’t guessed it as yet, everyone has a story. Within each is identifiable life experiences, anyone can glean from if open to receive.

This is a Highlight Reel of another’s life journey designed to inspire. Have a coffee/tea and read on as Lars and Michelle share their story.

Firstly, thanks to Al for asking us to ‘Tell our Story’ on this inspiring series. 

We are Michelle and Lars of and are on an adventure of a lifetime.

Our story? We met just over three years ago, both having been married before, and both surprised that we fell for each other so quickly.

Lars had been single longer than me, I was only a year out from my divorce, and I was much warier about rushing things. My heart was telling me one thing and my head another. Anyway, I finally told my head to hush, and just went the flow.   

We moved in together, and one afternoon we sat down to map out our hopes and dreams.

The majority of these were all the places we wanted to travel to in the future. Call it an epiphany moment, a stroke of madness or a bloody great decision, but we looked at each other – through those rose-tinted glasses – and said, “Why wait?”

My boys were starting to do their own thing, one already across the other side of the country working in radio and the other two both going to do university stints overseas. So, there were no ties to keep us in Perth, Western Australia. 

And that was it!

We saved like crazy for a year, gradually sold all our worldly possessions on Gumtree, ended our rental lease, resigned from our full-time jobs, (Lars worked in the off-shore safety arena and I was a teacher), and off we jolly well went!

We’ve now been on the road for over 18 months, and we’ve visited 29 countries. We spent a year in a camper van traveling through Europe, then bought a car and spent 4 months exploring the spectacular scenery in Norway. We are now house-sitting a Chateau in the quintessential French countryside.

Why did you start blogging?

Our blog organically came into being about six months after we had begun our trip and morphed into this all-encompassing “lifejourney theme.

I was keeping a travel journal and then thought about writing it online, just for us, and then that kind of morphed into the blog idea.

At the same time, we were having a big problem with ‘gas’.  Well for starters, being in each other’s company 24 hours a day you have to get used to those types of problems – generally, a good sense of humor helps with that – but we had more pressing gas problems.

Driving a German motorhome through Europe, we found it very difficult finding places to top up our motorhome’s German gas bottle. We hadn’t been able to find any information on google. That was the first time, the idea that we had valuable information that others could use, came into our minds and we joked about setting up a blog. That initial thought, spark if you like, grew and we started to think seriously about the idea.    

We realized we had a lot to share and wanted our posts to inspire and help others on their ‘lifejourney’, both on their physical travels and their journey on this complicated, but joyous thing, we call ‘life’.   

Life itself can be a tough journey; by sharing our experiences and thoughts we hope that we can help others along in their journey. Additionally, we hope to inspire and motivate others to ‘satisfy their soul’. To do whatever it is that makes them content and to make sure they are doing things they sooner rather than later. Not just ‘one day’.   

What hurdles (mental or physical) did you have to overcome to get your blog started and continue on today?

We initially felt like we were swimming in treacle. ‘Set up a blog in 30 minutes’, all the articles promise, luring you in like it’s such a smooth ride. Well, let’s swap the words ‘30 minutes’ for ‘many months’ and you have a realistic timeframe. We weren’t expecting it to be such a huge learning curve, but it’s certainly fabulous exercise for the aging brain cells.

Mentally, I had a little bit of work to do on sharing my thoughts and ideas in our ‘Lifejourney’ section, but after I wrote a really personal piece about my childhood, I feel I have managed that hurdle and now just write from the heart.

As well as the time it took us to get a handle on just setting up our blog site and to learn what those ever-present SEO letters stood for, we also hadn’t factored in the importance of social media.

Social media takes a good chunk of time, particularly maintaining a presence and making sure that you engage meaningfully with both your followers and new potential followers.

We started out trying to write our blog posts together. However, we soon realized that was definitely not going to work for us! We have different writing styles and ideas, so now we are happy to edit and give constructive criticism on each other’s posts 😉   

Lars is much more focused on the photography side of things now and me more on the writing. We still have so much to learn and to improve on. We recently decided to get Photoshop and Lightroom, so again steep learning curves there.

What advice would you share with someone who wants to start blogging?

Follow your passion and just do it. We would recommend taking the time to set up your blog carefully before you start. Have a few posts ready to go and start building a social media presence.

Starting a blog reminded me of having my first baby.

There are so many articles, people, books, blog post (blog posts hadn’t been invented when I had my children – or internet come to think of it, but that’s beside the point) out there telling you what you should and shouldn’t do that it can become overwhelming. They say, ‘Leave the baby to cry. No, pick the baby up, don’t leave him to cry’.

So many well-meaning people, but so many conflicting ideas. It’s the same with blogging. It’s a balance, between doing your research so that you are prepared and also listening to your own heart and making sure you are doing what you feel passionate about.

You are a unique individual. Trust your instincts, believe in yourself and go for it.

Don’t wait for that ‘One day’.

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