Mount Rainier National Park
Blogging, Roundups

Month in Review: September 2017

It’s that time of the month again! The ups and downs of the last thirtyish days, the behind-the-scenes happenings, and everything non-travel related that I feel like sharing with the web.

If you’ve been a long-time reader of this series, welcome back. If this is your first visit, I hope you enjoy getting to know me a little bit better!

You can read the last few monthly roundups here: MayJuneJulyAugust. It’s hard to believe I’ve been writing these roundups for three years now!

Without further ado…

In September 2017…

I found myself questioning everything.

A few weeks ago, I decided to take a short break from blogging. Something was off and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, and I figured a little time away from the site to reflect and recharge would help me sort out what I was feeling.

At first, it felt like this little break did the trick. This time to myself produced a lot of new ideas and I came back the following week feeling ready to put my full-time blogger hat back on. Unfortunately, that renewed enthusiasm fizzled out pretty quickly and I wound up right back where I’d started–confused, frustrated, and dangerously close to calling it quits on the whole thing.

Contemplating the future of The Sweetest Way blog

Happier blogging times…

If you happened to catch the video I shared on Facebook though, you know that I’m not ready to do that. I know, deep down, that my location independent lifestyle is far too precious for me to give up on and that I’d never be truly happy in a job that kept me tied to one place, so don’t count on me giving up blogging anytime soon.

That being said, I do plan to explore some other avenues of generating revenue that don’t involve this blog directly. I’m particularly interested in further developing my skills as a photographer and hope to take advantage of some exciting opportunities here in my home valley.

This blog is a fantastic tool and it has helped me secure so many incredible opportunities, and for better or worse, it will continue to play a key role in my monetization strategy. But, I also believe that when something feels hard and the energy just isn’t flowing in that direction, it’s worth it to listen to that gut feeling and look to other opportunities.

Challenging though this month has been (and a shoutout to my Hans for supporting me through the emotional turmoil of it all), it has given me plentiful opportunities to continue growing and evolving, and for that, I can only be grateful.

We took a quick but lovely weekend trip to Seattle.

Seattle, Washington

Several months ago, Hans’ brother and fiancee generously gifted us tickets to a Coldplay concert for our birthdays, and the day of that concert finally came this month! It also happened to coincide with a friend’s Seattle wedding, so we were able to do both in one trip.

The concert was nothing short of amazing and carried a wonderful message of love, and I came away from it an even bigger Chris Martin fan than before.

The next day, Hans had some work to do at the recording studio, so I took myself on a little solo jaunt to Mount Rainier National Park. The day was sunny and beautiful without being too chilly, and the drive through the mountains was just as picturesque as my destination.

Mount Rainier National Park

I began a new chapter in my self-care journey.

I don’t often talk about yoga around here because it has always felt like a very personal endeavor to me–in other words, I’m not doing it for praise or recognition or even fitness, and you’ll likely never see me striking a dancer’s pose in exotic locales for Instagram likes.

But, it’s been such a powerful and transformational tool for me this past year and for that reason, it almost feels wrong not to share it with you. If it can touch someone else’s life in a similar way, it’s worth it.

Up until this month, I’ve only been practicing yoga at home, in private. I was wary of attending classes at yoga studios because I worried the spiritual aspect of the practice would get lost among people’s desire to use yoga to craft a sexy bod. And then, all of a sudden, I realized just how ridiculous that was.

I recognized that yoga can still be a personal spiritual journey while I’m surrounded by other people, regardless of those people’s intentions and whether or not spiritual growth is a mutual goal between us. Yoga can be what I need it to be while it serves a different purpose for someone else; all ways of practicing are equally valid, and the onus is on me to withhold judgment.

iLa Yoga in Wenatchee, Washington

Furthermore, I reasoned that having some additional support from an instructor and fellow yogis would only help me grow my practice even faster.

So, this month, I made my way back to a studio for the first time since the single class I attended in Oaxaca in January. It started with a celebration of the autumnal equinox centered around singing, chanting, and setting intentions. Then, a full class.

Now, I plan to continue attending regularly and this time, I want to share all the details with you along the way. I’ve also picked up a book I bought months ago and never made the time to read until now, The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice by TKV Desikachar. Because yoga is a practice that extends beyond the studio and beyond the asanas (postures), and I want to deepen my understanding of it in order to better utilize it in my daily life.

Another favorite yoga book of mine is Living Your Yoga by Judith Lasater; if you’re interested in yoga’s broader applications like I was, this one is an excellent place to start exploring. I’ve read it cover to cover and still leaf through it regularly for refreshers on topics including mindfulness, fear, attachment, self-judgment, patience, and love.

My Most Popular Posts

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The Genius Blogger’s Toolkit

This month for a very limited time, bloggers can get their hands on this incredible bundle of 91 blogging resources for one incredibly low price. Ebooks, courses, printables and workbooks to help you take your blogging biz to the next level–work smarter, grow faster, and of course MAKE MORE MONEY. This bundle is valued at nearly $6,000 and available now for the teeny tiny price tag of just $97. I purchased this toolkit last year and got SO much out of it that I obviously had to buy it again this time around. The offer ends on Monday, October 9th, so don’t miss it!

This ridiculously 80s music video by Hall and Oates

Hans had to learn this song for a wedding, and so we watched this video probably close to 50 times, and I just can’t get enough of it. Not only is the lip syncing terrible and the outfits hilariously dated, but does John Oates not look EXACTLY like Ross Geller that time he tried to take Rachel to the high school prom??

That’s all for this month…onward and upward!


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9 Comments

  • Reply Katie October 3, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    I know what you mean about feeling disillusioned by blogging – I feel that way often. I didn’t love Seattle until the third time I visited when I couchsurfed and got to know some of the suburbs around the city – now it is my favorite US city. I love Fremont, Green Lake, Ballard, Discovery Park, Alki Beach, Golden Gardens Park, Gas Works Park, Greenwood, Georgetown and Columbia City – I don’t care much for the downtown.
    Katie recently posted…Digital Nomad Life: Month Twenty SevenMy Profile

    • Reply Leah Davis October 6, 2017 at 10:30 am

      There is so much of Seattle I still have to explore! I’ve been to a few of the places you mentioned but not all. I’m sure I will be visiting a lot over the next several months 🙂

  • Reply JooJoobs October 3, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing.

    Stay motivated is struggle for every blogger. I try to diversify, even make new blogs, sometimes just for fun.

    Maybe you could blog about yoga?

    ~bibi

    • Reply Leah Davis October 6, 2017 at 10:31 am

      That’s a good idea! I definitely want to blog more about the things I enjoy, whether they have to do with travel or not 🙂

  • Reply Rachel October 4, 2017 at 3:00 am

    Oh man, I feel you. I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and think, “What the hell am I doing freelancing?! Maybe I should just go back home and suck it up and be a lawyer again…” But then I realize that I love being able to do work when I want and spend months at a time in different countries and not ask anyone if I can take my PTO. It’s definitely a source of anxiety – and don’t even get me started on keeping up the motivation to blog on top of all that – but your site continues to be a source of inspiration! Can’t wait to see what you else you pick up to generate revenue, because either way, you’ll still be your own boss.
    Rachel recently posted…My Summer In Review, Part 1: New Zealand to ThailandMy Profile

  • Reply Rose October 4, 2017 at 8:05 am

    I love so many things about this post (that Hall and Oates video though…)! You have been a huge inspiration to me as I’ve started my blogging journey and I really appreciate you being raw and real with what you’re experiencing professionally. Not an easy road, but you have so many wonderful things to share, I hope to keep reading and learning from you. I am a yoga teacher and it makes me so happy that you’re continuing your yoga journey as well! A great yoga book I recommend is The Secret Power of Yoga by Nischala Devi. A really beautiful translation of the original yoga sutras. Wishing you all the best!

  • Reply Steph October 5, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Sounds like you could use a holiday! Hope you have a bit of a digital detox planned for Hawaii. Thanks for your honesty, as ever. You know, before I even clicked on the FB link over to this post I was thinking how great your photos are these days – plenty of possibilities there I’m sure.

    I need to get back in the yoga studio too, I’ve been neglecting my practice lately. Light on Life by BKS Iyengar is another great yoga book, much more accessible than I expected.

    Oh, and have you seen Yacht Rock? Youtube it if not. That music makes my soul grin.

  • Reply Garry Wilson October 10, 2017 at 11:16 pm

    Traveling is always a good thing in life, it fill your souls.

    • Reply Leah Davis October 11, 2017 at 9:09 am

      Very true, traveling is wonderful!

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