You probably clicked on this post half-thinking it was some kind of clickbait-y heading to lure you in, but you're actually in for a whole lot of realness. So maybe grab a cup of tea or Prosecco and let's get real. If you've been reading Alajode for a while, you're probably all like "errr Jodie, what is going ON?" right now, so I wanted to give you an explanation.
Prepare yourself for this one...
I don't love fashion.
And... breathe. There, I said it.
Kind of crazy, right? I've somehow managed to run a fashion blog for four solid years and it turns out I don't actually love the main thing I've been writing about. I guess it shouldn't be such a huge surprise, really: I've been shying away from trends for the last year or so, instead building up a capsule wardrobe of pieces I really love, and I dread having my photo taken for outfit posts.
The really crazy thing, though, is that I'm sure this should feel scarier than it does. After all, it has been four whole years. That's over 1460 days of thinking up, writing and sharing content on fashion.
The moment I realised I don't love fashion took me completely by surprise but the truth is I don't feel an inch of fear. Deciding not to blog about fashion was a massive relief, which has quickly been replaced by excitement to focus on my true passion: travel.
This post could have been called 'Why I quit fashion blogging again' because it's not the first time I've veered away from the F word. Alajode started its life as a fashion blog filled with wishlists, grainy outfit posts and all the other things that were a big deal in blogging circa 2013 - a creative distraction from an intense Bachelor's degree in Arabic and French. And, like fashion itself, blogging gave me a way to form an identity for myself.
But... I never felt fully comfortable saying I own a fashion blog. I mean, I had to put it into a category, right? And fashion was the only real constant throughout the last four years. I hated being called a 'fashion blogger' but I wrote that feeling off as a massive case of insecurity-fuelled imposter syndrome. I just needed to up my game, that was all. The truth is, it just never really felt like 'me'.
Don't get me wrong - I still really, really like fashion. I love the psychology of fashion, the technical side of fashion design and the stories of the world's most influential designers (hell, my McQueen book takes centre stage in my room). But it's not something I want to live. It's just another interest that sits alongside nutrition, psychology, calligraphy and weightlifting - all things I love but would never, ever want to be an expert in or write a blog about!
So... let's talk travel
Something few people know is that my first ever blog was a travel blog. Surprise! It was a blog I started to record my year abroad in Amman and it's still floating around somewhere on the web (but it's now completely private - sorry stalkers). It's been nearly 6 years since I set that blog up and I still look at it occasionally and remember how much I loved exploring.
Something a few more people know is that I started a (not so) secret travel blog in early 2016. It was after a weekend spent talking all things blogging, business and life at the Blognix retreat that I fell back in love with my original passion. That was partly thanks to meeting some amazing travel bloggers like Monica from The Travel Hack, and partly from a conversation I had with Karen from 365 Pearls of Wisdom about comfort zones and getting right out of them. As soon as I got home on the Sunday evening, I knew I had to stop making excuses to not travel and make it a part of my life again. I booked myself onto the first flight I found (Cologne, in case you're wondering) and started making plans for my travel blog - because a blog category just wasn't enough.
That blog was more of a personal project than Alajode has ever been - a way for me to record my experiences without having to worry about the brand I'd built over here on this domain - but it's the one I'd be most excited to write. Over the last year, though, life did what it seems to do best and got in the way, and I felt like I had to prioritise this blog (and all the fashion content) over the travel blog. While I was attending fashion events, I'd be catching up travel blogs, Googling ideas for my next adventure and typing up ideas I'd had on my last trip. I guess I should have known.
What's next for Alajode?
Well, I'm currently merging the two blogs, but there's no doubt that travel will be the focus going forward. As I write this post, I have no fewer than 40 almost-written posts about my travels saved in my Evernote. Plus all of the content from the now-defunct travel blog.
I guess it's kind of lucky that I chose a "fashion-y but not restricted to fashion" blog name after all, but deep down I think part of me knew that my heart didn't belong to fashion.
I've spent the day deleting most of my old posts on Alajode, keeping only a few personal favourites that I believe still represent who I am. There's a shiny new 'about' page coming soon, but I can promise you nothing but the things I truly, madly, deeply love and could talk about all day: travel (obviously), learning and self-development, wellness, experiencing new things and generally enjoying as much of the what the world has to offer as possible in a single lifetime.
If you don't really like the sound of that and decide to unfollow Alajode, I completely understand. There will still be a solid number of style-focused posts, but they'll come in a travel context from now on. And if you decide to stick with me, I promise there's a whole lot in store. Excited? I am.