I almost let HJ’s anniversary pass without any fan fare. For shame!
Yes, I’ve neglected Haunt Jaunts something fierce the last couple of years. I’m not dedicated about posting 4-6 times a week like I was when I first started back in April 2009. (Although this week I’m coming close. This will mark my third post in as many days. There’s hope for me yet!) Lately 4-6 posts a month would be huge.
And heaven knows there are a plethora of jaunts I’ve made in the last several years I still have not written about at all. Haven’t covered Bermuda like I wanted, and haven’t even touched on Aruba, Venice or Greece. That’s just to mention a few.
In all honesty, I lost a little of the love back in 2013. I was feeling overwhelmed, burned out, and wasn’t sure I wanted to keep my site going. It turned out I was suffering some mental problems brought on by some new health issues. But I didn’t know that then. I just knew I missed writing fiction, which there never seemed to be the time or energy for anymore. When I wasn’t busy social networking and blogging, I was traveling or playing tennis.
So…I let myself take a break.
A funny thing happened every time I seriously thought of shutting HJ down completely. My heart hurt and my soul whispered, “No. It’s still very much a part of you. But you’ve changed since you first started it, and so has your vision for it. You’re both evolving into something else. You’ll know when you’re ready to go back. And you’ll be more prepared to make it into what you want it to be.”
My Authentic Self is a very wise woman. She was right. I needed the break. I needed to reflect, plot, plan, dream and find the love once more.
And I needed to reorganize myself and my priorities.
Back in 2009 when I first started HJ, I was still undergoing chemo. It was easier to prioritize back then. I lived day-by-day to the fullest, because we didn’t know if the treatments would work. All I knew was that if I took a turn for the worse, I was going out with as few regrets as possible. Maybe I hadn’t written my Haunt Jaunts: A Travel Guide for Restless Spirits book, but I’d done something.
Not that I’ve written that book yet either. I’ve written one “Haunt Jaunts Guide to” book, though, with a series of them in the works.
So…here we are. Six years later. Still growing. Still evolving. Still traveling. Still very much in love with the seed Haunt Jaunts started out as and what it’s sprouted into.
And I’m still very much alive. And healthier than ever.
Sounds like good cause to celebrate, don’t you think?
Which brings me to something else I haven’t done in a long time: throw a contest.
So that’s what I’m going to do to honor the vision that started the blog which has evolved into this site. Stay tuned. Or check the Contest page for announcements. That’s where I’ll post info on how to enter and what prizes are up for grabs.
And as always, newsletters subscribers will get an extra little bonus for their dedicated enthusiasm. (Not a newsletter subscriber? There’s still time. Just click here to sign up.)
Happy 6th anniversary, Haunt Jaunts, my beloved, life-changing, life-saving online haven. To borrow from Dr. Seuss: Oh, the places I’ve gone, the things I’ve seen and experienced, and the wonderful people I’ve met because of you. Thank you for all you have given me.