2013 was a hard year. A strange year. But it felt like it was only natural following on from 2011 and 2012 which were spectacularly hard. You read about some of the challenges here in this space. Life got even more complicated before it felt like it turned a corner and I begin to see myself, old familiar me, again emerging from the fog. The sky hasn’t completely cleared and it may not for quite awhile. But, there’s great beauty in the midst of brokenness – extraordinary opportunity for redemption and love and hope.
What is for certain is that it’s been a crazy ride.
Daily, even when I haven’t posted new content in months and months, there are more visitors to www.goannatree.com than I could have imagined. I am still grateful for this. People still don’t get the name. I’ve tried to explain it. But it is still a lingering point of confusion.
In order for there to be new life and new growth, sometimes other things have to end. So, after almost 6 years and over 100, 000 visitors, after 943 posts and over 1100 comments, I have decided that www.Goannatree.com, this website I founded as I moved to the US the first time to attend Graduate school in 2007 as a little travel blog & way to keep people in the loop about my research, has reached the end of its journey.
As I’m living in Australia at the moment, it feels like it came full circle and I was the last person to figure it out. I made some spectacular mistakes, had some mild triumphs, and learned more than I can articulate about writing in this medium. The site will remain live for at least the next year, as I seek to find ways to make the most sort after content available. If there is something you are particularly interested in (particularly if you are using it as a resource for classroom discussion), do let me know. I always enjoy hearing how this project helped people!
But, as this post is titled Final Goodbye & A New Beginning, let me share where to from here:
www.annablanch.net is my new online home.
Welcome! Grab a cup of tea, and start exploring!
I still haven’t unpacked all the boxes, so there are still some kinks to be worked out and the kitchen sink to be made functional! But, over time, I hope you will subscribe, tweet, comment, let me know on facebook, and by email, what you think!
www.Annablanch.net will serve as a hub for my portfolio for my freelance writing and photography, and will host not one, but TWO new projects. The first is Not A Pedestrian Life. NAPL focuses on the life nomadic I have found myself living and the adventures of others who are living their lives out in ways worth talking about.
It’s the place where you’ll find updates on Overland From Oz, any other adventures I embark on, as well as life as an expat and a military spouse. Because, yes, I’m moving internationally again – for the fourth time in 7 years! This time, I’m playing for keeps, as I will be joining my (soon-to-be) husband in the United States of America and who knows where that adventure will take us! I really think there must be some sort of pioneering, expat life living, gene because it seems I’ve got it in spades! Thankfully, so does the lovely man I’m soon to marry! Yes, me married. I didn’t think it would ever happen either! Life can surprise you sometimes. Oh, and that military thing. Yes, I know there are people laughing about that, because there’s was no way this former army chick was going to marry anyone in uniform. Oh, yes, feast on your cherry pies of delight – I still feel like I got the better end of the deal!
The second project will explore the needing roots aspect of my life, writing, and spirit. I’ve titled this project Quotidian Home. It’s where you’ll find Theology: Naked, and where I’ll explore the extraordinary in the ordinary, as I seek home. There will be all the art, food, books, and inspiration that makes life imperfectly perfect! It’s a daunting prospect, this starting over again in a new country, in a small town, in the southwestern USA, but it is much more exciting that I am walking into the breach with my best friend. Yep, I’m definitely that girl.
Since these two projects — NAPL and Quotidian Home — were soft launched, I have been heartened by the response! Your support is much appreciated. The sheer breadth of countries where people are reading my writing never fails in knocking my socks off! It’s certainly been instrumental in keeping me on my toes as far as my geography is concerned! In fact, let’s do a little roll call, shall we – maybe by region or continent! Although, wouldn’t you know that’s way more complicated than people might imagine — I hope my classifications below don’t offend anyone and i’m willing to be corrected.
South East Asia-Pacific: Australia, Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan, New Zealand, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia
The Americas: United States of America (including New York, Texas, Missouri, Virginia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina, California, South Carolina, Michigan, Florida, New Jersey), Canada (including New Brunswick, British Columbia), Brazil, Portugal, Netherlands Antilles, Mexico.
Europe (including much of western Eurasia) and North and West Asia (including what is commonly referred to as the Middle East): United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Israel, Sweden, Ireland, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Belgium, France, China, Japan, Finland, Indonesia, Russian Federation, India, Netherlands, Austria, Norway, Kuwait, Latvia, Serbia, Egypt, Hong Kong, Romania, Sri Lanka, Croatia.
Africa: Benin, Uganda, South Africa, Botswana, Morocco, Kenya.
See, so much international love!
You’ll also see some changes in my social media presence as I move away from Goannatree as an identity and to using my own name. It may not be a radical idea for some, but for me it’s been a big decision and involved quite a bit more resolve that one might assume.
Proper launches for both are coming, Not A Pedestrian Life earlier this year (in time for a big push ahead of Overland From Oz) and Quotidian Home, later on, once I’ve got, ya know, the whole getting married thing sorted!
Anna Blanch is an Australian-born writer and photographer. In 2014, she will embark on an epic adventure traveling Overland From Australia to London (via Russia and Japan) by train and ferry. You can follow this adventure on Not A Pedestrian Life, or Facebook. More of her photography can be viewed here.