Welcome to my new website! It has been over two years since my last blog post and I’m excited to announce that it’s the end of the hiatus for me, at least in terms of my website! I feel as though life has been on fast forward for so long. While I haven’t quite mastered how to slow things down, I am getting better at filtering things out, and prioritizing and investing my time in areas of life that bring me joy. Life is too short to be wasteful with your time and energy.
The past 5-6 months have been draining, scary, heartbreaking and uncertain for people all over the world. No matter where you live or who you are, everyone has been impacted somehow by COVID-19, and it’s not over.
While we are inundated with bad news on nearly every TV channel (main reason I do not have TV!), I do hope that my photography and stories will leave you with morsels of happiness and inspiration, especially during these trying times. I’m looking forward to connecting and engaging with people near and far. To be sure not to miss out on any of my stories, please consider subscribing to my blog. (Sign up on the top right of the screen).
My old website was designed and launched in 2014 in preparation for my year off in 2015-2016 and besides a handful of blog posts, the website was static (not changing) – not good! For a few years now, I’ve been wanting to get my site updated, however, as is often the case with personal priorities, this project was continuously shelved.
Now, in preparation for my second year off, (yep! I’m taking another!), I’ve taken the plunge and over the past several months I’ve been working with an amazing web developer on my website overhaul (Alex Vita of Foreground Web, he specializes in photography websites and is a magician!). If you have or are looking to have a photography website developed, be sure to check out Alex’s website for a plethora of tips and training resources!
I faced the challenge of wanting my website to target more than one “audience” and to focus on more than one subject matter: photography (of multiple subjects) and stories (about multiple subjects). I wanted a platform to share my world travel experiences while at the same time featuring my own backyard, the Northwest Territories; this way I hope to have interesting content for international and local readers alike. In the end, I am very pleased with what Alex has developed for me.
My website now includes e-commerce! I’m offering a special of 20% off your print order until October 31! (coupon code: launch20). At this point in time, only canvas prints can be ordered directly from my website; for all other print types (paper, framed, acrylic, metal, etc), please contact me or visit the Prints and Licensing page for more information.
I welcome you to explore https://www.tawnabrown.com and let me know what you think below in the comments!
My Stories (Blog) and What’s to Come…
While the majority of my stories will have an emphasis on travel and photography, I also wanted to make room for a “sprinkle of everyday life.” This means that once in awhile, I may share a story about my dog, health, cooking, or everyday thoughts. These are areas of life that mean something to me and my goal is to share, inspire and connect with you, the reader.
I am always traveling or dreaming about traveling. During 2015-2016, I took myself on an epic 10-month long round-the-world journey. This was an overwhelmingly enriching experience and while 4+ years has already passed, I’ve only managed to share a handful of stories here on my blog; I’ve barely scratched the surface! And since then, I’ve been on numerous other travel adventures…. so you can expect to continue reading about my previous travels for some time to come, as the stories are timeless and so worthy of sharing!
While international (and much national) travel is on hold for the time being (for me at least), having an abundance of content to write about and share will serve me well during this time of “travel fasting.” I welcome you to travel vicariously with me, exploring the world, both near and far.
Another Year Off Coming Up
Like many of you, due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions in place, I’ve been itching to travel for a long time, especially since my long-awaited year off from work was supposed to begin in May 2020 (and I had been waiting 4 years for this time to come!). I was able to defer the commencement of my year off, and after an intense amount of deliberations and calculations I decided to commence my year off on October 26, 2020.
As a side note, since some of you may ask, how do I get a year off from work? My employer, the Government of the Northwest Territories, has a deferred leave program whereby you can work at 80% of your salary for 4 years, and have the 5th year off, paid! I had such an incredible time during my first year off in 2015-16, that during the 1st week of my return to work in March 2016, I filled out the paperwork to do another year off! Fast forward 4 years, and here we are now, October 2020! How time flies!
While I managed to travel extensively during my 1st year off, this time around things will be very different, no thanks to COVID-19! With so much uncertainty and things changing daily around the world, I am unable to plan anything. Oh how I wish I had a crystal ball!
Regardless of all that I do know and don’t know, I will do my best to embrace unscripted change, to make the most of my time off and pray for the best! In the meantime, I do have some non-travel related goals in mind, at least for the short-term….
Get ‘er Done Goals
For the first few months of my year off, I have a number of goals that I’d like to accomplish that do not require traveling. I consider many of these as the “neglected priorities” – projects or goals that often get shelved because there is often something more pressing (or distracting) to attend to.
While remaining at home sweet home in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada during some of the coldest months doesn’t sound very thrilling (trust me, it isn’t!), I think this will only help me in accomplishing these get er’ done goals; most of which don’t even require leaving the house!
- Cherish all remaining time with Tika (my 13.5+ year old German Shepherd who has Degenerative Myelopathy)
- Photography and travel-writing work (this will be my main focus, as I have several projects waiting for my attention and I want to expand my business)
- Purging my house, closets, storage, filing cabinets and even my email inboxes (of which I have several!)
- Get started on writing a book
- Continue with my fitness regimen and strength training, 5 times/week at the gym and a deadlifting goal of 175lbs
- Write up a legal will (maybe I should do this before attempting the deadlifting goal!)
- Learn a decent amount of conversational Italian (yes that’s right! I’ve been to Italy 10+ times and I haven’t yet learned the language!)
- Transfer old video camera cassettes into DVD format (and revisit my teenage years!!)
- Explore and learn more ethnic cooking (Thai, Indian and Ethiopian in particular – my favourites!)
- Learn to drive manual transmission
And hopefully early in the new year, I will be able to travel internationally, reconnect with friends and discover new places!
If I could ask anything of my visitors, I ask that you consider subscribing to my blog and leaving a comment at the end of my stories/posts. This will let me know who stopped by and it will motivate me to continue writing and sharing. I love to connect with people all over the world, and I’d love to hear from you!
For now, please be safe, smart and considerate. We’re all in this together and with everyone’s cooperation, the sooner things will improve for all….and hopefully we can reunite with family and friends that we haven’t seen for awhile and international (and national) travel can resume again.
Stay tuned for more!
(Not currently) Travelin’ Tawna