January 31, 2021

I used to linkup with Emma all the time, but it’s been a year or two since I’ve linked up with her. This month’s prompt is the story behind your blog name and how you came to start blogging. I decided to hop onto this linkup because a lot of people ask me about my blog name and because my blog has changed so much over the years. Thank you for having me,  SilverSpoon LondonBinnys Food and Travel DiariesAdventures of a London Kiwi and Summers Holiyay.

I started my blog almost 7 years ago when Nick and I lived in Hawaii. I called it “The Two Year Honeymoon” because those two years in Hawaii were really just one long honeymoon for Nick and me. I didn’t put too much thought into the name – a lot of other people were calling it that and it just kind of stuck out in my mind.

We moved to Hawaii just a few days after our wedding in New York, where I grew up. Nick and I had been in a long distance relationship for 5 years before getting married and moving to Hawaii. We to make up for a lot of lost time between our long distance and his deployments. What better place to do it than in Hawaii?

I also had to quit my job as a writer to move to Hawaii. I did some freelance for the company I worked for in New York for a while, but that work eventually tapered off. I had worked so hard to become a writer, working my way up from an intern and secretary. I even got my Masters degree in a subject that was tailored for that specific job. That job was the reason why Nick and I were long distance for so long, and it meant so much to me. I needed to find a creative outlet so that I could keep writing.

The Two Year Honeymoon was born.

We traveled a lot when we lived in Hawaii, and there is so much to write about Hawaii itself. I wrote mainly about Hawaii on my blog, but I never really felt inspired by anything I was writing.

After we left Hawaii the first time, I found myself having a blog identity crisis. What would I write about now that The Two Year Honeymoon was over?

We lived in Connecticut after we left Hawaii. We arrived in December and it was cold. We lost almost everything we owned in that move because of mold. Between not having any furniture to sit on and no job to go to, I ended up going to Panera every day. I would drink their limitless coffee while I worked on my blog.

I thought about what kind of blog I wanted to have – a book blog? a military spouse blog? a travel blog? All of the advice out there says you need to really narrow down your blog to be about one thing, but I just could not decide what direction to take my blog in (hello enneagram 9). I like writing about all of those things.

I started writing about military life, marriage, and how losing all of our stuff in our move to Connecticut affected me. In opening up, I started to feel excited about what I was writing. Interestingly, this was the time that I started to make some genuine blog friends.

I thought about the kinds of things I like to write about and brainstormed ideas for a new blog name. After weeks of scribbling and researching, I came up with Finding Ithaka because it captures everything about my blog and my life.

“Ithaka” is a poem by CP Cavafy. My friend had sent it to me right after we graduated college and were feeling lost. I often return to it when I need a boost.

Simply put, the poem is about finding joy in the journey, not the destination. It’s about leaving your fear and worries behind and just going for it. It’s about having as many experiences as you can. It’s about learning and growing and living.

And that’s how I try to live my life. We moved 6 times in 7 years. We have survived 6 deployments, a flooded apartment, losing all of our stuff, and being so far from home. I’ve had to reinvent myself in each new place we’ve lived. But we’ve also have some incredible moments of beauty. We’ve learned how to lean on each other. We’ve made amazing friends. We’ve traveled to incredible places I never, ever thought I would visit in my lifetime. In each place we’ve lived – Hawaii, Connecticut, DC, Maryland, and now Colorado – I’ve learned a little bit more about how the world works, met all different kinds of people, and become more open to new ideas and experiences.

We’re all on a journey. Connecting with each other and reading each other’s stories, trials, and successes is a huge part of that journey, I think. It makes us more empathetic, exposes us to new ways of thinking, and provides us with support and encouragement.

Finding Ithaka is for anyone who is in search of something. It’s for anyone who loves to read and create. It’s for anyone who wants to slow down and appreciate how beautiful life really is. It’s for anyone who wants to celebrate the little things that make life so great.

Thank you, friends, readers, and fellow bloggers, for coming back to my blog again and again to read, comment, share your stories, and connect with me. It means more to me than you could ever know. Whether you’ve been reading for 7 years or are brand new, thank you for being here. It means the world to me.

4 responses to “Finding Ithaka”

  1. Emmalene says:

    Hi Carolann, what a lovely story behind your blog name! And that poem is just perfect. Glad I’ve found you via this month’s Travel Link Up x

  2. Joyce says:

    Great post! Love ❤️

  3. Audrey says:

    I love the inspo for your blog and the new direction you took it in all those years ago. I’m so glad we connected in Blogland! Your blog is so real and interesting and genuine. Love reading it!

  4. Emma says:

    Thank you for sharing your story again Carolann – I’ve adored following your journey!

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