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The End is Nigh: The Last Year of My Twenties

Yesterday was my birthday! I celebrated here in Mexico, which I don’t think I could have guessed if you’d asked me last year where I’d be. A happy surprise.

I turned 29, and I’m feeling pretty good about it. I’m in a good place in my life now, an exciting one! The world is still full of interesting possibilities, but it’s not as scary as it was when I was 26 or 23 (the real world is horrifying when you are 23).

However, there is one big problem with turning 29, and if you are reading this blog you can probably figure it out…

Look carefully

In exactly one year my twenty-something travels will be over. Which is not to say I plan to stop traveling, just that time keeps marching on and I haven’t yet figured out how to stop it.

Call it poor planning, but honestly, when I started this blog as a 24 year old, desperate to see the world, I never once imagined I would still be doing this five years later. I just wanted to motivate myself, and others to get out and see the world while they are young.

This website has taken me places beyond my wildest dreams, literally and figuratively. I’m happy to keep going, having adventures and writing about travel and life. The NAME though, the name is the problem.

Of course, it’s not just the name. I don’t travel exactly the same as I did when I started this blog. I’m slower now, I’m less interested in backpacking and more interested in long term travel and food and culture. I’ve still got plenty to say, but it’s not necessarily the same stuff as when I started out. At the same time, traffic has never been higher, so at least someone out there must be enjoying what I’m putting out there.

For years people have been asking me β€œwhat happens when you turn 30?” like it’s the most clever question in the world. I usually shrug and say I’ll figure it out later. But ugh, later has come and I need to come up with a solution that’s smarter than Thirty-Something Travel (because, really, how stupid would I be if I just set myself up for the same issue ten years down the road? Not that I know I’ll be blogging in 2024 but I sure as heck didn’t expect to be blogging in 2014 either.)

So, because the whole thing kind of gives me a headache, I’ll ask you guys. What should I do?

I think the easiest answer probably is to rename the website. Mike did it earlier this year, going from Art of Backpacking to Art of Adventuring and it looked relatively painless. Would you guys still read this blog by some other name? And what should that name be?

The other option I can see is to turn Twenty-Something Travel into a resource site for younger travelers and start an entirely new blog for my own writings. To be honest that doesn’t sound super appealing to me, but I have poured a lot of time and effort into this site in it’s current incarnation.

I’m open to any other suggestions if you’ve got them. What’s important to me is maintaining my platform for writing about travel and connecting with readers. I don’t want to alienate people but I do want to stay true to my ever-evolving self. The question is how do I balance the stuff I want to talk about with the stuff you guys like to read about?

I’ve still got time to figure this out, and you can rest assured that any decision I make will be well agonized over. There will be big changes on the site over the next year I’m sure. For now though I’m going to kick back with a Bohemia (the superior Mexican beer), and relax. It was just my birthday you know.

30 Responses to The End is Nigh: The Last Year of My Twenties

  1. Naomi October 27, 2013 at 9:19 AM #

    Happy birthday Steph! I personally don’t think changing the blog is necessary, in fact I think it would be a bit strange if you overhauled the blog. Perhaps the title needs a slight tweaking but I think what your readership are interested in is your take on things which will have naturally changed over time!

  2. Michelle @ Mishfish13 October 27, 2013 at 10:16 AM #

    Happy birthday! I think your readership has grown along with you, but a harmless name change sounds like the best way to tackle it!

  3. Catherine October 27, 2013 at 10:50 AM #

    Happy Birthday!
    How about using part of your subtitle: “Why wait to see the world?” Or a modification of it? The site has always had a strong voice from you so I think that is the more important theme than a focus on travel appealing/accessible to twenty somethings.

  4. Guada October 27, 2013 at 10:57 AM #

    I love the blog, and would still read it under any other name. I think the question is more about what you feel comfortable with.
    Happy Birthday Steph!

  5. Colleen Brynn October 27, 2013 at 3:11 PM #

    I don’t think you will alienate people with whatever you decide to do… your readers obviously love you and your content. I think it is fair that your traveling style changed and is changing. Audrey of “That Backpacker” recently rebranded her blog as well for a similar reason – shifting from a prior form of travel. Her focus is mostly on her name, and sometimes a name can be just as strong of a brand as anything else, especially when you have such a strong following.
    I will keep reading, anyway. x
    Happy birthday!!!

  6. Sammy Dorn October 27, 2013 at 4:55 PM #

    Happy Birthday! I think your readers will stick with you no matter what you do. I personally think a name change would be better than using this site as a resource

  7. Olivia October 27, 2013 at 5:28 PM #

    I really doubt people would stop reading because of a name change. I think the coolest thing would be to create a whole empire from a home page where people can click ‘twenty-something’, ‘thirty-something’ and so on as time goes on. Only problem is that would take a ridiculous amount of time to keep up and it’s not like certain issues stop being relevant after 29. So, I don’t know. A simple name change would likely be the best and easiest option.

  8. Sam October 27, 2013 at 7:00 PM #

    Honestly, I don’t think the name matters. I’ll still read it whatever it’s called! I can completely understand why you’re not so keen to start a whole new blog for your own writings; I wouldn’t want to either. I think whatever you decide, as long as you keep generating well-written, useful, content, people will still read, regardless of the name.

    Oh, happy birthday by the way!

  9. Akila October 27, 2013 at 10:07 PM #

    Happy birthday! I actually think that you should consider re-configuring your site in the way that Christine has done hers for Almost Fearless. You could call it “travels by decade” or whatever and when people type “twenty-somethingtravel.com” it redirects to “twenty-somethingtravel.travelbydecade.com.” Yes, it makes for a super long hyperlink but you could think about a better name. And, then all of your sites would be under your umbrella. It’s what I’m considering vaguely about doing for The Road Forks and creating an umbrella site called “theroadtravels” and including The Road Forks (on travel and food), The Road Unleashed (on travel and pets), and a new site called The Road Bump (on travel and pregnancy) under it. Of course, I barely have enough time to keep up with my current sites so the re-configuring isn’t happening any time soon!

    • Jess October 27, 2013 at 11:09 PM #

      I totally agree! I love this idea of making it into a “Travels of the Decade” type website, and keeping the 20 something section. This site is too good to let go!

  10. Brittany @ Paws for Beer October 28, 2013 at 12:44 AM #

    I also like the decades idea… or you could just “maintain” at age 29 forever πŸ™‚

  11. Kellie @ The Fundamental Alchemist October 28, 2013 at 3:33 AM #

    Actually the second I started reading your post I thought “Thirty-Something Travel’ would be great because you’d still have the original ‘Twenty-Something’ connection but, yes, of course you could eventually have the same issue. Therefore I vote for the decades idea or to not change the name at all.

  12. Matthew Karsten October 28, 2013 at 7:56 AM #

    My vote is for: twenty-to-sixty-somethingtravel.com Cover all your bases.

    And for the record, Negra Modelo is the superior Mexican beer…

  13. Erica Baker October 28, 2013 at 11:22 AM #

    Happy Birthday! I guess you have a year to find a new name πŸ™‚

  14. Joe A. October 28, 2013 at 2:35 PM #

    Happy Birthday! A change in title, or whatever you chose, isn’t going to mean much in the end. It’s your content that draws people in and keeps them reading. And you’ve got that in spades.

  15. Nicole October 28, 2013 at 4:04 PM #

    What if you de-emphasized twenty-something travel and emphasized your exisiting tag line instead

  16. Nicole | The Wondernuts October 28, 2013 at 5:44 PM #

    You could keep the name. It could always be a source for travelers in their twenties. Maybe open it to other guest posters who could keep the 20something portion of the website alive.

    And then start introducing the 30s traveler. For people with families and possibly kids. Then eventually start calling it “generation-something travel.”

  17. Anneliese October 28, 2013 at 6:04 PM #

    I love the name of this blog so I would keep it! I don’t think turning 30 or moving away from backpacking travel necessarily means you have to tweak the site. As long as your blog is about adventure and exploring new cultures, I think it is in keeping with the original spirit of the site.

  18. Riana October 28, 2013 at 8:52 PM #

    First off: Happy Birthday! A birthday by the beach sounds wonderful πŸ™‚

    I personally feel (as others have said) that your readers have really grown along with you. I’m only 21 but I really appreciate all of your writing on long-term travel. The stuff you originally wrote on backpacking, hostels, etc. is still here; it’s accessible to the new generation of travellers. Maybe making a little box on your home page to direct younger/newer travellers to those resources might be helpful.

    As for the name, I don’t think you need a drastic change – no one (worth your time) is going to get upset over a 30yr old writing content on TST. That said, I think a cute addition like 20+ travel might be nice. You wouldn’t need to change the actual URL web name, but maybe just add it to your homepage graphic. It’s actually encouraging for travellers like myself to see that you have sustained a blog & your travel lifestyle into a new decade!

    • Steph October 28, 2013 at 10:23 PM #

      That’s a new idea I hadn’t thought of!

  19. Carmen October 28, 2013 at 10:07 PM #

    I don’t care what you’ll call the blog – I’ll still read it πŸ™‚

    Happy Birthday!

  20. Amanda October 28, 2013 at 11:25 PM #

    First of all, happy belated birthday! I hope it was a good one – you certainly got to celebrate in what looks like a lovely location!

    As for the name of the site… I don’t think it really matters, to be honest. I’m totally of the belief that, when it comes to blogging, people follow people.

    Sure, people may find your site through Google, too. But the readers that check in again and again will keep doing so, no matter what the site is called!

  21. Beth October 29, 2013 at 9:18 AM #

    Happy belated birthday!

    I like the idea of organizing it by stages of your life, though regardless what you do, I’m sure everyone will keep following along. I know I will!

  22. Anil October 29, 2013 at 11:30 AM #

    The longest one can be in their 20s is 10 years, so in 12 months, you’ll have more expertise on the subject than anyone younger than 30 πŸ˜‰ I also like Akila’s idea above.

  23. Anna November 1, 2013 at 9:39 AM #

    I found this site because if your post on world ventures. I have a family member who joined and I wanted some ammo for discussions about it. I stayed because I liked what I read. I do not think the title is so important. You were a twenty something world traveler. Does age matter? I do think that of you two options (name change vs. new site) the name change would be the way to go, I am just not sure it is that important. I think a play on your name is wise though – “Steph’s Stuff” or “Steph’s Travel Tips” that way when people hear your name they know who you are. My two cents….

  24. Melissa @ Suitcase and Heels November 9, 2013 at 10:52 AM #

    Although it doesn’t sound all that appealing to you I actually like the idea of turning this site into a resource for twenty-something travellers and then move most of your own writing to a new outlet (maybe just something straight forward like StephanieYoder.com?). Open this site up for other twenty-something writers to contribute to. Keep the 20-something love going?

  25. Aaron Andrews November 10, 2013 at 7:52 AM #

    Sorry I’m a little late here. This is my first time visiting but it looks like you have a strong community, people that really have gotten know you through reading. With that being said, I don’t think you should change the name. I would just add a section on your site named, “First Time Readers” and tell the story behind the name there.

    Great blog you have here!

  26. Emke December 17, 2013 at 4:54 AM #

    Hey, I really like your blog. I think you should just change it to thirty-somethingtravel! In that way, you will adress a new age group, also remain the readers you had before (they migt have grown up with you as well) and you don’t lose the fame you gained with the name twenty-something travel! And then, after ten years.. if you still have this blog (would be great!) fourty-somethingtravel (Yea, how would you travel by that age?). Keep up the good work, cheers from Holland!

  27. Traveolani September 1, 2014 at 12:51 AM #

    Hi Steph, because of the name of your blog, I skipped it several times at first (I am not twenty-something :)). Then I decided to check it to see what it is about and I was so nicely surprised. I found so many interesting and inspiring posts and lots of useful information. I think the current name can only limit your audience. In my opinion the best thing to do is to rename it and keep all the post here. I also really enjoy your writing. πŸ™‚

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