Hello 2017!

Feeling elevated at 10,023 ft! Captured at the summit of Healeakala Crater in Maui, Hawaii

Wow, I can't believe we're already into the third month of 2017. It's been a while since I've last posted on here. This will actually be my first post of the year, hehe. It's almost been a year of when I first started The Jill Journals which is crazy to me. Time is flying so fast. Since I started this, I've often thought about what being a 'blogger' means to me. I do follow and am a fan of a bunch of different bloggers who have made successful careers out of their blogs. While I get my inspiration from that, it's not necessarily a goal I aspire for myself.

My approach to blogging is really organic and casual. It's definitely not driven by any sort of result or affiliated with any business, which to me is a breathe of fresh air as it gives me space and a no pressure zone to just do my thing. 

I'm really amazed by how positive social media has been as I've slowly nurtured my baby of a blog. The feedback and support I receive from friends, fellow bloggers and even strangers is truly rewarding. While that's fun, the highs I get aren't exactly sustainable for the long run. What I truly hope to do is to share my own stories on my blog and use it as a platform for what I truly care about and value in my life. I hope to inspire and impact - even if it's on the smallest of scales that would make me happy.

In all honesty, doing this blogging thing plus having a full-time career in digital marketing (which means exposure to the advertising industry) has been exciting for me, but it has also ingrained a skeptical and almost dark view into society that I sometimes get turned off by.

Like for example, how pervasive technology addiction has become in our society, and its impact on real life human interaction. Side note: there was a study I read about how the average cell phone user checks their device around 150 times a day. Shocking, but even scarier that I'm probably one of those people and didn't even realize how dependent I was on my phone.

I'm not saying technology and social media are terrible things. My point is that I've learned how important it is to set boundaries for how much I want to live my life in the digital world. I challenged myself and did a digital detox for the last couple weeks of December during the Christmas holidays. Trust me, I did get anxiety from being physically away from my phone. It was a bizarre experience. But, it was the one of the best things I ever did.

So, one of my goals for 2017 is to constantly challenge myself in finding a balance between digital and real life. I want to do something each month that consciously forces me to take some time offline. It could be just removing Instagram or Facebook from my cell phone for a week, setting a no phone zone at home during dinner so that my fiance and I can connect, or just simply spending time in nature exploring our beautiful earth. Carving time offline is truly renewing and revitalizing for the mind, body, soul and spirit.

That being said, I'm looking forward to sharing more stories with you on my experiences, life learnings, travel adventures (Maui travel post to come), my wedding planning rollercoaster ride (the countdown begins!). And of course, more style inspo and beauty tips. I wish you all the best for the rest of the year.