The First Year of ThisFloridaLife

One year ago, on 7/7, I started ThisFloridaLife. The goal: share my love for my homestate and discover more of my own background. Little did I know how important this goal would be for me and how my lifestyle would be enhanced. In honor of the one year anniversary, I’d like to share the highlights of this past year and what my goals are for ThisFloridaLife during its second year.

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Learning to love ThisFloridaLife

It all started as just a little hobby. I like to write and I love being a Florida Native. I figured I could share all the things I love about Orlando and having a blog about Florida would give me a focus to travel throughout Florida rather than journeying to far off places when there are so many treasures right here. If it didn’t take off and the only people who followed my adventures were my friends and family, I wouldn’t mind. ThisFloridaLife is purely for fun.

A year later I have a flock of followers I call my Florida Lifers, and I am very thankful. I have dipped my toe into the world of Orlando bloggers, travel bloggers, and theme park bloggers. I have met some fascinating people and been to tons of fun events, all while still maintaining my career and adjusting to the recent changes that have occurred at my “day job”.

Airport beach, a little piece of paradise

ThisFloridaLife has changed my life more than I anticipated. I have immersed myself in my homestate. After a long, but rewarding day at work and on the weekends, I am out and about enjoying the Sunshine State. Husband and I plan more weekend getaways to Florida destinations that we ever did before, even if they’re just little trips down the road. But what I’ve enjoyed the most, even more than my time discovering and enjoying Florida fun, is the people.

Chad Crawford of "how to Do florida"

Chad Crawford of “how to Do florida”

During this first year I’ve met fellow Florida Natives; it feels as though us Natives are part of a strong culture, and we love sharing stories about the Sunshine State. Some of the Natives I’ve met are people I admire and look up to like Chad Crawford of  “how to Do florida“, JD Spradlin of Radio Margaritaville, and Robin Draper of AuthenticFlorida.com. Others I’ve connected with through Twitter, enjoying sharing stories, pictures, and posts all in the tight little package of 140 characters or less. I look forward to meeting more Natives and connecting with adopted Natives, transplants who sought the sunshine and are finding their place among the people of the sun.

I’ve met fellow bloggers and theme park enthusiasts. Each having their own unique style and perspective. I’ve become a contributor for OrlandoInformer.com and enjoy being a part of such a dynamic website. Becoming a contributor was sparked by some few very special Florida Lifers who approached me about the idea. It is a great partnership that I enjoy and I hope to continue my contributions for a long time.

Most of all, I love interacting with my Florida Lifers. I will never forget, on day two of ThisFloridaLife, the very first Florida Lifer from across the seas began to follow and I acted like a giddy school girl. It is still a thrill to think that people from around the world are viewing my writing and pictures. It is my hope that my journeys and adventures will help my Florida Lifers enjoy the state, my home, that I love so dearly.

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Charting my course for the next year…

Balancing a demanding workweek with having an active blog can be tough. These past two months have been evidence of that struggle as I have been far less active while dealing with the adjustments that come with a new job. But, now that I am slowly getting more settled, I know I can return to more regular involvement and enjoyment of ThisFloridaLife. Over the next year I plan to do a little upgrading to ThisFloridaLife, including enhancing the look and functionality of ThisFloridaLife.com. I hope to enhance the ThisFloridaLife experience through social media. It is also my goal to attend more events and become more involved in the community.

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Thank you to my friends and family for being the first Florida Lifers and always encouraging me. Thank you to my husband who has sometimes had to sacrifice time together while I spend weekends and evenings writing away. Thank you to the people I look up to for giving me something to aspire to and lessons to learn. Most of all, thank you Florida Lifers for reading and following. You all are the brightest ray of sunshine in ThisFloridaLife.

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