SPOTLIGHT: Ashlyn Harrelson

Welcome to SPOTLIGHT! Each Tuesday I’ll be posting a quick interview with an awesome person you need to know. This week, my new friend Ashlyn Harrelson kindly gave her time to answer some questions.

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1. For those that don’t know, can you tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?

I write a personal/travel/adventure blog and run my personal Instagram account in the same manner. I fill my life with hiking, kayaking, traveling, etc and want to share my experiences with whoever is interested. My goal is to get something out of my travel and experiences other than just checking off a bucket list item or adding up all the countries/places I have been. For me, I think it is more important that I learn and grow from the things I have done and places I have been.

2. Why do you do what you do?

Truthfully, because it makes me happy. I feel at my absolute best when I am in nature or traveling or trying something new and I want to inspire others to go out and do whatever it is that makes them feel their absolute best. I think you can have adventures both close and far away from home. A lot of times we get bored or think there is nothing to do “around here” or that everything costs too much but I do not think that is true. I want people to research their town or somewhere nearby and make the most of wherever they are. Also, on a more personal level, I want people to feel like they are not alone. For them to know that we all go through very similar experiences and have similar desires in life. When I was going through a difficult time I did feel alone but I started writing and found that it was therapeutic. I think it is necessary to find a positive outlet. I did find a few blogs that helped me but I feel like there can never be too many encouraging messages.

© 2017 Ashlyn Harrelson

3. What inspires you from day to day?

I find inspiration everywhere. Most of the time it comes from nature or being in a new place. I also find it from interacting with family, friends, and coworkers and from books. Even as an adult I primarily read fiction and have been on a Paulo Coelho kick for awhile now. I have found great inspiration in his books so far.  I would be lying if I said I did not get inspiration from social media. I follow a few accounts that are really great for personal growth and connection as well as some that are very active and adventurous and all about travel. Don’t get me wrong though, a lot of times what we see on social media is misleading and we should not compare our lives with somebody else’s. I think by now most of us know that the majority of time people only post their best moments on social media.

4. Can you describe your process for us?

I am constantly looking up places to travel for a day or weekend or longer so I would not really consider that part of my process but more of my personality. For me I try to take lots of pictures and bring my journal on longer trips so that I can make notes about everything I am experiencing and how I feel during those moments. I like to think that I make my posts funny, informative, relatable, and for the most part, to the point. I have a pretty dry sense of humor so that part is not difficult for me whereas I am not so great with directions or maps or distances so for any post about travelling or hiking I have to do a little research and put a little more work into getting those details down. I have found that I am either in the mood to write or not and when I am not I do not force it. Sometimes I can sit down and write a whole post in one sitting and other times I will try for a few minutes but I am just not feeling it so I stop. I can get away with this at the moment since I do not really have a following. My thought is that the posts will be more enjoyable to the audience if I actually enjoy writing them.

5. How has that process changed over the years?

Well it has not changed yet. I have not been blogging for years and my personal journalling has been off and on but mostly off prior to the end of last year. But between the start of my blog, last August, and now I can say that I have moved more towards an adventure and travel style and away from an overly personal style. I still want to share about my personal growth but more from experiences through travelling and exploring. As I mentioned, I do not have an avid following but if that changes I may have to start scheduling time every day to write a little so that I can post more frequently.

6. Where can people go to find more about you?

I am on Instagram @adventuresofashlyn and that is also my blog, adventuresofashlyn.com

About Alan V. Nelson

Alan V. Nelson is a writer living in North Carolina. Through the use of fiction and non-fiction, his mission is to encourage hope and healing in others. When he isn't writing, reading, taking pictures, or on a long walk, he can be found enjoying good chai and conversation at a local coffee shop. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram @alanvnelson

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