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The Importance of Finding Your Travel Niche

I write about “all things India”.

I write about India in newspaper and magazine articles, on Facebook and Twitter, in emails and essays and, of course, especially on my travel blog, Breathedreamgo.com [1].
Every one who knows me is well-acquainted with my obsession, er passion, for India. But now and again someone asks me, “why India?” Like all good stories, there’s a short version and a long version. I’ll try to hit the middle ground.
I always wanted to be a writer, and even obtained a B.A. in Journalism when I was in my mid-20s. But I worked in corporate communications for a long time before pursuing a writing career. In retrospect, I didn’t feel I had the skills, confidence or subject matter to be a “real” writer. So, I wrote websites, newsletters, ad, brochures and feature articles for a wide variety of companies and organizations over many years.
In the meantime, a series of personal losses sent me into a lengthy depression. In my early 40s, I found myself unhappy and unsatisfied. I felt it was time to do something to change my life. I decided to pursue a dream: to become a yoga teacher. (I had already been practicing yoga for more than 10 years). And during yoga teacher training, I decided I had to go to India. I actually felt compelled … but that’s a really long story …
So, in 2005, at the age of 45, I put everything I owned in storage and jumped off the proverbial cliff. I went to India for six months. Suffice to say, I had an amazing time. India revived me in every way, and I fell in love with the country, the culture and the people. In fact, I felt a very deep affinity with India from the very beginning of my trip. I found what I call my “soul culture.”

The interactivity of blogging

While planning my big trip, I decided as an afterthought to write a travel blog. I created an account on Travelblog.org before leaving, in the fall of 2005, and contributed religiously to it during the entire six-month trip. (You can still see it at http://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/lemonindi/ [2] ).
I loved blogging, especially because I loved receiving comments. I didn’t anticipate the interactivity of blogging, and how rewarding it is. The travel blog became a central theme and focus of my trip. I received so much positive feedback about my writing skills that I began to gather the courage and confidence to start writing about things I wanted to write about.
That was about four years ago. Since then, I have been back to India twice and have begun to seriously pursue a career as a magazine feature writer, travel writer and travel blogger. Last summer, in August 2009, I launched my own travel blog, BreatheDreamGo.com [1]. (You can read about the name on my blog at http://breathedreamgo.com/travel/what-it-means-to-breathe-dream-go/ [3] ). This winter, I will be back in India, but this time blogging on my own travel blog site. A big step forward.

My life is my niche

On the Internet, I am BreatheDreamGo [4] and I write about India. I love having this focus. It makes social media much simpler and more effective. People know who I am and what I am all about. They send me links – which sometimes prove to be very useful and / or helpful – and even writing assignments.
At this moment, I am in preparation for my next lengthy trip to India. Sending a link to my travel blog when I make requests is opening many doors. It gives me credibility and proves that my interest and expertise is genuine. Because I still feel so excited about India, I can’t actually think of a disadvantage to having it as my niche. If my passion flags, I may move on; but in the meantime, I am very happily pursuing all of my dreams.
I finally have the skills, confidence and subject matter to be the writer I always wanted to be. India gave me my subject matter; India is my muse. I will be forever grateful to India for bringing me back to life, and for giving me perspective, courage, inspiration and focus.
India found me. All I did was jump, even though I was afraid, and surrender to the experience.

How did you find your travel niche? Share your experience!