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  • Writer's pictureChristine

A Change Is Gonna Come!

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

When I opened my Gmail this morning, I had an e-mail from Mailchimp, which is the service I use to send out newsletters to my subscriber list. The e-mail informed me that my account was going to be closed due to inactivity. According to the e-mail, it had been 23 months since I last logged into the account.


Twenty-three months??????? Seriously???????


When I first started Tips2LiveBy, I religiously sent out a newsletter every single month. The newsletter summarized the blog posts I had made the previous month, and included my "Tip of the Month". Had it really been 23 months since I last sent a newsletter out?


I knew that over the course of the last several years, Tips2LiveBy had changed. There are multiple reasons for that - some intentional and some not so intentional. The change happened gradually, but I hadn't really given serious thought about what I wanted Tips2LiveBy to be today. Until I got that e-mail this morning.


Just as Sam Cooke wrote in his song back in 1964, a change is gonna come, whether you want it to or not. So what does that mean for Tips2LiveBy? Keep reading to find out!


A History of Tips2LiveBy



I started Tips2LiveBy in May of 2017. My original thought for starting the blog, was that it could be a place for me to share tips and info about my favorite things - live music, travel, food and drinks. You can read more about what my plans were in my very first blog post here.


Over the years, the blog and its associated social media pages changed. I switched from my old WordPress site to a new Wix site. I tried Pinterest, then quit Pinterest. I worked really hard to push myself out to the world. And I got pretty good at it. I even got to the point that I was hooked up with a music marketing firm that represented a bunch of indie artists, and started getting free tickets and press passes to shows.


By February of 2020, I was really hitting my stride. And then, the world shut down. We all know what happened in March of 2020. Suddenly the main things I wrote about - live music and travel - were shut down. I had to adjust to keep Tips2LiveBy going, and I did.


The next major turn my life took was in September of 2022, when my husband and I moved from the Philadelphia area to Bluffton, SC. The difference between living in a major metropolitan area to living in the lowcountry of South Carolina is huge - and I'm not just referring to the weather. It's a whole different lifestyle, which means a lot of things in my life changed too. You can read about our life in Bluffton here.


So what does all this mean for Tips2LiveBy? I'll break it down by each of my favorite things.


Live Music



In the Philadelphia area, you could go see live music somewhere every night if you wanted to. And we did. If we didn't see 50+ concerts in a year, it was a slow year for us. Almost every big act hits the Philadelphia area on their tours. And if they don't go to Philly, they hit the New York area, which was easy for us to get to as well.


Now that we are in Bluffton, the live music scene is a little different. There is still great live music in the area, but it's more local artists than national artists. Savannah - which is about 25 minutes from us - is starting to become a stop for some national acts. Charleston - which is about 2 hours from us - also gets shows. But, just as often, the big tours skip our area and hit Atlanta, which is 4 hours from us.


Not having as much access to shows doesn't mean that we don't go anymore, we are just more selective about which artists we travel to see. We focus more on local music. I also started to realize that when I went to shows, I was spending more time "working" - taking pictures, videos and notes for the blog post I was going to do - than enjoying the show.


So, Tips2LiveBy will still cover live music, but it won't be in the form of concert reviews on this blog. It will be the couple of pictures I snap and post on my social media. Or the minute or two of video I might take and put on my YouTube channel. I still believe you should always #JustBuyTheTickets, but for my life now, there doesn't have to be a concert on my calendar every single week.


Travel



I have always loved travel and I always will. Experiencing new places and new cultures is something I love. And I still get excited planning out our trips - especially to Europe.


But one of the things I discovered when we moved to Bluffton, is that when you REALLY love where you live, it's not as important to you to escape it all of the time. I love being home. I love our town, our house and our neighbors. I love that I can be at the beach in 30 minutes any time I want to be.


Tips2LiveBy will still cover travel, it just might not be as often. We will still do several big trips each year. In 2024, we already have a cruise planned (which happens to have a stop in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, so we'll be returning for the first time since January of 2020) and a two week trip to Europe to go see Dave Matthews Band. I also hope to go somewhere completely new in the fall. My goal in 2024 is to do some long weekends and daytrips to places near our new home. So again, there may be fewer travel blog posts, but more posts on my social media of the local places we explore.


Food and Drink



South Carolina is not wine country. In fact, the only "local" wine I've discovered around here is just not very good. But, there is a pretty decent beer scene in both Charleston and Savannah. And there are some amazing restaurants in the area.


So, expect my Tips2LiveBy social media to still be full of pictures of amazing food and drinks we discover both locally and as we travel. But there won't be a lot of reviews on local wineries!


Books



One of the things I've re-discovered over the last two years is reading. Now that my schedule isn't packed every single night, I love to spend a couple of hours in the evening on my lanai reading. I've been a big reader since I was a little kid, and my reading has gone into overdrive this past year.


In conjunction with the increase in my reading pace, I've started focusing on doing book reviews. That, in turn, has gotten me the opportunity to get a lot of Advance Reader Copies (ARC's) of books by authors who are looking to get the word out about their new books.


So, a new feature on Tips2LiveBy will be a monthly blog post containing reviews of all the books I've read the previous months. You can also keep up with what I'm reading by following me on Goodreads here.


The Future of Tips2LiveBy



Since I started Tips2LiveBy in May of 2017, my life has changed a lot. My priorities have changed. What I want to spend my free time doing has changed. I've intentionally focused on not being overscheduled. I've intentionally focused on eliminating things from my life that were taking up my time, but weren't things I really enjoyed.


The new Tips2LiveBy will still have pieces of the old - travel blog posts from time to time, and sharing music/travel/food/drinks on my social media. But it will also have new pieces. It will have book reviews. It will have blog posts about subjects that I just feel like I want to write about.


And that e-mail newsletter that started all of this? I think I'm going to start it back up again. I'm not sure what content I'll put in it yet. I might not do it every single month, but that's ok. I've changed and Tips2LiveBy can change too. In fact, it will most definitely keep changing as I change, because the one thing I know for certain is that Tips2LiveBy is me. It's my forum for expressing myself and putting out into the universe the things I love.


Now I better go and log into my Mailchimp account so it doesn't get closed down!


How have you changed over the last several years? Let me know! Comment below or e-mail me at tips2livebywriter@gmail.com.


Did you like what you read? Want to keep up on live music, drink, travel and books? Make sure you follow us on social media. Click on the links at the bottom of the homepage on the website to follow where we are, what we are eating and drinking, what books we're reading, and what live music we are listening to.


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