Following the Dream; Writing, Traveling, and Moving…Again

June 4, 2015

USA Life

It’s been over a year since I last published anything on this blog, but as you read on you’ll see there’s many good reasons for it; the most important thing to note is that I never stopped writing. Creating this blog was the start to the career path that I’m now on, and hopefully will be continuing on, for years to come. That’s why it’s finally time for a new post.

Blogging; Why Every Writer Should Try It Out

When I started my blog back in 2012, I didn’t have any ambitions to be a professional travel blogger (those who make a living or a steady income from their blogs). I had to read a Blogging for Dummies book from front to back to figure out how to go about starting a website. I had to start using social media. I didn’t get my first Twitter address until late 2012. Admittedly, I still don’t use social media well.

I never had any major aspirations to gain 1 million followers or increase my SEO (search engine optimization) statistics or even get free travel (though when I did get my first free press trip around Ireland for a few days I have to admit I was obsessed for awhile with trying to figure out  how to get more).

My purpose, as I made clear on the blog from day one, was to enjoy life, see as much as possible along the way, and one day fulfill my lifelong dream to become a successful writer.

My blog was a platform for me to share my experiences and to practice writing in a new way using those experiences. Fortunately that technique seems to have been effective….

Travel Writing; My First Travel Guide Book

Without blogging, I never would have secured my first book deal in 2014 with Globe Pequot Press, a travel guide book focused on sharing the beautiful and inspiring stories of  timeless establishments in Philadelphia, existing business that still thrive today that survived through depressions, world wars, neighborhood changes, and more. Many of those establishments are over 75 years old, and I had the opportunity to write about them!


The fact that I was born and raised in Pennsylvania, a mere 130 miles from where all these establishments were based, made it even more special to discover these spots. I can proudly share that this book is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Beer Writing; My First Beer Guide Book

My serious passion and interest in craft beer evolved into my next book deal at the beginning of this year, a great way to combine my love of beer with my love for writing – and get to travel. The book, a 250-page book, entitled Beer Lover’s Virginia (Globe Pequot Press will also be publishing this book, expected to be out this Fall 2015), features over 100 breweries, brewpubs and beer bars geared towards beer enthusiasts looking to seek out the best brews throughout the state.

Beer Lover's VirginiaJPG

I had a four-month timeline to visit the beer spots, meet the owners and head brewers, take photos of each brewery, write about them, and of course sample some beers along the way. Through this project, I was able to see the entire state of Virginia and learn about it like never before.

New Journeys in Life; Moving South

In exactly one month, I’ll be moving from my current apartment in Jersey City, New Jersey to a house (our first venture into home ownership!) in Asheville, North Carolina. My husband Jim will pursue his own career aspirations to work in the brewing industry, taking a huge risk – leaving his New York City life behind – to go after his dream job.

While he does that, I get plenty of new opportunities myself – the chance to continue writing and traveling throughout the South, and the ability to be in closer proximity to a part of the US that I have yet to discover.


I also really can’t argue with living in a city that has more than two dozen breweries in the vicinity, one that has more breweries per capita than any other US city. Life doesn’t get much better than that.

Going forward, I will be using my Facebook account named BARLEY LINKS for many of my updates about future writing projects and craft beer stuff. You can also find me at 

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About Tanya

I’m a freelance travel and beer writer and a passionate and energetic 30 something - determined to enjoy life and see as much as possible along the way. Recently I lived abroad in London and traveled to 20+ countries within two years! As of January 2014, I'm back in the USA, and currently living in Charlotte, NC. But before all of that, my roots were set in small town America, where I spent the first 23 years of my life living, going to school, and working in the state of Pennsylvania.

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