The Truth About Glitter (...and who I am today.)

 YVR Airport

YVR Airport

"To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else." - Emily Dickenson

When I started a Pilot's Daughter, I set an intention to use the blog as reason to keep my eyes wide, my heart open, and my story alive. Having trained and worked as an actor for years, I wanted to challenge my sense of creativity and find new ways to express myself outside of a script. And I certainly did.

Never before had I identified as a writer, but suddenly, quite naturally, it was the term I used when people inquired about "what I did".  I had often been in front of a lens but rarely behind one, but I found myself very compelled to capture vivid, transporting images to go along with the pieces I was writing. Before I knew it, I was a bonafide blogger, complete with shiny business cards and press badges. I was partnering with tourism boards and travel brands to create content that would inspire people to finally book that trip they'd been fantasising about; to follow their wander-struck hearts out into a bold new world of delicious unknowns.

I truly felt honored. 
I had found a way to justify my natural nomadic tendencies, remain a story-teller, and somehow (just maybe) inspire others. It was everything I could possibly wish for.


Sort of…


A wonderful peer of mine  - Diana of DTravelsRound - recently wrote a piece for The Comfort Zone Project entitled, 'Yes, I Am A Travel Blogger. No, I Do Not Piss Glitter’. 

I nearly spat matcha soy latte all over my Mac when I first came across the piece. It’s so delightfully on point. 

One nugget from the piece I particularly love:

"When I tell people I’m a travel blogger, I kind of mumble it. Or, I don’t even tell them. I just say I work online. Because I know what words will follow: Oh my god. You are sooooooo lucky.

While I don’t disagree, I am lucky, I always tell them I am luckier that I have the ability to travel because I work really hard to make money. That I am lucky I have friends and family who support me. That I have enough money behind me to pay for annoying visas to live abroad. To cover the cost of rent. To ship my cats from Thailand to Europe…”

Please read the full, honest, sassy article here for more of Diana's charming and oh-so-real insight.

 Living the dream... 

Living the dream... 

The thing is, we blog because we love to travel, we love to write, we crave freedom, and we’re brave enough to risk the safety of the status quo for a chance at the blogging dream.

But that dream doesn’t come true for everyone. Or it can cost a hell of a lot. Financially, emotionally, physically; it can be INCREDIBLY draining. And at a certain point I had to ask myself, is this something I love enough to continue sacrificing for. 

And the answer was an honest and humble, “No.”.

Travel is one of the great loves of my life. The instinct to explore and discover new parts of this earth is as much a part of me as my left arm is. And writing, well it’s been one of most interesting love stories of my life; totally unexpected, running deeper than I could have ever imagined. And I’m damn proud of what I’ve created. a Pilot’s Daughter is a beautiful expression of these two things I hold so dear…

 New beginnings here in to Toronto. 

New beginnings here in to Toronto. 

But it’s not all I am. Nor is any vocation what anyone is. I am writer and a travel blogger. I’m also a yoga teacher, who doesn’t get to practice enough yoga between her two day/night jobs. I'm a professional actor, who's currently in a little black box five nights a week doing her first show in Toronto. Speaking of Toronto, it's where I live now! It’s the closest thing a girl can get to New York City (north of the 49th parallel) and it’s been damn good to me, so far. I have family and friends here that are total all-stars, an agent that’s (hopefully) busting his ass to get me that new HBO series that’s coming down the pipeline, and all the opportunities and resources I could possibly need to build up this next chapter of my life.

Never could I have predicted being where I am right now, or doing what I’m doing, or the fantastically wild road that got me here. Nor would I have wanted to. The lessons and surprises I’ve encountered along the way are, essentially, the value of my life itself. So, I don’t make plans anymore. When people ask me where I’d like to see myself in five years, I say in a mirror somewhere, smiling. I’ve surrendered... And it feels amazing. And while providence and the forces of the universe work out all the details, I'm just going to keep telling stories and trying to help people find joy and peace  in their lives. Because that’s what brings joy and peace to mine. Be it through a blog, a yoga mat, a television show or a Shakespearean monologue, it all feels just as delicious to me. 

If I’ve learned anything this past year, it’s that there’s no need to hold on.  Let go and take comfort in the knowledge that life has dreamed a bigger dream for you than you could possibly imagine. Sometimes you can't see the road beyond the bend, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Trust. And don’t worry about pissing glitter, y’all. When you don the right lenses, the world will sparkle around you in a way no Martha Stewart fairy dust ever could. 

All the love, H. x

Helen Hayden2 Comments