Where has Amanda (The Nature Fan) been lately?

Amanda at Patapsco State Park (2014)

I’m Amanda, the “Nature Fan,” and I have been gone awhile.

I took a year off from posting on here (and everywhere else), and I apologize for that. The original purpose of my blog was to write about my outdoor activities and curate other nature stories around the web that I found interesting. I have a background doing both.

used to be a Master Naturalist where I put my nature-know-how skills to work leading ecology tours kayaking through wetlands, down rivers, and hiking through forests. I also assisted in amphibian and reptile related research.

used to be a syndicated “Green Activism” writer creating AP-style articles for a national online newspaper informing the public of all the environmental and wildlife issues around the globe.

I also used to be very active outdoors during my free time, especially kayaking! I would also hike, camp, climb, etc.

So why don’t I do these things anymore? I suffered a broken back. (It’s a long story, but it didn’t happen while I was playing outside, fyi.) Though I thought I could continue writing while I “recovered” (and I tried), it became much more stressful to deal with the growing pain of a spinal injury while also feeling “committed” to keeping up blog posts. Pain is an exhausting thing, and it is amazing how completely and absolutely it takes over a person’s entire being – body, mind, spirit… Never in my wildest dreams did I think something like that was possible, until it happened to me. So, because of that, it was too hard to stay focused. It still is.

Though I’m nowhere near “whole,” nowhere near “recovered,” and my pain is nowhere near gone, I still plan on writing again. I won’t be writing about my personal adventures, as I won’t be able to have any. But I do have an imagination, and I still like to write. Like you, I enjoy reading about science and nature, and I enjoy the whole “armchair traveler” thing, so I will still use those topics to fuel my posts. A lot of them were like that to begin with anyway. I just can’t allow myself to post as consistently as I used to. I can’t be that consistent and deal with what I’m going through at the same time. (If you have ever constantly suffered through debilitating pain, then you know what I’m talking about.) I will start posting again, however. It may be daily sometimes, or weekly, or one month I may only post once. I just don’t want to NOT post anymore. I miss it.

Before I do, I thought I’d let you all know where I’ve been and why I’ve been absent. I didn’t forget about this blog, but I did burn myself out. I needed to take care of me. I still do. But I also need to write. I look forward to posting again, and I hope I didn’t lose any of you.

P.S. I have updated my profile page as well.

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