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In My Footsteps? Petra’s A Blogger Now

It has begun.

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RHODES, Greece- I’m knevelling. A few months ago my eight-year-old daughter Petra expressed that she would like to start blogging.

It has begun.

I started out my profession as a writer by blogging. I initially justified it as an exercise to improve my skills and prepare for more serious types of media, but down deep I really wanted to build the site up enough to earn a living from it.

To a certain extent both strategies worked out. For a span of three or so years blogging was my primary source of income and my first book deal and upper-tier news media engagements derived from my the blog.

So Petra grew up with this thing called blogging as a core part of her family’s life. It was just something normal for her — it was something her dad did daily and something that her mom would sometimes get Shanghaied into.

Then in early 2017 it became apparent to me that Petra was reading Vagabond Journey. It struck me as interesting at first, but I’m not sure why: the kid reads at a the average level of kids four or five years older than her. The colloquial style and familiar rhythm of this blog is easily digestible for her, and she now gets a kick out of going back and reading all of the old stories about her growing up on the road.

But it wasn’t until last autumn when we were in Kuala Lumpur that she expressed interest in blogging herself. I have to admit that hearing those words lit up my face, and I immediately began setting her up with a WordPress install.

Here’s the result of that:

Petra’s World: Chronicles of a Traveling Kid

Her mother then jumped in and made blogging part of her schooling regimen — it’s the place where she demonstrates her learning, kind of like we had to do in the hippie college where we first met each other.
While I was proud that my eldest child was following in my footsteps, what I didn’t expect was how much I enjoyed reading what she writes. It’s a reflection of similar events that I write about and experience coming from a very different angle.

Petra writes real and raw, she has her own voice and projects her own values. It’s not often that I have the opportunity to read about events as experienced from a kid’s point of view. What they observe, think, and say is very different than anything some adult could do:

Today is a go day and i’m going  to don don don…Thailand!I’m exited to go to a new place but i’m sad to leave Penang.

At the airport we used the frustration-causing self check-in machine.I hate this part because the grown-ups are trying  to make it work and i have to  chase Rivka and carry my heavy bag. After we checked-in we got rid of some of our bags.then, we went through security. After security we hung-out at the starbucks i got a croissant that was not   a croissant it was a long sandwich.our flight route  was that we flew from Penang to Kl and from Kl to Thailand.

After both of  the flights went through a very long immigration line. Now, i don’t  mean long like half an  hour i mean long like two hours waiting!After immigration,we met  our driver who helped  mommy  and daddy get sim cards.Then, we got into our van home.our new home has 3 bathrooms, big beds ,two floors,a big couch and a portable stove and a microwave on top of a  washing machine for a kitchen. Yep, a portable stove on top of a washing machine  for a kitchen. Very ,very weird.

And she’s pretty funny:

Today we are going to Penang . Our plane is in the afternoon. Mommy had trouble checking in  with the machine because it would not read her bar-code. Right be fore our plane left daddy got us m&m’s, when i started to dig in mommy said to wait till the plane.Later, when we were in line,Rivka said she pooped when she did not, daddy called it a phantom poop.

I believe we may start synchronizing our posts to present two parallel narratives which I believe could be a little interesting.

Check out Petra’s World for yourself here.


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Filed under: Blogging, Petra Hendele Adara Shepard

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3720 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

Support VBJ’s writing on this blog:

VBJ is currently in: New York City

3 comments… add one

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  • Apol Danganan July 6, 2020, 3:56 pm

    This work-from-home set-up forced me to have a desk of my own in the house and I opened my old laptop after using Iphone all these years and like a time machine, it transported me back to the time when I had my own blog and also contributed stories here. Lots of memories and photos stored and I ended up looking for this blog again. I am curious about how Petra looks now after all these years and I am delighted to see a list of articles and I am going to read them all! 🙂

    Link Reply
    • Vagabond Journey July 6, 2020, 4:08 pm

      That’s cool! Welcome back. If you ever have anymore posts that you’d like to write just let me know!

      Link Reply
      • Apol Danganan July 7, 2020, 5:37 pm

        Thanks Wade, that’s so kind of you! I will have to think about it, will let you know. 🙂