Well hello there. This feels slightly strange and indeed bittersweet but also quite thrilling because it is time to finally introduce you to something I have been thinking about and working on for a few months. When the idea to ditch my alter ego The Blondera first came to mind at the beginning of the summer, I was horrified with myself for even considering leaving her behind. The name had become such an integral part of my identity that it seemed wrong and careless to remodel myself into something else.
However, the thought lingered in my head long enough for me to feel obliged to grant it some serious consideration. Driving across the country gave me plenty of time to do just that, and as I started planning how to turn my dreams into reality, I recognized that it was exactly what I
wanted needed to do.
Plus, when has it ever been careless to evolve?
Welcome to jennyheyside.com!
Travel. Culture. Fashion. Lifestyle.
Four little words. Four massive topics. 26 years for me to finally accept that they are all a part of me and that is just the way it is. It doesn’t all have to make sense. For as long as I can remember I have struggled to find a way to make all of these elements coherently fit into each other. How does a travel journalism piece about Bremerhaven sit amicably next to a fashion essay on “what vintage means to me”? How can the same person care so passionately about both?
But, I do. And I have to own it instead of allowing imposter syndrome to infiltrate its awful beliefs into every aspect of my knowledge. I can be a solo female traveler who happens to do it while wearing vintage dresses. It is possible to be a lover of fashion and also feel completely yourself while wearing the same smelly things on a trip. It is all possible.
So… why the name change?
At the heart of the decision was the recognition that I am ready to respect and permit myself to be all the parts of me; which, in turn, will (fingers crossed) enable me to write about my array of interests. In some cases, this may mean writing for other publications which will require the use of my real name and not an alter-ego. This is just one of the numerous examples that showed me the flexibility and freedom I would have (both now and in the future) by using my real name.
Additionally, I think it sounds more mature and professional, and I am sick of explaining to Americans how to pronounce Blondera — never again will I have to do that. Woohoo!
“The Blondera” is what my grandparents started calling me, and I will always have a soft spot for the title (although I am sure some of my family and friends will continue to use it as my nickname); but, just as with anything in life and work, we change, and we grow. And we can only hope that the growth is leading us closer to our authentic selves.
That being said, while there is a new name, there is still going to be (most of) the same vibes. This is my little spot on the beautiful world wide web where I will write content and produce video of all things travel, culture, fashion and lifestyle related. On the blog, the travel section will always be the biggest and will include city guides, itineraries, travel tips, thrift and vintage shopping guides, photo diaries and “dispatches” — my weekly Monday column with stories and reflections from the road. Fashion will include outfit posts, fashion essays, and shopping guides. While lifestyle will be a little bit of everything else (beauty, culture, and health & wellness).
A quick note on that; I am planning on having blog posts up on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday and videos up on a Tuesday and Saturday. Sometimes there will be more videos in a week depending on how many travel vlogs I am creating; but, we can worry about that when I am back on the road again.
Design-wise I played around with the site in the hopes of making things more streamlined and easy to find. There are four main categories (Travel, Dispatches, Fashion, and Lifestyle) with Travel and Lifestyle being broken down into smaller sections. Additionally, you can browse all content by country. On the homepage you will find my latest Youtube videos and shoppable widgets that will highlight my favorite clothing, beauty and lifestyle finds. The sidebar has fun additions like my current Spotify playlist, my location in the world and the blog posts that are currently the most popular. At the bottom of the page, you can find my Instagram feed. Plus, I have so many more ideas that I want to infuse into this site and my YT channel in the coming weeks and months!
I am so excited about this change — it feels like a big move to wave goodbye to The Blondera, but I am more-than-ready for a fresh, more grown-up chapter. Please let me know what you think of the name change and the new site and if there is anything you think I can do to make it better!
Thanks so much for staying with me and reading along — let’s do this!
Zara dress & thigh-high boots (last season), Vintage earrings