Grief, loss and writing

It’s been quite the year.

(And yes, I realize it’s only February.)

Despite struggling through limited social interactions as an extroverted person, I’ve made it to this point (without travelling, even!) and I’m feeling pretty good about how I’m spending my time. As a sort of New Year’s resolution, I decided I wanted to write more freelance articles and share quotes/life lessons from my work-in-progress book.

So far, it’s going pretty great.

I wrote an article for HI Hostels about growing older as a backpacker and realizing I may not return to Australia in the way I imagined when I first visited at 18 years old. It’s been a journey of acceptance, recognizing that my wants, dreams and promises will change as I do.

Cottesloe Beach, Western Australia

I’m writing another article for the same publication about breaking my back and rediscovering my identity as a backpacker—but now, pulling one of those dorky wheelie bags. Nothing against anyone who uses a suitcase, but when I was younger, I didn’t think I was a true backpacker unless I carried the bag to prove it.

I also pitched and had my first piece for Fodor’s published. Fodor’s is a popular travel guide company, so it’s a big byline for me. The article is about 10 places we all miss right now.

What’s next? Hopefully, I’ll keep up the momentum of pitching and placing personal essays. But there’s another way I’ve been sharing my most vulnerable, intimate writing—and I’ve been extremely touched at how it’s been resonating with people.

Enjoying ‘winter weather’ in Vancouver, BC

If you don’t have Instagram, you might not know I’ve been posting bite-sized pieces of my memoir online. These are tiny, edited paragraphs about trauma, grief and loss. All are centered around true stories that are explored more deeply in my book. What’s been so amazing is how many people have saved, shared and reached out about these quotes. The response has been incredibly encouraging.

The internet can be a vile place, but as we’ve learned during COVID-19, it also offers the chance for connection in lieu of in-person activities. Technology lets us see our loved ones’ faces, no matter where in the world they live.

I hope my writing can make you feel seen, heard and a little less alone. Enjoy, and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Note: All quotes are copyright Alison Karlene Hodgins. Please do not share without permission. Thank you!


  1. Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing as I don’t have Instagram. How is it your writing can bring a tear to my eye and place a warm smile on my face at the same time !!!

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