When I started this travel blog in January, I didn't have a single trip planned. I just wanted to write about my favorite subject — travel — and hoped for the best. I figured at the very least I could write about my past adventures, discuss general travel issues and feature my friend's trips, magazine-style. But it turned out to be a blockbuster year for travel, so 241 posts later I have so much for which to be thankful!
1. I'm thankful for all of the wonderful traveling I've done this year. I started this blog shortly after I got laid off from Zagat. I was not in the best of spirits at the time, so little did I know that this would turn out to be a fabulous year, offering me unprecedented opportunity to travel. In February, I went to Sarasota, FL, to visit my parents. Then my husband met me there and we drove to Key West, which I really enjoyed despite my initial reluctance to go. Next up was a weekend jaunt to Boston. Then my husband got laid off too, and the travel really got started.
In March, we went to Costa Rica for a week, where we loved Arenal and Manuel Antonio, but Jaco not so much. In late April, a friend's wedding in Half Moon Bay brought us to Northern California, which we turned into a 10-day-trip spanning from Big Sur to San Francisco, an area of California that I had never visited before. Then, my husband learned that he would start a new job at the end of July so we decided to squeeze in one more trip: three weeks in Turkey and Italy, with a stop in between in Vienna.
With my traveling companion out of commission, I wasn't sure if there would be any more traveling in my immediate future. But then, none of those trips had been planned more than a few weeks advance so one I tried to stay optimistic. Then invitations came from Visit Wales USA to join a press trip to North Wales in September, and one from Grenada Board of Tourism to attend one to Grenada in October. Both trips were led by extremely knowledgeable people who put together terrific itineraries to make sure that we saw as much as possible and really got to the know the different places.
Now, I know that a lot of people are against these all-expenses-paid trips, but it's important to remember that the writers who participate are 100% free to write whatever they want. Starting in December, the FTC is requiring bloggers to disclose when they are writing about comped trips or products. I am completely against this because traditional media is not being held to the same standard, and they get an amazing amount of stuff for free. I should know as I have worked for lots of media outlets. OK, now back to the gratitude…
2. All of the people who have contributed to Travelogged. When I want to feature somebody's trip, I send them a list of questions and also request photos. Answering those questions takes time and thought, and I really appreciate everyone who helped me in my quest to cover as many destinations as possible, such as Marla (France), Ali (Antigua), Joanne (Tunisia), Lizzy (Tibet) and Will (Japan). Amanda has gone above and beyond by giving me just about every photo she took in Peru, and also helped me out with Southern Utah and Paris. (I think I'm looking forward to her upcoming Belize trip almost as much as she is!) Also thank you to Ivan who has allowed me to post his awesome videos. I've also gotten quite a few professionals who are used to be being paid for their writing to contribute gratis, including Maggie, Jill, Caitlin, Rebecca, Liz C. and Carolyn. And I don't want to forget about the gorgeous photos from Malena. What has amazed me most is how generous some people have been in their contributions whom I've only met virtually, like Trina, Liz M. and Niki. Please know that I've called out a fraction of my contributors and I'm grateful to absolutely everyone!
I'm also thankful for my fellow travel bloggers who have participated in my blog carnivals.
3. All of the people who have read Travelogged. A blog that doesn't have readers is like a tree falling in the woods with no one to hear it. No matter what, my mom would be reading it but without all of you it wouldn't be any fun to check my blog traffic stats, which I sometimes do with obsessive frequency. But in all seriousness, there is so much to read on the Internet — even in the travel
category alone — I'm truly thankful to everyone who spends time with Travelogged.
And if you've read all the way to end of this long, somewhat rambling
post, then know that I'm especially grateful for you. Happy Thanksgiving!