Our First Year of Travel Blogging

The Year in Review

We started our travel blog on 29th May 2017, after a visit to the incredible Lake Garda and Verona, Italy. We have been travelling together for almost six years, and have been ‘meaning to’ start our travel blog for as long. So what suddenly gave us the push to set it up? We fell so in love with Lake Garda, we just had to share our adventure with somebody. It was time to begin. I (Rachel) knew WordPress well, so we decided that this would be the best forum for our writing. The name was a tricky one. We went through a few different versions, such as:

Travel Hogs (I don’t know why but we loved this one – and it was taken!)

Travel Pigs (Because the above was taken, and we wanted something similar. It didn’t sound quite right though.)

As the Budgie Flies (We love budgies – so this was an unimaginative play on ‘as the crow flies’)

The Green Fig Tree (Inspired by The Bell Jar, from which the following quote keeps us desperate to travel: “I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn’t quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.” – Sylvia Plath)

The above ideas were all none starters. But then, we thought of Travelling Writers. Well, it seemed far too obvious to be available, and we were gobsmacked when we found that not only was it an available website but that the Instagram handle was free too. It was decided, set up, and Travelling Writers was born.

At first, we were excited and posted a few items, such as Travel Couple Etiquette, our love for Lake Garda, and experiences such as studying at Beijing Normal University (Study China 2016) that had to be mentioned. Then, there was a bit of a break in posting. Life sort of took over. We talked every day about posting, but we were yet to realise how vital it is to set yourself travel blogging goals (click Why Travel Blogging Goals are Important to see what we are talking about), to ensure that posting happens weekly. We bumbled through the months in Thailand and Malaysia, saying nothing on our very own travel blog. But then something happened to give us the kick up the bum we needed!

One weekend , we decided it would be best to go to a blogging conference. We needed motivation, and to understand how to blog regularly. It did exactly that. We realised that our blog was just a selection of our own stories, not the helpful mix of adventures and tips that we had envisioned. The conference speakers inspired us to do better, and when we got home we made action plans that we stuck to, and brought our blog back to life.

Since then, we had blogged regularly (at least twice a week), and shared our travels as well as helpful posts created to inspire others to travel, blog and create their own content. We are now so proud of what Travelling Writers has become, and grateful that we didn’t leave it to disperse into the land of forgotten blogs.

Travel Blogging Highlights:

We have had many highlights throughout our first year of travel blogging, so here are our top three!

We were delighted when TL Travel contacted us to ask if we would do a Q&A with them for their website. Their questions were thoughtful and interesting, and created some fascinating discussions between the two of us. It also meant that someone was paying attention to what we were working hard on, and that was a delight in itself. Check out the Q&A here: Travel Blog Q&A with TL Travel

Coming up with blogging series was also a lot of fun and one of our highlights of the year. The ‘Snapshot of…’ series has given us a wealth of potential blog posts to create, and last week we also came up with the ‘Travelling in Taxis’ series that we are excited to continue.

Getting feedback from other travellers has also been an important part of the year for us. Comments on our blog posts or Instagram tell us how our work is being received, and most recently we were delighted to know that our post for Mental Health Awareness week helped someone find calm while travelling.

Our Favourite Trip

This is such a difficult one! Anybody following us on Instagram (@travellingwriters) knows how much we adore Bulgaria, and we do try and visit as much as possible. It feels like home, and one day will be our home.

We also loved our first trip to Thailand. Koh Samui was a beautiful island to visit, and while Daniel got his PADI licence, I wrote and drank coffee and experienced Thai life, and loved it.

Our Most Read Post

We have three posts that have been our most popular throughout the year. Here they are, in order:

Travel Couple Etiquette

Behind the Scenes of our Travel Blog and Instagram

Things We Wish We Had Known Before Travelling Europe by Interrail

We have posted 47 posts to date, with almost 2,000 views.

What’s Next?

We have a few fun things in the planning stages. We have created a travel log that will be available to buy from today, to help budding travel writers and bloggers discover their content: Click here to order a copy!

Travel_Log_Cover

We’ll be posting more series and exciting posts about travel blogging and travel.

In the not so distant future (two weeks!), we will be travelling around one of our favourite countries, France. We are taking a different approach to this, rather than planning and booking in advance, we are sticking a tent, a kayak, and our bikes in the boot of a car and seeing where the road takes us.

We are also saving hard at the moment for a big adventure. More about that to come soon!

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