You know how sometimes time simultaneously passes really fast and really slow? Like when you can’t believe you graduated from high school 10 years ago but wow so much has happened and also you feel really old?
That’s how I feel about the fourth anniversary of starting this blog.
On the one hand I can not even understand how I’ve been writing in this space for four entire years. As I’ve mentioned before, this is the longest job I’ve ever had, and my longest writing project by far (I do however have a slew of unfinished first chapters of abandoned novels hidden somewhere).
On the other hand I can’t deny that an awful lot has happened in the space since July 2009. I quite my job, I fell in love, I traveled to over 20 countries and lived in several. Twenty-Something Travel itself has grown too: from 10 page views a month to nearly 10,000 times that. Over the years over 700,000 different people have visited this website, an idea that just boggles my mind.
What I’m saying is that I feel like you and I have been through a lot together. From the pain of anticipation to the joy of exploration and all of the weird, crazy and fantastic things that have happened in the past few years.
Here are the Blogaversary Posts from years past:
In some ways I feel like the past year has been the most pivotal since I started this blog. I didn’t travel as much as I have in the past, which was painful in a lot of ways but also probably a big part of why I was able to make so many advances professionally.
In the past year I:
- Launched my first ebook, A Year Without Make-Up. Although it was mostly a reworking of old blog posts it was a huge personal milestone for me. I’m certain this won’t be my last foray into publishing.
- Along with Michael and several other really gifted travel bloggers I helped to found Navigate Media Group, a marketing and social media advising company that I’m convinced represents the future of travel blogging. I also became a founding member of the Professional Travel Bloggers Association.
- In conjunction with NMG helped to organize two BlogHouse learning events, one in Besalu, Spain and one in Toronto.
- Picked up a variety of freelance writing assignments with companies like Eurail, RoamRight and Answers.com. Although not incredibly relevant to this website, these writing assignments are an important supplement to the work I do here, providing me with a steady and solid income.This is an important step in the evolution of this website. In fact, I’m proud to say that for the first time since 2009 there are no longer any text link ads on the homepage of Twenty-Something Travel. This will also almost certainly be my most profitable year to date.
- Grown traffic to Twenty-Something Travel by nearly 45%. As I write this TST has nearly 20,000 twitter followers and 6000 facebook fans. Not too shabby.
All of this in addition planning a wedding, traveling to 8 or so countries and about a dozen cool US locations (wait a minute, did I say this year was light on travel? I’m an asshole). And posting 3 times a week on this site. I feel kind of tired just thinking about it.
I’m not telling this to you guys to brag or to show you what a hard worker I am (cause uh, I also spend a lot of time staring into space and reading Go Fug Yourself). Really, it’s just that I’m incredibly grateful. To you. Because none of this exists without you guys (even you guys in the back who never comment) and I love you for it. Thank you, for letting me do this.
So I guess it’s been a pretty awesome year, and the next year is almost certainly going to be even better. There will be a Twenty-Something wedding (finally!), a move to Mexico and hopefully a second move to Italy. There will be more travel adventure, more discovery and a lot more mouthwatering food posts. I am really excited to get out of my parents house and back out into the world.
This next year is also the year I turn 29, which means my days as a twenty-something traveler are numbered. I’m nowhere near done traveling or writing on this website however. There may be some changes around here as I try to transform this site into something more relevant to both myself and you guys. Also we are waaaay overdue for a redesign so that is a major upcoming project. Don’t worry though, I want nothing more than to keep providing the content you’ve come to know and hopefully enjoy.
I’ll close out with something I said in my first blogaversary post in 2011:
I never want to lose sight though; of the reason I started this blog in the first place. My most important mission was not to make money, or even document my own travels, but to encourage other twenty-somethings (and everyone really) that long-term travel is a viable and desirable option.
Still true today.