It’s been a mega positive year! In terms of travel our most active, although in terms of physical activity definitely the worst ;) Today we unveil the cards and like never before you will be able to learn a lot about us, our work, the benefits of blogging and…. what didn’t work out for us this year….
This post will be such a positive summary of what we are incredibly proud of, because you may not know about all that has been and is happening on the other side of the computer. And there is a lot going on!
So this time of year has come, when we look back at the last 12 months and remind ourselves of what we’ve been able to do, see what aspects we’ve been able to develop, what we could have done better, and what we simply didn’t have enough time for.
We look back on the last 12 months with undisguised pride, for many reasons, but there’s one thing we’re sort of more proud of! So today, uniquely, we’re going to brag, bemoan, complain a little (after all, nationality obliges ;-)) and describe what’s the biggest motivational kick for us for the next year!
Table of contents
Combine blogging with a full-time job
Yes, we work full time all the time (although Kamila is currently resting, lying down with a huge belly and resting :))). Since we’ve been blogging, we’ve always worked full-time jobs, and we simply take vacations for the duration of our trips. We have never taken an unpaid vacation, which is something to be proud of with our number of trips :) And yes, we know that others travel more often, farther, more, maybe better, but for us, how much we are able to travel within 26 days off per year is a success.
Yes, we work, we are experts in our fields, and above all, we like what we do! Work is, on the one hand, a way to earn funds for travel, and on the other hand, a springboard, a place where we can meet completely different people, with different interests, and learn so much from them!
Let’s also remember that a blogger doesn’t live by traveling alone. Before, during and after the trips, we write coverage, process photos, create graphics, plan posts, embrace social media, chase down thousands of emails from sponsors (hehe! :))) and we try to keep in touch with you. Plus technical work on the blog, keeping up with the news, testing equipment, and so on and so forth…. there is always something to do!
No, we’re not complaining, we’re just showing that at a certain point in life it becomes a second job, so it’s good that there are two of us and we share the responsibilities.
We are independent and objective
Related to the above: we don’t have to blog to live. In fact, we could give up blogging at any time, and we would still easily maintain the same standard of living. But that’s not the point! We do it because we just like it! :)
Besides, it never crossed our minds to live solely from the blog. Which doesn’t mean that we don’t have a thousand other more entrepreneurial ideas in our heads that we might be able to put into practice in 2019, but we’ll keep quiet about that for now ;)
And the fact that we don’t rely only on blog resources (because let’s not kid ourselves, they are too) has its benefits. We do not seek cooperation by force, and we do not have to accept every one. Thanks to a full-time job, most simply in the world we can afford to pay for the flight, hotel accommodation, so even if nothing comes out of the cooperation, and the partners disengage, there is no drama, because we can still afford one trip or another. This is the comfort that work gives us, which we need. We can go where we want and travel in a way that suits us, and share our thoughts with you, which are not always sweet and rosy.
We also don’t promote something we don’t agree with, we don’t do marketing to places we don’t like just because someone paid us. We can put our own conditions, because we know that if nothing comes of it, we still have other sources of income. Thus, we remain independent and objective in our assessments.
The numbers are growing
We are happy with these numbers, and we are not talking about zeros in our bank accounts :-P We are happy because behind every number there is a human being, a reader who reached our site, liked us, left us a comment or sent us an email. We are happy to help and inspire, and more and more people simply trust us. We are not a travel agency, we do not organize trips, and we do not want to make money from it. Everyone should travel as they like, in their own way, and we just show our way of traveling and prove that whether on a job or with a child – you can see quite a bit of the world!
Especially since this year we recorded records ourselves, as a working-traveling family :)
- 16 joint flights are behind us.
- Of these, Olive has made 28 flights in 29 months of life :)
- We have been to 9 different airports.
- In total, we flew 53,490 kilometers / 33,239 miles.
- We spent more than 47 hours on board the planes.
- We flew 5 different airlines.
And when it comes to the blog, a few breakthrough numbers:
- This year we have already had our millionth reader visit!
- We have surpassed 86,000 fans on Facebook.
- More than 5 thousand people have joined our group on FB!
As we wrote before: we know that others travel more often, farther, more, maybe better, but for us these are still great numbers and a reason to be proud! :)
We combine blogging and parenting
Combining work and blogging is a peeve compared to combining blogging and parenthood! Seriously! To this day, we still wonder what we did with our time when we were not yet parents! :)
There was a time when it was only possible to sit down to blog when Olive had a nap during the day or went to bed in the evening. Unfortunately, after 10 pm, a person was already falling on his snout and little was coming out of it. There was a time when we would get up at 5 or 6 a.m. to embrace the blog first, before Olive got up. Unfortunately, she quickly covered us and as soon as she saw that her parents were already awake she immediately joined us and also wanted to write accounts of the trips ;)
So how do we try to cope? We share in the responsibilities. One goes outside, to the pool, to the playroom, the other sits down at the computer. We are people who really like to spend time with each other and we want to share as much time as possible with Olive together, but still, sometimes we have to split up to publish something meaningful :) Especially since we assumed that no computer work with the baby! We happen to look into the cell phone, reply to a comment or upload some Insta Stories (by the way please visit our Insta! :))), but there is no situation where Olive plays alone, and we both stare at computers.
We also ask for help from Grandmothers or friends who have children of a similar age. Any help for gold. Finally, in 2018, the time has come when Olive is happy to stay with someone other than mom or dad.
This year was probably the most challenging in this aspect…. but I guess it didn’t go so bad ;) Only one thing puzzles us: how it will be with two – one thing you can be sure of, the entries “in the meantime” are just forming :D
We always travel together
We are not only parents at home, but also on the go. We do not take a sitter with us, and the time on the trips is time together, for the family. And we are proud of the fact that we travel together, we can show the world to our child, and our teenager willingly wants to travel with us and bravely endures even the most distant journeys. And here we have to honestly admit that this two-year-old copes with jet lag, climate change or cuisine better than her parents, and recently, when asked if we were going to Warsaw, she replied that yes, but only by plane :)
As a matter of fact, in this aspect more than with ourselves, we are proud of Olive.
All of this we are proud of, but there is one thing we are awesomely proud of:
We run the blog fully independently
All photos are taken by us. All materials are written by us. All videos are shot and edited by us. All graphics are created by us. As proof, let us serve you with our first posts, when the blog was just a travel directory with poor photos and little substance. You can see what a leap we’ve made, and although it may still not be the highest level, for us it’s already something to be proud of.
But that’s not all. Everything technical is also on our side, we do not hire any companies, agencies, specialists. WordPress is fully embraced by Paweł and he doesn’t use outside help. We do the website positioning, advertising and traffic acquisition ourselves.
We also run social media ourselves – we schedule posts, analyze statistics and promote posts ourselves. We ourselves run a group on FB. You can be sure that any question you ask us, whether on Insta or FB, or in an email or in a comment will come to us and one of us will answer you :)
Yes, this is the one thing we are most proud of – we got to this place on our own, with hard work, without connections, we spent a lot of time learning and invested a lot of money. We are over-happy to be here and to be able to develop further. Especially since it is not our job, but a passion that allows us to learn so much and create something of value that serves others.
And that’s the biggest motivational kick for us. In moments of doubt, when we no longer have the strength for anything, we recall where we were a year ago and how much has changed since then. How many opportunities the blog opened up for us, how many interesting events we participated in, how many wonderful people we met!
Of course, not everything went as planned, life verified some of our ideas and plans, but on the other hand, we also did things and developed in directions we hadn’t planned at all (such as video or graphic design).
TOP 10 memories of 2018
But to make the tradition come true, following the pattern of previous years, we are throwing in a list of our greatest travel memories of 2018. And importantly, we specifically call this list, a list of memories, because it’s not about how famous or popular places we’ve seen, but it’s about what events and places have uniquely stuck in our minds.
- Garden Rhapsody light and sound show In Supertree Grove, Singapore – who is surprised? :) We ourselves did not expect that we would like this type of show so much! The amazing combination of sound, the play of lights, the fantastic atmosphere, the dancing people, the tropical atmosphere – all this made us come to the show several times and if we ever get to Singapore again we will go here and another time.
- LEGO House in Billund – yes, not Legoland, but it was LEGO House that impressed us more. Why? Because it was a complete novelty for us, a one-of-a-kind place where children can feel like adults and adults can feel like children. Our childhood memories came back, and Olive had an incredible amount of fun playing with millions of blocks! On top of that, the modern, interactive way of playing made us recommend this place to anyone who wants to give a fantastic surprise to a child.
- Titlis in Switzerland – shame…. it’s just a shame that not everything from our trip to Switzerland is described yet, so we don’t even have anything to link to, but take our word for it – it’s WORTH IT!
, Mexico – although it is not the place with the largest historical sites in Mexico, we remember it as a place full of astronomical symbolism, numbers, history and culture that made a huge impression on us. Especially since we had doubts until the last minute whether a trip to Chichén Itzá with a baby would even happen. Fortunately, everything worked out, and to this day we still laugh about collecting all the pebbles along the way and trying to climb the steps of Kukulkan’s Pyramid.
Castles of the Lodz Land
– our discovery of the year! And all thanks to participation in the Tourism Blogger Championship. We were finally motivated to see and create some really cool material about castles that even residents of the province have no idea about. Several days on the road, leaving at dawn, meeting many interesting people and a good dose of knowledge.
- Buda in Budapest, which is a quiet old town with a beautiful view of Pest. Not that Pest is inferior, but it’s just that the climate, tranquility and views delighted us more on Gellert Hill or Castle Hill.
- Another city that charmed us in 2018 is.
. Aside from the beautiful Old Town and the Zwinger Palace, we particularly remember the museums (the Museum of Transportation and the Museum of Hygiene), which had special areas for the youngest. We are very happy that museums are opening up more and more to children, and are able to get them interested in science and art!
- Swiss cities – forgive us, we liked them so much that we are not able to choose one ;) Especially Lucerne, Stein am Rhein, Schaffhausen, Sankt Gallen – we saw just a few, but we fell in love!
- Elbe Valley and Saxon Switzerland – so close to Poland and so beautiful! Aside from Dresden, which we mentioned above, it’s the whole area and leisure opportunities that make you want to return to this area.
- Park Retiro – a bit of a throwback, but Madrid couldn’t be left out of this list. We could write about museums, monuments, beautiful plazas, and yet we liked the Retiro Park the best!
Phew, it was not easy to choose only 10 memories…. We have a whole lot of them, and that’s what’s most important about traveling, even the close ones!
What didn’t work for us this year?
For this year, we didn’t set super ambitious plans to write two posts a week or publish at least two photos a day on the feed on Instagram ;) We knew it wouldn’t work, and unrealistic goals cause frustration. In fact, we wrote about this in our 2017 summary – we wanted to focus on what really makes us happy.
Also, we can’t say as we did last year that there was little of Poland, because there was definitely more, especially of the Lodz province.
>>> See our entry: 100 reasons we love Poland!
So what was missing? We lacked rest during the trips. So even though we assumed that traveling was about pleasure in the first place, old habits and the desire to share great places took over.
Is there anything wrong with that? I think we’ve gotten into the habit of doing this and it’s our way of relaxing. About halfway through the year, we decided that in order for the writing of the blog not to overshadow everything, we needed to loosen up and we went a few times to places we didn’t even mention on the blog or social media. Maybe someday we will write about them, but they were our little vacations from everything. After all, everyone deserves such a vacation :)
Plans are already in place, but as always we’ll see how it goes, even more so when our team of travelers expands…. soon :) For the time being, we don’t have ANY airline tickets purchased for 2019! It’s a strange feeling, because as a rule, once we come back from one trip, there’s already another one waiting in line. Yes, we have plans, even already quite specific, but we are waiting for the next member of the family to arrive, get a passport, and set off on another trip!
Other than that, we continue to do our thing! We work, travel, write a blog…. and we want to inspire and encourage you to travel whether in smaller or larger groups! :)
And that would be it. We end traditionally with wishes of a Merry Christmas to you and your families and many fantastic trips in the next year!