We started 2019 with a fairly concrete plan for trips and projects. Of the planned trips, only 2 came to fruition, and the others were born in our heads on the fly. We enter 2020 with a backlog and only one trip specifically planned…. Sound pessimistic? You can read about what worked and what didn’t go our way, as well as our plans for next year below.
And most importantly: will we write a book!
It has become a tradition for us to write a summary of the year around the New Year. And being completely honest, we have to admit that we write them more for ourselves, to remind ourselves of what has been going on for the past 12 months, to verify what has been accomplished from the set goals and to think about what the next blogging and travel adventures will look like.
Table of contents
What was 2019 like?
In the previous summary, we wrote you that we exceptionally entered this year without tickets purchased, but with concrete plans.
Well, the plans were very ambitious and interesting, but with everything we waited for the little traveler who joined us in February. So once we set out to get a passport, we began to finalize the trips. Unfortunately, it turned out that some of them, however, will not work out, and others we have to postpone.
Finally, as never before, this year there were many trips for which we bought tickets only 2 weeks before departure (Turkey, Ukraine or Morocco).
At the end of the day, comparing our plans from a year ago to what we managed to see and experience, we are glad that the plans were just plans ;)
Changes, changes, changes
The biggest change that 2019 brought was, of course, the expansion of our family. Fortunately, Philip has turned out to be a born traveler, and so far, no trips scare him. In the 10 months of his life, he has already been on board planes 13 times, visited 10 countries on 3 continents! Looking at our ideas for 2020, we also realized that Philip will know 4 continents before he turns a year, and if it goes well, 5 before he turns 1.5 years old….
Travel has changed. And it’s not just that traveling with two young children is more demanding (yes, it is!), but these children have their own needs, other requirements and are starting to take more and more interest in the world. The 3-year-old has her own interests, she will clearly let you know when she doesn’t like something or doesn’t want something. While traveling with a baby doesn’t change much in what we would like to visit and do, traveling with a child who has his own opinions already does :) Admittedly, we take advantage of this as well, as we are also winding up with children’s attractions and no one will be surprised what we are going for anymore to Disneyland;)
So it affected our travels in quite a significant way. We are looking for places that will interest everyone, but we are not limited to pro-family destinations. We spend more time on site than other travelers because we need more breaks and a slower pace. Both parents are involved in caring for both children, so there is really little time to take beautiful shots and videos, and we make up any coverage of the trips in the evenings from the hotel room ;-)
However, we are happy that the pace of our travels is rather slow. Cities that others visit in one day, we do in 3-4 days. For countries that others detour in a week, we need at least two. And guess what? We’re good with that. Finally, we have more time on site, we don’t chase every attraction, we don’t rush, and while we’re there, we don’t look at things in the blanks.
And what has been happening on the blog? Unfortunately, a little less … entries were created less than a year ago, we didn’t have the pressure to produce one entry a week. We held on to #familyfirst, especially since the time since September required our greater involvement in family life. Time for the blog remained only when the children went to bed, often not until after 10 pm, which translated directly not only into fewer entries, but also into a large backlog … and these are quite a lot, in drafts we already have more than 20 entries, so in essence we may not travel for the next six months, and still have materials ;-)
In terms of blogging, this year has been exceptional in various ways. We joined the Atoma PR team and, together with other (no longer only) travel bloggers, participated in various collaborations and events. This year we met an unusually large number of people we previously knew only from the Internet. We have made new friends that without blogging and shared passion would never have been made, and it amazes us all the time that we can see someone in person for the first time, and talk as if we have known each other forever! :)
It was a huge success for us to be nominated in National Geographic’s Travelery competition in the Blog of the Year category and in See Bloggers for Discovery of the Year. At the second event, we won a very important special award from the City of Lodz.
A few digits
Although there is less time for the blog each month, and frequent travel makes it even less, we are happy that so many people read and trust us!
- The blog alone is already read by one million readers annually!
- We are getting dangerously close to 100,000 fans on FB!
- We are running out of time on Instagram, but there are still a lot of you there <3
You guys aren’t on Instagram yet! Then you are welcome here:-)
And when it comes to travel numbers, they may not be as impressive as in 2018, but looking at the fact that we haven’t traveled further for almost 4 months, it’s still great!
- We have 13 joint flights to our credit.
- We visited 10 different countries.
- We have been to 9 different airports.
- In total, we flew 32,362 kilometers.
- We spent nearly 50 hours on board the planes.
- We flew 6 different airlines.
Top 10 memories of 2019
Numbers, numbers, may fly out of your head, but something that will remain in it is fantastic travel memories, of which we had an unusually large number this year. And it’s hard to close at 10. point, so there will be exceptionally 12 of them ;-)
- Disneyland – definitely our number 1 this year! The magical world of Walt Disney so absorbed and delighted us that we are planning a repeat in 2020, but no longer in Asia :) You can read more about Disneyland here.
Pandas in Chengdu
– was our main destination for China in 2019, and we finally managed to fulfill one of our biggest travel dreams. We have been to as many as three, completely different resorts, so we have something to compare. The most important moment, however, was the opportunity to see the less than two-week-old babies live! Entries will be up in days!
- Saxony with a child – perhaps a rather general point, but it was a fantastic experience, because it was the first time for four and for a longer period of time. The trip showed that it is possible to discover quite close to great places for children, with the Land of Turisede and the Gorlitz Zoo at the forefront. You can read about our suggestions for a family outing here.
- Yangtze River cruise – both the cruise itself and the sightseeing along the way, as well as viewing the great dam on the Yangtze River. It was a completely new way of traveling for us and will remain in our memories for a long time. As well as about pandas, an entry soon.
- Beautiful Marrakech – probably the biggest surprise this year. Why? Because not many people recommend that you fly to Marrakech with children, and it turned out that we had a great time there. Plus, beautiful buildings, courtyards, decorations, interesting culture and delicious cuisine! A few days filled to the brim…. needless to say, we took so long and hesitated whether to go or not ;)
- Energylandia – another very positive surprise for several reasons. First of all, it is an amusement park made truly world-class. Great rides, lots of fun, and not many people! We hit one Monday, when the staff themselves were surprised by the low number of visitors. For the first time we waited not in the queue for the attraction, but in the attraction we waited until the minimum number of passengers gathered! So we rode around :)
- Shanghai ‘s Oriental Pearl Tower – first the views from the tower itself, second the wow effect on the glass floor, and third the super museum at the very bottom of the tower. Three times yes!
- Uroczysko Zaborek – our best accommodation in Poland! Without a doubt, a place we would love to return to, cozy, full of hospitality, friendliness, homemade food, and in total seclusion…. take a look at this post and see why we are so delighted with this place.
- South Tyrol – especially agritourism…. This was the first time abroad that we stayed overnight in typical agritourisms. And even unusual, because unique. Each different, occupying and specializing in a different field, full of ecology, nature, healthy food and various attractions. A fantastic place for a family break from the city and the hustle and bustle. We described more about agritourism in the region in this post.
Wieliczka, Mining Route
– in Wieliczka probably most of you have been, but how many people have tried their hand at the miner’s route? This is definitely a more interesting adventure than the tourist route, showing what the miners’ work is really like. Worth it!
- Görlitz – we have already mentioned Saxony in this list, but in our opinion Görlitz deserves a separate place :) A beautiful city, a well-preserved old town, interesting history, and all this right on the border with Poland.
- Modernity Center Młyn Wiedzy in Torun – statement open and close places more for children than for adults ;) The Knowledge Mill is a great place where even 2,5 year olds will not be bored! It is worth including them in your plans if you are planning a family outing to Toruń. We’ve written a bit about the Knowledge Mill here.
We have several goals – among them are travel dreams that we want to realize, but also related to the blog itself.
As we’ve learned, travel plans can change, so this time we have several trips in mind and are waiting for opportunities, although we’re afraid we’ll do one of them no matter the cost ;-) Our list of places we want to see with our own eyes is not shrinking at all with subsequent trips, in fact it is growing at an extremely fast pace! On the list, from the closer destinations quite high are Andalusia, Montenegro, Greece, Scotland…. and many others ;-)
We have one trip called dibs and are already flying in February to a continent we haven’t been to yet, and hope to discover another in 2020.
What about the blog and our social media life? You often ask us when we will publish a book :) So, will we write a book/e-book in 2020 ? Or will we start producing gadgets, calendars, notebooks? Will we create our first online course?
The truth is that we have a lot of ideas for development, for expansion, but for the time being we don’t need it. We work full-time fulfilling jobs, and the blog and travel have never been and do not plan for them to be our main source of income. We take paid collaborations, but what we earn we use for future trips or equipment, not for daily expenses :)
Especially since we are slowly getting to the point where the need to realize the material of the trip may overshadow the sheer pleasure of traveling, something we would like to avoid at all costs. That’s why you’ll actually never see some of our 2019 trips on our blog :)
We know that many people would like to travel for a living, but that is not our goal, because in the end, a passion that becomes a job at some point may cease to be a passion.
So we don’t want the blog to take away the pleasure of traveling. We don’t want to fly fast after the attractions, because after all, we need to collect material, we need to show as much as possible, because others have been to so many places in a shorter time and we need to too…. Stop, this is not the way to go.
But we want to continue to show you interesting corners, the fact that you can travel on your own, the fact that you can travel with children. But we also want to have the courage to say it’s time for a break, or even advise you against a certain trip/location.
So we cannot write that we are opening a new chapter in the life or history of the blog. We are entering 2020 full of eagerness and enthusiasm to explore interesting places, not necessarily just those at the end of the world, and share it with you.
Finally, we wish you the very best of fantastic travels in 2020! :)