Last week marked a big milestone for Drink Tea & Travel. On May 1, our blog turned 2 years old.
Drink Tea & Travel started out as my personal hobby while we were still living and working in Brisbane, Australia, as a way to document our travels around the country and beyond. Within the first 6 months, I knew the blog had potential to become more than just an outlet for memories as I worked hard to fill it with useful travel tips and advice. We saw great success in year 1, but it was this past year that took Drink Tea & Travel to a new level.
To commemorate our blogaversary we wanted to reflect on the last year of our blog stats, travel stats, and life updates.
Year in Travel
The last 12 months have been by far the busiest and most travel packed year of our lives. We visited 5 continents, 17 countries, and hundreds of cities. Some of these were brand new destinations, others were repeat visits but each leg of the journey allowed us to discover something new and different.
In May, after spending 2 years exploring Australia’s East Coast we finally made it to the West Coast. We spend 2 weeks road tripping from Perth to Broome in an epic adventure that saw us swimming with whale sharks in Ningaloo Reef, sand dunning in Lancelin, hiking in Karijini National Park, and falling in love with the adorable town of Broome.
Singapore was the first destination we visited after quitting our jobs to travel the world full time. I spent 4 days in August eating my way through Singapore’s best Hawker Centres while Max flew across the world for a conference in Baltimore.
We spent a month exploring Indonesia in August/September, taking time to make our way through Java, Bali, Lombok, and Flores. It was here that we stuffed our faces with delicious Indonesian food, admired the beauty of Mt Bormo, saw the elusive blue flame at the Ijen Crater, and spent 5 days diving in Komodo National Park.
From Indonesia, we got a chance to experience Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, the local way. We spent 10 days shopping in Kota Kinabalu, diving in Sipadan, searching for wildlife along the Kinabatangan River, relaxing in Manana, and meeting the man of the forest at the Orangutan Sanctuary in Sandakan.
The next destination on our SEA adventure was beautiful Myanmar. We were only there for 2 weeks but it was enough to enjoy the streets of Yangon, sail on Inle Lake, take a scenic train ride to Hsipaw, and spend a few days interacting with locals in remote hill tribe villages of Shan state.
After a brief stop in Bangkok and Stockholm, we traveled to Kiev, Ukraine for a week long family visit and traditional Ukrainian wedding celebration. It was Max’s first time meeting my extended family and his first time visiting the place where I spent the majority of my childhood.
Quick stop in London (my old stomping grounds) and we were off to Morocco. We spent 2 weeks road tripping all across Morocco, making our way from Tangier, to Chefchaouen and Fez, and then over to the Sahara desert and across the country to the medieval town of Essaouira and Marrakech. We fell in love with Moroccan food, became obsessed with Moroccan mint tea and crossed off a big bucket list item spending two nights in the Sahara desert with 2 adorable camels called Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley.
From Morocco, it was another quick stop in Madrid before making our way to beautiful Romania. We spent 2 exciting weeks in Romania, road tripping on the Transfaragasan Road, admiring the beauty of the fall colours in the countryside, and meandering through the cobblestone street towns along the way.
After making our way to North America in November we spent a few weeks visiting friends and family in Canada and the US, before heading south to spend the rest of the year in Costa Rica.
This past year Costa Rica became the closest thing to home for us. We landed in Costa Rica in early December and spent the rest of the month frantically getting ready for our wedding. After many sleepless nights and stressful days all of our hard work paid off when we said our I Do’s in a beautiful beach ceremony on New Year’s Eve. Our wedding celebrations continued with friends and family by our side for the first week of January. From there, we went off on our first honeymoon exploring beaches of Guanacaste and discovering awesome new towns along the Pacific Coast.
But unfortunately, our Costa Rican fun was interrupted in February, when a freak surfing accident left me with a broken leg and a prognosis of 3+ months of immobility.
I underwent surgery and spent the months of March and some of April recovering from the accident. Luckily, my recovery went better than expected and I was back on my feet within 8 weeks.
Shortly after I transitioned to walking with a cane, we set off on the most low-impact trip we could think of. We rented an RV and spent 2 weeks road tripping across the US making our way from Chicago to Los Angeles. The trip quickly reminded us of our love for the open road and inspired us to plan more road trips in the U.S. in the near future.
It was a jam-packed year, but one that left us with a ton of material to write about and lots of on-the-road experience to be able to inspire, give advice, and share our travel tips with all of you.
Last 12 months were all about traveling more and finding our groove on the road, so we could figure out for ourselves whether this nomadic lifestyle was something we wanted to pursue long term. And we are happy to report that it is. Unlike a lot of other bloggers out there, we are still hungry for more travel, we have no desire to slow down, and no plans to plant roots and settle down. (Sorry to disappoint, mom). Being on the move is what makes us the happiest, it constantly pushes us outside of our comfort zones and inspires us to never stop learning.
So you can only expect more travel and more adventures in years to come.
Year in Blogging
The last 12 months of travel did wonders for our blog! We grew our audience, connected with like-minded influencers, allowed us to work with tourism boards, hotel chains, tour companies, and brands that we have previously only admired from afar.
In July of last year, shortly after our 1 year anniversary, Drink Tea & Travel underwent a big revamp. We redesigned the website to make it easier to navigate and updated the look to allow us to put more focus on our photography. It was around that time that Drink Tea & Travel also transitioned from a blog about a girl to a blog about a couple when I officially introduced Max as the co-author behind Drink Tea & Travel.
Today, we work on Drink Tea & Travel together. And although the majority of the posts are still written by me, we now work together to produce all photography and video content for our social media channels and the blog itself.
Over the last 12 months, we have also honed in on our focus and promised to stay true to our mission to travel the world for less and to explore each country and each destination beyond the major sights and attractions. You can trust us to always be on the lookout for more affordable ways to get around, budget friendly accommodation alternatives, cheap eats and drinks, and experiences that allow you to connect with locals, their culture, and their environment without spending a fortune. And we’ve continued to do all of that with a cup of tea in hand.
With that focus in mind, in the last 12 months, we published 140 posts, responded to over 300 comments, and gained thousands of new followers who we think (or we hope) share our travel philosophy.
Our readership on the blog has grown tremendously. Here are just a few of our stats for the last 12 months:
- Over 160,000 unique users visited Drink Tea & Travel throughout the year, that’s 153% higher than in our first year of blogging. Today, we are averaging around 20,000 users/month, a figure that 2 years ago seemed like an unreachable target.
- Our readers viewed almost 274,000 pages on the blog in the last 12 months, with views spanning across a number of categories and post types
- The average time spent on the blog has gone up by 6% (thank you for sticking around and reading more!)
Despite all the success we’ve had in the last year, we still sometimes feel like absolute rookies in this business. There is always more to learn, more to improve upon, and more we can be doing to make us more relevant to you and make Drink Tea & Travel your go-to source of travel inspiration and advice.
To find out what we can do better, we’ll be reaching out to all of our readers in the near future, but if you have any advice or suggestions now, leave us a comment at the end of this post or feel free to drop us an email with your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you!
Year in Life
Our lives underwent some huge changes in the last 12 months. I paid off my school debt, which allowed us to quit our jobs in Australia and finally pursue our dream of traveling full-time. Today, we lead a nomadic lifestyle, hopping between Canada, USA, Costa Rica and the rest of Central and South America. The majority of our possessions are on our backs, with the exception of a few piles of clothes stashed away at our parents’ houses in Florida, Canada, and Costa Rica. We take on average 3-4 flights a month, rarely staying anywhere for longer than 2 weeks.
Aside from the change in our lifestyle, the last 12 months also saw some big changes in our personal lives. As most of you know, we are recently married and although our lives didn’t change at all since we said our I Do’s, we are still getting used to calling each other “husband” and “wife”. Thanks to a freak accident, our relationship and our commitment to each other was put to a big test when I broke my leg and ended up needing 24/7 care in March of this year. Luckily, we came out on the other side of it feeling more united than ever and we anticipate that it will only be a matter of time until we are able to get back to hiking mountains around the world.
We hope to continue to share our lives and our travel adventures with you for the foreseeable future and can’t wait to share another year of travel with you.
THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for your continued support, your feedback, your comments, and for following our adventures on the blog and on our social media channels!
We couldn’t do what we do without you! Here’s to another great 12 months of Drinking Tea & Traveling!
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