Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Fifty by Fifty

Ta-Da!  Here is my new blog design!

Bobbi at Ready to Blog Custom Blog Designs did a fantastic job, don't you think?
I just answered a few basic questions and she did the rest.  I couldn't be happier with it!

I've really been thinking about this blog and what I want it to be.
I've invested in a makeover and I'm also planning on investing in other ways.

I want to take some writing and photography classes this year.
I'm also going to spend some time getting up to speed on the technical stuff, SEO and HTML, and such.

It's also going to be year of travel.
After all, it is about "the places we will go." 

One of the reasons we decided to move to the UK, was so that we could explore Europe.
TE is an avid traveler and has managed to visit over 100 countries and all 50 US states.  
I don't think I'll ever catch up with him, but I will certainly try.

I've often said that one of my very favorite things to do is to experience something for the first time.
That's what makes traveling so much fun. You are constantly learning new things and stretching your horizons.
It's all about those moments.  

I've done a little bit of traveling, but now is really my chance.
I've set the goal of 50 by 50 and here is where I'm at so far.

1. USA      2. Philippines     3. Germany     4. Switzerland     5. Italy     6. Vatican City     7. France
8. Mexico    9. Jamaica      10. Puerto Rico     11. US Virgin Islands     12. St. Kitts     13. Aruba
14. Curacao     15. Mexico    16. England     17. Wales     18. Belgium     19.  Netherlands
20. Greece     21. Turkey     22. Scotland     23. Austria

I have less than 4 years to get in 27 more countries! 
But, I love a good challenge.  This is what is in the works for this year.

Over Easter weekend, we are taking the car to France and venturing into Luxembourg (24).

We are taking an Explore! trip in April to Spain (25) and Morocco (26).
This will be my most exotic trip so far and I am SO excited!

Then we're planning a Baltic Sea Cruise in the Fall which has stops in
Sweden (27), Finland (28), Estonia (29), Denmark (30) and Russia (31).
Very exciting!  We love cruising.

A few weekend trips are also on the table...  
Portugal (32), Croatia (33) and maybe Ireland (34).
(We also want to squeeze in Venice even though Italy will be a repeat.)

I think we can do it.  And we will certainly have fun trying!

I know I'm not your typical travel blogger.

I'm over 40.  I hate carrying a backpack, way too heavy.
I don't own a pair of hiking boots, binoculars or an Outback hat.
I had to Google "couchsurfing" to see what it was.

You will never catch me rock-climbing, bungee-jumping or sky-diving. 
I refuse to do anything that involves a harness and a waiver.

I'm not very adventurous and a bit of a fraidy-cat.
I am a very picky eater which drives TE crazy!

But, I am a traveler and I am a blogger.

So, dear readers, what kinds of things do you want me to blog about as we travel this year?

Do you want facts and figures? Do you want links?  Photographs?

Itineraries, travel tips and recommendations?

Do you want my thoughts and impressions? The stories we collect along the way?

How can I make this not-so-typical travel blog interesting to YOU?

Of course, in between travels I will have my usual stuff.
Any suggestions you have on that content is also welcome.

I really do need your input.

Because let's face it, it's not really a blog unless someone reads a post
and then returns to read another one.

You are as much a part of this as I am 
and that's the best part!


  1. Hi Selens,
    Love the look of your new blog.
    Look forward to read anything your'e going to throw at us.
    Hope you have a lovely week,
    Liz x

  2. Love the new blog design! It is perfect!
    So excited for your fifty by fifty. You are hitting all of the places I am dreaming of visiting. I will enjoy every minute of reading along and seeing the beautiful pictures you take.

  3. I love the new blog, and as a fellow avid traveler, I am envious of all your upcoming travels! You will love the Baltic, it is one of our favorite areas! Also, how did I not realize you met your husband at a wedding? Me too! Love it all! x

  4. LOVE your redesign! The colors are lovely, and it is easy to read. I can't wait to follow your travels. Some of the things I like in travel/expat blogs are: unique/quirky things about the location, specifics on good areas to eat/stay, and opinion on how to get the best bang for your buck. On that last item, I like to know when things are really worth what might seem to be an expensive price tag. Sometimes experiences ARE worth what seems like a high price...other times, not so much!

    We are cranking up our travel this year too!

  5. Love the new design! Sounds like an exciting year ahead. :D I counted how many countries I've been to, only a modest 15, I love your idea of 50 by 50 so much that I'm considering a 35 by 35. Too ambitious? It will at least be fun to try.

  6. Beautiful new design!

    I loved that you didn't know that train seats are both forwards and backwards - more of that honesty please. It's things like that that I really enjoy about expat/travel blogs, those things that seem inherent or 'known' to everyone, but really aren't.

  7. 50 by 50 is a really fun idea for a travel goal! I wish you all the best of luck in reaching it. :)

  8. I am loving your blog. It is a dream of mine to live in England for a short time, I dont think i could leave the south forever but i am sure its different for love.my husband also loves to travel and we could explore all the beautiful things in Europe. I think your doing great with the blog. Your photography is beautiful and I enjoy your descriptions. More photos would be great.

  9. Love the new look!! And love the 50 by 50 idea!! (I'm so behind though, I've only been to 5 countries.... I better get a move on!)

  10. I really enjoy the travel photos and like to hear about the no so advertised spots, the little out of the way places that are not in the travel books and for the well advertised spots are they worth the visit? The new design is very nice.

  11. The new design is really incredible! I'm so excited to follow along in your new challenge, too. We've talked about this, but the posts where you really get a sense of the person are the ones that I like the best. Excited for what is to come for you! x

  12. Love the new design! I love your photos...you can never have too many! I also really love your take on your travels. Love the 50 by 50 idea! I love to hear about little known facts and historical antedotes about places. But mostly I love that you are blogging so that I can keep up with my old friend. :-D

  13. Photos, please, but also facts and travel tips. :)
    Same goal of 50 by 50 for me, but I am far behind for now, only a modest 14. Since we moved to Scotland, hubby and I tend to go back to Italy to visit family and friends instead of traveling.

  14. It's so beautiful Selena! It looks very professional. I did pop by a couple of weeks ago, but apologies for not commenting sooner. It was a very, very dark couple of weeks for me. I hope you're doing okay and looking forward to seeing you soon!

  15. Sorry I don't remember what the blog looked like before but I like the way it looks now. 50 by 50 sounds like a cool goal. Going forward? Pictures, lots of pictures (I'm traveling vicariously through your blog/pictures but not in a stalker kinds of way), bits of history/travel info, some tips/suggestions, insights (like the backward train seats - who knew? Not me), humorous stories, stuff like that.

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  17. Dear Selena,

    I never saw your old blog but I must admit that I love your blog now :D

    You should add to the list Poland ;) Check my blog and you will see how Krakow is and what it has to offer :) Plus I would be a perfect tour guide - and for free ;p

    Yours truly,

    The LadyBug



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