You might have noticed that I haven’t been blogging much lately. Very sorry about that. I just haven’t been travelling as much as I used to and, well, let’s just say my life has been fairly chaotic in recent months – more so than that picture above lets on.
So I’ve been seriously considering just letting this blog go while I concentrate on other things, like life, love, and my fledgling beer blog, which already gets twice as much traffic as this travel blog.
But it’d be a shame to see Man vs World go gently into that good night, so perhaps I’m not ready to let it go just yet. It’s certainly been a game changer for me since I started it in January 2012.
These are some of the highlights from the past four years or so…
5. Meeting other bloggers
First off, let me say what a privilege it’s been to be a part of the lively, friendly, and incredibly inclusive travel blogging community. On Twitter in particular, it’s always been a hoot, sharing travel tips and stories.
Through my blog, I’ve even been able to meet up with half-a-dozen international travellers over the years, who’ve all been absolutely terrific people to have a beer with.
4. The first link in the travel chain
You know those travel-themed chain posts, where you write a blog post and link it to a number of other bloggers, who do the same, and so on? I don’t have much time for them these days, but I absolutely loved them back in the day.
Normally they’d be started by big companies that wanted to build backlinks to their own websites, but in my first year I decided to start one of my own. ‘My top travel regrets’ took on such a life of its own that I lost track of how many degrees of separation there were between me and it before it finally petered out.
3. The blog posts that have gone viral
I’ll never pretend to have one of the most popular travel blogs in the world – but just as every dog has its day, my blog has had its moment in the sunshine more than once in the past four years, when various blog posts have exploded on social media and in Google.
The first of such posts was a negative review of an event during the London Olympics in 2012, which went bananas for a while. Then there was the blog post I did about the friendliest travel bloggers on Twitter, which was a quick and easy blog post that did exceptionally well for a few weeks.
But the most viral of posts on Man vs World was also the most random – in 2014 my article about the Arc de Triomphe in Paris when absolutely bonkers on Reddit, garnering more traffic in a single day than my blog normally gets in a month.
2. When digital content became my career
Blogging isn’t just a hobby anymore; it’s become a career. A passion for blogging and social media, coupled with a degree in journalism and experience working in busy newsrooms in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, has led me to become the digital content manager of a number of websites for a large international media company.
It’s a rewarding and challenging role, that’ll hopefully leave me in good stead as newspapers and magazines around the world readjust to a new world order in terms of digital versus print media. It’s extremely unlikely that I’d have this job if I hadn’t started this blog in the first place.
1. My little book deal
I probably kept this a little quieter than I should have. After all, it’s not every day that someone approaches you to re-/co-write a book about travel in your native country.
In November 2014 I was approached by the wonderful team who produce the Xenophobe’s Guides – those hilarious short books for travellers that offer frank and funny insights into 20-odd countries and regions around the world – about updating the one about New Zealand.
Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to contribute to The Xenophobe’s Guide to The Kiwis and see my name and website listed at the back of the book. My whole family received copies for Christmas that year, and I still get a buzz now when I flick through it.
Come to think of it, maybe I’ll keep this blog going for a little while yet.