Travel tales

My second year On the Luce

Second year On the Luce

The last week has seen two birthdays as this blog reached its second anniversary and I well and truly entered my mid 30s! It’s been a great year ‘On the Luce’ and I want to thank all the new readers of the site that have come on board this year, as well as saying a special thank you to those that have stuck with me from the beginning. Your great comments keep me going whenever it all seems like hard work.

Blogging has added so much to my life, not least a community of new friends and fellow travel obsessives who make me laugh, make me jealous and inspire me with new destinations for my wishlist every day. As I did last year, I want to highlight a few of my favourite posts from the last 12 months. From the most popular to those with the most personal meaning, here are five posts that sum up the last year to me…

Visiting Paris on a budget

This was by far my most popular post of the last year, which shows how much people love Paris – or maybe it’s more a sign of how expensive the city is these days! After an autumn house-sitting there and plenty of other trips to one of my favourite cities, I had plenty of tips to share. I haven’t managed to fit in a trip out to Paris so far this year but hope to squeeze in a weekend there in December as I’ve never seen it at Christmas time. The Paris post was followed up by a budget guide to London and I’ve one to New York coming up soon, and if there are any other cities you’d like to read about then let me know.

Sacre Coeur Basilica in Montmartre in Paris

Sacre Coeur Basilica in Paris

Round the world +10

This February was a major travel anniversary for me as it was 10 years since I set off on my big RTW trip, spending 16 months travelling around India, SE Asia and Australia. I’ve not written much about this trip on the blog before – not least as my photos are all on film and a bit rubbish. But the anniversary gave me an excuse to share some of my most memorable adventures and misadventures, as well as looking at how travel has changed since then. I’ve still scanning my way through lots of negatives so have more posts in this series coming up, including looking at how travel changed the people I met on my trip.

Round the world trip

Great memories from my RTW trip ten years ago

The view from the Shard in the snow

Sometimes it seems like travel is all glamour and excitement, that when you leave home everything gets better and nothing ever goes wrong. But that wasn’t the case with my trip to the Shard, Western Europe’s new tallest building which opened in London earlier this year. After reading posts from other bloggers who’d been to the top, complete with stunning photos, I couldn’t wait to get there myself. But the British weather conspired against me and instead of a crisp, sunny winter’s day I got ice, snow, mist and a monochrome London to show for my £25 entrance fee. But as with my post about my RTW misadventures, sometimes the travel disasters make the best stories!

The View from the Shard in the snow, London

Not quite the view from the Shard that I was expecting

My favourite…

I take thousands of photos each year – many, many more that I can ever fit into posts on this site. So I’m always trying to think of new ways to use them, and earlier this year I came up with the idea of doing posts with some of my favourite photos in different categories. I started off with my favourite sunset shots, then went on to beaches and viewpoints. It was a great way to rediscover some of my best photos and to share the ones that I have never managed to use on the site before. I’m after suggestions for my next category so if you have any ideas let me know.

Palm trees at sunset in Santa Barbara, California, USA

One of my favourite sunset shots, from Santa Barbara, California

Making new Best Friends at the US’s biggest animal sanctuary

I’ve always supported animal charities but had never been in one place long enough to get a pet of my own or to volunteer. So when I read about Best Friends in Utah, a huge animal sanctuary where you can can volunteer with cats, dogs or even pigs, I knew I had to fit it into my road trip itinerary. I spent an inspiring afternoon there, playing with some of their 700 cats, and since coming home I’ve adopted my own cats. But I also heard from a reader who saw my story about Best Friends and recognised Oliver, the lovely old cat with a sad story who I took out for a walk when I was there. She’d volunteered there too and fallen in love with him, and ended up taking him back to New York to live with her. Such a great end to his story and an amazing coincidence that she read the article!

Best Friends animal sanctuary, Kanab, USA

New friends from my trip to Best Friends animal sanctuary

So that was my second year On the Luce – with 80 posts, 491 photos and 12 countries written about over the last 12 months. But what’s coming up in year three? First up I’ll be finishing off writing about my US travels with tales from New Mexico and Arizona, then I’ll be focusing on my own backyard as part of my local travel summer. And beyond that there are plenty of travel plans in the pipeline but first I’ve got a big event coming up when I get married at the end of September. So expect at least a few honeymoons (rather than one expensive one I think a few cheaper ones is the way to go!) and I’m also getting ready to launch a new site dedicated to travelling without a car, so look out for that and more coming up next year.

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  • Reply
    Browsing the Atlas
    July 18, 2013 at 6:16 pm

    Happy Blogiversary! I liked your round-up of favorite posts from the last year. I hope the next year brings many more. A wedding and honeymoons definitely sounds like a great way to start off Year 3. 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 18, 2013 at 11:13 pm

      Thank you, it’s nice to look back and rediscover a few posts as it’s easy to forget about them once they’re written as you’re focus moves on to planning the next ones!

  • Reply
    anatomyofateacher
    July 18, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Congratulations on your 10 years of travel and 2 years of blogging. I really admire what you’ve accomplished. I may have dreamed of doing something like what you’re doing but never knew how to make it happen, or maybe just didn’t have the guts and the conviction. I hope you may continue your travels and adventures for many years to come!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 18, 2013 at 11:23 pm

      Thanks so much, I’ve really enjoyed sharing my travel photos and stories and so appreciative of all my readers and commenters.

      • Reply
        anatomyofateacher
        July 19, 2013 at 6:24 pm

        I hope to read more of your posts so I can find out how you do it 🙂 Thank you for being an inspiration!

  • Reply
    catiassilva
    July 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    happy aniversary! i hope that you stay on the blog world many years! lovely posts!!

    beijinhos

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 18, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      Thanks so much, hopefully I’ll still be blogging two years from now and beyond!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    July 18, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    HI Lucy, you are one of my favourite bloggers and I truly love each of your posts. I look forward to reading your posts and I like your writing style too. Not to mention the great photos.
    You are the reason I m thinking of making a trip to the southwest this year..

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 18, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      Thanks Michelle, it’s great that you are planning a trip to the southwest, so glad that my passion for the area has come through! Here’s to a great next year of travel and blogging for both of us.

      • Reply
        Michelle
        July 19, 2013 at 6:50 pm

        Yes, and to your wedding!!!

  • Reply
    holidayaddict
    July 18, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Happy blog birthday (and real birthday)! Yours is definitely one of my fave blogs, Lucy. I’m glad I found it. Keep inspiring us. I think you’ve twigged that my travels are a bit of a copy of yours! Look forward to the NYC guide.

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 18, 2013 at 11:14 pm

      Thanks Claire, we obviously both just have the same excellent taste in holidays! Will make sure I get my New York guide up well before you go.

  • Reply
    Anita Mac
    July 18, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthhhhhhhday, happy birthhhhhday, happy birthday to you! And many more! Well done on your second year of blogging and very excited for you and your soon to be wedding!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 18, 2013 at 11:16 pm

      Thanks Anita, can’t believe how fast two years of blogging have gone by already!

  • Reply
    Carl
    July 18, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Congrats on the milestone Lucy! Keep up the good work, and hope the wedding planning is going well!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 18, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      Thanks Carl, wedding planning is almost done so it’s onto the honeymoon planning next – definitely the best bit!

  • Reply
    elstadl
    July 18, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Lucy, you’re an inspiration! Happy blog anniversary! 🙂 Lindsey

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 18, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      Thanks Lindsey, here’s to lots more years of blogging to come!

  • Reply
    aBitofCulture
    July 18, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    Good luck with the wedding and honeymoons. Here’s to another two years of blogging!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 18, 2013 at 11:17 pm

      Thanks Richard, I’m going to see how many honeymoons I can possibly get away with over the next year!

  • Reply
    Lauren @ Peaks and Passports
    July 18, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    Happy birthday times two! I’m so glad to have discovered your blog and love following your travels around the world!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 20, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      Thanks Lauren, this year has so flown by, must get travel planning again to keep me in enough stories for the next year!

  • Reply
    Laura
    July 19, 2013 at 4:58 am

    Happy blog anniversary and happy birthday, too! I always enjoy reading your posts, so cheers to many more years!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 20, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      Thanks Laura, I love your 27 for 27 idea, I might have to try and do something similar before my next birthday!

  • Reply
    inavukic
    July 19, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Congratulations! It’s a labour of love and determination – you have so many reasons to feel proud! Love your posts

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 20, 2013 at 4:33 pm

      Thank you – blogging does sometimes seem like hard work but you do feel a great sense of achievement and it’s been fantastic to ‘meet’ so many fellow travel lovers.

  • Reply
    restlessjo
    July 19, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    And it seems to be getting better, Luce? I certainly hope so. Six or more honeymoons should help!
    Love the idea of travel without a car. I, for one, will remain a follower. Happy “new year” to you. 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 20, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      Six honeymoons sounds like an excellent idea Jo! Glad you like the new blog idea too – it’s been in the pipeline for ages and hope to finally get it launched before the end of the year.

  • Reply
    Marc Latham
    July 19, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Congrats Luce, nice stuff.

  • Reply
    Bridget Pigott
    July 20, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    Can’t believe you have been doing this so long, it always sounds fresh and interesting- i read every one. Keep it up. Bridget

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 21, 2013 at 10:22 pm

      Thanks Bridget, yes the time has flown by! So glad you enjoy it and look forward to seeing you in September.

  • Reply
    Karen Johnson
    July 21, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Congratulations Lucy on your two year anniversary!

  • Reply
    Tria
    July 31, 2013 at 3:40 am

    happy belated birthday to your blog… your blog so lovely..

  • Reply
    Arianwen
    August 1, 2013 at 3:00 am

    Congratulations! I’ve just reached my 2 year anniversary of blogging too! I’d never regret it for a second! I love the scanned images from your trip 10 years ago!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      August 5, 2013 at 4:03 pm

      Happy anniversary to you too! Scary how fast the years pass by isn’t it? It’s so strange to think that my Australia trip was ten years ago. Still have a huge box of negatives to scan my way through but it’s bringing back lots of good memories!

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