Travel tales

My third year On the Luce

Third year of On the Luce

It’s that time of year again – when I dig out the Champagne glasses and crack open the bubbly (any excuse) to celebrate both me and this blog reaching another birthday. The last three years On the Luce have seen 244 blog posts, 1451 photos, 19 countries covered and 7636 comments – phew! And this year has been the busiest and best for the blog so far – as well as doubling the number of monthly visitors since last year (welcome everyone!), it’s also opened up new opportunities for me, like the chance to work with some great travel companies and tourist boards to try out new destinations and even a totally new way to travel.

It amazes me when I think how the site has grown over the last three years. But a blog wouldn’t be anything without its readers, so thanks to you all – I really appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my posts, make a comment or follow along on Facebook or Twitter. I’ve made some great friends through blogging, and really appreciate being part of such a fantastic group of people who share my passion for travel and are constantly inspiring me to see more of the world. It definitely keeps me going when I’m in the midst of blogging’s less-glamourous phases – stuck inside on the sofa with my laptop, trying to work around the cat, with 800 photos to edit, a backlog of 20 posts to do and total writer’s block!

So just like last year and the year before, I’m going to use this anniversary as an excuse to look back at some of my most popular and favourite posts from the last 12 months, as well as giving you a preview of what will be coming up in my fourth year On the Luce.

Fireworks over Strasbourg, France

Birthday fireworks (ok, they’re for Bastille Day really) in Strasbourg

Most popular posts

My travel confessions: you might think that after 20 years of travel I’d be good at it, so it was time I came clean about how I’m a bit of a rubbish traveller really – I don’t want to travel full-time or see the whole world, I’m a picky eater and I don’t really like travelling solo. But it turns out I’m not alone, and readers shared their own confessions – going to show that there’s no such thing as a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way to travel.

Las Vegas on a budget: it’s the city known for five-star hotels, A-list nightclubs and designer boutiques, so it’s no surprise that people want to save money in Sin City. Posts on budget travel – whether that’s budget city guides or trip expense reports – have been really popular this year, showing we’re all looking to make the most of our travel money, and save where we can so we can throw in a few luxury touches.

Following the Sherlock trail across London: inspired by my favourite TV show (and spotting my wedding venue on screen), I headed off around London in the footsteps of Benedict Cumberbatch to visit some of the filming locations from the BBC series Sherlock. The post got a huge spike in visitors from Sherlock fans on Reddit and it was great to hear from a reader who’d gone and walked the route herself and loved it.

Looking out over Corfu Town in Greece

Looking out over the blue seas off Corfu Town

My favorite posts

The part-time traveller’s guide to maximing your travel time: ‘part-time travel, full-time travel obsession’ became the blog’s slogan this year, and this article summed up my travel ethos, showing you don’t need to give up your job and life to be able to see the world. I shared my tricks and tips on how to make the most of your annual leave, turn any trip into a holiday and how travel doesn’t need to involve a long journey.

A celebration of female travel pioneers: it’s easy to take our ability to travel today for granted, but it wasn’t always that way, especially for women. Inspired by an adventurous 90-year-old I met on a plane, I looked at some of the pioneering female travellers who explored the world their way, despite having to battle society’s expectations of how a woman should behave as well as facing their own fears.

An interview with… Wine expert Oz Clarke: wine is a big passion of mine, so I was incredibly excited to get to geek out about it with wine legend Oz Clarke, as part of my partnership with Celebrity Cruises. Sadly it was a phone interview so we didn’t get to share a bottle, but he was such a nice guy and gave me a huge amount of great tips on new wines to try and interesting wine destinations to visit.

Catania food market, Sicily

Exploring the markets in Catania on a trip with Celebrity Cruises in May

What’s coming up in year four?

Coming up on the blog in the next few months are posts on my cruise stops in Greece and Turkey as well as my recent rail trip around Europe. There are also a couple of new features I’m going to be introducing. I’ve loved doing the #Take12Trips monthly reports, so I’m going to extend them into more of a monthly round up about what I’ve been up to. After a busy few months I’ve got a bit of a blog backlog (I’m still writing about Norway back in May!) so it gives me a chance to share some of the details of my most recent trips and where I’ll be going next, as it’s great to get your advice on what not to miss.

I’ll also be doing a series of Q&A posts to answer some of the travel questions I get asked and share some of my top tips, so if there’s anything you’d like to know – from destination dilemmas to packing advice – just let me know. I also hope to keep growing the site and developing partnerships with tourist boards and travel companies – though don’t worry I won’t be going down the road of group press trips, sponsored everything and hashtag overload! I’ll still be travelling my own way, with the vast majority of my trips still planned and paid for by me as ever and I’ll always say what I really think.

And in terms of travel, after a summer break to catch my breath and explore places closer to home, autumn will see me heading to Northumberland in the north of England, visiting my 40th country on my first trip to Canada, and revisiting one of my favourite parts of Italy with a trip to the Amalfi Coast. And then who knows – one thing I’ve learnt from the blogging journey so far is that you never know what to expect!

The Alps in summer in St Anton, Austria

Sunny days in the Alps with my parents on our European rail trip

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87 Comments

  • Reply
    Katie MacLeod
    July 28, 2014 at 10:47 am

    What a year – congratulations 🙂 !

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 29, 2014 at 9:46 am

      Thanks so much – yes it’s been a really hectic one! Hopefully the next year will have just as much travel to come too.

  • Reply
    Sonia
    July 28, 2014 at 10:47 am

    Hey Lucy! Love your blog! Keep ’em coming! 🙂
    You are an inspiration for our blog as well!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 29, 2014 at 9:47 am

      Thank you! Love your recent post on South Africa – it’s one of the places high on my list for next year.

  • Reply
    francaangloitalian
    July 28, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Congratulations for hitting this milestone and I wish you many more to come! 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 29, 2014 at 9:50 am

      Thanks Franca, here’s to lots more years of travel and blogging to you too!

  • Reply
    Vlad
    July 28, 2014 at 11:23 am

    Happy birthday and happy anniversary! Seems like you had quite the year so far, I love virtually following you along on your trips, I’m always filled with wanderlust when I read your posts 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 29, 2014 at 9:51 am

      Thanks so much Vlad. It’s definitely been the busiest year yet – on and off the blog – the travel wish-list never seems to get any shorter though!

  • Reply
    aBitofCulture
    July 28, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Congratulations and keep up the good work!

  • Reply
    Kan
    July 28, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Happy blogaversary Lucy! Looking forward to more of your travel adventures 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 29, 2014 at 9:51 am

      Thanks so much – hope I can keep up the travel pace into the next year!

  • Reply
    danielleredder
    July 28, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    Thanks for this great read & great reflections!

  • Reply
    makeascene2121
    July 28, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Congratulations! Looking forward to see what else is to come!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 29, 2014 at 9:59 am

      Me too! Here’s to a great next year for both of us!

  • Reply
    backyardtreasuresblog
    July 28, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Well done! I can only hope my blog will make it that far! This is inspiring.

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 29, 2014 at 10:00 am

      Thanks, it’s scary how time flies and there’s a few times where it felt a bit too much hard work and I though about giving up but love doing it and so glad I stuck with it!

  • Reply
    Naomi Todd (@todds_travels)
    July 28, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Not a bad three years at all! Here’s to many more good’uns!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 29, 2014 at 10:01 am

      Thanks Naomi, yep it’s been a pretty good ride so far so long may it continue!

  • Reply
    atravelingb
    July 28, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Congratulations, Lucy! You have sure accomplished a lot with your blog in only three years! I have loved reading about your destinations and travel insight. Keep up the good work!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 29, 2014 at 10:02 am

      Thanks Bridget – sometimes it feels like I’ve been blogging forever! Love it though so hope it can continue for many years to come.

  • Reply
    Globalresidence
    July 28, 2014 at 1:02 pm

    Congrats! Great post! 🙂

  • Reply
    Karen Johnson
    July 28, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    Congratulations Lucy! I love your blog!

  • Reply
    Andrew Seal
    July 28, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Many congratulations Lucy. Looking forward to Year 4 🙂

  • Reply
    Heyjude
    July 28, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Great blog Lucy – I am enjoying travelling vicariously with you to places I have and have not visited. Happy blogoversary 🙂 I look forward to reading about Canada – which bit are you going to explore?

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 29, 2014 at 9:58 am

      Thanks Jude – the plan is to explore some of Quebec. I’ve been wanting to go to Canada for so long it’s hard to reign myself in and not try and see the whole place but it’s so huge I have to pace myself and do a bit at a time!

      • Reply
        Heyjude
        July 29, 2014 at 1:09 pm

        Ooh, now that’s an area I know very little about so I’ll be very interested to see what you discover.

  • Reply
    Monica Stott (@TheTravelHack)
    July 28, 2014 at 5:25 pm

    Congrats on another brilliant year 🙂 I’m already looking forward to seeing how the fourth year goes!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 29, 2014 at 9:57 am

      Thanks Monica, been great to meet you and the other Destination Bloggers this year too!

  • Reply
    Mike
    July 28, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Congratulations on your third year! I’ve enjoyed following along for the past 6 months and cannot wait to see what the future has in store for you. Maybe our travel paths will cross sometime in the future.

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 29, 2014 at 9:57 am

      Thanks Mike, scary how time flies! Been great to follow your journey too and hopefully one day we will cross paths on the road!

  • Reply
    Cathy Sweeney
    July 28, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Happy Anniversary! Lots of great places and topics covered over the past three years. Sounds like you’ve got interesting places for the year ahead. I’m especially looking forward to the Greece and Europe by rail pieces.

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 29, 2014 at 9:56 am

      Thanks Cathy, yes hopefully there should be some good things to come. Greece posts are up next and the rail trip once I’ve got through my huge photo editing backlog!

  • Reply
    Rita Dodsworth
    July 28, 2014 at 6:48 pm

    I look forward to joining you on some of your travels in the next 12 months xx

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 29, 2014 at 9:55 am

      Definitely, we will have to get the travel planning hat on for 2015! xx

  • Reply
    Suzanne Jones
    July 28, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    Congratulations and happy blogday!

  • Reply
    Riona
    July 28, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    Congrats! I’ll have to go back and catch up on these posts…

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 29, 2014 at 9:55 am

      Thanks Riona, yes it’s funny to look back as there were a few posts even I’d forgotten about!

  • Reply
    holidayaddict
    July 28, 2014 at 9:36 pm

    Happy blog birthday! I love On the Luce, so I can’t wait to see what the next year brings!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 29, 2014 at 9:54 am

      Thanks Clare, hope it’s going to be a good one – though not quite as life-changingly new and exciting as yours will be!

  • Reply
    Ellen
    July 28, 2014 at 9:45 pm

    Happy anniversary. Can’t wait to read what you’ve got in store for us in year four.

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 29, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Thanks Ellen, I’ve got lots of ideas for the next year so hopefully there will be plenty of travel and stories to come!

  • Reply
    Paper Planes and Caramel Waffles
    July 29, 2014 at 8:15 am

    Happy blog birthday! Looks like the next year is going to be a great one, can’t wait to read about your next adventures!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 29, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Thanks so much – yes lots of plans for the next year so hope to keep up the travel pace!

  • Reply
    bevchen
    July 29, 2014 at 9:24 am

    Happy blogversary! I’m looking forward to seeing what you think of my home county, Northumberland. If you need any tips on what to see just give you know where I am!

    • Reply
      bevchen
      July 29, 2014 at 9:25 am

      Wow, that made no sense. Ignore the “just give” part. That’s what i get for changing a sentence halfway through!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 29, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Thank you – will definitely get in touch for some Northumberland tips before we go in September, I know practically nothing about the area other than having seen some gorgeous photos of it!

  • Reply
    Aggy (@dewtraveller)
    July 29, 2014 at 12:55 pm

    Congratulations Lucy! It has definitely been a pleasure to bump into your blog and read all your lovely travels! Wishing you a travel-filled year 4! Cheers!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 30, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Thanks Aggy, it’s been great to meet you too and here’s to lots more years of travel and blogging for us both!

  • Reply
    Vanessa
    July 29, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Congratulations to both, Lucy, your birthday and your third Blog anniversary. I especially loved your post about the female travel pioneers, but I also enjoyed your articles about Morocco. I am looking forward to your future posts.

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 30, 2014 at 10:12 am

      Thanks Vanessa, glad you liked the post about the female travel pioneers, it’s definitely one of my favourites of the year – though it does make me feel incredibly unadventurous in comparison!

  • Reply
    Madhu
    July 29, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Congratulations Lucy!! Here’s to another rocking year! 🙂

  • Reply
    Kinisi
    July 30, 2014 at 12:24 am

    How exciting/rewarding for you! So many brilliant milestones there to celebrate 🙂 Wishing you just as much success for your next year x

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 30, 2014 at 10:15 am

      Thanks so much Kinisi, it’s been a great year so fingers crossed the next year will be just as good!

  • Reply
    JenR
    July 30, 2014 at 2:29 am

    I just found your blog recently and really enjoy it – congrats on a great year! I’m curious (and perhaps for one of the Q&A posts) it sounds like you blog your trips after you return? I’d be interested to hear more about that process. I blog about knitting and my travel adventures and am always trying to figure out the best way to blog my trips. I look forward to reading your upcoming posts!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 30, 2014 at 10:15 am

      Hi Jen, thanks so much. Yes I do normally blog about my trips when I get back (except for longer term trips like in the US last year when I was away for three weeks) – I don’t tend to carry my laptop and with a short trip I want to be out there and seeing as much as I can while I’m there! A blogging Q&A post is a great idea though, I’ll add it to the list.

  • Reply
    Jen
    July 30, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Congratulations! Here’s to many more years!

  • Reply
    bostonianbroad
    July 30, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    Congrats on another year!!!

  • Reply
    claudemandraut
    July 30, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Congratulations ! I discovered your blog a few days ago but it seems really interesting. I am a “young” travel blogger (less than a year) and it is great to see what you did.

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 31, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      Thanks so much – and welcome to the site! Best of luck with your new blog too.

  • Reply
    Darlene
    July 31, 2014 at 3:20 am

    Congratulations on three years of fabulous blogging! I’m so excited that you are coming to Canada!!! What cities will you visit? When do you plan to be here? I can’t wait to read what you think of it.

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 31, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      Thanks so much Darlene, I’m so excited to finally make it out to Canada! This trip is a partnership with the tourist board in Quebec so I’ll be visiting Montreal, Quebec City and the Eastern Townships for 10 days at the end of September. So just a taste but I have lots of plans for future Canadian trips I’d like to do too!

    • Reply
      Darlene
      August 1, 2014 at 6:25 am

      You will just love Montreal and Quebec City! I look forward to the pictures and stories.

  • Reply
    Francesca (@WorkMomTravels)
    July 31, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Congratulations, Lucy! I’m so glad I found your blog earlier this year. It’s quickly become one of my favorites. Keep traveling and keep up the awesome work!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 31, 2014 at 2:55 pm

      Thanks so much Francesca, it’s been great to get to know you and your site this year too, and follow along with your adventures!

  • Reply
    torquayhotel
    July 31, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Congratulations Lucy, a terrific blog. Keep going

  • Reply
    Pola (JettingAround) (@jettingaround)
    August 2, 2014 at 1:05 am

    Happy blogoversary, Lucy! I really like how you did this recap, way cool. Here’s to many more posts and adventures, cheers!

  • Reply
    Shikha (whywasteannualleave)
    August 7, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Congratulations on the success of your blog! What an amazing milestone – hope to see you blogging for many more years to come!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      August 7, 2014 at 6:18 pm

      Thanks so much – hope there’s lots more years of travel to come for both of us!

  • Reply
    Yassine
    August 7, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    Congrats Lucy, thanks for your awesome posts, keep on inspiring!

  • Reply
    thebritishberliner
    August 10, 2014 at 12:09 am

    Many congratulations Lucy! You’re three years old!! I love your blog and realistic posts of how real people travel. Here’s to many more years. Cheers!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      August 11, 2014 at 10:02 am

      Thank you – can’t believe it’s been three years already!

  • Reply
    dannyslifeandtravel
    August 10, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Hi Lucy

    I just found you and we have so much in common …I’m also a picky eater and don’t like to travel alone. I love your posts on hear and you have some great pictures with amazing scenery. I have recently decided to change my life and help people who are looking to travel with information on how they can get visa’s and travel safely using my own travel experience.
    As you have been blogging for a long time I would be very grateful if you could have a quick look at my blog and let me know how I could improve it

    Tanks in advance for all your efforts

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      August 11, 2014 at 10:11 am

      Hi Danny, thanks for much for visiting and all the best with your new site. My tips for new bloggers would first be to keep going – it takes a long time for people to start discovering your site so don’t worry if you don’t get much traffic for the first 6 months at least. Also try to include lots of photos to catch the eye, spell check and proofread everything twice, and stick to a consistent post schedule so people know when to come back for more (better to do one post a week than five one week then nothing for a month). Good luck!

  • Reply
    jpilkington09
    August 10, 2014 at 8:04 pm

    Congratulations on another milestone – here’s to plenty more!

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