This week is one for birthdays – I turned 34 last weekend, and On the Luce travel blog reaches its first anniversary tomorrow (and it’s also my mum’s birthday today so happy birthday mum!). It’s been quite a year, and I would never have though back last July when I sent my first post out into the world without a clue what I was doing, that a) I’d still be doing it a year on, b) I’d be enjoying it so much, and c) that so many of you would actually be reading it! So thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read, comment and support me over the first year, here on the blog as well as on Twitter and Facebook. It’s been great to get to know so many fantastic people across the world through blogging and long may it continue. And to celebrate turning one, here are five of my favourite posts from my first year On the Luce…
Paris’ Promenade Plantée: The original High Line park
After a few months finding my way around WordPress, trying out a completely random selection of articles, and being super-excited if I got more than 50 page views in a week, things all changed on 4 November. While I was house-sitting in Paris, my article about Paris’ Promenade Plantée – France’s version of the New York High Line park on an old railway line – got picked for the WordPress Freshly Pressed page. Suddenly I had over 4000 views in one day, more than I’d had in the previous three months combined. People started to subscribe to the site and I got some regular readers, many of them with great blogs of their own that I’ve really enjoyed experiencing the world through.
My A to Z of travel
I love reading blogs about people heading off on amazing long-term, round the world travels. They always bring back so many memories of my own 16-month trip around Asia and Australia. But that was almost ten years ago, so the only photos I have are a few prints from a film camera and the closest I got to a blog was a well-worn hardback diary. A lot of my the information from my travels then is majorly out of date, but I do hope to get scanning and sharing some of the stories one day. But until then, posts like the A to Z of travel meme are a great way to reminisce about some of my pre-digital, pre-blogging travel exploits.
The Caledonian Sleeper: A night on the rails
This is by far the most searched for post on the site (though a special mention should go to this Goodwood Revival post for attracting a load of searches about stockings and 50s underwear!), so I’m not alone in my love for an overnight train journey. One of only two sleeper trains in the UK, the Caledonian Sleeper runs between London and Scotland, complete with teeny bunk bedrooms, sinks in cupboards and a tea and shortbread breakfast. To complete the set of UK overnight trains I’m planning on taking the Night Riviera Sleeper between London and Cornwall soon, I wonder if you get a cream tea on that one?
Reflecting Absence: Remembering the World Trade Center
New York is one of my favourite cities and I’ve been out there four times over the last 18 years. The World Trade Center has been an important presence in each of those trips – from looking out over the city from its viewing floor on my first trip, seeing at the scars left on the site after the 9/11 attacks, and finally visiting the memorial fountain and seeing the new towers rising up. It’s been one of the times when my travels have brought me close to history being made. And hopefully on my next trip to New York I might well be looking out over Manhattan from the top of the World Trade Center again.
In pictures: Views across the Cotswolds
Much as I love an tropical beach, a historic European site and a bustling Asian city, there’s still no place like home. So it was great to be able to introduce people to places which are near to home for me, like the black and white villages of Herefordshire and these amazing views across the Cotswolds. It’s good to be reminded sometimes that you don’t necessarily have to go very far to experience beautiful places in the world, and one person’s idea of everyday is someone else’s idea of exotic.
So that was a snapshot of my first year On the Luce – 78 blog posts, 434 photos and 10 countries written about so far. And there’s lots more to come in year two, with posts on Prague and Paris coming up, lots more photos, and hopefully a site design revamp at some point. Hope you can join me!