Travel tales

Happy birthday(s)

Happy birthday

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.

Paris’ Promenade Plantée

Paris’ Promenade Plantée

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 A lot of my the information from my travels then is majorly out of date, but I do hope to get scanning and sharing some of the stories one day.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.

A to Z of travel

Travel memories

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?

The Caledonian sleeper train

The Caledonian Sleeper train

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.

The World Trade Center memorial

The World Trade Center memorial

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.

Views across the Cotswolds

Views across the Cotswolds

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!

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  • Reply
    marinachetner
    July 17, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Happy Birthday Lucy, to you and your blog! Great top 5! Love your #1 especially. We are both 1978 kids! But I am a Leo 🙂 hope you had a great weekend!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm

      Thanks Marina, I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by. I might have to make a return visit to the Promenade Plantee when I’m in Paris again next month as it really got me going in blogging!

  • Reply
    Nadia Shopova
    July 17, 2012 at 1:16 pm

    Happy birthday Lucy X3 :))) This comes from another 1978 kid but born in May. I really love spending time reading your blog and frankly I envy you a bit for your great adventures. Keep doing it and cheers!
    XOXO, Nadia

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 17, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      Thanks Nadia, it looks like 1978 was a good year for bloggers! Glad you enjoy the blog and I hope to have lots more travels to share in year two!

  • Reply
    Madhu
    July 17, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Congratulations! And warm birthday wishes to you, your mom and your blog! Look forward to more 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 17, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      Thanks Madhu, I’m off to have a few glasses of champagne with my mum this evening to celebrate all these birthdays!

  • Reply
    h0tchocolate
    July 17, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    happy birthday luce! great photos! 🙂

  • Reply
    missmadaboutravel
    July 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Happy birthdays Lucy! Your blog is really cool and I truly enjoy reading it so… keep posting! xx

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm

      Thanks, and really glad to hear that you enjoy the site!

  • Reply
    snowbird
    July 17, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Happy first blogging birthday!

  • Reply
    2 Rivers Photos
    July 17, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Happy birthday and happy anniversary 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 18, 2012 at 12:35 pm

      Thanks, it’s been a good excuse to extend my birthday celebrations for another week!

  • Reply
    Rachael
    July 17, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Happy birthday! Great idea to do a retrospective. I may have to copynext April when my one year anniversary comes round. Right, I’m off now to read about the Caledonian. 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 18, 2012 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks Rachael, and you are welcome to pinch the idea as I pinched it off a couple of other blogs!

  • Reply
    Tricia A. Mitchell
    July 17, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I hope your day was special, Lucy! Congratulations on your one year anniversary too. Here’s to many more. 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 18, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      Thanks Tricia, I had a really lovely birthday exploring Prague and took hundreds of photos, so it should keep me in blog posts for a while!

      • Reply
        Tricia A. Mitchell
        July 18, 2012 at 3:42 pm

        Prague is one of my favorite European cities, so I see why it could keep your shutterbug side amused for a long time! Look forward to seeing them.

  • Reply
    Travelbunny
    July 17, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    Many happy returns – and I’ll definitely be returning to your blog again and again!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 18, 2012 at 12:34 pm

      Thanks Suzanne, I think it’s great that so many of us ex-Simonseeks contributors are still going strong with our own blogs!

  • Reply
    Thomas Nietmann
    July 19, 2012 at 1:59 am

    Of course Happy Birthday!!! I really enjoy your posts. When you do make it to Canada, please let me know and I would be happy to show you around (if I’m in the country!!! 😉 )

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 20, 2012 at 9:42 am

      Thanks, I plan to be in Canada next April/May for a couple of weeks so once I’ve sorted it out definitely any tips would be great!

  • Reply
    Gerard
    July 20, 2012 at 1:40 pm

    Happy birthday!

  • Reply
    nuresma
    July 24, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Happy Birthday!!!! Sorry, I’m a bit late 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 25, 2012 at 10:04 pm

      Thanks, I’ve been extending the celebrations as long as I can so never too late!

  • Reply
    Chrystal McKay
    July 25, 2012 at 4:20 am

    Well the happiest of birthdays to YOU!!! great review of your articles!

    • Reply
      Lucy Dodsworth
      July 25, 2012 at 10:04 pm

      Thanks, I had a really great birthday in Prague, looking forward to writing it all up!

  • Reply
    My second year On the Luce | On the Luce
    July 18, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    […] 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 […]

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