Summertime is swiftly approaching, and that means summer travel! I have quite a few fun things planned this summer, and the adventures started in May with visits to some very cool North American cities. (A lot of people feel like “travel” has to be to far-away places, but this is definitely not a requirement – I learn and see so much even just traveling in Canada and the US!)
Here's what my May looked like:
May: The month in travel
Yaaaay, I finally got to leave Ohio this month! My trips were short ones (as much of my travels seem to be these days), but I was able to see and do (and eat) a lot.
- Countries visited: 2 – Canada and USA
- Cities visited: 3 – Quebec City, New Orleans, Memphis
- Flights taken: 9 (y'all, living somewhere with few direct flights anywhere else SUCKS)
The best thing I ate: I spent a few days in New Orleans this month and ate ALL THE THINGS. Favorites included the BBQ shrimp and burrata toast at Willa Jean, crawfish etouffee at the Original Pierre Maspero's, sweet potato beignets at SoBou, and chargrilled oysters at Felix's.
The most epic thing I did: I had some family visit from Australia in May, and my family took them all to Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. Cedar Point is consistently voted the best amusement park in the world with its 18 roller coasters and tons of other rides, and it's constantly out-doing itself. We spent the whole day riding coasters, which is always epic.
May travel highlights
Going to WITS in Quebec City – My first trip out of Ohio in May was to Quebec City in Canada to go to the Women in Travel Summit. This is always an inspiring and fun conference to attend, and the fact that it was in a city as cool as Quebec was an added bonus. It was chilly in early May, but I enjoyed exploring the city and staying at the iconic Fairmont Château Frontenac.
Eating EVERYTHING in New Orleans – My second trip to New Orleans was just as fun as my first one 2 years ago. Along with visiting Whitney Plantation (the only plantation along the Old River Road that focuses on the story of Louisiana's slave trade) and tracking down some of the prettiest houses in the French Quarter, the trip was mostly focused around NOLA's amazing food. We had beignets just about every day, lunch at Commander's Palace, and went on a delicious food tour with Dr. Gumbo. I'm not a foodie, but the food alone is a reason to visit New Orleans.
May travel lowlights
Flight issues – Like I mentioned above, there are very few places I can get to with a direct flight from where I live. Meaning I always have to deal with layovers – and that can suck. On my way to Quebec City, I dealt with long layovers, a canceled flight, a delayed flight, and an extra leg I wasn't planning on flying. I spent more than 13 hours that day on planes and in airports, which made me never want to travel by air again.
May on the blog
May was a good month on the blog, even though I didn't publish as much as I would have liked to (writer's block is REAL, and sometimes I just find myself uninspired to write anything at all!).
May traffic: 170,850 unique visitors and 245,622 pageviews.
Most popular post: How to Plan the Perfect Long Weekend Trip – I'm a huge proponent of making the most of your vacation time by taking advantage of weekends. And the best way to do this is to learn how to plan better long weekend trips. This post gives you 8 tips for getting the most out of a long weekend trip.
Other posts published in May:
- How to Keep Your Money and Valuables Safe on Your Travels
- Fun Facts: Things You Might Not Know About Quebec City
- The Best Things to Do on Your First Trip to Auckland
- Dart River Adventures: The Most Fun Way to Explore Mount Aspiring National Park
May on social media
Most popular Instagram post: You guys also seemed to like my favorite photo from New Orleans, this one from Jackson Square at sunset.
Most popular Facebook post: It wasn't my *most* popular post, but gives you a peek at the new headshots I had taken in May to go along with my upcoming site redesign!
May business update
- Advertising: $3,900.81
- Affiliate marketing: $1,957.54
- Other: $585.32
(Note that this is my income before deductions and taxes.)
The start of Bloghouse Memphis – At the end of May, I headed to Memphis, Tennessee, for the start of Bloghouse! is an annual workshop/conference for travel bloggers that's very small and intimate. We spend 3 jam-packed days covering everything from social media to monetization to SEO, while at the same time getting to know our host city. (And in Memphis, that means eating tons of amazing food!) I'm really happy to have been involved in Bloghouse for the second year in a row as a mentor!
Having my Iceland trip canceled – You know those days when you just feel like a complete failure? Yup, I had one of those days at the end of May. After having the Greenland tour I was planning to lead canceled because of lack of flights, my Iceland tour was also canceled because a few people never paid their deposits. It's SO frustrating to get people excited about something and then have it not work out. I know that it's not really my fault, but I'm still feeling super bad about it. It's never good to feel like you failed at something – but I guess all I can do is focus on what I've learned from the whole experience to hopefully do better if I ever try something like this again.
Upcoming in June
I have one big trip coming up in June that's more or less broken up into three parts:
Part 1: Ireland road trip – I'm headed to Ireland with my mom and sister this month for a week-long road trip around Ireland. We're spending some time in County Mayo (where my grandma's family was from), and also visiting spots like the Cliffs of Moher, Ashford Castle, the Waterford crystal factory, and the town of Cobh. We're also debating between the Ring of Kerry (which none of us have seen) and the Dingle Peninsula (which I've visited before). Which would you choose?
Part 2: Scotland – After Ireland, the three of us are hopping over to Scotland to spend a couple days in Edinburgh and then head up into the Highlands on an “Outlander”- inspired tour.
Part 3: London – My mom and sister will head back home after Scotland, but I'll be catching a train down to London for the last week of June. I'm planning to do a day trip to Oxford to see a Tolkien exhibit, and then am planning to go to a few themed afternoon teas in London (including a Harry Potter-inspired one!). I haven't been to London for two years and I'm super excited to return to one of my favorite cities.