Greetings from the British Airways Gallery Lounge in London Heathrow. We’re France (and South Africa bound) and feeling a bit celebratory. Here’s why: We’ve got a fun give away to celebrate one year of blogging. We thought about what we could give away: As much as I wanted to sneak back some of the best ramen from Tokyo, Laura pointed out the logistical struggles of bringing something like that back and we pondered how fatty an already fatty food might become. OK, bad idea.
Maybe a scone from Heathrow but the pound being what it is, that would be one expensive scone and I hate scones, why would I wish that on anyone else? Then it hit us: Why not give our readers a taste of life in business class on one of the top airlines in the world? We are constantly trying to convince friends of the benefits of using their miles for redemptions in business or first, and now we’ve got supporting evidence of our enthusiasm: We smuggled some goods off the plane (no, it’s not the used blanket pictured below), and did it all to hook up some of our loyal readers over the next few months! Want to win? Kick back, put your feet up, and read on to find what goodies we’ve got to give away this week!
When we started thinking about this blogging endeavour a little over a year ago, we joked that the only people who would probably read this blog were our moms. And even that humble readership was a bit of an audacious overreach we figured, because my mom doesn’t even really use the internet (amazing right?) so really it was Laura’s mom Pat that would be reading our blog. But I’d read The Art of Non-Conformity on our honeymoon, and it made me restless. I loved travel. I was so deep in the travel hacking that a family member pulled me aside to ask if I was selling drugs. “How else can you afford to fly all around the world in business class?” they reasoned. Friends were buying me meals and drinks in exchange for me helping them plan their dream trip on miles or at least a little cheaper. I felt like I wanted to add my voice to the conversation, but I was afraid. Afraid of what? Looking back, it’s hard to say. Failure, rejection, and insert whatever else haunts us and keeps us from pursuing what we truly love.
But then a friend asked me to write words of advice for her birthday, and what was born was our Millennial Travel Manifesto, and attention suddenly grew. It was no longer just Laura’s mom (and now my dad) reading the blog: It was hundreds of people, many we knew, many we did not. We started seeing our content shared on Facebook and Twitter. When we wrote about having a baby not only the response, but the number of people who shared our article to their own tribes, was overwhelming. We put together some articles that touched a lot of people, and at the
advice constant pestering of a few good friends, we submitted these articles to places like The Huffington Post, Vagabondish, and Thought Catalog and again readership grew to the point where we’ve been blessed to have 27,000 views in just one year’s time. In our wildest dreams running a blog part-time, we’d hoped year one would find us maybe, maybe ,10,000 views, and so we’ll gladly take the additional 15k that came along.
Throughout it all, one thing remains true: We’re steadfast advocates of seeking out your journey, wherever it may lead you. Our goal has always been simple: Help people. Help them travel more easily, help them appreciate the beauty of humanity. Simple enough. The greatest surprise of starting a travel blog and traveling the world has been the ways in which we’ve turned to our own backyard and discovered more of it. Travel, I am reminded again and again, is less a destination and more a state of mind. Ours is geared toward story, toward saving money, and toward finding and sharing the goodness the world is so eager to offer up to us.
So what are our goals moving into the next year of this blog? There’s the practical that we’d be lying if we said didn’t matter: Boost readership, increase followers, improve our stats, admit partial defeat to the cursed world of SEO and probably brush up on it, and so on. But if we dig deeper, the list is short and it goes like this:
1. Create more guides that matter. If Google Analytics is any indicator, the posts that bring the most people to our blog are our guides: Ethical Eating in Los Angeles, Where to Eat in LAX and also What to do Around LAX, and our wedding and honeymoon series. And so expect new guides: Points and Miles made simple, Tijuana, Cordoba, and East LA city guides and so on. Given that two to travel is gonna become three we’ve gotten one constant question: Will you keep traveling? To that we say hell yes, and look for tips from us and other travellers with young ones in tow.
2. Be a microphone for stories that matter. We try to walk a fine line of being practical and useful in providing tips and trips, while also using our bully pulpit to share stories that matter. It might be a reflection on vulnerability, or an intimate revelation of the ways travel has influenced the way I look at the child we eagerly await to be born in the coming months. But my heart and my day-to-day experience is rooted in experiential learning and social justice, and so in the months ahead expect more stories from that realm. I have met too many great people whose dignity and personal narrative I now feel intertwined in not to share those stories.
We could go on, but we’ll leave it at this: We really are having fun, and hope you are too. If you like what you’re reading, hook a brother and sister up: Invite friends on Facebook to like our page, follow us on Twitter and share what you find interesting, and most important of all, join our email list so you never miss another post again.
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As we promised, we’ve got a goodie to give away. We have been
blessed spoiled to try a lot of airline pajamas over the past few years. If you’ve never had the chance to hack your way into business class or first on an international flight the deal is this: Along with free booze, decent food, and what I lovingly call a “bed seat” you also get perks like fancy amenity kits (with designer products I’ve never heard of) and SUPER comfy pajamas!
Want to win what I promise to be some of the most comfy pajamas you’ll ever try on? Fear not, we took a couple of pairs so you have your pick between either men’s or women’s. It’s simple to enter:
1. If you’re not already signed up to get our posts via email, do it now for two entries into the contest.
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2. Comment on this post. It’s simple: What would you like to see on this blog in the next year or where do you personally hope to go in the next year? Answer that question for one more entry.
3. Want to improve your odds? Make sure you’re following us on Facebook and then comment on our Facebook post about turning one. That is one more another entry!
4. Twitter is your friend for even more entries. Follow us there and retweet or mention us in a tweet for yet another entry.
If you’re proficient in 2nd grade math, you’ve by now realized you’ve got a possibility of 5 entries to win these pajamas. And you know, if super comfortable designer made pajamas aren’t your thing, that’s cool, tell someone who might actually want to win this prize how to enter!
Thanks for joining us! We hope you like what you see and decide to join us on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Or if ease is the name of your particular game, just enter your email:
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