They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. So, surely, you’ve been thinking about us non-stop recently, right? Oh – is that not how it works? Hmmm…in that case, maybe we won’t take a 4 month break from blogging next time!
But the good news is we’re back. And better than before! Not really – nothing has changed. But we are back and ready to jump back into sharing our travels. Or at least dip our toes in the water before putting in one leg, and then the next, and then slowly dipping our bodies in. We have so much to share with you guys!
So…what have we been up to since August? Here’s a quick rundown:
- At the end of August, we visited Malta. Then, we spent September at home before ending the month with a quick trip to Yorkshire to celebrate Sean’s birthday. In November, we spent a weekend in Austria visiting Salzburg and Hallstatt. We finished off the year with a weeklong trip to America in December – a weekend in Philadelphia and then a week in Virginia & Washington, DC.
- In October, we made some big changes at home by having our bathroom renovated. Then, we decided it wasn’t quite enough, so started a kitchen renovation in December. We love that our home is really starting to feel like home – it’ll be so much more exciting to come back to after a long trip away!
- We spent a week at Christmas up in Seaham visiting Sean’s family. As always, Giorgio loved running on the beach and we enjoyed lots of Christmas cuddles in our matching human/doggy pajamas.
- Kelly spent the end of January in Connecticut & Boston visiting her brother, sister-in-law, and nephew. As per usual, the trip involved visits to lots of local breweries and plenty of American food.
- We stayed up until 4am watching the Super Bowl in London. And it was so worth it because #FlyEaglesFly
Now, we’re prepping for a ski trip to Switzerland this week, which will be our first trip together of 2018. We are traveling with the same couple we skied with last February, and are so excited to return to our favorite places in Zermatt (and try some new places).
Okay, okay. I know you’re excited that we’re back and just desperate to know what 2018 has in store for A Pair of Passports, so I’m going to stop rambling about the past now. 2018 is starting to look like a really awesome year for us. A couple of our friends are getting married; we are redecorating our house; and we both recently had some really positive changes in our work lives. In terms of travel, blogging, and travel blogging, we’re really excited to be back in the game. So here’s what you can expect from us in 2018:
Our 2018 Travel Plans
We have some exciting trips planned for 2018, but are also trying to keep our plans relatively flexible, so we don’t have too many finalized plans. However, these are the trips you will definitely see from us in 2018:
- February & April – Zermatt, Switzerland
- March – Amsterdam, Netherlands
- June – A return to our favorite UK glamping destination
- June – Russia & Gdansk, Poland (World Cup 2018!)
- October – Spain (exact destination TBC)
Aside from those plans, we would absolutely love to return to Tuscany, drive over to France and check out the Loire Valley, and visit Norway in the winter. We are also starting to plan a MASSIVE road trip through Northern California, Oregon, and Washington which will take place in 2019. I know we’re getting ahead of ourselves, but we’ve been talking about this trip for awhile and it’s going to be awesome!
Exploring More of London & the UK
Our ‘Around the UK in 80 Weekends‘ project will be coming to an end soon and, to be honest, we kind of forgot about it. We have been traveling the UK when we get a chance, but we haven’t done it as much as we hoped to. This year, even after that little challenge ends, we want to spend more time in the UK. And more time in London! Did you know that we still haven’t visited the breweries along the Bermondsey Beer Mile? There are neighborhoods we want to explore, tourist attractions we’ve never been to, and a never ending list of bars and restaurants worth a try. As we explore more, we’ll be sharing here and on Mongan Moments. Which brings us to the next point…
Travel Content Only
For awhile last year, we toyed with the idea of sharing more than just travel content on here. Now we’ve settled on our decision. A Pair of Passports is a travel blog, meant to show others how it is possible to travel with a full-time job, even though we don’t get to do it as often as we’d like to. I recently started a second blog, Mongan Moments, which dives into other areas of our life – our home renovation, wedding planning, random days out in London, etc. Running one blog while having a full-time job was hard enough, and running two is proving to be near impossible. However, we think everyone will be happier if we keep the two separate. And we think that, over time, they will both grow into totally different things.
Moving forward, we will be posting travel tips, packing lists, itineraries, and (everyone’s favorite) listicles. We will obviously still focus on dog-friendly travel and couples travel, but are also going to put a focus on part-time travel: how we do it, why we do it, etc. We appreciate you being patient with us as we figure this out and would love your support moving forward!
If you made it this far in the post, you might be wondering why we took a 4 month break from blogging in the first place.
To be honest, I fell deep into the world of blogging and forgot what I was doing it for. I forgot that I wanted to share our adventures and encourage other 9-5ers to travel as much as they can. Instead, I started to focus on page views and monetization and Instagram likes. And I became discouraged.
First, let me say that the travel blogging community is incredible. Honestly, one thing I will NEVER forget about starting a blog is the incredible people we’ve met since doing so. But a lot of the travel blogging community travels full-time. They schedule pins and write blog posts and edit photos like it’s their full-time job…because it is. I am not that person and I don’t want to be that person because I love my job. But it’s hard not to get wrapped up in the successes of others who have more time to dedicate to blogging, or more natural talent.
So I was frustrated. And to top it all off, I started a second, more personal blog. And got wrapped up in a popularity contest there, as well (the lifestyle blogging world is surprisingly different from the travel blogging world). Yes, I want people to read both blogs. Yes, I want people to walk away having learned something new, or being inspired to go out and do something. But I don’t want to dread the content I’m creating, or feel miserable every time I log onto Instagram and see that my follower count has dropped yet again.
Right now, I’m focused on getting back to where I was about a year ago. I’m not going to force myself to post X number of times per week, or send out a newsletter every single week. Things will happen when they happen, and they’ll be better quality because of that. I hope you understand and are looking forward to our new content as much as we are!