My Blog is Celebrating Three Years of Rants, Chants and Navel-Gazing!

I went back and forth on whether I should even mention the fact that this blog turned three yesterday. After all, it’s not like my site is breaking records in terms of readership or revenue growth. But it’s still around against all odds, and that’s something worth celebrating, I think.

So, about three years ago I typed up my first post not knowing if anyone aside from my cousin-in-law would ever see it. My youngest one was only two and still in diapers, and my daughter was about to start kindergarten. At that point I had  been reading miles and points blogs for about six months (after doing this hobby on my own for many years).

I couldn’t find anyone saying exactly what I wanted to say. So, I figured, since I would have a bit more time on my hands, why not start this fun little project? After all, how hard could it be to write a few words now and again, maybe even make a little bit of money while helping others?

Right.

It turned out to be so much harder than I ever imagined, in so many ways.  I look back and it’s clear that  this site was a hot mess during its first year and still is to some degree, I suppose. I was all over the place in terms of my message and topics. And I got on a high horse one too many times. I wish I had a time machine so I could go back and give  this advice to myself:

  1. Start three years earlier.
  2. Don’t be a woman.
  3. Don’t be a stay-at-home mom.
  4. Don’t play late-to-the-game/woman /SAHM card.
  5. Don’t be a jerk and mind your own business.
  6. Don’t try to reason with unreasonable individuals. It’s similar to banging your head against the wall. You end up wasting time, getting a headache and in the end, accomplish absolutely nothing.
  7. Stay away from drama and people who like to create drama.
  8. Don’t take yourself/your message too seriously.
  9. Put your real family first, always.
  10. Don’t take anything personally.

The last one is probably the most important point of all. If you can’t separate your blog life and your real life, it’s time to pack up your virtual bags. I can’t stress how crucial it is not to tie self-worth to success of your blog. There shouldn’t be any correlation between page views/comments etc., and your happiness as an individual.

I have to sometimes remind myself just how incredibly blessed I am. I have a husband who constantly tells me I’m hot (or maybe he just humors me).  I have two beautiful, healthy children. We have a decent house, enough food on the table and plenty  of miles/points for a vacation or two (or three). If this blog lost all of its readers today, I would still be the luckiest gal in the world!

In many ways, this site is a love letter to my family, a record of our adventures together. Years from now, when my kids are grown and out of the house, I hope to  be able to go back to  trusted ole’ blog of mine. I will laugh, cry and reminisce about this best time of our life. I will wish I would have appreciated it more while it was happening. Live more in the moment instead of plan the next big trip, the next big thing…

Of course, this site isn’t just about me and my family. I want to be useful and provide actionable material you can read and apply in your life. Rather than see you as a collective blob from which I can make money, I’ve always viewed readers  as individuals. Basically, I’ve tried to treat you in a way I would like to be treated.

Obviously, not everyone feels this site adds value. I know for a fact that quite a few consider it total garbage. I get it and don’t take it personally. I’ve never really tried to be all things to all people or claim to be an authority on, well, anything!

I don’t have to have anyone’s blessing or approval and  don’t need a license or degree to write posts. While I do my best, mistakes will happen now and again. My hope is that the good outweighs the bad, and that those who truly benefit from my content will stick around and overlook inevitable slip-ups. My humor and writing style can be a bit abrasive, but I never want to come across as mean-spirited.

This world is a crazy place, and my goal is to create a refuge from all the stuff that are happening around us. Travel is fun, an escape from harsh reality of everyday life. That’s why I want to keep my content positive. Of course, I’m human and have the same problems as everyone else. Occasionally, my life gets messy and poop hits the fan. Though not literally. Not anymore.

So, thank you once again for sticking around and for all of your support. I value your comments, emails and the fact that you choose to use my affiliate links. A huge thanks to Nancy who is a tremendous asset to this site! I appreciate you being my loyal reader from the beginning and  all of your hard work so far.

This is the part where I’m supposed to do a  giveaway. I was planning on it, but decided to save it for another time. Why? Well, I’ve noticed that those type of posts bring in a disproportionate number of positive comments and love. Even trolls avoid giveaways.

I have nothing against love. I LOVE love. I just have a strict policy of never paying for it. So, at the risk of attracting furry creatures, I hope you leave a comment with suggestions on future topics as well as things you like/don’t like about my blog. Have something to say? Here is your chance. Consider it AMA (ask me anything) type of post.

As always, I have a strict “no profanity” rule, otherwise, say whatever you like. I won’t delete it.

 

 

18 thoughts on “My Blog is Celebrating Three Years of Rants, Chants and Navel-Gazing!

  1. Happy anniversary! I’m still around, just lying low as we are trying to pay down as much student loan debt as possible and I feel like anything travel oriented would make me splurge on a trip!

    Sent from my iPhone

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  2. Happy Anniversary. I am so glad you are sticking around. I get the most out of your blogs. You seem to be talking to me and the experiences I am looking for. Keep up the good work.

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  3. Keep up the great blog posts. Your well thought-out analysis is golden (I just transferred Starwood to BA, which I would never have thought of, for example, if it was not for you). The trip reports are funny and occasionally touching, For the future? Maybe now that the 24/5 rule is in place you could do a “strategy post” assuming one can/should only apply for 2-3 cards a year, when when should apply for cards and when to wait it out…

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    • @Uri I appreciate your support more than you know! Hope you got those United passes in the mail. I was afraid I somehow messed up the address. Glad you benefited from “SPG to Avios transfer” analysis. I actually did one myself, but it didn’t work out so hot! Stay tuned. You win some, you lose some with this hobby.
      I will definitely do a post on 5/24 rule and possible strategy for an average Joe. Not to suggest that you are average, hehe. Believe it or not, I was planning on it, and just kept putting it off. Hopefully, I’ll get it published next week.

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  4. Congratulations on 3 years! You have built your own business with a loyal following. I have benefited greatly from your wisdom!

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  5. I’m glad that three years ago you came up with this idea! I have to thank the work you do through your blog as most of my late trips and the many more I hope to accomplish have been achievable because of its existence. Keep up your good and original work!

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    • @Leticia Thanks! I’ve greatly appreciated your support over the years. But I also have enjoyed getting to know your family via photos and emails. Human connection is what makes blogging appealing to me. It’s fun to see how your content benefits others, and travel is just such a neat topic to focus on.

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  6. Congrats on your 3rd Anniversary!! Here is wishing to many many more!!
    Your heartfelt style of writing and your kind of humor always warms my heart and brings a smile to my face 🙂
    Thanks for gifting us with your blog, Leana!!

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    • @TropicGal Thank you for your kind words, you are very sweet. Nobody has ever compared my blog to a gift, so I’ll take it! I also appreciate all of your suggestions via email. I hope to implement some of them soon, but things have been crazy busy lately.

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    • @Erik Darn it, you just had to rain on my parade and remind me of my short retirement! 🙂 I guess I should have waited two months, and THEN announce three year anniversary. Thanks for reading and being a frequent commenter. I don’t know if I can keep it up for three more years, we’ll see! It’s still fun, and that’s what counts. When it stops being fun, blogging turns into a soul-sucking activity.

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    • @Amanda That’s so sweet! Without readers like you this blog wouldn’t exist. I’m not the hardest worker in the industry, but I try to put my heart into it. Glad to know that some folks keep coming back!

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