At the beginning of 2017 I published a blog with my goals for 2017. I only wrote it in Dutch for some reason, but I decided to invest more time into translating my personal blogs as well because apparently, this is what you like to read. I even have the feeling that quite a few of my readers prefer my personal stories over my travel stories. Shame on you, haha!
My 2017 goals in short (as written in Dutch)
For the blog I wanted to reach 18.000 unique visitors again like I had in my best month in 2016. Another goal was to decline blogtrips that don’t give me enough stuff to write about. I also want to increase my income through We12travel with 50% and I want to care less about what other bloggers have to say on social media. About their numbers, more specifically. Dutch bloggers can be very arrogant when it comes to ‘screaming’ about what they have managed to do and it annoys the shit out of me.
As for my travel goals, I want to get outside more. In 2016 I traveled just 85 days as opposed to more than 100 the previous years. However I came to realize it’s not about quantity but about quality. Following that, I announced that I planned on making two big treks and that, since I don’t have a car anymore, I will most likely travel more by public transport.
On a personal level I want to read more, find more inner peace and learn how to be more independent and do things by myself. Plus make a list of all my spendings because I totally had no idea, because there used to be enough money.
That was my blogpost in short. Here’s how I’m doing now. Really doing that is, I’m not making things prettier than they are, it’s not all sweetness and rosy in my life. Trust me. So take some time, grab a coffee and start reading…
Speaking of coffee, the biggest change in my life is definitely that I started drinking coffee. Can you believe that during the past 36 years of my life, I never drank coffee? Not one single sip? I pretended to be very proud of that, but in all honesty it also made me a little sad. I mean, when I went out for ‘a coffee’ with my friends, it always was just a tea for me. Or when at Starbucks, I always got the tea. Don’t get me wrong, I love tea, but even tea gets boring after a while. So anyway, in January I worked at a Dutch travel tradeshow and fellow Outdoor bloggers Wanda and Mirre came to my stand, bringing me a cup of coffee. I didn’t want to tell them I don’t drink coffee (not many people know that) so I decided to give it a go and you know what, it wasn’t nearly as disgusting as I thought it would be. So when I told my colleagues in the office the next day, they got me a coffee (we have a Nespresso machine, like, the real deal, just without George Clooney that is) and I actually really enjoyed it. And so that’s how I started drinking coffee. I take no more than two cups a day and have absolutely no difficulties sticking to that. I don’t have a coffee maker at home (yet) and if I’m not at the office, there’s days I don’t drink coffee at all and I don’t even miss it. Having said that, I drink my coffee pure and black. No milk, sweet stuff and definitely not latte’s and that kind of nonsense. Just the strong shit, a double Espresso is actually my favorite at the moment. Let’s move onto my goals, which is why you are visiting, right? Or if you came for my coffee story, that’s a bye now!
As I said, I wanted to get back to a bigger visitor number. At times I truly wonder if number of visitors is really that important. I think that if you blog for a living the answer would be yes, but right at this moment, I’m small but it doesn’t really seem to matter whether I have 10.000 or 18.000 monthly unique visitors. OK, it’s awesome when you have a really good month, but then again, my lower numbers have not resulted in getting fewer offers for collaborations. I reached out to some of the agencies I worked with before and all of them want to work with me again. So really, I can’t complain. I’ve got two really nice blogtrips planned which are individual trips and I’m sure more will come over the next months. I’ve never had to worry about that before. Curious where exactly I’m going? Then pay a visit to my recently updated ‘Experience and Plans‘ section. So for the curious among you: I managed to get half way, from 10.000 to 14.000 monthly visitors in January. Okay, make that 13.999 and no, this number is not a joke …
My biggest goal for 2017 is to increase my income with We12travel with 50% so I can fund my travels and buy me a new camera. I’m not giving numbers here but let’s just say that I’m well on my way and that I managed to make enough to buy me a planeticket to Seattle and Kathmandu. More about that later on in this blog.
And about that social media thing. Well… there’s some work in progress. I actually planned on taking some time off social media this weekend, but then realized I have a couple of social media campaigns going on so I can’t really leave social media at the moment. Maybe some other time.
My aim was to get outside more often. Staying inside is so easy, hanging out on the couch and wasting time on social media always felt like being useless anyway. So over the past couple of weeks I did a fairly long hike each weekend, up until this weekend. The weather sucks and I really felt like doing nothing. Not even going for a hike. I really don’t want to force myself because I’m already outside on hour every day, which is just fine. However next week I will hike a part of the Rheinsteig in Germany, my first trip since Iceland, so I will actually catch up with the fresh air. Fingers crossed for good weather!
My ‘big’ travel plan for this year was doing two famous hikes if I’d be able to finance that. I have to say that finance is going well and so I managed to book two flights, one to solo-hike a section of the Pacific Crest Trail in either Washington or Oregon (you call read all about that in this blog) and I also decided to go back to Nepal. My vacation days still need to be approved but if they are, I will go back to the Himalayas to hike. Most likely I will do Annapurna Base Camp Trek this time, with a porter/guide. I’d probably also be able to do it by myself, but I figured it’d be safer to get a porter/guide plus Nepal is one of the countries I don’t mind spending my money to help boost the economy.
I will also travel to New Zealand and Australia for my office job for nearly a month. At first I thought of adding some vacation time to my New Zealand trip to hike one of the Great Walks, but then decided not to. I can only spend my vacation time once and preferred to do so in Nepal, for various reasons. I’m sure that with my new job, I will end up in New Zealand some other time again…
I have an idea that most of you are curious how I’m doing. Really doing that is. Well I can be honest: I’m so/so. As I wrote before, a break up is never easy, especially not when it’s after sixteen years, even though it was a mutual decision. In that same previous blog I wrote that I still have my shitty evenings every now and then, just crying in the couch and feeling like a slob. Questions like ‘is this it?’ and ‘now what?’ arise all the time and I think that’s just perfectly normal. Someone recently advised me to let the grief be a part of my life and that I should not ignore it. It will show up one way or another, so I’d rather be it now than in some years… Don’t feel sorry for me though, I have a great bunch of friends and family who support me. I just don’t put it all online because they never asked for that. And Martijn and I are still in touch almost every day. I mean, who else should I send a Whatsapp that I won a trip to Portugal, right?
Another goal of mine was to find more inner peace. I’ve been doing well so far, I think. I’ve been hiking a lot but with friends most of the time, so I think that hiking solo will be a next step. I hiked 82 km out of my planned 1.000 for this year which is not much but then again, I’ve got plenty of time left and it’s winter. I mean, it’s grey, cold and raining most of the time, not very inviting to go out. I planned on a short camping trip but my health still is not OK and there for decided to postpone that idea and just head out some other time. I currently find inner peace by sleeping a lot. Some nights I’m even in bed at 9.00 pm already and I love it. I live in the middle of the city yet I learned to be able to sleep with the window open. There’s quite a bit of noise but c’mon, I was woken up by birds singing their songs right next to my window the other day. How about finding inner peace?
As for reading, I’ve been doing quite well. I’m currently reading my 7th book of the year, which is about a pilgrimage five ladies are doing. So far I’ve not read anything truly special though, I just stick to easy reading at the moment because I read in bed and am too tired to really focus.
Monitoring my spendings is going pretty well, too. I’ve been writing down what I spend every day for seven weeks now and sometimes I notice I spend a lot on groceries. However, I try to eat very healthy and fresh food is just super expensive, but not something I want to save on. Last Monday I started my five days without sugar and it actually went pretty well. As I’m writing this, I just had a coffee and a little piece of chocolate, but only because it’s weekend. Tomorrow (Monday) I will go back to less sugar. I will never go entirely without sugar because I don’t want that and don’t want to become some total health freak, however reducing my sugars has made me feel awesome and gives me so much energy at the moment! Plus I’ve dropped 1.5 kilos in just 5 days, which makes me feel much better about myself because I actually gained a bit of weight over the past months. More about my exercise routine will be online next week, when I’ll tell you more about how I’m getting in physical shape for my upcoming treks.
As I came to the end of this blog, I just wanted to say kudos to those of you who managed to read it all the way down to the bottom. That’s nearly 2.000 words you just read! Also, I wanted to give a big virtual hug to all of my friends and unknown people who left encouraging messages here, on my FB page or any other way. Knowing that you read this and you care, is what makes it worth writing in the first place!
So … how are you doing? Have a great Sunday!
Want to read more? You may also enjoy these posts:
– Shit just got real: here I come Pacific Crest Trail!
– The best mountain hikes in the world
– Get outdoors with Kari Traa
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Thanks for sharing!