2012 blogging year in review and two more awards

New year, 60th post, two more awards… I thought this would be a good time for a summary of my 2012 year in blogging!

2012 was the year my blog…

  • hit 5000 views
  • gained 64 followers
  • quadrupled average daily views
  • was temporarily locked by WordPress (for linking to a ferry company’s website!)
  • received its first 3 awards

By the way, I like to make an effort to return the visit of everyone that comments on, likes or follows my posts but this was difficult to keep up while we were travelling last year so I’m quite behind at the moment. I will eventually get around to returning all those visits though! Thank you to everyone that has stopped by!

Top 5 countries my visitors hail from:

  1. United States
  2. Australia
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Russian Federation
  5. Canada

Top 5 most popular posts:

Top 5 irrelevant search terms:

  1. cartoon eastern europe restaurants
  2. expensive retro furniture
  3. greenhouse inside underground shelter
  4. temple between skyscrapers
  5. ingredients for prayer biscuits

And now… drumroll…

read on for the awards! »

One Lovely Blog Award

Many thanks to Fae of Fae’s Twist & Tango for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award! Fae has a fascinatingly international background and is an avid foodie and traveller. Her blog is filled with recipes and photos of delicious dishes from all over the world, and when she’s travelling she also writes about the places she visits with photos and notes about her experiences.

This is the first award I’ve ever received for this blog and I’m very touched!

One Lovely Blog Award

The rules of the award are:

  1. Visit and thank the blogger who nominated you
  2. Acknowledge that blogger on your blog and link back
  3. Share 7 random things about yourself
  4. Nominate 7 blogs and notify them on their blogs
  5. Copy and paste the award on your blog somewhere

7 random things about me:

  1. Ginger and mint are my favourite two flavours.
  2. I believe it’s perfectly acceptable to have just dessert for dinner if you’ve had a really big lunch.
  3. One of my favourite things about travelling in countries I haven’t visited before is browsing their supermarkets.
  4. I’m a little bit afraid of butterflies and moths (although not as much as I used to be).
  5. I played piano and flute for 10 years but it’s been 10 years since then that I touched either one of them.
  6. I would do almost anything to avoid taking a taxi.
  7. I’ve kept a handwritten journal every day since I left Australia on the 20th of July 2010 (it’s currently up to volume 6).

I would like to nominate the following bloggers for this award!

Joy and Eva – I met one half of Joy and Eva while travelling across Siberia on the Trans-Mongolian train and I’ve enjoyed many of this duo’s posts since then, especially the ones that remind me of similar shared experiences.

Jen Maan in Amman – Jen’s blog about living in Jordan after moving there from the US offers a fascinating perspective on life in a completely different country. Her time in Amman has just recently come to an end but her blog continues and I recommend reading back over her previous posts.

Snaps and Blabs – I’m incredibly impressed and inspired by this record of a couple travelling long term around the world with their three children – 645 days so far and counting! Her photos are vibrant and lively and always capture the spirit of the locations that make up this journey of a lifetime.

Have Bag, Will Travel – Andrew is an extensive and avid traveller and I enjoy comparing notes one the places we’ve both been as well as being inspired about the places I haven’t. He’s also been following my humble blog since its beginning which I find very flattering!

Margaret’s Miscellany – Margaret is a freelance journalist but in her personal blog she writes about all the other things she does with her time, especially travel. I particularly like her themed posts where she ties together photos and countries she’s visited with a common thread such as irresistible food or bicycles.

Ms Elena on Traveling – I know Elena has already been nominated for this award in the past but I felt I had to include her in my list because the stories of her absolutely free-spirited, adventurous and completely unpretentious travels are simply a delight to read.

Canadian Hiking Photography – Patrick’s blog showcases his absolutely stunning photography skills with a particular focus on breathtaking landscapes, but also including the kind of portrait shots we all wish someone would take of us because they seem to really capture the essence of the subject’s personality.

Thanks for 2000 visits!

Over 2000 people from 68 different countries have now found and visited my little blog by one way or another. My favourite thing to see when I check my WordPress stats are search engine terms entered by people that are looking for a solution to the same problems I’ve encountered myself and partially wanted to start this blog in order to share the solutions I ended up piecing together (such as one two three four). If any one of those 2000 people found anything on this blog helpful then I’m delighted. Same goes for my travel-related bits and pieces, if any part of those has been useful for any of my visitors then that is totally awesome. :) Thanks for stopping by!


I ran a personal website from 1998-2003 which included a blog from 2000-2003 but I haven’t had much of an online presence since then, apart from profiles on a bunch of social networking sites. I decided to start a new blog on a whim last week when I was on a roadtrip in Scotland with my partner Alex.

I bought a big fold-out map and was highlighting the route we took around the country, circling places we visited along the way and marking others we passed through that looked nice but we didn’t have time to stop. When I was researching the trip I was after exactly this kind of information but I couldn’t really find it online, so I thought it might be useful to other people if I shared it.

On top of this I’ve recently been writing up lists of things I loved doing in cities/countries I’ve visited for friends and family that are going to the same places. I referred to and resent these lists often enough to make me think it’s worth posting them somewhere for other people to read.

This kind of travel info will be by no means comprehensive or exhaustive, but if anyone stumbles across this and finds at least one post helpful I’ll be happy. Travel tips will likely make up a large chunk of the content here but there are other random bits and pieces I’d also like to share so on the whole it will be a bit of a mixed bag.

Oh and the title… it doesn’t mean anything. I’m hoping I come up with something better in the future. ;) I was going for something random to reflect the nature of the blog, I like dinosaurs, I like knitting, combining the two felt nicely random, so there you are!