2015: The Start of Something Wonderful

It’s the end of the year so naturally it’s time to reflect on the past twelve months. What we’ve learned, experienced, and accomplished. It’s also the time to be thankful and appreciative for all the little and big things that have made our year pleasant. We often forget to sit back and take a moment to evaluate what makes us happy and what doesn’t. Reflecting on the past helps us move forward to a brighter and better future.

For us, this year has been the year of new beginnings. It was the first full-year I did not work a corporate chain-me-to-my-desk type of job, we were able to take our first long-term trip together throughout the south and the most important, we started this blog!

2015: An Epic Year of Travel

We traveled to countless towns, 20 major cities, 14 different U.S. states and 4 European countries with over 140 days of travel! I couldn’t believe the numbers when I sat down to calculate them. It has been a whirlwind year with exciting trips, new friendships and life lessons.

We have been reading other blogs for years, dreaming of long-term travel or at least traveling more than the three weeks a year of vacation granted by my employers. Dave has always been limited by my time off since he has a lot more vacation. So we made a change. A BIG change. Between the blog and our travels, 2015 has definitely proven to be the start of something wonderful!

Montenegro 2015 Something wonderful
The city of Kotor in Montenegro
Croatia 2015 Something Wonderful
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Turkey 2015 Something Wonderful
Library of Celsus in Ephesus, Turkey
Katakolon Something Wonderful
Birthplace of the Olympic Games near Katakolon, Greece

2015: Dang Travelers are on the Scene

We started the blog in mid-July to document our travels, share our stories and budget-friendly ways in the hopes of inspiring others to travel. It has been challenging, but every month we gain new readers and we are finding our voice. The challenging part has been finding time to write, networking and increasing our traffic.

According to Google Analytics, in a little over five months our blog has had the following statistics:

  • Page Views: 16,525
  • Visitors: 6,145
  • Comments: 256

Compared to some that is good, compared to others it sucks! All I know is that each month we are steadily increasing our traffic with December being our most active month yet. I’m going to take that as a positive sign and keep on writing.

Our most popular blogs to date are:

Best Side Trips from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Top 10 Things to do in St. Louis

Thriving Art Scene in Kansas City

Extraordinary Experience Swimming with Manatees

16 Things I Wish I Knew Sooner – A Letter to my Younger Self.

We would like to thank all of you that have read, shared or commented on our site. We really appreciate the love and support!

Looking Ahead to 2016

States Visited Yearly Recap

I’m not sure if I’ve written about my goal of seeing all 50 states by the time I’m forty (currently 36), but ever since I met Dave who has been EVERYWHERE I’ve wanted to complete this dream. Not just to cross them off a list or put a check mark next to the state, but actually experience the idiosyncrasy each place has to offer. We often (me included) aspire to travel to far off places when we haven’t even explored our own backyard. Don’t get me wrong I have SO many places I would love to traipse around, but for now this one is in the forefront.

In 2015 I’m happy to report I was able to visit and explore four new states: Arkansas, Alabama, Arizona and New Jersey. I have visited 31 out of 50 so I have quite a few left. Dave has been to all of them, but some were when he was young so he’s thrilled to jump on my bandwagon.

Click here to make your own map of the states you’ve been to.

As of right now, Dave’s work schedule is not firm so we don’t have any set plans yet for 2016. Our hope is to knock a few more states off the list, maybe take another big road trip and possibly spend our 10 year wedding anniversary somewhere amazing.

Hiking in Arkansas 2015
Hiking in Arkansas
Alabama 2015
Beach in Alabama
Arizona 2015
Montezuma Well in Arizona
Princeton University
Princeton University in New Jersey

Goodbye 2015. You were wonderful to us as we were blessed to have had so many spectacular adventures.

What was your favorite part of 2015?

Follow Angela:

Angela E. is a travel writer from the Chicagoland area who has visited all 50 states in the US and has traveled extensively around the world. She is passionate about exploring the great outdoors and hiking in particular. Her love for nature has taken her to some of the most beautiful locations on the planet. She has written extensively about her travels on her own website, Dang Travelers, and has been published in collaboration with other travel websites and multiple visitor bureaus around the country.

10 Responses

  1. Chris Travels

    You guys really get around and I’m so happy that you were able to make such a big “dent” in realizing some of your travel dreams in 2015!

    All the best to you in 2016 as you attempt to visit a few more states and work towards your goal of rounding out the “Big 50”!

    • Dang Travelers

      Thanks Chris. 2015 was an amazing year with trips to so many great cities and countries. We couldn’t believe we had over 140 days of travel! Hopefully you have some wonderful trips planned for yourself in 2016. Happy New Year!

  2. Elaine J. Masters

    Congratulations on all the great travel, the shares and comments. Sometimes slowing down feeds the wanderlust but recharges the batteries. looking forward to hearing about more adventures.

    • Dang Travelers

      Thanks Elaine. It has been a great and exciting year for sure. We can’t wait to see what adventures 2016 has in store for us! Happy new year!

  3. Jo

    Congratulations on your successes and all the fabulous places you were able to visit. I’ve been wanting to go to Ephesus for ages, so hopefully next year! I look forward to seeing your blog grow and to seeing all the wonderful plans you have come to fruition

    • Dang Travelers

      Thanks Jo! Ephesus was so intriguing. We were fortunate to have cloudy weather. Our tour guide for the day told us that it can get blistering hot with no shade throughout most of the site so take that into account when you plan your visit. Also there are no bathrooms once you get inside and you should arrive first thing in the morning. We were there at the end of September which is supposed to be the shoulder season and it started getting extremely crowded by the end of our tour which was mid-afternoon. Writing all this down reminds me I need to write up about our experience there! So behind… LOL Thanks for reading!

    • Dang Travelers

      Indeed! Happy New Year to you too! 2015 was awesome. Over 140 days of travel wasn’t too bad for our first year working part-time.

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