It’s customary for blogs like Rachel’s Ruminations to publish an end-of-year overview. I have mixed feelings about 2016, however.
It was, in many ways, a terrible year: the Brexit, the US elections, the war in Syria, and the deaths of so many talented people.
But, for me personally, it was a great year. My kids (not kids any longer) are doing well. My sweet, supportive husband is still enjoying his two jobs.
10 Trips in 2016
And I got to travel a lot in 2016, working short trips around my own work obligations. Which gave me lots to write about.
- In January I explored Bologna with my friend Shobha of Just Go Places.
- I made a fascinating short trip in February to Lagos, Nigeria to lead a workshop.
- In March I enjoyed a week in the Val d’Aran in Spain with my husband and son. They skied. I went sightseeing.
- I led another workshop in April, this time in Dubai.
- Also in April, I spent a weekend with my husband in Bremen, Germany.
- In June, another workshop took me to Crete.
- My next trip was to Israel in July for a cousin’s bar mitzvah, followed by a few weeks in Sweden for a TBEX conference and “fam” trips for bloggers.
- In July to August our annual family trip took us all (my husband, our son and our two foster kids) to Spain, where we explored the Costa Blanca and Catalonia.
- My first trip to Berlin was in October, partly for sightseeing and partly to lead another workshop.
- And in November I took a very quick trip to the World Travel Market in London.
What makes a good year for me, then, are two things: a healthy, happy family and lots of opportunities to travel, even if only for a weekend.
Rachel’s Ruminations’ Top 10 Posts
Looking at my top 10 posts for 2016, I noticed something interesting: none of them is about any of the trips I took in 2016. They mostly group into three categories: cross-cultural ruminations, Japan and Guadeloupe. Go figure!
Having said that, my most popular photos on Instagram and Pinterest did come from trips in 2016: the photo below from Nigeria gets lots of pins on Pinterest, and my street art photos from Berlin do well on Instagram (see the photo at the top of this post).
Anyway, here are my top 10 travel posts of 2016:
- 10 Things the Dutch Think about Americans. This isn’t really a travel post; it’s more of cross-cultural observation.
- Kanazawa: Worth a Visit? Kanazawa was the only place in Japan that I visited (in 2015) where I wasn’t sure it had been worth the trip.
- Yes, You CAN visit the Rijksmuseum in two hours! The Rijksmuseum is so huge you could spend several days there, but sometimes you just don’t have the time or patience. This post was also in last year’s top 10.
- Climbing La Soufrière Volcano. Number 9 on last year’s list, this post has taken off again just in the last few weeks. It must have been shared somewhere, or maybe there’s just increased interest in travel to Guadeloupe.
- The Paradise in “Death in Paradise”: Deshaies. I visited Deshaies in 2015 because of its connection with “Death in Paradise.” It was a highlight of my trip to Guadeloupe. This post was number 1 in last year’s top 10.
- How Americans see the Dutch. I wrote this post because I wanted to be fair to the Americans who might be offended by “10 Things the Dutch Think about Americans.”
- 4 Snorkeling Trip Surprises. Another Guadeloupe post and, like numbers 3 and 5, it was on last year’s list too.
- Himeji for a Day. This post about Japan’s Himeji Castle and Engyoji Temple has had steady visitor numbers since I posted it in August 2015.
- Random Thoughts on Guadeloupe. I wrote this one on my first morning in Guadeloupe, just giving my first impressions. I’m surprised to see it on the list.
- Jew Cookies and Negro Kisses. I think this post from 2013 gets attention because of the rather confrontational title. Like numbers 1 and 6, it’s more of a cross-cultural rumination than specifically travel-related.
Rachel’s Ruminations in 2017
Rachel’s Ruminations grew steadily in 2016, though of course I would love for it to really take off into the blogger stratosphere in 2017.
So if you enjoy reading what I publish here, please share the posts in your social media circles. I’d greatly appreciate it, too, if you’d subscribe to the blog and/or follow me on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and/or Google+. You could also “like” and follow my Facebook page. You can find the links in the sidebar to the right.
I’ll be traveling and posting lots more in 2017. I’ve already accepted two workshops (Prague and Dubai). I’ll be at TBEX in Jerusalem and I may follow that with a week or so in Jordan. In the summer I’m thinking about eastern Europe, but nothing is definite yet.
In any case, have an absolutely wonderful 2017 full of love and travel!
Happy New Year!
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