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Welcome to my October recap! October recaps are special because my blogiversary happens every year in October!

That’s right: as of October 21st, 2018, this lil blog is five years old!

My how far we’ve come… or, they grow up so fast… or, oh, how time flies!

In my first year of travel blogging, I did these posts every month, and it still feels a bit weird to be doing them again. Surely nobody cares, right? Wrong! September’s recap was the most clicked link in my email newsletter (which I’m also restarting after a year off). Apparently, y’all do care. ?

Travel in October

Travel Bloggers in Blue Space Camp Jumpsuits
The #WriteStuff Crew: Craig & Gemma from Two Scots Abroad, Mike from Bemused Backpacker, me, Laurence from Finding the Universe and Jessica from Independent Travel Cats

After a crazy-busy September, October felt chill. I only took two trips, one to a place I’ve wanted to visit for years, and the other for family stuff in a place I’ve been many times.

  • Destinations Visited: 2
  • Flights Taken: 6
  • Days on the Road: 10 out of 31

October Travel Highlights & Lowlights

The best travel experience I had in October was… Space Camp. Or touring the ULA factory. A very close third is hiking with my dad in the Colorado foothills one morning on our short trip there.

Hiking in the Colorado Foothills
Hiking in the Colorado Foothills. Yes, I do go outside on occasion.

The worst travel experience I had in October was… getting home from Huntsville on American Airlines. I don’t believe airlines should be able to change your itinerary without you consenting to it, and I was irate to learn that they had messed up my flights home from Alabama without telling me. It took me 17 hours to get home, but I used that time to work on my book, so maybe that’s not the worst.

Blogging in October

Blogging is a funny business. You buy a domain, create a website, start writing, and… bam! Five years have gone by. It’s astonishing to me that I started this blog in 2013, fresh from my year in London. It’s also astonishing to me that it has grown as much as it has – but also that it’s still so small compared to many bloggers who started after me.

Headshot in Huntsville
Standing in front of a wall of film strips

That said, it’s about my personal journey. …Right? Right?! My journey has been great so far! I’m fully confident that V&V can continue to grow, especially as I turn more attention onto it.

If you’re reading this income report, thinking “wow, she’s come so far, I’ll never get there,” or “shoot, she’s terrible,” just remember that you can’t see how many hours I’ve put in behind the scenes, how much I’ve tried (and often failed) to create success, and how much else I’ve been juggling these past five years. Focus on your own journey, and the rest will work out.

*New this month, because it’s interesting to see where traffic comes from, right?

Posts I Published in October

The Best Things to See & Do for Three Days in Prague – Though I’ve been to Prague twice (for a month in total), I’ve never actually written about what to do while visiting. Since this is also the time of year when my Why Visit Prague in January post does well, I wanted all my new readers to have something else to read when planning their trips.

I had a couple freelance stories published this month too: The Space Needle: Seattle Icon of the Past & Future for Lonely Planet following my trip there in September, and Why Overlooked Dominica is a Must for Sun-Seeking Adventure Lovers in a new publication, The Globe & Mail, about my trip to Dominica which was in September too.

Blogging Highlights & Lowlights

The highlight of blogging in October was… crossing the five-year mark. I’m not sure where this blog will take me in the next year, but I officially feel like an old hat at travel blogging.

The lowlight of blogging in October was… struggling to find the time and energy to write new posts. Blogging is so much harder than people think, even when you’re a fast writer (which I think I am). I only have so many words, and I need to find more energy to spend here to help this site continue to grow.

Business in October

Standing in the ULA Rocket Factory
Blogging is a long game. Longer than it takes to build a rocket for sure!

Income Report

  • Advertising income: $96.96 (↑40% over September)
  • Affiliate income: $81.99 (↓39% over September)
  • Product income: $67.65 (↓56% over September)
  • Space Tourism Guide income: $488.86 (↑490% over September)
  • Other income: $0.00

Total income for October 2018: $735.46 (↑67% over September)

Business Highlights & Lowlights

The business highlight for October was… increasing income from Mediavine. While most of my income categories were down, Space Tourism Guide continues to get better income from Mediavine (the ad network I use there). That made up the difference and more! Hopefully, I’ll be getting Mediavine set up here too, instead of Adsense.

The business lowlight for October was… seeing my product income fall. For some reason, Amazon has dramatically reduced the placement of my travel journal on their search results, and I’m earning way less than I used to. Given that December is my prime earning month, I’m not sure what to do!

Upcoming in November

November is a delightfully quiet month for me. My book manuscript was turned in on the 31st, which is a huge weight off my mind. I do have to continue working on edits and help with photos and proofing layouts, but the lion’s share of work is done. There’s a possibility I’ll launch right into another book project, but I’m hoping to get a week or two (or the whole month) between projects to let my brain refresh.

I don’t have any travel planned in November, which is the first month I’m not traveling at all since July. What with December and the holidays coming right around the corner, plus 2019 travel beginning to fill up my calendar… I’m okay with a break!

So what will I be doing with all my spare time? I’ll be focusing more time and energy on this blog and Space Tourism Guide. I have so many stories I’ve never shared here from my travels around the world and STG is a huge well of mostly-untapped potential. My goal is to publish at least one story a week on both sites. ? Wish me luck!

Until next month!

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