March 03, 2015

1st Blogiversary + Giveaway! (March 2015)


One year ago, I couldn't have imagined just how much of a beautiful, crazy ride this travel blogging experience would turn out to be!

Today The Thrifty Gypsy's Travels celebrates its FIRST anniversary!

Year One:
The Thrifty Gypsy's Travels (TGT) began with no clear goals or ideas for growth.  I simply wanted to record our travel stories and hopefully inspire whomever stumbled across the site to create their own travel memories.  Between juggling a full-time job, a long commute, and the occasional evening night class, I couldn't commit to a steady schedule of posts, but figured the site could garner a handful of views simply through social media postings.

But I soon realized that page views weren't the best part of joining the travel blogging community.  Finding out that I'm not the only "crazy" person who'd rather eat, pray, and travel was!  For every money-saving tip I shared, I've found at least another five more from other travel bloggers.  Comparing notes, exchanging stories, and connecting with other travelers has become a huge part of my life now -- something I did not envision a year ago.

So with one year under our belt, I am proud to say that I have already accomplished both of my initial wishes:  I've recorded our experiences, and I've inspired at least one person to travel more!


Seriously, I danced in the kitchen for almost thirty minutes after Sara Ann's vote of confidence!  All those lattes foregone, those shopping sprees postponed, packing lunches for work so that we could stuff away nickels and dimes for the next big trip had come to fruition by inspiring another person to go see and do more of the world.  Does it get any better than that?

Year Two:
For this next year of TGT, I actually have a few goals in mind:

1.  Purchase a domain and settle upon a layout/template.  
Because if I don't make a decision soon, my eyeballs are going to fall out from all this comparison shopping.  Two days before this post went live, I finally did it!  So I can already cross this goal off my list.

2.  Become a better story-teller.
The internet is saturated with how to plan a trip and what to see when you get there.  My blog can't possibly compete against sites that lay out all the logistics of visiting a place.  What I can do, however, is provide people with why they should visit a place.  Oftentimes another person's story can make or break the decision to visit one particular location over another.  I want to transform my writing from being factual to being memorable.

3.  Meet another travel blogger in person & attend one travel blogging conference within the next year.
Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend the TBEX Europe '15 conference in Costa Brava, and my attendance at WITS in Boston looks doubtful now, too.  However, One Weird Globe has a pretty extensive list of travel blogging conferences around the world, and I'm hopeful at least one can be fit into the schedule!  (Are you going to any of them?)

The Giveaway:
To celebrate the TGT's anniversary and to express my appreciation for your readership, I'm giving away a $36.50 Amazon gift card - that's one dime (or two nickels) for every day since this blog started!

How to enter:  
1.  Leave a comment below stating what (or who) inspired you to travel!  AND
2.  Use the social media buttons below to share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.  You can also post my giveaway button (below) somewhere on your blog if you're feeling extra frisky!

Each time you specifically tag me in a giveaway post, it will increase your chances of winning, but you must share the giveaway at least once to be eligible to win.

Giveaway deadline:
The giveaway will close on St. Paddy's Day (March 17th).  I will announce the winner no later than March 22nd.

So what are you waiting for?  Tell me what inspired you to travel and share the giveaway to win!

***

Giveaway Button:
The Thrifty Gypsy's Travels









Linking up with Bonnie RoseAmandaCaityMarcella, and Michelle for #TravelTuesday!

29 comments:

  1. Happy Blogiversary!! Congrats on 1 year! I've just always wanted to see new things and have adventures. I think my lust for travel came a lot from reading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you!!! Reading played a large part in my inspiration, too.

      Delete
  2. I'm still having trouble tollowing your blog with bloglovin. :( in behind on my blog reading but i wanted to pop in here and say congrats! Can't wait to see how your blog continued to develop this next year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bloglovin' and Disqus have been making me so mad lately! I got rid of the latter, but don't know how to fix the issues with the former.

      Delete
    2. I think it's because I changed the domain. I've emailed Bloglovin's staff to see if they can transfer over everyone who was following me back when I still had "blogspot" in the url. Otherwise if you click my Bloglovin link now, it'll take you straight to the current URL's feed, which has been updating normally.

      Delete
  3. Time Travel PlansMarch 06, 2015

    Congrats on making it to a year, Katrina! It's such an accomplishment. Don't you you think that travel blogging is such a labor of love? And like you, I agree that the greatest reward is always being able to connect with your readers and inspire them. Looking forward to watching your blog blossom in the years to come!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Congrats on the first year! That's a big accomplishment! I've wanted to travel as long as I can remember, but I think my boss has inspired it most recently lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! And I've got to say - thus far I've never heard someone attributing their wanderlust to a boss! That's pretty cool!

      Delete
  5. Congrats on 1 year!! And for inspiring people to travel! I agree that the BEST part about blogging is connecting with other bloggers and making like-minded friends from all over the world! I haven't really met any bloggers in real life (only one so far), but often, I feel like I know the bloggers so much more than my friends from back home. I also love that you're transitioning more to storytelling. After starting my blog, I realized too that I didn't want to just put more fact and tips out there into the sea of a million similar posts, and want my writing to be more about my personal experiences and stories. I'm looking forward to reading more this year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! Yeah, I mean, I'm sure I'll continue writing some posts that are more factual in nature, but stories are what truly entertain. Just need to give my Muse an extra massage to get those stories to come out! :)

      Delete
  6. Congratulations on the year! We must have started around the same time, as I'm coming up for a year now too. I was nodding my head at your comment, "I want to transform my writing from being factual to being memorable." That's exactly the approach I've settled on too. I'm inspired to travel specifically to create those memorable moments that you reflect on long after they have passed. (Came here via #SundayTraveler)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sites like the Lonely Planet and even Rick Steves have the corner on factual travel writing (i.e., figuring out logistics and what not). But our stories and experiences at those places can't be told by anyone but ourselves. Thanks for stopping by! :)

      Delete
  7. Congratulations on your first anniversary! Such a great milestone! Cheers - Ellen

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hip. hip, horrrraaaay. Happy Birthday! So many great posts written, so many to come.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Congrats on your first year! I'm almost on my first year, too! So happy for your accomplishment for that one year. I was surprised by the wonderful travel blogging community, too!.

    My inspiration for travel was Camille of This American Girl. Her facebook page was one of the first I remember liking and inspired me to travel more.

    Happy Birthday, The Thrifty Gipsy travel blog!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Happy blogiversary! How awesome is that? You're blog is great! I love it. :)
    My cousin inspires me to travel. She travels the world to help uneducated children, she's always sharing her journey with us in emails and photos. I have three young boys and we are a family of 5 living on one income. Traveling isn't in the near future but I am still dreaming of a vacation with my husband to visit some of the places my cousin has been.
    Thank you for the chance to win!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, that's so cool! I've always wanted a job that involves travel and that extra aspect of actually helping people makes it even more inspiring. I know what you mean about the one income, though. When we start having kids, I'd like to be able to stay home with them just like my mom did with us. It's an incredible sacrifice, but coming from the perspective of someone who got to be home with their mom instead of being in daycare, it's invaluable to your kids. Keep fighting the good fight and save those pennies! Our honeymoon was funded on pennies. :)

      Delete
  11. Congrats on a year! That's such a great accomplishment!

    I think most of my wanderlust comes from literary inspiration, honestly - I've always loved the idea not only of traveling to the setting of some of my favorite stories, but also of exploring the worlds of my favorite authors. We are planning a Europe trip this summer, and I am BEYOND thrilled to be booking a tour of The Kilns in Oxford - it will be a dream come true to see the place where C.S. Lewis lived and wrote for so many years.

    Have you ever read Chris Guillebeau (http://chrisguillebeau.com/) at all? His blog covers more topics than just travel, but one of his biggest goals was to visit every single country in the world before his 35th birthday, and he did it! His travel insights are both fascinating and inspiring - AND he hosts what looks like such an awesome event every year, which might be right up your alley! I've wanted to go the last couple years, but just couldn't swing it. http://worlddominationsummit.com/

    Happy blogiversary!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Jenna! We share the same travel inspiration. I had such weepy glees on my weekend trip through London when I could see so many of the places I'd read about. I would LOVE to go through Lewis' or Tolkien's haunts - I can't wait to hear about your time in Oxford!!!

      No, I've never heard of Chris before, but I'm adding him to my bloglovin' feed! Thanks for the hat tip!

      Delete
  12. What inspired me to travel? READING, for sure! All those dang Jane Austen novels, then some Mandee Europe adventures (children's books), and then all the old Hollywood European movies!
    Glad I squeezed in my entry on the last day! :)
    ALSO, I will be in Reston, Virginia, from June 29-July 5. Anywhere near you? I have no idea what I'll be doing every day yet, but it'd be fun to meet up somewhere! Let me know!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reading was my primary inspiration, too! I was tickled pink when our hotel in London was on Gracechurch Street, and I did some giggling over the Cheapside signs as it reminded me of Austen novels, too. :)

      Sweet! Reston is in northern Virginia near DC, so that's about 2 hours away. We may or may not be out of town for that July 4th weekend, but keep me posted as to your availability!

      Delete
  13. Happy blogiversary! I feel that my "travel story" has just snowballed from one of my very first international trips to Japan when I was 13. I saw with my own eyes at a young age just how amazing the world is outside of my backyard... how different and yet friendly the people there were, and how beautiful and exotic the landscape and nature of this country is. To be in a place where everything is completely different, but no less wonderful. Although I believe my mother prodded me to fill out the application for that adventure, it definitely sparked a life-long incurable case of wanderlust.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "To be in a place where everything is completely different, but no less wonderful" - love this. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  14. Happy Anniversary! It's a wonderful travel world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, and it certainly is! :)

      Delete

Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear your comments, feedback, and suggestions.