Happy 1st Birthday to The Urban Wanderer. Not me exactly, but my blog. It was exactly one year ago to the day that I wrote my first post. And since then it has grown from a blog into a passion. I always loved this blog since it first popped into my head on my wanders in Rotterdam last year, but little did I know how much that love would grow.
From my very first post (see it here) to everything that you see now has been a work of enjoyment. And a journey. I’m not saying it has been easy – either writing the blog or making sure to get out there to gather fodder for the posts. I have had my ups and downs (bites, getting lost and feet) but it has all be worth it.
How it all began
Last year I had been plodding away on my other blogs and not really ‘feeling it’. It kind of felt more of a chore than an enjoyable thing to do, so I took a break to see what came when my mind wasn’t cluttered.
We had been taking more breaks as I started to travel with Jit to the conferences that he was speaking at. It works out as a great way to explore different places, to spend time together while also getting work done too. We had already been to Dublin by the time we were in Rotterdam and I was out exploring alone.
Rotterdam was a new city to both of us. We hadn’t been to the Netherlands before and to be honest, other than a bit of a Pinterest board, we weren’t too sure what to expect. Knowing that I loved to see places on foot, I decided to download a free audio walking tour. An added bonus was that it was all about architecture, so I was in my element.
I said my goodbyes to Jit and began my journey to the start of the tour. Only I didn’t make the starting point for some time. I had followed my curiosity and wandered about, heading towards anything that caught my interest. Think parks, towers and side streets. During that time, I think I discovered more about Rotterdam than I would have done by researching and following a route. I got chatting to a lovely Dutch lady who was visiting herself (from the countryside) and she also advised me of some fun things to see while on my wanders.
The chance happening of a beautiful park, a wandering friend and the ability to discover new things by myself brought me such joy and revelation. I just couldn’t wait to share what I learned with Jit and to take him there too.
it was on this wander that I just couldn’t shake an idea that popped into my head. It was swirling and churning and each time it passed through, a smile reached my lips.
The Urban Wanderer took form
Well, it actually took the form of a scribbled note inside my trusted notebook. But it was enough for it to start growing even if I didn’t realise it at the time.
Our trip to Rotterdam was one of the best we had enjoyed. We wandered a lot, I learned the areas so quickly that I was able to give Jit a tour of the places I had found. We learned to enjoy each miss-turn and enjoyed scouring the streets for surprise sculptures. Not only that, we got to live like locals as we were staying in an Airbnb in a local residential neighbourhood.
Building the blog
On returning from our trip I had the kind of day where you have time on your hands. The MOT day. With my notebook at hand and my enthusiasm for The Urban Wanderer still buzzing in my head, I set about creating it. I got everything set up in record time. I wasn’t looking for perfect, I wanted to start. And the first post flowed from my fingers through the keyboard and into the blog. I hit publish. It had happened. The Urban Wanderer was born.
One year of The Urban Wanderer
Things have changed quite a bit in that year. The design has been honed, the colours tweaked and I have found my voice. It is something that comes with practice and through time. You get a feel for how you want it to go and it just begins to grow. I like how it has come on, but would never look down on its humble beginnings. I am a true believer that you just need to get started. Waiting for perfect would mean you’d never get anywhere. (And that goes for everything in life, not just blogs!)
And hey, not only is it a year since the blog began, it is also over 365 days since we began walking to town every morning in the reverse commute. Something that we have seen go from strength to strength. We have even started to get up even earlier and made it through every kind of imaginable weather. Yes, even the coldest and wettest of days. And we added on walking home from town too, averaging at least 10 miles every day.
The blog has helped us to keep record of the places that we have been and played a part in me meeting new friends (both on and off-line). It has even encouraged us to take more adventures and day holidays.
In the year we have visited more places than we could even imagine, walked many miles and seen parts of our own city that we had never seen; even in 15 years of living here. Which just goes to prove that you can have an adventure and discover something new wherever you are and however long you’ve been there.
Covering the miles
During the year I have walked a whopping 3668.4 miles and climbed 16,066 floors. It just seems amazing how far you can go when you try! We have also visited more places in a year than any in the past. Including San Francisco, Rotterdam (of course), Dublin, Shrewsbury, Delph and Llangollen. Just to name but a few! I am also still trying to catch up with many of them in blog posts too.
I have lost a bit of chub that had developed since I started working from home and I have started building up the community of people who I know in the local area. Something that I have found appeared to be missing, but I had since discovered is because everyone drives!
Here’s to another year
This past year has really opened my eyes to new opportunities, adventures and possibilities. We have been able to travel more than we have ever done before and with each one learned more and more. Our alternative approach to the things we do and the places we enjoy (back streets, alleys and odd museums) had earned us a bit of a reputation. But we continue to be loved by those who discover what we do and appreciate it as well.
This next year is also filled with many trips and holidays. I am hoping to include some more videos and to increase my social media reach. (If you don’t follow me already, please do head over and give me a like/follow) and to inspire you to get outside and following your curiosity too. No matter where my year takes me, I know that it will be valuable, enjoyable and filled with adventure.
I do hope that you will come along for the ride and also make your own adventures too!
Happy 1st Birthday to The Urban Wanderer and here’s to another year of adventure, curiosity and fun!
Oh and as for my other blogs, they are still around. They are looking to get a bit of a come back in the not so distant future, but for now, this is definitely my baby!