2017 in Review: Becoming a Travel Blogger

The close of 2017 signals the end of my first full year as a Travel Blogger.  As with the start of any second career, it has been a year of  long slow learning curves. It also been a year of developing a whole new network of friends, peers and mentors. Of course there has also been plenty of travel.  One of the most interesting results for me this year has been reigniting my focus on the Midwest and places close to home. . Let’s take a look:



While reviewing the year I found that I enjoyed trips ten of the twelve months. That is the life!
January is typically a month of recovery from holidays and hibernating from Wisconsin winter. So this was one of my non-travel months of 2017.

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Making the best of winter



February is a good month to escape. Tom headed to Jupiter Florida for shark diving and I tagged along for some sun and sand.

We also added more members to our family in February. We welcomed our second grandson.



Jupiter Florida


In March we headed out for our annual diving trip with our dive buddies. This year we went  to the island, Grand Turk, in the Turks and Caicos. We ran into some weather issues and were disappointed with this destination.  See my post on Grand Turk.

Paradise Lost?



In April I attended the Women In Travel Summit, WITS, held here in Milwaukee.  This event created a sea-change in my travel blogging life. I met 300 women all at different points along the same path I was traversing. Suddenly, my head was full of new blogging concepts and vocabulary. The most momentous event was meeting Lisa Dunham Trudell and Sara Broers of Midwest Travel Bloggers. These two vibrant and generous women encourage and support travel bloggers all across the Midwest.

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I love traveling, learning and sharing with these two great travel bloggers. Be sure to check out their Midwest Travel Bloggers site and their respective individual sites!!


Reinforced and motivated, I headed out to the Central Coast of California in May. I love visiting California and the Central Coast was a new region for me.  I explored  wineries, breweries, hiking trails, beaches and castles.  All that and I barely scratched the surface. My posts 6 ways to enjoy San Luis Obispo county, and Paso Robles Charm share some of the adventures.

Montana de Oro Park in San Luis Obispo County

Oh P.S., we added a drone to our photography arsenal in early May.  This little toy totally jazzed up travel adventures.

Drone over Morro Bay

Tom flying the drone in some undisclosed location. Wink, Wink!


Armed with the new drone I took us to Northwest Wisconsin seeking the Western terminus of the Ice Age Trail. St. Croix Falls, WI and Taylor Falls, MN hug either shore of the St. Croix River. These cute little towns offered great hiking, kayaking, and waterfalls. A perfect spot for drone flying and outdoor adventures.

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Western terminus of the Ice Age Trail



Since summer in Wisconsin is so beautiful, we did a little more exploring even further north. This time instead of the Minnesota border, we headed to Upper Michigan, specifically the shores of Lake Superior. The Black River tumbles down into Lake Superior through several cascades and waterfalls. Black River National Forest was amazing. The Midwest has a surprising number of waterfall opportunities. Check out my post Chasing Waterfalls across the Midwest.

Rainbow Falls along the Black River’s course to Lake Superior


August is State Fair time in the Midwest. Wisconsin State Fair and Minnesota State Fair were on my agenda this year. The trip to the Twin Cities was my first ever Press Trip.  Which means I traveled with 25 other travel bloggers and we were hosted by Roseville Visitors Association. This was an opportunity to dig deeper into the Cities and to visit with several of my friends from Midwest Travel Bloggers again. Link to my post with 5 Reasons Roseville is “Perfectly Positioned”.

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Enjoying a couple of flights with Kelly Jo Ratcliff of @diningduster and Theresa Goodrich Carter of @TheLocalTourist.
This says it all. Minnesotans poking fun at their colloquialisms












Minnesota State Fair
Ready for the Minnesota State Fair in our lovely red and green plastic ponchos. Thanks Roseville Visitor’s Association














Next stop, Arizona. I am infatuated with the desert and need a dose every year.  This time we took some friends along and explored Phoenix, Prescott and Sedona.

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An Urban Adventure Quest in downtown Phoenix
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Desert Botanical Garden Entrance with Chihuly sculpture




We had an especially gorgeous fall in Wisconsin this year. So on a whim we made a quick getaway to Door County. Taking our time along the Lake Michigan shoreline, we found lighthouses, museums and of course BEER. If you have never visited this gem of Wisconsin, put it on your 2018 travel itinerary.

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Fall in Door County


Finally, after 12 months of traveling adventures and reams of newly acquired SEO knowledge, I wrapped up 2017 with one more dive trip and a great series of travel posts.

We traveled with Red Travel Mexico and travel blogger, Tam Minton of Travels with Tam, to the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. Watch the next couple of days for posts on this trip.

Cabo Pulmo Hope Spot
Cabo Pulmo

12 Days of Travel Themes



The last week of 2017 I shared the 12 Days of Travel Themes. This series was so much fun to put together.  It has left me with thousands of ideas for travels and adventures in 2018. I truly hope that sharing my travels and expanding my blogging knowledge this year will encourage you, my reader, to Go Learn Things!

One thought on “2017 in Review: Becoming a Travel Blogger”

  1. What a fun year! I’m amazed at how much you got out of town. What are your thoughts on traveling with a Drone? What type did you get? Do you think it’s worth it?

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