Ten Things to do in 2013

As the new year approaches thoughts turn to what I would like to achieve in 2013.  On the whole 2012 was a good year for me, now it is time for me to look forward.

Over the previous years experience I have found New Year’s resolutions are pointless.  They put too much pressure on you and are usually broken before the end of the first week in January.  So instead I am going to set myself some achievable tasks for 2013.  This time next year we can look at how well I have done or not.

  1. Purchase the domain name for the blog – If I am looking for the blog to grow I need to take control of the layout.  Purchasing the domain name will allow me to do a lot more.
  2. Take better photographs – I have recently ordered myself a Panasonic Lumix LZ20 Bridge Camera.  This will hopefully make a difference from the compact camera.  I know that despite the camera I should take more time when photographing my subjects.
  3. Spend at least two hours a day on the blog or travel planning – In life you get out what you put into it.  This is especially true of successful travel blogging.
  4. Start making contact with my fellow bloggers – I have made some contact with some travel bloggers.  Now I want to extend that to add more.
  5. Start introducing myself to the travel industry – To be able establish contacts will be a great way of promoting the blog but also hopefully promoting their products too.
  6. Attend a trade show – TBEX is probably out of my league for this year.  However, the World Travel Fair in could be realistic.
  7. Explore my local area more – As travellers we can be guilty at looking at the sights that are far away and ignore the ones that are closest to us.
  8. Make more contact with local people – The one thing I could say I am guilty of is not making contact with the local population.  It was only when I was in Bratislava that I started to do that and it made my visit more enjoyable.
  9. Sort out the travel finances – I have sorted out a prepaid card for travel.  It would make sense to transfer the spare cash I have onto the card.  I get cashback when I use it.  Sounds like a bargain to me.
  10. Upgrade my travel tech – I have a Macbook dating back to 2007 but it is starting to be on its last legs.  I travel with my IPad 2 but at 16GB I struggle to manage the memory.  An upgrade is in order.

There you go my list of ten things that I want to do in 2013.  If I achieve 50% of this I will be happy.

Finally I want to wish everybody a safe, healthy and Happy New Year.

Steve

Photo of the Week – The Blue Church

This week’s photo is of the Church of St. Elisabeth in Bratislava.  It is also known as ‘The Blue Church.’  Built in 1907 it is probably my favourite image of my travels in 2012.

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This photo represents the beauty of travel.  Something that you will not see if you stayed at home all the time.  You can only compare with the image of the closed hospital that is opposite the church.

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Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

Photo of the Week – Celebration in Bratislava

This week’s photo of a meal that took place in Hostel Blues in Bratislava.

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Christmas is a time where we celebrate with family and friends.  It is also a time where we should be counting our blessings too.  I have been fortunate that I met so many people on my travels in 2012.  Wherever you may be I hope you enjoy your day.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

Review of 2012

As 2012 is drawing to a close it is always customary to look back.  For myself the year has brought so many positives into my life.

Bratislava Castle at Night.
Bratislava Castle at Night.

First positive is that I have sat down and set up the blog.  There have been numerous attempts at blogging but none of them had amounted to much and I soon gave up.  It helped that I chose travel as the topic.  It has given me something to focus on.  I am happy with the way it has turned out.  Now this blog has over 1,000 views.  This is very encouraging and it is going to give me more focus to keep it going into 2013.

Mosaic of Dr. Samuel Johnson
Mosaic of Dr. Samuel Johnson

Of course no travel blog work without content.  So 2012 was the year where I took travel more seriously.  The highlights were the time I spent in Madrid during the summer.  Also the trip to Prague and Bratislava in September.  2012 was the year that I felt I became a backpacker of sorts.  Also I started to enjoy the delights of staying in hostels.  While I was in Madrid I witnessed the joy of the Spanish celebrating their victory in Euro 2012.  The beauty of Prague was a sight to behold.  The relaxed atmosphere of Bratislava was something that would stay with me too.  I also rediscovered my love of London.  All this has inspired me for 2013.  I cannot wait.

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Also 2012 saw the London Olympics.  I admitted to being a sceptic worrying it would be a success.  To be proved wrong was a joyful moment.  I was on jury service during the games so I spent a lot of time watching the events on the TV in between cases.  This brought people together and you could see the response to the successes and how everybody joined together to celebrate.  For the first time in a long while I felt proud to be British.  I still feel proud today.

Overall I feel grateful to have the support of my family and friends.  Also the support and encouragement of the blogging community.  Be it with views and comments or the thank you messages for retweets.

Moving forward 2013 is going to be a good year.  Be it with more travel adventures or just connecting with new people.  I look forward to sharing it with you.

All I need to say now is to wish every one of you a happy and peaceful Christmas.

Happy Christmas Everybody from midlifewanderlust1965
Happy Christmas Everybody from midlifewanderlust1965

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

Photo of the Week – Statue of Napoleon Bonaparte in Bratislava

This week’s photo is of Napoleon Bonaparte in Hlavne Namestie in Bratislava.

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The statue created by Juraj Melis was to commemorate ‘The Piece of Bratislava’ which was signed in 1805.  I see this  as a reminder to the people of Bratislava that Napoleon is always watching them.  More importantly it is a reminder that Bratislava is a city that does not take itself too seriously.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

Photo of the week – View of the River Danube from Devin Castle

I am sorry there was no photo last week.  I am in the middle of changing computers.  The photo is of a view from Devin Castle of the River Danube.

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The River Danube is the second longest river in Europe.  It runs from Germany to Ukraine.  This photo was taken from Devin Castle near Bratislava.  What this photo cannot show is the speed of the river flowing.  Indeed it is a mighty river.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

Travel Plans 2013

Since I returned Prague in September I have been giving a lot thought to my travel plans for 2013.  Sadly I am not in a position where travelling on a full-time basis is an option.  It is a case of balancing travel with work.  Also because of finances I have decided to stick to Europe next year.  Do not worry the rest of the world, your time will come.

I may have already mentioned in a previous post that my first trip will be to Vienna and Budapest in March,  In total it will last twelve days including the travel time.  I will be using Eurolines coach service from London.  The reasons for choosing these cities were clear.  I was in Vienna in 2011 but was confined to my dorm with food poisoning so I missed out on the delights of the city.  Second time lucky I hope.

I felt on my last trip to Prague and Bratislava that I could have planned the trip better and allowed time to visit Budapest.  I am particularly looking forward to visit as I had heard good things about the city.

My second trip I am really excited about.  I had mentioned that I was looking to do a loop of the Balkans.  The only thing that could hold me back would be the amount of time work would allow me to take off.  On Tuesday I was given the good news that I could take three weeks off work.  Now I can start planning for the Balkans in September.  All I know at this moment is that the tour will start and finish in Zagreb.  Which direction I take will be down to logistics.  I am looking to take in the major cities in Serbia, Kosovo, Albania, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia Herzegovina and Croatia.

Also 2013 will see me travelling more in the UK.  Also I will be looking at the feasibility of planning a big trip where I would need to take a prolonged break from work.  This has always been a dream of mine.  At the least I should explore this.  With my plans looking clearer I cannot wait for 2013.

Until the next time stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve