I don't know how long you've been following A Dangerous Business. Maybe this is your first time here, or maybe you've been reading my posts for a few months (or even years!).
But, if you started following me the day I launched this blog, you will have been following my stories and musings and journey for more than FOUR YEARS.
I have no clue how time has flown by so quickly, but the 4-year anniversary of A Dangerous Business came and went in the month of July. I would have completely missed it, if I hadn't had to renew my web hosting package.
In July 2010, I bought the dangerous-business.com domain name, picked out a free WordPress theme, and decided to become “serious” about what had previously been nothing more than a free, infrequently-updated blog on WordPress.com.
Back then, I had NO IDEA what the next 4 years would bring.
I had no idea that I would quit my job and go to graduate school to study tourism. I had no idea I would fill up a passport and have to pay to add extra pages. I had no idea that I would become a freelance writer and decide to blog full-time. I had no idea that tens of thousands of people (more than 50,000 last month alone!) would deem my stories worth reading.
It just goes to show you how much your life can change if you follow what you're truly passionate about.
Since this is an anniversary-type post, I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the most epic adventures that I've had over the past 4 years all in the name of running this blog.
Here are some of the highlights:
May 2011 — I tackled one of the scariest things ever — the highest bungee jump in New Zealand: The Scariest Thing I Have Ever Done
August 2011 — My sister and I embarked upon an epic, 3-week road trip across America; it's always been a dream of ours, and did not disappoint: Road Trip '11: My 10 Favorite Road Trip Stops
November 2011 — I decided that I was probably never going to leave everything behind to travel the world indefinitely. Hence my travel/blog philosophy was born: You Can Live a “Normal” Life and Travel,Too
January 2012 — I stayed the night in a former-prison-turned-hospital, and stayed up half the night because I'm pretty sure it was haunted: My Night in Prison
March 2012 — I went to Iceland for my spring break and almost died on the side of a mountain: The Time I Almost Died in Iceland
June 2012 — On my very first solo trip to Europe, I started out in Budapest, which happens to be home to some awesome thermal baths: Soaking at the Szechenyi Baths
July 2012 — After having dreamt about visiting for years (thanks to the book The Historian), I finally visited Rila Monastery, hidden away in the Bulgarian mountains: Rila Monastery, In Photos
July 2012 — I stood in awe during my first visit to Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey: In Photos: Hagia Sophia
July 2012 — I splurged and bought a ticket to see some gymnastics at the 2012 summer Olympics in London: London 2012: My Olympics Experience
August 2012 — I got to hike on a glacier in Alaska: Ice, Ice, Baby: Glacier Hiking in Alaska
October 2012 — I looked back at the lessons that travel has taught me so far: 26 Things Travel Has Taught Me
December 2012 — I headed off to Edinburgh, Scotland, to ring in 2013 Hogmanay-style, with fire and Vikings and dancing and polar plunges: Hogmanay: The Most Epic New Year's Celebration You've Never Heard Of
January 2013 — I swam/snorkeled with sharks, stingrays, and sea turtles at the Belize Barrier Reef: Of Sailboats and Sharks
January 2013 — This self-proclaimed non-camper camped in the jungle in Guatemala and didn't die: A Non-Camper Sleeps in the Jungle. With Monkeys.
February 2013 — I looked back at how traveling the world has made me more adventurous: 5 Ways Travel Has Made Me More Adventurous
March 2013 — I satisfied a lifelong dream and watched the Northern Lights dance above the frozen tundra in Manitoba, Canada: A Dance of Lights: Awed By the Aurora Borealis
August 2013 — I went on a rafting pub crawl in the most gorgeous town in the Czech Republic: That Time I Went on a Rafting Pub Crawl in Cesky Krumlov
August 2013 — Feeling like a true VIP, I got to get a really unique peek at the Colosseum in Rome: Behind the Scenes at the Colosseum
September 2013 — I spent 2 blissful weeks hopping around the Greek islands, eating way too much feta and soaking up lots of sun: My Big Fat Greek Islands Photo Essay
November 2013 — After traveling around Europe for 3 months straight, I decided that long-term travel was NOT for me: RTW Diaries: A Confession, A Change of Plans
January 2014 — I spent the night on a junk boat in Ha Long Bay, one of the places I was most looking forward to visiting in Vietnam: Ha Long Bay: Just as Incredible as You've Heard
February 2014 — I got to explore the incredible temples of Angkor in Cambodia: Temples Galore at Angkor
February 2014 — I spent a week volunteering with elephants in Thailand: Volunteering at Elephant Nature Park
June 2014 — My boyfriend and I took a helicopter ride over Niagara Falls: Flying High Over Niagara Falls
July 2014 — I came clean about what this life of mine (as a full-time freelancer/blogger) is really like: My Life as a Travel Blogger
Don't worry – even though the past 4 years seem impossible to top, I guarantee that I've got LOTS more adventures to come. My passport is currently being renewed, and I've already got another epic trip in the works:
I'm going back to New Zealand for a month in November!
And I'm already thinking about next year, too — I predict at least one new continent in my future (maybe two!), and probably some more time spent in Europe because I just can't stay away!
Time for a survey and giveaway!
Because I've reached this milestone in my blogging/traveling life, I wanted to do two things:
First, I want to give you free stuff!
Urban Adventures, a tour company that offers some of the best day tours around the world, has graciously offered a tour for 2 ANYWHERE in the world! (Well, except Machu Picchu… their Machu Picchu day trip is the only one not included in this offer.)
Secondly, I want to get your opinion on A Dangerous Business. It's been a while since I've done any sort of reader survey, and I would really love to get your input on everything from what I'm publishing to how the site looks.
Please take a few minutes and TAKE THE SURVEY!
BUT WAIT! There's more!
On top of giving away the Urban Adventures tour (and, basically just to bribe you to take the survey), for every 25 people who fill out the survey, I'll ALSO be giving away a $50 Amazon gift card (up to the first 100 responses). So, if I get 100+ responses, I'll be giving away 4 $50 Amazon gift cards!
Sounds like a pretty good deal right?
All you have to do is take my survey and leave your email address at the end if you want to be entered in the Amazon giveaway. Simple as that!
To enter the Urban Adventures tour giveaway, check out the Rafflecopter below (basically you have to leave a blog comment, but you can earn oodles of extra entries by also taking my reader survey!):
Contest will end at 12:01 AM on Monday, August 18.
And here's to many more years of travel and blogging. 🙂