November has come and gone, and we're officially in holiday mode here in the US. I unashamedly love this time of year, and am actually really happy to be spending it at home instead of traveling. Cue lots of evenings spent with festive candles burning and our electric fireplace flickering – and now that it's December, it's acceptable to start binging allllll the holiday movies on the Hallmark channel.
I didn't do much travel in November, but let's take a look back at the month anyway.
November: The month in travel
Sorry guys; not much travel to speak of in November!
- Countries visited: 0
- Cities visited: 0
- Flights taken: 0
The most epic thing I did: I went a little crazy with Black Friday/Cyber Monday shopping and bought a new camera, a drone, AND booked myself a tour in Morocco for February!
November travel highlights
Fall colors in northeast Ohio – Even though the weather seemed to jump straight from summer to winter, I did manage to catch the very brief window of fall color we had here in northeast Ohio. I took advantage of one of the very few sunny days we had during peak color to go to the Rocky River Reservation to snap some photos around Berea Falls. It made me SO happy to crunch around in those leaves!
November travel lowlights
Crappy weather – It's not really a “travel” lowlight, but I had hoped to get outside more in November to enjoy the last bit of autumn and go to a few early holiday celebrations. But the weather in northeast Ohio has been absolutely dismal – did you know that Ohio actually has some of the cloudiest weather in the United States? It's true! Cleveland is consistently ranked right up there with Seattle and Portland as one of the cloudiest cities in the country.
November on the blog
Being at home all month, I actually was able to publish more posts than usual! November usually marks the start of a “down” time for traffic to travel blogs as less people are planning trips, but my November was actually pretty good.
November traffic: 166,300 unique visitors and 238,179 pageviews
Most popular post: Amanda’s 2018 Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers – It doesn't really matter how many different travel gift guides pop up in my Facebook feed; I click on just about every one! If you, too, are secretly a gift guide connoisseur, feel free to check out my 2018 edition!
Other posts published in November:
- In the Land of the Ice Bears
- A Weekend in Winnipeg: The Best Things to Do in Winnipeg, Manitoba
- The Perfect Aruba Itinerary: 5 Days on One Happy Island
- 23 of the Best Christmas Markets to Visit in Germany
- An Off-Season Outdoor Adventure: Visiting Utah’s Snow Canyon State Park in Winter
November on social media
Most popular Instagram post: Once again, you guys had lots of love for polar bears in November! This photo is one of my favorites; it was the very first time I locked eyes with a polar bear, and it's a moment I'll never forget!
View this post on Instagram
Those eyes! 👀 Those paws! 🙌🏻 I’m not sure you can look at this photo and not fall in love with this polar bear! I’ve always liked polar bears (my university mascot was even a polar bear!), but I don’t think I truly fell maddeningly in love with them until I went to see them in the wild in Canada this year. These guys are super interesting animals. For example, here are some quick fun facts: 1. Polar bears are the only bears to be considered marine mammals because of all the time they spend on the ice/in the water. 2. Polar bears actually have black skin and translucent fur – they're not actually white at all! 3. It's not uncommon for polar bear mommas to have twins, and triplets aren't unheard of. 4. Polar bears don't hibernate. The winter is when they're out on the ice hunting. They do fast through the summer months, though, when there aren't any seals for them to eat. 5. Polar bears have no natural predators, but they ARE at risk because of climate change. And, sadly, even though in my mind the bear in this photo is totally looking for some cuddles, in reality she’s really just trying to determine whether I’m edible or not. Do you ❤️ polar bears? Did you know these fun facts about them?
November business update
It was a slightly slower month as businesses gear up for the December spending spree, but still pretty good!
- Advertising: $5,053.09
- Affiliate marketing: $2,770.4
- Freelance writing: $340
- Other: $725
(Note that this is my income before deductions and taxes.)
BlogHouse 2019 applications are open! – I'll once again be mentoring at BlogHouse in 2019. This is a 3-day travel blogging retreat that's one of my favorite “conferences” of the year. The group is kept intentionally small so that everyone gets plenty of one-on-one mentoring and super actionable tips to help them take their blogging businesses to the next level. BlogBouse will be taking place at the incredible Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa in June, and applications are officially open! Click here to learn more and apply.
No major lows to report this month, which is always a good thing!
Upcoming in December
I'm planning to stick closer to home for the holidays, but do hope to check out some Christmas-y things around Cleveland.
Here's what's coming up in early 2019:
February: Morocco – I've booked a 13-day tour around Morocco for the second half of February! I haven't been to Morocco yet, so I'm excited to get a taste of the country's unique culture. I booked my tour with Intrepid Travel (it's this one in case you want to check it out, too), as I think traveling solo with other people and a guide will help me get the most out of the country. We'll be covering a LOT of ground, from big cities like Fes and Marrakech to smaller places like Chefchaouen and Midelt. We'll be spending time in both the High Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert, too, which should make for some amazing adventures!
March: Portugal – After Morocco, I'll be heading to another new-to-me country: Portugal! I think I'll be spending 10-12 days in Portugal, trying to see as much as I can.
March: Nashville – Also in March I'm planning to head down to Nashville for a long weekend to catch up with some friends from college. I'm looking forward to a second visit to Music City!
I'd also like to go somewhere in January for at least a long weekend, but haven't decided where yet. I just know I'll be ready for a break from Ohio after the holidays! Who has suggestions??
And remember that you can follow along in real-time with all of my adventures through my IG Stories on Instagram!