May 2019 Travel and Blogging Recap

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Typical of Ohio, it seems we've zipped past spring and moved straight on to summer. But I can't really complain, since summer is always a busy travel season for me!

I spent all of May in Ohio, but did spend some time away from home at a conference in Columbus. This was really just the calm before the storm, though, as I'm going to be gone pretty much all of June!

Here's what I got up to in May:

May: The month in travel

Other than some Cleveland exploration, my only other adventure this month took me to Columbus for an SATW Freelance Council meeting/conference. I haven't spent much time in Columbus as an adult, and this is something I really should remedy! (I mean, I'm still biased toward Cleveland, but Columbus is pretty cool, too.)

  • Countries visited: 1 – USA
  • Cities visited: Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio
  • Flights taken: 0
  • Days spent on the road: 5

The most epic thing I did: A Segway tour of Columbus. I've been “offroad” Segwaying once before, but I hadn't been on a Segway sightseeing tour until this past month in Columbus. I went on a downtown tour on two wheels, and it was SO much fun. It's like a walking tour and a bike tour had a delightful baby – you cover a lot of ground, but without as much effort! This is something I would definitely do again on my travels.

Segway tour in Columbus, Ohio
Segway tour!

The best thing I ate/drank: Vietnamese coffee. If you've never tried the delight that is strong coffee mixed with sweet condensed milk and poured over ice, then you haven't truly lived. I was so excited to visit a spot on a Columbus food tour where we could order traditional Vietnamese coffees. It wasn't quite as good as being back in Vietnam, but it was still delicious.

The weirdest thing I saw: A demon in a box. Yes, that's right. There's a small witchcraft museum in Cleveland, and one of the interesting things on display is a demon in a box! The box is surrounded by a ring of salt and everything.

Demon in a box in Cleveland
Apparently the drawing has the demon's name on it – it's been blacked out.

May travel highlights

Exploring Columbus' food scene – I was busy during that trip to Columbus! I think what I enjoyed the most was diving into Columbus' growing food scene. From learning about the city's Somali community to visiting local coffee shops to wandering through North Market, there's a lot for a foodie to do in Columbus. Even though I don't write about food very much, I'm think a foodie guide to Columbus might be coming your way soon!

May travel lowlights

Other than spending an afternoon woefully lost in a Cleveland neighborhood I don't know well because my Google Maps stopped working, I don't have any mishaps to report this month!

May on the blog

I'm still working my way through all my Morocco and Portugal content (yes, there's still more coming!) on this blog, and continuing to try to post regularly on Cleveland Traveler. I've finally got a balance going – just in time for me to leave to travel for a month!

May traffic: 197,600 unique visitors and 280,045 pageviews

Most popular post: 2 Days in Porto: The City in Portugal You Shouldn’t Skip – This in-depth guide to Portugal's second-largest city should hopefully convince you that you need to visit!

Other posts published in May:

May on social media

Most popular Instagram post: This photo of the riad I stayed in in Marrakech caught your eye just like the real thing caught mine! Tiles for daaaayyyys.

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Morocco is known for its riads – guesthouses built around central courtyards. Most of these riads have been converted from private mansions in cities like Marrakech and Fes, and range from small and cozy to large and opulent. When I was planning my trip to Morocco, I spent hours poring through photos and websites of various riads, trying to find the perfect one for my final nights in Marrakech. It wasn’t easy; there are SO MANY riads to choose from! I eventually settled on Riad BE because of its relaxing colors and gorgeous tile work. If you read anything about staying in a riad in Morocco, you’re guaranteed to hear phrases like “oasis” used; you pass through the door and you go from the chaos of the medina into a little bubble of serenity. A tour guide told me that the word “riad” can mean garden, but also “paradise.” Some riads are more traditional than others, but all of them exude this same sense of calm. Would you want to stay in a riad in Morocco?

A post shared by Amanda Williams ? (@dangerousbiz) on

Most popular Facebook post: In May, you guys really liked telling me about destinations you thought were overrated, and also like chatting about the best coffee in the world.

May business update

May was a good business month, as I finalized several projects for later in the year, but it was my worst month income-wise in 2019. (Though, everything is of course relative – it was still a really good month!)

Income report

  • Advertising: $5,127.71
  • Affiliate marketing: $3,891.25
  • Consulting: $160

(Note that this is my income before deductions and taxes.)

Business highs

Signing contracts! – It always feels great to solidify plans and get contracts for new projects signed. If you've been following me for a while, you'll know that I don't partner up with brands that often anymore – I prefer to pay for my own travel and write whatever I want. So when I DO work with a brand or destination, it's because I'm really excited about the partnership. Stay tuned, because there's a lot of cool stuff coming up this summer.

Coffee and pastries at Fox in the Snow

Business lows

Not meeting my income goals – For the first time in 2019, I didn't meet my 5-figure income goal for the month. It's not really that big of a deal since I know I'll make up for it over the summer. But still. Nobody likes to fail!

Upcoming in June

So it begins. After spending two months more or less at home, I'll only be spending 4 nights in my own bed in June! Here's a look at what's coming up:

June: Bloghouse – For the third year in a row I'll be mentoring at Bloghouse, a 3-day intensive blogging retreat. This year's edition is happening in Scottsdale, Arizona, and I'm looking forward to visiting a new part of that state. (Just think good thoughts for me, as it's forecast to be 100 degrees F or hotter the whole time I'm there!)

June: Scotland – Elliot and I are taking our annual “big trip” to Scotland this year, where we're planning to explore the Malt Whisky Trail in the Highlands, and distillery-hop around the island of Islay. Elliot has never been to Scotland before, so I'm looking forward to sharing another of my favorite parts of the world with him.

June: Avalon river cruise – After Scotland, I'm flying to Budapest to board a river cruise up the Danube with Avalon Waterways. I'm really excited about this specific cruise, as it's one of Avalon's new “Active & Discovery” itineraries, which includes a wider range of excursions to choose from. I'm looking forward to visiting some new cities in Austria!

And remember that you can follow along in real-time with all of my adventures through my IG Stories on Instagram!

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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8 Comments on “May 2019 Travel and Blogging Recap

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  1. Just got out of Vietnam and now I know I can find some good coffee in Ohio! Thanks!

    Hope you survived the Arizona heat. We’re heading down to Mexico (Baja Peninsula) in the fall and really hope we can avoid that sort of temperature.

      Arizona was indeed HOT, but I survived! Central Europe was actually worse because it was almost just as hot but also super humid!

    That demon in a box…creepy yet interesting. I wonder where the demon is from and how it got in the box. Anyway, your travel stories are always great to read.

      I believe the demon was terrorizing a house or something and was captured in the box. Let’s hope no one ever lets him out!

    Ouch, I grew up in Scottsdale and it’s brutal this time of year but hopefully everywhere you’ll go will have the AC blasting.

    I’m a new reader and looking forward to the Morocco posts!

      Yeah, the forecast for Scottsdale is HOT, but we’ll mostly be indoors. Last year Bloghouse was in Memphis in June, so I guess we like going to steamy locations! Haha.

      As for Morocco content, I’ve already written about half a dozen posts, which you can find linked here:

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