|Lizard in the house.|
As we put "pen to paper" on that date, we had no idea that it would grow beyond the scope of our own sphere of influence; family, friends and co-workers. Little did we imagine that we'd have unique visitors worldwide including such countries as Uzbekistan, Croatia and Taiwan.
How did they find us? Most likely it was the keywords we've used that you see at the bottom of each post that are the words users enter in search engines, such as Google, Bing, etc. Suddenly our webpage appears.
For example: If right now, you go to Google.com and search the word: "Boveglio, retiree" you'll find that our blog pops up as the first five entries. (This changes by the minute, so if its not at the top, scroll down and you'll find it). Type the word "waftage" and you'll discover the same phenomenon. In essence, in many cases that is how worldwide readers find us or find any site they research.
Another way others find us, is by sending the link, by copying and pasting, www.worldwidewaftage.com to a few friends or to their entire contact list. Their contact reads the blog once or not and if it appeals to their interests they either sign up to receive automatic email each time we post (few people seem to do this in fear of being bombarded with other email, which is not the case) or they bookmark our site and visit it each day or from time to time to read the latest posts at their leisure.
For some, reading the details of the lives of a retired couple that they don't know, traveling the world for years, is of little interest. Many people don't travel and have little interest in traveling. That was us only a few short years ago. My, how we've changed!
Some readers have asked us how we manage to sit down and write almost everyday. Actually, when we have interesting experiences, the words flow easily. When its quiet and we're feeling a need to stay put, it becomes more difficult, similar to the times when we lived in the US when life was fine but not necessarily interesting every day.
Let's face it, none of us are interesting all the time. We all have periods where life is comfortable but mundane; enjoyable for us, dull for others. That's how life is, giving us each the opportunity to experience pleasure with more gusto and passion as the mundane subsides for a period of time.
During quiet times, as these have been by our choice lately, we've continues to share those mundane details that we all experience. Some readers, based on our appreciated and continually growing readership, enjoy small details.
It reminds me of the small details we tend to share with those in our household: we visited a store, we went for a walk, we read the mail, we stubbed our toe, all miniscule in the realm of things.
Here in Italy most days, as we sit on the veranda, I write while Tom does research in the background, to hopefully ensure any facts that we share are from reliable sources and as accurate as possible. At times, we falter in this area. Let's face it; if we find information online, it's certainly no guarantee that it's accurate, even if found at reliable sites.
How long does it take to write? Without photos, usually under two hours. With 12 photos or more, over two hours since photos are time consuming to insert into the blog. At times, when we've had over 20 photos, we've posted over a few day as Part 1 and Part 2.
Do we enjoy posting or does it feel like a "job?" Its always enjoyable. My fingers literally fly across the keyboard, often with one of those sh_ _ eating grins on my face, difficult to stop.
In reality, we have added advertisers to hopefully defray some of the costs of maintaining this blog over time. Clicking on any of our links if you so choose, rewards us in tiny increments, more like small change than in dollars. The price a reader would pay for any products they purchase through our site is the same price they'd pay going directly to that site on their own. Readers can still use any coupon codes they've discovered otherwise online.
Photo? We realize that readers love seeing photos and we appreciate this as we observe that readership skyrockets when we do. Unfortunately, in this remote location, high in the mountains, it is unsafe to walk on the narrow roads (let alone drive) leading in and out of Boveglio.
Our only photos opportunities while staying put, are any scenes we find appealing in the confines of our immediate neighborhood, some of which we've posted more than once. Normally, we only post newly taken photos rather than those from a past posts, although the scenery may be familiar.
What does it mean to us? There are several layers to this answer. Knowing that our family members always know where we are and can Skype us at any time, gives us peace of mind. Knowing that our friends, old and new can see what we're "up to" avoids the writing of endless descriptive email messages about our travels when all is described in detail in the blog.
However, we love hearing from family and friends. For example, Bruce, a co-worker and friend of Tom's whom he's known for over 40 years, sent an email yesterday, suggesting they Skype last night. Tom couldn't have been more thrilled when last night, he and Bruce connected on Skype, chatting for some time. With the time difference of 7 hours, he was calling around 1:00 pm his time in Minnesota, which was 8:00 pm our time in Italy.
Nothing in the world thrills us more than seeing our family and friends on Skype. But, if we can't connect, they can easily find our most recent posts for an update. For us, the greatest benefit of the Skype call is that we get an opportunity to hear how they are doing while seeing their faces as well. What a treat!
To look at the stats each day to see how many readers worldwide are visiting our site each day, each month and collectively is a reward that nothing can describe. Honestly, it adds so much to our experience that I can't imagine traveling without it.
Every few days, a reader will post a comment by clicking on the comment link at the bottom of each day's post. At times, it is a question. At other times, its a suggestion or an observation. At other times, a weirdo makes inappropriate comments. Luckily, we have control over posting comments or deleting them. We see no reason to subject our readers to inappropriate or malicious comments. All others we do post, responding to the posted comments within 24 hours.
For this, we thank each and every reader for taking the time to share this journey with us whether family, friends, acquaintances, the many readers we've met aboard our 8 cruises and the thousands of readers worldwide whom have stumbled across our site.
So bear with us folks, the mundane will only continue for a short period and then, in 11 days, we'll begin, the adventure of our lives as we head to Africa, where we'll live for almost a year, for me, a dream come true.
Tom's also excited about Africa as long as I don't let any warthogs into the house or any zebras visit to watch him take a shower or swim in the pool. We shall see...