Today is our 4th anniversary of posting...


The beautiful tree clusters create a nice foreground for our photos at sunset.
Yesterday, as I was uploading the post, the date dawned on us as the upcoming anniversary of our first post.  As it turns out, it was four years ago today on March 15, 2012, that we posted this site for the first time.

Here is the link to our first post on March 15, 2012.

At the time we began posting, we weren't leaving Minnesota for over seven months until departure date of October 31, 2012 with much to plan and handle in attempting to undo a lifetime in Minnesota and 26 years in our home.

Each room in our house was decorated and appointed with mementos, treasured and decorator items, all with a story and special meaning only to us.  The two walk-in closets in the master bedroom, three upstairs guest rooms closets and a large attic were filled to the brim with years of collection and accumulation. 

There's a sliver of moon in this photo.
Certainly not "hoarders" we still had our fair share of stuff.  The thought of disposing of it all, much of which our kids had no interest with their own house filled with their "stuff", we made up bins of memorabilia for the each of the grandkids.

We arranged a professional estate sale for the rest, donating the items which didn't sell.  It was a daunting task I'll never forget, along with the sale of the house and both cars.

In addition, we had to research and plan insurance, medical, immunizations, financial matters, digital equipment needs and of course, enough upcoming travel arrangements to give us peace of mind in knowing where we'd be traveling for the first few years.

Taking photos of sunsets is always tricky when the sky changes by the seconds, not minutes.
Tom was still working up until departure date.  Being able to document the process was both therapeutic and rewarding especially when people from all over the world began reading our posts, much to our surprise and delight.  How did they find us? 

At the time, we did little promotion to acquire more readers.  Magically, they appeared and continue to do so through "word of mouth" and our occasional promotion on other websites. 

When readers started writing to us about enjoying their "armchair experience," reading our story on their ride on the train or bus ride to work, during a coffee break or at the kitchen table, our enthusiasm escalated to hopefully provide a worthwhile experience.

It was almost completely dark when we took this shot.
Many changes have occurred over these past four years.  Early on we hired a web designer, Brooke Woodall with http://www.smittenblogdesigns.com/ to help with the nuances since I have little time or interest in web development. 

Eventually, we added advertisers although we earn little revenue from the links but never did so with the intent in making enough to support us in any manner.  Most likely, that will never occur. 

As time passed, around February, 2013, we found ourselves posting every day and attempting to perfect the quality of our photos.  Since we began posting daily, we've hardly missed a single day, only due to internet connectivity or on travel days. 

With the mountains blocking our view of the actual sun setting we're able to see the beauty in the sky at sunset on clear nights.
Over these past few years we've made an attempt to prepare the final day's post to be scheduled to upload on travel day.  That process seems to be working well preventing us from missing any days.

We realize that some days our stories are "thin" and not as content rich as others.  Its the "nature of the beast."  If someone told me I'd write a several page "essay" with photos every single day, I'd have said it wasn't possible due to lack of content and/or motivation.

Nothing stop us, not lack of content, motivation, illness or planned activities.  On cruises, we often go our on tours early in the morning.  We either prepare a post the prior day or post upon return with new photos. 

Moments later it was pitch dark.
Our dedication and commitment has never wavered mainly due to our loyal readers commitment to continuing to stop by to see "what's happening."  We are eternally grateful for our readers. 

It's all of YOU who drive us to get out, see more, have more experiences, create more stories to write and take more photos to share.  This, dear readers, even after four years never and I mean never, leaves us feeling pressured or stressed to prepare the next day's morsel.

We enthusiastically continue to share our lives of two somewhat daring, somewhat crazy, sometimes boring seniors citizens of the world dedicated to living life to the fullest for as long as we are given the gift of good health.

Thank you for these past amazing four years.  Thank you to our readers who've stepped in along the way.  Thank you to our new readers who may be here for the first time today.  Each of you inspires us to continue on...
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Photo from one year ago today, March 15, 2015:

We didn't post a photo one year ago today when instead we wrote about our original post on March 15, 2012.  Please click here for details.

4 comments:

Staci Finch Thompson said...

Hard to believe it's been 4 years since you started this blog! I've loved reading each and every post, I admire your dedication!

Elizabeth Banks said...

I expect you feel those four years have flown by? I am one of those readers who loves following your travels and stories, the unique connections you make with people as you travel. Happy Fourth travelling Anniversary Jess and Tom, long may you continue. Liz xx

Jessica said...

Staci, we feel the same way...its hard to believe its been four years since I sat in that comfy chair in our living room preparing our beginning post when we had so much work and planning ahead of us. Actually, it was a difficult time, letting go or the people we love and everything familiar to us. Thanks for continuing to be an important part of our travels.

Much love,
Jess & Tom

Jessica said...

Liz, thank you so much! It certainly is a huge commitment as we mentioned in this post but we've never regretted a moment of the process of sharing our stories and photos, only finding it brings us much joy, especially when we have the opportunity to communicate with the wonderful friends we've made in the process, like you and Staci and many more.

Lots of love,
Jess & Tom

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