On every 10th of the month I like to re-cap last month and discuss what's to come in the following month. April was a unique month for Kenton de Jong Travel. Instead of writing about specific locations I chose more general locations like Japan or Canada. I also compared two travel companies, Contiki and G Adventures, and looked at pricing differences, locations available and my experiences with both. I discussed religion and money-making, and I had the incredible opportunity to interview Saskatchewan's official blogger, the Saskatchewanderer.
I also formally announced what my "secret project" for the past few months has been. Although severely delayed (sorry!), my article about my hometown of Regina has gained unprecedented attention and I had no choice but to reveal it. The reason for the reveal was because Regina Tourism caught wind of what I was doing, and told me they would love to feature my article on their blog. Apparently their blogger is a fan of mine, and has been following me for some time. This is such an incredible opportunity for me, and I'm really excited and thankful for it! It will officially be launched the week of May 18th.
Last month I started an ad campaign on my site, using ads from AdClickMedia and Spoutable. While I had my second best month in pageviews ever, I only made a little over $3. Having just over 2,000 views, I felt the ads weren't being justified. I am considering other advertising alternatives, however, and may begin selling cheap adspace this month. The way I look at it, I can make more money selling 5 adspaces for $1 a month and make more than I made with my AdClickMedia/Spoutable combination. We'll see what happens though.
I've also started thinking about starting up a newsletter. I understand people are busy throughout the week and don't always have time to read my articles, so I am thinking about sending one every two weeks, showcasing my most recent articles. That way even if you're busy, come Saturday you will get an email reminding you about all the interesting things I talked about. This might work out, it might not. I'll give it a shot for a few months and if it seems popular, I'll keep it going.
With a variety of different articles on my blog (journal entries, travel tips, tour agency reviews, Top 10 write-ups, religious discussions, interviews, etc.), I'm thinking of doing a survey on my blog to see what my readers are most interested in. Your feedback is really important to me, and I really value it. I'll probably start that up this week and have it go for a month or so. Keep an eye out for that, and be sure to participate! I want to hear from you!
I have a few blogs lined up for this month as well. I want to write one about the sights in Hong Kong, one about St. Petersburg, one about Kyoto and one about managing traveling the world while in love. I have so much material that it's going to be difficult to write just one article!
So, another successful month past, and another busy one ahead!
Thank you again for your support in following my blog. This has been an incredibly journey so far. Even after 6 months I'm still really enjoying it, and I hope you are too!
Until next time, keep on traveling!
And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
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A few articles ago I listed Ogema as one of the top destinations to visit in Saskatchewan. Immediately after I wrote the article, I put my money where my mouth was and booked a weekend trip to Ogema for my girlfriend and me. I figured it wouldn't be fair to my readers to recommend a place for them to visit without actually visiting it myself, and after getting my new Galaxy S7 from TELUS I figured I needed a reason to test it out.
Earlier this year I took my Galaxy S6 to La Ronge, and had very little coverage. I wanted to use Facebook's new Live Video option, but I couldn't get enough service to even send a text message. I was pretty disappointed by the coverage with that provider, so I was interested to see how TELUS' network was in Ogema.
The result was pretty darn good! We streamed Spotify all the way there, were able to do a Live Video from the Deep South Pioneer Museum and took some really great pictures and videos of the trip. It also helped to have a reliable network when I got lost driving there (don't ask me how!). TELUS has invested over $29 billion into their network since 2000 and it has really paid off. It's a great feeling knowing that no matter where you travel, you can rely on TELUS to keep you connected.
Ever since visiting the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg last summer, I've wanted to include more about First Nations culture on my blog. Being of European descent, I often feel I am culturally blind to First Nations culture, and I noticed a severe lack of it in my writing. In fact, I feel in past articles a lot of my focus has been on European history in the New World, with only a side note regarding First Nations history. Now, I am trying for there to be more equal representation in my blog.
To finish off my #BucketlistAB series, I thought this article would be the perfect place to flip the tables, and instead focus on First Nations culture, with a European side note. Sometimes it is impossible to talk about one without the other, but I tried to focus more on the First Nations people and their story in this article. Please let me know what you think in the comments below.
Nestled between the impressive Mount Royal and the majestic St. Lawrence River is Montreal, a city known for its festivals, abstract art, history and mosaic of countless cultures. Montreal is the second largest city in Canada, with a population floating around four million people. While the city is a dynamic mix of Canada's two primary cultures – French and English – there are areas of the city that are culturally specific, such as Little Italy, Greektown and Chinatown. Known for its artistic and liberal mindedness, Montreal also boasts the largest community of homosexuals in North America in their very own "Gay Village".
Being nearly 375 years old, Montreal was pivotal to the creation of New France and Canada and at a time held control over every waterway from the St. Lawrence down to the Gulf of Mexico. Having such incredible influence over the western part of the New World, Montreal hosted the "Great Peace of Montreal" in 1701, which started sixteen years of peace between the French and over 40 different First Nation tribes in North America.
Since its early days, Montreal has been one of the most influential cities in Canada. Montreal housed "internment camps" during World War I, became an ideal location for Americans looking for alcohol during Prohibition, and was the official residence of the Luxembourg royal family during World War II. Montreal held host to the incredible Expo 67, showcasing some of the most incredible architecture of that decade. The seventies saw serious political reformation in Montreal, with many Americans arriving, fleeing the Vietnam Draft. The late seventies paralyzed the city as a terrorist organization, the Front de libération du Québec, detonated explosives throughout the city and kidnapped and killed political figures. These actions forced the Prime Minster to enact the "War Measures Act" and deploy the military into the city to apprehend the terrorists. The eighties and nineties saw two referendums in the province of Quebec to separate from Canada, with Montreal playing a major role in both decisions. The last referendum in 1995 ended with 51% percent of Quebecers wanting to remain part of Canada and 49% wanting to separate.