This month I managed to put out 4 new articles, with the first being a booming success! The others just fizzled, but weren't travel related, so I wasn't surprised that they didn't do too well.
This month, my most popular article was 50 Images that Showcase Regina, which was written in anticipation of the Instameet later in August. That article was read 211 times last month, which was about 7 times a day! Not bad at all!
My next most popular article this month was actually from a few months ago. It was 8 Places to Visit in Regina. Sadly however, I think I'll have to redo this article as one of the locations, The Civic Museum of Regina, was closed due to lack of funding at the end of the month.
After that, the next popular one was The Bombing of Saskatchewan. This article wasn't possible without help from the Saskatchewan Military Museum. It discusses the events in early to mid-1945 where the Japanese attempted a full-scale bombing of North America in a last desperate act to change the course of the war. The Allies first believed these bombs were bio-hazardous and issued a media wide blackout regarding them and their origins. It was only after a family in Oregon had been killed in a fiery blast that the blackout was lifted and the public was informed. It's one of my most favorite articles I've written so far because I knew nothing about it before I spoke to the Military Museum!
My fourth most recent article was My Airbnb Experience. This article was about my time using Airbnb on my trip to Quebec this past summer. Airbnb is a service that rents out space in somebody's house for travelers to spend the night instead of a hotel. I was surprised to see that most of my readers had had a very different experience then I did, as they didn't have to share their dwellings when they used it! I never even thought about that when I booked my place!
Three spots below that, as my 8th most popular article this month, was Remembering Seneca Village. This article was written after I learned about Seneca, the African American community that existed where Central Park is today. There wasn't a whole lot available online as it had been erased from history after the courts threw out the case again razing it, and it was destroyed. I found the story fascinating!
I also made my way onto Tourism Regina with The Return of the Capitol, an article about the rebirth of the 1920s theater that once trumped the Regina skyline and the way it's reviving downtown almost a century after it was built. This article proved pretty successful, so I have another one already slated for October, and this one is about (what else?) the paranormal!
All in all, my blog has been read 1,732 times this month, which was a nice bump from the 1,435 the month before, and the 1,185 a month before that. At this rate, I think I'll be getting 2,000 hits a month soon!
Last month I also did a bit of a redesign on my site. I wanted better access to my articles other than just having them all together on the Blog page. However, because I am fast approaching almost 50 articles, putting them all in my navigation would have ballooned it, so I redesigned the navigation and moved it off to the side. I also changed how the articles were displayed, going from one-third width boxes to one-half. Also, to promote other articles, I have set up my blog to load in "similar articles" inside the content. I'm hoping this will increase traffic.
This past month has also seen a huge growth on my Twitter and Instagram, with around 1,000 people following me on both. This is much much higher than the 300 Twitter followers and 700 Instagram followers I used to have, so thank you so much! It's great to see my blog growing and getting more attention!
This upcoming month I decided to try something different with my blog, and on the 14th I'll be writing my first of thirteen articles about Canada. I am doing two articles a week for the next 7 weeks that will showcase Instagram images taken of Canada from the eyes of the average person. Some of these will be professional photographers and others will be tourism companies, but I'm hoping the majority will be images taken by the average person. As I said, the first article I'll be doing for this series will be on September 14th and will be about the province of British Columbia. For the past few days I've been watching the hashtags #exploreBC, #skiBC and #helloBC on social media, looking for the best images. After BC, I'll be doing Yukon, which will be incredible as winter is fast approaching and the pictures coming out of there are gorgeous!
My tentative schedule for these 13 articles will be as follows:
14 British Columbia
24 Northwest Territories
15 New Brunswick
19 Nova Scotia
22 Prince Edward Island
26 Newfoundland and Labrador
I've also been slacking off on the newsletter bit, so I'm sorry for all those wondering why I haven't appeared in your inbox the past few months. I am thinking of setting up a script to auto send emails to people with every new article. I know before I was only going to do a newsletter once every two months or so, but I keep forgetting, so for the sake of convenience, I may just build a script to do it. Ahh, the ease of being a developer!
I think that's all I have for this month. Another successful blog thanks to my loyal readers like you, and I'm looking to try something new this upcoming month. Who else is excited!?
Thanks for tuning in this month for my update, and thanks for reading my blog so much. Every page view, Facebook like, Twitter retweet and Instagram heart (is that the correct term?) means the world to me, so thank you so very, very much.
And, as always, 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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Imagine the bustling streets of New York, then times it by ten. Add a dash of Chinese culture, a wallop of nature and half dozen fish balls that don’t actually contain any fish, and you have the beautiful city that is Hong Kong.
At 7.2 million people, Hong Kong is a dynamic city with an incredible history, towering skyscrapers and a unique mix of English and Chinese that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. While Hong Kong has existed for a millennium, it was officially founded in 1842 to solidify a truce between Great Britain and the Qing dynasty of China during the First Opium War. A decade after the British took control of Hong Kong, the Black Death swept into China, killing hundreds of thousands of people. It would remain part of Hong Kong’s life for a century.
During World War II, Hong Kong was captured by the Japanese. For three years and eight months the British-Chinese culture of the city was destroyed, replaced with Japanese text, language and art. The booming city of 1.6 million people was slashed to only 600,000. Japanese occupation was incredibly harsh for the Hongkongese, being the darkest part of their history. Japan ceased occupation on August 6th, 1945, in response to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. For forty-two more years, Hong Kong was controlled by the British, with the reunification between Hong Kong and mainland China finally occurring in 1997.
If you've ever passed through Medicine Hat, or you're spending a few days in the area, you've probably wondered what to do there. To most people outside the city, Medicine Hat might seem like a sleepy little prairie town in the Canadian Badlands; but for those who live in Hell's Basement, they'll tell you that this city is one of the most exciting places you can explore in all of Alberta.
I've gone to Medicine Hat three times in the past two years, and while I'm no expert on this thriving city, I know where the hidden gems are. If someone I know is passing through the area, I tell them they need to visit Medicine Hat. To help explain why, I put an article together for anyone else interested in visiting the Hat.
If you're spending 24 hours in Medicine Hat, you'll need somewhere to sleep. Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is a little under an hour away and a great place to camp. Camping in Cypress gives you the choice to explore the park, the city, and everywhere in between.
A few months ago I entered a contest for a trip for two to visit Philadelphia on Two Bad Tourists. Normally contests like this are limited to United States residents so when I saw this one was open to Canadians I jumped at the chance. I've never won something like this before, so I actually forgot about it until I got the emailing saying I had won. Two Bad Tourists then worked alongside Visit Philly to organise the trip for me and my mother to explore Philadelphia for three days. Visit Philly paid for our flights, hotels and gave us a VIP Pass to experience the city to our heart's content. It is thanks to them that this trip is possible.
Several movies and television shows have tried to capture the essence of Philadelphia over the years – from the boxing Blockbuster Rocky, to the paranormal thriller The Sixth Sense, to It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and even Boy Meets World – but each described the city differently. There is no easy way to approach a city as dynamic as The City of Brotherly Love. With countless layers of art, history, religion and the paranormal, Philadelphia is a city unlike any other throughout the United States.
One thing that surprised me the most about Philadelphia was the history. The city was founded and designed by William Penn, who is also the state of Pennsylvania's namesake. Born in London, England in 1644 he lived through The Great Fire of 1666 and The Great Plague of London from 1665-1666. Both events shaped Penn's life so he designed the city to be strictly stone buildings (to stop fires from spreading) and to have plenty of space between the buildings (as to prevent illness from spreading). This led to the older areas of the city to have winding corridors between old stone walls.