Inspired by The Saskatchewanderer's "Top 10 Most Read Blogs of 2015", I decided to showcase my top 10 as well! Some of my readers have been wondering why I've been writing about Regina, Saskatchewan and Canada lately and not some of the other locations I've visited (Hong Kong, Italy, Germany, etc), but I'll let my most read blogs below explain why.
Out of my 100 (this is number 100!!) articles, these are my top 10!
How many have you read?
1. 8 Places to Visit in Regina
This article about Regina exploded the moment I published it and has been shared thousands of times. In return, it brought a spike of traffic to my site that I haven't seen since. Unfortunately, only a few weeks after writing it, one of the locations closed down. Regardless, there are still 7 locations to visit, so be sure to give it a read!
2. 8 More Places to Visit in Regina
This is my sequel to my most popular article. Written only recently, it didn't get the traffic surge the other article did, but it still did very well. This article covers museums, restaurants and clubs throughout the city so be sure to check it out and help spread the word!
3. Instagramming Canada - Prince Edward Island
Coming in at a close third, this article surprised me. I'm not sure who shared this, but it exploded onto the scene almost two weeks after I wrote it. Of all 13 "Instagramming Canada" articles, this is one of the two to make the list. It received traffic from all over the Maritimes and even the United States, which is a country I've struggled to get traffic from. Come see what everybody is so excited about!
Note: because it includes images embedded from Instagram, it takes a while to load, which is another reason I'm surprised it did as well as it did!
4. Regina: A Century of Change
This article takes a look at an early 20th Century map of Regina, and compares it to the current map of the city. The map is circa 1905 and shows the plans for the city before the automobile and airplane arrived. It also showed the original plans for Wascana Lake, prior to the "Big Dig" of the 1930s. It's very interesting and I'm glad it did so well, so be sure to check it out!
Briefly exploring the history behind the two companies, their tour rates and my experiences with both, I arrived at a conclusion on which company I preferred. My article prompted one of the companies to reply back, which was very unexpected. If you are planning to travel abroad with either group, be sure to give this one a read!
7. Are You The Next Saskatchewanderer?
Ashlyn George's time as the Saskatchewanderer is coming to an end, and the search for another wanderer has began. This is my second time interviewing Ashlyn for my blog and we got to revisit her incredible experiences and memories. Be sure to give it a read and keep your fingers crossed for the announcement for the next Saskatchewanderer!
8. The Heritage of the RCMP
After visiting the RCMP Heritage Centre in Regina, I decided to write an article about their incredible history, starting with their conception to protect Canadian Aboriginals from American "fire-water" (whisky), their time in the Arctic during the Gold Rush, defending Canada from Nazi spies and the protection of an ex-Soviet informant. It's a really interesting article, as is the museum. If you can't visit the incredible structure, then check out my article to learn all about it!
9. 50 Images That Showcase Regina
At a close 9th place, this article showcases the architecture, nature and lifestyle of my hometown of Regina. Sometimes it's difficult to see just how beautiful your hometown is, so I'm glad this one did as good as it did! If you haven't seen it yet, be sure to give it a read!
10. Instagramming Canada - Manitoba
My only other "Instagramming Canada" article to make the list, this one ranked only slightly higher than my "Instagramming Canada - Saskatchewan" article. This article showcases the parks, architecture and incredible lakes that spot my neighboring province. Be sure to check it out!
And, just for fun...
100. Farewell Europe
Written in January, this is my final article about my trip to Europe after spending 18 days abroad. It isn't an exciting read, but it offers a conclusion of my first ever solo trip. I feel one of the final sentences really showcase this blog and the inspiration around it: "Thank you all for reading this. I hope my story was worth the read. I hope I inspired and educated, or at least entertained you."
When I was younger, I really loved winter. I loved sledding, snowball fights and building snowmen. One of my favourite pastimes was visiting a little outdoor ice rink a few blocks from my house. Every winter my friends and I would climb over the walls of the rink and goof around on the ice. When we weren't falling over our feet, we'd play hockey with whatever snow chunks we could find. As these events became more frequent, we often talked about playing real hockey on the rink. Eventually, we would end up playing hockey, but we'd settle for the street in front of our houses instead.
Beyond childhood, the only other time I went skating was in high school. Everybody else's ice skating skills had improved with age, but mine were still that of a fourth grader. I remember standing in the rink, struggling to shoot while holding my balance, only to have a classmate swoop in and steal my puck! Ever since then, I've stuck to floor hockey.
As I got older, my love for winter dwindled. Now I find it cold, icy, dark and sometimes miserable. My blog usually slows down in the winter for this very reason. I've been trying to get out and enjoy our longest season of the year, but it's hard. Most days I just want to stay inside.
I recently had the opportunity to test drive a 2017 Ford Explorer. I grew up learning how to drive a Ford Windstar so I figured an Explorer shouldn't be that much different. Sure, one is an SUV the other is a van, but a Ford's a Ford, right? Well, not exactly. From the moment I sat down, I knew it would be a very different experience from what I was used to.
There were things about the Explorer I liked, and some that I didn't, but it was overall a very nice vehicle. It drove smoothly, turned nicely and handled grid roads very well. I found the brakes to be a little touchy, but by the time the week ended, I mastered how to brake without awkwardly lurching myself forward.
Beyond the learning curve with the brakes, here are my positive and negative experiences with the 2017 Ford Explorer:
150 years ago, Canada became a country, albeit a much smaller one. Since then, Canada has grown much in size, reputation and as a favorite for travellers from around the world. Lonely Planet recognized these accomplishments last year and ranked Canada as the #1 travel destination in 2017. With the addition of free National Parks all year long, 2017 is the perfect time to visit the Great White North!
I am always interested in Canadian adventures, so I thought I'd check out G Adventure's website to see what tours they have planned this year. Since G Adventures is a Canadian based travel company, I figured they would have something going on this year to celebrate our sesquicentennial. Instead, all I saw were the same eight tours as last year, and the year before. Thinking maybe there was some big announcement coming for 2017, I emailed G Adventures asking about it, hoping, praying, that maybe there was something, something, anything at all… but I received no response.
Now, don't get me wrong. G Adventures has eight great Canadian tours, and they all look really awesome, but they only show off a small sliver of what Canada has to offer. In fact, four of the tours are almost exactly the same: