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."
Among the tombstones of the Regina Cemetery are little blue and white flags. In 1993 the Regina Ethnic Pioneers Cemetery Walking Tour put together their first tour, which focused on the city's founding fathers. In 1999 they then put together the second tour, which focused on the diversity of immigrants that live within the city. The blue flags mark the path of the first tour and the white flags mark those of the second.
The walking tours are self-guided, and can be purchased at the Riverside Memorial Park Cemetery for $2. Together, they offer over eighty different locations to visit.
For this project I teamed up with Patti Haus from I Heart Regina. She's another local blogger that has just broken into the scene and blogs about food, drinks and things to see around the Queen City. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. She provided many of the pictures for this article.
Several months ago Ford Canada approached me to review their 2017 Ford Explorer. I wanted to see how it handled grid roads, so I took it to a variety of ghost towns, abandoned houses and empty villages around Saskatchewan. I had a lot of fun with the article, and I guess Ford liked it too because a few months later they invited me to go out to the Sunshine Coast to try out a few other vehicles.
There were a few differences between this trip and the one I did around Saskatchewan. The first difference was that this was in the wooded forests of British Columbia and not the flat prairie of Saskatchewan. Instead of having the vehicle for a week, this would be a 2-day trip from Vancouver to the Painted Boat Resort and back again. Also, instead of traveling solo, I'd be travelling with several lifestyle and travel bloggers from across Western Canada – including the 2015 Saskatchewanderer Ashlyn George from The Lost Girl's Guide to Finding the World.
The vehicle we got on the way up to the resort was the same red Ford Explorer I tried out earlier this year. This worked out great for me as I was already very familiar with the vehicle and its quirks. On the way back Ashlyn drove a white 2017 Ford Edge.
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.