My Reason Why

My Reason Why

As 2017 comes to an end, it only seems right to reflect back on all that has happened throughout this life-changing year.

First, let’s go back to the beginning of my blog and my WHY. A mentor of mine and my very best friend Brittany recently asked me why I started blogging. My first answer was so that I could get free things – like trips, hotel stays, and maybe a free flight every now and then. But after I said it out loud, I realized my purpose for the blog had changed completely. I reflected on my end goals of this blog and here’s what I’ve easily come to realize – I love sharing my experiences with everyone. Not in a flaunting way at all because it’s not like we’re going to the most luxurious places and staying in the utmost expensive hotels. We’re a military couple on a budget and we travel to places that are not the typical tourist places. I love sharing these adventures with my friends, family, and everyone else that follows along. I’ve also learned a ton by reading others blogs and my hope is that one day someone…even if it’s just one person…uses one of my posts to encourage them to travel or to help plan a trip…then I’ve accomplished a goal.

So many trips that we’ve been on, like the first solo trip I did to Cinque Terre, I researched all of the information through WordPress and similar blogs. We planned our winter break leave based around a blog written from someone who traveled to Norway to see the Northern Lights – and her experience and pictures were so magical that it was a no-brainer to go that route. We used lots of her knowledge of the area, from where she stayed to what airline she used, what airport she flew into, even where she rented her car from. (Thanks, The Katie Show Blog! Check out her post here.)

Even if some of my family never come to Italy or my readers never travel abroad, at least you can see what’s out there in the world. All of these beautiful places seriously do exist. There’s so much out there to see that you probably never knew about.

Honestly, how come I never knew about these places when I was growing up? This is one of the main reasons that I took my students overseas last summer. (Check out part 1 of our trip to Lucerne, Switzerland here. Check out part 2 of our trip to Venice here.) I never knew that there were places in the world like these. Is it because we’re not accepting of other cultures or because we think that we could never afford or achieve to go there?

Perks of Traveling Often

I once had a layover in Istanbul, Turkey and everyone was very concerned for me because there had been a recent terrorist attack at the airport. I was very fearful until I arrived in the actual terminal. At this point in my life, I am no longer culture shocked like when people around me are wearing their Turkish traditional wear – salvar and jubbas. They’re people just like us and because they dress different, pray a lot, shower less frequently, and have prayer rooms throughout the airport…does not make them bad people. Everyone is different and I’ve learned from traveling to be accepting of all people.

When I’m in Italy, I used to look at someone and think “oh, they must be American because of the way they’re dressed or because they have a NY hat on.” Then they start speaking and it’s Italian! You cannot judge a book by its cover. You have no idea what kind of person someone is by judging their outer appearances. And through my blog, I want to show my followers that there’s more to life. There’s so much out there that we don’t know about. That’s why I love sending postcards to people back home. One lady on Facebook requested that I send her a postcard and sent me her address – those are things that I love doing!

Accomplishments in 2017

Blogging has allowed me to meet great people online and it’s a wonderful conversation starter. I get tickled at those here in Italy who read my blog and then mention it to me in person – like my new friend Josie who has made life here in Italy so much better. (Peep her amazing blog worthy apartment where I finally got to catch up on This Is Us!! and mooch off her wifi eeeeek!!)

Apartment in Vicenza, Italy
Warm homey feeling – apartment GOALS people!

While numbers aren’t everything to me, they do matter in the blogging world. I hit 300 followers on Instagram and 200 likes on Facebook to end the year, which I am extremely happy with! Baby steps people. Thank you thank you for all that follow along, share my content, comment & interact with me. You are all so encouraging to me and of course my reason why!!

Resolutions for 2018

I have lots of trips planned for the upcoming year – solo trips, some with my husband, new gal pals, and I’m even third wheeling with my BFF & her fiance for part of their honeymoon in France (shoutout to them for letting me do that!!). And with those trips comes even more posts. I plan to take my hand lettering to new heights with the awesome new digital tool I got to create things online & incorporate it into my blog.

Stay tuned for our next big trip – Norway to see the northern lights, Finland for dog sledding, Estonia, and Latvia! Hubby got me an awesome camera so I promise pictures will be a step above iPhone pics from here on out!

Merano Christmas Markets in Italy
Cheesy holiday lovin’ at the Merano Christmas Markets on Christmas Eve

XOXO,

Summer Rae

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