It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone. For me, 2022 was the year of a semi return to normalcy. While Covid is still an issue – and I am someone who keeps up to date with boosters and continues to wear a mask indoors – the world has at least opened back up, and I was able to begin to take advantage of that.
So as I always do, let’s take a look back at my year of travel, and at what was accomplished here at The Royal Tour in 2022.
The year began with a January trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico, unfortunately timed to directly coincide with the Omicron surge. While that prevented me from doing everything I had planned for my two weeks on the island, it became a good excuse to spend each morning at the beach that was just a couple blocks from my rented apartment. Add in some great food and abundant pina coladas, and the trip was truly wonderful. It was so wonderful, in fact, that A had me promise to take her to the Caribbean every January moving forward. (Our upcoming 2023 preview will tell you where we are going this coming January, so watch for that.)
Spring saw some local domestic trips, as my February Hawaii trip ended up canceling. A family trip to Yosemite was a highlight, as was a hosted trip to the Barstow area. (I had another of those in November, and fell in love with that region of California.)
But the pinnacle of my late winter and early spring travel was a hosted trip to Humboldt County, California, on the northern coast of the state. I learned about oysters, regenerative farming, and the future of cannabis tourism in the region best known for that product. What a treat to be in such a beautiful place!
May brought with it a driving trip to El Paso, Texas and southern New Mexico. I saw three national parks, took a day trip to Juarez (amazing!), and ate a TON of tacos. I also got Covid, which while not life threatening, was not a fun experience and only reinforced my desire to avoid it in the future.
Late summer took me to Seattle, a city I absolutely adore, before I left the country in August for nearly three months in Europe. The trip focused on Germany, where I am a citizen but had never explored, with some jaunts to neighboring countries as well. Those articles (I wrote 45 while there!) have been coming out once or twice a week, and will continue to do so through February. It was an incredible trip, and only reinforced my love for life in Europe.
Overall, 2022 saw me spend time in five states (California, Washington, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas) and nine countries (US, Mexico, Germany, France, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein), plus Puerto Rico. I took thirteen flights for a total of 22,961 miles. (By pre-Covid standards this is low, but considering what the last few years have been like, it was a huge total.)
Likewise, 2022 was a huge year for The Royal Tour. In 2021, we had just over 50,000 hits on the site, our largest total to that point. This year? Just over 200,000!! I realize that is small potatoes in the realm of travel blogs, but I’m just tickled pink that so many people decided to click in at least once.
Part of this growth was due to a focus on Google web stories (while at home since I don’t travel with a computer) that started in July. Part of it was some incredible articles by my amazing guest writers, to whom I owe so much gratitude I cannot even possibly begin to express it. And part was due to the further developing of my “deeper travel” niche and a corresponding increase in search engine hits as I hopefully build a reputation for some cool educational deep content.
That increase in both the level of my content and its reach led to four hosted trips. I took two to the Barstow area (one hosted by Barstow and one by Newberry Springs) and one to Humboldt. And Las Cruces, New Mexico invited our writer Tamara and her family out, as I wasn’t able to make it work for me. I was also honored with press passes and admissions to a ton of cool sights on nearly every trip.
Not counting the web stories, since I don’t really know how to properly value those hits yet, our top performing article was my review of Avelo Airlines, with more than 8,000 hits, and a number one ranking on Google. Overall, I had more than 30 different posts with more than 1,000 views, compared to ten such posts in the prior total history of the site. It still makes me smile just to think about it.
Some thanks here. First, once again, I have to thank my guest writers who contributed content this year: new writers Reina and Hedi, returning writers Christian, Tamara, Mandy, and Dan, and especially to Sam, whose every-other-week articles have kept The Royal Tour going through times where we struggled to find enough to write about. Second, a huge thank you to A for her support, ideas, and general enthusiasm both as a reader and a partner in doing cool things. (Not every girlfriend would be willing to take a burlesque dance class in Berlin with me, after all.) Finally, and most importantly, thank you to everyone who has followed along with us throughout the year, whether regularly or via a single article. I am humbled and honored to share this all with you.
So here’s to a good year behind, and hopefully an even better one ahead. Stay tuned for my 2023 preview, since there are some cool trips planned for the coming year as well!
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