With 2013 drawing to a rapid close, I find myself reflecting on the past year, my sixth full year in Slovenia and its many highlights. There were of course the inevitable few low points too but best not to dwell on those.
It’s now exactly a year since I started writing my blog and astonishingly yesterday it achieved it’s 10,000th reader – yes, 10,000 – that isn’t a typo! It’s unbelievable that in such a short time, my humble blog has become so popular and is being read by people across the globe from Israel to India, Kuwait, Thailand, Bangladesh, Venezuela, Senegal, Iraq…….. I could go on but suffice to say I’m astonished, delighted and proud.
I have sometimes found it a difficult balancing act to write a blog that can be all things to all its (potential) readers:
a means for friends and family to keep up-to-date with my news
- providing information for those interested in visiting Slovenia, particularly those keen on hiking and other outdoor activities
- providing relevant and up-to-date information about my home town of Radovljica and helping it to achieve the recognition it so merits
- providing a platform to showcase the best of what is on offer in and around Radovljica
- providing information about events, restaurants, accommodation, concerts etc. in the vicinity
- and last but not least, a way of me recording and communicating the myriad thoughts, ideas and experiences buzzing around in my head.
Since starting this blog I have been invited to openings, events and launches, been interviewed on the radio and in the local newspaper and met some great people, both locally and from abroad. I have received emails of thanks and support from across the globe and have helped numerous people with help and advice about planning their holidays in Slovenia, hiking routes, luggage storage, reservations, guides and recommendations. It’s always lovely to put faces to names so getting to meet some of those I’ve helped has been a bonus too, among them Dorothy and Larry from Idaho, Ami, Carmi and Joni from Israel, Mike from Boston and Christie and Irene from California, some of whom now remain friends. I was initially worried if I would find enough to write about, but those thoughts were way-off the mark and in fact sometimes I have to curtail my writing in order to ensure each week’s blog remains succinct.
So, what have been the highlights of my year? Well, as probably the world’s biggest chocoholic one of the highlights would have to be the Radovljica Chocolate Festival, which took place in April. This event looks set to grow ever more popular and will now be a regular fixture on the event calendar. Read more about it here – http://wp.me/p3005k-2c
Another highlight was the launch of the Taste Radol’ca project. It was a super evening spent in good company and with a real feeling of community. Read more about it here – http://wp.me/p3005k-8s
And of course how can I possibly choose a favourite among all the amazing hikes and views I’ve encountered during the year. Here are but a few;
the first snowy walk of winter in December 2013 on Pokljuka, to Mrežce was a memorable one with perfect blue skies, sunshine and just the right amount of snow – http://wp.me/p3005k-9n
A summer walk in the Bohinj highlands and the Tourist Cheese Route – http://wp.me/p3005k-4S
Snowshoeing in the Vrata Valley in January 2013 – http://wp.me/s3005k-50
Visiting, walking and meeting a local legend in Jezersko – http://wp.me/s3005k-50
I certainly hope I have achieved at least some, if not all, of the aims I set out to achieve through writing my blog in 2013 and will continue to do so in 2014. I will continue to try to respond as quickly as possible to visitor enquiries. A good example is a recent email I received late on a Friday evening from an Argentinian, who, at that time was in Italy and considering a trip to Slovenia. After a couple of emails back and forth he arrived in Radovljica the very next day!
As always, I am also open to ideas from the local community, a (free) opportunity to present what you offer to potential visitors from across the globe, to inform readers, from both home and abroad, about upcoming events and more. Almost 50% over the readers of my blog come from Slovenia with the remainder coming from across the globe so it provides a perfect opportunity to reach a nearer and wider audience.
So, do get in touch in 2014. I look forward to hearing from you and meeting more new people. I approach the new year with a pinch of trepidation but mostly with optimism and energy.
I WISH YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR!