5 Year RGR WordPress

Today, July 30th, marks my five-year blogiversary. Five years it’s been since I started this blog, dedicated to my travels around the world. It’s surreal that Rebecca Goes Rendezvous has gotten this far since my early days of solo travel, especially now that I’m hardly traveling and settled with a 9-to-5 job that occupies most of my time. But the thirst for travel still remains in my blood, and I’m incredibly grateful for the support that all of you have given, as this blog has seen a lot of changes over the years.

In honor of my five years of blogging, I have decided this year to do a Q&A in which you ask me questions and I answer in order to get to know me a bit better. I don’t recall ever doing a Q&A before, which is surprising given how long I’ve had this blog. I actually got a good handful of questions from all of you, and I thank you for that! Without further ado, let’s get to them…

1. In which cities did you feel the safest traveling at night solo as a woman?

I’ve found the cities in Central and Eastern Europe to be very safe and clean, e.g. Krakow, Prague, Vilnius, etc. I think it’s due to the fact that they’re smaller than the mega-cities of Paris or London, and I’ve only stuck to the neighborhoods that cater to students and visitors. It was also a matter of keeping my wits and being mindful of the environment I was in, so I never had a problem in those particular places.

2. What is a food you were nervous to try but you found to be delicious?

Actually, I rarely get nervous trying new foods, as I grew up eating a bunch of different cuisines. I will say, however, that I was a bit apprehensive about trying haggis in Scotland, as the idea of sheep offal does not sound very appealing. Upon trying it, though, I found it pretty tasty, as it reminded me somewhat of meatloaf. Not bad!

3. What advice do you have to bloggers who would like to continue their blogs long term as you have?

Find opportunities to remain inspired: read posts and engage with bloggers in the community. Create recurring series (e.g. photo challenges, five things to do in xyz, etc.) and set a goal to post at least once a week, twice a month, etc…having a handful of drafted ideas (and a bit of discipline) will go a long way!

4. If you could only travel one country for the rest of your life, where would it be and why?

My goal is to travel to many countries and (hopefully) not be restricted to a single place. However, if I had to pick one, I would say France. Despite living there for four years and traveling all over the country, I still have not scratched the surface of what it has to offer. I wouldn’t choose to live there again (unless it’s to retire), but I would love to dedicate several extended trips to see places like the Gorges du Verdon, Camargue, the villages in Occitanie…in some way, France still has my heart, and I think it’ll be so for decades to come. ❀

5. Have you ever thought of quitting blogging? Why or why not?

No…at least, not yet. With this blog, I still have tons of post ideas that I’d like to write and share with all of you. Even if I’m barely traveling nowadays, there’s still so much that I haven’t shared that it’ll keep me busy for the next couple of years. There’s no slowing down just yet!

6. If you could live anywhere in the world (not including France) where would you like to live (or try) and why?

Since I was little, I’ve had this fascination with living in Canada. I’ve only visited on two separate occasions, and the last time had been years ago when I was still a kid. There isn’t a specific reason as to why I want to live there, but I think it’s the combination of more accessibility to nature, a better healthcare system, and the subtle French ties– all the while just being a border away, that makes me want to go. Vancouver or Toronto would be cities I’d like to live in– we’ll see if that happens!

7. For first time travellers to the US- what are your recommendations?

It really depends on what you want to do– are you interested in a city break, national parks, a bit of both? The US is a MASSIVE country, and a standard two weeks off isn’t enough to take it all in. My recommendation would be to pick a specific region (East Coast, West Coast, the South, etc.) and dedicate at least a month there.

For instance, if you choose the West Coast, I would suggest at least two weeks in California (my home state). Give yourself a weekend in San Diego and San Francisco each, and a week in Los Angeles (my hometown). Then you have the option of spending the next week or two going north to the Pacific Northwest (Oregon and Seattle), or east to the desert (Las Vegas, Arizona, Utah) for the national parks. You’ll be driving a LOT, as public transport isn’t that great here, and a month on the West Coast should be a rewarding experience.

I can’t say much for the rest of the US, as I only did the touristy circuit on the East Coast (NYC, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC) years ago as a kid and had brief stints in Florida, Colorado, and Alaska. But similar to what I wrote, definitely give yourself at least a month for the East Coast (NYC can easily be two weeks of a visit) and so forth. Even I haven’t seen as much of my home country as I would’ve liked, so I’ll have to report back once I have to update this!

8. What’s at the top of your USA bucket list?

On a related note, there are so many places in the US that I haven’t been to, but am dying to check out. I’d love to do city breaks in Chicago and New Orleans, as well as visit natural sites like Antelope Canyon in Arizona, White Sands National Monument in New Mexico, and Glacier National Park in Montana. The list goes on and on, and there is a likelihood that I’ll be visiting some of these places very soon *hint hint!

9. Do you have your eye on the next penguin-related purchase, if so what is it?

There was this adorable penguin mug I saw on Starbucks France’s website, back during the holiday season. I already have at least three penguin mugs, but another one can’t hurt!

10. Which place food and which place did you like the most?

Too many to list, but if I had to choose one, I really enjoyed the food I had in the country of Georgia. Lots of fresh vegetables and herbs, along with gamey meat and soft dumplings/bread, with plenty of smooth wine from the vineyards. I’m very disappointed that Los Angeles does not serve Georgian food, as I miss it dearly.

My favorite place remains Romania: I had zero expectations going in, but I ended up pleasantly surprised. Not only were the views of Transylvania and Carpathian Mountains stunning, but also the food was hearty, prices were affordable, and the locals were very friendly and welcoming. I would go back in a heartbeat!

11. What has surprised you about yourself during travels around the world the most?

One thing has definitely been my ability to easily adapt to the environment. I consider myself very shy and very cautious about taking risks, especially at home. However, when I travel, I’ve surprised myself in trying things that I would’ve never thought about doing before (e.g. hot-air balloon rides, snorkeling, making friends with strangers…). I think it’s knowing that life’s too short, that the time you have traveling is limited, so why not make the most out of it? It’s very much a “fake it until you make it” attitude that I’ve adopted on my trips, to be a more-outgoing and adventurous version of myself. And over time, I’ve become that person!

12. Would you like to write a guest post for me???

I’d be honored! πŸ˜‰

13. Where is the first country you’re going to go to overseas once you’re allowed to travel again and why?

I’m dying to go to Singapore. Much of my travels so far have been almost exclusively in Europe, and I haven’t seen as much of Asia as I would like to. Singapore has interested me for a long time, from its massive Changi Airport (with a waterfall!) to its futuristic Gardens by the Bay. The country also fascinates me with its eclectic blend of cultures (Malay, Chinese, Indian, etc.), most-notably at the hawker centres. Plus, Crazy Rich Asians is one of my all-time favorite films, so I’d like to go to live out that fantasy!

14. What’s one thing you wish you’d known when you started blogging?

This is honestly a difficult question. I’ve been blogging since 2013, and I’ve learned so much in terms of achievement and failure. Looking back, I wish that I hadn’t cared so much about gaining followers– it reflected in the “click-baity” type of posts I wrote, as well as spamming bloggers with “please follow me!” comments on their articles. Granted, I was young when I started blogging, but I still feel embarrassed at my past self for caring about views, follows, likes, and comments.

Funny enough, it took gaining thousands of followers that I realize that I wasn’t having fun blogging anymore, as I was too focused on writing to please others. I decided to change: I ended up writing less, but publishing more-quality posts. I also put more effort into engaging with other bloggers and their works, taking the time to write more personable, thoughtful comments on their posts. It was by being more genuine with interacting with the blogging community and authentic in my content that real engagement happened– I might not receive as many Likes and comments as before, but I’ve gotten bloggers who actually stick around to read and comment, and consistently so!

Long story short: the goal of starting a blog isn’t to gain followers and Internet fame. In fact, if you start out with this mindset, chances are your blog is doomed to fail within six months (or less). Whether you have three people or tens of thousands who read your work, it’s crucial to write what you want to write– anything else will look obviously forced and awkward. It’s important to be patient; it takes time for people to discover your blog, and once you hit that first milestone (100 Follows, 1000 Likes, etc.), you’ll be so surprised and proud of how far you’ve come since that first, clumsily-written article you wrote. Slow and steady, folks!

15. How do you see the next step? Continue blogging, on the same travel topic or something else? Move on to longer writing projects like books? Or videos? What other talents can you reveal to the world?

I cannot guarantee that I’ll continue blogging for the rest of my life, but I hope to continue for several more years. At least with Rebecca Goes Rendezvous, I intend to keep it as a travel-related blog, as I run other blogs on topics outside of travel. Prior to starting this blog, I had dabbled in making YouTube videos and even self-publishing a book of poems, but I don’t plan on doing those again, as they weren’t really my style. There’s so much I enjoy doing outside of travel (e.g. piano, baking, sports), and I’ve revealed bits of them here and there on social media, but ultimately, I’d rather guard most of them for myself, as means of privacy and fulfillment outside of the Internet.

16. What is the one thing (or two or three) that has kept you going and enjoying it?

In life? That’s a good question. I would say that my enthusiasm/motivation for my passions– travel, food, writing– has kept me from getting bored and depressed. Especially with this pandemic, I’ve found it very important to carve out my own path of happiness. ClichΓ© as it sounds, I look to seek fun and excitement outside of my job and duties at home, whether it’s trying out a new restaurant or exploring a new part of town. My curiosity for discovering new things has made life a lot more interesting and fulfilling, and I wouldn’t change it for anything.

17. Where do you see your blog five years from now?

I honestly have no idea. Ideally, I’d like to continue blogging, but I also want to remain open-minded and say that there’s the possibility that I might not do so five years from now. It really depends on whether I keep on traveling, as well as continue to have ideas and the motivation to blog. We’ll have to see what happens, but I hope to continue creating posts that inspire others to enjoy travel and, overall, enjoy life!

…that’s about it for now! If you have any other questions you’d like to ask, feel free to comment and I’ll answer them directly in the Comments section. Thank you once again to your support over these years, and here’s to more years of blogging to come. Have a wonderful day, folks! πŸ™‚

— Rebecca

75 thoughts on “Five Years of Blogging! (Q&A)

    1. I hope to return to Canada someday, as I haven’t been back since I was a kid. I’m glad you enjoyed the Q&A, and I appreciate your support! Have a wonderful day. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Happy 5th blog anniversary, Rebecca! You are one of my favorite bloggers (and readers). It’s been fun getting to know more about you. You are very sincere in your answers I think. I especially agree that we shouldn’t write to please followers or appease gods of search algorithms. In my experience it just doesn’t work if you want to stay true to yourself. Here’s to the next five years of traveling, blogging, reading….

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I greatly appreciate your comment, Leighton! I strive to engage in the blogging community as much as I can, with comments that I try to take time with to craft out. It is important to personalize comments, not just to engage/retain Follows, but also to make a blogger’s day! I get happy when I get lovely comments from bloggers, so I’m sure that bloggers are happy when they receive them, too! Thanks for the support; we’ll have to see where these next few years take us!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Congratulations on your 5th blogging anniversary Rebecca. I always look forward to your posts and wholeheartedly agree with your advice that its preferable to write fewer in-depth quality posts rather than aiming to publish more often. I do hope you get a chance to visit Singapore before too long as it’s beautiful. Hope your weekend goes well. Marion

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I definitely agree with you, Marion! Having used to publish posts every day, I ended up getting burnt out in the process. Even when I started this blog, I aimed for two to three posts per week, but that got overwhelming as life got busy. Since settling on publishing one post a week, I’ve found my medium for keeping active on WordPress and still have time for work and leisure. In fact, blogging is a part of my leisure!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Happy Fifth Blogiversary, Rebecca and thanks so much for answering my question πŸ™‚

    I loved reading your answers, and I agree with you that blog posts should be orientated around providing people with rich content that is of value to them and that blogging also should be a fun medium that we can use to connect with others.

    I would rather have a handful of people following along my blog who stick around and are always eager to interact as connecting with your fellow bloggers can have a tremendous positive impact on your life because the personal connections and friendships you will make are invaluable.

    Thanks so much for being one of my best and most supportive travel blogging friends here on WordPress, I wouldn’t have it any other way πŸ™‚ Aiva xx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I appreciate your support over these years, Aiva! I agree with you that it’s better to have less Followers, but more and longer-lasting engagement than thousands of potential bot Follows that actually harm your algorithm. More blogging adventures to come soon…

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Congratulations on this milestone!πŸŽ‰ Your blog is one of my favorites and I enjoyed reading this Q&A! Looking forward to reading about your upcoming adventures around the US, Singapore, and more! πŸ₯‚

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I appreciate the quality and honesty of your answers which show a real reflection on the issues and benefits of blogging. I join other bloggers in highlighting your loyalty as a reader and commentator. I hope you will be able to travel again to enjoy reading your unique approach to the places you visit. And I confirm, Canada and France are two wonderful destinations, I may be a little biased though πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, I really appreciate it! I’ve enjoyed following your blog in French for the past year or so: your posts help me keep up the French language, despite being removed from the country for over two years. There have been some mini-trips I’ve taken so far this year, and I hope to share them with all of you later, perhaps next year. Prends soin de toi! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 3 people

  6. Happy 5 year anniversary! There were some very thoughtful questions and answers. Your honestly about blogging and tips are words that I hope to keep in mind more often. Definitely looking forward to reading about your local adventures!

    Liked by 4 people

  7. Congrats on 5 years of blogging! This is a great achievement for sure! The idea of doing a Q&A for this occasion is really nice as we get to know you a bit more 😊 I saw the penguin mug in Starbucks in Belgium and my boyfriend actually has it! It’s so cuuute πŸ₯°

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Crazy Rich Asians is SUCH a good film! πŸ˜€ Really enjoyed reading your musings on all things blogging, and wholeheartedly agree with quality over quantity. I also used to post a couple of times a week, and then scaled it back to once a week to make it more manageable. I wouldn’t want my blog to become a chore, so as you say it’s about finding a balance so you have time for meaningful interactions with other bloggers and crafting content, but also to do all the other things you enjoy in life. Happy blog anniversary, and I look forward to reading about more of your adventures!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I appreciate your comment, Rosie! I’ve enjoyed following your blog since your lectrice days, and it’s incredible just how time flies! Glad to see how life’s turning out for you, now in Scotland, and we’ll have to see where the next few years take us. Have a good day! 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Congratulations on 5 years of blogging – thats a huge achievement! Maybe for a post you could share some of your favourite Asian travel destinations? I’d love to know your thoughts!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks! As for Asian travel destinations, I don’t think I’ll do a post on it yet, just because I haven’t visited many countries on the continent. But I’ll get back to you once I do! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Congratulations on 5 years! I’ve only recently found your blog but I’m excited to read more from you. I hope one day that my blog will be as good as yours but as you said, it’s not about the numbers it’s about writing content you enjoy!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Han! I enjoy your readership and support. I also enjoy reading about your frequent jaunts throughout the UK; based on what I see on WP and IG, it seems like you’re out every weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Congratulations on five years of blogging, Rebecca. I’ve enjoyed following along with you and really enjoy your posts πŸ™‚ It was lovely getting to know you a bit better through your QA. My friends who have been to the US also share your sentiment that you’d be driving around a lot to get anywhere on the East Coast in the States…and in places like LA the traffic can be terrible. I absolutely loved Singapore when I lived there, from the tropical weather to the food and the greenery all round, and hope you get to go one day πŸ˜„

    On blogging: I agree that there are different things you can do to stay inspired at blogging. For me, I love reading other blogs and talking to other bloggers that are so real and down-to-earth – it’s sort of like traveling while still in my own room.

    Another penguin mug never hurts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Mabel! I’ve enjoyed reading your posts on Asian/Western culture for the last few years; you write so clearly and precise which inspire me to improve my craft! Traffic in any big US city is one’s worst nightmare, but alas, it has to get done…I really hope my first international trip post-pandemic will be Singapore, and I’ll work to make that happen!

      Likewise, I find reading travel posts from other bloggers as a great way to “travel” the world within the comforts of home. Writing about past travels also allows me to reminisce and transport myself back through the memories I had there. I already have three or so penguin mugs, but I’ll have to see if I can obtain the Starbucks one!

      Like

      1. That is so kind of you to say about my writing. Thank you so much, Rebecca. I am also hoping that my next international trip will be Singapore, hopefully sooner rather than later πŸ˜„

        I think reminiscing about past travels also helps you to plan future travels. It helps you to see what you liked while traveling and the places you hope to return to, and what other different travels you like to experience.

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Congrats, Rebecca! It was nice to learn a little bit more about you. The way you talk about Eastern Europe makes me want to visit someday. Can’t wait to see where you end up traveling next!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your support, Camden! I’ve likewise enjoyed following your blog and adventures in France for the last couple of years. Highly recommend Eastern Europe, if you get to head over there someday. More adventures from me are coming VERY soon!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha, I find both Vancouver and Toronto to be worthy places to live, but I’m only basing it on my cousin, who was raised in Vancouver, but moved to Toronto for university and later work. I’ve visited both cities, so it’ll be a tough choice to decide which one to live in– I’ll take your opinion into account, of course! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

  13. congrats and thanks for sharing. from next year im going to be posting less often because im in the same boat, I seem to have hit my level with readers and so forth and well, i dont see blogging as a career for me so I need to pull in back a few pegs! Fingers crossed that you can get to Singapore within the next say 9 months!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Andy! I’m surprised that you’re choosing to blog less starting next year, as I’ve been seeing you up your blogging game this year, to solid results. But of course, it’s important not to overburden yourself with it, or else it’ll suck the fun out of blogging in the first place. We’ll have to see what happens in the world, particularly SE Asia, in the next year, before I can consider going overseas!

      Like

    1. Thanks so much, Anita! I’ve likewise enjoyed reading about your adventures all over the world, especially in 100+ countries! Can’t wait to see where else you go!

      Like

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