When we first started, we thought, like so many people, a blog would be a great way to stay in touch with family and friends. We wanted our friends and family to be able to at least know where we were and what we were doing. And at first, they kept up with us. But then, they got busy and things got hectic, and after awhile, the family didn't stay with us as much. Then, a surprising thing happened. Complete strangers started reading us, and signing up to follow us. After a bit, our family and friends weren't keeping up with us as much as strangers from all around the country and even the world were! We had no idea that so many people would be interested in what we had to say and what we were doing and where we were traveling....
Readership became important because it continued to climb. The pressure was on to keep things interesting, entertaining, and informative. Sparky had a goal of not wanting to disappoint anyone by writing about mundane things. As the number of followers increased, we got excited. Sparky felt she was on the right track. Wow, this is really cool! At one point, we had over 2,600 page views a week for a couple of weeks. Our total number of page views for the three years we blogged about our travels has reached 258,000+. There are other interesting stats as well, but not to anybody else but us. Why or how or who is reading us from Latvia, (113 page views) is anybody's guess.
The number of visitors from many different countries that changed from week to week boggled our minds. France, Germany, Australia, China, the United Kingdom, Poland, the Ukraine, they are usually on the list....We would love to know who these readers are and are they REALLY reading or just clicking on through?
We ended up with 158 followers who were traveling with us on a fairly regular or daily basis. We know, now that we have blogged for some time, that blogging fills a wonderful need to communicate with others, to share our excitement about our travels. Those of us who blog enjoy the camaraderie of communication that exists among the blogging community, between the writers and the readers. We love how being a part of the blogging community kept us connected with our fellow travelers and those who wanted to be on the road traveling, but couldn't. It was very comforting to know that there were people out there who would check in with us regularly, email words of encouragement, and share similar experiences. It really made the world a smaller place and less lonely even though we were covering tremendous distances from one end of the country to another. We met people on the road who would come up and introduce themselves, and say, "Aren't you Sparky and Eldo, of Where's Eldo? We've been reading you for some time," or "we've been following you since you started full timing in 2010." That was really cool, too, and it happened several times!
Sparky REALLY enjoyed writing about everything we did, all the wonderful places we visited, writing about making new friends on the road, meeting fellow bloggers and travelers, blogging about mishaps and mayhem...and about having the most amazing experiences in the most amazing places all around the country.
But there comes a time, when you know it's time to quit....Now that we are home owners and have come off the road, Sparky has lost her zest for writing about the mundane things we are doing every day...like reading blogs in the morning, visiting Ocean Blues about once a week, attending the Farmer's Market in downtown Sarasota, repairing this, painting that....Where's Eldo? was always meant to be a travel blog so we are going to say goodbye FOR NOW, now that we are off the road, to all our wonderful readers. Thank you each and every one of you for coming along on our journey. We're sorry to leave you, truly we are, but in another way, we'll still be following you, we'll be reading about your travels and travails, making comments now and then to let you know we are still around....
If we ever get back on the road, Sparky will fire up her computer and come back on with a BANG! For now, if you REALLY want to find out how ordinary and commonplace our retired life has become, or you miss hearing from us, you can head over to Millie's Girls, Sparky's OTHER blog, where Sparky will attempt to develop and document her domestic diva skills or lack thereof at the moment. It will be a reflection of creating crafty things which Sparky LOVES to do, trying to learn how to cook better, Sparky's trials and tribulations being an ADD adult trying to get a handle on retirement and taking it easy, Sparky's trials and tribulations as a painter, (had a big OOPS! today) coupled with nature photos from the Sarasota/Bradenton area, and the latest happenings in the area--a real mix of anything and everything. Sparky has a big adjustment ahead of her, learning how to slow down, (or NOT, laughs E.) and sitting still, enjoying the sights right outside our patio lanai. Like this visit from a sandhill crane yesterday, who apparently is getting fed by some resident. Sparky went outside to take a photo, and here comes the crane, as soon as he saw Sparky round the corner.
Back to reality. Sparky may be working part time as a substitute teacher come this fall, maybe signing up for senior rowing (see what I mean about not slowing down? sighs E.) and Millie's Girls will be addressing all those things.
Again, thank you so much for enriching our traveling life with your presence, your comments, your emails. We really enjoyed having you along with us for the ride. Take care, travel safe, and we hope to be back some day, on the road again......
|spoonbills at Sarasota's Nathan Benderson Park
Best wishes, Jeannie a.k.a. "Sparky" and Eldy, a.k.a. "Eldo