I started this blog on February 10, 2006 at the recommendation of journalist friend and tech expert Dwight Silverman; I was retiring from the Navy and planning to be a writer, and he said, “If you’re going to be a writer, you need to have a blog.”
Hmmm, well alrighty, then!
It was worse than the blind leading the blind – I was clueless and had no one leading me, either. At least I had enough sense to know, even back in the mellower online world of 2006, that it would be better to write about a niche travel topic rather than try to break in as a general travel writer. I chose family travel simply because I’d done it all over the world thanks to Navy assignments and could speak to the issues, not because I’m wildly maternal (as my kids will attest.)
My first post was the standard welcome to this new blog greeting, then the second was a fairly pointless one about American Express traveler’s checks. I finally said something useful when I wrote about Mini-Europe in Brussels, Belgium, and from there it was off and running. I blogged to fill my spare time and to build an online presence in between print writing assignments, but instead found myself on the cusp of a publishing revolution.
I had no idea that blogging would become the impetus for covering motorsports like NHRA drag racing, meeting bloggers and startups in China, doing a lot of social media workshops and speaking plus launching an online course in social media marketing for tourism (all of which is about to lead to a book on tech-based entrepreneurship for people over 40.)
While I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing for and representing my host the BootsnAll Travel Network, my daughter Nancy started college this fall; even though my son is still at home, it seems like a good time to turn this blog over to another parent who wants to tackle the joys of Walt Disney World, or safe flying with kids or top tips for kids in Tokyo.
As far as I know, Boots hasn’t selected a replacement for me yet, so if you’re interested (yes, it is a paid position) then I suggest you check the BootsnAll Travel Writer Platform page.
There is, of course, unfinished business. I wasn’t able to complete the 50 States Series (got stuck on Mississippi for some reason) so I may try to pick that back up and continue it in some form elsewhere. There is a video or two that I never got around to editing, and a notebook with post ideas that I haven’t tackled yet.
Thank you so much to all of the faithful readers who have been here since the beginning, and those who may have found Family Travel more recently. I’ll never forget meeting some of my readers for the first time in person, at the BlogHer conference in 2007. It is the most wondrous feeling to have someone walk up and say, “Hi, I read your blog….”
I’m so grateful that you’ve all been along for the ride. Let’s stay in touch, shall we?