Happy Fourth Birthday, Dear Blog

Balloons for bloggy birthdays (Courtesy daniel.he at Flickr CC)Today is the 4th anniversary of the Family Travel blog here on the BootsnAll Travel Network.  True story – this blog is here because of books.

I first heard about BootsnAll from Stephanie Elizondo Griest on a travel writer’s panel at the stupendously great annual Texas Book Festival in Austin.

The very first post on February 10, 2006 said hello to everyone, the second was some random screed about traveler’s checks, but hey, I started a blog and wrote something, then kept at it, and boy am I grateful.

4 years is something of a lifetime in Internet terms, but I am proud of every gray hair I’ve earned, both on my head and on my blog.

I cannot tell you how often I’ve thought to myself, “Wow, if I wasn’t a blogger and Web geek, I wouldn’t have a clue about what’s going on right now in journalism….or travel….or business….or communications….”

I wouldn’t have a tourism-focused consulting and training business, either, and I wouldn’t have delivered a keynote presentation at a state tourism conference or spoken at SXSWi (the South by Southwest Interactive tech conference.)

Props (as always) to the old friend from high school who said to me back in late 2005, “If you’re gonna be a writer, you’ve gotta have a blog.” I’m talking about the Interactive Journalism Editor at the Houston Chronicle, Dwight Silverman. When I started this journey, the only blog I read was his TechBlog, and I usually couldn’t make heads or tails out of half of what he wrote.

Here’s the secret, though….I knew that whatever gobbledygook he was saying about the Web and social media and technology was important, and I’d better figure it out. So I did.

And along the way, what a priceless community of travelers and readers have joined me. Thank you so much to all of you, and also to my husband and two kids, who still roll their eyes when they hear me say, “Oh! That’s a blog post!” or “That’s a tweet!”

Blessings to all of you, and thanks for your support of Family Travel.

(If any of this sounds familiar, it’s because when I read last year’s 3rd blog birthday post, I liked it enough to decide that I’ll simply revise/update it every year. I’ve learned a little about not reinventing wheels.)