2016 has been a phenomenal year for us- a year of brand new things. Exhausting, unrelenting and without a single break-but great. Being new parents has really tested our theory of what tired really means and made us realise just how little sleep one really needs to keep on functioning and how much you can achieve in short bursts of time.
Our six month old is quite unlike most babies we know. He doesn’t sit still for a second and needs to be walked, shown new scenery, bounced and occupied for every waking minute of each day ( unless he’s sleeping) Someone pointed out that he is rather like his parents in that way- curious, keen to travel and quite restless with a need to try new things. Either way, we can’t keep up with him. BUT 2016 has seen us move into our apartment in the Southern Suburbs of Cape Town which is great as we always have a base to come back to.
Presenting at WTM Africa 2016.
The Travel Manuel has really come a long way since 2009, when I first started my little random-thoughts-blog about the weird and the wonderful in Seoul, there was always so much I wanted to share about the crazy new things I would see and experience. I started scribbling my thoughts down on till slips before eventually putting them online. Back then, the word ‘blog’ was quite new to South Africa and The Travel Manuel was one of the very first blogs with a travel focus.
When Iambassador Founder, Keith Jenkins, asked us to speak at WTM Africa this year on The Business of Travel Blogging with a specific focus on increasing traffic to your site, we were so surprised and felt so honoured to join the stage with other bloggers who had become so successful in their areas of expertise. It really was a great time for us to really take stock and celebrate the way years of hard work had paid off especially since Vaughan came on board with The Travel Manuel and turned it into the website it is today.
Invite to join the Core Iambassador team.
After the excitement of presenting together at a conference for the first time, we were invited to join the core team of Iambassador bloggers! There isn’t a more exciting email any travel blogger can receive and we are overjoyed. This elite network of 50 of the world’s top bloggers was started by Keith Jenkins and run in partnership with Melvin Boecher from Travel dudes with the aim of promoting the great content of digital influencers and getting brands and tourism boards to pay for it. After all, the advertising, engagement and reach of the work bloggers produce lives online forever and is a powerful tool for any brand.
Together with Ishay Govender from FoodandtheFab, we are the first African and South African bloggers to join this team which is really such a positive sign of where South African blogging is going. We are all definitely doing something right and the world awaits our stories and digital influence too. Hopefully South African audiences and brands begin to cotton on and pay for any work done by bloggers. Being a part of this team means there is more opportunity to attend/present at conferences, join paid campaigns and network with more like-minded individuals from around the globe.
We are so grateful and look forward to what 2016 and travel as a family of three has in store for us. Stay tuned!
Images of us on stage were taken by Anje Rautenbach from goingsomewhereslowly.com