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The First 5,000 Visits to Our Site

Tips for traveling with a big family
Our kids get almost as excited about traveling as I do!
View from the top of the Incline Railway,
Lookout Mountain, Tennessee.
The growth in readership of our big family's little travel blog continues to surprise me. We have some days when only a handful of people stop by, then there'll be a day when we get 200 page views in a day! I suppose what has happened is... some cases, a reader must have shared a link to our site with friends on social media. The other day we had 182 page views from Oman, a nation on the Arabian peninsula. We get big spikes like that sometimes - 70 in a day from Israel, 65 in a day from the United Kingdom, or 100 in a day in China.

When there's a spike in one place like that, it may be because someone in Oman shared a link to our site with their contacts on Facebook or another social network. That's something we ask our readers to do with any post you enjoy. Sharing our content with  your friends helps us tremendously. We also invite you to subscribe for free updates - meaning, you'll get notified via email any time we post new content (which is usually about 2 or 3 times a month).

Living (Mostly) Unplugged, with a Big Family
Other than this blog, which of course takes a few hours of my time each month, our family actually has no social connection to the internet. We own exactly two internet-connected devices between the six of us.  We have no TV signal or cable connection; we don't stream movies; we don't play online games. Our friends and co-workers have called us everything from Pioneers, to a Little House on the Prairie Family, to Luddites, to the Swiss Family Robinson.

So it should come as no surprise that we're not on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LookWhatIAte, Tumblr,, YouTube, Vimeo, Baidu Tieba, Pinterest, or any of those sites. (Challenge question: Only two of those are made up. Which ones are they?)

So when you decide to share a link with your online friends and contacts - or even just to forward it to that one special person you know who might be interested - you're really helping us spread the word about our travel site.

But wait, fellow bloggers might ask - exactly why aren't we on Facebook or some other social media, constantly flogging our so-called "brand"? I recognize that utilizing social media for website promotion is basic "Blogging 101" marketing stuff that any blogger "should be" doing, according to...well, anyone.

However, one big reason we avoid that is that we don't really want to pester the people we personally know in our offline lives with our constant blog posts. Years ago when I experimented with social media, a big percentage of my 200+ "friends" there were actually family members, who are spread out all over the southern United States.

I believe that on social media, extended family tends to feel an obligation to comment or create online displays of approval. I'm not writing this blog to seek pats on the back from family. It wouldn't help any other travelers out there in the world to see that my own aunt from Kansas, who I haven't seen in 3 or 4 years, might periodically post a comment on our site to say,

"Hey great post, kiddo! Nice pic! Say Hi to the children! Love ya'll!" 

I mean, sure, we love her too, but...I just don't think this sort of blog mixes well with any "keeping up with family" social network efforts. It is, or should be, two totally different things. But maybe that's just me - I am definitely weird, I'll be the first to admit!  (And that can be a good thing.)

Traveling the American Southwest by car
Hiking the American Southwest at 5am, in my Youth
(When will black high-tops be a thing again?)

Real Life or Social Media?
Our other social media contacts - back when we had a social media account other than this blog - were friends (people we actually saw sometimes, and some who we hadn't seen in years), plus a few co-workers and former co-workers. I was never the sort to "friend" someone I didn't actually know; each contact was a person from face-to-face life, past or present. And I just don't think it's right to slam those people with a link every week or two, just because they maintained an online contact with me. Anyone who wants to follow this blog can voluntarily and freely subscribe to updates; I'm not going to spam anyone with social media "blasts" that they never signed up to receive.

Plus, there's always the main reason I got off of social media in the first place, years ago: it's far too easy to get absorbed by it, and pay more attention to the constant "updates" from friends and contacts than to the living, breathing people who are right in front of us.

Our Reason for Writing
Rather than sharing this writing with the people we already know, the purpose of our site is instead to share our tips for traveling with a big family, and to reach those people online who are already Googling or searching for this sort of family travel information. We tell some stories along the way, share some relevant photos and examples from our own trips, and offer our hard-earned lessons about how to deal with issues, and how to find hotels or vacation apartment rentals suitable for a large family, as well as activities and sightseeing and beaches that are perfect for a big family. Our intended audience is not the people we already know.  It's you...whoever you are, reading this, right now!

Who Are Our Readers?
One recent month over 68% of our readers were from countries (or were in countries) other than the US! We've now had visitors from (or in) a total of 74 countries!  That's amazing, to me. Welcome all, and thank you very much for reading, and for sharing links to our site! Counting from our first post through the present, most often our visitors have been from:

  • 57% United States (formerly 71%, when we were at 3,000 readers)
  • 6% Israel
  • 5% China
  • 4% United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • 3% Canada
  • 25% All other countries combined

Here's an alphabetical list of the countries in which our readers are located when visiting this site:

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czechia, Ecuador, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland,  Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Moldova, Morocco, New Zealand, Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam!

Based on the notion that there are approximately 195 countries in the world as of this writing, this list represents 38% of all the countries on the planet!

Ranked by pageviews, here are our Top 10 Most Popular Posts so far:

Visiting North Carolina with young children
Hiking in the Smoky Mountains, North Carolina, with a Big Family

For anyone who is tired of the constant updates on readership - you can relax, I won't do this again until we hit 10,000, deal?

More Soon!
We hope this blog helps make your family's next trip a great success! Could you help us?
1. Please share a link to our blog.
2. Stay tuned! Please sign up for free email updates so you'll be notified of future posts.
Thank you for reading!

If you're new here, you may want to start with our first post.

Or, check out our List of All Posts.

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