2013 in Review … and Where We’re Headed in 2014!

Here's where our visitors came from in 2013!

Here’s where our visitors came from in 2013!

Happy New Year!! We’re thrilled to report that the WordPress.com stats helper monkeys told us that we had over 12,000 views from 66 countries on our blog in 2013. Thanks for making 2013 a great year for A Week or a Weekend. We hope you found some interesting, helpful, and thought-provoking ideas on our site, and we’re looking forward to providing more for you in 2014.

We started the new year right, spending all of New Year’s Day planning our big 2014 summer trip:  a month down south in the little latitudes! We’ll start in the Bahamas with Erin’s family to celebrate her parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. Our next stop will be Florida to meet up with Jeff’s family to celebrate his parents’ 50th. Then we’ll finish up by exploring Belize for two weeks to celebrate our 25th!

Our tentative Belize itinerary

Our tentative Belize itinerary

Most of our planning time was devoted to figuring out the wheres and hows of Belize. We picked this destination mainly for its incredible birdnerding (more than 587 species have been recorded in Belize!) and because of its amazing barrier reef (2nd largest in the world!) with awesome snorkeling opportunities.

Plus, there are amazing Mayan ruins in Belize and right next door in Guatemala, so we’d like to check those out.  In order to maximize our time and our budget and fit all that in, we’ve had to spend a lot of time researching. We narrowed down our options, picked the places we wanted to visit, made our lodging choices, and looked into our transportation options. And while we’ve got a pretty good outline of our itinerary, that’s really just the beginning.

We are believers in travel guidebooks!

Now begins the flurry of e-mails to check availability and then follow up. We’d like to do things on our own where it’s feasible to save money, but it seems like most visitors to Belize do pre-packaged tours, meaning there’s not as much readily available information for independent travelers as we’d like, especially when it comes to transportation between cities. We’ll have to ask for help from hotel owners to get some clarification on whether our plans make sense.

We already discovered that one transportation option could save us about $60 at the beginning of our trip, but it would cost us half a day. We decided it wasn’t worth the savings, because we’d rather have the time for birding (the reason we’re headed there in the first place!). So we amended our plan. And so it will go for a while. Make a plan, ask a question, revise said plan as needed. We enjoy this part of the planning, however. It’s exciting to fill in the pieces of the puzzle.

We’ve also got some other travel plans for 2014 lined up, including a long weekend at the Oregon Coast, our first home exchange (in Arizona to watch the Cubs in spring training), a family reunion in the beautiful Idaho panhandle, and two backpacking trips for Jeff. It’s shaping up to be a great year!

Do you have travel plans on tap for 2014? Leave us a note in the comments, and enjoy your week or your weekend!

(If you’d like to see the 2013 annual report for this blog, you’ll find it below. Stats geeks like us will enjoy it.)

Here’s a fun excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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14 thoughts on “2013 in Review … and Where We’re Headed in 2014!

  1. Belize = incredible diving (and, I presume snorkeling), so I hope you’ll carve out some water time, too! As I understand it, lots of birds hang out by the water 😉 ~Beth

    • Beth – we’ll definitely spend a lot of time snorkeling — we have a week of beach time penciled in. Of course we will keep an eye open for the above-water creatures as well! 🙂 Enjoy your week or your weekend!

  2. Hi! We’re also planning a trip to Belize leaving Thursday. We’ll be there for a month with perhaps a few side trips to Guatemala and a few other places others have suggested. Just wanted to say enjoy your trip and hope it’s sunny and beautiful! Maybe see you there!
    -Rachel&Mark

    • Rachel & Mark – We can’t wait to hear about your adventures. We’re not heading south until July, so hopefully you’ll have a few tips for us by the time we take off! Enjoy your week or your weekend (or your month!).

  3. Your plans sound fantastic. Especially the time celebrating all those milestones. We are very interested in how your house exchange goes. What service are you registered with? We are also wanting to explore house sitting when we ever retire .

    • We’ll be doing a full report on the home exchange! We’re really excited b/c it means our spring break is nearly free! We’re currently registered with homeforexchange.com and homeexchange.com. Look for a coupon on retailmenot or the like before you sign up – they often have them!

  4. Happy travels to you and happy anniversary! Congratulations on your blog success, too.
    We have been to Long Island in the Bahamas several times. It’s very remote and quiet. I’d love to get back there right about now…
    Enjoy and happy travels in 2014!

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