2013 was a milestone year for Stories of the Wandering Feet & Mind. The blog gained several blurbs from other blogs and the blogger had an article published in national print. The experience was very humbling.
Now that 2015 has already unfolded, it is but fitting for me to join the bandwagon once again even though it is already a bit late.
Let me start by sharing the blog’s most notable achievement: Reaching its “3,000+” subscribers. Gaining more than a thousand subscribers for the entire 2014 is truly remarkable especially because I was only able to write approximately 40 posts.
2. I am using this very space to recognize two loyal readers–Ben Gonzales (a painter/OFW) and Karen Cantiga (a journalism student)–who both asked permission to use my photos for their respective endeavors. The former used the photo, which I framed at the placid Lake Buhi in Camarines Sur five years ago, as a model for his painting. He said he was held spellbound by the peculiar appeal of the photo.
The latter, on the other hand, used the photo, which I snapped along the sodden trails of Mount Marami in Maragondon four years ago, as a representation of the “little advocacy” she supports. She also said that the photo best describes the project titled “Preserve the Mountain of Maragondon”, which she is currently working on for her Environmental Journalism course. She will be presenting it to her class in February 2015.
These are a few of those things that make a difference to me no matter how countable. Words cannot express how grateful I am for your appreciation. That, of course, goes for the 3,033 (and counting) subscribers, regular and irregular visitors, patient readers, and every one who make this blog thrives one way or the other.
3. The previous year paved the way for me to welcome, for the first time, a guest post. Inspiring stories are ought to be shared. I am well aware that there will always be better bloggers or writers out there who, at times, are the ones who can articulate the very exact stories I want to share. Kevin Jason Manuel did it for me. I have always admired him for his impeccable diction and his ability to transcend words, and I was not mistaken at using his story when he suggested me to promote it. Aside from fulfilling a promise, the blog benefited from a multitude of views it got on the day “To The Mountains” was published on this site.
Verily, I could not have narrated the story any better myself. It goes without saying this thing is highly encouraged.
4. I should not forget to thank Mabel Kwong of “Asian Australian. Multiculturalism” for giving me the inspiration to keep doing what I do here. Being constantly responded to by bloggers you look up to is something to be proud of. Mabel also taught me one important lesson in order to better cope with working in a multicultural environment: It takes an open mind to facilitate conversations with people of different ethnicities.
5. Getting a dose of worst travel moments here in the barren lands of Saudi Arabia was an experience of a lifetime. It made me more optimistic. It reminded me that there is indeed light at the end of a tunnel. In spite of our failure see the Edge of the World and the “Series of Unfortunate Events“, which are only some of the worst parts of traveling, Saudi Arabia is still a really great place to travel to and explore because of its unique topography. Moreover, the failed expectations and harsh realities of traveling are but just boosters for my hunger to travel more.
6. The blog highlighted the importance of disporting every once in a while (i.e., before another working week or month ramps up). Almost all of the travel stories I wrote in 2014 were inspired by this kind of theme. No solo travel.
Traveling with friends is still a lot more fun, cheaper, and safer.
7. It is worth noting that a blog post about grammar pet peeves–“Filipino Concoctions, Philippine English, and Standard American English“–hit the nerve of one random reader in our workplace. As a result, I was indirectly badmouthed and directly mocked. On the brink of unethically responding, I kept my cool for I knew that there is nothing substantial in stooping down to such. In the end, it is not silence but knowing the reason behind what you wrote that is the best defense.
Filipino pride is fragile. We just have to deal with it.
8. 2014 marked the advent of food blogging for Stories of the Wandering Feet & Mind. This is actually another form of adherence to a reader’s (Bobby Padua) relentless suggestion. Thank God I gave in because, truly, foods are magic. They provide vibrant colors and saporific element to the blog.
9. 2014 made me learn that the only thing that separates success from failure is one last try. Talking about career, I had my series of failures and I almost, almost gave up. Good thing the universe has its own way of yelling at us. And thank heavens, my ears were clean in perfect time. So remember to try one more time when you feel like it is time for giving up, whatever the toil is.
10. 2014 has another hard way of making me learn that the best team you could ever have is your family. We all need affection–a sense of belonging, appreciation, and so forth. I will always remember from that year on out, my family will give the love I need without having to grab it out of them because their love is simply unconditional.
11. 2014 taught me to welcome new people into my life. Sometimes, I feel being left out or ignored. It happens to everyone–I know. Friends go out without you and you can feel pretty down about it. Other times, you can be with people and feel incredibly ignored for one reason or another. I learned that the worst response to this type of situation is to feel sorry for myself and to sit tight waiting for someone else to solve my sorrow. When this happened to me for quite some time, I face up to the reality. Purposeful, continued disregard and condescending comments are a sign. This was also the time I learned to value myself.
Finally, let me finish the post by sharing this: 2014 made it also possible for me to learn that there are friends who, just like family, will and can stand by you at your worst. It is not a myth. I was able learn from my triumphs as well as my defeats and wrongdoings. To be able to turn to them for the truth and for honesty is one of the most comforting feelings.
All of these things are surefire reasons why Stories of the Wandering Feet & Mind breathes. Once again, thank you very much for giving me and the blog a productive year!
Related Blog Post