Best of the Blog 2019: The Top 10 Faves

On our way to writing this post, we discovered a new word – listicle. This word mashup is defined as “a piece of writing presented wholly or partly in the form of a list.”

It’s not a brand new word; it’s been in use long enough for professional writers to develop a love or hate relationship with it. But regardless, listicles are here to stay. And in the spirit of not wanting to be left out of the party, here’s our listicle of Best of the Gallivance Blog for 2019.

1. Travel as a Relationship Test: Bill Murray on Marriage

If you travel with a partner, it should come as no surprise that this post struck a cord with lots of our readers. Travel, by definition, takes you out of your comfort zone, and stress has a way of putting partnerships to the test. We thank our main man Bill Murray for saying it best. 

2. The Quest to Simplify Our Life

The one word that epitomized our goal for 2019 was “Simplify.”  The journey took us from minimizing our possessions and streamlining our digital footprint, to downsizing our abode and becoming financially independent. As it turns out, we were not alone in our quest!

3. Simplifying Our Life: The 7 Changes That Made All the Difference

If you’ve decided that you want to simplify your life, where do you start? We shared the 7 changes we made that worked for us, and we hope they’ll provide some ideas and inspiration for your quest.

4. Simplifying Your Life: It’s Your Money – Keep More of It!

We’d never used the word “Money” in a title before! It certainly got peoples’ attention. 🙂 Earlier this year we were featured in an article, Set Yourself Free: Simplify Your Life and Save Tens of Thousands, that appeared in International Living’s newest publication, The Savvy Retiree. Trust us when we say it pays to simplify!

5. Life is What Happens to You While You’re Busy Making Other Plans*

We began 2019 dreaming. We’d just returned from another European escapade, and big plans were on the horizon. But then life intervened. Like many of you, we experienced loss and big life changes. So we turned to the one constant that always recharges our batteries – travel.

6. Sage Simplicity Stories: 51 Thoughts to Simplify Your Life

We discovered that we’re not alone in our quest to simplify our life. When we asked you, our readers, what you’ve done to simplify your lives, the ideas and solutions rolled in. Once again you’ve proven that you’re THE BEST and truly amazing! Thanks for your great response.

7. The End of the Dinosaur and the K-T Boundary: Touching the Proof

Blog posts are a bit like children: you do your best and send them out into the world and hope they succeed. So James wouldn’t be an honest geology nerd if he neglected to say he was pleased as punch to see this offspring win a popularity contest. 

8. 7 Intriguing Questions for Travelers

We were honored to be featured in a Travel Awaits article, “Interview With Global Nomads Terri and James Vance.”  It’s always flattering when someone respects your opinion enough to ask for it. And it’s equally gratifying that many of our readers found our answers to travel questions informative and helpful. 

9. Talavera: Puebla’s Exotic Tile Art

Talavera tile is the ultimate combination of art and function, and Puebla, Mexico is ground zero for its introduction and extensive use in the Americas. We hope this post will inspire travelers to leave Mexico City for a few days to enjoy Puebla’s wonderful tile-scape. 

10. Hearts Abound: Chance Favors the Prepared Mind

If we had to pick one post that’s the most fun to pull together, this would be it. It’s light-hearted eye candy for Valentine’s Day, no doubt, but the sheer randomness and coincidence involved in discovering hearts amaze us on every trip and every year when we publish the post.

* * * 

This closes out another fun year at Gallivance. We know you have unlimited choices where you spend your online time, and as always, we appreciate very much that you choose our blog.

Thanks for continuing to stop by and best of luck for an exciting and fun 2020.

Happy Trails,
Terri & James

Photo Credits: 2. Paul Sherwood 4. Harvey Barrison  5. svklimkin 7. Erean  8. Fabio pastori 9. Amanda Slater 12. Ellen Lasher


We're Terri and James Vance - high school sweethearts who went on to international careers and became world nomads. Today, 65 countries later, we're still traveling ... and still in love. Check out Our Story for more of the backstory at

21 thoughts

  1. Great collection of very interesting posts, your writing is engaging and informative. I love all your blog posts. I hope 2020 will be another fantastic year for you guys and just keep having fun.

    1. Thank you Gilda. We try to put a bit of variety into our blog, and we’re glad that you enjoy it. And I can think of no better wish than to “just keep having fun.” That’s our plan and we hope that you and Brian will do the same in 2020. And Happy Blogging. ~James

    1. Thanks David. Downsizing and simplifying is a process that feeds on itself, and we wish you lots of success in continuing down that narrowing path. All the best for an exciting 2020, and thanks for continuing to follow along. ~James

  2. It looks like the posts on simplifying your life have been very popular. So much great advice and suggestions. Sometimes the very idea of downsizing and simplifying is so frightening that people just put it off. Often it’s their children that have to do it when they are forced to move into care or sadly, pass away. Happy New Year and I look forward to your posts in 2020!

    1. Darlene, parents passing their leftover possessions on to children to deal with is a common situation, and in fact, it has happened in our families. I certainly understand that, as one gets older, it’s easier to maintain the status quo rather than make changes, but we feel strongly that we don’t want this to be the case with us. We love our simplified lifestyle and what we leave behind isn’t a major motivator, but it doesn’t hurt. We hope that 2020 is a wonderful year for you and we appreciate your continuing to follow along. All the best. ~James

  3. Isn’t it fascinating to see what resonates most with readers? I was interested to see that for yours most of the list are around lifestyle this year. Your simplifying life series really resonated with me to be sure. Wishing you both the very best in 2020. Here’s to more listsicles!

    1. It’s funny about the simplifying posts Sue. We had wanted to post a series for some time, and looking at the stats, maybe we should have done it sooner. 🙂 We were a bit surprised by the stats. This was one of those series that didn’t get tons of comments, but day after day, had views. It’s obviously a topic that lots of folks think about. All the best to you and Dave for a fun and travel-filled 2020 … and hopefully a mild winter. ~James

    1. Thanks so much Kelly. “Travel and simplicity:” that’s the perfect wish for everyone for the New Year, and we hope you have a simple, travel-filled year filled as well. ~James

  4. What a wonderful listicle. Which is a new word for me, by the way. It looks like the focus in 2019 surely was on simplifying your life; always a good thing. I missed reading a few of your posts, so I have them bookmarked to check out soon. Well done on your statement about your yearly hearts blog, pun-intended: “It’s light-hearted eye candy for Valentine’s Day”. I love it. No, I “heart” it. 🙂

    PS: I thought about you guys when visiting Churchill Down in Kentucky a couple of weeks ago.

    1. Thanks Liesbet. I wondered if anyone would notice the pun. 🙂 It’s funny about the word “listicle.” Actually, it’s a pretty cool and useful word, and it was new to both of us. And surprisingly, it’s been around a while. We had a conversation about how we could have missed it, and then we had a laugh about maybe we’re not as “with it” as we think … oh well. All the best for an exciting 2020! ~James

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