The Magic of 9 Years of Blogging: Lessons Learned

“We are a nation made strong by people like you.”
–Ruth Bader Ginsburg

While we were distracted by the world, Gallivance turned NINE this month. We can’t believe it! During that memorable September back in 2011 we were busy buying plane tickets, packing our bags, starting a blog, and relinquishing the keys to our Charleston apartment to embark on our second Round-the-World Trip. Oh how we long for that travel freedom again.

There’s always been something magical and mysterious about the number 9. It pops up in wide-ranging places like literature, religion, sports, and math – just to name a few. And leaves us wondering why:

  • Does a stitch in time save nine?
  • Someone is dressed to the nines?
  • A cat has 9 lives?
  • Dante created Nine Circles of Hell?
  • Does happiness lead to floating on Cloud Nine?
  • You can multiply nine by any number, then add up the digits of the answer, and get 9?

To celebrate the magic of 9 years of blogging we tried to figure out what we’ve learned. When we tackled this question for our 7-year blogiversary, we concluded that:

  • We’ve changed … and so has the blog.
  • Our goal is to find a unique angle for every post.
  • It’s important to help other bloggers – there’s nothing more satisfying.
  • We value comments – they’re the lifeblood of the blog.
  • We’re inspired by other bloggers and celebrate their accomplishments.
  • We strive to be authentic. Be honest.
  • Our passion is telling stories, sharing the ups and downs of travel … and life.

Seven Lessons Learned in 7 Years of Blogging

And as we all know, learning is cumulative – you build on what you already know. So we’ve added 9 more lessons we’ve learned about blogging.

1. You’ve got to be nimble.
Who knew a Pandemic would rock our world and have such a devastating impact on our lives? With travel temporarily suspended, we decided to broaden the scope of our blog … and your reaction has been encouraging!

Travel Blogging Without Travel: A Decision Point

2. Predicting what will grab people’s attention is like throwing darts!
First and foremost we take your ideas and interests into consideration when creating a post. If we’ve aimed our dart correctly, then we’ll hit the bullseye. But if we’ve misjudged, we’ll miss the board entirely. So we think the best approach is to …

3. Write about your passions.
For years we’ve both had pet projects that we pursued. Terri yearned to write about Simplicity and revamp the blog; James wanted to explore geology out West and research the beginnings of human imagination. So these past two years we’ve made those dreams a reality … and those posts have become some of our most popular. We’ve learned that if we focus on a fascinating subject, do our research, and write it well, many of you will find it interesting too.

4. Help your readers find your best features.
When we renovated our blog we learned that no one would appreciate the fun features we’d created if they didn’t come in through our home page – so we created an incentive.

7 Reasons to Come In Through Your Blog’s Front Door

5. Life throws you curveballs.
There are times when life takes an unexpected turn, and blogging isn’t a top priority – your mind and energy are elsewhere. What we learned is that this blogging community we all belong to is supportive, understanding, and will embrace you when you’re ready to return.

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

6. Collaborate! You never know where great ideas will come from.
From the very beginning, we’ve brainstormed together to create our posts. Writing as a team keeps us on our toes. But we also take it to the next level and collaborate with other bloggers to come up with ideas to help readers. One of our most successful collaborations produced:

51 Thoughts to Simplify Your Life

7. Readers (and bloggers) get blog fatigue.
As much as we all would like our followers to read each of our posts – that’s just not possible. People have busy lives and must choose where to put their energy.
We decided that we would reduce our number of monthly posts so we could provide rich content – and you would know we gave it our all.

It’s not only readers who get blog fatigue – bloggers do, too. Since there are two of us blogging, we can often fill in for the other when one of us is just over it! But sometimes you need a break. So take it … we’ll be here when you come back.

8. Decide in advance how you will handle hot-button issues.
Today’s blogosphere can be a very opinionated place – a potential minefield waiting for the unsuspecting blogger to place a wrong foot. It seems that just about every topic these days can be a bone of contention. As bloggers, we try to anticipate hot-button issues and determine our priorities. With that in mind, we don’t shy away from sensitive subjects, but we try to focus on the human side of any story.

Serbia: At the Crossroads of Europe’s Refugee Crisis

9. There’s no place like home.
And by “Home” we mean Gallivance – our “digital homestead.” Although social media offers opportunities to promote our brand, we prefer to let our blog do the talking. It’s the one place where we totally control the content – unlike social media that can change on a whim, advertise embarrassing products, or promote people we don’t support. Over the years we’ve been on just about every social media platform out there, but we’ve decided There’s No Place Like Home.

Now to you! First, let us thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your fantastic friendship and support these past 9 years. As we launch our 10th year of blogging, do you have a favorite post you’ve read over the last 9 years? Or something you’d like to see? Ask us anything!

Here’s to 9 more magical years! 
Terri & James

Photo Credits:  1. Kristopher Roller  2. Greta A  3. Miikka Luotio  4. Jan Tinneberg  5. Shane Rounce  7. Chris Evans  8. Gnomesville on Facebook    


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

102 thoughts

  1. Hello there – long time reader here and a top lesson I share with you was this:
    “the blogging community we all belong to is supportive, understanding, and will embrace you when you’re ready to return.”
    ~ The “51 Thoughts to Simplify Your Life” is still a top post for me form Gallivance

    ~ My top memory (for some reason) is the time you shared about how you both walked out one morning dressed in “matching outfits” also picture you both laughing together a lot (such a gift)

    ~ Also recall your traveling tips (like how to travel extra light) and that has helped me a few times on trips where I had one bag – so I guess you just never know the small things that will trickle into people’s lives and stay with them – 🙂

    congrats on nine years!

    1. Yvette, Thanks so much for your kind words! Your contribution to the “51 Thoughts to Simplify Your Life” article was so profound. You said, “People before stuff.” And as far as I’m concerned that totally sums it up. 🙂

      What a great memory you have! I can’t believe you remember our comment about going out dressed alike. It was based on the fond memories of a favorite Aunt and Uncle, and has given us so many smiles over the years. And you’re right – we do laugh a lot. We always celebrate “the first laugh of the day.” I think the packing light preference started years ago when we lived in Sudan. The government was so unstable then that we had to be ready to flee at the drop of a hat … so we kept it simple.

      Yvette, you’ve been with us since close to the beginning, and we want to thank you for hanging with us all these years. Your blog is a joy to read and we always look forward to your insightful comments. I see that you have your own blogiversary coming up soon. 🙂 Congrats to you, too! All the best, Terri

      1. Thanks Terri – for the reply and nice comment about my blog (( and you are right right – an anniversary coming up – but I actually did not find a groove right away so my true blog anniversary is somewhere in 2014 ))

        And I have certain travel clothes that I save for times I have to pack extra light (either have to or just want to for smart reasons) – an ultra thin pj set – light weight dresses that can fold without major wrinkles and – even a gray and black lightweight professional work jacket if needed – it took some planning but works. And it is so freeing to not be worn down with mega luggage on certain trips.

        And yes – the first laugh of the day – that was part of what I remembered – and in a day and age when so many couples seem to endure each other or just have issues – my counselor side smiles (and relishes) the energy and vibe that comes from such a “tended to” union!

      2. Yvette, you are so smart to put together a travel wardrobe like that – light and sophisticated. You can’t beat that combination. And it’s fun to assemble, too.

        Thanks so much for your comment about our vibe – I’m glad we can make your counselor side smile. 🙂 ~Terri

      3. Thanks Yvette. And all the best to you, too. James and I were just talking this morning about the fact that we have absolutely NO idea of what to expect this coming year! But we’ll be there for the 10th anniversary. 🙂 ~Terri

  2. It’s been such a pleasure to follow your blog – for more years than I can remember! You always come up with interesting stuff. Looking forward to whatever you guys come up with next!
    And huge congratulations! Not many make it to 9 years. Apparently the average lifespan of a blog is 3 years.

    1. Many, many thanks Alison. And I know that you celebrated your 10 Year Blogiversary this year. Congratulations! I see that tin is the traditional gift for a 10 year anniversary – Who in the world came up with that!?! 🙂 I think it should be tickets to Bali or a gold plated passport. 🙂 Hopefully we’ll get to do all that again … soon.

      I didn’t know that about the lifespan of a blog being 3 years. I know that there are several folks I truly miss who decided to step down from blogging. I can’t tell you how much it means to us that you and Don have been a constant in our lives from the beginning. We talk about you like you’re right here in the room with us. You have transported us to places we yearn to visit, and shared the ups and downs of your lives. Thanks so much for inviting us into your world. ❤ ~Terri

      1. We do too, Alison. Hopefully the stars will align. We just missed seeing Laura and Steve (The Wandering RVers), but hope to in the future. Maybe soon we’ll all be more mobile and can make these dreams a reality. ❤ ~Terri

    1. Thanks for the comment and dropping by the blog Gauri. I see that you just achieved a follower milestone on your blog. Congrats to you as well and best of luck with your blog. ~James

  3. Congratulations, and Snap! 🙂 🙂 It was 9 years for me this week. And I’ve often thought of walking away- doing something more productive, or even profitable, but here I still am. I’m overdue a break, but I’ve found circumstances this past year very hard to walk away from. I’ve felt the love, and also done my best to give support to all those out there who’ve had times of despair and doubt- and that’s most of us, isn’t it?
    I value your presence, and your darn good common sense. Here’s to another year of magic!

    1. That’s amazing, Jo. Congratulations to you, too! What an amazing coincidence. I’m so glad we discovered each other all those years ago. I remember that you invited us to participate in Capture the Colour (so fun!) … and it was off to the races! 🙂

      I know that we’ve both seen friends who have chosen to move on from blogging and their presence is sorely missed. Thank you so much for hanging in there all these years and sharing your life and providing such inspiring leadership. This year has been especially challenging for so many, and your support is both valued and cherished. Thanks so much for your very kind words. Here’s to another 9 for both of us! 🙂 ~Terri

  4. Congratulations on 9 marvelous years of blogging! You blog has and always will be an inspiration for your well-planned, interesting material as well as your quality photos. I remember so much and yet recalling details escapes me. I love the humor you find in details ( especially cities in foreign countries), your succinct yet poignant writing, your advice bloggers(I’ve taken some and used it!), and your love of hearts that I look forward to each Valentine’s. Here’s to 9 or 90 more – it’s always a good day when Gallivance lands in my mailbox!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Rusha. We’ve certainly enjoyed reading your blog over the years as well. Your enthusiasm for life and travel as well as your adventurous spirit shines through your blog and it’s a pleasure to see.

      It’s rewarding to hear the qualities you enjoy about our blog because they’re precisely what we try to achieve, and it’s great to hear from an accomplished blogger like you. You have been one of our steadfast readers all these years, and we truly appreciate your continuing to follow along. ~James

  5. Congratulations on 9 years of fabulous blogging. I love your posts, especially the colourful and unique photographs you include. You both seem to be able to find the uniqueness of any place you visit. I could never pick a favourite post but I do look forward to your heart posts as I can´t believe where you find images of hearts. I too loved “51 Thoughts to Simplify Your Life”. It was fun to be part of and I picked up some great ideas. I love being part of this blogging family! Here´s to many more years of blogging.

    1. Thanks so much Darlene. It’s always fun to visit your blog to get the latest news on you and Amanda, and to see what’s cookin’ in your literary circle.

      You’re the second person to mention enjoying the heart posts, and we’re pleased that you look forward the post each year. That series of posts is the perfect example of never being able to predict what readers will like. It’s a fun post to put together, and we really enjoy looking for hearts throughout the year so it’s win-win.

      Thanks so much for your collaboration and for continuing to be a part of our blogging family for all these years. We know that you have a lot of demands on your time, and we appreciate that you choose to spend some of it reading our blog. ~James

  6. Happy 9th blogiversary, Terri and James! Great tips and I love how you both stay true to yourselves and prioritize your subjects. There is obvious passion for the topics you prefer and write about. That’s very important to me, as a reader and a blogger. Yes, we are flexible and we might (should) take our readers’ interests into account, but the blog is and remains our own baby, our own creation. Like you, I put much more value in my blog than in social media. I always have and I always will.

    Fatigue is real. While I am interested in all the posts of the bloggers I follow, I end up spending about two hours a day reading and commenting. And that doesn’t include creating my own weekly posts and replying to comments. Life and work gets in the way with that, so pressure and guilt build up. Not good. Breaks are needed once in a while, although I have only taken one one-month blogging break in the thirteen years I’ve been blogging…

    Keep it up, team! It’s nice both of you are involved on Gallivance. It’s a one-woman show on Roaming About. My husband doesn’t even read what I write. Different priorities and passions. But I love the freedom. 🙂

    1. WOW Liesbet -13 years is amazing! Congratulations! I think you’ve set the record. I love that you called your blog your baby – we agree! You must find inspiration at every turn. Am I correct that you first wrote about your sailing adventures? Back in 2007 the world must have felt like a very different place compared to today. And the fact that your blog is a one-woman show is admirable – I can certainly see how you might need a break. I bet Mark secretly reads it … 🙂

      Thank you so much for your great comments, unwavering support, and kind words. I always look forward to your monthly expense summaries because you inspire me to do better. So how goes the editing? ~Terri

      1. Hi Terri!

        Yep – eight years of blogging about our sailing journey (2007-2015) on my first blog “It’s Irie”, followed by five years of blogging on Roaming About at an average of 1-2 posts a week. 🙂

        Thanks for asking about my travel memoir progress. The editing is in the hands of a professional at the moment. I”m making good progress towards publication, hopefully by the end of November. It’s been a long and exhausting road.

        By the way, if you have time and interest, I think you and James (and maybe some of your readers if they scan this comment) might find this recent interview I did about my nomadic lifestyle quite inspiring:

      2. That’s a lot of posts, Liesbet. Congrats. So glad to hear that you’re getting close on publishing your travel memoir. Are you going the traditional publication route or something different? Susan @ is publishing her novel a chapter at a time – and it’s great!
        I can’t wait to read your interview. I’ll check it out today. Thanks for the link. ~Terri

      3. Yes about the book tour, when the time is right. I’ll be back on the road in Zesty by then, so the logistics will probably be tricky. But, I’m planning quite a few things in the blogosphere and on social media. I’ll have to write a blog post about all this soon, to answer all your questions officially! 😉 Thanks for the interest, Terri.

  7. Kudos on 9 years! That was a lot of work to get here. I’m new to your blog but I can say from my perspective, you hit the high points that I find in your postings. But you missed my favorite: Your cerebral approach to topics. You don’t throw out superficial comments that ‘everyone would agree with’. You offer deep consideration, connections maybe I didn’t think of. Love this about you folks!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Jacqui. Coming from an accomplished writer like you they mean a great deal.

      Like many newbie bloggers we didn’t really think or plan long term, and frankly, we’re both a bit surprised that we’re still at it after 9 years. But as the years have passed we’ve recognized how many alternatives readers have, and in order to keep our blog appealing we had to keep content interesting and the quality up. Also, we always remember conciseness, and most importantly, to be genuine. Of course, successful authors like you know this instinctively, but I suspect it takes most bloggers a bit longer to pick it up … and some never do.

      We know that you have lots of choices of where you spend your time, and we’re flattered that you choose to spend some of it at Gallivance. ~James

    1. Where did the time go Leslie? Sometimes it really doesn’t feel like 9 years, and then I go back through some of our old posts and it seems longer. For me personally, I know one reason for my longevity is having Terri as a blogging partner. We work well together and are both good at stepping up when the other isn’t entirely motivated to work on the blog. As you know, blogging done right takes lots of work, and having someone to share the load makes all the difference.

      You’ve hung in there with us for a long time, and we really appreciate you’re reading the blog as well as all of your meaningful comments and contributions. Thanks so much. ~James

  8. Terri and James – What a milestone! Congratulations to you both, and thankyou from the bottom of my blogging-heart. You’ve given me hours and hours of pleasurable reading, taken me to places I have never been, and made me laugh along the way. You taught me about dengue fever, showed me interesting graffiti, and encouraged me in simple living. What a treasure is your blog and what a positive addition to my life :)) Wow!!! Cheers- Susan

    1. Susan, we are truly honored by your praise and thrilled that we discovered each other all those years ago. We were all living in different places then … so we figure that any one who sticks with us through a few moves (both ours and yours) is a Keeper! 🙂 When it comes to blogs, we have a mutual admiration society.

      You are such an accomplished writer, traveler, and citizen of the world. I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying Vowels, Vodka and Voices. Hannah is my kind of woman! Do I detect a hint of Susan in her character?

      So glad that you’ve enjoyed the Dengue, graffiti, and simple living – all near and dear to our hearts. Thanks for making out lives richer every day. ❤ ~Terri

  9. Happy blog birthday! Congratulations and best wishes for many more years. I started mytimetotravel in 2009, but it hasn’t seen much action since I got sick in 2017. Lately I’ve been going back through my photos instead.

    I always enjoy the simplicity posts (although I have a hard time seeing books as “stuff”), but for some reason I particularly remember the Wroclaw gnomes. I’m not usually a fan of gnomes, but that put Wroclaw on my should-visit list. No idea if I’ll ever get there now.

    1. Thanks Kathy. Wow 2009! That’s a good, long while to be a blogger. You must certainly be doing lots of things right.

      Thanks for the reminder of the gnomes post. We really enjoyed Wroclaw, and the search for the gnomes was the perfect motivation to get into parts of the city that we might not otherwise have seen. It’s a great idea and I’m surprised more cities don’t try similar projects for tourism. Good luck on the photo project. ~James

  10. Terri and James, Gallivance is a star among travel blogs. Longevity–I salute you for this but that’s never enough in itself. For you it means maintaining and exceeding the sheer quality of your writing, with familiar themes and great surprises, stunning photos and insights. Love your front page and all it offers. For sure you inspire hundreds.

    1. Thank you so much, Rachel. It’s wonderful to hear from you. Your kind words are truly appreciated, and your observation on longevity made me smile. We’re discovering that so many bloggers we’ve enjoyed over the years also started blogging around the same time as we did. I find that amazing. Some might call that synchronicity. I know that you’ve been writing all your life, but I was wondering when did you launch your blog? All the best, Terri

      1. I’m pretty sure most people who start a personal blog drop out after 0-5 posts. Which warps the statistics no doubt. So it’s good to have company on the long haul. I think I began this blog in 2014, but I started with 2 consecutive private blogs on Blogger which I used as filing systems. That was maybe 2007? I forget. It’s a saga but finally I got into my stride. Onwards and upwards!

  11. Congratulations on nine years! I can certainly relate to blogger fatigue and lack of inspiration. However, whenever I think about no longer blogging, I’m reminded of the blogging community and would miss the interaction with folks from around the world.
    Keep up the great job and let’s hope we’ll all be back to traveling as usual next year. – Ingrid

    1. Thanks Ingrid. After 9 years of blogging we both agree that some days we’re into the blog and some days not. Fortunately with two of us, those days don’t usually coincide so we continue to make it happen. But you’re right that a big perk of blogging is the interaction with blogging buddies like you. Our followers are now friends that we’ve kept up with for years, and missing them would leave a big hole in our lives.

      The key to longevity for us is to figure out exactly what we need to do if we’re going to continue, and in fact, these lessons are some of the realities that we realized will keep us going. We’ve said all along that as long as we’re having fun we’ll keep blogging, and we’re still having fun, so here we are. We know that you have lots of choices how you spend your time, and we appreciate that you choose to carve out a bit for our blog. Thanks. ~James

  12. First, congratulations on nine years, James and Terri. Having ten years and a thousand blogs under my belt, I know what an incredible undertaking it is. I read through your comments and I have to say ditto. The two of you have always provided fun, interesting and often educational posts, not to mention great photos. I would also like to add a wonderful sense of humor that often shines through. I’ll close by adding a Ben Franklin quote on Nine: “I wake up every morning at nine and grab for the morning paper. Then I look at the obituary page. If my name is not on it, I get up.” Now there is inspiration. 🙂 –Curt

  13. Curt, you’re the best! Thanks not only for the kind words, but also for the very memorable quote! 🙂 I’ve never read that one, but I think it will stick with me forever. 🙂

    Ten years is awesome … and very inspiring. These milestone years seem to provide another great chance to reflect and plan for the future. I so enjoyed The Bush Devil Ate Sam – and I was wondering if you have another book in the works?

    Thanks again, Terri

    1. Thanks for the comment Shane and for dropping by the blog. And also, thanks for the good play on words. That’s another “nine” phrase that we hadn’t thought of. All the best. ~James

  14. First off congratulations on 9 years!!! I’d never given much thought to the significance of 9 but now that you’ve pointed it out, hmmm. While I haven’t been with you the entire time, I’ve most certainly enjoyed the 7-8 years I’ve followed along. If you count TouringNH, I will have 8 years next month. I can appreciate blogger/reader burnout. There have been many times I have put myself in “time out”.

    You have done a wonderful job at being nimble! Your re-created site is a treasure trove and you’ve done an amazing job staying relevant in the current chaos, something I have struggled mightily with.

    Sorry we didn’t get a chance to connect last week, but we LOVED Kentucky and barely scratched the surface, we will be back!

    Best of luck on year 10 and beyond!

    1. Many, many thanks Laura! And Congrats on 8 years for you – that’s fantastic! We hardly had a single comment our first year of blogging – so I’m surprised we persevered. As our British friends tell us, it was “Just sheer bloody-mindedness!” 🙂

      We have so enjoyed getting to know you over the years and glad that we had a chance to show you St. Simons Island. Sorry that we missed you last week and thrilled that you enjoyed your time in Kentucky.

      When it comes to being nimble, I think you and Steve are perfect examples. You set a life goal to hit the road … and accomplished it. Now 1219 days later you’re having a blast. And who knew that Christmas Trees would become part of your tale. How cool is that! Thanks again for hanging with us. ❤ ~Terri

  15. Terri and James, Congratulations on the 9 years of blogging and best wishes for many more years! Thank you for sharing the nine lessons learned. Kudos to you for your advice on #8.

    1. Thanks Natalie. When we started our blog hot-button issues weren’t anything we worried much about, but that was 9 years ago. Over the past few years it seems like polarization is the rule rather than the exception, and for us and our blog, it really comes down to priorities. One of the advantages of a personal blog is having things the way you want them, and we simply don’t want to use our time arguing with readers.

      We love thoughtful views that don’t jibe with ours, and welcome those comments, but it’s easy to get drawn in to an argument, and we just don’t do it on our blog. Hopefully, this isn’t an issue for you, but it’s good to plan for when it happens. ~James

  16. Congratulations on 9 years from a newish reader! I think we discovered each other through having similar blog names. I clocked up 9 years too recently, though, like another commenter I read, it took a while to get properly started. I was just communicating with friends and family and didn’t discover the blogging community for about three years. My loss!

    1. Thanks so much, Anabel. And congratulations to you, too, on 9 years of blogging. Like you we spent our first year primarily communicating with family and friends. But when we started getting comments from people from around the globe, it opened up a whole new, wonderful world of far-flung friendships that we treasure. That’s why we were so thrilled to discover you. When I saw your title The Glasgow Gallivanter, I knew it was meant to be – since James and I met in Glasgow (Kentucky) and our blog titles are similar. Thanks again for joining us – and taking us with you – I loved your jaunt to Blairgowrie. Here’s to many more blogiversaries for all of us. 🙂 ~Terri

  17. Very inspiring. I just started my blog earlier today. I hope I am still blogging 9 years from now. Congratulations on your 9th year!

    1. Hi Kathleen! It’s wonderful to hear from you. And I was certainly remiss to neglect Drew! Please don’t tell him. 🙂

      Thanks so much for your encouragement. I’m glad you’re enjoying our posts – as I do yours – especially the one about “Touch.” It really hit home.

      Stay safe down there in one of my favorite cities in the world. James and I lived in New Orleans when we were fresh out of college … and I was a teacher, too. 🙂 ~Terri

  18. Happy 9th anniversary you two! It is no secret I have been a big fan since the beginning of my blogging entry, now 7 years ago. Rather than a top post I would say what I like is the way you find some lesser known fact about a subject. Your unique take on a situation or discovery of the unique is impressive. Your genuine interaction also is a very big draw for me. You two are the real thing. Coming to your blog feels like a sit down visit.
    Congrats to you friends. If it weren’t for you I would have thrown up my hands and pa led it in after a year or two. Always grateful for that help in the early days.


    1. Sue, thanks so much for your kind words. We go back a ways, and it’s people like you that make blogging worth the effort. It’s been really helpful for us to have an experienced blogger like you to share experiences with, and it’s been educational to see how you’ve grown your blog from the beginning to be the success that it is today.

      As we’ve said from the beginning, we’ll keep blogging as long as it’s fun, and it’s friends like you that continue to make it fun. Thanks and all the best to you and Dave for continued blogging success. ~James

      1. Thanks for the good wishes James. I have to say the blogging over here feels a bit like a roller coaster. I appreciate you and Terri following along, gently guiding through ups and downs. If any thing the pandemic has us at a more steady ride. As long it’s fun. That’s the theme for sure.

  19. Congratulations Terri and James for 9 years of blogging. Keeping us entertained and inspired, giving us a good laugh and holding our hands when we needed. I am a huge fan of team Gallivance and feel so grateful to have met you here on blogosphere. I like all the above tips and lessons, totally agree that we sometimes need a break from blogging, but the community will always welcome you back. Your writing is very unique, so keep doing and writing about what you love.

  20. Gilda, you made our day! “Team Gallivance” – I like it! 🙂 Thank you for your kindness, compliments, and encouragement. I know when we first discovered each other – I think we were bonding over both of our travels in Southeast Asia Such a fascinating place. And I’m thrilled that you and Brian have been able to get back on the road. I just saw your photos of the Dolomites. All I can say is WOW!!! We’re so fortunate to have friends like you. The blogisphere is a wonderful place with you in it. ❤ ~Terri

    1. Thanks so much, Bertie. It’s been a fun 9 years. We’ve tried all kinds of posting schedules, but I think we’ve now found the one that works out best. And you’re right – it’s a challenge to keep up with everyone I want to read – so many blogs, never enough time. 🙂 I’m really enjoying your foliage series – you’ve got a keen eye! ~Terri

    1. Many thanks, Amy. I’m with you – the comments we all share on our blogs make it so much fun … and I often learn something new! James and I talk about how the comments often take on a life of their own – and you never know what direction they’re going to take! But it will always be a fun ride. 🙂 I see that you’re about to launch your yoga project. I wish you all the very best on your new venture. ~Terri

      1. Thanks Terri. I also just realized this year in March marked nine years I’ve been blogging. I didn’t realize we all started about the same time. Here’s to many more! And great comments to go along with the posts!

      2. Amy, that’s fantastic! Isn’t it amazing that so many of us started our blogs around the same time? Must have been something in the water. 🙂 Congrats to you on 9 awesome years of blogging and inspiration. ~Terri

  21. So thrilled to have found you guys! Thanks for the inspiration. Can’t wait to follow you for the next nine years. Cheers yo getting back on the road and in the skies 🙂

    1. I can’t thank you enough, Dan. The feeling is mutual! 🙂 You inspired me to look into Whole30, and I’m looking forward to see what delicious things you’ll create. And I can’t wait to hear more about your new home. ~Terri

  22. Number 9 in Chinese represents eternity, something long lasting, as your blog has been. Lesson number 6 is my favorite. I believe sharing of ideas is meant to bring people together. The two of you, Terri and James, have done a wondeful job creating a space that is welcoming. Congrats! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Ramona. I didn’t know the significance of number 9 in Chinese – and I certainly like what it represents. I’m glad you like #6 because it’s not only a great way to share ideas – it’s downright fun! 🙂 We have the best time when we’re creating collaborative posts. Your kind words are very much appreciated. ~Terri

  23. I have bookmarked and pinned this post, Terri and James. I appreciate you sharing your philosophy and the gems. I also read and saved “51 Thoughts to simplify your thoughts” per Yvette. Congratulations on nine years!

    I was not aware about the number 9. For us, 4 1/2 years ago the Number 111 and 1111 began to appear everywhere. There is a reason for this. I now pay attention. Your point, authentic and honest is palpable in your posts.

    I am at the 2 year blogging mark and I sometimes get it on the blogger fatigue. I want to be respectful to other bloggers. I realize a great deal of time and effort goes into each post. As with everyone else, I run out of hours. We just did out Fall unplugged camping trip and now I am catching up. It is still a highlight in my day to connect with the blogging community.

    I notice you do not have a Pinterest button. I have started to file blogging post topics in there. Is there a reason you don’t have this button? Respectfully, learning from you. 🙂 Erica

    1. Many, many thanks Erica for your kind words and encouragement. Ever since we wrote the post we’ve been running into new meanings of the number 9. Who knew!?! I guess many of us seem to have numbers we like – for whatever reason. 🙂 So glad that you enjoyed the “51 Thoughts to Simplify Your Life” post. It seemed to open a flood gate of ideas from so many people.

      When we started blogging we joined all the social media platforms – and worked really hard at them. But after 5 years of plugging away at them we decided we weren’t really getting a good “bang for the buck” given how much effort it took to keep them updated. We were also unhappy with much of the advertising/ promotions/issues running on the various platforms – and we had no control. So we decided to pull back from social media and consolidate all our efforts on our Gallivance website. That’s why we call it our “digital homestead.” 🙂 But that being said, I think Instagram has interesting potential – and many Simplicity Bloggers have decided to move from their websites to IG. (e.g. Benita Larsson and Francine Jay It’s an interesting shift.

      Thanks again for your lovely comment. Like you, we just got back from a week of camping and I’m trying to catch up. 🙂 ~Terri

      By the way, we do have a Pinterest account, but I haven’t updated it in a while.

      1. Terri, I was trying to find the “Pin” symbol on your post to save on my Pin boards. I see in your “Share this:” you have Twitter and Facebook. Social media can use up a great deal of time. I am cautious where I put my energy. I find Instagram can be a fun forum, especially for photos. I will check out Benita and Francine. I appreciate you sharing and I learn a great deal from you. I thought about you today, when I was organizing a few things around our house and the number 9. 🙂

  24. I have totally enjoyed your 9 years of entertaining and informative blogs, filled with wonderful photos of the world and thought provoking comments. I have no doubts that you will come up with many more! Thanks so much for following mine, though I haven’t posted in a long time – #5 on your Lessons Learned. I have had intentions and taken lots of photos but other activities seemed to take priority.
    Our living situation has changed greatly (we now live in a camper) and normally we would be packing to go to Oaxaca for the winter. As you know, travel plans have changed for us all, so we will be spending some or all of the winter right here in Alaska. (and I thought I would never have to wear those boots again…) Fortunately, our son and his wife, who live about 25 miles away, have a small apartment in their garage, so we have a warm place to stay! You have inspired me to spend some of that upcoming indoor time writing some blogs from the past.
    Thanks for all you do!

    1. Marilyn, It’s WONDERFUL to hear from you!! Thanks so much for your very kind words. I had wondered how you and David were doing with the Pandemic and travel restrictions. So sorry that Oaxaca isn’t possible this year – but I know how much you love Alaska – even if you have to put the boots back on. 🙂 So glad that you have a warm place to stay. I’m sure a camper can get a little chilly during an Alaskan winter.

      It’s great to hear that you may start blogging again. Winter is the perfect time to snuggle in, revisit old photographs, and reminisce about past activities. And this blogging community we all belong to will love it when you’re ready to return. Can’t wait to read all about what you’ve been up to. All the best, Terri

  25. Congratulations on your anniversary. Some interesting lessons to digest, and interesting to see that the average life of a blog is three years. The average life of my first blogs was more like three posts!

    1. Many thanks to you. It seems there’s something to be said for longevity. And it looks like you’ve certainly gone well beyond your 3 posts! 🙂 Congratulations to you, too. Thanks so much for stopping by – it’s a pleasure to have you here. All the best, Terri

  26. Congratulations to the two of you for nine years of blogging. I hope that you will continue for another 9 as I’ve just discovered your blog. I had my nine year anniversary this past May and I see quite a few others are long time bloggers as well…it is a wonderful community to be part of.

    1. Thanks a bunch, Karen. And congrats to you, too. I know that when we started I never imagined that we’d still be blogging nine years later. Our mantra has always been, “We’ll keep blogging as long as we’re having fun.” Well, thanks to this great community, the joy and fun have continued to grow exponentially! And we’re having a blast. So glad that you found us – and now we’ve found you. Anyone who fixes Shrimp and Grits like you do is my friend for life! 🙂 ~Terri

  27. A heartfelt congratulations on another impressive milestone!

    This really jumped out at me: “Predicting what will grab people’s attention is like throwing darts!”

    So true!

    The marketers dream in a nutshell! lol

    It’s been a pleasure reading the diverse treasures that are your posts over the years

    1. Thanks for the kind words Chris. It’s heartening to hear that you’ve enjoyed the diversity of topics on our blog. We’ve also enjoyed reading about the traveling that you and Sarah have done over the past years, and look forward to when we’re all back out there on the road again. ~James

  28. I’ve just become a follower through you liking one of my posts ..thank you very much as you do seem to have thousands of followers
    I’ve saved this post so I can go back and read some of your other posts about blogging
    As you point out it takes a lot of energy to blog

    1. Hi Alison, and welcome! It’s wonderful to have you here. I’m really enjoying your A-Z Travel Challenge – you have visited some fascinating places.

      One of the things that I truly enjoy about blogging is that we all help each other out. It’s a great community. Whenever I have a question or issue, I reach out to other bloggers and someone know the answer. I love it! 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by. All the best, Terri

      1. Yes me too Terri, I’ve got to know quite a few people since I’ve been blogging and hopping to catch up with some when we can eventually travel ..what a strange year

  29. I started my blog just a month after you and have been going for 9 years also. Always like to see what you write about (although I’m a bit behind with reading them!).

    1. Fi, bloggers with a 9 year history are in the minority, so congratulations. It’s pretty funny that we both started our blogs at the same time. So I guess that means that we must be doing something right. I don’t know about you, but when we started blogging we had no long-term plans and our mantra has never changed: as long as we’re enjoying writing the blog, we’ll continue. I think that this subconscious lack of pressure is one thing that keeps us going. Thanks for continuing to follow along and take care of yourself. ~James

    1. Happy New Year Rebecca. This is a good time of year to think about organizing projects, and the Start Here menu is one that will pay rewards. This is particularly the case as the number of posts on your blog increase. And like any organization project, it’s a pain to put in place, but after that it’s easier to maintain. Best of luck with the Start Here. ~James

      1. Thanks for the encouragement, James. When our child resumes school online Monday I’ll have an extra couple of hours a day to see Start Here through! Blessings to you two in the New Year, Rebecca

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