A Christmas Letter

Dear Readers,

Today is Christmas, and I am sure, at least I hope, that many of you are too busy celebrating with friends and family to spend much time on the internet. However, since Tuesdays are my usual posting days, and for those of you who are spending the day in tranquil solitude, or are just in need of a brief respite from all the celebrating (hello my fellow introverts!), I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude and share some thoughts.

First and most importantly, I want to say thank you to all my family and friends who have supported me as I worked to establish this site by sharing, subscribing, and providing me with words of encouragement along the way. I also want to thank my friends who have generously shared their own experiences by entrusting me to publish several of their stories. Your generosity has served to diversify the information available on my site and given me several precious breaks from writing a weekly post. And finally I want to thank the subscribers who do not know me personally, but have taken a leap of faith in following my blog. I hope to keep you all entertained and engaged in the New Year!

I’m not entirely sure where this journey will take me, and, six months in, the answer to that continues to evolve. I only knew in the beginning that I had adventures I wanted to share, in a more complete and far reaching form than casual conversation could satisfy. I did not foresee the connection I would feel with a global audience. Although there are currently just over 300 of you, subscribers to this site represent 37 countries around the world! In these first six months, I have been able to share 25 articles, which were viewed a total of 1,670 times by 599 visitors. Not everyone was inspired to subscribe, but that’s ok. It just makes me want to work harder to produce engaging work! Over the next year, I plan to build on my story-telling skills and continue to reach out to (and hopefully appeal to) an ever more diverse global audience.

This brings me to something that has been on my mind more and more lately. For a long time, I have liked to think of myself as not only a proud American citizen, but also a citizen of the world. I have been able to imagine myself in this way because 1) I have the means and the ability to visit just about any place I would want to see; and 2) I have felt welcomed as a guest in every country I have desired to visit. I have spoken with people on my travels who have not had such freedom of movement, for one or both of the reasons above. This is truly a tragedy because I firmly believe that if more of us were able to extend our reach to the unfamiliar, to travel to unknown places and get to know the people of those places, perhaps we would see more of our commonalities and fewer of our differences. I hope that in some small way, sharing my experiences with a global audience (however small in numbers) might open up the world to someone who may not otherwise be able experience it.

As we go through the coming year, I hope that whether you are able to travel or not you find enjoyment and inspiration in the stories I share here. On Christmas and always, I wish you all safe travels and joy and peace in the New Year,

Wendy (Admin@eatshoptour.com)

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