Blogging, Travel

A Huge Announcement for 2015!

So I’m a little late to the Happy New Year post game. Sorry about that, but I have my reasons. Mainly, I’ve been quite sick since Christmas Day. In fact, we had to extend our stay in Ohio because I pretty much didn’t leave the bed for two days. After I finally managed to lift my carcass out of the horizontal position, I was still empty in the energy department. The eight hour drive back to North Carolina felt a little too dangerous until I could keep my eyes open for longer than a couple of hours. I’m still not completely better dealing with some vertigo related issues.

Enough about that though. The last few years I’ve been using WordPress’s year in review of my blog to write a post about where The Wandering Gourmand has been and where it’s going. Okay, maybe that’s a lie. Mostly those posts have been gripes about how abysmal The Wandering Gourmand’s performance has been and slightly introspective on what needs to be done to fix it. Okay, so that’s not entirely true either. Both have been rather whiney. Well enough whining!

A new year’s post should be positive, right?  It should be about action and new beginnings and best wishes for readers!  Let’s get 2015 started off right!  Please accept my heartfelt Happy New Year.  I truly hope that your 2015 is filled with much prosperity and success (and travel)!

Let’s do this adventure together!  As we journey forth into the new year, The Wandering Gourmand has many exciting things planned from both a blog and a travel perspective.  Here’s what we have lined up!

Boulder Beach

Boulder Beach, South Africa. Visited in November 2014

A New Direction for the Wandering Gourmand!

As many of you may not be aware, writing is now my full-time gig. I left the corporate world (hopefully to never return again) in July to pursue my writing dreams. This site is a huge part of those dreams. You may have already started to notice some big changes over the past few months as I reorganized and refocused. My About page provides valuable insight into that refocus of helping readers see and taste the world.

For starters, the look and feel went through a major overhaul with the inclusion of a new logo that I’m quite fond of. I also reorganized the posts according to the new tag line – Pints, Plates, and Passports. Recently, I overhauled the newsletter as well for you lucky subscribers. For those of you not yet subscribed, I’m sweetening the deal by offering my free guide 8 Steps to Realizing Your Travel Dreams to all new subscribers (current subscribers received their guide today via email).

North Country Brewing in Slippery Rock, PA

North Country Brewing in Slippery Rock, PA. Visited in July 2014

All of these efforts were part of a greater re-launch strategy for The Wandering Gourmand that continues to unfold. There are still several big events lined up for The Wandering Gourmand Kick-off Party:

  • Free Electronic Copy of 8 Steps to Realizing Your Travel Dreams when you subscribe to our Free Newsletter – I already mentioned this one above (like two seconds ago), but I’m stoked to help The Wandering Gourmand community travel beyond all-inclusive resorts in Cancun. This guide is a great way to help you to stop just dreaming about exotic places and start visiting them! You can sign up using the form below.

  • Best… In The World Series – I asked some of the top travel, food, craft beer, and wine bloggers in the world what their favorite restaurant, bar, brewery, or winery was, and they answered! Each week in February The Wandering Gourmand will publish a post highlighting some of the best indulgences around the globe. For starters, we’re covering the Best Restaurants in the World. You won’t want to miss this series!
  • Summary of our Trip to Africa – Now that I’m finally rid of the Ebola virus, I can write about our trip. Only kidding. I never caught Ebola, but I did have an awesome time traveling around South Africa and Namibia. I’ve already posted about a few of those experiences. Expect many more as I recap the trip of a lifetime because I want to show you why everyone needs to visit Africa at least once in their life!
  • Why I Quit My Job Post – Most bloggers write a huge personal revelation piece once they leave the corporate world. I’ve read them, admired them, and have even been inspired by them. I need to tell that story, it’s just taken some time to unravel the damage and face some scary skeletons. Expect a post in March!
  • Overhaul of the Beer Versus Wine Contest – This will happen towards the middle of 2015 as many balls are still up in the air. Will it continue to be housed on this site or will it be spun off on its own? What will the rules look like to encourage non-bloggers to participate? Will I be able to secure sponsorship for monthly prizes like I did in December from Negra Modelo? The Beer Versus Wine Challenge is not going away as it is a fan favorite, but it will change.
  • More Brewery Reviews – According to the stats, while you may not have loved my beer reviews you do love my brewery reviews. And I love writing them so expect more!
  • Book Announcement – While not directly related to this blog, it does relate to my writing. I am wrapping up the final draft of my novel this month. This book will publish. First, I’ll try the traditional publishing route. If that doesn’t succeed, I will self-publish. Here’s a hint on the subject – 1970s Youngstown Mafia.

To stay alert with all of these happenings, sign-up for our free newsletter:

Ellis Island

Ellis Island, New York.  Visited in April, 2014

How can you keep up with or support these endeavors? I’m glad that you asked I planted the question.

  • Share our posts on social media! Help spread The Wandering Gourmand hunger and inspire your friends to travel by using the Share Buttons conveniently floating on the left to share our posts in your circles.  Start by sharing this one so that your friends can add travel into their 2015 by reading our free guide 8 Steps to Realizing Your Travel Dreams!
  • Follow us on Facebook! There’s a party going on that covers more than just our recent posts! If you’re lucky, I may even send you a video cheers like this one!
  • Shop our Affiliate Links! Most of the products, services, and tours that we link to are affiliate links. That means we receive a small commission when you purchase through those links. It’s not much, but enough to keep the servers running. Please, if you plan to buy something we mention, do it through our links.

Upcoming Travel for The Wandering Gourmand in 2015

2015 is shaping up to be the year of Asheville for The Wandering Gourmand with four trips planned already. Three trips are for weddings and one is to attend the 2015 Beer Bloggers Conference. We’re also confirmed for a weekend in Raleigh to attend the Raleigh Rare Beer Festival, an overnight at Gervasi Vineyard in Canton, Ohio, and a trip to The Villages, Florida to check out my parents’ new house. Finally, we’ll be wrapping up the year in Houston, Texas.

Unconfirmed are several exciting opportunities – London, the Baltic Region, TBEX North America (if the dates and location are ever announced), Rwanda, and another culinary excursion (perhaps in France). If half of these trips happen, I will be a very happy man.

Namibia Safari

Etosha National Park, Namibia. October 2014

But Enough About Me! What Are Your Travel Plans for 2015?