When I started this blog exactly 5 years ago I didn’t think I will go that far. I didn’t even think I will continue writing. I was just bored at home one evening and suddenly, out of nowhere I had this idea to start writing about my recent trip to Armenia. That’s how “Kami and the Rest of the World” was born.
There is no big story behind this blog. I didn’t learn any SEO or marketing tactics, I didn’t prepare 50 or so articles before launching the website. I just sat down and started writing, with no background knowledge at all. At first it was just a random Blogspot website, with no design at all, one of many similar pages you can find online.
The blog was created to share my travel stories with my friends abroad who I couldn’t meet with on regular basis but very soon – to my great surprise – random visitors started interacting with me. I’ve realized that I’m not writing only for myself and my friends, there are actually strangers out there who might be interested in what I have to say too.
Those comments and messages were and still are the biggest motivation for me and helped me keep going for all those years! I’m doing my best not only to share my travel stories with you but also to provide you as accurate and useful information as I can so you can travel to all those amazing places too!
So I want to say it out loud again: THANK YOU! I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you and I just can’t emphasize enough how grateful I am for your presence and support!
Few days ago I asked you to fill a quick survey for me to give me the feedback and help me make this blog even more useful for you. I must admit I was really afraid when publishing that post as I was almost sure I will get only few answers and mostly from friends.
How wrong I was! You filled over 130 surveys and – based on your answer – only a very small percentage were my friends who know me in real life. I couldn’t be any happier!
Since some of you asked me to publish the results of the survey here they are, with a little bit of comment from me.
Most of you (36,8%) found my blog while searching for some information online. That’s a really great news for me as it means you found what you were looking for and you liked it here so you’ve decided to stay. I’m really glad I could help you with any info you needed!
The majority of you has started to read the blog just recently, less than a year ago. I really hope you will stick around for much longer! But I’m so glad there is a solid group of loyal readers who have been here for years! To be honest you’re a big part of my life too!
I’m really glad that so many of you visit the blog every time I publish a new article. That means you must like what I have to say :) Thank you!
106 of you answered that the blog inspired you to go to some places. That’s amazing and makes me so happy! The places you’ve mentioned the most often were the Balkans, Caucasus, Iran and Ukraine but you also went to Jordan, Gothenburg, Kaunas or Brno thanks to the blog!
Most of you (72,5%) used the blog when planning your own trips. I will make sure to include even more useful information in the posts! If you need some more tips for planning your trips you can always contact me or join my Facebook group about travelling to Eastern Europe, the Balkans and former USSR!
What’s more, 97,7% of you trust my opinions! This is really important to me and I will do my best to never let you down. I always try to be as honest as possible in my post and even if I do occasionally some sponsored tours / stays all the opinions that you read here are my own. I’m not afraid of telling you what I liked and didn’t like.
When it comes to your favorite posts you most prefer reports from visited places (like my last post from Liberec, Czech Republic), however you’d like to see more of alternative guides and street art posts. I agree, I kind of abandoned those recently, even if during my travels I still focus on them a lot. So from now on I will do my best to publish more posts of this kind, starting maybe with Warsaw – I can’t believe I haven’t written all that much about it!
Anyway, you’d also like to read more of “top things to do in…” posts and practical information and while I usually don’t post these I might start doing them, especially for less known destinations where there is not much info about.
And now my favorite part of the survey – your comments, including the critical ones. When asked why you read the blog the reasons that were repeated most often were inspiration, less known destinations, my opinions, solo female travels and information. It seems like I share a similar travel style with many of you too!
When asked about what you’d like to change about the blog the majority of you said it’s all good but there were couple of suggestions I might consider, i.e. writing more details on cultures or cuisine (especially vegetarian dishes), working more with maps or going minimalistic with the layout. Someone suggested doing videos but I know it’s not going to happen anytime soon as I just don’t feel videos. The only think I watch on youtube are concerts.
You also asked me to write more often – ah, I wish! I have a long list of posts I’d like to write about destinations I’ve visited recently but I simply don’t have that much time. When I started my posts were shorter and pictures much worse – it took me 2-3 hours to finish everything, I was happily rambling and then hitting a publish button.
Now one post can take me even two days: not only they are so much longer (my average is around 2 thousand words now) but I also pay more attention to pictures, proofreading and the look of the post. Being a perfectionist sucks! Anyway, combine that with a full time job and sometimes it takes me the whole week to finish one post!
There were also comments that I think deserves an answer from me so here we go!
I was wondering if you can travel with other people like readers, Im afraid of travelling alone
I always try to show that it is possible to travel alone, the world isn’t a scary place and there’s nothing to be afraid of. But I perfectly understand that not everyone might feel comfortable with solo travels.
The idea of organizing a tour for my readers has been on my mind for a while, even recently I asked on my Facebook page what destination you’d be interested in. So yes, I think there might be a possibility to travel together soon but I can’t say any details yet!
Sometimes you are a bit too positive. Would like to read more about what you also dislike about some places.
That’s a really good comment and I actually can understand where it comes from. I am trying to write about things I didn’t like or destinations I didn’t really enjoy (like Astana or Liechtenstein) but in general I’m an optimistic person who tries to find positive aspects in any situation.
Fortunately for me there are very few places I didn’t like and can’t recall even one I hated. I know that no place is perfect but I always try to focus on positives and at the end of the day I often don’t remember what was wrong (that’s my “problem” not only during travels but also on every day basis). However I will try to write down also the negatives to include them in future posts! I don’t try to sound too positive on purpose, it’s just how I am!
Less tourist advertising
In March this year I’ve decided to put advertising on the blog. It was a difficult decision for me as, like probably most of the people, I don’t really like advertising online. At the same time we’re all used to it as it’s just about everywhere.
Blogging costs, not only the time I spend writing and working on the technical side, but also real things such as hosting or domain. Advertising is a good way for me to cover these costs and have some extra money for travelling (so I can write about more destinations for you, it’s like a vicious circle ;)).
I was afraid of your reaction when I put advertisements on but since March only one fellow blogger said he doesn’t like that and now this comment. So I guess it’s not that bad after all.
You should type “SPONSORED POST” when a tourist company has paid for your trip to a location you report from. Unfortunately i don’t trust these posts as much as your usual ones.
Oh but I do that! Each post that was in partnership with the destination, the accommodation or the tour company has the disclaimer at the end. I’m rather oversensitive when it comes to being transparent on the blog.
I can assure you can trust these posts as much as all the others! Even when my trip was sponsored in any way I write all my opinions, also went something was far from perfect. Fortunately I’ve never had any issues with sponsored trips hence there are no bad opinions (only mentions of some minor issues) but if I had you would have written about it too.
Another thing is that 90% of my travels are independent and paid from my own pocket (hence the advertising on the blog) as I always prefer to do things my way. I’m very selective when it comes to the offers I get and I choose only places I would go myself anyway. I would be crazy not to use some opportunities, like the railway trip to Slovakia, and I’m sure you would go for them too!
I’m so impressed at how well you write in English!
Thank you! As you know I’m from Poland and English is my second language. I had lessons only at school so I actually learnt most of it by myself (and using it every day helps a lot!) and I’m really proud of that.
I know I often make mistakes and sometimes you point them out to me – which I’m very grateful for as this way I can improve my English skills! I actually prefer writing in English as in Polish I’d overthink each sentence while in English writing goes smoothly for me.
Start to be more female on your blog…
I’m not sure what you mean but if you expect me to become girly in here I have bad news – it’s not going to happen. That’s not who I am. I’ve never been into fashion, I don’t own a single pair of stilettos and when I use a make up on a very rare occasion it’s very minimalistic (like mascara only).
You will most likely see me with a backpack, wearing jeans and sneakers, doesn’t matter if I’m travelling or going to work. There are plenty of popular girly travel blogs and the internet doesn’t need another one with me in it.
But even if I’m not girly I still am a woman who travels solo and I deal with the same issues and fears other travelling ladies have!
As for the destinations you’d like to read more about Eastern Europe is clearly on the first place (28,2%) with the Balkans (16%) and Central Asia (14,5%). That’s all a really good news for me. I have so many places I’d like to visit, my bucket list is getting longer and longer with each day and those results give me the idea what my next destinations should be.
I’m especially glad about Central Asia as I’ve been hoping to return there and finally visit Uzbekistan + see more or Kyrgyzstan! So that would hopefully happen next year!
I’m also glad to see you don’t mind me writing about places beyond my usual destinations! As much as I adore Eastern Europe and the Balkans there is so much more of the world to see and I’m ready to explore! That’s why I’m going to New Zealand later this year or to Central America in February. Still my main focus will stay at the areas I (and you!) enjoy the most!
As for the prizes I’ve promised – Ewa and Kirsty were the lucky ones here! I really wish I had something for everyone…
So that’s it. Thank you all again for taking the time to fill out the survey – I can’t really emphasis how much it means to me! I can only promise I will take all your comments into consideration and will do my best to make this place as enjoyable for you as it is for me!
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