Summer vibes in Winter: February 2019

Today the temperatures rose to 20 degrees Celsius (68 F) and it is only February! The weather here has been crazy. Birds are chirping, the sun is shining and the bees are buzzing. This resulted in early spring cleaning, walks outside and even lunches outside in the sun! What is the weather like where you are?

I just got back from a super excited SEO Bootcamp with Make Traffic Happen. It was interesting and frustrating at the same time. I followed the books of Make Traffic Happen for a while now and saw traffic (and income) happen. But the boot camp has been an eye-opener about my blog and what I’m trying to achieve here. Not having a clearly defined niche and working within it, has proven to be difficult.

Since I got back from the boot camp, I’ve been racking my brain to see what I could do to write more about niche topics. Turns out, I don’t want that. I don’t want to only write about my travel with Crohn’s disease or IBS. I don’t want to solemnly write about solo travel or train travel. Or only discuss Roman ruins with you. I don’t want to limit myself but share all my stories with you. But by doing so, I make it harder to attract the right readers and make my blogging dreams come true.

I haven’t quite cracked that nut yet. Yes, I cried a wee bit. Yes, I felt utterly gutted and phrases like: “what is the point?” crossed my head as I traveled through the Scottish countryside. I feel like a stubborn little 3-year old, not wanting to take their nap but knowing I’d feel so much better after it.

Personal travel stories by Naomi from Probe around the Globe Travel Blog
Trying to find some hills in our pancake-flat little country to hike.

Blogging Life

So what did I do on the blog? In case you’ve missed it, I revamped some of my Rome content and I added a few new posts. If you like Rome as much as I do or just want to get my personal favorites, keep an eye out as I’ll have plenty more Rome content in the next months (?) coming out. For now, feast your eyes on this:

I also published one of the best road trips I’ve ever taken. The King’s Highway in Jordan was an epic road trip from Amman to Petra. I wrote all about it here. And I wrapped up my whole Jordan itinerary in a massive post to help you plan your (solo) adventures to Jordan. You can read it here: 10-Day Jordan Itinerary for solo travelers.

Weekend in Scotland

Well enough about my blogging life. The weekend in Scotland was actually really nice. Edinburgh feels like a small little village and everything looks and feels familiar but with a pixie dust cuteness overload on top of it. I didn’t explore Edinburgh city but I took a day trip to Sterling (by train) where I explore the castle and walked to the Wallace Monument. Climbing those Scottish hills was the first proper work-out in my exercise routine. And although I was hot as hell and sweating all over the place, the views were amazing and I kept reminding myself it would be good training for our Pembrokeshire Coastal Walk.

Speaking of which, I woke up 2 days later with sore legs like I climbed Mt. Everest or something. My shins were all tight and cramped up, so I spent the biggest portion of the day trying to stretch my legs to get rid of it.

Personal travel stories by Naomi from Probe around the Globe Travel Blog
The amazing panoramic view of the River Forth from the Wallace Monument.

Pembrokeshire Coastal Path

I was also very happy to have finally found the last piece of the puzzle that will be our trip to Pembrokeshire in May/June. There was still one night open and I couldn’t find a hotel or B&B to reply to me. So I tried again and I’ve made the last booking! Yeaaaa!

I also booked our train tickets from the Netherlands to London! Yes, we decided to travel back and forth to Wales by train. Flying would save us considerable amounts of time, but trying to be a bit more sustainable, I decided to book the train. I’m super excited to travel on the Eurostar and then we’ll switch to local trains in London to finish the final leg of the journey to Wales.

Lebanon

Wow, I did a lot of planning and booking in February now that I look back. I also locked down my travel plans for my 10-day trip to Lebanon. I settled on day trips from Beirut and I’ll rent a car to explore the rest of the country. Hopefully, this will enable me to diversify my storytelling about the best way to see Lebanon and increase efficiency for traveling within the country. I’m not sure how it will work out but we’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

Venice

I’m writing this a bit in a hurry as I have a plane the catch. Yes sorry world, I do fly occasionally. We’ll be exploring the Carnival in Venice. My mother-in-law has been working on our outfits for months and the boyfriend and I have matching masks so I’m really curious what Venice will be like during Carnivale. I’ve previously been 3 times, but this will be the first time during Carnival!

Read about Venice and my March recap here.

Low-FODMAP diet and travel

The weekend in Edinburgh was the first time traveling on the low-FODMAP diet and it has been challenging. At home, it is mostly a matter of planning. Think spreadsheet, weekly meal plans, and endless grocery lists. But after a full day of exploring, it was difficult to find the right food to eat. I say difficult, not impossible. I actually managed to have a whole 4-day weekend trip in Edinburgh and I actually stuck to my low-FODMAP diet. I found the most amazing gluten-free burger place. They have a whole allergens spreadsheet (I do like spreadsheets) so I had an amazing 100% low-FODMAP burger that was fingerlickin’ good.

Personal travel stories by Naomi from Probe around the Globe Travel Blog
Delicious juicy burger with a gluten-free bun and garlic free sauce.

Healthy Living

2 months into my new diet and healthy living routine and things are going ok. I walk to work as much as I can and I try to follow a strict 100% low-FODMAP diet. So far, things are going well but it is tiring. The constant planning and thinking of what I have to eat or can’t eat or want to eat are exhausting. I did manage to come up with a whole arsenal of new recipes that the boyfriend and I have enjoyed very much so. But it takes so much time!

Together with my full-time job, the full-time blog, the walking to work and trying to get more than 6.5 hours of sleep every night, there is hardly any time left for meal prepping and cooking and actual eating.

Everything fell to pieces the moment I went away for a weekend. Although I managed to follow the low-FODMAP diet during my time in Edinburgh, I was so hungry when I got home at 9 pm. Shops were already closed and my empty fridge made me order a pizza. Oopsie (#sorrynotsorry). I need to be better prepared for my next weekend away.

I do notice instantly if I’m well-rested and well-nourished. We did a couple of hikes in the local area with some altitude gain and tried some longer walks but I was struggling. Maybe I want to go too fast too quickly, but we’ll only have 3 months left. I’m worried that I’ll absolutely die on the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. But I have to remember where I came from and what I have to do. Just put one foot in front of the other and take it one step at the time.

Check out more stories, like January 2019 and March 2019, and April 2019, and June 2019.

Welcome to Probe around the Globe, my name is Naomi and I'll like to take you with me as we discover what lies beneath the cultures of our world

I hope you enjoyed reading my personal stories. If you want more of this, sign-up for my mailing list to stay up to date, or stalk me on social media, like Facebook or Twitter.

With that cheesy metaphor, I’ll leave you and say goodbye. Until next month!

Naomi

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