It’s my blog birthday!
Hip! Hip! Hurrah!
I can’t believe that on Sunday, October 21st, my blog was 5 years old.
Honestly, I can’t quite believe that just 60 months ago on an Autumn Sunday evening, I decided to put pen to paper and open up a social media thingy.
I mean, when I first started I didn’t even know what social media was all about, and I had never ever met a blogger.
In real life!
And apart from Facebook and who isn’t on Facebook? I knew zilch about social media.
Yep! Yours truly had known nothing about Twitter. Nothing at all!
I mean, I knew it, but I didn’t know it – know it!
But I quickly learnt.
My Twitter page was open and ready to go!
Oh, I used to have a travel diary that was purely set up for friends and family, but this blogging thing was something else.
So much has taken place that I can hardly stand it.
As a result, this week’s post is going to be about that journey from when I wrote my first blog, to right now. Five years later. Here we go!
THE BRITISH BERLINER IS 5 YEARS OLD. HURRAH! LET’S JUMP UP AND DOWN AND SCREAM!
Before we go on, why did I start this blog anyway…..?
At the beginning of 2014, I told you that The Tall Young Gentleman was a member of the Boy Scouts of America: Troop 46. Some of the American mothers were new in town and not only was I the only British parent but I was also the New Parent Co-Ordinator at the time….
Lots of my corporate clients ask me about Britain, I recommend London and my original home-town – Manchester. Thousands, OK, hundreds of people asked me about Germany. I recommend Berlin and then I thought, why don’t I write about my favourite places and they can see for themselves?
So here we are!
My blog is five years old.
It’s been an amazing ride. In fact, the last five years have been fantastic!
My blog is a flourishing toddler.
And I am exceedingly proud.
I’ve had an amazing collection of marvellous stories, visits, and adventures like how I met Prince William.
As you do!
A lot of people, bloggers in particular, don’t like the notion of luck and quite frankly, I’m not one to talk of fate, but when I happen to be in the right place at the right time, I don’t know what else to call it.
So I’m going to say it as I see it.
Are you ready?
Here it comes!
My toddler blog has been a resounding success because of the jolly good luck I’ve had, flowing with masses of enthusiasm, buckets of really hard work, and shaken and stirred with all the people I have met along the way, who have helped and supported me on my quest to being a fabulous British blogger.
There. I’ve said it!
But before we go any further, I would just like to thank some very important people.
All of you.
Where would I be without your comments, your likes, your opinions and your reads?
Without you this blog would just be an empty piece of cyber-paper floating in the blogosphere. You have all been so amazing and supportive, reading my blog every week, and sharing it with all your friends, family, and associates.
I’ve even had people smiling and recognising me on the streets.
One woman’s smile was so wide, when she discovered that I was just about to sit opposite her on the commuter train! Another guy saw me on my residential gentrified street and screamed outside his van window “Are you that blogger? The British one!” In German of course, so it sounded rather different!
A group of teenaged girls followed me about and giggled as I went shopping in my local supermarket. And being that I live in Berlin and not New York, I got thumbs up, the gruff “I saw you on TV” and appreciative looks when running around town with my signature stripped, dotted or Union Jack pop socks!
I’ve spent an evening with Prince William & Kate Middleton. I’ve been flown to London for the BBC. I’ve been on TV as a sub-presenter on a panel of British experts – Die Queen in Berlin. I’ve been featured in a documentary. I’ve been on the radio. I’ve been in the newspaper. I’ve been in lifestyle magazines. I’ve been put on the postgraduate recruitment poster of my university! I’ve been invited to the German Parliament (Bundestag). I’ve spoken at serious academic panels on the issue of Europe, British people abroad, and Brexit. I’ve been given awards as an expat writer.
I’ve even been in an independent film!
I’ve already travelled to 8 countries this year. Some of them even twice!
And all because of you.
Thank you so much! I love you all!
So let’s go back in time.
WHAT IS THIS BLOG ABOUT?
The British Berliner is a lifestyle expat travel blog about culture, history, travels around the world, Brexit, the Royal Family, Europe, and being British in Berlin!
It’s about a British girl from Manchester living in Berlin with her German husband and her half British – half German son, her promotion of British-German life, culture, history, literature, theatre, style, Europe, travels around the world, what she does in normal every day life and where she goes.
THE MOST POPULAR POST EVER
The most popular post is still the one that I wrote about Poland.
It was very tongue-in-cheek. Most people got it, but at the same time most didn’t, so I got a lot of abuse for it.
The blog post was called: Going to Poland: 10 reasons not to go! This post shockingly went VIRAL and I have received 276 comments and up to 255,918 hits in my social media feed!
Two hundred and fifty-five thousand, nine hundred and eighteen (255,918)!
That’s over a quarter of a million views, hits and shares!
Can you imagine that I wrote it four (4) years ago. And it’s still going as strong as ever!
Thank you Poland!
I looooove you!!!
THE MOST IMPORTANT AND UTTERLY RELEVANT POST
As you all know, I’m a very proud British person.
However, after the very disappointing result of the Brexit Referendum in 2016, many of my fellow British citizens began to wonder whether the discussions and talks would lead to a better understanding of British / European relations, or a hardline stance.
Indeed, I even told a reporter of the Bloomberg newspaper that the only way you would get me out of this country, would be kicking and screaming!
But the writing on the wall was crystal clear, that British – European relations wasn’t going to get better anytime soon, but via Brexit, effectively worse.
I’ve written about both how to be British and how to be a German so it should come as no surprise when at the end of 2016, I decided to apply for dual British-German nationality, and then wrote this post: How to get German citizenship if you’re British – How to be a German via Double Nationality!
It seemed you all agreed ‘cos that article was so relevant in the ugly politics of Brexit, that it went VIRAL too!
I received close to 43,056+ (forty-three thousand) views, hits and shares on a post I wrote just a few months ago!
THE MOST POPULAR BRITISH POST
You were very much impressed by the fact that I was one of the distinguished invited guests of a private event to meet Prince William and Kate Middleton – The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – and not only that, but I also got to meet one of the stars of Game of Thrones – Tom Wlaschiha!
If you’re a Game of Thrones nut like I am, you’ll know him as Jaqen H’ghar – the handsome hero of the Faceless Men of Braavos, a feared Order of mysterious assassins with the ability to change their appearance at will…
The evening was all a bit of a blur. I’m not easily flustered, but I spent most of the evening with a huge grin on my face, a sweaty forehead, and shaky hands!
I wrote all about it in this post: How I met the future king of England – Prince William, Kate & the Many-Faced God!
You must have liked it as I received 43 comments, and close to thirty thousand (30,000) views, hits and shares!
THE MOST POPULAR GERMANY POST
The most popular post is still actually the very first post, that I ever wrote on my blog! The title: Germany is Boring.
Yeah, I got insults and abuse for this post. Mainly from people who never read it.
It received 128 comments and over 46,558 views, shares and hits!
I wrote it exactly five (5) years ago, and it still hits a nerve!
Ah well, I’m famous now.
THE MOST POPULAR BERLIN POST
Is not actually a post at all, but a map!
The map of the Berlin Public Transport Network System, otherwise known as the BVG!
Haw! Haw! Haw!
I put this map in a post I wrote about how to navigate your way around ITB Berlin – the world’s leading trade show of the travel industry and, at the same time, the biggest travel show for the German public! The venue is huge and there have been incidents of people wandering around and not actually getting to where they wanted to go. Not naming names or anything!
You obviously found it helpful as up to five thousand readers viewed, hit and shared it!
THE MOST POPULAR INTERNATIONAL POST
This title went to posts about Amsterdam.
I wrote three (3), but two (2) of them seemed to hit a nerve!
You’re all pretty much liberal-minded and are tolerant on the European lifestyle circuit.
You were shocked, but not too upset to read the following post about what happened at the sex-show in Amsterdam!
Having said that, you also seemed to be able to distinguish between family-friendly Amsterdam, and “the other one,” with this post: How to visit Amsterdam in two days. With a teenager!
I received 96 comments on my blog but I have absolutely no idea how many comments were made throughout the social stratum as I couldn’t follow them anymore.
I also received more than 48,500 hits in my social media feed!
THE MOST POPULAR MOTIVATIONAL /ADVICE POST
You obviously love, or want to travel, and need help doing so, as the most popular post of advice was: How to use the train in Poland: 10 tips to help you.
You also liked: How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.
I have been asked to consult and give advice to people, because of the anxiety people have about terrorism throughout Europe, and to calm people’s fears.
If you’re concerned about travelling in Europe, and need a helping hand, I would be available by Skype or by Email to advice you for an initial introductory fee of €50.00 for 60 minutes.
Communication would be either in English or German.
Send me an Email with your details, and we’ll take it from there – email@example.com
LET’S EXPLORE AND TRAVEL THE WORLD!
At the beginning of every new year, it’s the norm to think about what you did last year and what you’re going to do this year.
Travelling and living a life of quality struck a chord with many of you, as readers were worried about how to travel on a budget, how to get holidays / vacations, or even how to take the first step, so I told you how I do it in this post: How I can afford a life of travel. Don’t choose. Have it all!
This post: Don’t choose. Live a life of style!
This post: If I can do it, so can you!
And most recently of all,
- Don’t do what I did: How I got scammed in Berlin!
- And if you want to travel to a place unknown or even, destinations where loads of other tourists go, you must read this, and learn: And while we’re at it – 7 other common travel scams to avoid!
Most of my readers are professional upper-middle-class people. Just like me.
No seriously. Who?!!
In 2016, I travelled to ten (10) countries and in 2018 so far, I’ve been to eight (8), and counting!
Nevertheless, I shouldn’t fail to tell you that the post that totally changed my career from being just another blogger to being totally awesome was: A light, a camera, and a broken arm: Action and drama at the Berlin Music Video Awards That post was written in May, 2014. A little after the 6 month mark!
You were fascinated by the fact that Queen Elizabeth came to Berlin and I got to be a part of that story, and had more requests of interviews that I even knew what to do with. I actually had to turn some of them down!
The Queen came to Berlin. I’m British so pass me the Pimms. That’s why! – I hope I did you all proud. You seemed to think so!
WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
THE TOP 10 MOST POPULAR COUNTRY, OF PEOPLE WHO READ MY BLOG IN 2018
- Great Britain
- And Singapore for the exotic factor!
Surprisingly, I also get a significant number of readers from Spain, Sweden, Italy, Switzerland, South Africa, the Philippines, and Thailand!
It’s amazing that even though I only blog a couple of times per month, I still manage to attract a huge number of subscribers and happy Twitter fans who read my blog on a daily basis, and all my funny two-line quips! You too can join in the fun and games right here!
Not too shabby I might add!
COUNTRIES I HAVE BEEN TO IN THE LAST 1 YEAR
- Czech Republic – twice
THE MOST POPULAR GROUP PRESS or FAM TRIP
Even though I have been to many a press trip, my third huge FAM / Press Trip to the Philippines seemed to resonate with you most!
However, it wasn’t the press trip itself that you seemed fascinated by but rather, what I did in Manila, the capital!
That most popular post is: Is Manila a crime-ridden place or is it something completely different?
I’m so honoured to have been invited. It was great, but bloody hard work LOL!
The readers have spoken, now what do I think?
MY TOP BLOG ACHIEVEMENTS
- Starting this blog. Hurrah!
- Meeting Prince William & Kate Middleton!
- Getting an invite to the Embassy Royal Wedding Reception of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle!
- Getting a MA – University of Chester
- Becoming The British Berliner
- Helping you to get German dual citizenship, if you’re British!
- Best Expat Blog – Germany!
- Top 30 expat bloggers
- Top 100 expat blogs on the planet!
- Getting on prime-time German TV – Live!
- Being flown over to London by the BBC!
- Making a documentary about being a lifestyle, expat, travel blogger
- Becoming Germany’s answer and expert on modern-day Britain and the monarchy!
- Being in a feature by Germany’s largest Sunday newspaper!
- Talking on German TV about Brexit
- Doing various newspaper interviews about Brexit
- Getting interviewed on the radio. In German
- Acting and making an independent silent film with an aspiring German/Finnish film director!
- Getting featured as one of the selected travel bloggers, invited to be a part of the editorial content for the Visit York Annual Visitor Guide, 2018!
- Promoting and showing you Berlin
- Getting newspaper interviews
- Getting official invitations to Berlin Fashion Week
- Hanging out with VIP’s at the Berlin Music Video Awards
- Organising Victoria’s Summer European Challenge Campaign!
- Being invited on my first press trip to France!
- Being invited on my second press trip to Bristol / Bath!
- Being invited on my third press trip to Luxembourg!
- Being invited on my fourth press trip to Usedom!
- Being invited on my fifth press trip to the Philippines!
- Being invited on my sixth press to Sweden!
- Being invited on my seventh press trip to Slovenia!
- Being invited on my eighth press trip to Hamburg-Germany!
- Being invited on my ninth press trip to Sweden, Latvia & Estonia!
- Going to one (1) new country in 2018!
- Keeping things light but still throwing in tiny issues about the disgraceful situation of Brexit
- Being invited on discussion panels to talk about Brexit and Europe
- Being invited to take part in a Twitter conference
- Being an active member of Travel Massive (the Berlin Chapter)
- International Travel
- Regional Travel
- Local Travel
- People believing in me, encouraging me, and motivating me
- Updating my blog website image, logo & business cards
- Hanging out at the Berlin Film Festival (the Berlinale)
- Attending the TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange) conference – the holy grail of the travel blogging world – for the second time
- Being recognised among my peers
- Making an established name for myself as The British Berliner
- Meeting other real-life bloggers. That was awesome by the way!
- Talking to and hearing from YOU. Yes, YOU
MY TOP 9 FAVOURITE POSTS, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER!
- How I can afford a life of travel. Don’t choose. Have it all!
- How to write and publish a book – Introducing The Bee Hive!
- How I met the future king of England – Prince William, Kate & the Many-Faced God!
- The Queen came to Berlin. I’m British so pass me the Pimms!
- The time that I fell off the ski lift in the Czech Republic!
- The beginner’s guide to going up a volcano: because going up a volcano isn’t for everyone!
- I went to Korea, but I should have been in Qatar!
- How I got scammed in Berlin!
- I went to Romania. It didn’t wow me!
THE BRITISH BERLINER IS 5 YEARS OLD. HURRAH! LET’S JUMP UP AND DOWN AND SCREAM!
Thank you so much everyone. I really appreciate it lots.
Thank you for making this blog real, reading, commenting, and connecting. You’re all amazing.
Here’s to the next blog year. Cheers!
This article is not sponsored. It’s my blog birthday!
Watch this space!
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