The Joy of Blogging

Today is my two year blogging anniversary. I can’t believe it. When I started I didn’t know what to expect. I thought it would be more like an online journal for me to keep track of my challenge to visit 192 countries, read 1,001 books, and watch the top 100 movies. I knew if I didn’t keep track I would lose focus and steam. I wanted accountability.

I didn’t expect friendships. Years ago, a friend of mine, introduced me to blogging. I can still see her on her laptop showing me how to do it. She was thrilled about it. I pretended to be excited so I wouldn’t ruin it for her, but I was thinking why anyone would want to take the time to blog.

Non-bloggers probably won’t understand this and more than likely they aren’t reading it anyway. Blogging is a joy.  I write back and forth with several bloggers each week. I haven’t met them in person, but I feel like I know them. And I consider them friends.

Not only have I made friends but I’ve found an awesome support network. For the most part, everyone who visits my blog offers me encouragement. There are some negative nellies out there and that’s okay. Let’s face it, I set up some large goals. My thought process was if I was going to dream I might as well dream big. And I’ll admit that if I accomplish all three goals in fifty years I’ll be shocked as heck. The movies shouldn’t be that hard. I set up an easy goal on purpose. So far I’ve watched 24 out of a 100. I’m hoping to make it to 50 by the end of this year. The books, even that one is manageable with time. After two years I’ve read 60 from the 1001 list. At this rate I’ll finish the list in 33 years. That gives me some breathing room.

The countries are the biggest challenge. Finding the time, money, and resources to travel that much won’t be easy. Yet why not strive for it. Even if I only make it to a third of them that would be awesome. Half—even better. Three-fourths, that’s super duper. All of them … I don’t know how to describe that one yet. Might need some celebratory drinks in me first to truly express how amazing that would be. My point is, any progress in this category is a victory. So far I’ve been to 17 countries, and each trip has been amazing. Here are some of the highlights.


In Botswana we saw lions mating in the wild.

I've been caught in a downpour in Honduras.

I’ve been caught in a downpour in Honduras.

Climbed to the top of a volcano in Guatemala.

Climbed to the top of a volcano in Guatemala.

Wandered through the grounds of Versailles.

Wandered through the grounds of Versailles.

By the way, that's me at Versailles. Nice to meet you!

By the way, that’s me at Versailles. Nice to meet you!

Visited Victoria Falls in Zambia.

Visited Victoria Falls in Zambia.

Wandered through Prague at night

Wandered through Prague at night

We hope to visit at least 3 more countries in 2013. Progress. Each year I’m on this earth I hope to make progress. To experience more. To add memories. To live. And to meet new people. I can’t hope for more than that. If I fail at least I tried.

For all of you who have supported me I want to say thank you. Every comment and like is much appreciated. All of you have made my goals even more rewarding. And if there are any non-bloggers reading this post, give it a go. You may like it. I was a doubter. Not anymore. Happy blogging everyone!

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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101 Responses to The Joy of Blogging

  1. what a great goal – to make progress — I love that you have set big goals — if we do not set big goals then we will achieve nothing
    my big goal for today is to guess the mystery photo–dream big or go home is my motto

  2. jmgoyder says:

    I know exactly what you mean when you say you didn’t expect friendship when you began blogging. Neither did I and it has been a beautiful surprise!

  3. Caroline says:

    Congratulations, TBM. What a lovely post.
    It’s true about the friendships. I expected feedback and comments but nothing deeper than that.
    I wish you a lot of progress on the journey and many more wonderful blogging and other experiences.

    • TBM says:

      Thanks Caroline. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much feedback on my blog at first. I’m still learning about blogging and meeting new people. It’s an amazing way to have pen pals from all over. Have a wonderful weekend.

  4. Do you know what one of the best things about your blog is? Your blog inspires others!! Even though we have never met, I consider you a very good friend. We laugh, we tease, we inspire, and we admire, just to name a few, and I can’t imagine my life now without blogging. Great post TBM and congrats on 2 years of blogging!! 🙂

  5. Happy Bloggiverasary 😀

  6. May I stowaway on one of your trips? They sound wonderful; great luck this year; it must be an interesting process to decide where you want to go next…

    • TBM says:

      A lot of time life determines where we go. When we moved to London we started to focus on European cities. In 2010, the World Cup was in South Africa so we planned a trip there. One day I would love to throw a dart at the map and then go. Don’t have the means to do that yet. But I can hope. It takes time to save for a trip. Good thing I love to eat rice and beans–they are cheap!

  7. then3rdchronicles says:

    Hey, I think it’s awesome how you have set yourself such a big challenge and I wish you luck in achieving them. If you have time I would really appriciate it if you could check out my blog.

    • then3rdchronicles says:

      And give me some critizism on what is good and what is bad. Thank you.
      Hannah *

      • TBM says:

        Thanks for the encouragement Hannah. I’ll be more than happy to pop on over and explore. Not sure I’ll have criticism though–I love everyone’s individual way of blogging. Blogging is so versatile and I learn so much from others.

  8. buddhafulkat says:

    Happy anniversary and love your goals. Amazing travel photos and experiences – wish you well =)

  9. zozokie says:

    A big congrats to you on a job well done. Your blog is is very inspirational.

  10. Carl V. says:

    Happy two years!!! It doesn’t seem like all that long ago that we were first meeting. Two years already? Wow! Congratulations, so glad you are a part of this community and that you’ve found reasons to keep at it. It is wonderful to watch you progress towards your goals and I’m excited for all you have accomplished and all you will accomplish in the years to come. And I hope you keep sharing those things. 🙂

    • TBM says:

      Thanks Carl. I know if I need a book suggestion you could supply at least 20 without even thinking about it. You’ve introduced me to several authors who I now consider as my faves. I’m just glad that people like to read about my progress. It does make it more rewarding to share. And I love hearing about books, movies, and travel that others do. The whole blogging atmosphere is friendly and positive–which is what the world needs. I’ll do my best to share. Hoping to make it to a new pub tonight if all goes well. Have a wonderful weekend!

  11. Geoff W says:

    Happy Blogoversery! It’s funny, I think we all see our blogs as our private journals that just happen to be public and introduce us to some amazing people, or at least I do. Even when I’m writing I still write to myself and think wow people are actually reading this 😀 Good luck with the travel plans! (And I agree, if you’re going to dream – dream big!)

  12. niasunset says:

    Congratulations dear TBM and Happy Anniversary. I hope and wish this beautiful connection goes on in the future too. I agree with you in all your words, it was same for me, and now, look, I have a little blogging family in here and I miss them in my day… You are one of them. Do you know, the friendship got a new meaning, in the real life you can’t find friend as in this blogging world. At least it is for me like that. Thank you so much for being in this world and also Thank you for sharing with us, it was a wonderful meeting in your blog, you took me in a great and enjoyable voyages… Blessing and Happiness, love, nia (By the way I hope in your list there is Istanbul too 🙂 )

    • TBM says:

      Istanbul is part of my plan Nia. It looks like a lovely place and I can’t wait to visit it someday. Thanks for all of you kind words. You are always so positive, happy, and encouraging. Have a wonderful weekend.

  13. Congrats!!!! I just celebrated my 1st year yesterday… It’s a milestone as I have the tendency of dropping things after I become bored with them. The accountability was part of my reason for blogging. It makes you commit to your ideas and PUBLISHED word. 🙂

    • TBM says:

      Congrats to you! Yes this blog helps me stay on track. I’m glad you’ve found the same accountability with your blog. Besides, blogging is fun.

  14. fgassette says:

    I too was surprised to find the blogging community a friendly, supportive and encouraging group of wonderful people. Your blog posts inspire friendship due to the variety of information you share. I always enjoy reading your post and seeing your photos. Wishing you all the best in fulfilling your goals.


    • TBM says:

      Thanks Francine for the kind words. I love that you keep me up to date about things that are happening at home. Enjoy the hockey season 🙂

  15. letizia says:

    Congratulations – I always look forward to reading your latest post and seeing your latest photos!

  16. biblioglobal says:

    I like the fact that your 192 countries project gets you to make travel a priority, rather than the stuff of dreams and “next year”. Congratulations on all your progress.

  17. elisaruland says:

    You’ve made great progress towards your goals in only two years of blogging, congratulations! I’m happy to have met you and have enjoyed following you on your journeys. I’m looking forward to seeing where the road takes you in 2013.

    Best wishes,

    • TBM says:

      I’m curious to see what this year brings as well. We have some plans in the works, but you never know how things will end up. Three years ago I didn’t know I’d be living in London. Life keeps me on my toes. I hope all is well Elisa!

  18. i have just found your blog and look forward to reading about your experiences at whatever rate feels good to you 🙂 i do my traveling vicariously, so i’ll just be pretending i fit in your luggage. thanks for the ride 😉 i also love books and movies, so i think i’ve found a real “find” in your blog. i’m looking forward to seeing your posts in my news feed.

    • TBM says:

      Welcome! I travel vicariously all the time–so many bloggers have been to wonderful parts of the world. I love to hear about their experiences and to dream. Thanks for the kinds words and I look forward to getting to know you.

  19. Congrats to you on what you have achieved so far! The most important thing is to enjoy what you´re doing 🙂

  20. dvkgirl says:

    You inspire me to keep at it

    • TBM says:

      I wish you luck! It’s not always easy to keep your eye on the prize and all of you help me to stay focused and to remember what it’s all about–enjoying life.

  21. aFrankAngle says:

    Happy Blogoverary! Two years of regular posts is quite the feet. Thanks for sharing quite a variety of journeys …. so enjoy your pup stop today. …. and yes, well said about the blogging community!

  22. beckyday6 says:

    Ohh wow! I’m so glad blogging has become so important to you! I feel a similar way actually….it truly is amazing how close and friendly you can feel towards people that you’ve never met! I’m so glad that you’ve managed to hit so many of your goals already, and as for visiting that many countries….wow, what an adventure! 😀

    All the best. 🙂

    • TBM says:

      I’m pretty surprised by how much I’ve accomplished so far. It just shows how trying to do a little each day pays off. It all builds and before I know, one goal is done and I’m off to cross of another. Thanks for the well wishes and comment. I wish you luck. Happy blogging.

  23. Robin says:

    Happy Blog Birthday!! 🙂 It’s almost addictive, isn’t it? Way to go on your goals. I agree with you about dreaming big. Why set limits? 😀

  24. I forgot you were such a recent blogger, it sounds like you’ve been doing this for ever! Congratulations, happy anniversary, and too many more posts, which I enjoy very much

    • TBM says:

      Thank you very much. It feels like I’ve been doing it longer than two years. I’ve met so many wonderful people and the experience has been such a treat. I wish you well!

  25. Dounia says:

    This is a lovely post and everything you said about blogging is so true. I never expected it to enjoy it the way I do and to meet such a wonderful people all over the world. It really is amazing how encouraging and supportive everyone is and it makes this blogging experience all the more worth it! Oh, and I also agree with dreaming big – that’s the best way to dream! 🙂

    • TBM says:

      It was a wonderful surprise. Sometimes after watching the news or reading the paper I feel that people just aren’t nice anymore. Bloggers have renewed my faith in people. There are a lot of kind, supportive, and fun people out there.

      • Dounia says:

        Well said (or written), and so very true. The kindness of all the bloggers really does renew our faith in humanity. They always have the nicest and most supportive things to say – one of my favorite parts about blogging is reading comments and interacting with all these great people (you included! 😉 ).

  26. Kiwi says:

    Blogging truly is awesome! I’ve managed to convince 2 of my friends to start blogging, hopefully they’ll get addicted too 🙂

  27. beebeesworld says:

    great photography-lovely places beebee

  28. friendlytm says:

    I feel exactly you feel about blogging. Non-bloggers always comment : why and how do you have time to do this?
    like you, i also enjoy the discussion with some blogging friends about interesting topics that we share.
    Congrats to you on your second blogging anniversary. Your travel journals and photos are beautiful and interesting. Very ambitious travel plan. I wish you happy traveling and happy blogging in 2013! Keep traveling and keep blogging!

  29. Colline says:

    Congratulations on your blogging anniversary; and the path you are taking to achieving your goals. You are experiencing your life to the full – and sharing that experience with others. What could be more perfect? I love blogging too and cannot imagine my life without it now.
    To you in blogging!

  30. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Happy two years day! Blogging is wonderful, it never ceases to amaze me and I’m glad to have ‘met’ you 🙂

  31. blade3colorado says:

    Congrats! I just started blogging a week ago, but your point is well taken with regard to your goal, any goal really. What’s the saying, “Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”

  32. lynnsbooks says:

    Aw, you’re a two year old. Are you going to have the terrible twos I wonder!! You’re doing so well with your challenges already you must be really motivated. I must say that I would also love to visit all those countries.
    Keep on blogging. Looking forward to your next year of updates.
    Lynn 😀

  33. Happy Blogaversary, TBM! I didn’t “get” blogging either, until I tried it. Meeting wonderful people is definitely the best part. You have already accomplished much more than the average person and I admire that so much. Best of luck to you with your amazing goals!

  34. Northern Narratives says:

    Congratulations on your blog anniversary. Your goals are high and why not, I think maybe people set the expectations too low these days. Enjoy your blog and life and many more years for both of them 🙂 judy

  35. I feel the same way about blogging. You have accomplished so much! Best of luck for the coming year. So glad to have met you!

  36. The Hook says:

    WordPress is richer for your presence, my friend.

  37. petit4chocolatier says:

    Congratulations my dear!! Blogging 2 years is a feat that many do not accomplish!! I am very excited for you!! You have so much to be proud of 🙂

  38. Jo Bryant says:

    Wow – you started just before me [a month]. You are so right. Non-bloggers just don’t get it. I have made some wonderful friendships through the blog. And the support has helped me through times that were sometimes tough. I for 1 am glad to have had the pleasure of your company on here.

  39. Guilezilla says:

    192 countries. WOW. Awesome goal. And I agree, it would be wonderful even if you fail! I grew up in Botswana. Boy, do I love it more than my nation! I would love to visit countries like you!

  40. pattisj says:

    Congrats on two years! I was just thinking of all the books that will be written in the next 33 years…
    What great goals you have, and I enjoy seeing you meet them.

  41. I feel the same way about traveling! I have more than 70 countries on my list, and if at the end of the day I only make it to a dozen, I will still be thrilled that I managed to visit those. Love your travel photos and look forward to reading about your 2013 adventures.

  42. Beth Ann says:

    Congratulations on your 2 year blogiversary! That is great! And I agree—it is very hard to imagine how blogging becomes a part of your own identity and the people that you connect with over the years is simply incredible! I have loved traveling along side you and am looking forward to being there to see you finish the goals you have set out for yourself!!!

  43. Georgia says:

    Go you TBM! It is a pleasure to ‘know’ you

  44. bebs1 says:

    Happy anniversary. I have been blogging for almost 8 years (not all in WP) and I can tell you. you can meet very good friends this way. I just met one in person when I went to NY. Keep on traveling, reading and watching movies. One day you’ll be surprised how much you’ve accomplished.

  45. tee14by14 says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary…

  46. thank you to you for sharing with those of us who can not travel. there is a quote from Out of Africa that escapes me now but it is nice to travel with you through your blog.

  47. Lynne Ayers says:

    Can never have too many goals – when tiring of one set, take a try at another. Keeps us engaged.

  48. pommepal says:

    Congratulations on the 2 years I bet you don’t know how the time has flown by. By setting goals life never gets boring and we all enjoy following you on your journey

  49. Novroz says:

    happy blogoversary TBM 🙂
    I am a bit late reading this 😦
    I am with you about blogging…it’s so nice knowing and become friends with so many people even though I haven’t met them but I feel like I know them.

    you have accomplished a lot in two years! good luck with the rest 🙂

    • TBM says:

      Thanks Novroz. Your support has always been much appreciated. And I love learning about all the British shows I should be watching. Love your passion.

      • Novroz says:

        Thank you TBM 🙂
        I should tell you that I enjoy all that you can share about London as you are living in the city I wish I can lived in 😉 (That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy your other post tho)

  50. My 2 year blogiversary is in July! I have similar goals too! This year we’re staying in an Ice Hotel in Sweden (and hopefully seeing the Northern Lights), and going on Safari in Kenya… I am also hoping to go to Dubai. Last year I managed Egypt and Finland, and the year before that we did Vegas, Florida, Thailand and France… What is your favourite place so far to date?

    • I live just outside of London by the way!

    • TBM says:

      I was in Sweden in July, but we didn’t have time for an Ice Bar. I would love to do that. As for my favorite place, that depends on what mood you catch me in. All of our trips have been amazing. To pick one place is difficult. But I will say that Botswana was the place that wowed me every second I was there. The animals, landscape, and people were amazing. Congrats on all you have accomplished. You are an inspiration!

  51. The Guat says:

    First off super congratulations and Happy Anniversary. I apologize for being late to the party your post was at the bottom of the reader and it should have been way at the top because this … this was an amazing journey and I am in awe of all the progress you have accomplished. I love your goals and your mighty aspirations. You inspired me to seek my own journey and I greatly appreciate your posts and you great pictures. I especially love your mantra “Each year I’m on this earth I hope to make progress.” I LOVE THAT! I’m going to have to steal it from you and put that on my fridge. But you don’t stop there you elaborate … “To experience more. To add memories. To live. And to meet new people. I can’t hope for more than that …” I think you’ve done great and I can’t wait to see what adventures I can read about in 2013. Happy Belated Anniversary, my friend. It was GREAT meeting you.

    • TBM says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. Your posts help inspire me each day and they remind me what’s important in life: family, fun, and chocolate 🙂 And let’s not forget ice cream. All kidding aside, I love that so many of us work together to help keep others motivated. And I know when I head to your blog, I’ll get a chuckle or two. Thanks so much for following my journey and sharing yours. And please say hi to California for me–I do miss the beach!

  52. cupitonians says:

    Congratulations and happy anniversary! I can only imagine your joy – of course, I identify with everything you say. Blogging IS a joy and I’m glad you share some part of your life with us. I’ve probably said this too many times, but you are an inspiration and I have to put you on my blog roll!

    • TBM says:

      Ah, thanks. It’s amazing how we are able to get to know each other and to share stories. I’m new to your blog, but I am enjoying reading your posts. I wish little pea well 🙂

  53. Congratulations and happy (belated) anniversary! And I must say, we just love the lion photo!! 🙂

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