Looking back on our 2018 travels

Which writing resonated the most and what to expect next year

What a year it has been!

In March, we packed up and moved out of our apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan after living in New York for nearly a decade. We’ve done our best to avoid laundry lists in our writing, but since this is an end-of-year wrap, we’ll let this one slide: our journey has taken us through Europe (France, Germany, Ireland, Poland, and Spain), the United States (California, Louisiana, Michigan, Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island), Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea), and Australasia (Australia and New Zealand). Eliza may not have qualified for frequent-flyer status yet, but during 2018 she flew almost 55,000 miles.

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One last look out of Eliza’s favorite window from our apartment in NYC

Though our travels started earlier in the year, we launched Bond & Thomas as a blog and travel resource at the end of July, and recently surpassed 50 posts. To end the year, we wanted to share some of the trends we’ve observed and a few great reads looking ahead, as well as our top performing blog posts. If you’ve already read them, you might be tempted to read them again. If you haven’t, here’s your chance!

A few of the trends we saw in 2018:

  • We weren’t the only ones who spent a chunk of time in Ireland. And while we were indeed struck by how bustling the streets of Dublin were before Christmas, we were also constantly reminded of how travelers who find their way to the quieter spots can be rewarded with peace and calm all over the country.
  • Multi-generational family trips were big this year and in general, meaning trips with everyone from grandparents to grandkids are on the rise. We loved our time in the States, in Paris, and in Ireland with our parents and Eliza.
  • People prefer experiences over things according to research from Airbnb—and talking to pretty much everyone we know. If you can’t bring it with you, bring your whole self wherever you are.

A few bits and pieces we’re reading with an eye on the new year:

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Eliza turned 8 months old a few days into our travels and also learned how to type

And in this first year for Bond & Thomas, which pieces received the most traffic?

Our 10 most popular posts:

  1. Allowing time to pause after an overnight flight

Sean breaks down the importance of resting before tackling the day in Europe after an overnight flight. Though our favorite Shannon Airport café no longer exists, there’s a great new option and plenty of space to kick back and rest before renting a car or being on your way.

  1. Does life imitate art when it comes to breastfeeding on the go?

Cathlin meditates on her time breastfeeding while traveling and the importance of understanding and respecting local customs but also doing what you feel is right for you and your family.

  1. Five tips for visiting Iceland’s Blue Lagoon with a baby

We loved our time at the Blue Lagoon and this piece breaks down how it’s possible to visit with a baby. TL;DR: They can’t come into the water with you, but you can enjoy some solo silence bathing while you and your partner take turns! But plan accordingly.

  1. Foregoing the Cliffs of Moher for the cliffs of Ballybunion

Sometimes local spots with fewer crowds are as good, if not better, than popular locations. We found that in Ballybunion, a small town in the southwest of Ireland, with some spectacular scenery. (Cathlin’s note: I feel like we might not be allowed into Ireland again if we don’t add a disclaimer: yes, if you haven’t been, you should also visit the Cliffs of Moher!).

  1. A simple act to keep your room cleaner while traveling

Cathlin wrote about the wisdom of taking off your shoes at the front door to create a tidier home, whether you’re traveling or not.

  1. Where to go for coffee near Singapore’s Financial District

Sean broke down several great options for coffee in Singapore and also added a bonus read about the hard-to-find Nylon Coffee Roasters.

  1. The comfort of a fire at the Listowel Arms

An homage to one of our favorite hotels—and to hotel lobbies everywhere—that have cozy interiors, fireplaces, and perfect pints of Guinness.

  1. 50 essentials for traveling with a baby

For our 50th post, we outlined all our favorite things that made it easier, and sometimes downright easy, to travel with our little one.

  1. Where to go for coffee in Tralee

Our prolific coffee writer was at it again, this time sharing a few favorite spots for a coffee in Tralee, the largest town in County Kerry, Ireland.

  1. An unexpectedly brilliant playground in Christchurch

In our most popular post of the year, Cathlin shares what makes the Margaret Mahy playground so special and the importance of viewing the world through your children’s eyes sometimes.

Candid-ish shots writing and taking in the sunshine in Salamanca, Spain

What to expect from us in 2019

We’re excited to continue our adventures into the new year. We’ll be spending more time in the States but still plenty of time abroad as well. A few expected highlights to come: a castle wedding in Ireland, sunshine in Florida, and a long-awaited trip for Sean and his Dad to Armenia. In early 2019, Cathlin will be at the New York Times Travel Show in late January and the Women’s Travel Fest in March, both in New York City, so please give us a shout if you’ll be there too.

Thank you!

Truly, thanks for being there for our first several months of our existence. We’re eager to continue writing here at Bond & Thomas and elsewhere too while exploring the world with our daughter and each other. Please leave us a comment below, send us a note, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter about what you’d like to see more of in 2019.

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Learning how to make ravioli at a cooking class in Grand Rapids, Michigan and getting ready to ring in the new year. Cheers to each and every one of you!

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