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My First Blog Post!

Who am I?

“Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”

— Gustave Flaubert.

Hello Everyone, Welcome!

Who Am I and What’s my Topic?

My name is Phiala Drake, I’m 18 years old, I live in Texas and I’m a student at Texas State University. After changing my major twice, I’ve decided to major in Advertising and to minor in French. I am making this blog because it’s an assignment for my Fundamentals of Digital Online Media (FDOM) class but I’ve also always wanted to start a blog. My mom and I have dreamed of making a travel blog ever since we started traveling the world! So, I’ve decided that my blog will be about traveling to different places all over the U.S. and other parts of the world. While traveling around the world, I will be taking pictures and reviewing restaurants, shows, places, etc.

Why a Traveling Blog?

I decided that I wanted to make a travel blog because I’ve always had a passion to travel. Whether it be to a different city in Texas, across the States or out of the country, I’ve loved to travel. Ever since a young age, my parents made it their goal in life to give my brother and I the life they never had; traveling was apart of that. We took many small vacations all over the place which grew my love for adventure. I find it very important to have that traveling experience when you’re young because you develop all sorts of social skills that you might not have gotten by not traveling. However, it’s never too late to start traveling! You will meet so many different people and experience so many different cultures.

What do I Hope to Explore in this Blog?

I hope I can explore and adventure to more places now that I’ve started this blog. This blog has given me an excuse to do my traveling. Now I can justify spending money to go to places! I’m hoping to go to lots of new places that I’ve never been to and give people an in depth review on what it was like so if you were to go there then you’d have an idea of what it’s like.

Who is my Audience?

My audience is anyone who has a passion for travel or is foodie like myself. I will definitely be doing restaurant reviews as well as reviews on places to go. Anyone who wants to explore the world is my audience.

Any Other Pages or Platforms?

I hope to start an instagram page and twitter for this blog so I can provide my viewers with extra content if they want it. I would also love to start a page on this blog called “Fridays in French” and possibly go over some things I learned in my French class. Not only will this help me with my french minor but it could also help others who want to learn french or are learning french. I believe it would be a fun side page to have on my travel blog!

Summary of my First Year!

Lab 10!

The Overall Summary of My Year!

What would I want to improve or include withing my site?

I would’ve liked to have been able to travel more this year so I could’ve produced more content. However, as a college student, I could only travel so much. I wish I would’ve tried to travel more or been a little more creative with blog ideas but I’ll know for next time!

How could I have better promoted my content?

I think it would’ve helped if I had more followers on twitter, however, I do not. If I had more followers on twitter, I could’ve gotten more traction through here. The next time I do this, I’ll try and add more hashtags or gain more followers beforehand!

What was my best experience of the semester-long project?

I think one of my favorite experiences throughout this semester-long project was just all the places I went. It got me out more than normal and I was able to get a taste of the blog life. I’ve always wanted to start a travel blog and this gave me a perfect excuse to do so!

In what ways could the experience benefit you in the future?

I think that these experienced benefited me because it makes me want to travel more. I was able to get a taste for traveling more and I think I’m addicted to it now. I think it will also help me with my writing in the future because I was able to learn a lot writing-wise during this project!

Discuss how I might implement these tool professionally in the future, in a job or an entrepreneurial endeavor.

This was a perfect start to a future job. I could keep this blog going and end up making a career out of it. If I don’t do that, I will be able to write on my resume that I’ve dabbled in writing blogs. This could help me with a social media career or for employers could have me run a website. This definitely gave me the basics I would need to start in one of those positions!

Analyzing my Data!

Which was my most popular week, and how many views and visitors did I get that week?

My most popular week was March 23, 2020 – March 29, 2020. I got a total of 22 views and 19 visitors!

Which was my most popular post of the semester? How many views did it get? Why do I think it was the most popular?

My most popular post this semester was “My Favorite Travel Blogger!” This post got 19 views. I believe this post got the most views because it was about a popular travel blogger, Nomadic Matt, and if you searched his name, you could’ve possibly stumbled upon mine.

In all of the Site Stats data, was anything surprising to you?

I thought it was surprising that I got so many views on my “My Favorite Travel Blogger!” post. I was not expecting 19 people to view it because I was getting about 8 viewers on average. This means that that one post more than doubled in views so that was definitely surprising to me!

Do I have any Twitter, Facebook or other social media stats I want to share?

I’m not sure how to really pull stats from Twitter but based off just what I observed, my most liked tweets were about my blog post. Most of my traffic on my Twitter came from my blog post tweets!

Liked my Summary? Check out my Other Posts!

How to Travel Safely while in Quarantine!

How can I Travel Safely while in Quarantine?

I know that quarantine has been making people stir crazy. I mean, it is definitely making me stir crazy! I love to travel and go on adventures, hence this travel blog, but it’s hard to down while we’re in lock down. What my boyfriend and I decided to do was to drive all the back roads. Don’t worry, we brought our masks and made sure to stay 6 feet away from everyone whenever we go out of the car, which was only once! It help him and I relax and we got some beautiful pictures out of the comforting drive! It wasn’t a big crazy adventure, but it was a little slice of paradise for sure.

Where did we Stop?

As I said in the last paragraph, we took one stop. We stopped at a beautiful winery called Perissos. My boyfriend, who is in the wine industry, thought it would be a nice place to get some fresh air and boy was he right! It was absolutely gorgeous and the wine was fantastic! At least according to my boyfriend who is of legal age to drink. If anyone is in the Burnet area then I would definitely recommend coming here. Whether it’s for the beautiful scenery or the spectacular wine! It is also dog friendly, so feel free to bring the pooches.

What if I can’t Travel Somewhere?

Although getting out is great during this stressful time, not everyone has the opportunity to do so. This is not a problem because there are plenty of things to do while you’re at home! My boyfriend and I sat out and enjoyed the outside just from our patio. We also lit a couple fires to keep us warm during some of the chilly nights. Just because you can’t travel, doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the outside air. Feel free to play a board game or a card game with those who are quarantined with you because that can be an adventure in and of it’s self! So just remember, you don’t have to travel to enjoy the outside or those you’re with.

If you liked this, check out my recent posts!

Blanco River!

https://www.austinmonthly.com/what-to-do-in-blanco-texas/

Where’s a Good Place to Cool Off in Texas?

As someone who has lived in Texas for a while, we know it gets really hot. Now, where’s a good place to cool off? I would recommend the Blanco River in Blanco, Texas. It’s a cool, gorgeous river right off the road that you can dip into! There are many places to enter the Blanco River but one of the most common places is at the Blanco State Park. I like to get in at one of the other dams, however, it’s easiest to get in at the state park. The water is always cold and you always meet the nicest people there!

My Experience at the Blanco River!

Once the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted a little, my boyfriend and our friends (who were quarantining) went down to the river to cool off. It was my first time there in a while but nothing had changed! We brought our floats in, a truck hitch to anchor us, and a cooler with food and drinks. It was the absolute best set up and I definitely recommend a truck hitch as an anchor because it held all four of us and we’re not the lightest! It was super peaceful and only a couple other people showed up. The wildlife was beautiful there too. Although I would recommend remembering to reapply sunscreen because everyone in my entourage get burnt to all hell!

Things to do at the Blanco River!

There are many things that you can do at the Blanco river! While I was there I saw people fishing, swimming, kayaking, etc. It’s such a beautiful place there that it would be a great picnic area, especially at the Blanco State Park. It has ample opportunities to be the perfect family spot. There is plenty of space along the river for you to feel secluded enough without feeling completely alone. The Blanco river is also dog friendly so feel free to bring your dog(s) along!

Check out my Latest Posts!

Come Visit Albert, Texas!

Where is Albert and What is Albert Like?

Albert, Texas, is a VERY tiny town right next to Fredericksburg, Texas. The phrase “If you blink, you’ll miss it” is 100% accurate with the town of Albert. The only thing in Albert, Texas, is a bar, a picnic field, a food truck, a dance hall, and one of the oldest oak trees in Texas. However, Albert is bursting to the brim with personality and flavor. Everyone is so warm and welcoming! The time to visit Albert is at night. The nightlife at Albert is fantastic. It’s kid and pet friendly, with terrific live music! I am a frequent visitor to Albert. You can see me there most nights, hanging out with friends, eating the delicious food truck food, and playing the games they have set out!

The Food Truck at Albert, Texas!

The food truck that Albert has on its property is called the Cowboy Cantina. A lot of food truck food that I’ve had is quite mediocre and never that good; however, this is some of the best food I’ve had in general! You can’t even tell that the food is from a food truck. They have so many excellent options, and they’re so yummy! For food truck food, it is incredibly affordable too. I’ve gotten the Cowboy Fries, Chicken Tenders, Elotes “Mexican Street Corn,” and the Dangit Napolean Quesadillas. They were all to die for! I recommend all of those options. The owner, Billy, is super lovely and charismatic. He definitely adds to the welcoming atmosphere!

A Good Small Town!

There are plenty of things to do in Albert, Texas. As misleading as it may seem because it’s a bar, it is very kid-friendly and pet friendly. A lot of people will bring their dogs so they can socialize with others, and people will bring their families for the excellent food and fun games that they have out. There is plenty of field space for kids to play in while the adults socialize together. If you want a small-town vibe for the night, I would head down to Albert, Texas, for the night!

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My Favorite Travel Blogger!

Who is my Favorite Blogger?

There are so many travel blogs out there; however, I would have to say that my favorite travel blogger would have to be Nomadic Matt. In Matt’s blogs, he discusses the top best things to do in certain places, how to travel without traveling, and just so many more topics that are engaging. I consider his blog to be my favorite because of how diverse his topics are. He goes on cruises, flying trips, local trips, and just so many things. You can’t go on his blog and not find something that interests you. He is such an exciting guy. He has so many traveling stories, and each of those stories brings you in. He also gives excellent travel advice, and I’ve found myself using many of the things he’s blogged about or gone to places because of him. I look up to him in so many ways when creating my travel blog.

Which Post is my Favorite?

I would say my favorite post of his is “7 Ways to Scratch the Travel Itch Without Traveling.” Due to this current pandemic with the coronavirus, this has become my favorite post. Being a travel blogger, this coronavirus is not a whole lot of fun. The entire “shelter-in-place” ban has definitely inhibited my ability to go cool places for my blog, so this post has helped me a lot. He’s given us seven options to do while we’re locked in our homes. He suggests reading travel books, watching travel movies, starting to plan our next trip, starting to travel hack, to join online communities, read travel blogs, and to meet travelers near us. Sadly, we’ll have to skip out on the last suggestion for the time being. My favorite option out of these would be the “start planning your next trip.” I am already used to doing this, so it’s easily my ideal option. Feel free to comment on your favorite option!

My Overall Review!

In conclusion, Nomadic Matt’s blog is the absolute best traveling blog out there. His blogs are filled with fantastic advice, stories, and so much more! I’ve learned a lot from him, and I’m sure everyone else can find something useful from his blog. I read almost every post, and I can’t wait for all of his future posts. I could not recommend this blog more!

Check Out my Latest Posts!

Midori in Austin!

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own

I’m not sure about everyone, but I do love a good sushi place. Therefore, I’m reviewing this sushi restaurant in Austin called Midori. When you first pull up to the restaurant, it doesn’t look like much. However, when you go inside, it is the cutest and most home-y feeling you’ll ever have! They have booths and tables for you to choose from which I always love in a restaurant. The staff was delightful and very accommodating. My friend and I had a reservation for 8 p.m. but due to some setbacks, we had to move it to 9 p.m. They weren’t mad at us for doing this on a busy night and moved the reservation for us, no problem. When we finally arrived, we were seated in the cutest booths and given a ginormous menu. There were plenty of options to choose from.

We immediately ordered edamame, and it was the perfect ratio of salt, not too salty but not too bland. We ordered the Phoenix Roll (the roll on the left), Spanish Mackerel Nigiri (the bottom right nigiri), Yellowtail Nigiri (the nigiri on the left), and some Fatty Tuna Nigiri (the top right nigiri). I would 100% recommend the Spanish Mackerel Nigiri and the Fatty Tuna Nigiri! My friend loved the Yellowtail Nigiri and the Phoenix Roll; however, they were not my cup of tea personally. The roll was good, but it was fried. I knew this; however, I came to realize that fried rolls just aren’t for me!

Midori’s overall is a fantastic place to get some sushi. If you’re ever in the Austin area, I would 100% recommend going to this restaurant. Even on a busy night, there were plenty of seats! The staff was so warming and welcoming, and they made sure to make you feel right at home. I will recommend everything that I got!

If You Liked This Post, Read My Other Posts!

Broadway in New York!

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”

-Helen Keller

Broadway in New York City!

When you think of New York, what do you imagine? Whatever you’re thinking of right now, you’re most likely right. New York City, in my opinion, is exactly how it is depicted in the movies. It was gross at times and the people were rude BUT it was still super fun! One of the things that we did while we were there was go see “The Book of Mormon.” This was by far the best play I have ever seen! If you’re trying to decide which broadway play to go watch, I would 100% recommend this play. However; this play is NOT for young children! It is definitely 18+ and is not a reenactment of the actual Book of Mormon. There were many older couples and families with small children there that you could tell did not know it was not a reenactment.

A Summary of “The Book of Mormon” (SPOILERS)

I won’t spoil it too much; however, I think it would be good to give a brief summary of the play so you can decide if you would like to see it or not. To give some background information on the play, it is written by those who write and produce “South Park” so it is more of a comedy than a true depiction of the Book of Mormon. It’s also a musical so it’s super fun and catchy! The play follows these two Mormon men going on their first mission, which they are sent to Africa. They are sent to convert this village that is NOT religious at all because they live such a hard life. It follows them through their process of trying to convert them. It’s funny and you’re entranced the entire time. They go through many obstacles; however, in the end they’re able to convert them to be Mormons in their own funny way. It ends on a very good note and you’re left completely satisfied. I immediately went and bought a shirt from the concessions after the play was over!

My Overall Review

If you couldn’t tell by now, I couldn’t recommend this Broadway play anymore than I already am! It was absolute so amazing and I would 100% go back and watch it again. However, the tickets were expensive so I would recommend seeing the Broadway show when it travels around the States and world. It should be a little cheaper due to it not being in the icon Broadway but it’ll be just as good. We also ran into someone working that was extremely rude to use because we accidentally left my dad’s phone in the seats. It was only one person though so I wouldn’t put that against them at all! It was way too good for one person to ruin my experience! So to conclude my review, I would give this a 10/10 experience and recommend it to everyone going to New York City. Until next week y’all!

Sources I used:

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