Wow - what a year 2011 has been!

When I launched back in February this year I never would have imagined how it would become an important part of my life.

In the Beginning

[caption id="attachment_9" align="alignleft" width="200"]Milaa Milaa Falls Milaa Milaa Falls (click to enlarge)[/caption]

My first post "Mystery Tours & Cyclones in Cairns" was published on the 5th February.

I wasn't sure what to write about and if people would ever read it.

I eventually opted for an entry is written in my journal whist on our round the world trip. Looking back now it was a fun way to start, not sure if many would understand it though!

Travel Blogger Conferences

[caption id="attachment_1267" align="alignleft" width="200"]At the top of the Austrian Alps At the top of the Austrian Alps (click to enlarge)[/caption]

It safe to say that the two TBU conferences this year have played a major part in developing my blog.

From timidly approaching the March conference in Manchester and feeling out of my depth to looking forward to Innsbruck with eager anticipation.

It was in Manchester that I began to realise how good the community was and how welcoming they were to newbies like me.

Innsbruck was a totally different experience for me as I approached knowing the set up and I really looked forward to catching up with the bloggers I'd met before.

However it was three unfamiliar faces that I spent most of my time with, Anthony, Mike and Kate. I'm now an avid reader of all three and met up with Anthony a couple for times before he buggered off for South East Asia (was it something I said?)

Again, Innsbruck reaffirmed what a good community the travel bloggers can create.

Trips of 2011

[caption id="attachment_728" align="alignleft" width="200"]Swimming Pool at Jameos del Agua Jameos del Agua (click to enlarge)[/caption]

This year has seen me visit my 17th and 18th country.

But before I added to my list I revisited Lanzarote in the Canary Islands to celebrate my Dads 50th Birthday.

In August I went to Austria for the first time and instantly fell in love with the town of Innsbruck with its snow capped mountain background.

I returned to Austria in November as part of a trip organised by airbnb which saw me visit the town of Graz. We stayed in a converted barn that had modernised into a luxury chalet and added to my love for Austria.

Adding to the trip we boarded the train for my 18th country as we travelled the short distance to Bratislava in Slovakia.

The Postcard Challenge

[caption id="attachment_1390" align="alignleft" width="200"]Postcards Postcards (click to enlarge)[/caption]

The postcard challenge was set up as a bit of fun which aimed to get you involved.

I've always been a fan of postcards and during my round the world trip I sent dozens home to family but with only a few for myself I asked for postcards from where you are in the world.

I'll be posting a final round up in a couple of weeks with those I've received in the last month of the challenge.

Truly humbled by nominations

[caption id="attachment_362" align="alignleft" width="200"]Kissing a snake It's me (click to enlarge)[/caption]

I'll be honest in saying when I first started my blog it was for a hobby. I love talking about where I've been and giving tips to people who are heading off to places I've been myself so it was more of putting all my thoughts together.

Over the months the realisation was that I want to take travel blogging seriously so when I was nominated for Travel Blogger of the Year at the British Travel Press Awards I was stunned and completely honoured that someone thought I was good enough to win.

I was in very good company as Abigail King and Jayne Gorman, the eventual winner were also nominated and both whose writing and blogs I admire.

Add to that the three categories I was nominated in at TBU Innsbruck and this year has been full of surprises and though I didn't win its great to be nominated (is that what losers are meant to say?) Here's hoping for 2012!

A Travel Themed Wedding

[caption id="attachment_1982" align="alignleft" width="200"]Postcard Table Setting Postcard Table Setting (click to enlarge)[/caption]

On the 27th October I married an amazing woman and of course our wedding had to have a little bit of a travel theme.

Angela and I became an item whilst we were backpacking around South East Asia back in 2006 and five years later we celebrated that fact by naming our tables after the special places we went to that year.

Auckland, Sydney, Rarotonga, Hong Kong were our guest's tables with our top table being Langkawi.

What 2012 holds in store for MyPostcardFrom

For secrecy reasons I can't reveal the destination but I have a three day stag do for my future brother-in-law in April followed by a trip to Umbria for the next TBU conference. If you're going don't forget to say hello.

Later in the year Angela and I will be taking our honeymoon and we're looking at visiting another new country in Croatia, any tips greatly appreciated.

And finally the second TBU later in the year will be an excuse to jet off somewhere else as well.

For the blog my main aim is to grow readership. I've steadied out at around 1500 uniques per month but I want this to grow. The (almost) first year has been brilliant but I want it to grow as well as increasing Twitter Followers and Facebook Fans so the priority is to improve my content

Thank you all for reading, I hope you've enjoyed what I've posted so far.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year