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Travel, career moves, new projects: 2019 had it all. 

Whether you’ve been following along all year or this is your first time on the blog, our 2019 year in review will get you up to speed on where we’ve been and where we’re headed in 2020!


Selfie of Dan and Di


2019 for Dan + Di

2019 came with the usual ups and downs in our personal lives, but we got lucky with mostly ups. 

We both worked hard to become more mindful and present in the moment, celebrated our three year wedding anniversary, and looked closely at what’s bringing us happiness and how to get more of that juicy serotonin in our lives.

Dan began taking online classes toward a Master’s degree in data science and started a blog at, tracking his journey in real-time from English teacher with a degree in the humanities to data science/analytics king. 

We also both applied to entry-level jobs in Antarctica in January but didn’t get very far. Antarctica vets say it takes a few years of persistent applications to get hired, so we’re going to try again and keep our fingers crossed that 2020 is our lucky year.

Finally, for those of you who ask when we’re going to settle down, I feel obligated to report that 2019 is the closest we’ve ever come to doing it. But, the commitment of furnishing an apartment was still enough to scare us off and keep us moving (literally and figuratively) into 2020. 


hot air balloons in Cappadocia

Our unforgettable sunrise hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia, Turkey – February 2019


2019 in Travel

In 2019 Dan and I traveled through five countries. 

We spent January and February in Turkey, March through May in Ukraine, and July to December in Mexico. We also took short trips to England and Belize.

Our 2019 travel highlights include:

  • Taking a sunrise hot air balloon ride over canyons, fairy chimneys, and ancient settlements in Cappadocia, Turkey
  • Exploring the desolate ghost towns in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in Ukraine 
  • And joining in the rowdy Day of the Dead festivities in the candle-lit cemeteries of Oaxaca, Mexico


abandoned theme park in Chernobyl, Ukraine

Exploring the abandoned Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in Ukraine – May 2019


In 2020 we’re starting the year back here in lovely Mexico with six(ish) weeks each in Puebla, Queretaro, and Guadalajara. So, expect more high-altitude hikes and tasty tamales coming to the blog soon. 

The second half of the year isn’t nailed down yet but we’re thinking it’ll probably be spent in Ecuador or Eastern Europe… I guess you’ll just have to stay tuned to find out!


candle-lit vigil in the cemetery in Oaxaca

Celebrating Day of the Dead in Oaxaca, Mexico – November 2019


2019 on the Blog

2019 was a year of serious growth.

Slight North had 264,000 visitors and 426,000 pageviews, which is more than a 300% increase in traffic from 2018.

This year, the biggest milestone was getting enough traffic on Slight North to start serving Mediavine ads and begin finally getting paid for the content I create.

I made the leap to work on Slight North full-time in April and it’s been scary but super exciting. There have been some major setbacks, but Slight North is generating enough income now to chase this dream for real. 

I also published several travel articles on Cincinnati Refined and International Living and even published a piece in the Boston Globe. However, in 2020 I’m putting the travel writing on pause to focus more on brand partnerships with like-minded companies in the travel and sustainability world.

Which leads us to…


Dan planting trees in a forest


What’s next for Slight North?

I am soooo super excited to announce our new partnership with One Tree Planted! 

One Tree Planted is a non-profit that plants trees all around the world, for only one dollar each. In 2020, Slight North is committed to donating 10% of our ad revenue each month to plant trees in the Andes 🙂 

And this is only part of a larger environmental focus we’re taking in the new year. 


This Blog Plants Trees social media graphic


I’ve always written about hiking and nature and how much I love our planet, but now I’m taking action to protect the places I love the most, so the next generation can have just as much fun exploring them as I do. 

Along with donating 10% of our ad revenue to plant trees in 2020, we also started the Sustainable Hiking Collective, a Facebook group for connecting with the international hiking community, discovering new hiking destinations, taking part in monthly sustainability challenges, and joining quarterly virtual trail clean ups.

Our first December sustainability challenge is coming to a close, but you can join the group to take part in the January challenge beginning soon!


Dan and Di on a rooftop at dusk


Thank you for supporting small content

Writing my year in review articles is always an exercise in gratitude and I can only do this because of you. 

Supporting small content creators makes the internet a better place. Thank you.

Whether you’re reading, sharing, or just clicking like on Facebook, it makes a real difference to me and I truly appreciate every single one of you for tagging along with me and my digital diary. 

Thank you for an amazing 2019!

Read our 2018 year in review to see how far we’ve come in the past 12 months or head to the home page for more of the latest and greatest content on the site!

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2019 Year in Review Pinterest pin


Did you know every time you read an article on Slight North, you're also planting trees in the Andes? Start here to learn more about our mission and how to get the most out of the site!


  1. I was hoping 2020 involved living in Michigan for a few months 😄 lots of great things for you in 2019 and hoping even more in 2020!

    • Maybe someday?????? Hope you have the best 2020 too!


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