Readers of our last post, our 66th since heading out on our Expat Expedition in the summer of 2016, made 2020 our most read year out of the five calendar years we have posted, and made August our most read month out of the 51 months since our first post on 25 June 2016.
The 112,970 words of those 66 posts have traveled through the blogosphere to 80 countries spanning all six inhabited continents (unfortunately we do not have stats on readership by penguins in Antarctica), with 4572 visitors viewing various posts on ExpatExpedition.com 8741 times. Our posting productivity has waxed and waned inversely with the craziness factor of our lives. Though we blogged for only the last seven months of 2016, the 16 posts in that calendar year were the most in any year since then, and garnered 985 visitors from 26 countries with 1954 views. With a particularly crazy 2019 (both professionally and personally), our numbers flagged due to our posting only seven times to catch the attention of 608 visitors with 1281 views. But with 13 posts already this year (prior to this post), the four months remaining in 2020 give us plenty of time to pass that annual post count.
Yet, even if we posted nothing more about this year’s new Panamanian path to our expedition, August pushed past not only the “most read year” threshold but also the “most read month” mark. This month has had 406 visitors from 17 countries on all six continents viewing different posts 632 times. That beats the 555 views from August of 2016, our first full month living in Morocco; and the 472 views just last month, when over the course of two weeks we emigrated from Morocco to a holding pattern in the U.S. before completing our immigration to Panama. Moreover, since January we have had 1163 visitors from 35 countries with 2034 views.
As expected, the U.S. and Morocco consistently have the most views; but the ratios change from year to year as readership grows around the world. In 2016 the U.S. accounted for 83 percent of views, with Morocco adding another 11 percent. This year the U.S. has only 57 percent of the views while Morocco’s views have grown to 25 percent, and views from countries beyond the U.S. and Morocco have grown from roughly five percent in 2016 to 18 percent in 2020. Each year Canada has placed among the top five countries viewing ExpatExpedition.com, but the other two spots have traded off between China, Spain, Cambodia, the U.K., France, and Panama (climbing into the top ranks since the International School of Panama interviewed Audrey last November). It inspires us greatly to know that many people reading the blog are people from different chapters of our lives that we continue to hold close to our hearts despite the physical distance between us. That physical distance comes not only from our moving across the U.S. and abroad, but also from those we have met moving elsewhere as well. We have life friends and colleagues from previous schools in states around the U.S. and in countries around the world. We enjoy seeing readership in particular global locations increase after people we know have moved there. It also inspires us to know that many people reading the blog are people we have never met but for their own reasons and interests find value in reading what we publish online. We encourage everyone to post comments, whether we know them or can only hope to meet them someday, so that we know what draws their interest to our blog.
The most read posts dovetail with significant milestones at the beginning of our journey and with our recent transition:
Graduation: Wrapping Up Year One from 3 June 2017
Transition: Settling into Panamá from 6 August 2020
Starting an Intentional Adventure , our first post, from 25 June 2016
Transition: Leaving Morocco from 22 July 2020
Welcome to Morocco! from 26 July 2016.
We find interesting, though, that some of our favorite posts have relatively small readership. If you have joined ExpatExpedition.com recently, you may find it worth reading back through earlier posts like “I am Policeman!”, Driving in Casablanca: Darwin’s Playground, Parking in Casablanca: The Chivalry of the Curb, Proclamation of Independence: Audrey Drives, Gentlemen’s Agreements: Business Deals in Morocco, and A Bad Day to Buy Peas with numbers of views incongruent with how much they tell about our life abroad and, implicit with many of them, the importance of maintaining a good sense of humor as we go through expat life. As Audrey has long quoted, “Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused.”
It makes sense that our setting into our new Panamanian gig this month would draw much interest from readers of ExpatExpedition.com; but we do not know what about 2020 overall has grabbed such attention. Perhaps it is because we have more to share and – especially with people curious about how others have dealt with a global pandemic – more significant things about which we have shared. Perhaps it is because the Age of COVID has people living through their screens, so physical proximity becomes less important to people staying in touch with each other and they venture out virtually to check in on physically distant people they know or to discover people and things far away they might find interesting. Perhaps it is merely because people just need to find things to do in their lockdown lives.
Whatever your reasons for reading, in whatever country you reside when you read, and whether or not you comment, Like, or Follow our blog, we thank you for your interest and for helping make 2020 our most read year yet. We look forward to your continued company as we push on through our expat expedition.
On your mark, get set, here we go!