It’s a special day at the Culture Tourist today! We are celebrating our 6th birthday!
I’m writing we because it’s a few years already, I’m not the only person behind the Culture Tourist. And, although I still call it ‘my little blog’ it’s not that anymore either.
So, how it all started? Where is Culture Tourist now, and what are my plans for the future? Keep on reading to find out!
Culture Tourist’s Blogiversary
I have always loved writing and blogging. And dreamed of having a blog on which I’ll share fascinating stories about art, culture and travel.
How it all started
While studying Art History, I was writing loads of papers and articles. I always thought it would be great to collect them and publish them online. My boyfriend was a web designer, so we created the Medieval Wall website together.
However, a few years later, I attended a lecture about the cultural tourism and was utterly amazed by it. It was an industry that combined two of my biggest passions: art and travel. I started reading a lot about it and researching all the info I could find about cultural tourism.
I was working in a museum back then, and realised I should get more experience within the travel industry. Somewhere around that time, I moved to Amsterdam and got a job in a large international travel company. It was a great chance to learn as much as possible about travel and tourism.
Starting the Culture Tourist
During all that time, I dreamt of running my own website where people could get inspired and learn more about some of the fantastic cultural heritage we have in Europe. I read and learned a lot about blogging, writing, photography, SEO, and all the technical aspects of running a website.
It would take me twenty minutes by tram to get to the office, and each day I would spend that time reading about starting my own company. However, making the final decision of doing that was so frightening. I would decide to quit my job by the end of the month. And would then find an excuse for not doing it. That happened three times before I finally dared to quit my job to start Culture Tourist.
So, on April 1st 2016, I registered my company Culture Tourist at the Chamber of Commerce in Amsterdam. My plan was to work on the blog and organise private museum tours at the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum. Here is the blog post I wrote after a year of running my small business. It’s so lovely to feel the passion I had for it at the beginning. The same passion that still drives me today.
As I mentioned, in the beginning, I mainly focused on organising museum tours. However, my goal was to earn my full-time income from the blog. But, it took some time for me to get there.
The first sponsored post I got at the Culture Tourist was about celebrating Valentine’s day in Amsterdam. And this is the first press trip I did, during which I spent a weekend in Hamburg.
So, the first income from the blog came some three years after starting it. When looking at those first steps now, I can see the amount of work placed into it. Often from the outside, something could look much easier than it is. But, when looking back to those six years, I can only say to anyone starting their blog or business to be persistent, believe in themselves and be courageous in making some business decisions that could look a bit crazy initially.
Highlights from the last six years
It’s hard to pick the highlights from the last six years of running the Culture Tourist.
My favourite thing is communicating and getting messages from my readers. This all would be impossible without you. So, THANK YOU all for reading Culture Tourist, sending me messages and leaving comments on social media. I feel great each time I receive a message from you telling me how you visited some place because you read about it on Culture Tourist.
Although today Culture Tourist is my business, I started it and am still running it out of my passion for art, culture and travel. So working on some interesting campaigns like the one about Art in Basel, Opera House in Muscat (Oman), MOCO Museum in Amsterdam, Following the footsteps of Van Gogh from the Netherlands to France or creating the set of 44 postcards for the Cultural Route of the Council of Europe TRANSROMANICA are absolutely among some of my favourite projects.
Because of what I do in promoting art and culture within the travel industry, I got a chance to speak about my work at some conferences like Traverse, for example. I also did a few interviews you can watch on the links here and here (they are in Croatian, though).
In 2021, I received two awards for my work. Culture Tourist was one of the runners-up for the storytelling about culture on social media by Europeana. And the second one is for the innovations in content creating by Traverse. It’s so rewarding being recognised for what you do by the industry.
But, the most honouring to me is that I’m invited to share my knowledge and talk about cultural tourism in front of the Art History students at my University. Last year, Culture Tourist became its partner, so now Art History students can do their internship here, as well.
Those side projects are something I didn’t expect to happen. But they are definitely bringing a lot of joy to me now.
What will the future bring to Culture Tourist?
The last two years were quite turbulent for Culture Tourist, with the pandemics, relocating both my company and me to a new country and facing numerous little challenges along the way. At one point, I felt that whatever I planned, the Universe had different plans for me. Just read this and then this post to understand what I’m talking about.
But, at the same time, the last two years were also the best years for Culture Tourist. I started a great campaign called Dream, then Travel, within which I had a chance to work with some fantastic destinations. I’m very happy with the content on my blog. I also started the B2B website, where I’m sharing all the exciting projects I’m working on. And I also hired a person who’s working with me full time. So, things got more serious here over time.
I plan to bring you a lot of new great content this year. From some exciting museum openings, cultural events happening across Europe and guides to destinations that are home to some fascinating cultural heritage.
You’ll also see more video content across my social media channels. If you haven’t yet, subscribe to my YouTube channel not to miss any of those.
Culture Tourist Blogiversary Giveaway
But, as I mentioned before, there won’t be Culture Tourist without you – my readers.
So, I’d like to hear from you! What kind of topics would you like to see on Culture Tourist? More art or travel? More videos or articles? Send me an email through this link or just leave the comment below this post, and let me know what you like the most about Culture Tourist. And what would you like to see on it more in future.
And, to celebrate Culture Tourist’s birthday even more, I’m organising a little giveaway. Check out the quiz about Culture Tourist in our Instagram stories (here is the link). The one with the most correct answers will win a nice prize from us.