On March 17,2006, I started writing about travel here at Flyaway Cafe.  I knew a lot about travel, but nothing about blogging, technology, social media, photo editing or building readership.  I knew airport codes, not HTML code.  And I knew airline route structures, and how to find a good hotel deal. but not a thing about Digg or Twitter.

But boy did I learn!

Now, after more than 3 1/2 years, and 1,325 posts, Flyaway Cafe is being retired.  Today’s post, my 1,326th, will be my last.

As I write this, there is an incredible range of emotions rushing through me, the first of which is a huge amount of thanks.

I am very thankful for the early days of b5media, and the people who were willing to take a chance on Flight Attendant who loved to travel, and said she could learn all the rest of this blogging stuff.  The people who have helped me along my journey are too numerous to mention, and I know I’d forget someone anyway, so I hope you realize that this big THANK YOU is for you.

My next thank you goes to the many, many bloggers I’ve met over these years.  You have taught me and encouraged me.  We’ve shared hopes and frustrations, common goals and common problems, and more than a drink or two.  I am a better blogger and travel of the world for knowing you.  I hope to someday be in a position to “pay it forward” and help others the way that you have helped me.

And my final thank you, and probably the most important thank you, is to you – all of my readers.  As I’ve learned a little more about blogging, I hope that I have helped you learn a little more about travel.  I hope we were able to create a place to discover new information, share ideas, share a Flight Attendant’s perspective, and have a little fun.  I hope you have tools to be a better traveler, that you are inspired to see something new, and that along the way of discovery, you’ve had a few laughs.  If you have learned even a small portion of what you’ve taught me, then Flyaway Cafe has been a success.

Although there is a little bit of sadness today, there’s lot more excitement and enthusiasm.   As much as I have loved blogging at Flyaway Cafe, I am even more excited about the new projects that I’m involved with

Since January 2009, I have worked with PlanetEye as their Travel Editor,  Earlier this month we’ve launched our fabulous new online travel magazine, PlanetEye Traveler.  I get to work with an exciting management team and a group of wonderfully creative travel bloggers to help bring you great photographs, expert reviews, cool interactive maps, and fresh content every day.  We have over 50 destinations around the world, along with some fun travel specialties, so stop by to see what catches your eye.  You’ll find me there blogging about Seattle.

And. . . of course. . . you know that I have lots more Flight Attendant stories to share with you.  And lots more trips to plan and take, hotels and spas to review, restaurants to sample, wine to drink, products to test and review, and plenty to do that will keep me full of personal travel blogging stories.  You can find me blogging about all those topics at my new personal travel website, Traveling with MJ.  I’ve already got a few posts up, and scads of reviews (including some really great products) and more information on trips to Las Vegas, Croatia, and Italy, that I’ll be posting over the next few weeks as I get settled in.  Please stop by and see what I’m up to, and put up with a little clean up left to be done there.   Of course, you can always reach me by email.

While I may be leaving Flyaway Cafe, I’m certainly not leaving travel blogging.  It’s gotten into my head and my heart, and I look forward to another 1,325 posts.  I hope you’ll come along for the next leg of the journey.

Photo credit: Mary Jo Manzanares