Five Years Later…

This is a super old picture. :)

This is a super old picture. :)

It’s hard to believe, but today marks five years since I began publishing News of St. John. Time certainly does fly when you’re having fun. :)

When I purchased News of St. John from Frank Barnako back in 2013, I was doing it at night and on the weekends for fun. I had a full time job in Corporate America, was in the middle of a Master’s program, and I lived in Connecticut. Crazy, right? Like many of you, I just absolutely loved St. John. I vacationed here quite frequently and always dreamed of living on this beautiful island.

I had a friend back then that sent me a link to a TED Talk. Its message was simple: Do what you love. It basically said that if you love something enough, do it whenever you can (at nights & on weekends in Connecticut, for example) and eventually, if you work at it enough, it will become your life. Well guess what, that’s pretty much my story.

So here I am, five years later, living on St. John full time and doing what I love. Since I bought the blog, I created St. Johnopoly with the help of my good friend Captain Tom Larson, and launched News of St. John Island Tours. The tours have been so much fun, and I have absolutely loved getting to meet many of you personally over the past year or so. And guess what? I have something new in the works that should make its debut later this year. And I’m not talking about baby News of St. John… He’s going to make his debut in just a few short weeks. (And we could not be more excited!!)

Since owning the site, I’ve also adopted Charlie, my amazing little ACC rescue. He definitely deserves a mention in this post!

Charlie!!

Charlie!!

When I took over News of St. John, the site was receiving roughly 300,000 hits a year. Last year, we received close to three million, and we’ve already surpassed one million hits in 2018. That is absolutely incredible and so very humbling. Thank you all so much for reading and for sticking by us, especially after last fall’s storms. You’re all just as much a part of this island as we are.

And thanks to you, we’ve had the ability to donate more than $60,000 to on-island charities over the past five years. We did so by holding raffles in 2014, 2016 and 2017, as well as through campaigns in 2016 and 2017 to raise funds for the annual Chaotic Kayak race. Over the years, we’ve been able to support the Animal Care Center, St. John Rescue, the Island Health and Wellness Center, Team River Runner’s St. John chapter and Friends Helping Friends. Again, this is all thanks to you.

(Hmmm, I’m starting to feel that we’re due to hold another amazing raffle. Stay tuned everyone…)

I’ve always said I’d continue writing this blog as long as it’s still fun. Well folks, I’m still having fun, so it looks like you’re stuck with me for the foreseeable future. :)

I think I’ll wrap this up here. In the meantime, do what you love folks. Make your dreams happen. And if you need a bit more inspiration, check out that TED Talk I mentioned here: http://bit.ly/1sIuARh

35 comments for “Five Years Later…

  1. Jason L.
    May 30, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Awesome!! My wife and I are selling our shares on the farm in Eastern Montana and taking our twin 4-year olds on a cross country roadtrip to Miami and booking one-way tickets to St Thomas next spring. We are sooo excited and this story keeps me dreaming big! Thank you

  2. AngelicAtheist
    May 30, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    Charlie is so cool looking! I love him! Give him some belly rubs and love from Chicago fans. Can’t wait to do a tour with you once we get back down there. Keep up the good work and as always, thanks!

  3. Donna Broderick
    May 31, 2018 at 7:04 am

    Job Well Done Jenn !!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Valery
    May 31, 2018 at 7:09 am

    Congrats, Jenn! And thanks for helping us stay in touch with our favorite place on earth. Cheers!

  5. Mike Mullen
    May 31, 2018 at 8:00 am

    Jenn

    Congratulations! You’ve done an amazing job and grown so much!

  6. Nancie Moore
    May 31, 2018 at 8:25 am

    Your success is well earned. You’re the go-to voice of our beloved island. You keep us in the know with the important issues, entertained with funny/cute/happy stories and satisfy our cravings with all the pics and videos. Keep it up, Jenn! And I can’t wait to see your little one!

  7. Phyllis Cicio
    May 31, 2018 at 8:33 am

    Jenn, thanks so much for writing this blog. It helps to keep me up to date on my favorite island! I look forward to reading it all the time. Congratulations on your soon to be arriving Island Baby!

  8. Daniel
    May 31, 2018 at 8:39 am

    Congratulations Jenn! You’re coverage, especially during such a trying year as this, is phenomenal! I look forward to every article you post! Can’t wait to see you again, on island or back here in Connecticut. – Dan Lowry

  9. Judy SanClements
    May 31, 2018 at 8:49 am

    Jenn, Congratulations on a job well done! It is obvious you love what you do. Thank you for always helping those of us who love your beautiful Island so much stay connected!
    Congratulations also on the wonderful news of your new little one! Babies are the nicest way to start people! Again, I THANKYOU.

  10. Denise Draper
    May 31, 2018 at 10:05 am

    Great job and congratulations on 5 years! Can’t wait to be back on island and hopefully meet your little one. Always look forward to reading these posts and staying up-to-date on one of my favorite islands!

  11. Tom
    May 31, 2018 at 10:06 am

    News of St. John starts my day at the computer…THANK YOU for keeping me connected to your island…keep up the good work…and congrats on your little one(s).

  12. Sherry H.
    May 31, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Congratulations Jenn, you do a great job keeping us all informed, especially after both hurricanes hit last year. Best wishes!

  13. John & Cindy
    May 31, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Thank you Jenn, for all you do and keeping us informed on our beloved St. John, for us Coral Bay. You have done a wonderful job over the last 5 years and we hope that excitement will never wane.

  14. Chris Layne
    May 31, 2018 at 10:45 am

    Thank you Jenn! I found your website a year ago when planning a trip to St. John for a group of 12 friends in May of 2018….we had such a wonderful time! I still find myself looking at your blog on a daily basis. It brings back lovely memories….until next time….

  15. Denice
    May 31, 2018 at 10:46 am

    Thanks Jenn for everything you do. You have kept us well informed!!!

  16. Joanne
    May 31, 2018 at 11:14 am

    Congratulations Jenn!!! Here’s to 5 more….at least!!! Cheers and thanks for all you do!!

  17. Art
    May 31, 2018 at 11:37 am

    Thanks so much for your news on one of my favorite places on earth, hope you continue living your dream…

  18. Cassandra
    May 31, 2018 at 12:56 pm

    I looked at homes in St. John for retirement. It’s expensive!

  19. Larry
    May 31, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    I’ve heard it said that 70% of the people in the U.S. don’t like their jobs—–glad to see that you’re in the 30%. No question that having fun drives success and happiness. My favorite saying (from my Grandfather) is: “When we wake up in the morning we have two choices—smile or frown—pick one.
    Congratulations on the success of your blog—a daily visit from me too. And also on your fast approaching baby.Our thirteenth visit to STJ is in December—we’ll try to take advantage of your tour.

  20. Jim
    May 31, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    You are the go-to person for “News of St John”. Enjoy reading your posts everyday. I’ve learned more about what’s going on from you than any other source. Thank you and congrats on reaching the five year mark!

  21. Minnesota Mike
    May 31, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Well done Jenn.
    I look at News Of St John on my lunch break at work everyday. Always looking forward to the latest on the island and reading some of the crazy comments.
    It must be a strange feeling to know that total strangers look forward to what you post on a daily basis. 3 million!!! That is simply amazing(no pressure or anything)
    Congrats and thank you.

  22. Denise in NY
    May 31, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    Thanks, Jenn, for doing what you do; giving those of us who are stateside our daily dose of St John. I can’t imagine what we’d do without you!

  23. Paula
    May 31, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    Love your updates. Looking forward to taking a tour with you when I return in March. Even though I’m a long time visitor it would be interesting to see the island through your eyes. Especially all the changes. Enjoy that baby.

  24. Michelle Thompson
    May 31, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Hi Jenn, I am trying to find my niche and move there too!!!! Someday, somehow???? Reading News of St. John everyday makes me extremely happy!!!

  25. Mike
    May 31, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    Oddly, somehow, I really needed to see this today. I’m so grateful for your daily look into island life, and the hard work you’ve done on so many causes to help the island and it’s people in day to day issues and recovery. I don’t think the value of this site can be measured.

  26. Doug Moore
    May 31, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Thank you Jenn for your wonderful website. Looking forward to returning to Coral Bay soon.

  27. frank barnako
    May 31, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    Commitment, focus, desire, energy, sacrifice, involvement, talent … you did it all. KUDOS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. May 31, 2018 at 7:33 pm

    Focus, commitment, energy, love, commitment, caring, tolerance, patience, resilience … you’ve got it all. KUDOS!!!!!!

  29. Burt & Sue
    May 31, 2018 at 8:10 pm

    Jenn
    You and your work on behalf of our beloved St. John have meant VERY much!!
    “Thank you” pales in the light of the force of good you have focused on and shared
    about “Love City”. Five years, eh?! (Yes, we are in now). Charlie is handsome.
    St. John ACC was our family’s donation choice at the 2017 holidays. Very best wishes
    as you enjoy Charlie and welcome your (lucky) baby. See you in 2019!

  30. Jheri
    May 31, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    The “pup” Charlie made it!!!!!!

    • Linda
      June 1, 2018 at 2:33 am

      He is a cutie pie. :)

  31. Linda
    June 1, 2018 at 2:31 am

    Charlie is such a cutie. Thx for his picture and thx for this blog that I truly enjoy.

  32. Cate
    June 2, 2018 at 7:46 am

    Thank you for five years of wonderful blogging. Your brand is growing so I’m looking forward to hearing about the next cool thing coming out of News of St. John. You have been the eyes and ears for so many of us off island who like to stay in touch with STJ. Last fall and this year have been especially poignant. Raising a good amount of money for hurricane relief goes way beyond just blogging. It is for that reason that I believe karma is on your side and anything you touch will turn to gold. Thanks again soon-to-be Mama News if St. John.

  33. Karen L
    June 3, 2018 at 7:08 am

    Thanks Jenn for all the news and updates of my favorite place. Started reading last summer now I am hooked!
    Spent 2 weeks there in April and can’t wait to visit again. It was our 4th visit and hope for many more. Congrats on 5 years!

  34. Alex
    June 3, 2018 at 8:32 am

    Congrats and well done Jenn!!!!
    Your efforts (and that of Dad o’ Jenn) during the darkest Irma days much, much appreciated.

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