And just like that it’s a new year. They roll around quickly don’t they? 2018 was good for The Journier. This time last year the site was averaging about 3,000 visitors a month and now it’s close to 40,000.

I hope that the site continues to grow and not just bring in large amounts of random traffic but truly provide good material that people can use and enjoy.

In 2019, I plan to hike a lot more, bike a lot more, and go kayaking. I went kayaking for the first time in 2018 and fell in love with it. Really, the whole family did because we didn’t want to leave that pond.

There’s a few places in Illinois I want to take the kayaks on, Weldon Springs, Lake Shelbyville, Lake Decatur, and other places I’ll be scouting out as great kayaking destinations.

One of the things I love about kayaking is that it’s perfect for summertime when hiking isn’t the best idea due to ticks, poison ivy, and hot weather. It’s therapeutic to get out on the water, especially to be so close to it. In fact, we’re selling our boat because kayaking is so much more fun.

And I still have my electric bicycle which I purchased in 2018 and I really can’t recommend electric bikes enough, especially if you’re getting older like me, or maybe just wiser, and want to be able to ride longer and explore more trails. They’re fun to ride but still give you a good workout.

Ness Icon Electric Bike

As far as what I plan to review in 2019, I’ll be starting with the Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music. It’s been out for about 6 months but I saw that a lot of people had interest in, including myself, so I’ll be testing it out. In fact, I’m wearing it right now as I type.

Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music
Garmin Vivoactive 3 Music | View current price and availability on Amazon

After that, I’ll be reviewing the Fossil Sport Smartwatch. This will be the first Fossil smartwatch that I’ve reviewed and one I’m eager to test because all the reviews I’ve read thus far haven’t gone into much detail. Don’t worry because I’ll be going into a lot of detail and really putting it through its’ paces.

I’ll be testing out the fitness features, heart rate sensor, built-in GPS, battery life, and more. The Fossil Sport Smartwatch comes in a variety of colors and I chose red because it’s my favorite color. Plus, it doesn’t look like another bland Wear OS smartwatch. I’ll be comparing it to the Ticwatch C2 because they have quite a bit in common but have some important differences.

After the Fossil Sport, I’ll be reviewing the Garmin Instinct. This is Garmin’s rugged outdoor GPS watch with military grade construction. It has great hiking features like the Fenix but cost half as much and I’ll be testing it against the Fenix.

Then I’ll be waiting to see what Fitbit has to offer. I would assume a second generation Versa will be coming and probably another Ionic too. The Versa was first released in the spring of 2018 but had its’ bugs for sure, at least in my experience – mainly syncing and connected GPS issues.

I’m hoping the next Versa has built-in GPS so even if there are connection issues we’ll still have good workout data. But hopefully the connection issues are fixed too. I do have to say that the Versa has improved with updates from Fitbit but there’s still room for plenty of improvement.



What I would like to see besides built-in GPS on the Fitbit Versa is support for more apps, a compass, breadcrumbing for hiking, maps, more on-screen data during workouts, less complicated music transfers, and possibly some health features like blood oxygen and maybe even blood pressure. A mic and speaker would be great too but personally I’m more in favor of better health and fitness features.

Hey, if I’m going to toss suggestions out there, I might as well throw out some good ones in hopes Fitbit is listening because I really do like the Versa. It has tons of potential but Fibit needs to stop holding back and give us the good stuff!

When will the new Versa be released? I don’t know but I would guess in the spring of 2019 since the first version was released in the spring of 2018.

And I’ll still be scouting out good budget friendly fitness trackers. I’m always on the hunt for them to give you affordable alternatives and help promote good products that maybe aren’t as well known.

I truly enjoy working on this site in my spare time and getting outdoors. Reviewing the products that I do is great motivation for me to get out more and do more.

I wish everyone a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2019 and thank you for your support!

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Last Update: January 1, 2019