Friday, April 4, 2014

Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?

I know, I suck. I can't believe it's been two years since I updated this blog. I had such good intentions when I started out....

I have lots of excuses. The best one is that we bought a new house and moved in which as everyone knows is a soul-sucking process that exhausts you for doing anything other than taking nutrition. And then only if you're lucky.

The new homestead is "off the grid" and on five acres, which made me become an avid gardener, get a second dog, and start prepping for chickens and bees. I also hang clothes on a clothesline. In other words, I've lost my fricking mind.

We even have a river and a bunch of waterfalls. I could pitch a tent in the back yard and post a travel blog about it.

What the extensive break was not was for want of material. The past two years have been full of some of the best and most adventurous travel experiences of my life. I'm sorry I didn't write about them sooner, when they were fresher in my mind but going through photos has been a great process for remembering and getting inspired.  Here's a preview.

In preparation for getting back into blogging, I've been doing a lot of reading of blogs, mostly travel-related or lifestyle blogs, but also I've dipped my toe (as a reader) into the cray cray world of mommy blogging. I've learned a lot about what NOT to do when writing, especially about travel. Seriously, no one cares about the ham sandwich you had on the airplane, or the great parking spot you nabbed (let alone a photo of it), or details of your bowel movement stops. 

Other things I wish people wouldn't do that I promise to try not to:

Please, I'm begging you, no more photos of your feet. I'll plead guilty to doing it on Facebook, but after seeing enough of people's ugly ass toes spoiling a perfectly lovely vista to last a lifetime, I'm swearing off of it. And I have nice feet.

Enough with the photos of you and your kids or whoever jumping up in the air. I don't know who thought that was ever a good idea but now, well, that's "jumped" the proverbial shark.  I wouldn't be caught dead in such a photo (although that might at least make it interesting), but my son has gone there, so here's the bad example. What can I say, he takes after his father.

-10 points if you do one in silhouette. Although I can understand your desire for anonymity.

 Ditto the photos of you holding the moon or catching a rainbow or pretending to fall off of cliffs or doing handstands on cliffs...bad things can happen aside from just looking stupid. The boy again...sigh....

Don't post a photo of a sunset unless it's awesome. I mean, like one of the best sunsets you've ever experienced kind of awesome.

Stop with the exclamation marks. I'm seriously concerned for their well-being. There must be a finite number and I've read enough blogs to know that we're bumping up against it. If you must use them, if what you're telling us in that sentence is so amazing that it needs to be exclaimed upon more than whatever else you're writing about, then one is enough. Really. Really!

But you don't have to listen to me. Like eight people read this blog. And I probably lost half my readership during the hiatus. 

Things I think people should do:

Post photos of yourself and your kids. People want to put a face to a blog. But not in every shot and not in front of otherwise lovely scenery.

This is me taking refuge at the Four Seasons in Manhattan in my D&Gs while Hurricane Sandy struck, and we missed our flight to Istanbul. It's quite the story. Maybe I'll blog about it. I'm not making any promises.

Grammar and spell check. I can forgive an occasional typo because, duh, but if you don't know how to use apostrophes, well, there's an app for that.
Edit. If you've written 1000 words and haven't covered a 24-hour period, you need to edit. If you find yourself navel-gazing about your grocery store trip, you need to edit. If you have to tell us how you "had a blast" you need to edit because that phrase just shouldn't be anywhere.

Use a thesaurus."Yummy" is not a word an adult should use.

I'm not going to post examples of the lousy blogs I've read...I went there so you didn't have to. You're welcome.  But here are some that I regularly enjoy.

The Everywhereist
Everything Everywhere
The Pioneer Woman

I'll spare you the Tahiti repeats we've endured in the past couple of years, we obviously hate the place and keep having to go back to see if it's getting any better.

This is something else that 25th highschool reunion. And I went to it. Holy shiznet. Here's me and my besties in Nashville. Don't we look great? Yes, yes we do.

So what's next for this blog? Well, I've almost completed an entry on our bear safari adventure in Canada that should go up this weekend. After that, I'll try to keep things in order with Around the World in 42 Days, a blog about our trip at the end of 2012 to Africa and the Middle East via Hurricane Sandy. 

What's coming next in travel? 2014 will see some mainland trips for family and a trip to Vegas to try and pay for it all at the poker tables, but the next big planned adventure (although you never know with me) looks like it will be Rwanda gorilla trekking with a Kenya and Tanzania safari in 2015. Stay tuned. In the meantime I'll try to get on a regular schedule with this thing.

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