Eight Reasons Why it’s OK Our Site is So Far Behind

By far the worst-kept secret on this blog (and perhaps the entire internet) is just how far behind this site is in chronicling our trip. This is the worst kept secret, in part, because I routinely state explicitly just how woefully behind we are, but I also figured that since our last post was about how we spent Christmas 2012, the cat was really out of the bag: try as we might, 20YH is months behind.

By far the worst-kept secret on this blog (and perhaps the entire internet) is just how far behind this site is in chronicling our trip. This is the worst kept secret, in part, because I routinely state explicitly just how woefully behind we are, but I also figured that since our last post was about how we spent Christmas 2012, the cat was really out of the bag: try as we might, 20YH is months behind.

But never fear! Just because our site is not exactly au courant, that doesn’t mean it’s cause for despair. In fact, talking to many other travelers and bloggers on the road, we have gotten the distinct impression that most people in our position experience a significant lag between reality and what is presently being documented on their sites (though perhaps not as extreme as in our case).

So, in the spirit of making all of us, readers and writers alike, feel a little bit better about this, I have compiled the following list of reasons why it’s ok that this blog is months behind:

1) Blog + journal = an unbeatable combination! – One of the most common reactions I receive when people realize how many stories we have yet to tell is incredulity that I could possibly remember anything that we did half a year ago never mind write about it in a meaningful way. I like to think I have a pretty great memory, but happily, I don’t have to rely on it when it comes to crafting these posts because from the day we set off, I have kept a personal journal in which I jot down salient points every night. Now, I am not a great journal writer, but I picked up this trick back when I was a pre-teen and traveled to Japan for a cultural exchange—I shared a hotel room with a somewhat eccentric adult chaperone who told me her technique of simply jotting down point-form notes of anything important that happened that day. She wasn’t focused on crafting Proustian prose or worrying about constantly choosing le mot juste, she was just focusing on getting down the meat of the ideas, feelings and moments that had made up her day in bullet point form. I really took that approach to heart, and have done something similar whenever I have since traveled. Even when I’m exhausted and brain-dead following an epic travel day, I can usually muster enough energy to write down a few grammar-optional musings about what we got up to. These aren’t my memoirs and I doubt anyone other than myself would want to read them, but that’s ok, because no one else is going to! Indeed, some of these musings will never see the light of day, but it’s nice to know that I have something that captures me precisely in a moment in time without any concern for style or the narrative. And then when I sit down to write about what we got up to, I’ve got these notes to jog my memory. Sure, I’m unlikely to forget that we spotted pygmy elephants in the wilds of Borneo, but rather than speculating or back-projecting about how that must have made me feel or what it meant to me at the time, I actually already have it written down.

Motorcycles and Vietnam are like peanut butter and jam!
Motorcycles and Vietnam are like peanut butter and jam!

2) The writing is better for it, Part 1– For better or for worse, when we set off on our journey, we decided we wanted to use this site to document our trip chronologically so that we could develop a continuous narrative that would hopefully be more compelling than if we simply jumped around in time and posted a mishmash of stories and posts. Our intention was to create a space to share our adventures as they happened and keep our families reassured that we weren’t dead in a ditch somewhere. Once on the road, however, we realized that we were packing so much into our days that if we really wanted to keep our site up to date, the majority of our posts would be huge info dumps that might make you wonder if we were being charged by the word à la Charles Dickens. I’ve written travel blogs before for shorter trips in which I focus more on what I did and saw rather than what any of it meant or why anyone else should care and I realized that’s not what I wanted this 20YH project to be. There was a learning curve, but we realized that it made more sense for us to focus less on exhaustively documenting every thing we did each day in a single post and instead take a step back and figure out what stories were important for us to share. Sometimes this means that one day’s worth of living gets spread across three different posts or that some things get excised completely, and sometimes we even condense multi-day journeys and adventures into one tale. Unlike my journal where anything goes, we have actively worked to create content that we hope is meaningful and interesting to readers other than ourselves. This approach takes time.

3) The writing is better for it, Part 2 – I’ve learned that the stories we share are the bedrock of a good blog post, but as someone who loves writing and actively works to improve and develop that skill, they are just one part of a post. I’ve read plenty of blogs where people suggest you set aside a day each week to bang out four or five posts that you schedule throughout the week, but that just doesn’t work for me. Maybe I’m a fool who can’t let her perfectionist tendencies die, but I spend hours writing each post, taking care to craft the narrative and make sure the words I’ve chosen to carry the story to our readers are the correct messengers. When I write, I do so from the very purest part of myself, and while it’s so rewarding to make a story come alive as words dance together on the page, it does drain me. I’ve learned that as a writer, I’d rather take my time and write the best posts I can rather than forcing myself to bang out content that doesn’t inspire me, or you! We put a lot of thought into how to approach and execute every post and it takes a lot out of us.

It's a metaphor. Really.
It’s a metaphor. Really.

4) Look at all them pretty pictures – I think we can all agree that no matter how great the writing, travel blogs are infinitely more interesting when they include pictures. Certainly the feedback we’ve received has suggested that y’all are as in love with Tony’s photography (and sometimes even mine too!) as I am, and I know our posts would be shadows of themselves if we didn’t have those images to complement and strengthen them. But adding in photos to our posts takes an awful lot of time in and of itself, not least because on any given day it’s not unusual for us to snap anywhere between 100 – 300 pictures. It takes time to sift through all our photos and pick the right ones. Then, the internet being what it sometimes is over here in Asia, it can take a loooong time to get those uploaded to our server and properly placed in the post. If we committed to text-only posts, we could probably shave a few months off our current lag, but where would be the fun in that?

5) We put the “travel” in “travel blogger” – It seems fairly obvious that without actually traveling, a travel blog would be kind of pointless, but what no one ever seems to say is that traveling and blogging often feel mutually exclusive. We’ve been on the road for nearly 14 months now and in that time, we have rarely spent more than four days in a single location. That kind of schedule means we spend the bulk of our time exploring our current location rather than writing about it. Wherever we are, we want to make the most of it, cross as much off of our list as possible, because who knows when we’ll be back and have this kind of time at our disposal again? We’ve found in our own travels that the travel blogs we enjoy the most tend to be run by those who similarly make traveling the priority, recognizing that although you may not be able to write about spending the night on a deserted island on the Andaman coast while you are actually on said island, you can’t write about it EVER if you elect to hole yourself up in your room to write about… all the experiences you’re forgoing, I guess? So, rushing about doing other stuff means getting content up on our site is more challenging, not simply because we don’t always have the time, but also because it turns out that traveling for long stretches of time is really tiring, both physically and mentally. I have noticed that most bloggers who keep a regular posting schedule and have fairly current content tend to be those who travel much slower than we do and are generally based somewhere for a couple of months. (There is one other option, which I’ll get into in point #7.) So, sometimes we come back to our room after having spent the day running about in the oppressive Asian heat and we realize we are done for the day. Sure there are a few hours when I could sit down and write about what we just did, but I am EXHAUSTED. On days like this, there is no writing, no planning, it’s just time for a beer and a movie and maybe a cold shower.

In one of the biggest caves in the world
In one of the biggest caves in the world

6) All of this is a journey & we are still learning – Our blog has been off the rails since about 48 hours after we landed in Tokyo at the very start of it. We were doing so much during the day and it was so hot and we were so tired and we had no routine and the blog just got behind. Initially, this stressed me out a lot, to the point where I was having mild panic attacks or snapping at Tony or just feeling guilty when I wasn’t using every spare minute of our day to work on our site. At this point, Tony & I were also sharing just 1 computer (huge mistake, don’t do this!) and so I would try setting my alarm for 2 hours earlier than his so that I could get in some writing time while he was sleeping. Needless to say, this did not last very long and probably contributed to our time in Japan and our transition into the world of long-term travel being far more stressful than it needed to be. Eventually, just as Tony & I swiftly realized that we needed to take time to just do nothing or do non-travel activities that made us happy, I realized that I had to loosen my grip on what I had expected for the site and what reality was actually showing me. We couldn’t post every single day, and we couldn’t post on every topic under the sun. Rather than being a last-stop travel resource for anyone hoping to follow in our footsteps, we’d just have to let the site grow in the directions that felt best to us. Part of this journey has been learning what kind of posts we like to write (you’ll note that “list” posts such as these don’t tend to feature frequently) in combination with how to write—and edit! I guess we’ve come to see the blog as constantly in a state of flux, a perpetual work in progress. Just like us, it continues to evolve and morph into something new—we add new features, we try different styles—and I’m learning to be ok with that.

7) Good stories last – A couple weeks ago we met up with a fellow traveler and blogger and, as these things do, we soon were talking shop and I lamented how embarrassing it was for our site to be so far behind. The blogger we were chatting with asked why we didn’t just skip a bunch of countries and start writing more currently. I really love and admire bloggers who are able to write posts in the moment about the moment, but I realized that in order for us to do that, we’d probably have to just share a sliver of our adventures. And I just can’t stomach the thought of casting certain adventures aside just because they happened last winter rather than last week. I believe that good stories have pretty lengthy shelf lives, whether they’re about us driving a motorcycle the length of Vietnam or learning how to make mango sticky rice on a tiny Thai island. To borrow an approach from this great article about how to deal with the never-ending inundation of new artistic and cultural properties, I have two choices with how to deal with the backlog on our site: cull or surrender. I can either decide that because I’m so far behind, those adventures we have had are not worth telling any more, no longer relevant, and that I should just chuck (or tuck) them away and deal with the here and now. Or, I can surrender to the fact that my life is currently so full that I can’t keep up in a timely fashion, but I can keep chipping away at it, sharing the stories I’m moved to recount that shed a bit of light on each step we’ve taken, and accept that I might never catch up. Clearly I’m choosing the latter, but either approach is valid, honestly. I think if I were a little more flexible, a little more willing to ruthlessly edit and restrict the stories I share, culling could work. Maybe one day I’ll switch over to no more than two posts about a given week in my life or restrict myself to one post per destination, or stop writing about destinations specifically and simply use them as settings for other stories I wish to tell. For now I’m not there, and I’m ok with that. Either approach requires some kind of compromise and this is the one I’ve chosen to make. So far no one has suggested that his or her enjoyment of our site has been hindered by the lag, that a post has rung false or been less useful because we have had other experiences in the meantime. I’ve made my peace with the fact that within the past year I’ve procured an arsenal of experiences that many people will take an entire lifetime to acquire (and maybe not even then), so if it takes me a little more time to process and parcel them out, that’s ok.

Oh, was the blog not cute enough for you? How about some of this!
Oh, was the blog not cute enough for you? How about some of this!

8) There’s always Facebook & Twitter – I know that the way we handle & approach social media today means that most users of the internet are looking for and expecting immediacy. We send emails because we can’t wait a week for a letter to get there, we tweet photos of our lunches and update our Facebook stream with life events right as they’re happening because we want others to know what we’re doing right now. Once it’s posted—bam!—it’s on to the next thing. I know the rush of reading a post where you feel like you and the author have achieved symbiosis and the two of you are sharing the same head space in that moment. You know what their life is for that instant and you feel like you know them more intimately as a result. What I can say is that I try really hard to write the posts on this site in the most truthful way; sometimes this means writing it as though the story is happening right now, and other times it means looking back and reflecting with the wisdom that I have gained since then. I try not to be proleptic in my approach, but sometimes the lines of chronology blur in service of the story. While the stories I share are not always timely, I hope that even if they manage not to be timeless, they manage to be of a time, one that was worth documenting and sharing in some form or another.

With the increased popularity and pervasiveness of platforms like Twitter and Facebook, I think the approach we take on the blog can be forgiven because we have expanded our boundaries to allow our followers the best of both worlds. If you crave immediate, real-time insight into our daily realities, follow us on Twitter & Facebook; at the end of each and every post, we have links to both of these places to make it super easy for you to do so. Neither Tony nor I even used either of these sites before we left on our trip, but we’ve embraced them now and figured out ways that they can complement what we do on this site. If you haven’t already followed/liked us, we’d really appreciate it if you would take the time to do so. We share legitimately unique content in both venues, and we hope they make our day-to-day realities a little more transparent.

It’s possible I wrote this post mostly to assuage my own fears rather than any our readers might be experiencing. If so, I hope you’ll forgive the indulgence. I also hope these reasons will offer you some comfort when we head off to Nepal in a few days and then try not to die while trekking in the mountains and our blog inevitably falls further behind (I’m guessing WiFi coverage ain’t great up in the Himalayas and on the off chance we find it, it certainly won’t be cheap!). I suspect some of the lessons I’ve shared here will serve us well when we’re up on the top of the world: just take it moment by moment, one day—nay, one step—at a time.

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30 comments Leave a comment

  1. I would rather have you guys be months behind than miss the stories you tell. People should follow you on Facebook/Twitter if they want a dose of real-time with 20YH. You’ve got a real gift for writing, Steph, and Tony is a magician behind the camera. I come here often for both. And it doesn’t bother me one bit that it happened a while ago. Hey, I live in the Caribbean – I’m perpetually on island time… I have no idea when anything happens anyway 🙂 Keep chipping. And good luck in the Himalayas!

    Sep. 22 2013 @ 11:57 pm
    1. Rika | Cubicle Throwdown author

      Thank you for your exceedingly kind comment, Rika! And I am so glad you have been enjoying what we do here. I have a feeling that Asian time is a bit like island time, so maybe that should have been my excuse! Now that we’ve been here a year, we’ve just embraced the local culture! 😉

      Sep. 26 2013 @ 12:34 am
  2. You know, Dan and I were just talking about how much we admire you guys for not feeling the need to race through all your stories to ‘catch up’. We were wondering how you remembered the details to your travels so well, but now we know your real secret – keep a journal! All eight of these reasons are great explanations as to why it’s ok your site is behind, but truth be told I don’t think you need any reasons other then the fact that your blog is amazing. It’s obvious you deeply care about the posts you publish and I think your blog has some of the highest quality writing and photography of any site I know of. Keep up the inspiring work 🙂

    Sep. 23 2013 @ 8:07 am
    1. Casey @ A Cruising Couple author

      I am so glad that I have managed to keep the journal up to date for the most part on this journey; it’s definitely been the longest I’ve ever kept one, but it’s really been invaluable. We tend to be really candid on our blog, but I do jot down things in the journal that no one else will ever see and it’s nice to revisit some of those moments and see how far I’ve come (or remind myself that I still need to work on some things).

      Thanks so much for your supportive comment—it means so much that you guys enjoy what we’re doing!

      Sep. 26 2013 @ 12:52 am
  3. This is such a difficult one as I remember getting behind with the blog after only a couple of weeks of traveling! The last thing you want to do is have it feel like a job and not actually enjoy the experiences as you’re having them. For me though, the worst it got was 3 months behind and at that stage we stopped somewhere for a week and I caught up on all of it. Because our blog was first and foremost for friends and family I know they wouldn’t be interested in reading about something so far after the fact so I’ve tried to keep no further than a few weeks behind since then. It’s taken discipline but I try and get the bare bones of a post down immediately after it’s happening, the ones I wrote so far after didn’t have the same honesty and clarity I don’t think – I guess this is kind of the same thing as your trusted journal.

    Sep. 23 2013 @ 8:32 am
    1. Maddie author

      In the past, the travel blogs I have written were really just viewed by a handful of friends and family and I agree that if they hadn’t been current, they wouldn’t have been of much interest to anyone at all. If we only wrote one or two posts a week about whatever we did and severely condensed everything, I think we could stay current, but I realized that we just couldn’t do the stories justice that way. Sometimes my folks nag me about being so far behind, but I know they ultimately enjoy hearing the tales as much as everyone else. They do get the occasional email and phone call as well to really keep them current so they’ll just have to be satisfied with that! 😀

      Sep. 26 2013 @ 12:59 am
  4. I think the most important thing is to do what works for you, and you seem to be doing that! I couldnt do it – I have a post to write from a month ago and I can barely bring myself to do it, but I promised a hotel who hosted us that I would! It almost makes me not want to get free stuff aurrrgh! (Almost). For me, blogging is about the moment, about connecting with whats going on right now, but only because Im terribly undiciplined and have no plan or schedule whatsoever. Sometimes I think that is a problem (I’ve never scheduled a post in my life!) but, its just what works for me. And after all, that’s why we embarked on this life, right? To do it our way. Kudos to you both on a wonderful blog with excellent writing and beautiful images 🙂

    Sep. 23 2013 @ 9:54 am
    1. Sarah Somewhere author

      Sometimes I definitely get frustrated because I think of posts that are very much “of the moment” that I want to write, and then I realize that it is months before I could rightly get to them. So, in those instances, I break from chronology and write the post I want to write and figure that people won’t mind if what I write is worth reading. I guess I have my journal to funnel all my immediate thoughts and feelings into and while I wish my blog could reflect that too, I am happy with what we’ve managed to do with it. It won’t work for everyone, but so much of this journey is about trial and error, learning what works, what makes us happy, letting go of what we thought and embracing what is. This was definitely my attempt to do just that!

      Sep. 26 2013 @ 1:02 am
  5. I think it’s perfectly okay to be behind — it’s your blog! You have the memories and it’s up to you to decide how you want to share them. I LOVE that photo of you guys in Vietnam…so lovely!

    Sep. 23 2013 @ 10:51 am
    1. Claire author

      Thanks, Claire! The blog has definitely not become what I thought it would, but so little in life actually turns out the way we think it will be. It’s been a good lesson for me to constantly remember that we can only do so much and try our best and then we just have to let things be. Plus, at this point the blog is so far behind, it is actually nice for us to wander down memory lane alongside all of you! 😀

      Sep. 26 2013 @ 1:05 am
  6. The other day I realised you were talking about Christmas last year I was in shock! I totally support you and I don’t care at all! I do like the recent posts on FB, I like to hear whatsup!

    Sep. 23 2013 @ 12:31 pm
    1. Angela author

      Maybe from now on I should just stop drawing people’s attention to the lag since it sounds like a lot of times people don’t even notice and I just make things worse by pointing it out! 😀 I guess that means we’re doing a good job of keeping the content feel fresh and relevant!

      (Also, so glad you guys enjoy our FB posts—they are fun for us too, and definitely help us feel less guilty!)

      Sep. 26 2013 @ 1:10 am
  7. Ha ha… you hit this bang on – I have not yet written about my xmas 2012! Bad blogging be damned, good stories are where its at. This is your blog – not a newspaper, and it’s gorgeous! I love reading your stories – keeping it coming however it works best for you 🙂

    Sep. 24 2013 @ 9:38 am
    1. Dana - OurWanderlust author

      So glad to hear that we aren’t the only ones woefully behind! We had a friend tell us that she never trusted any travel blogs that weren’t at least a few weeks behind and I decided to really take that advice to heart… 😉

      Sep. 26 2013 @ 1:12 am
  8. I don’t think your blog suffers at all for being so far behind; like you said, great stories will keep. Our blog is also a couple of months behind and I thought I’d really be able to catch up during our month-long break renting an apartment in Thailand. I’m failing at this so far though and the main reason is that, like you, I spend a long time writing posts and find it quite exhausting, so I can usually only write one a day. That is something you just have to make peace with, I think. I also keep a journal and find that invaluable for writing posts at a later date; I often find that having a couple of months to digest and reflect on an experience makes it easier to write about too.

    Sep. 25 2013 @ 5:33 am
    1. Amy author

      It’s so hard to juggle writing with actually traveling and doing the stuff worth writing about! I always feel guilty if we’re not making the most of whichever place we find ourselves and while I realize at this point that our lag is so big that if we did take a month or two to do nothing but write and then skipped those two boring months no one would notice, who wants to do that? We try to only go to places that we think we’ll actually enjoy… I figure that when we’re back home and have to stay put for a while, that can be the chance to catch up!

      Sep. 26 2013 @ 1:14 am
  9. Shhh!!! Don’t tell everyone! We have no idea where you are so you could pretend you are right up to date! I have enough trouble writing a blog without the travelling so I admire everything you do. Your photos are always amazing and I love your stories. I don’t care if you are 2 years behind!

    Sep. 27 2013 @ 12:59 pm
    1. Jackie (Farm Lane Books) author

      Thanks, Jackie! Most times people don’t realize how far behind we are until we are turning up at their doorsteps or meeting for drinks… I hope that turns out to be the case for us too! 😀

      Oct. 7 2013 @ 2:56 am
  10. Take your time I say! Your photos are great, I’m looking forward to slowly reading your stories as you get the chance to post them.

    Sep. 30 2013 @ 4:56 am
    1. Andrea author

      Thanks for the support, Andrea! So happy to hear that you are enjoying what we do. We’ll keep the stories & photos coming!

      Sep. 30 2013 @ 11:52 pm
  11. We really connected with this post. We share a lot of the same thoughts on why our posts are behind too– wanting to developing our writing and content, spending time editing photos, or sharing different stories when the time feels right, we get it! We are also still figuring out the type of post we want to share, whether informative or funny, a review, picture post, “how to”, personal experiences, etc.

    Ah, the catch-22 of travel bogging! – you cannot blog while you traveling, but you cannot travel while blogging! (unless you are stuck on a train or bus somewhere…) We personally like to enjoy the travel aspect and then blog about it down the road, whether bits and pieces or several days together like you do. We’ve met a few people that have impressed us with their ability to blog in real-time. But it sounds so stressful!

    This was a great post. There are sure to be many people who share your same experiences with blogging. Good luck with your “slow” blogging!

    Sep. 30 2013 @ 6:35 am
    1. Chris and Angela author

      Glad to hear you guys can relate too! I really do think this is a common plight that all travel bloggers experience and have to figure out a way to deal with in some way or another. I really did worry that by not writing about each experience immediately as it happened that our blog would lose something vital, but I think that there have definitely been perks to having time to reflect and craft those stories. Our maintaining our sanity is certainly one of them! 😀

      Sep. 30 2013 @ 11:55 pm
  12. I find point #6 to be interesting, considering our Facebook conversation the other day. I am like you and quite stubborn, so we’ll see how long we last with only one laptop. I also would really prefer getting another Apple as I love our Macbook Pro. I only wish we had made the call while a) Shawn was still working for a school (hello 10% discount) and b) we lived in Oregon and didn’t have to pay sales tax. Sigh. Lesson learned.

    I faced a similar problem with the anxiety of posting on a regular basis earlier today. Shawn is writing up the Gobi desert trip wrap up and I thought he was going to work on it today, but wanted to wait until Sunday so he could work on creative writing. I don’t know why I got so wrapped up in getting it done right away, but I did. It really doesn’t matter. I’d rather he be in a space where he wants to write it than being forced to do so. It’ll be better for both of us that way.

    We are taking our time on this trip, but that’s mostly because we have other goals we’re working on, personally, outside of just the travel portion. I’d also like to think it’s because we’re old and tired. 🙂

    Oct. 4 2013 @ 3:54 am
    1. Carmel author

      Yes, if I had realized what a pain it would before us to share a laptop, I would definitely have taken advantage of my student discount (or Apple’s awesome North American refurb deals) before heading out on our trip. At the very least, purchasing something big like that would have hurt a lot less when we both had steady income rather than none whatsoever! I honestly believed I could get away with writing posts on the ipad (using a bluetooth keyboard), but it never stopped feeling awkward for me and whenever I wanted to look something up online to check references/facts, the multitasking was just such a nightmare.

      And I really did have the crazy, unrealistic expectation that we would be posting to our blog every single day. We were just so exhausted that first month of traveling with our days so jammed pack that there was just no way to make that happen. And now I have of course realized that most people don’t have the time in their own lives to really follow a blog that updates every single day, anyway. 😉

      Oct. 7 2013 @ 2:49 am
  13. I am in total agreement with every major point that you have made in this post. I’d rather read better quality stories than lists or real-time updates that feel rushed or just aren’t as interesting. Like you said, even if these things happened to you months ago, the stories will last. How else can we explain novels or essays that students (and non-students) read year after year? I still enjoy posts from other writers that they wrote in real time years ago, so what’s the difference with you? Even though I am not a long-term traveler like the two of you, when I write I get very far behind as well. I would hate to think of that as a problem!

    Oct. 15 2013 @ 6:58 pm
    1. Kara author

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Kara, and we’re so glad to hear that you’ve been enjoying what we do here, even if there is a hefty delay between when our adventures happen and when we share them. I think some of our early posts were not as engaging because we weren’t taking the time to really craft the narrative and think about what the story is that we wanted to tell. It’s a process, one that I think we’re still working on figuring out, but I know we’re a lot closer now (even if we’re much further behind!) than we were at the start of this trip!

      Oct. 16 2013 @ 11:26 am
  14. As I found your superb blog fairly recently I’m still catching up with your earlier posts so no worries from me! Just had to add The Philippines to my planned Asia trip after reading about your experiences there. Really looking forward to your posts on Nepal – whenever they arrive!

    Oct. 17 2013 @ 9:48 am
    1. Ian Mackenzie author

      Thanks for your kind comment, Ian! So glad to hear you’ve been combing our archives and that you’ve added the Philippines to your itinerary! Seems like more travelers are starting to add it to their Asia rosters, but we like to pretend it’s all because of us. 😉 Regardless, we are confident you’ll have a great time there—it’s truly a wonderful country and still one of our all-time favorites.

      We’ll definitely get around to talking about Nepal, but we’ve got about 5 other countries to get through before it. Eep!

      Oct. 18 2013 @ 9:47 am
  15. Hi Steph – I accidentally stumbled on this post as I was doing some research on your site about Vietnam. Just wanted to say that I really connected with your message. You are now much more up to date, but a lot of what you write about here, in this post, is still true. When we set out for our adventure, our primary goal was to travel – to see, to experience, to live in the moment – while everything else, including blogging, was secondary. Eight months in we are still feel that was the right decision. We have taken a short (a few minutes) video everyday, a sort of snapshot in time of wherever we are, that we share on our site. And we have monthly wrap ups that let us share some of the moment, what we think now, content. But our stories those are all in the travel journals waiting to be shared with a wider audience when we have a chance to properly slow down. Anyway, just wanted to give you kudos on the post and say thank you 🙂

    May. 1 2014 @ 6:01 am
    1. Jenia from HTL author

      Aw, thank you for the kind words of support Jenia! I’m glad to hear that this post really spoke to you and that you’ve reached a similar conclusion in your own travels. We decided to do a time jump once we left Vietnam to try to keep things a little more current as we ride out the last few months of our trip, but we definitely plan to go back and fill in the gaps once we’re back home. Those stories and adventures we’ve had will keep and be just as good in a few months as they would be if we were writing about them right now. I think the key is to just write whatever you are passionate about rather than feeling like you’re a slave to timelines; that is when your posts will be the best (at least they are for me) and I’ve found that our readers tend to respond most to these posts too.

      May. 1 2014 @ 9:13 am

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