Travel Blogs

I sat looking at my website pages on my PC's local testbed server. The more I looked, the less I liked it. Not so much the design, but the fact that I had to maintain it and all the scripts plus mini-programs I had available to download.

"Wouldn't it be nice to dump the whole thing and do something different." More a statement than question. This was in June 2011. At first I ran across a few travel blogs and thought, that's not what I want to do. They appeared more geared to making money than just, well, sort of being. Most did the same sort of thing.

This is not to denigrate them, just that everyone seemed to have the same goal in mind. Go somewhere, tell everyone where it is, show tons of photographs and use software in conjunction with that so anyone visiting is waiting and waiting for the thing to load. The main culprit being remote images, ads and so much Javascript in the software that the browser was struggling to keep its head above water. After deciding to do things differently, I began Torn Dot 4 months later.

Since then I've discovered quite a few travel blogs of people who have taken off on a round the world thingy and enjoying themselves (most of the time). There are guys who have walked out of their jobs and gone vagabonding, girls off looking for something that is not the normal hometown stuff, an older lady who teaches English in various countries around the world, a military couple hopping around the globe with the Army—the list keeps growing. I peruse their entries learning about them and their situations. Many are an inspiration to me and I continue to be struck with the thought, "How on earth did you find that place?"
People have done this for generations, but today we have the Internet and blogs to share our experiences on. Each person has a different style of writing. Some have guest entries, others don't. A few have multiple sites, blogs and sometimes a forum, covering various aspects of their specific type of travel or region. There's even a large site which will host your travel blog and has all kinds of ancillary stuff.

When I read their blogs I feel quite minuscule in comparison. There are those moments when my limitations get to me. The hair is getting grayer, my bones are letting me know that they are not happy with me doing strange movements on rough trails anymore, I find I've become a bit set in my ways and am constantly wondering how on earth will I be able to afford the next trip.

I could recount some of the journeys I made decades ago. No photographs though as taking pictures was not on the agenda. Maybe some notes of what I've learned in the past year about blogging. Who knows at this stage. The one evident thing though is I am amazed at just how many are writing about their travels and they are not on vacation.

As my fingers dance lightly over the keyboard writing this I realized that there is no actual goal for the entry. Maybe that's what it is all about. From one place to another. Always looking for the next horizon.

Initially this is about what it is, not where it is. That will come later. Perhaps having a reason to go somewhere helps me get out and do it, rather that just think about or exist in the vague hope of 'Maybe one day...'. What I don't want to do is end up in the Travel Blog trap. I hate big cities (even though I live in one), dislike tourists (so don't want to be like them—though some places they go I might too) and am not a party animal (do like the occasional beer though).

Sep 2014
Changed the name of the blog from Torn Dot to Simian Circles after a reassessment.
Oct 27, 2011

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I'm now (most happily) back in my new "home" here in coool, greeen Dalat, Vietnam. Though I never thought I'd utter the words, I must say, I'm a bit tired of traveling these days. After a month in Mongolia, followed by another month in Oz, I'm really looking forward to sticking closer to "home" awhile.

Well o.k. leastwise for Christmas, but there's still much of Vietnam I've not seen, so I'm already planning a quick trip to Hue on the coast for New Years. I've a good Vietnamese chum that's invited me to her hometown for a wedding. Always best when you can visit a new place with a local, yes?
Dec 13, 2012 at 1512
"I've been a tad busy traveling lately"
... and lovin' it aren't you.

"I like your style" - Thanks

When you back to Viet Nam?
Dec 13, 2012 at 1442
Woa! Ted - sorry but I've been a tad busy traveling lately, and only just now unearthed your kind comment on my "Packing LIGHT or Oz" post, that led me to...

Here to your most intriguing site. I love the graphics in your masthead, along with the sublime b/w simplicity of the site. It will take me awhile to rummage around, but I must say, from what little I've seen...

I like your style, sir!
Dec 13, 2012 at 1356
Hey Ted, can totally relate. So many people I helped get started years ago are now 'famous' travel bloggers on TV and such.

Problem is, I can't take anyone seriously who brags about visiting 60 countries in five years...and has 50K Twitter/Facebook/Google followers. Doesn't seem like that leaves much time to travel or see a place. By time you dig through the narcissistic crap on the blogs and get past social media stuff, there is no soul in them!

I also get at least 10 requests for links a day to new travel blogs...people who are still working 9 to 5 and haven't started traveling yet, but they already have ads all over their blogs, hehe.

Would love to hear about journeys you took long ago -- before people had TripAdvisor and the internet to keep them connected.
Dec 01, 2012 at 1658