6 Months Blogging: Blog Changes and Upcoming Travel Plans!

In All Topics, Featured, Personal by Ryan16 Comments

What a wee lil’ lad this blog is, but I feel like I’ve accomplished so much in the past 6 months!

From the moment I clicked publish on my first article on this blog, Death: My Travel Inspiration, I knew it was going to set a new tone for what I wanted travelers and would-be travelers to get from my musings.

As you may (or may not) know, before re-launching the blog from scratch in December, there was a travel blogging tragedy…

I lost everything.

As most bad stories begin – what had happened was – GoDaddy deleted all of my server files, and everything I had ever posted beforehand. EVERYTHING.

It wasn’t entirely their fault.

Even though I had been blogging about my New Zealand adventures for 9 months, I still had no technical knowledge about servers and hosting. Which means I relied on GoDaddy’s word when a technician said he backed up all of my files when I requested to take the blog down for 2 months while I find a job.

Well, you can guess what happened when I went to re-launch it. Another technician informed me that no such database was created, and everything on the site was lost forever.

To make matters worse, I mainly wrote my posts online at the time because I like to visualize the layout and photos with it.

Which meant every New Zealand article, every guide written, everything I had created was lost.

Fast forward to December after the crushing feelings had subsided somewhat, and I finally had the energy again to give this blogging thing another go. I re-launched a bare-bones re-imagining of the blog after completely redesigning and hand-drawing all of the graphics over again…

I can say at this point I’m proud of what I’ve created.

And I have a lot of work ahead.

The above is the reasons why this blog has yet to have a guides section, and my adventures from New Zealand, but I am here to tell you I have some wicked and exciting things to come.

After attending the 2013 Travel Blogger Expo in Toronto recently, my vision for what I want to bring to the travel community is clearer than ever. Though my stats here aren’t spectacular, the 850+ comments on this blog means more to me than any number. That means YOU are engaging, and hopefully getting something out of the things I say. Hopefully finding inspiration for destinations, or activities, or even finally deciding to travel for the first time!

I have not kept up with my blog posts.

I have not kept up with my weekly reads.

I have not added all of my friends to the Hall of Gnarly Travel Bloggers.

I have not told the tales from New Zealand, Haiti, or Canada.

And I have not edited my travel videos.

But this is all changing…hardcore changing!

Ryan gazing in wonderment at the sprawling views of the countryside

I Quit 1 of 2 Jobs

During the time I have been in the US since returning from New Zealand, I have been working tirelessly at two jobs to save up for another BIG adventure. Recently, I decided two jobs AND trying to have time for the blog was too much to juggle, so I axed one. Traveling and writing is my passion, and I chose to finally give myself time for both.

Quitting one job will mean MUCH more time to catch up with sharing these crazy adventures from New Zealand, Haiti, and Canada and finally putting up some guides for each destination.

 

I’m Homeless Now

I say ” homeless” but that’s not really how it is. I’ve moved on and moved out. After my parents passed, the only place I could call Home was across the street with family friends I grew up playing with. I was there every day from dusk till dawn, and they’ve supported me throughout my many turmoils over the years. I may have slipped into a catastrophic spiral without having them around, and they have become family to me over the years. I may often say I have no family left beside my brother, blood family, but in reality I’ve always had them. They were kind enough to take me in (AGAIN) while back from New Zealand, but recently they wanted to remodel the home. So it was time to move out. Move on to the next stage as a traveler. I’m 25, and its time to get serious about my dream! Which means I’ve also left myself with no place to go since I hadn’t planned far enough in advance. So, for now, I am crashing on a friends couch essentially homeless, because I only have 2 months left here, so I opted not to rent another apartment.

But that is the travelers lifestyle right? That’s how it’ll be from here on out as well as I come into a full time traveler lifestyle.

Now that the frantic moving of my stuff is over, I’ll be able to focus on the blog again.

 

Interactive Maps And Guides

Speaking of guides, I will begin to include interactive hand-drawn maps of the countries I have traveled to with clickable areas for specific advice or recommendations for cities and regions! If you want to test this our, move your cursor over to my head at the top left of my blog, or tap the head on a touchscreen. See that icon that appeared? Yeah, pretty rad huh?

I’ll have city descriptions and practical guides that will be easy to find.

Chronicles of a Lost Boy

A blogger at TBEX told me while in a conversation that my best written pieces have always been the ones from which I draw my inspiration from my life. My life was wrought with a broken childhood, the death of my parents, and being dis-owned by my brother for wanting to travel. Even with all of this, I still chose to chase my dream, and I know plenty of you out there have had just as much turmoil.

I will be starting a series that chronicles these events in my life, and how travel has truly helped me stay alive.

Travel Adventure Videos

I’ve been saying for a while now that I want to get more into travel videography, and after filming the documentary in Haiti, I knew this is what I wanted to focus on while traveling. So what the hell happened? Well, all excuses aside – I HATE EDITING. I used to love it, but I did a wedding once upon a time, and after 65hrs of editing, it took a piece of my soul.

But I feel revitalized, and I have over 1TB of footage from Haiti and Canada that I’ll be putting together gnarly episodes for your enjoyment!

(An un-edited, raw cut reel. This was pieced together in 20min to show the Haitian Tourism Ministry in a last minute meeting)

Travel Longer Magazine

Travel Longer Magazine is an awesome digital publication that is low on bullshit ads, and high on wicked adventure stories and travel photos. I have now written for this up-and-coming magazine three times, and will be coming on board as a regular contributor.

Writing for this mag has helps break my writers block, and given me confidence in my story-telling. Something I always lacked.

Look forward to this publication on iPhone and Android soon!

And now for the reveal of my upcoming plans!

So why have I been working 14hr shifts at a restaurant, cutting out drinking coffee, not dining out, and not drinking booze?

Because I’m going places baby, and that involves lots of moolah!

My goal for the next 2 months is to save up $8,000 before moving to New Orleans at the end of August. Yep, I am moving to The Big Easy for a few months! After a quick trip, I realized I just had to experience this city and all that Louisiana has to offer before going abroad.

While there, I will be absorbing the amazing vibes that New Orleans offers, and probably gaining a few pounds while indulging in the amazing food.

I will be taking a waiting job again to hopefully save another $4,000 for…

 

SouthEast Asia!

south_east_asia_map

Yes, on my birthday in November I plan on leaving the United States for a year to teach English somewhere in Southeast Asia. My top choices are South Korea or Vietnam, but I’m sure that is likely to change depending on the job I get.

If you have experience or information on this, do share!

But I am super stoked, and I have a ton to do like getting my TESOL/TEFL, and working to save up.

And I’m so happy to have you gnarly people along for the ride.

A lot of change is coming, and I hope you’ll still follow the mis-adventures of my trusty chucks and I around the world!

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Your plans sound awesome man. If you need anything in New Orleans, one of my closest friends has been living there for about 2 years now and has been working in various restaurants the whole time. I’m not sure where he’s working now, but his sister is a chef at Emerils. Let me know if you want me to get in touch with them for you for anything you might need once you make the move.
    As far as teaching in Asia, what I can tell you is that Thailand, China, South Korea, and Japan are the biggest providers of work. Of course, Thailand is the only place of those that are in SEA, but Thailand also has the worst English of any other country in SEA. Since the ASEAN community is being established in 2015 and English will be the common langauge between all of the ASEAN countries, Thailand is making a hard push to get English into the brains of the Thai folks. There’s a TON of work to do here. It took me less than a week to find a great paying job with fantastic benefits.
    What’s most important is a full 120 hour in class TEFL/TESOL or CELTA with practical teaching applications alongside a bachelors of any kind from any university. That being said, I still have no trouble finding a job sans degree. All I’ve needed is the TEFL/TESOL certification. I’m not sure what the prices in the US are for a certification, but it cost me about 40,000 baht (a little over 1,000 dollars) to attend one of the better schools here in Thailand. UniTEFL in Chiang Mai… I can’t recommend it highly enough.
    If you have any questions about teaching English in Asia, definitely let me know, I’m happy to share anything I can with you.
    Good luck saving up and enjoy the anticipation of your next big journey!

    1. Author

      Badass Wes, thank you so much for the wicked info. I don’t have a degree but it’s good to know it hasn’t stopped you from finding work! I think I’ll land in Thailand and hit up the school you recommended because I was trying to find a good one as well. Thanks again dude, and glad you are having a wicked time there as well!

  2. Okay so I have decided you need to add “mobile friendly” to your design scheme because I’m sitting on this relaxing porch at a coffee shop in Charleston, SC and your page takes forever to load on my phone. ๐Ÿ™‚ Exciting changes ahead for you! Looking forward to the read!

    1. Author

      Ahhhhh Katie…I know I need to. But I am so proud of my hand-drawn theme and used to the LTE in D.C. I don’t realize how slow it is. I know I should, and I will…but I’m having a graphic designers dilemma. Thanks for checking it out though!

    2. The hand-drawn theme is awesome. I mean gnarly. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I don’t blame you for not wanting to mess with it. It’s a little slow on my home computer but pretty bad when I’m traveling and trying to upload to mobile. And since I can’t read it all directly from feedly or google reader, it gets frustrating. If you use wordpress, their jetpack plugin has an option for making your theme “friendly” for mobile devices. From my understanding, it wouldn’t change the look on desktops/laptops – just phones and ipads and such. My theme is already set up for that so I haven’t had to use jetpack, but maybe it would work for yours!

      1. Author

        Well, you are the reason I changed it to a mobile theme, but I think it still works fine that way and hope it is way faster for you now! I needed a mobile theme anyway, so thank you for the push ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Wooohooo!! My vote is for Vietnam! And I’m totally coming to visit you in NOLA ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, on a serious note, I totally agree with the fellow blogger who encouraged you to keep drawing inspiration from your life/childhood…it’s interesting stuff. xo

    1. Author

      Thank you Taryn, I think it’s right for me to be honest about my life in its entirety, because hopefully someone who has also had similar turmoils will be inspired. Btw, PLEASE come visit me in NOLA! It’d be a gnarly good time ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. So sorry to hear about what happened with your blog with regards to Go Daddy but it’s exciting to find out about the new direction of your travels and site.

  5. Your “have not’s” are SO similar too mine except let me add one more: I have not kept up with my writing. That therein is the failure on my part to become a true travel writer — but that’s also why I call myself a “Cultural Enthusiast” and not a travel blogger/writer hehehe.

    I too come from a broken, abused, fucked-up childhood. I have no true family. It’s my friends that are my family. And that is all the more reason why I was glad to finally connect with you at TBEX bro — we’ll have to cross paths again soon!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Since I’ll be in SEA for the next year or so, no real hope of meeting in New Orleans. But you’d damn well better keep me updated about your SEA plans son!

    1. Author

      Ha, good point. I need to change my title until I can keep up! Yeah, it was rad meeting and connecting with ya at TBEX dude, and so true what you said about friends being your family. I just took the dive and bought my ticket to Asia so we’ll have to link up man!

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