blogging

Theme Change, Corona Latest, and Dreaming of the Ultimate Itinerary!

Well today’s post to start the week is going to be a bit of an introspective look on the world, blogging, dreaming of travel and anything else that comes to mind! Wherever you are in the world I hope you’re doing your best to struggle through 2020, it’s not exactly racing through fast, and it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

State of Victoria Versus the Rest of Australia

As far as the Corona Virus is concerned, in Australia things are looking pretty good. Most states seem to get by each 24 hours with zero or only a couple more new cases of the virus. Except Victoria, where I live of course. We’re now getting over 40 cases a day. It was down to less than 10, only two weeks ago we had two days of zero new cases.

Now we are the scourge of the nation. Premiers from other states are telling people not to go to Melbourne (most cases are in and around Melbourne) whilst many people here reckon they are going to carry on like Corona Virus never happened. So anyway, domestic travel outside of the state looks further away now and we’re already back to tougher restrictions. And we worry that more restrictions are just around the corner if things don’t settle down. They have gone into a testing blitz, targeting suburbs where the outbreaks seem to be concentrated. So with more testing I guess they find more cases.

WordPress Theme Juggling!

‘Beacon’ Theme – tried it for a few days.

Blogging is an interesting thing, and last week I decided to change my theme, which I think I did around twelve months ago now, so I felt it was probably time.  So I tried one called ‘Beacon’. To be honest, I wasn’t sure about it from the start. And I had it up for a few days but to me it sort of felt like what my old blog looked like when I was at blogger.com, with these sort of ugly frames around the photos.

So then after just three or four days I changed to the theme you are possibly viewing now. If you’re viewing on the day this post was posted, you certainly would be, and that theme is ‘broadsheet’. Which I like a little better. I will see how it goes, life is in flux so why not my blog? Of course I don’t want to confuse people with a completely different theme every time a reader visits!

Blogging this year has been serious work. This time last year I felt my views – and it’s very sad but I do go on a somewhat emotional ride seeing my views – were down pretty low. I don’t receive a lot of views. I don’t get anywhere enough views to monetize the blog, but still it’s nice to feel loved a little bit.

Current Theme – ‘Broadsheet’

What’s with that SEO thing?

I haven’t sorted out SEOs or anything, I don’t really have a handle on them, and I’ve realised that to attach a plugin to address this I either have to move everything from wordpress.com to wordpress.org – which has you choosing a provider to host the site using wordpress, where as dot com has wordpress hosting the site. I’m concerned I will lose the domain name and have to start from scratch there. If I upgrade to a business plan, over $300 for a year, I can attach the plug in and receive a bunch of SEO help too. But it’s $300.

So here I am battling away and I’ve increased views by around 30% a month at a guess since March. And the way I’ve done it? Well but posting more often really. I’ve gone from 3-4 posts a week to 6 or 7. I’ve tried to mix it up and some posts are easier and quicker to organise than others. For example from ‘from around the web’ posts. They don’t get the same amount of views as others, but they get a few. Still, it’s been hard work. I haven’t had the chance to work on any script or film making so I guess that’s why I’ve been able to. With Covid-19 gatherings for that aren’t really on!

Time for Dreaming

My site with the Beacon Theme

So the other thing that happens when you can’t travel, is that you think about travelling more than ever? So, I was flicking through Youtube videos and found one of a girl from Poland/Scotland who basically motorbiked around the world. Through some really interesting places and cross some borders I didn’t even realise you could cross! Will be featured of ‘From Around the Web’ in the next week or two.

So I realised what I was really missing, the ‘adventure’ part of travel. Crossing borders, getting from one place to another via land. And I wondered what interesting possibilities there might be.

In fact I’d already been looking at Colombia, Jamaica and Panama as a possibility for a trip. I can’t really say when I will get the chance to travel internationally again, I can’t see it being any time before the second half of next year if that. Crossing via sea from Panama to Colombia looked beautiful and really interesting.

But other have suggested to me not to travel so far away. Questions over Colombia’s safety have been raised – although I feel it is actually now a pretty safe country personally as long as you know where not to go. Plus hey! It could be ages before I travel and so last week I started concocting this crazy itinerary.

From Singapore to Lhasa through Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, India, and Nepal. With as much by train as is possible. I’ve realised it would take a LONG time. But wow! What an adventure it would be. Unlike in 2015 when I visited Myanmar, you can now travel with more freedom internally and you can cross over into India or vice versa via land at a couple of points. Bangladesh and China remain impossible crossings for land traveller as of 2020.

The north-eastern part of India is rarely visited and looks quite beautiful, and I’ve never been to Nepal. I’ve already researched most of the crossings I’d have to make. The last part from Kathmandu to Lhasa would need to be on a tour at this stage. The route would take me around Mount Everest. From Lhasa there is a special train to the north of China which is the highest train ride in the world. It’s less than two days to Shanghai on it, to Lanzhou it’s around 24 hours.

The weird and the wonderful from high – Astana.

IF time permitted, well I would choose to go west to Kazakhstan, cross to the Caspian Sea and take a ferry from Aktau to Baku in Azerbaijan. Go through Armenia and maybe Georgia to Turkey. That would need an extra month at the barest minimum, probably six weeks would be better. I want to really concentrate on getting footage and doing better, more informative vlogs. I want to interview people I meet as I travel – I’ll need a bit more confidence for that!

Ahh, but we can dream. If I could ever get that much time off from work again. Who knows, I might delve in and get the chance next year or in a few years. The way I’m going I’ll have itineraries for seventeen trips by the end of the year.

Anyways. Have you had the chance to dream about a new trip? Something you’d really like to do or a place you’d really like to go whilst enduring restrictions? Please do comment! Thanks for reading – May the Journey Never End!

4 replies »

  1. I like the new theme, it’s much cleaner. And that itinerary looks amazing. I haven’t actually bothered to plan any more itineraries at this stage, just trying to enjoy the summer at home and soak up the warm weather here while it lasts…I suppose that isn’t as much of an issue for you over in Australia!

    • that itinerary is only HALF of a longer one i have in mind, I wouldn’t have the time these to attempt it but from Lanzhou heading west through Kazakhstan ferry to Baku through Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia Turkey to Athens. thanks for reading!

  2. I don’t know how you find the time to write 6 or 7 posts a week Andy. I’m lucky if I can do 2…and I’m retired. But happy for you that it’s bringing traffic. My personal opinion is that Google, not social media, is your best friend. Just keep pumping out posts while making them SEO friendly (which isn’t hard, just follow some basic rules. Helps if you have a Yoast plugin)

    • unfortunately i cant do plugins which is annoying. i guess i need to work out what the basic rules are too! ive read so many things but they go over my head and they are so non-specific. anyways, thanks Frank as always

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