Tomorrow is the 5th birthday of this blog. I can’t believe I am still alive – and so is this site.
I’ve learned quite a lot within this time about the nature of the internet, the travel industry and the general public. I’ve also made the transition from writing for a hobby to doing it for a job. I have succumbed to social media and have a rather restricted Twitter and Facebook account for my blogs.
Here are some of my findings since August 6th, 2009:
- I’ve written 98 posts on Remarkable Travels, the most popular post of all is a ridiculous article about Ice Cream City in Tokyo. I couldn’t sell that piece to a publication if I tried yet it’s been read almost daily for the past four years.
- No one cares about my political stance. I don’t really care about anyone else’s either. I try to leave it out of my blogs and Facebook. However, the gloves come off for Twitter. If I feel like having a pop at fascist, racist bullies or my lovely prime minister (whoever that may be at the time) then I go onto Twitter and have a 140-word rant. It’s totally acceptable to disperse such posts between travel news and pictures. I don’t really put my photos or personal information online so I should be safe.
- In my case, the majority of readers and followers are from the USA and Singapore, followed by the UK. I have very few followers or hits from my home country of Australia. What’s wrong with me?
- Lewd or nasty comments on blogs are invariably left by anonymous cowards. This seems to apply to all blogs and online forums.
- MANY Hotel chains are soulless entities run by greedy fascists who really have no regard for your wellbeing. It’s hard to write nice things about them, even when they pay you to do so. Of course, there are some absolute exceptions but I have stayed in about 50 hotels from 6 star spas to -6 star hovels within these five years. All they seem to want is to charge you a fortune for wifi, aggravate your dust allergy and ruin your clothes. With a few fabulous exceptions of some excellent leading hotels, I stick to boutique hotels and friend’s sofas wherever possible.
- My blog is read by some very lovely people. And some perverts. Some of the search engine key words that led readers to my blog include: crab ice-cream; drugs; French knickers; Moroccan naked girls; Mongolian sex girls; how to meet millionaires in Monaco; bad bedouins. All of these phrases were searched several times. I’ve never written about any of them (except crab ice cream)
- The world’s best blog editors are your friends who read your blog and inform you that “blogg” isn’t a word. A special thank you to my friend V for her proofreading – she’s free as well.
- I really thought that my posts on Lebanon and Cuba would be a hit but they aren’t. Anything on Japan, Monaco, Taiwan or Singapore gets read. People search for Singapore posts on this site every day.
- The world is full of food critics, “writers” and hotel inspectors these days. Any idiot can start a blog – look at me. While I think it’s helpful to give your opinion and share experiences, save any vitriol for a private mail to the manager of Horrible Hotel or Revolting Restaurant. If they are still dreadful and won’t give you a refund for the suite that they cancelled or pay the dry cleaning bill for the red wine they spilled on your white suede jacket, then you can take it to TripAdvisor and beyond. It’s important to be fair.
Happy Birthday, Remarkable Travels. Thank you for keeping me out of trouble for all these years.