Some brief admin stuff…

Yello everyone.

As the title says, this is going to be brief, and adminy.

First of all, I’m now using Instagram as a kind of photo diary along with this blog and PotLRtN, so if any of you have Instagram, follow my over there too. The username is lrtnowhere. They can also be viewed online HERE. Most pictures there won’t be posted on here or PotLRtN, so do take a look.

If you don’t want to do that but still want to see the pretty pictures et al, you should follow me on Twitter instead / as well, as they’ll auto-post there each time. LRTNowhere.

The Two Photos a Day site I have with a friend of mine is more likely to become a semi-photo diary now that I’m travelling again, so keep an eye on that one or you may miss out on pictures that won’t be posted anywhere else!

I think that’s it for admin stuff for now. Now onto actual content…

Advertisements

Stage two, oh yeahhh…

After an unexpectedly lengthened stay at home, today I booked my flight to Thailand. I fly out from London on May 8th, stop over briefly in Delhi, and then finally touch down in Bangkok the day after. Woo.

I anticipate this part of the trip being more difficult for a variety of reasons.

For a start, I wasn’t too intimidated by Europe or (obviously) America and the potential language barriers because English is pretty prevalent in Europe wherever you go, and somewhat prevalent depending on where you go in the US… Anyway. This is not the case in SE Asia so much. I can point and, you know, speak loudly and stuff, but that’ll only get you so far.

Secondly, this is a much more alien and less developed part of the world than Europe and the US, for the most part. Now that doesn’t really bother me, as such, but it adds to the intimidation when being thrown into that alone. I actually knew an acquaintance who’s been out there for a little while who I was going to meet up with for a day or two to act as a buffer, kinda, but that’s fallen through as they have to move on elsewhere. A friend from school who I previously travelled the US with was gonna be coming out on holiday and meeting up for a brief amount of time too, but other commitments have led that to fall through also. Neither of these were remotely solid plans, outlines and sketches of ideas at best, and I wasn’t relying on them, so it looks like I’ll be travelling alone again. Cool.

And C, I actually have people (other than family) at home that I’m going to be sad to leave behind and miss an awful lot this time.

I repacked my backpack today, and managed to cut out a whole load of stuff from the packing list that I took last time. The benefit of experience and being able to confidently say “I never used that!” while throwing a roll of duct tape over my shoulder (though I’m actually still taking that because, well, you never know.) My pack can now be comfortably lifted with one arm, rather than being the two-hand-requiring monstrosity that it was before. I am aiming to get it down to airport carry-on luggage size if I can, but I reckon I’m aiming a bit off the mark with that, sadly.

There are no solid plans other than “land in Bangkok” so far. There are lots of interesting little counties sprinkled around Thailand in easy reach, so I’m going to try and add to my collection of one-for-each-country bracelets (left to right: Croatia, Italy, Greece, Bosnia, Tunisia, France, Slovenia, and America).

And on that note, I’m going to head to bed. Expect more updates soon. Oh, and I’ll still be keeping up with my duties over at Two Photos a Day, so do keep checking for awesome pictures every day!

Picture update, mostly…

As the title says, this is mostly just a heads up that I’ve finally removed my opposable digit from my rectum and worked on some photos and posted them up on the companion blog over at Pictures of the Long Road to Nowhere

The recent ones posted were all from several day trips with a friend of mine from LA – the same person I’m doing the Two Photos a Day thing with.

Bottles was taken in an old skool candy store in Pasedena while we walked around the Old Town for a few hours one afternoon. We saw the Cheesecake factory where Penny from The Big Bang Theory apparently works. It looks nothing like it’s portrayed on the show. I felt cheated. I did not feel surprised, but they could’ve made it at least slightly close to reality, no?

Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica 3rd Street Prom, Pier Couple and End of Route 66 were all taken on a day trip to Luxembourg. No, wait, that’s not right. Santa Monica, sorry. Easy mistake to make – they’re right next to each other. They were all taken at night, hand-holding my camera with no tripod or rests at all. Given that, I’m pretty impressed with how clearly they came out. I also haven’t played with B&W photography for a while, so they were fun to edit.

It also occurred to me that should someone, for some reason I cannot fathom, want to contact me about this blog at all, they have no real way of doing so save for leaving a comment on a post, which lacks privacy and finesse. On that note, I have created a Contact Me page up at the top should anyone need to. Also, I’m serious about the smoke signals.

Publicity…

This is more of an update and FYI than a post with any actual content.

For those of you who pay attention you will have seen I have included a Where on Earth have I been? page at the top of the blog. This is a more detailed list of the countries I’ve visited and most of the places in each country, with handy links to all of them if you want to get a bit more info on any in particular. Please do take a look – it’ll make the effort of writing that list out and creating the links one by one seem worth while.

Secondly, and for those of you interested, I have created a Long Road to Nowhere Twitter account (@LRtNowhere) and Facebook page. This is mostly to make it easier for people to receive updates when I post things here (instead of RSSing the blog, or receiving email updates), as I’ll likely not post much on them at all specifically (though occasionally), but they will receive auto-updates when I post here. Please do follow or like as you see fit.

And probably lastly, you may have noticed that several of my posts have had pictures included recently. This is likely to become an on-going thing. For a start, it makes large walls of text more interesting to look at, but more importantly since I started tagging and categorising all my posts, they appear on the WordPress global tags listings pages, and posts having a picture makes them much more attractive to the eye when browsing said lists. Here’s one coming up now:

In the above picture, taken from the reader stats page of the blog, you can see the difference tagging posts has made to the number of page views. This, and the different methods of increasing readership and publicity is good. I’m not trying to make money or anything like that. It’s more that if I regularly have people reading this who have no idea who I am or what my story is, it’ll encourage me to a) write more often, b) write posts with actual interesting content rather than just my own personal ramblings, and c) write better. We shall see.

Oh, and this is a test to see if the auto-publication to Twitter and Facebook works properly. EDIT: It does.

Busy day…

While I have predominantly spent it sitting, today has been quite a busy day. I have made a fair few changes to the blog here which I shall now highlight for you.

For a start, I have filled out an ‘about this blog’ / info page, entitled What On Earth is This? You’ll find it constantly available at the top of the blog just under the header image, but for your convenience click the link in this paragraph.

I have also added a Quotations page, which contains some inspirational or otherwise thought-provoking quotes. If some of them seem a touch cliché or trite, well, screw you. Write your own damn blog. You will find this page sat all cozy next to the above mentioned What On Earth is This at the top of the blog.

Depending on how you view the site, you may notice some changes and additions to the information on the right hand side of the posts. If you receive updates via email or RSS, I’m not sure if you can see this information or not, so bookmark and visit the actual site from time to time. I have changed the ‘links’ section to have descriptions to the sites they link to, I’ve updated my reading list, and I’ve added a category list as well as a tag cloud (more on that momentarily).

While I’m talking about the links, I have edited and updated all three of the maps that’re listed on the Maps page. I discovered something pretty nifty with that today – if you load up any of the maps, say the Total Trip one, and then click the play button, it’ll take you on a nice animated tour of the whole journey, complete with accompanying (and fitting) music. Try it for all three. It’s fun.

So back to categories and tags. I spent a large portion of the afternoon going through and adding categories and tags to most every post I’ve made. One by one. The categories are somewhat larger over-arching subjects that a post may be about, a theme it’ll fall into, shall we say. The tags are smaller or more specific subjects that may be contained within. On the right hand side of the main blog page you’ll see a category list and a count of how many posts fall into each category (which so far are Travel, Introspection, Miscellany and Photography), and a tag cloud below that (which represents how often each tag appears by the size of the word). You can click on any of the categories or tags to filter and show only posts pertaining to that particular subject. Oh, TIL stands for Things I’ve Learned, by the way. Each individual post will detail which categories and tags are attached to it at the bottom of the post.

I don’t imagine any of this will make any difference to anyone going forward – it was mostly for the sake of proper organisation. That said, it will allow newer readers to easily go back and read posts on certain subjects or places easily without having to scan through every post. For instance, if you want to read all the Things I Have Learned, just click the TIL tag, or all the posts about or relating to Italy (warning, bad language…) then click the Italy tag.

Also updated is the About page over at Pictures of the Long Road to Nowhere, though that’s really a minor addition.

You will find, should you view each post’s page individually (such as via email or RSS feeds), buttons at the bottom of a post allowing you to share said post via Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, WordPress, Google+, reddit, and indeed email itself, should you feel the post entertaining or enlightening enough.

I think those are all the changes I’ve made to the blog so far, though I have a couple of other things in mind as well. Feel free to leave feedback on any of the above should you care enough.

Heh…

I just wrote four posts one after another. That’s 1800 words in the space of maybe an hour? And people complain about having to write college essays of a thousand words. Pft.

Also, updated PotLRtN a lot, and updated the Photodump a little.

I cannot think of one, so instead, badgers…

This will have absolutely no relevance to badgers whatsoever. Ha!

I’ve updated the Photodump with a couple of photos I took while I was in La Crosse. I’ve also updated PotLRtN with another picture I took while in La Crosse.

Also, here is another fun thing I did while in La Crosse. I was staying with an awesome friend of mine, and one of her friends, also a friend of mine, is an entertainments and technical director at his local church. Except in the midwest they do church big style. They’ve just refitted one of their halls with a hi-def projector and full cinema sound system. We took an X-Box and played some games. Naturally.

Another thing we did with my awesome friend and a couple of her friends was going to a pizza place called Pizza Doctors. Pizza Doctors experiments with pizza toppings, rather than just sticking with the old standards (although they serve them too). For instance, they have a Big Mac pizza, which is, as you’d expect, a pizza with beef, lettuce, pickles, and that special Big Mac sauce (which no one knows what it is) – that was delicious. They also had macaroni and cheese on a pizza – delicious too. It didn’t stop with normal pizzas though, because they also had dessert pizzas. I don’t remember the exact toppings on those, but think cake base, with marshmallows, whipped cream, chocolate chips etc.

Om. Nom. Nom.