Week in Review, Counting Down to Travel

Time is passing quickly and we have so much to do.  A few months ago it seemed that we had all of the time in the world.  Now we are leaving in less than two months.

But first let me talk about this week at theplanetd.

We have a guest post at The Travel Writers Exchange today regarding how the Planetd came about.  It was so much fun to write about the process that we took from world travelers who sent the odd email home to friends and family to travel bloggers that chronicle our journey for all to see. Check it out and tell us how your travels has evolved over the years.

We just find the Travel Writers Exchange one of the best resources for travel writers and Bloggers on the internet and we are so excited to contribute our own little piece of information to their site!

We also have a travel tip about climbing Mount Kilimanjaro at TravelDudes. We have connected with them on Twitter over the past few months and this site is a machine.  I hope that our blog becomes the success of Traveldudes in the future. Thanks for inviting us to share a tip!

Anil at foXnomad has published an ebook about Overcoming the Seven Major Obstacles to Traveling the World.  It was a successful series that he ran on his blog and due to popular demand he has formatted it for an easy to use ebook.  If you are thinking of traveling the world, but things are holding you back, this is the book for you! We were honored to be ask to contribute a small excerpt about our personal stories of world travel.

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Click here to visit foXnoMad LLC.


I also signed up for MatadorU this week.

TravelBlogging is incredible, but it isn't going to pay the bills along the way by itself.  NomadicMatt has figured that one out, but we have a long way to go to making $3000 per month off of this site.

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Travel writing for magazines and newspapers has always been the goal.  Our 4 part series for the Toronto Star during the Tour d'Afrique was one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives and we want to keep writing for publications as we go.  That is why I do feel that MatadorU will be good for me. I did take a travel writing course at George Brown College a few years ago, but my confidence has certainly grown since then, so I feel that I will be able to get a lot more out of a course now than I did then.  Plus, I love the forum that they have going on in there.  Hopefully I can balance the time. Between packing, keeping up with the blog and still working times are a little busy.

The blog is starting to feel like we have actually gotten it to where we want it.  We like the layout and we like the plugins that we have added to the site.  Changing the Subscribe to us button has helped increase our subscribers and by adding the subscribe to comments plug-in at the end of posts has added a feel of a conversations going on.

We still need to change the location of our Contact Us link and we want to add a menu in the side bar for posts besides just recent and top commented.  We would love to add our favorite featured posts and top viewed posts as well.  If anyone knows which plug-in that would be, I would love to hear from you.

A few months ago, I wrote about StumbleUpon and how I don't know if it works at all.  Well, here is my advice. Stick with it, because we are starting to receive quite a few hits from StumbleUpon.   I spend quite a bit of time stumbling other people's sites and posts and it really does pay off in the long run.

Twitter has become an important referrer for our site.  We decided that we were going to focus our attention on twitter.  Celebrities, corporations and politicians are using twitter to reach the masses so they must know something right?  We think that it is only going to grow as people catch on.  Most of my friends and coleagues aren't even on it yet and they were the ones that were on facebook years before me.  So I think that twitter still has a long way to grow.

Speaking of facebook, we made a facebook group, but I don't know how beneficial it is.  Nobody is really sharing information and my blogs show up on my own feed through network blogs, so I really just have a lot of people following me  but they aren't really seeing or doing anything.  I am starting to think that we should just have people follow our facebook accounts that we already have going under our names.  That way we can be friends and actively engage in a conversation.  What is your take?

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Embracing Technology

We finally bought an iphone to keep in touch on the road.  Thanks to Trisha's (travelwritersexchange) advice about the wordpress plugin for posting emails to the blog, we think that now that we have a phone for traveling, we will be able to stay updated on our posts even if we are in the middle of nowhere. From what I have seen in my travels, Cell signals can be picked up almost everywhere. Lots to learn and many applications to add, but we still have time to have it all figured out before we travel.

So that is what is going on with the site and on the internet side of things.

Here is what is going on in travel preparations.

We took our first load to storage! You know it is real when you are starting to pack. I hate living in a mess, so when the boxes start to pile up, they have to be taken out.

We have priced flights and dates and are narrowing down on the exact date that we are leaving.  I know, I know. You probably can't believe that we haven't booked our flight yet.  Dave's TV show keeps changing dates on when it is going to end, so we keep pushing back our flight date.  We think that everything is settled though, so we are probably going to book it this week!

We have started packing our backpacks.  I like to pack early.  Most of my stuff for travel, I don't use here and I don't wear that same clothes either.  So I start to pack early. It helps me scale down what I will be taking.  It takes me a few tries but the longer the bag sits there, the more I take out.  It is my way of not over packing.  I throw everything in to the pack at first and then I reorganize it a couple of times. Each time I take out more and more things. It feels so good!

So there you have the week in review.  Only about 6 more weeks to go until we are on a flight to India.  Last night we almost changed our minds on where we were going to fly into, but we changed them back to Kerala sometime in the 3rd week of November.

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