State of the Savage: April 2010

by Keith Savage · 7 comments

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Time is always compressed in the rear view, isn’t it? Last year seems like last month, last month seems like last week, last week seems like yesterday. And the future feels like the horizon you can never reach. I’ve had a different perspective lately – I can feel how fast the fall is coming at me. The months feel fleeting, not endless. I’ve felt the sudden impact of how much I need to do and learn in these intervening months. Am I excited? Surely, but there are also tints of trepidation, anxiety, and self-doubt.

Some unpleasant internal forces perhaps, but they’re integral to the process. Enough of that – time to assemble the news team.

Plans & Happenings

Last month I mentioned that I had chosen Argentina as my first destination. This is still the case, but, since I’m focused on slow, deep travel and Argentina is the world’s fifth largest country, I need to be a lot more specific. I’m batting around mixtures of Buenos Aires, Mendoza, and Salta in my head. I’ll get deeper into this planning over the summer.

Prior to each of my trips there’s likely to be a lot administrative work related to visas, entry requirements, and vaccinations, so I’m looking at future destinations as well. First on the list (at the moment) is South Africa, specifically Cape Town. I know very little about the place, but recent blog posts have lodged it front and center in my thoughts. Your ideas and resources for these destinations are much appreciated!

I’m heading to San Francisco with a friend in less than a month to visit my brother and his girlfriend. We’ll be participating in the Bay 2 Breakers race and I’m planning to identify a few other activities. Most of the trip, however, will unfurl organically. Expect some posts coming out of this trip. If you’re in the area and want to meet-up or have some can’t-miss locales or activities to share, please contact me or leave a comment.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of meeting up with Joel of Freedonia Post for some Sunday morning coffee. It was my first “tweet-up” and it was nice to talk travel with a long lost Wisconsinite. Joel’s a great guy with an amazing trip coming up. Be sure to check out his blog!

Finally, I’m starting to think about putting together some static web sites for places I’ve been and will be going to in the future. The idea is just starting to attract my attention, but I think I could get one up and off the ground before Argentina. Stay tuned.


From a PR perspective, the past month was exciting and busy. I began April with a guest post about slow travel on This was my first guest post and Suzy was a joy to work with. She’s such a great networker, and she was pushing the post on Twitter and Facebook for a solid week and then some.

I also had several posts make it into some of my favorite weekly blog round-ups. Gray of SoloFriendly kindly recognized my travel bug story and recent narrative vignette about Portree. Sofia and Nathan of AsWeTravel also considered my guest post for Suzy one of the week’s best at the beginning of the month. Finally, Pam of Spunky Girl Monologues stopped in at Traveling Savage as part of her weekly blog crawl and gave a shout out to my post on the drink taxonomy of guys. Thanks guys!

Louise of Travel Blog Sites let me know that I cracked the top 100 travel blogs a couple of weeks back! Granted, I’m somewhere around #98 but I’m just happy to be in such good company.

Site Updates

A lot of the blogs I regularly read had massive design overhauls in the last month, including Nomadic Chick, Spunky Girl Monologues, Be A Travel Bee, and Almost Fearless. Seeing these new eye-catching site makeovers compelled me to cast a critical eye on my own site design. I spent most of my time on minor aesthetic improvements like adding drop shadows to my columns, reducing the rounding on corners, and updating and changing some widgets. In other words, things you’ll probably never notice. It was the equivalent of CSS solitaire but it made me feel better.

I’ve also added a new page to collect other writing and Traveling Savage press/PR from around the Web. Check it out!


I usually spend far too much time reading about travel gear and spending copious amounts of money on items like moisture-wicking underpants and ballistic nylon backpacks. This trip is turning out to be little different, but I’m seriously trying to restrain myself. Please people, help me. My restraint muscle is pathetically weak. With that due diligence plea out of the way, let me tell you about a few items I’ve acquired in the last month.

My new set of travel luggage from Tom Bihn arrived several weeks ago. I’m going with a no-checked-baggage strategy. The setup includes the Aeronaut, the maximum size carry-on bag allowed by most airlines. Imagine my disgust with the Spirit Air announcement. The Aeronaut can be used a backpack, with a shoulder strap, or just carried by its rugged grips. This thing holds a lot more than the pictures alone would make you believe. It’s rugged – actually, I think it’s made from ballistic nylon – and it has the zipper on the side so the handles don’t get in the way! The latest iteration comes with compression straps as well.

I also picked up the Smart Alec backpack with sized-to-fit Brain Cell for my MacBook Pro. This one-two combo is perfect for quick jaunts and as a personal item on planes. Like the Aeronaut, the Smart Alec has more space than you’d believe possible. The Brain Cell is designed to clip to the interior of the pack and hang suspended so when you set the bag down you aren’t also dropping your laptop on the floor.

Last but not least, mini Traveling Savage business cards from Moo are in hand. I think they look great!

Almost forgot – Harper Collins sent me a press copy of the new book, The Lost Girls. Just got it in the mail today, and it looks interesting.


Original photo by kennymatic via Flickr under Creative Commons

NeepsNo Gravatar April 23, 2010 at 6:30 AM

Congratulations on making the top 100, Keith. Your blog is always informative and fun to read, and this one was especially impressive. I’m looking forward to more.

KeithNo Gravatar April 23, 2010 at 9:17 PM

There shall be more. I promise.

GrayNo Gravatar April 22, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Wow, that is quite the report! You’ve been busy, haven’t you? I am blown away by how much travel planning you’ve accomplished while also writing really fantastic pieces not only for your own blog, but others as well. You make me feel like a big slacker. 😉
.-= Gray´s last blog ..Burlington Street Art =-.

KeithNo Gravatar April 23, 2010 at 9:15 PM

It just sounds like a lot when I type it up like this. I also feel like there’s a lot I could and should be doing. Thanks, Gray!

SuzyNo Gravatar April 22, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Keith, you’re all over the Internet! You had a lot to report here. Congrats on making the Top Travel Blogging Site’s List! Well deserved I’d say. I loved having your guest post on my site! It has been one of the most popular posts and is still getting comments frequently.
.-= Suzy´s last blog ..“Can’t” and Travel Don’t Go Together =-.

KeithNo Gravatar April 23, 2010 at 9:14 PM

Thanks Suzy, it was a pleasure to write for you! I actually have a few more news items, but they’ll have to wait. This post was getting a bit long-winded.

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