Almost exactly one year ago I decided to change my life (with no small assist from Sarah). The Traveling Savage anniversary is December 13, and I can’t think of a greater barometer for success than the fact that I’m writing this from Salta, Argentina.
I’ve created a travel site dedicated to innovative ideas and quality writing, quit my job, and followed through on my plans to travel for one month at a time. Though I spent the better part of a year blogging before my travels began, these few weeks abroad have been a massive change agent filling me with new logistical thoughts and strategic ideas. Nothing substitutes for travel, and I’m thankful to be testing my principles. You can bet I’ll come through my journey to Argentina with a clearer vision for Traveling Savage (and perhaps a rekindled love of 80s power ballads).
Stick with me – it’s been a crazy month!
Plans & Happenings
The past three weeks down in the southern cone have been both satisfying and challenging – on many levels. I’ve been happy with my willingness and ability to chat up random folks as I’ve traveled solo through Argentina. Some of these encounters have been quite interesting; for example, I met the manufacturer of Airwolf in a café just a few blocks from my apartment. (Was it weird that he carried around a brochure explaining his involvement?). The scenery around Salta, especially south toward Cafayate, has fed my soul. And the food. Empanadas, steak, humitas, pastries – everything has been consistently delicious, though if you are watching your weight or are a vegetarian, Argentina could be construed as a cruel form of torture. Yes, I’ve got many long sessions on the elliptical machine waiting for me once I get home.
My arrival to Buenos Aires was fraught with a few initial hiccups and I was struck with a small case of culture shock, but I look on these events as stretching the travel muscles. This has been my first bout of solo travel since I was 23, and I’m proud that I’ve been making it work. That’s not to say I haven’t dearly missed Sarah (thank you Skype!) or that I haven’t been even more isolated because of my pitiful command of the Spanish language. Ultimately, these challenges will inform how I plan my future trips.
All that said I’m in Salta and having a great time! Oh, you’re checking out Traveling Savage on Facebook, right? If not, you’re missing daily photos and updates. Become a fan!
Features & PR
I’ve got a bunch of fantastic links to share with you this month – the busiest PR month in the history of Traveling Savage. Since the last State of the Savage, Jodi Sagorin featured my adventurer’s perspective, which also appears in her excellent e-book, How to Be an Adventurer. Around the same time, Misadventures with Andi included my Days of Wonder post in her recurring Saturday Six feature. GloboTreks included my post on enriching travel through mindfulness in their good reads of October. Finally, As We Travel wrapped up the October publicity with an amazing list of the 25 most inspiring travel bloggers of 2010, which included Traveling Savage at #9!
Into November and Go, See, Write posted an off-the-wall interview with me that has some hilarious questions and pictures. LandLopers then featured Traveling Savage in their picks of the week. Velvet Escape collected a select group of travel bloggers’ most valuable lesson learned from travel; it’s an insightful list including yours truly. I penned a new guest post, this one for AirTreks, that details my planning process for my trips around the world.
Wild About Travel recently started a weekly top 7 of great travelers and writers, and they kindly included Traveling Savage in their inaugural post. Just last week, Where Is Jenny? put together a who’s who of travel bloggers and asked them about their defining moments and how they overcome fear. It’s a powerful collection of advice from trailblazers and template-breakers, and I share my two cents in the list. Finally, Butterfly Diary included Traveling Savage in their list of travel bloggers they’re thankful for.
Recent articles about travel writer-travel company partnerships have piqued my interest. When I began Traveling Savage a year ago, I envisioned diversified income streams with advertising on this blog being the backbone to that paradigm. A year later, now, I’m thinking more creatively about how to turn this venture into a career.
To simplify things, I see travel bloggers falling into two camps: writer and blogger. Both groups share many of the same tasks, but bloggers may direct more of their energies to SEO, marketing, PR, and networking whereas writers spend more time on – you guessed it – writing. Neither is better than the other, but it’s important to know where your skills lie. Whether or not I fit in there, I see myself as more writer than blogger. Perhaps this is a harder road toward making money. But fear not! Traveling Savage – the blog – isn’t going anywhere. I’m just getting started.
I’d love to hear you thoughts!