It’s taken me a while to get round to writing my own 7 Links list, but after being nominated by MalloryOnTravel and stirred into action by the fabulous lists appearing on travel blogs everywhere, here it is. It’s a great idea dreamed up by Tripbase, one which has allowed me the great luxury of meandering through my archives, stopping nostalgically here and there and reflecting on my still young but evolving blog. I have nominated 5 further bloggers who I hope will enjoy writing their lists as much as I did! So without further ado, here are my 7 Links.
Most beautiful post
All the posts I’ve done about France fit into the ‘beautiful’ category, with all the breathtaking landscapes, incredible cuisine and historical gorgeousness that I’ve discovered there. However, it was the Dordogne Valley above all places that truly spoiled me with endless photo opportunities and a simply beautiful way of living. I only hope I managed to capture that beauty in this post!
Most popular post
I discovered that people love it when I’m open and honest and they see a bit of the real me! Ironically, this was a post I dashed off in a frenzied state of booking and trying to organise things ahead of my trip. However, other travellers seemed to connect with the tone of panicked excitement. Despite writing more polished pieces before and since, this remains one of my most popular posts.
Most controversial post
I am passionate about Human Rights issues and while I thought hard about whether to include more reportage-type pieces in my blog, in the end I decided that I couldn’t ignore current topics I felt strongly about. I am always careful about how I word such posts, especially as I do not claim to be an expert on them in any way, but I hope that they will generate some discussion. ’Behind the Headlines: The Middle East’ was a post which did just that. I’ve been lucky enough not to have had much negative feedback, but promoting healthy debate is not something I will shy away from.
Most helpful post
I write with the philosophy that the most help I can give people is by honestly describing my experiences so that they can make their own minds up. However, sometimes I consolidate information which has been useful to me and add links to other content I have used myself. I wrote this particular post because I had come across several things I found really helpful whilst planning a big trip and felt it would be churlish not to share them!
A post whose success surprised you
The success of this surprised me because it is one of the only posts I did without any photos. Again, its popularity seemed to be because I was writing very frankly and with immediacy: I had just arrived in Peru after having some extreme travel delays and with no way to upload photos at that moment, I just wrote about what had happened and posted it. I should know by now that other travellers like reading about things like this because these imperfect experiences are common to us all. Getting a non-rose-tinted view of travel makes it more real.
A post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved
I know that most people come to my blog for the travel features and that I am entirely indulging myself when I write posts which try and get them to think about global issues. However, a post which I hoped (in my naive and non-cynical way) would be fresh and interesting didn’t take off as much as I would have liked. It wasn’t the lowest number of views by any means and usually, I’m not too worried if one particular post isn’t as popular as another. However, because this post had involved a charity and I wanted it to generate some exposure for them, I think I really felt the pressure for it to be amazing.
The post that you are most proud of
Perhaps it is just because it’s fresh in my mind, but ‘Discovering Huaraz’ makes me smile. For me, this post sums up what Starry-Eyed Travels is about: the sheer excitement of adventure, the sights, sounds and smells of a new place, experiencing things for the first time with wonder and starry eyes.
My 5 nominationsRead More
So, the two-week Africa theme is over, and what a fabulous two weeks it has been. It sounds stupid, but even though part of the point of it was to show that this amazing and complex continent cannot be defined or described in simple terms, I thought that I might be able to show a lot more of it in two weeks. At the start, a fortnight felt like a luxurious amount of time, but before long, the days were slipping away at an alarming rate and I only managed a few feature pieces, which in no way adequately portray all that is Africa. I hope that you can accept these weaknesses and that what is here has in some way opened your eyes and has left you wanting to discover more.Read More
The final guest post of the Africa fortnight comes from Joanne Haws of Classic Retreats. Prepare to become starry-eyed…
The phone rings… slightly disorientated, you lean over and reach for the receiver.
‘Hello?’ - “Good morning this is your 5:30am wake up call.”
A jolt of excitement and a rush of energy pulses through your body as you throw yourself out of bed!
Creating lasting change in Africa
One small act can change the world. I can hear the rumbling of cynicism already, but allow me to explain. On Friday 15th April, the film A Small Act by Jennifer Arnold was released in the UK and I went along to see it.Read More
Today’s guest blogger Jo Woods reflects on her first-hand experiences of Mozambique and her own Starry-Eyed Moment in Africa.
I remember it was a melodic racket which first woke me: the squawk of the chicken that had slept among us, the slowing chug-chug of the train, the women on board all scrabbling at once, throwing themselves at the window ledge so as not to miss the best of the days produce. Cabbages, carrots, beans, tomatoes, bananas and onions were all flung wildly into the carriage; children on the ground were yelling to sell their wares, little ones at play, everyone chat-chatting.Read More