There have been a few tweaks to the website this month. As I’ve mentioned before, the primary reason for documenting our travels on this site is as a means to relive holidays for ourselves. Secondary to that is perhaps granting other people the chance to live vicariously through our posts, ideally long into the future. To that end, of course, it’s important that content can be found so search engine optimisation plays a part. I don’t like to massively target keywords or change the way I write in order to game the system but little things can make a difference so I’ve finally bitten the bullet and installed an SEO plugin on the site. The main reason is such a small thing; it’s so I can move the name of the site after the post title in search listings. You’d think WordPress would have sort of configuration built into it but apparently not.
The second change has been to add an interactive World Map page allowing visitors to click a country and immediately see all the posts relevant to it. The map shows not only where we’ve been but also where we’re planning to go. I’ve added a new floating menu option on the left side of the page that links directly to that page from everywhere (it’s the globe icon in case you couldn’t guess). The idea for this came from visiting In Flight Megazine, the homepage of a recent new follower on Twitter, and seeing a similar thing there. We’re obviously using different plugins to achieve the same goal, though.
Site Content: Vietnam
I’ve finally got as far as adding all the posts on this site from the two days we had in that fantastic country back in October during our Diamond Princess cruise. This just leaves Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Okinawa to go from that trip followed by posts from our December visit to Iceland before I’m finally all caught up. Or would be if we weren’t about to spend the bulk of this month in South and Central America. One day I’ll be up to date, I’m sure of it.
Click on the images below to view the Vietnamese posts from Chan May, Hué, and Ha Long Bay.
Ha Long Bay
The Wave Awards were, er, awarded recently. And possibly with a wave. I’ve already mentioned in the past that they are a terribly flawed system for self-promotion within the industry and seeing who the winners were in the public-voted cruise-blogging category only confirms that this year. Enough said there.
Travel Plans And Social Updates
As has already been mentioned on this site and in this very post we’re off travelling this month so updates will come to a crashing halt here. As time and internet connectivity allows we’ll try to post minor updates, probably on Instagram initially as they can funnel through to the Facebook page without having to upload the images a second time, but possibly also on Twitter when we’re on land and in a 4G-covered area. You can find links to our social sites at the bottom of this page if you’re at all inclined. You can expect photos from six countries, four of them new for us (Peru, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Mexico), and highlights should include a visit to an observatory, a trip to Incan ruins, and a hike around a volcano rim.
On The Internet
And now for the regular set of links to the travel-related things that have caught my eye online this month.
A chance spotting of the word Vietnam on Twitter sent me in the direction of this post – Motorbiking Vietnam: Swept Up In Spontaneity – by Noel, recounting a spur-of-the-moment decision to join a stranger on a 10-day bike ride through the Asian country. Soon after I was praising the post to anyone who would listen and I’m doing the same right here. It’s one of the best travel accounts you’ll read. Read it.
Some lovely photos and useful information decorate Visiting Petra, A Rose-Red City. This was a handy read as we should be hitting Petra for a day or two in November and have already got our sights set on making it to The Monastery.
In Cruise Destination – Morocco Highlights! fellow cruising fan Jamie writes up about his recent trip to a country I’ve visited once when I was a young thing (see here: Hotel Arabian Sands: Morocco Scans) and which I’d love to take my wife to and visit as an adult. Jamie’s post increases that desire with details of mouthwatering food and stunning views and friendly people. More importantly, it’s got a wonderful rant about the bigoted attitudes of some of his fellow cruisers. I do like a nice rant and this is one that’s well-delivered and wholly-justified.
If we ever head to Japan for a couple of weeks then the sort of things covered in 2 Weeks Japan Itinerary In Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, And Nara looks like it’s almost exactly what we’d want to do. Great information there and gorgeous photography.
Finally, a video from Rich and Helen covering a Silversea cruise aboard Silver Spirit in the Caribbean. I’m not sure if Silversea is a good fit for us (but never say never) as it might just be a little bit too refined for our tastes (for now) and the Caribbean holds not the slightest bit of interest either. However, this video is definitely worth watching for the top-class production values as always but, more importantly, the water spout. Who doesn’t like a good water spout?