Hey Loons

travel, musings and unpredictive text

90 Days in South East Asia, Travel

Things that can go wrong when travel-blogging

How to blog on the go when you’re in a relationship | when your thumb decides to blog without you | how I blog on the go| the origins of the word ‘posh’| why having a scrapbook when you travel is so good

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Did you get strange blogposts from heyloons.com?

You may have got two very odd posts from me this week. (I did say I do unpredictive text.) This happened because my smartphone and my thumb got off with each other and their love-child was a couple of infant blogposts released to the blogosphere. And there they sat wide-eyed and semi-coherent.

The little bastards.

In case you’re curious, this was one of the thumb-posts …

Cope with the heat

In May it’s sweltering in Laos. Temperatures get in excess of 40 degrees. Water lots of it. Sun cream I wear so much fester but haven’t been asked for autographs so I don’t think adam family made it here. Bus journeys get morning seats on the right side of her bus if going south. More shade. Buses are old. Some won’t have working a c , or vents may be so loose they fall close. Just fold a small piece of paper.

Bad thumb Bad thumb. (This went on to become the post about travelling through Laos, which I posted a couple of months ago during our 90 days holiday visiting 37 places and 8 countries).
The reference to Uncle Fester in the Adam’s family was about the fact that when I put on sun-cream and being bald, I felt I looked a bit like him; the observation never made it in to the final post because I decided in the end that it wasn’t that funny anyway and it didn’t sit with the overall sentiment of the narrative.
The reference to getting seats on the right-hand-side of the bus going south in the morning is probably something worth its digital space even though I left it out of the original post again.
It’s really hot in May in Laos and sitting on that side of the bus in the morning keeps you cool.
That siding with sides on a tropical journey reminds me of the origins of the word ‘posh’, so I feel a brief tangential bit of content coming up …

A BRIEF DIGRESSION ABOUT THE WORD ‘POSH’. When British people went to see their colony India in the 1800s, they had to travel on ships that sailed through the Mediterranean, Suez Canal, Red Sea, Arabian Sea and then finally to India. In order to avoid the heat, and get a cooler cabin, well-healed (rich) passengers could secure a cabin on the left side of the ship (in ship parlance, called ‘port’) when going to India and secure a right-hand-side of the ship (called ‘starboard’) when coming back to Blighty (Britain). So their baggage was stamped ‘Port Out, Starboard Home’, which was shortened to P.O.S.H. So tadaa. There you have it. Posh.

I made a reference to air conditioned vents on buses in Laos in the mysterious and illegitimate post: some just fall closed so I would stick a bit of paper in the vent to keep it open. Luckily, this too did not make it in to the blogpost on the grounds of being boring and utterly yawn-worthy.
The bus journey in question was a trip of 8 hours, in 40 degrees heat because none of the windows opened and the air conditioning was broken.
My head felt like a volcano and at stops in the journey I would dunk my head in to buckets in toilets (this was flush water, not after-the-event water). I was super-grumpy and it was probably the most uncomfortable journey I ever made. It really put me off buses and made me take a seaplane when we got to Vietnam.
The head dunking probably led to my virus and fever, but you live and learn hey?
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How I blog

Before I write a blog, I write down early thoughts for what might make a post. These are often just a few words, filled with inconsistencies, perhaps factual errors and definitely typos. Only some go on to become posts.

Then at some quieter time I add some more words, make it structured and balanced in to roughly 1,500 words, reword where necessary, delete parts of it that don’t sit, and rewrite it. (This is harder when you’re travelling because you’re living the experience and not trying to focus on writing about it.)

How to travel-blog with a spouse?

My spouse accused me of having another partner (i.e. the blog) when I would blog many times during the day during our 90 days around South East Asia. It was kind of true.

So during our 90 days in SE Asia we decided I would blog only at certain times, down-times, at waiting lounges at airports, on buses, on sun-beds etc.

If you blog when you travel, don’t exclude your companion

Writing a blog when you’re travelling can be a lonely business. And if you’re travelling with someone else you might be excluding them.
So the other thing we did was to introduce a scrapbook in to our travels. We took a Pritstick and saved all our tickets and paper mementos to stick in to it. We took a sketch pen and a watercolour set and every evening at a restaurant, over beers, sat down and wrote it together.
Just a few words each day, the things that made us smile.

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This post is part of the series called ’90 Days in South East Asia’ about our travels in India, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia in March to June 2019, and was written on-the-road (mainly on buses, boats and planes.)

All the links to blog posts in the series are as follows:

1) I’m backpacking around Southeast Asia for 90 days

2) Packing for backpacking: 16 useful things to take on your travels

3) How to sleep on a flight (aches on a plane)

4) Flying past Mount Everest

5) A storm in an Assamese teacup

6) On the lazy man’s road: the story of Dhodar Ali

7) Digboi, the oil town in the rainforest

8) To Sivasagar: home of the Assamese kings

9) Things to see in Majuli, the world’s largest river island

10) An unexpected treat on the river Brahmaputra

11) Helpful hints on how to climb a 17 foot elephant on your wedding day

12) Where the rhinos roam

13) The Assamese Bihu: a time of unbridled joy

14) A tale of a dry day in India

15) Kalimpong and a magical Himalayan wedding

16) Chiang Mai, a pretty little temple town

17) Replanning our route, re-routing our plan

18) Luang Prabang in Laos: the jewel on the Mekong River

19) A slow and unintended minibus to Vang Vieng

20) In the laid-back city of Vientiane

21) Laos: Caves, a jungle trek and the mysterious turquoise lake

22) On our way down south in Laos

23) Goodbye Laos, you beauty

24) Friday night at the Saigon Opera House

25) Getting over a fever

26) Vietnam days: Hoi An, Hue and Hanoi

27) Landing in the sea at Halong Bay, Vietnam

28) Mandalay Days

29) Bagan, the jewel of Myanmar

30) Three nights on Lake Inle in Myanmar

31) Finding a perfect perfume in Singapore

32) In Borneo, watching the orangutans at play

33) Watching turtles at Selingan Island

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6 thoughts on “Things that can go wrong when travel-blogging

  1. The idea of scrapbooking with a spouse is a great one. You could also co-write, or at least run some ideas by your spouse and see how they sound or if they might have a better idea or suggestion. No one wants to feel left out when they’re traveling after all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Bilal. I love the idea of co-writing. Have you tried that? What’s the best way, a sentence or paragraph for each?

      Sometimes I have some quite off the wall content and run it by the spouse who at times has said ‘that’s too weird.’ It’s good to have a sounding board like that.

      Like

  2. I’ve never tried it before, but I’m sure you two could find a way to work it out. Maybe separate the posts into two or three sections, then one person could write a section and the other person another section. That’d be an easy way to start.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve never attempted to post while traveling, I’m too slow a writer. I’ll usually take notes for 10-15 minutes at days end and hope it, along with photos, triggers enough memories when it comes to the nitty-gritty. You seem to do well at it, apart from the occasional rebellious thumbs.

    BTW, your aside on POSH was interesting, I’d never heard that before.

    Liked by 1 person

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