Trail of Crumbs

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Hi!

Remember me? I know, I know – I promised I’d write two or three times a week and then I disappeared for two. In my defense, I had to go to Australia and eat Tim Tams and snorkel. This was not optional. This was something I had to do, out of moral obligation to … the cookie industry? (Okay, fine. I haven’t totally figured all of this out. Also? Seriously jet lagged. Still.)

The good news: I am getting lots of work done on other projects (mainly the book), and I’ve written four chapters in the time it would normally take me to write ZERO chapters, so that’s something.

But I have really let the blog fall to wayside, as many of you have let me know via email, tweet, and missives written on the wall of my home in frosting (props to those of you who realize that your message would get across far better using that instead of blood).


(Oh, Petra, dearest, I know. Trust me, I know. I think about it anytime I do anything that isn’t working on the book.)

(more…)

I’ve realized something: I can only write for so many hours a week.

My notes for the book (center) and my notes from Cambodia (upper right).

 

This has been a tough thing to come to terms with. I figured there are 40 hours in a standard work week, so I can write for 40 hours, right? This isn’t the case. My brain, it seems, only allows for a certain number of productive writing hours every day. After that, I stare numbly at my computer, drooling, while my brain forces me to look at shoes on Zappos that I will never, ever buy.

Or maybe I’ll buy them, but I’ll return them. Really, I will.

For the past year, I’ve been trying to maintain the blog while working on the Great American Novel Pretty Good International Memoir. This has meant two things:

  1. I’ve written fewer blog posts than I would like this year.
  2. Writing the book is taking way longer that I thought.

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I’ve been slacking lately on the blog. I’m sorry about that. Balancing travel, home, life, the blog, and the book has been harder than I thought. This last week has been particularly busy – mostly for Rand. His company’s annual conference is taking place here in Seattle, which means he’s been running around non-stop.

It also means that some of my favorite people from the around the world are all congregating in my hometown. This has made it very, very difficult to sit down and focus on the blog.

Especially when they bring me cookies all the way from Australia. Or tell me that it’s perfectly reasonable to eat key lime pie at 2 a.m. (See? This is why they are my favorite people in the world.)

So I’ll kindly ask for your patience while we are preoccupied with this very serious-type business.

 

Ahem.

Very, very serious.

 

Yup yup.

You know that part in The Princess Bride where Wesley has just become reanimated after being “mostly dead” all day, and Inigo is trying to fill him in on what happened?

“Let me explain … no. There is too much. Let me sum up.”

That’s kind of how I feel right now. There is so much to tell you guys about. I don’t even know where to begin. Chronologically, I should keep telling you about Italy, and the Amalfi coast, and then my subsequent trips to Minnesota and Boston, and then finally get to Cambodia and Vietnam, but if I do that, then you will have to wait weeks, if not months, to hear about this:

 

You guys. YOU GUYS. I met an elephant. I obviously can’t wait weeks or months to tell you about that. Hell, it was a struggle to not simply post that photo first, along with the text, “OMG ELEPHANT WAT WE ARE BESTIES” before collapsing in a puddle of my own drool.

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It’s occurred to me that I’m not the best communicator. It’s not that I don’t communicate, mind you. I’m constantly telling people things. Sometimes it’s stuff that I probably shouldn’t tell them.

Ahem. (“I … I can’t believe you tweeted that.” – Rand)

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… but it’s cool if other people do. 

I spent the whole weekend thinking about sponsored trips and the question that I posed to all of you on Friday. I read through the comments, I bugged friends about it, I spent long hours picking my husband’s brain. In the end, I think the issue boils down to two things:

How readers of this blog view me.

How I view myself.

Which are fairly heavy things to contemplate for three straight days.

At the end of it all, about 700 people took my poll, but Survey Monkey only showed me data for a sample set of 100 people (because I’m using their free system because I. AM. CHEAP). Of those 100, nearly 90% of folks said I should go for it. The other 10% said not to.

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Hi guys!

I’m dealing with an ethical quandary, and I’d love your help. I’ve recently received some awesome offers for sponsored trips. Now, I’ve gotten these for years from individual companies, hotels, and resorts, but I’ve only just started getting offers from Official Tourism Bureaus. While I’ve long resisted the former, because I feel like I would be obligated to write a review about a particular company or hotel, I’m a little more open to accepting trips from, say, the Aruba Office of Tourism.

However, I want to know what you guys think about this. Keeping in mind, I’m leaning towards continuing my policy of not accepting anything. So even if y’all tell me to go for it, I might not listen. Hee.

Please weigh in and let me know your thoughts by taking the survey below (and feel free to discuss further in the comments section).

Click here to take my survey

Thanks a bundle,

The Everywhereist

I have exciting news.

Okay, maybe it’s not that exciting. I mean, I think it’s pretty great news, but I get excited over some silly stuff. Like whenever a vending machine messes up and drops two of whatever candy you selected. Or that time that Rand and I went to a video arcade and the skeeball game kept resetting itself automatically (so I got, like, 20 games for a quarter. Oh, the tickets we amassed).

I guess for me, less isn’t more. More is more.

So I’m pretty thrilled to say there’s been a tiny little tweak to my blog – my posts are now wider, which means that I can accommodate larger photos.

Exciting, right? And what better way to illustrate this than with ten photos I took of the Sydney Fish Market?

More pixels. Less squinting. More squid. Enjoy.

  1. Women shucking oysters.

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  2. Tiny octopuses.

    Chock-full of tentacle-y goodness.

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  3. Not so shrimpy shrimp.

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  4. As advertised: fish head and bone.

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  5. A visual sorbet for those of you who hate fish, but like their kin.

    Get it? Fish kin? FISHKIN? Sigh.

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  6. A squadron of squishy squid.

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  7. Opportunistic herons outside the fish market.

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  8. Needle-nosed little buggers (I can’t remember what they were called).

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  9. Hee. Business in the front, party in the back.

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  10. We’re just going to hope that this is one of those subtle linguistic differences that exist between native English speakers.

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