Is it Selfish to Blog About Travel When Things are Shitty in The World?

Posted on
Jun 3, 2013

I’ve been having a lot of trouble blogging lately. It’s something I’ve been trying to ignore – throwing up a post here and there, attempting to make them funny and light when frankly, my heart just hasn’t been in it.

I originally started this blog for Rand. Having been cursed since birth to roam the world with the memory of a goldfish, he has only vague recollections of many of our trips. Time and again he’ll start recounting a story, and I’ll have to fill in the gaps.

And holy cats, there are a lot of gaps.

“Remember that time,” he’ll say. “When we were at that place, with those people, and that thing happened? Wasn’t that just something?”

I am being only slightly hyperbolic here. He will actually say things like this, after which I’ll ask him a few questions (“What did the people look like?” “Was the place indoors or out? Cold or warm? Actually visited by the two of us or completely invented by you?”) and piece together what he’s talking about.

“I blogged about that, babe,” I’ll say, and gently direct him to a post that explains in detail what happened that one time with those people. And it was just something.

Nobody freak out: the blog still serves that original purpose. Rand and I are happy and fine together, and I still write with him in mind. I mean, how could I not want to get up every morning and write about this guy:

I have no idea what’s going on here, but I’m pretty sure it’s magic.

But now my sphere of readership is much bigger; this isn’t really something I anticipated, and while I’m grateful for it, it also scares the crap out of me. A recent scathing comment on the blog (in which I was told, in succinct and indelicate terms, that I prattle on about the same nonsense and it is “just sad.”) had me questioning a lot of things. And while I’m sure the hater’s comment was not designed to actually make me think (because hateful comments rarely have that goal), it did indeed make me wonder: is it selfish to write a travel blog when so many terrible things are happening around the world?

Yesterday a friend was telling me about the factory collapse in Bangladesh, which killed 1,000 people, mostly women and children. I managed to miss this story entirely when it was at the front of the newscycle. Another friend of mine, who recently moved to Oklahoma, is constantly updating her Facebook with tales of tornado warnings (often with news that yes, she’s alive and well, and hiding in her closet). Still another describes the scenes outside the window of her apartment in Turkey – riots and screaming, police pushing protesters back, trying to disperse the crowd.

While I complain about the price of food at the gorgeous resort we’ve just visited.

I want to keep writing, but it seems insensitive and out of touch and entirely douchey to warble on about my travels in the wake of all of this. I’m having a lot of difficulty on that front. Food blogs make more sense to me, even in difficult times. Food is a source of comfort. When things get rough, people still need to eat, right?

But what about travel blogs? What role do they play when things are shitty? Do they distract? Enlighten? Remind us that we aren’t alone, and that we’d better try to make the world a better place for everyone else?

Does my blog do that?

I honestly don’t know. I’d like to think that it does. But it’s hard not to feel self-absorbed and petty and privileged at times like this. I think about my original goal – of writing this blog for Rand, and while that brings a bit of perspective to all of it, it also makes me wonder if I am causing more harm than good. My husband was recently skewered online. I will say only that the discussion was full of a crapload of half truths, but as the discussion in the comments reached a fever pitch, one person left the following remark:

“He even gave his wife a brain tumor.”

I don’t know what to do with that. My intent, in revealing so much of my self and our lives online was never to have it be turned against him. And for the record, even though he lets me play with broken thermometers and he put a giant old microwave in my office which keeps me warm on cold nights*, I’m pretty sure RandΒ didn’tΒ give me a brain tumor.

I’m not sure if I have any answers here. I’m just trying to figure out how to be honest with myself, and with all of you. I’m trying to figure out how to keep blogging, when it seems like I should be doing so, so much more.

I’d love your thoughts on the issue.

*Oh, and Rand didn’t actually do this stuff. In case you were wondering.

UPDATE: Wowzers, guys. I’m completely humbled and honored and rendered kind of speechless by your replies. Thank you all so much – I didn’t mean that I was going to quit blogging right this second or anything. πŸ™‚ I was just, as Rand put it, having a crisis of faith, and feeling really guilty that I can go about my day blogging and writing about my privileged life when a lot of people out there are going through a lot of crap.

Bottom line: I might be switching some things up a little in the future. But I promise that whatever I do, I’ll keep blogging, okay?

Leave a Comment

  • Is it selfish? No.

    Bad things will always be happening in the world. If we put off joy, happiness and passion until such time that the world aligns with our state of being, we will never have cause to be joyful, happy or passionate about much of anything.

    Keep writing. Ignore the trolls (who has the time to read multiple posts and then deride the author for “prattling on” about the “same thing”? Really? Read another blog, there’s like, a bajillion of them!)

    Honestly, you throw what you know, you write what you want to write and what you experience because other people relate to it. We should all feel empathy, sadness and outrage at what happened in Bangladesh. But it shouldn’t suddenly curb our appetite to hear about other peoples’ adventures or little battles we relate to.

    Change nothing.

    • This is exactly what I was going to say.. except better. For god’s sake, don’t stop writing! I love your blog, just thinking about sitting down to read it makes me happy. I write my own blog now and update almost as often as you do and my friends enjoy reading it and seeing the world through me, like I do with you.

  • Lalsab87

    When I open Google Reader, I see a list of tragedies – deaths, natural disasters, riots, people’s lives ruined every single day. If blogs like yours didn’t exist, I think I’d explode. Despite what the haters will have you think, your blog is important to many people. It reminds us there is still good in the world, things to look forward to, like love and companionship and adventure. So please don’t stop sharing with us any time soon!

  • I have to admit that I’ve had similar struggles myself, if on a less-grand scale. The hardest for me was a scathing comment from a very dear friend who is struggling a ton financially right now – she’s got multiple chronic conditions, and me writing about “needing a lighter jacket for spring” and showing off a picture of my lovely jacket that I’d bought at Banana Republic (with a gift certificate from my mom!) turned into a really harsh email about how privileged I was and how she can’t even get on disability and didn’t want to read my blog any more because it made her so angry.

    I was really taken aback. I love my friend, and I certainly care about those who can’t buy food, let alone a stupid Banana Republic jacket, but I didn’t know what to do. For me, I decided that I would continue writing my blog, because it does serve the purpose of keeping me from completely losing track of everything I’ve done, but that I would try to use it occasionally as a platform to do good – in my case, to try to raise money for an organization that had been really helpful to my friend. We patched things up and write letters now, but those kind of critiques still sting and stick in the back of my head, causing a bit of self-censorship. I’m okay with that – I guess my “Hey, I should be able to talk about my life how I want to” is tempered with a bit of “Ok, well, how can I talk about my life in a way that isn’t jerk-ish?” It’s a fine line, and there will always be someone to tell you that you’re privileged and that Rand is whatever, and blahblah. The only person you have to answer to is yourself, and as long as you know that you are doing more good in the world than harm, that’s all anyone can ask of you.


  • Shakeyfan

    !. The person who takes the time and effort to navigate to your (obviously, admittedly, not-trying-to-hide-it) travel blog and proceeds to skewer you for doing, oh, exactly what you set out to do is the douchey one, my friend.

    2. It is not your responsibility to bring to the blog-consuming public’s attention every ill that befalls the world. At least not on this blog. Because this is a travel blog.

    3. You actually do broaden the world view of your readers at times. Remember the South Africa posts? Gracias for those, btw.

    4. In a subtle way, you might be doing a favor to readers with a myopic view of the world, and those living in locales beset by troubles. You show us what a big beautiful world we live on, just waiting to be explored if we’re so inclined.

    5. Keep it up, your blog is often the highlight of my day in a much more profound sense than those pictures of Kim Kardashian’s swollen feet stuffed in sandals. Them’s problems, yo.

    6. Have a cupcake and know your efforts are enjoyed and appreciated. Then have another cupcake and forget the douchey person altogether.

  • Amy

    While I don’t read your blog every day, I do enjoy the stories and everything you’ve shared.
    There are terrible things going on in the world, but truthfully, there’s always something terrible going on. Do we stop life and doing things we love just because of other people?
    To me, that would just mean they’ve won. The people who want to bring you and everyone else down do these bad things to make everyone miserable. And as for attacking your husband with things you wrote, it should just remind you that there are trolls out there, even on “travel blogs”.
    If it’s something you enjoy, why should you stop? (As long as as it doesn’t hurt others, you know?) There’s so much negativity out there already, why take away something that helps you or brings a smile to someone?
    Anyhow, enough with my rambling …

  • I don’t think it’s selfish. I’ve never commented here (well at least I can’t remember ever having done so) However I often stop by your blog to be entertained with your witty commentary, when things are bumming me out. There will always be bad things in the world as the previous commenter mentioned, sometimes it’s nice to step away from that and see wonderful pictures of 2 people in love and to see that there are indeed lovely places around the world worth visting.

    So thanks and sorry about misspelling(s)

  • I enjoy reading travel blogs when they’re lighthearted and witty and contain more than a modicum of snark because we NEED that. If all the news and writings in the world were doom and gloom 24/7, we’d have no hope or optimism.

    As for the trolls, screw them. If they don’t like it, they can read something else. There are thousands (maybe millions?) of blogs out there, they aren’t being forced to read about cupcakes and Rand.

  • SeΓ±or Sexybrows

    Soldiers on the front lines of wars sing songs and play music – that’s kind of an antithetical mindfuck if you think about it. That tells me something about our need to balance shitty situations with glimpses of art and joy (well, some kind of emotion, anyway). Shitty things happen daily and only sometimes does it wind up in headlines we’ll all see. I feel like unless you can make the world stop being shitty somehow, It’s a touch unfair to be responsible for when it’s shitty and how shitty it is. If you’re ever in a position to make a dent in the shittiness via your blog, it’s probably worthwhile to do so. In the meantime, i say keep doing what you’re doing how you do it.

    • Jonny Miller

      I full agree SeΓ±or! Paraphrasing Mr Tom Taylor, it is incredibly difficult to know what ‘the right thing’ to do is on a daily basis – recycling, global warming, these issues are so complex and hardly ever a right answer… Tom always came back to this default opinion that ‘delighting and inspiring people was a kind of baseline good’ – and that is precisely what this blog does/is. The internet (and world) would be a lesser place without the Everywhereist’s musings πŸ˜‰

    • Everywhereist

      I really wanted to reply to this comment with “Shitty Shitty Bang Bang.” But that would not be mature. Anywhoodle, thanks, you guys.

      • SeΓ±or Sexybrows

        I love that movie. Wish my copy wasn’t so worn out.

    • kokopuff

      This guy really does have sexy eyebrows.

      • SeΓ±or Sexybrows

        Thank you, Koko!

  • I think it’s great that you’re sensitive to what’s going on and concerned that you’re being too self absorbed, but a lot of terrible stuff happens in the world and whether or not you blog about traveling won’t change that. Life can’t stop because shitty things happen. That doesn’t mean we should totally ignore the things going on or try to right the wrongs and feel compassion for those going through the tragedies. I think it’s nice you have this documentation of the wonderful things in your life and the true love you obviously have for your husband. That doesn’t mean nothing bad ever happens (to you or in the world) or that you’re completely oblivious to it. It just means you’re appreciating what you have and trying to bring a smile to your readers’ faces.

    A podcast I listen to, Pop Culture Happy Hour, had this same debate after the Boston Marathon bombings–was it insensitive to be broadcasting a pop culture podcast after all the crap that was going on? There was a decidedly more subdued tone to the show, but a lot of their Boston listeners expressed that they were mostly just happy to get a break from all the bad news for 45 minutes.

  • I love your blog and I personally do not think it is selfish to write about traveling the world! For me your blog provides an escape from all the crap around me. Sure I’m not dodging tornados or hiding below my windows in fear of stray bullets – but most people has some sort of drama going on around them and want to forget about it – even if it is briefly.

    As for that person who posted that comment last week – I found it funny that they felt the need to say that to you. If they don’t like reading your blog anymore – then don’t read it. It’s not like you’re forcing them to.

    I say keep up the great stories πŸ™‚

  • Jax

    If I wanted to read about collapsing buildings, tornados and other heavy news I’d read about them. I come here to have a lighthearted read. And you do a wonderful job of that.

    There’s a lot of people (trolls?) in this world that want us to go around being all mopey and sad. Don’t let them get to you. And yes, I do enjoy the so called “petty” stuff because I have those same thoughts at times when I travel and it makes me remember those events and laugh.

  • When lots of shitty things are happening is when I think people need travel, escape, and humour the most to be reminded that there are still beautiful things in the world. When things are going well I tend to want to just live in the moment but when things take a turn south is when I want to read and look at things (like kittens!) that make me feel better. I don’t think it’s selfish at all for you to continue to write.

    If you’re feeling bad because you’re in a good place, why not try to use that large readership you’ve developed to help improve someone’s lot? Pick something that’s meaningful to you and encourage your readers to support it something similar. It’s also, ok if you just want to keep on as you’ve been keeping on. After all, it’s *your* site.

  • Shannon

    Oh please. I love reading about your adventures while I’m hunkered in the closet with my thoroughly un-amused dog. Is it selfish? Maybe. Is being selfish really such a bad thing though? You’re leaving a written record of all the amazing things you get to experience, and maybe you’ll inspire someone to get out and enjoy the world. Someday when you’re long gone, this record will still remain, and that’s pretty awesome. Selfish pursuits can have wonderful implications for other people.

    And besides, when I’m not laughing about the disaster that is my tornado ridden-life, I’m complaining that I can’t find the tablecloths I want for the wedding and that the grocery store is out of my oh-so-necessary cake allotment. Life is about ups and downs (you had a BRAIN TUMOR for gods sake), and it’s not so much about what happens to you, but how you react to it. And I think reacting to it with some introspective blogging and a whole lotta humour is pretty much the best reaction one can hope for.

    So, that’s my thoughts on it. Please don’t stop talking about your amazing experiences because I’m becoming intimately familiar with my closet, you’re a wonderful writer, I’m insanely jealous of your wit, and the world would be a little less brighter without your words.

    • Everywhereist

      Aww, I love that my blog gives you something to read while you are in your closet, hiding from tornadoes. Parenthetically, I don’t really know what being in a closet would do … aren’t you supposed to go underground? GET THEE INTO THE CELLAR, MISSY.

      • Shannon

        BUT I DON”T HAVE A CELLAR!!! πŸ™ They say underground if you can, but if you don’t have a storm shelter, very few homes here are built w/basements. Something to do with the clay earth, does bad things to basements I guess. Either way, closet in the middle of the house is what you do if you DON’T have those options. Basically, as far away from outside walls, so you’re away from debris!

        And now you know! πŸ™‚

  • Angie

    I think if your blog didn’t inadvertently become a huge hit, you wouldn’t have these feelings. I mean, you always say it’s for Rand (and I believe you that it is and always has been), but it’s sort of for everyone now and I can imagine you must feel a connectivity to a larger audience than just your husband or your personal peer group. Don’t feel selfish!

    If you feel like you’re at a turning point where you’d either like to pull back and focus on something else (like food) or something “more important” than you could always do a bit of voluntouring, but your blog is really about your life. I don’t worry about what my Facebook status says, although yesterday it was complaining about the heat and other times it’s been to raise money for charity. That’s life. Sometimes it’s heavy and unpleasant and brain tumors, and sometimes your food is overpriced :-).

    • Everywhereist

      Angie – I really, really like your suggestion about voluntourism. I think that might be worth checking out. Or, failing that, perhaps doing a few posts that have an education angle (like the ones I did about South Africa or Ireland). Something to make me feel a little less out of touch with all the harsh realities of the world.

      • Agreed. I think you are in a unique and privileged position to leverage your massive, devoted audience to shed light on really important and under-exposed issues in our world. I loved your coverage on South Africa, and I actually had no idea that rape was so horribly rampant there, even though I spent a fair amount of time there last summer. My goal in life is to bring my “pet issues” (like child soldiers in Africa and trafficking of young women and girls- children!!- in SE Asia) into the fold of mainstream knowledge and discussion. I don’t have the clout to do so yet, but am working on that with my blog and through other avenues. I think you are in such a fantastic position to make a real difference, just through educating your readers and highlighting things that they would never have known about otherwise. I’m envious (in a good way) yet excited to see you use your super-powers for real good!

        In the same vein, I think that you do bring joy and laughter into the world with your blog. Don’t ever apologize for that! I’ll echo what other readers have commented- the world can be a shitty, nasty, terrible place- and it is up to us to focus on the good and positive, to make the best of things and try to help one another through it! That’s what you do!

  • Laura

    I don’t usually comment on your posts, but I read your blog every single day. It makes me happy to read about the amazing places you travel, and I get to sit at my desk and dream about the places I can hopefully someday travel myself. Reading about your marriage is funny and heart-warming, and I appreciate your honesty and openness. Added to all that, your blog is useful. I recently spent a week in Ireland, and you’d better believe I read every post you wrote about your trip there and took copious notes. ( I was VERY happy to know about the Queen of Tarts.) Why some people seem to take pleasure in writing nasty comments on people’s blogs, I’m not sure. If someone finds your blog redundant, shouldn’t they just stop reading? Has this person never heard of themes? I do hope you keep writing – I think you bring enjoyment to a lot of people. In the midst of all the bad things in the world, it’s good to write and read about beautiful and happy things.

  • Dana

    People are really just sick in the head. I like to think that they hate themselves so they pass it on to others in attempt to not feel so sick and alone in their own heads.

    This is what your blog does:
    Despite all of the horrible things in the world, there is still so much beauty and wonder that take my breath away. Your blog shows that to myself and to other faithful followers. We can’t dwell on all of the horrible things that go on, we can only make the most out of the lives that we do have and appreciate the beauty and love that still does exist. To me, that’s what your blog does. And I appreciate that so much…and of course, I am slightly jealous :).

    So, to you, thank you for sharing your beautiful experiences with the world and showing us that there is more to life than war, starvation, poverty and everything else negative.

  • Poe

    You know, I often wonder the same thing myself. Like you, the primary reason I started a blog was to capture a great, albeit privileged (and, by the way, hard won) time in my life with someone I feel incredibly lucky to have found. And many, many times it feels incredibly brag-ilicious and self-indulgent to put it all out there for other’s to read. I just remind myself of that original intent and keep in mind that people can totally choose not to read it. I promise, I won’t get mad if they don’t read.

    As for dealing with my personal privilege of travel, I’ve lately been trying to make a point to do my research and get to know a country — the bad parts included — before I go. I was pretty mortified with myself when we were on a private tour in Peru recently and I had no clue of the various internal and political struggles that the country has gone through over the last two decades. I felt like I should have known something about that. Right now, I’m reading up on Croatia and the Balkan War. Will I still do silly and fun things like tour wineries, eat at expensive restaurants and buy pretty baubles? Yes. But will I also understand a bit better the struggles that the people have gone through to get to where they are? Hopefully.

    By the way, I think your recent posts about South Africa were very much in that line, and did a great job of highlighting the fact that travel comes with a lot of emotions.

    Finally, please remember you don’t owe any of us anything. Except maybe a promise for more cupcake pictures, anonymous commenters be damned.

  • Christina

    I agree with Joel’s post, above, and would encourage you to keep writing! Yes, this is a travel blog (and a great one at that), and that may seem trivial at times to so much of what happens in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worthwhile, plus it is actually so much more! At times it can be a fun escape — to read about your travels and adventures, particularly in the way you write about them and the humor you insert. At times it’s a practical resource that I’ve used and directed friends to when we’ve planned on visiting some of the cities about which you have blogged. It can be encouraging and heartening and downright delightful to see a happy couple in love and enjoying each other and life together and taking on its challenges successfully. It’s educational — I’ve learned more about weightier issues regarding some of the places you’ve visited (Ireland and South Africa, for example), than I ever did in school.

    Don’t get discouraged and allow hateful comments from strangers (and probably idiots) to win. If you truly don’t have the heart for it anymore, or want to take it in a different direction, then that’s one thing, but to succumb to rude comments from people isn’t a reason to change what you’re doing. I just heard the statistic that the average IQ is lower than it used to be, and, yes, the world is a dark place and a lot of sad and evil things happen, and this may sound melodramatic, but this blog helps counteract those things. The world would lose a little piece of something that can be happy and bright, intelligently written and educational, and funny and poignant and so many other good and worthwhile things. Do what you love and are good at, and put on blinders to the naysayers.

  • Laura

    Please keep blogging! You are a smart and funny voice and I really appreciate your perspective on things. In so many ways, the world is smaller than ever. It is important for us to learn about our world. Your posts about South Africa taught me SO much. I really want to go there (selfishly, for the whale watching), but I never realized that the country was still rife with so many social issues.

    Sure, you’re lucky. Just because others aren’t as lucky as you doesn’t mean you need to stop enjoying your life. You are so extremely down to earth and aware of your good fortune – exactly the kind of person who deserves what you have. It’s hard not to feel guilty about it at times, but you shouldn’t be ashamed that you and your husband have worked extremely hard to get where you are. Enjoy it a little πŸ™‚

    Sorry if this comes across as overly personal. I obviously do not know you in real life, but I have really enjoyed your blog and it has taught me a lot. About a lot. And I hope you keep it at it.

  • Gwendolyn

    As my official girl-crush and unofficial sister-from-another-mister, you are verboten from letting these a-holes bring you down. Their jealousy probably stems from a gluten intolerance; they cannot help but loathe you for your enjoyment of grain-based sweets. As for me, I ate a cupcake right before enjoying this blog entry. As usual, both were delicious.

  • Roger

    The best “revenge” on the bad things, the trolls, the hate, the weather, the suffering and sadness is to show the good things whenever and wherever they can be found. It is the good that we live for, and I’m very grateful for you showing them to us and thank you for the part you play.

  • Mark

    I’ve been quietly reading your blog for over 2 years now, and regardless of the day, my mood or the events occurring around me (us), I value reading this greatly.

    Many of us cannot afford to travel, so we live vicariously through your adventures. We do envy you, but we also laugh with you and, yes, cry with you. We watch you eat cupcakes and can nearly taste them, quietly thankful that reading doesn’t have a calorie count. For some of us, we use your trips as goals or planners for the day that we can do something like that.

    If we just stick our head in the sand, just crawl into a corner, hide under a blanket and say, “I’m only coming out when the world is a happy, safe place”, we’ll never emerge, dying a lonely, sad, cupcake-less life under that smothering blanket.

    It is okay to feel, to empathize, with the world when a tragedy occurs. But do you know why so many people went to baseball games a few days after 9/11? Because we need those escapes. We need to watch the travel channel, laugh at a comedian, visit the zoo or read a wonderfully written, from the heart travel blog about an amazing quirky young woman, who idolizes her husband in a relationship most people wish they could have, who travels and snacks and laughs and cries and has more snacks and does it unwavering in the face of a few insensitive comments.

    Chin up, my dear. If Steve didn’t kick your butt, no reader’s callous remarks could ever get close. Don’t let that cancer-named-trolling get inside your head. Been there, done that, kicked Steve’s butt, remember?


    Mark and his cancer-survivor wife, Mona

    • Rosie

      What Mark said (in those exact words!), amen.

  • Janet T

    Please keep writing. You show me places I will probably never see, and food I want to eat and the cuteness that is you and Rand ( often in a liplock). You make me laugh and you make me think- you write on issues like rape in South Africa, and provide wonderful links on Fridays……………..please ignore the haters. When I read that comment the other day, I wanted to punch him/her in the throat. Grrrrr. G- you brighten my day.

  • I love your blog. Good things can continue to happen in the world, even as bad things pile and pile on. Thank goodness that’s the case. I, for one, find you quite aware of the world (missing a news story doesn’t make you an idiot), and also quite aware of your privilege. As long as this remains the case — really, it seems to be in your nature to be thankful — then I will continue to enjoy your blog, and dream of doing the things you get to do. And I will also continue enjoying the sweetness of your love for Rand. It’s a beautiful, wonderful thing, and I’m so happy that you share it! It really warms my heart, in the cheesiest way. I mean, for real, you’re a stranger. I think I’m creepy.

    Anyway, like someone above said, this blog is a wonderful escape. I think you’re on the right track.

  • Christina C

    There is a time and a place for everything. Some people are wonderful investigative reporters and they provide insight into what is going on around the world. This can be done in seriousness and there can also be a side that brings much needed lightness to our lives.

    Oh what a sad place this world would be if we only heard the bad news. We should be aware of what is happening around us and never choose to hide our heads in the sand, but we should also be allowed to laugh.

    You offer a side of the story that is humorous and fun to read and let me tell you, on a Monday morning or Thursday afternoon, when I’m about to throw a chair at the next person who comes in my office, well, I thank you and they should as well.

    Don’t question what makes you happy and what you enjoy doing. As it’s been said before, haters gonna hate. You can write a fun travel blog and also work on other issues as well, you are blessed that you can choose that path. Keep it up. For everyone else that likes to spew negativity and hate, b/c that what the internet is to them, screw them. People don’t need to read your blog, it’s not a requirement. You don’t need to listen to the comments. Think of it as a slight discomfort that comes with eating to many cupcakes. It will go away in the toilet soon after.

  • Meredith

    I’ve been reading for awhile, but don’t think I ever commented before.

    I think your blog is just fine & dandy. It’s an escape for schmucks like me that aren’t fortunate enough to travel, you have a hilarious sense of humor that makes me send certain posts to my girlfriend who also laughs over them too, you bring informative issues to light on some places you travel as well as the local history. (wow, sorry for the run-on!)

    People can hit the back button easily if your blog is not for them, but I suspect you’ll be getting plenty of comments such as this one telling you to keep on keeping on. (I hate that phrase, no idea why I used it!)

  • Lil

    No, it is not, and I’d like to continue reading your blog as it is (even if I’m more of the lurking than commenting type). People can care and be concern about world issues without having to put their own lives on hold. Honestly, for trolls who make nasty comments, how much have they done themselves to address the issues they raised? And in any case, people can show support without having to announce it to the whole world. Many of us have our own pet charitable organisations and help others in our own ways. We don’t have to list it for the whole world to see on our blogs.

    Your blog is honest, witty, and entertaining to boot. I wouldn’t have it any other way, and no matter how things evolve, I think you should keep writing your love letters to Rand like you’ve always done. Trolls will always be trolls and our job is not to feed the trolls.

  • JP

    Ey Geraldine,

    Last time I checked this was a travel blog……. not the red cross.


  • I have also been reading your blog for a while, and I find it very entertaining. If people want their daily dose of the news, they can go to any news website, but if they want a complete break from whatever’s going on in their lives, there needs to be a place for that too.

    Although you may be worried that it’s selfish or ignorant to have a travel/fun blog, as long as you aren’t being ignorant to the things going on in the world, I don’t see how anyone could have a problem with it (or why you should either). For the most part, the things you post about are somewhat educational (believe it or not), and even sometimes really educational, like when you posted about The Troubles in Northern Ireland!

    You’re blog is really interesting and it’s so great that people get to travel the world right by your side. Thanks for writing, and it even inspired me to get back into writing and start my own blog!

  • I hate to hear that someone has said something hateful enough to make you reconsider what you’re doing. It’s jealousy, it has to be. I read your blog EVERY DAY over my lunch break, I love that you’re as honest as you are with complete strangers and I recently planned a trip to Boston around eating all the things I thought I needed to based on your experiences. Please don’t stop writing, there’s not another blog like this out there for people like us. Also, you’re more of a writer than a blogger in my opinion. Blogs are not as well written and composed as this. Nor do bloggers generally have your vocabulary. Please DO NOT stop writing one of the most educated and eloquent blogs in the internet. It would be an absolute tragedy.

  • Stef

    I like travel blogs, food blogs, and many other kinds of blogs. They’re entertaining, educational, inspiring, and sometimes just plain provide a place to escape from the big bad world. Doesn’t mean I don’t care about my home and the people who inhabit it, but if I only focused on the bad I think I’d burn out very quickly. I can’t change the whole world, so I just do what I can and try to live my own ordinary life in a way that doesn’t make things worse.

    Haters gonna hate, that’s their self-inflicted internet niche. I feel kind of sad for them – what must their lives be like if they have to get their kicks out of stomping on other people’s good times? The commenter you mentioned, who said you were ‘sad’ and ‘prattle on about the same nonsense’ – um, buddy, if you don’t enjoy it why not just not read it? Entitled arseholes they are, blaming everyone else for an experience they didn’t enjoy.

    I like your blog. I like your personal stamp on your travel experiences, your history lessons that accompany some posts, your humour, your honesty, and your lovely relationship with your husband. I come here for all the reasons given in my second sentence, and wil continue to do so. I’m sorry you’re feeling down right now, and I hope the love of the good real people in your life will help you through it. This commenter thinks you’re good people.

  • Jamie

    The fact that you are so humble about the life you are blessed with and the opportunities you and your husband have had to see the world makes me really enjoy your writing. You don’t write about these experiences like it’s something you’ve “earned” and you certainly never strike me as someone who takes her life for granted. Especially with your experience with the recovery from brain cancer, if someone out there appreciates every minute of her life, I would guess it’s you and your husband. Keep on traveling and keep on writing – the haters are going to hate no matter what, right?

  • Penny

    Please don’t stop. Your blog was a treasure to happen upon, and you write like I think and I derive so much joy from it. If someone doesn’t like what you are writing about, then they don’t need to read it. There are always going to be giant douchebags that roam the Internet and say stupid things…don’t let them win. That’s what they want. For you to question yourself, and that is just not fair. Bad things happen in the world. But so do many wonderful, marvelous things…they need to get some press too. Hang in there sunshine. Don’t let the bastards get you down.

  • Please keep blogging.
    You are my inspiration. I started blogging because I love your blog and its purpose. You have always lived up to it. I wanted my fan letter also a thank you letter to be our first communication but then I couldn’t stop myself from commenting on this post.
    I wait every morning for your post and reading it makes my day happier. If somebody doesn’t appreciate it leave that to them you are not writing to please them. You are writing for Rand and please continue doing it. Hurdles will always be there some need to be plainly ignored.
    Thank you and Love you!

  • No, it’s not selfish. There will always be something shitty happening in the world on any given day, we all have to live our lives. Do it with abandon.

    The interet would mourn the loss of your travel musings.

    Haters want to hate. That’s what the delete button is for.

  • Joy

    I love your blog. I understand your questions – it reminded me a little of this post from Jason Kottke about a speech of Steven Soderbergh’s:
    Basically, it’s a human need to create art. And while I don’t totally agree that millions and millions of dollars on movies is 100% justified, I certainly think a blog about your travels helps make the world a better place. πŸ™‚

  • Beth

    I agree with what everyone else is saying. Your blog is as you have described so well, “a love letter to your husband”. I would expect nothing less than for you to go on about your travels and the way you feel about Rand. We all have a choice to stop reading, and that reader can stop reading just as easily as someone new will come along and get hooked.

    You are talented and I really hope that you continue. You provide me an escape everyday as I sit in my cubicle and eat my lunch.

    I can’t wait until you find yourself in a corner of the world that I have visited and read your take on it. You need to go to New Zealand and Croatia.

    Awful things are happening all around, and we are each impacted in our own way. You were terribly moved by the assault situation in S. Africa and you blogged about it so well. You do take notice, so please don’t beat yourself up.

  • Naturally, YouTube has three phenomenal answers…

    Firstly, to the trolls. They’re merely attention seeking. But they’re actually this guy => (especially at 00:18. They probably just need a hug…)

    Secondly, the frightening reality is you’re only around so long. This hit me square in the head this month when I watched this *awe inspiring* short documentary about a guy called Zach: – it’s 22 minutes long, it’ll get you (it got me) but it’ll cast a perspective on this blog you might find helpful.

    Samwise Gamgee says it best: “There’s some good in this world Mr Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.”

    Final YouTube video (promise), think of Sam here as your blog: πŸ™‚

    If Steve turned out not to be benign, I bet the internet trolls, humanitarian disasters and crazy food prices would become pretty meaningless. Instead the stuff about relationships, cool stuff and incredible experiences would be. The sort of stuff you write about anyways!

    Your blog is one of the the most amazing, ‘human’ places on the internet that shines a light on dozens awesome places around the world. I can’t help but feel without this, that a proverbial light would go out.

    Keem calm, and blog on πŸ™‚

    • Huh, the comments don’t like paragraphs…

  • Amy

    I’m a new reader, but your blog has quickly become one of my favourites. As a new blogger myself and someone who would love to one day make a living from writing online, I actually find your stand on blogging really admirable. You seem to have a huge following and it would have been all too easy for you to pop up some ads and take on sponsored posts. But you’ve kept your blog personal, for you and your husband, to document your lives. You aren’t selling anything to your readers, or making money from them visiting your blog, you’re just sharing your thoughts and opinions. Sure not everyone is going to like it, but there are plenty of people who do. So I hope you keep on writing about your adventures – they’re always a great read!

    • Everywhereist

      Thank you so much, Amy. I really appreciate your kind words.

  • Amber

    Long time reader, first time commentor.

    Please keep writing! Please ignore the jealousy, the bitterness of a life not lived, and don’t be afraid of your privledge and access. You have a gift (well, many, if you include that hunk of husband) and you are generous in sharing that gift with the world. You are writing the truth as you see and as you are able to share with us, and that is a wonderful thing. I enjoy reading about places I will never be able to visit and I do not bedgrude you that at all. Having grown up in the Seattle area, you fill my nostalgia quota on a regular basis. And you’re wickedly funny, writing about your ups and your downs in an incredibly approachable way. You deserve more cake for your effort.

    Thank you.

    • Everywhereist

      I totally include the hunk husband as being a gift. πŸ™‚ Thanks, Amber.

  • Sarah

    Oh I’m so sorry that you were at the brunt of insensitive comments when you freely share such lovely places.

    I am lucky to have a nice job and life but my travel tends to be much more local and less exotic. I enjoy reading and seeing pictures of your excursions, learning things I’ll most likely never get to see. I hate that people are so critical – if you don’t like the show turn off the channel. At night I avoid world news but indulge in cooking shows – does that make me a bad person or am I simply looking for ways to sleep at night? I’d wonder if the people picking on your blog marinate in front of a tv watching the next reality show…if they do, who cares? We should be free to partake in any entertainment that doesn’t hurt another. Your blog has in fact, provided insight into different places and people – something I think that helps everyone see the similarities we all share despite our geographic differences. That has to make the world a little bit smaller (and maybe more tolerant?) I hope that you keep sharing your fabulous life and apologetically enjoy every moment of the joy and happiness that you have built!

    • Everywhereist

      Thank you so much, Sarah. I don’t fault you at all for watching cooking shows. It’s a tough balance to try to be informed while still saying sane, you know?

  • If it’s selfish to enjoy good things even when bad things are happening… then count me in, because I selfishly would like to continue reading your blog, ESPECIALLY when everywhere else around me I’m reading about crappy depressing stuff.

    I’ve been a lurker for quite some time now, but I wanted to pop in today to say a) I don’t think it is/you are selfish for writing this blog, and b) if it somehow IS selfish, I don’t care, and please keep doing it anyway πŸ™‚ I love your writing, I love hearing about your travels, and I love hearing about your lovely relationship with Rand. As they say, once you get trolls, you know you’ve made it πŸ˜›

    I’m a frequent traveler myself and often wish I had the wherewithal to document my travels as well as you do – my blog is ENTIRELY self-centered and personal, and how cool would it be if my ramblings actually served a *purpose* to others, as your blog does to all of us? I use your posts to mentally bookmark new places to go, and to provide suggestions of what to see when I do have a trip planned.

    Long, rambly comment to basically say: eff ’em, keep on doing what you’re doing please. πŸ™‚

  • Everywhereist

    Wowzers. Thank you all for the kind comments. I didn’t imagine that this would be the response I’d get from all of this. It’s truly appreciated. Thank you.

  • I came across a travel blog (during prospecting for a luxury travel blog client) that was written with such an air of snot that I couldn’t in good conscience include it in my guest blogging prospects. The premise was a 20-something woman with a trust fund who spends her time traveling to only the most luxurious resorts and spending lavishly on things no one really needs. It was also very poorly written, which led me to believe this woman did not spend any of her trust fund money on a halfway decent education (if any at all).

    Your blog is not that blog. But honestly, even if it were, it’s still your blog and people can choose to read it or not. If it feels good to you to continue writing, do (and most of us really love it!). But if you can’t, or need a break, or want to start a new one to get back to your roots, that’s fine too. It sounds like you enjoy your blog, and it does fulfill a need (shitty things happen, but people still travel).

    And lastly, I hope you continue. You have the voice I wish I had.

  • Don’t let the trolls stop you! You write about what is important to you; not to them. Bad things happen in the world and, very often there is very little we can do about it. Not writing about your resort trip would have not changed anything with regards to the collapsed building or the tornadoes.

    On a personal note: I was very impressed with the way you wrote about poverty and rape in South Africa. I actually started my own blog (now neglected) when I was down there a few years ago. Reading your impressions & thoughts brought back a lot of memories. I was not able, and probably am still not, to write about these kind of hardships in the way you do. With your blog, you contributed to raise awareness on this important issues.

    Granted, you also raise awareness on cookies but, what the hell: It’s your life, your blog, your decision.

    Keep on going. Please?

  • Kristen

    I first started to read a bunch of travel blogs about three years ago, including yours. While most of them have devolved into boring coverages of press trips, yours is consistently hilarious and makes me wish that I could be your friend in real life (but I don’t know if I could keep up with your awesome sense of humor). Honestly, I don’t really consider your blog to be a travel blog, but rather a journaling of awesome things that happen to you, and a lot of cupcakes. You could write about painting your apartment and I would love it. Haters gonna hate, you just keep writing as long as it is what YOU love to do.

  • Ruth

    Keep doing what you’re doing. The stories of your travels, of you and Rand’s togetherness, are uplifting and give me hope for the world. I so love to read about and look at pictures of the places you and Rand visit. It is a privilege to be allowed to see the love you have for each other. I seldom read the comments so was not aware of the grumpy ones. Ignore them.

  • I think that when you put your life out in the public, you are bound to get negative responses from someone. It’s just a matter of realizing that their response isn’t really about you and is more of a reflection on them.

    Also, you’re blog is the place I go when I need a laugh in my rather mundane daily life, and I wouldn’t know about a lot of fantastic places to go when I win the lottery or magically come into vasts amounts of money from an estranged, deceased relative. What you say about food being for comfort is true of your blog, people come here for the comfort that there is still happiness out there, there is still true and honest love, and there is still someone out there who can laugh at life when it seems like the world is falling apart. Laughter is the best medicine, after all.

  • Definitely not selfish. Inspirational. I read to escape and inspire. I look forward to reading whatever you write about – I love it all! Misery loves company, I guess. Ignore ’em!

  • Kelli

    I read your blog for two reasons. 1. It makes me laugh and 2. It reminds me to tell (and show) my husband how much I love him. And those two things? They make my life better. So while there are terrible things going on all over the world, you are bringing light and happiness to sooooo many households around that said world. As someone with lots of family in Oklahoma, taking a break from the constant worry to read something you’ve posted served me well through the month of May.

    I hope you can find a way to ignore all of those asshat commentors and keep writing. Because so many of us will miss your voice in our lives!

  • Michael & Emily

    So you see: for every group of disparaging trolls; for every terrible event; for every juxtaposition of horror and humor, there is an innumerable multitude of good people who speak up when it is needed most; countless events (large and small) of indescribable beauty; and much-needed levity in the midst of this world’s madness. What you share with us through this blog is that tiny spark of good will and that always-welcome mirth, and so much more. Blog on.
    When in doubt: Focus and Simplify.

    Much love,
    Michael & Emily

  • I think it’d be selfish if you went to all these fabulous places and kept it to yourself :-).

    The fact is, most people won’t get to experience most of the destinations you are, and if so they don’t read about what these places are really like, they’ll miss out entirely. And I think that applies as much to the well-traveled as it does the rarely-traveled folks–I’ve been a lot of places, but there’s still a heck of a lot on your list that I’m never going to get to, and I’m richer for the experience when you share your adventure here.

  • I’ve never commented before, but it’s not for lack of enjoyment. Yours is one of my favorite blogs to read every day on my feed, and it’s because it’s not full of the heavy weight of the world, for the most part. Yes, food blogs are a great comfort for that, but so is humor and travel. I don’t have your incredible opportunities to travel and I really enjoy living vicarious (and more hilariously) through you. Please don’t let the haters get you down. Also know that you do bring comfort. When tough stuff like everything you mentioned gets me down, I need some fuzzy kitten pictures and a little bit of self-deprecating humor about the love of pastries in other countries. I work in a place full of incredible sadness some days and in those short breaks I take to read your blog (and maybe a couple others — don’t tell my boss!), I expect to forget that sadness for a little while.

  • Sandra

    Just in case you didn’t know, awful stuff has been happening forever. It’s not selfish to be happy, and it’s not selfish to share your happiness. It is selfish to insist that everyone has to be miserable all the time.

    I think you do a good job providing a nuanced view of the places you go, and you seem like a grateful person. I never have the impression that you take your rather unique life for granted – you always keep a sense of wonder about how you even ended up there. If you started acting like you deserved to be at fancy places, that would be obnoxious.

    Many of your posts are light, but you do feature heavier stuff, too (thinking specifically of the entries about South Africa). Besides, if you only wrote about apartheid or abject poverty, fewer people would read it, because geez, what a downer. I think mixing the light with the heavy allows you to reach a wider audience.

    I understand the desire to DO SOMETHING, and there is no reason you can’t follow that urge, too. I can’t tell you specifically how to do that, unfortunately, but I bet you could come up with something using your own natural gifts. Pretty much everyone in the world could do more. Just please blog about it along the way!

  • Jay

    I think we all need our physical, social and emotional needs met and the world wouldn’t be a very nice place if we all threw away all ‘frivolous’ things that make us happy only to focus on the negative aspects of the world. That certainly doesn’t mean that we should pull the shades and ignore the serious, less positive things but we shouldn’t be considered selfish for finding a little joy in our day to day lives.
    I’ve always appreciated your blog and your fantastic writing that straddles a sarcastic line. I like that you don’t gloss over everything but you’re also not a Debbie Downer and I laugh in practically every post. It’s refreshing.

  • Tyler

    Geraldine! I would honestly be very sad if you were to stop blogging. Your site is truly an escape for me and is such a joy to read. Through you, I have been able to travel all over the world and see many things I’d never be given the chance to do, otherwise. Your post on rape in South Africa was incredibly eyeopening to me and since has made me consider how lucky I am to be a female in Canada where this fortunately isn’t my reality.
    Your relationship with Rand is very inspiring to me and has actually helped me gain perspective on a few of my relationship issues. Being that this was the main purpose of this blog, I think you would be doing your relationship a disservice by stopping here. One of the greatest gifts you will ever be able to give your husband is the written record of your various memories.
    You have shared so many personal details of your life, good and bad, and it offers a welcome perspective on how tough things can be, and how a sense of humor and an open mind can be the answer to many of life’s curve balls. Also, I feel great comfort in knowing that there are others with an equal appreciation for Jeff Goldblum out there.
    Keep on bloggin’, your site is one of the highlights of my day πŸ™‚

  • Vanessa

    I got laid off last week, and while I can recognize that losing my job is a tiny droplet of misfortune in the sea of Terrible Things That Are Happening, it feels like a tidal wave to me. My layoff makes me want to read your blog more, not less. You’re bringing wit and humor and beauty and love into the world, and it inspires me to get back to a place where I can be doing that too. I can’t afford to travel the way I would like to right now, but I can look through your little window and it reminds me of what I am working towards.

    So please don’t treat what you’re doing as trivial.

  • Stuart Hill

    Just IGNORE the Interweb trolls. They are the creeps that hide in the bushes…

  • Lauren

    If you never have a bad day how can you recognize a good one? I like to think the same goes for goings on in the world, no matter the scale. I’ll keep reading as you keep writing. I find your adventures uplifting.

  • I found your blog about a year ago and love to see that I have posts waiting in my feed from you. I giggle over the posts that resonate with me, skim over the ones I don’t relate to, and sometimes I skip posts entirely. I take mental notes when you’re especially clever or write something especially well, and sometimes I just want the cupcake you’re eating. It fluctuates. Life fluctuates. The constant is, this is a personal blog. If anyone decides your blog isn’t to their taste, they are free to read about other things on different sites. No one HAS to visit your site, and if you choose to write about world events or baked goods or your toes, your audience will either be interested or leave. If readers decide to go Internet Troll on you, it’s just a projection of their own internal issues and sense of self-importance. Turmoil, heartbreak and chaos will always exist, and there are endless places where one can read about it, act on it, and have dialogue about it–but that doesn’t mean no one should ever smile or enjoy the beauty in their small corner of life (or read about someone else’s). If you feel drawn to writing about different content, do it, and you’ll develop an audience that’s interested. If you like documenting your travels, many of us are excited to see each new chapter. If you decide to take a break because it’s no longer fun or fulfilling, your readers will miss you but they will find other blogs that interest them. Personally, I love your blog and you are a little like a friend that pops up in my Feedly and your arrival is always welcome.

  • S

    So — I left that “scathing” comment and certainly didn’t mean for it to be taken in such a strong way, however I stand by what I said but would also like to clarify/explain. I started reading your blog about a year ago when it was on a “best blogs of 2012” list (I think Time?) and fell immediately in love with your writing and having the inside peek into exotic locations and pieces of history I would otherwise know nothing about. I am very privileged to have a good job and be able to support myself but do not have the luxury of frequent travel because of this job.

    In any case, I admire what you write about and with my comment only meant that I wished the focus of more of your posts was more reminiscent of the style/tone that I felt was displayed when I started reading here a year ago. I do feel like you frequently rely on the same self-depricating jokes and for me personally, it has made the blog less interesting and not as focused on the travel or the history of these amazing locations. I never said anything about how you portray your relationship with your husband and in fact that part of it bothers me less than anything…you obviously have a good thing going, and it’s lovely that you get to experience so many great things together.

    It is your blog — so do whatever you want with it. It’s your creative outlet and no one (including myself) should make you change that if you don’t want to. I perhaps worded myself wrong originally and was taken more offensively than I meant, but really it was just meant to be a bit of constructive criticism. Your best writing (I think) happens when you are bringing to light these wonderful places in the world and helping us to enjoy them from behind our desk’s, and not necessarily making the same personal joke you made the last several posts (please, folks, I *know* it is not “literally in every post” — figure of speech here).

    To that note, regarding the point of this post specifically, like others have said — there have always been and there will always be horrible things out there, the reason we read blogs like yours (or watch reality TV or read silly “beach read” books) is not necessarily because we don’t recognize those horrible things, but to have a moment of escape and a moment of hope, or a moment’s appreciation for things in the world that are really lovely and worth experiencing. And I think you’ve done a good job at telling us about both the good and bad history of some of the places you’ve visited, and you certainly do seem grateful for your experiences, which as a reader I do appreciate.

    • Debra

      Dear “S”:
      Kindly redirect your barbs toward another target.
      If you no longer find this FREE blog entertaining, there is a glaringly simple solution–don’t read it.

      • S

        Oh god, I hate when people say that. It’s certainly not my blog and Geraldine can write whatever the heck she wants, HOWEVER, with open commenting I also have the right to comment with whatever the heck I want. I think my comment above was stated respectfully and constructively. When one writes (or does anything in a public space/forum really), it opens the door for commentary whether or not it’s good or bad. It’s up to the creator of the content how they want to take the responses.

        I also never said that I didn’t find it entertaining, I said I find certain aspects of the content more entertaining and valuable to read for me personally than others. Please don’t misinterpret my words.

        • Everywhereist

          I feel like I should probably jump in here. I love all of you coming to my defense, but I don’t want this to turn into a witch hunt.

          What bothered me most about S’s comments (we’ll have to disagree on the point that they were delivered constructively and respectfully), was that they hit on a very raw nerve. I’ve had a lot of things weighing on my mind (as I mentioned in this post) and so consistently trying to write posts that are upbeat and funny has been really, really hard.

          So, when S noted that I was just using the same old schtick, and told me that it was quite sad, it hurt the same way all hateful comments do, but also got me on a deeper level because this is something that I’ve been worried about: that the things that had been upsetting me in the news, and in my personal life, would make their way onto my blog.

          But I really appreciate all the positive comments and support. It’s made me realize a lot of things: mainly, that my blog does have value beyond just being “funny” all the time. And that I can be painfully, truly honest about what’s on my mind and what’s upsetting me.

          So thank you guys for helping me realize all of that. Hell, I’m even grateful to S for making me painfully aware of what I was feeling. Though I really, really wish s/he had chosen their words more carefully the first time around.

  • Sarah

    Geraldine – please do not stop blogging! Like so many others have said, your point of view – on everything from travel to love to skinny jeans to cupcakes – is always entertaining, heartfelt, and downright inspiring. You are immeasurably brave to throw so much of yourself into your blog. I understand you’re known as a travel blogger, but your constant references to your relationship with Rand, your Mom, your friends far and wide – make me strive to be a better person in my own life – especially with those I care about most. I try to do so from the very quiet universe of my non-public life, but I’m sure my husband or my Mom or my sisters would be thrilled if I blatantly put my adoration for any of them out in the world for all to see. There’s no shame in blogging about your life or your adventures. Bad things happen. We need more of the “good guys” perspectives on all facets of life! Your blog isn’t mandatory reading – the haters out there are just another unfortunate part of life – but the joy you bring to others outweighs – in leaps and bounds – the unsolicited opinions of the dumb-dumbs who apparently don’t realize that, if they’re bored, they have a CHOICE to read or not read. I’m a HUGE fan, and I probably should comment more to help keep you feeling confident that what you’re putting out there is being read and appreciated greatly! Keep on keepin’ on!

  • EdenB

    I freakin adore your blog. It is one of the few that I actually sit and READ. Most of the blogs I follow I just scroll through really quickly while looking at pretty pictures of food that I wish I had time to make. And your blog makes the world a better place, even if things are pretty crappy right now. That’s what life is all about. Laughing with your friends, doing things that you like to do, and being with people you love. If you can share that stuff on the interwebs and bring it to people who can’t afford to travel, are feeling a little lonely, or just need a good laugh…that’s pretty dang awesome in my opinion. Blog on, friend!

  • You can’t dwell on the bad things. Where would the bright points and the happiness be among all the darkness if all that you looked at was black? There will always be people who want to tear you down, but you can’t let them get to you. For every negative comment, look for the hundreds of good ones surrounding it. Your blog is a source of happiness to you. It’s a source of happiness to me. I enjoy reading about your travels probably almost as much as you enjoy taking the trips. Traveling is a major part of your life, it’s one of the things that you know best. Keep the posts coming!

  • Kristina Cline

    I look forward to your blog, and sometimes I read it twice. First I skim it quick to see the pictures and the captions. (Magic Rand made me laugh wheeze out loud btw.) Then I read every single word. Even when you write about violent Irish history and I am not in college anymore. I love all of it. I love your writing style and your sense of humor. I have looked at many blogs, and most of them I click away after the first paragraph. You have a way of words that grabs people. Don’t stop because of others. Only stop if you want to. When that I happens I know I will have to drive downtown to find your cupcake shop.

  • Rebecca

    When terrible things are happening in the world is precisely when we need things like your blog, cupcakes, and humor the most. We need to be reminded that there are still reasons to be happy and hopeful. After I read the news, I personally like to have a distraction so that I don’t feel totally bogged down. And while I have not had the privilege of traveling much, I hope to someday; I think that your blog will help me be a much more informed traveler.

  • EdenB

    P.S. In response to “S” to each their own. Your self deprecating jokes are my favorite. I am the kind who can hear something repeatedly and still think its funny. I laugh every time Mindy says, “as a woman of color…” on the Mindy project (which is every episode). Your humor makes your blog uniquely you. That is why it is so popular and stands out among many similar blogs. If this person doesn’t find it funny, they can go find a less spicy travel blog to fit their more humorless personality πŸ™‚

  • Hannah

    I actually found you when my husband left for Afghanistan a year and a half ago. I was searching for military wife blogs for women without kids because, frankly, I felt like I had wayyyy too much time on my hands and I couldn’t identify with women who never had any time alone. Failing in my attempt (military wives are apparently incredibly fertile) I found you instead and I spent many sleepless nights reading through your archive. Your writing style completely sucked me in and your witty humor brought my mind out of the dark corners in my mind that were so easy to retreat to. It’s also worth mentioning that I have a food obsession that rivals your own and an obsession for cupcakes. Clearly you are easy for me to relate to.

    I saw on the news today that Cherrios has turned off their comment section under a new commercial featuring an interracial couple because the comments were so horribly outrageous. I was so saddened but not surprised. This is online bullying, plain and simple, and as the expert said this morning, more people are likely to bully online because it’s anonymous and their are no repercussions. If someone said that to your husband’s face, I’m guessing there would be an immediate reaction unless it was like the weird the guy at work who constantly interrupts people and says things that dont make sense. Then he could just say “you know the guy at work who came to our annual meeting in jorts and smells like mothballs? He told me I gave you cancer. He’s SO WEIRD!”.

    Please don’t stop blogging. Everyone needs an escape from the cruelty of the world and you are that for more people than you probably know. I could add how refreshing it is to read posts from a woman who is completely devoted to her husband and who has turned her husband’s all consuming job into an opportunity for herself but I don’t want to come off as being too flattering. But it’s true, we need more women like you and less like those in reality tv.

  • I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – Please don’t ever stop blogging. You are so much fun, so thought-provoking, deep, and light and just so flippin’ smart – it would be just plain wrong to deprive me and the rest of your readers of your general awesomeness (plus I’d miss the pics of Rand. You should market Rand Dolls. Hang on, does that sound a bit weird?)
    Please keep blogging! :)x

  • India

    Please don’t stop. As they say: “Haters gonna hate”. I only read two blogs online and yours is a must check every day. It makes me happy, and reading the comments above it seems to make a lot of people happy too. So I hardly think it is selfish. Stay Golden.

  • Jerusha

    I read your blog everyday and I love it. Your personality shines through and when I was in Seattle recently and I said to my husband excitedly “The Everywhereist lives here!” And if I knew where you lived I’d totally have had my picture taken in front of your house/apartment/condo/whatever. The most positive thing you bring here to all your readers, in my opinion, is your relationship with Rand. You share your ups and downs and show us how you work through bad moods, quirky foibles and personality differences on the day to day fairly-normal life basis. And I love the info you bring to the table on the places you visit. Your recent post on South Africa and some of the horrors and history there were anything but shallow, prattling or ignorant of human suffering. As long as you feel you are enjoying it, keep it up! Because I sure enjoy reading.

  • Elle

    I absolutely love your blog and have been reading it for a several months now. I have felt several times that I would like to comment without being sure exactly what to say, but this time I know for certain that I really must say something. Your blog was an inspiration for me during hard times. There were moments when I was unhappy with my own life and I would escape into your stories and adventures (starting from the very first post in the archives and working my way forward!). I dreamed of visting even one of the many places you have touchingly and hysterically described. In the past year, I have changed my life in many ways and been able to visit some of the destinations I dreamed about after reading your posts and (as dorky as it sounds) I actually did feel connected to a greater experience having read your reactions and thoughts and then compared them to my own. Not to mention that your love for Rand is remarkable and I find it wonderful to see that there is still friendship, selflessness and humor left in relationships. Your blog has been a wonderful part of my internet life over the past year and I think that the negative comments are probably part of a public life, but hopefully the positive ones will greatly outweigh the bad. Please, if you can, keep writing for all your happy readers!

  • Your blog is fantastic. I have been following for over a year now and I admire your writing style and your humour! You pose big questions for your blog and I guess you can only do what you feel is right, but every single comment above says the same thing: keep doing what you’re doing because we love it.

  • Mark

    Oh Geraldine, you are like a dear blog friend I have never met. It is not selfish at all. I read your blog as often as I can which is a few times a week. The reason I love your blog is that it is a sanctuary of light in a dark world. It is a haven against the negative storms all around us. I love that I can indulge for a few minutes and live vicariously through your words and photographs. I love that you and Rand are so in love and yet are so seemingly normal with real world problems and relationship issues at times and yet you plow on through and kiss and make up and make out and then go have cake. It would be so easy to just let all the negative people and horribleness of the world take over but many of us love that we can take a break from all of that and share some glimpses of your life. I would love to have dinner with your guys one day but in the absence of that I will devour your words instead. Please keep on writing about your travels and adventures and life and love. I need to keep reading about that to help keep grounded. All the best to you and Rand!!

  • MicMac

    For my birthday this year I get handpicked happy news from my sister everyday. Your blog is one of those introductions. I read and live plenty of harsh realities and yet, the world is full of good and bad. Be you, which is good. Your voice has strength, it too will be challenged that’s a natural consequence of success. I hope you follow your heart, its truly the size of Texas and worth sharing.

  • Mean people suck. If you have time to be leaving nasty messages for people you don’t know, you probably have too much time on your hands. Try using some of that time to bring some joy to someone else…you a-holes! ha.

    Don’t ever apologize for your circumstances. Life isn’t fair. We don’t all have the same circumstances, and no matter where you fall on the spectrum, all you can do is just be you, and you shouldn’t be made to feel guilty or embarrassed about it. Its not like you’re not comparing your existence to someone else’s. I mean, if we were going to make every move based on what’s going on in the world, or make constant comparisons, we’d be questioning every decision and thinking about everyone else’s reactions. Who wants to live like that?

    Don’t censor your work. Once you start writing based on how your writing might be received, or as if you’re out to prove something, you won’t be writing for you and your husband, and you’ll lose all the magical reasons we all keep reading your blog. We would all be miserable if all we read was depressing news. We need the balance of the fun and the funny to keep us sane!

    We all have contributions we make to the world, and we should own those and enjoy those. People who go on USO tours always come back and say that the heroes are serving their country overseas…”I’m just a stupid comedian who tells them some jokes now and then.” Rock stars play benefit concerts because they can’t put out fires, or serve as first responders. But that’s their contribution, they can bring some fun and joy to people who need it or who are seeking it out, and that’s just as important…just in a different way.

    And PS – There’s no better way to connect with people, to have a broad human perspective and appreciation for life’s circumstances, than to travel. You should be proud and excited that you get to do it so often.

    And PPS – The fact that we’re even discussing any of this is upsetting because that means that negative people have weaseled in, don’t give them the satisfaction.

  • Sheri

    The short answer: No. We need beauty and light in the world and you are providing a piece of that beauty and light. The long answer is that, the unfortunate truth about putting yourself out there – and you both put yourself out there in such a wonderful way – is that negativity and hurtful people will find you. But the trick, i think, is to not let negativity tamp out the light. The world is full of darkness (you’ve experienced it, we all have) and we all carry pain within ourselves whether it be from the loss of a child, a parent, or a partner, the scare of a chronic or serious illness, or brutal dictators across the world. It’s the lightness that helps us all through those times. Besides, you’re blog is exceptionally helpful. I am heading to NYC, and not as an NYC virgin – we’ve been there four times! – and I’d never heard of the Highline in Chelsea or the abandoned lunatic hospital (which clearly no one has since you were all alone!) both places I am going to make a point to visit. I am shamed! πŸ™‚

  • I think I love blogs like this just for the reason that it gets our mind off of all of the bad things going on in the world. And I don’t think it’s selfish at all for you to write a blog to remember your wonderful travels, just because these things are happening.

    Today I was in a really foul mood because of something that happened over the weekend that made me really sad, so I’ve been watching and rewatching the prancercise lady. That’s what I do when bad things happen. I don’t ignore them, but I most certainly don’t want to dwell on them either. Plus, that prancercise lady is pretty much made of magic.

  • Jude

    Keep blogging.
    You have a good mix of cupcakes and… other stuff. Your SA posts weren’t all trivial, nor were your Northern Ireland posts.
    And I’d miss you. How’s that for selfish?

  • Tanya

    Geraldine, I have been reading your blog since Time listed it awhile back. I love your humor and the love you share with Rand. I will also tell you that I work in the world of media with many celebrities and I just have to tell you that with “celebrity” comes very petty people who want to be mean because they can do so in this new world of social media. Would these same haters say this to your face if confronted – well scratch that because apparently they do πŸ™‚ – but my point is that now haters can skulk in the shadows and lance nasty, cruel comments hiding their anonymity. Secondly, I get really depressed with the news and there are times I have to turn off NPR because I can’t take another sad story. I will then listen to music or call a friend or best yet – spend time with my husband and son (3) who will give you a wonderful take on life which is that it is a gift. Today is a gift, tomorrow will be a gift and the gift you get so many readers is joy. The yin and yang of life is that there will always be good things that happen and bad things that happen. Your blog is a joy to read. I love the honesty, the humor and whatever you choose to “prattle” on about. I would also like to remind you that your pieces on South Africa were real and showed the parts about life that need to be shared and were not light-hearted. I think you should continue the blog, but you need to be able to block out the haters.

  • Suchitra

    As you can see from the response to your post, your blog makes a lot of people smile. And that is no easy feat in the world we live in. People face difficult situations every day and if reading about your bush stone curlew’s invisibility makes them laugh for a moment, you have added value to their lives!

  • “All I must do is take care of the music.” β€” Bill Evans

    I first heard this quote in a video Bill made with his brother teaching people about jazz in a kind of interview format. Bill says something like ‘there’s so much going on in the world, so many bad things, so many problems. So I thought to myself “I’ll just take care of the music.”‘

    This is an except from the DVD but I don’t know where the quote is specifcally (or if it’s even in this excerpt – you should be able to order the DVD online … ) but I think it’s relevant to the problems you’re having.

  • L-a

    Sweetheart dont you get it. We read your blog to get away from the crap the rest of the world provides!

    Why would I want to read more about murder mayhem and freak weather when I can escape with epic tales of cake, love and wtf weds!

    Don’t ever change my love you are our brain relief in an otherwise insane world.

    To clarify there are parts of existence that I adore but there are many things that make me sadder than I could ever express.

  • Keep blogging. I actually find it refreshing to read about positive experiences in the world. The recent events in Bangladesh and OK are somewhat small compared to shit storms in the 1900s. The world has always been a little screwed, but its always been awesome and beautiful. We hear enough about the horrible shit around the world from ‘news’ sources and need a positive voice. Keep that positive voice. You wouldn’t have any traffic if we didn’t need it. πŸ™‚

    I saw that brain tumor comment about Rand too. I mean who says that crap? The fact that someone with enough spite, jealousy, and ineptitude would pay that amount of attention to Rand and you to draw the conclusion that Rand gave you a tumor is astounding. That person is a complete waste of your time, because they obviously don’t have an empathetic bone in their body. I wouldn’t give that bullshit the time of day.


  • Someone will always hate on something that is creative and unique. It’s human nature for begrudged people to attempt to take it from you. People will be suffering in many places, which is exactly why we celebrate every second we have on this earth, whether that be through travel, food, music or anything else that makes us giddy. Weblog on!

  • Msesq

    Let the haters hate and keep on doing what you are doing, traveling and inspiring me to travel to places far and wide.

  • Don’t let those damn haters mess with your shit!! Just say in your head “go fuck yourself” (not in a mean way, a kinda comical and light hearted way) then just send them a little smiley face πŸ™‚ – (like that one).

    Also bad stuff happens all the time, I think by creating positive things, like this blog, it balances it out and keeps the world going round πŸ™‚

  • Long time reader, but I think this is the first time I’ve commented. Your blog is such a great escape from the terrible things that are happening in our world. In fact, it educates me on so many different places I knew nothing about, and has allowed me to add places to my travel list, or, alternatively, take them off. If we all stopped doing what we love, and talking about what we know, everytime something terrible happened in this world, it would be a sad place indeed.

  • TheOtherLisa

    Oh for f*cks sake Geraldine. Everyone above me said it way better than I ever could mostly because today is Monday and it was a typical shit day.

    Which is WHY you should blog exactly how and why and when you want to blog. It’s for *you*. It’s for *Rand*. It also has the extended purpose of making total strangers (well, the majority of us) feel better in some small way.

    The value of that can NOT be overstated.

    We can all find the bad news. We all have assorted dramas to deal with in real life – some genuine and most complete nonsense.

    Without the balance that writing like yours brings to that we’d all go right off the deep end. I don’t know how that could be classified as selfish on any level.

    Please don’t leave us out here alone.

    Of course should you decide to chuck it all and become a professional cupcake taster that’s your prerogative because see point number one: it’s your blog.

  • Natalie

    Please please please don’t stop blogging. I love seeing new blogs from you pop up in my feed. It makes me happy to read about what you’re doing and how in love you and Rand are. Please keep them coming. No matter if you blog or not, bad things are going to happen and there isn’t anything you can do about it. But you can keep entertaining and enlightening those of us who love your writing.

  • Emily

    I have read your blog every day for the last 2 year during my lunch hour. I look forward to it each day because for the few minutes I spend here, I get a mental vacation. But more than that, I get reminded that there is more out there in the world than just going between home and work. It reminds me to enjoy life a little.

    Please keep writing!

  • Chris

    First time I’ve commented too, though a sporadic reader.

    The thing about this blog post that I like enough to comment on is that you question yourself. I do find a lot of your posts rather mundane (yet I keep reading). There’s truth and honesty to your writing, and for me that’s the appeal.

    I’m not going to tell you to keep writing, I’m not sure you should. Keep asking yourself these questions though, please. It’s just growth. And vulnerability and authenticity that you’re asking them publicly. Very brave.

  • Shaun, formerly of Moz

    Hey Geraldine, long time no see. I haven’t seen the original comment that slagged Rand, but I did bust out laughing when you mentioned he lets you play with broken thermometers. For that snarkiness alone (and other various bits, so I guess not that alone), keep ’em coming. I’m an amateur historian and social commentator, so take me at full value when I say there’s never been a point in history where there hasn’t been *something* shitty going on, right? Great Depression, Rwandan genocide, Bolshevik Revolution, Napoleon’s venture into Russia, Korean War, Khmer Rouge, Oklahoma City bombing… there’s plenty more, but why ruin a sunny day too quickly. Through it all, there’s been plenty more good than bad, and probably always will be. Well, except for the Depression, that was pretty brutal.

    Stiff upper lip, and chin up. On that note, has anybody ever been told to keep their chin up and keep a stiff upper lip at the same time? Maybe somebody practicing the art of facial Cheeto-balancing? There’s a visual for you.


    • Everywhereist

      Thanks so much, Shaun. I hope you are doing ridiculously well. πŸ™‚

      • Shaun, formerly of Moz

        Things are going pretty well, can’t complain. A stint in Liverpool, and now a stint co-running my own company (and an upcoming concert series we’re putting on). Time has absolutely flown by since I left Moz. I’m glad to see you’re doing great, as well!

  • Christy Correll

    I think that the shittier things are in the world, Geraldine, the more we need blogs about life’s great pleasures — including travel.

  • Goldendreams

    With all the negativity, we need a positive voice. I love reading about your adventures and how much you love Rand. I have a similar relationship with my husband, and sometimes it feels rare, as if everyone complains about their spouse. I’m head over heels in love 14 years later and it’s nice to see someone else is too. You are a wonderful writer and I look forward to your posts. I work full-time and have two kids, but if not, I could take every work trip with my husband too (he travels domestically every week to different locales). So your blog gives me the opportunity to fantasize how it would be with less responsibilities — I’m planning on your current life being my life in retirement. Keep blogging. Try to ignore the haters. Keep loving that hubby of yours. And enjoy this time because you’ll look back and cherish that your blog has all the details that fade over time.

  • Emily

    Please don’t let the haters dictate your actions! If you’re not pissing someone off, at sometime, then you’re probably not doing anything worthwhile. Your blog is a breath of fresh air that, when appropriate, does go beyond the humor and acknowledges life’s more gravitas moments.
    Please don’t them win. Keep on keeping on!!

  • Lizzie

    Please keep writing! Or at least, don’t let morons on the internet be the reason you quit. Sure, your blog is generally light-hearted and entertaining. That’s not a bad thing. People need to be able to escape the grim realities of life sometimes. You lead a privileged life, but you are consistently humble and appreciative about it. And some of your most moving posts have been about utterly personal things (the tenement museum, your crazy mother, and of course Steve), but that doesn’t mean they have no larger relevance. Quite the opposite. You may have reached a level of success where you need to disable public comments. But never doubt that your devoted readers are supporting you in spirit, waiting anxiously for a book.

  • Pierre (Taiwan)

    How is it being selfish when….

    1) One shares information that might prove helpful to someone who is in an unknown place far from home?

    2) Someone tries to explain history (Apartheid, Ireland) so that we understand each other and our past better?

    3) Someone tries to “lead” by example and puts a positive spin on something that can be as scary as a brain tumour?

    4) Someone shows the world that the best relationships are about the small things in our daily lives that keep us together not just during the good times but also when the lows come around?

    The list could go on. Your selfishness should know no bounds as it has been a positive presence in the blogosphere, and has certainly taught me a few things and kept my spirits up when I needed some positive energy.

  • You’re amazing. Keep writing because when my world becomes too much or the world outside my window becomes too much — I know I can always come here to escape. To get away. Just for a quick 5-7 minutes (I’m a slow reader) I can pack my virtual luggage and travel abroad. Thanks for taking us along your journey. It’s good that you acknowledge this. It means you’re human, but please just continue to do what you do. Sending love!

  • There will always be some darkness threatening the world. Our jobs are to combat it with as much light as possible. Your blog is delightful. Enlightened. And loaded with calories and humor. It’s a cupcake in a gruel world. Please keep at it!

  • Karen

    You should most definitely continue traveling and blogging about it! Not only is your point of view entertaining and real, but you are encouraging other people to travel. That is very important when things in the world are shitty (which as everyone has pointed out already) occurs on a daily basis year after year. Travel is important because it broadens the mind and exposes people to different cultures and views. Your blog allows people to see other places (even if it’s other states in the US) vicariously. And that’s important. Also, we can’t dwell in all the bad stuff day in and day out. If you something you do or say brings happiness to others, then why not counter the bad with the good? I think the growth and success of your blog shows that you bring goodness to most people most of the time. So to hell with the trolls.

  • April

    Dear Everywhereist,

    This is the first time I have posted a response on your blog. I found your blog about a year ago, fell in love with your writing style, then spent an entire weekend going back and reading your blog from the very beginning. Like others who have posted comments, I find your blog to be the highlight at the end of a long day or an even longer week. Whenever my husband hears me chuckling at the computer, he always knows I’m reading about your adventures.

    Your blog is by far my favorite blog that I have ever had the fortune to stumble across. I love your unique blend of humor, down-to-earth commentary, and how you let us all in to tour the world with you and your husband. I often wish that I knew you in real life…I can’t imagine how much bigger the spark you bring would be if it were a “real” conversation.

    Just like any other literature, movie, or fine art, your writing transports us, connects us, helps us understand others better. You make a difference, and the work you do is important to so many of us. It’s painful when others take advantage of our openness, but please know that you are appreciated and the writing you send out into the great big internet is received and appreciated by many more people than you probably even know.

    Thank you for doing what you do!

  • Kristen R

    OK, first, I have to tell you I just went upstairs and dusted off my laptop so I could take the time to leave a decent comment (which I’ve never done on your blog but thought now was the time!). Your blog is one of the very few I take the time to read because I have small children that consume my world right now. Your blog provides me the very much needed opportunity to “escape” the daily grind of life (because you can’t travel the world with small kids!). I visit news sites for updates on world disasters, mom blogs for parenting advice, but yours I truly look forward to each and every time I visit because you’re doing what I envision my childless alter me would be doing and you share the details with a great and completely relatable wit that I’m just in love with. Not to mention your bond with your husband is inspiring and just plain adorable! And… you don’t just blog about nonsense (not that I would mind really if you did…)- I think you do a pretty darn good job of sharing the good life but also challenges and strife across the globe. Your Africa posts? I cried several times in that sequence. Your link to the Hyperbole and a Half entry about depression? Bawled. You’ve opened my eyes to issues I knew nothing about. My advice: don’t try to be all things to everyone, you’re great at being you. And please don’t stop blogging!

  • I recently discovered your blog. I also write about our travel We are on a sailboat, currently in the Caribbean, and my husband, EW, frequently introduces himself as “The Topic”. There is a place in the world for news and a place in the world for funny, insightful articles about relationships, travel, food, stuff that can happen to anyone — i.e. brain tumors, pets, birds that aren’t pets and other wild animals, and … well simply a life well-lived and shared. I enjoy your posts. Please don’t stop.

  • Do you “prattle on about nonsense” sometimes? Yes. Is that why I continue reading? Yes – because that prattling is artful and entertaining and in a world where things are rough and don’t make sense, we need something else. We can’t live in constant fear and sadness. The brain doesn’t do well in that environment (and, hey, aren’t we all about brain health here? no? too easy?).

    I hate (really) to quote Star Jones but she said on the Today show this week how online commenters are the new KKK – hiding in white hoods, saying the things they won’t say to people’s faces. So, maybe a bit extreme for this case, but the hiding analogy works. The world of online comments is the worst.

    Be who you are and do what you love to do.

  • al

    I’m leaving my first comment ever. I send your blog to friends when you write about things that remind me of us, or when we traveled to the same places. You are the lighthearted funny smart person (who is funny without being mean or uber-snarky while blogging on the internet- VERY RARE) who I enjoy reading in addition to the news. I read up all day long about current events on major news networks/websites. Most news articles are horrible. Some restore my faith in humanity. I come across blogs. Most are horrible (aforementioned uber-snarky, or vapid with “style” and “fashion.”) Yours restores my faith in humanity.
    You are not being selfish by writing what you write. You would be selfish from withholding your blog from us!!! (Haha ok, maybe now I’m being selfish.) If you aren’t feeling inspired, please take a break. But don’t let those haters get you down or make you feel shallow. You are the farthest thing.

  • Chris Passarelli

    Your blog means even more to me the more crazy and depressing the world gets, honestly. This might be selfish on my end, but as I’m reading through my RSS reader, stuffed with tales of political scandal and traumatized folks around the world, reading about a happy couple in far away lands is a breath of fresh air. I don’t find it frivolous at all, but even if it were, that’s an itch that needs scratching. Keep on sharing your life as you see fit; I feel very lucky to get to enjoy this particular window.

  • Lucy

    There will always be shitty things (and shitty people) around the world. Which is why you should definitely keep blogging and being your quirky, fun, awesome self.

    Bringing lightheartedness into this world when there is so much sadness and tragedy makes life just a little less depressing, and you should be celebrated for that.

    Your blog always brightens my day, and from the other comments, it’s clear that a lot of other people feel the same way. As soon as I get to work each morning, the first thing I do is read your latest post. I love your writing voice (that’s a thing right? From high school English?) – it reminds me of how my friends and I chat with each other (or at least I like to think we’re that clever) and it never fails to bring a smile to my face!

  • Clare

    Haters gonna hate! Blog on.

  • Nothing good would be accomplished in this world if we felt we shouldn’t allow ourselves to live and be happy and enjoy ourselves because bad things happen. The bad things will happen whether you travel and blog about your travels or not. Concentrate on the goodness you and your blog bring to people, and delete and forget the negative, jealous people who stop by simply looking to ruin your day!

  • Laura

    Keep blogging! There will always be good and bad in the world. Your blog is just a reflection of your experience. Are you blessed with a wonderful life? Yes, of course you are, but that doesn’t mean you should quit writing. Actually, after reading about riots in Turkey, tornadoes in Oklahoma, schoolkids building bombs in Oregon, it’s refreshing to visit your blog and realize that the entire world isn’t imploding.

    Keep it up, and realize that, to many of us, you are a breath of fresh air.

  • Don’t listen to the haters. In fact, block them from making comments. No one has time for that crap. Really. Just ignore them.

    If you stopped blogging, the world be more shitty, not less. There are plenty of places we can get the news about the shitty stuff going on in the world. Just because bad stuff happens, doesn’t mean you’re being selfish sharing the good stuff with us.

    And you shared the bad stuff, too. The brain tumor and all that you went through. I read your blog to learn more about you and Rand and your travels and your lives and what you’re going through. I never read it and think, why isn’t she talking about the fact that there are tornadoes and earthquakes and fires and wars and all that stuff going on. If it touches you, of course I want to hear about it, but your blog is you, not the world.

    Please don’t stop sharing you and what’s happening to you. It would make an empty hole in my heart.

  • tonia

    I’m of the belief that you should follow your heart. Don’t listen to what the haters or the lovers say. What feels right to you? If you love writing this blog, but feel you aren’t doing enough to improve the condition of the world, keep writing & use it as a platform to do something. Or post less and volunteer more?
    I love this blog. I love your writing style. I’d be sad if you stopped writing, but I’d be more sad knowing that you kept writing only because you felt you had to. And frankly, if you start to resent writing, it’ll show since you do write more personal posts.
    That said, I agree with everyone else that it’s not selfish to write a travel blog in the midst of tragedy. If we all stopped doing things we enjoyed because of tragedy somewhere in the world, that would be the true tragedy.

  • Chad

    Just wanted to chime in with “ditto.” It should be evident now that your outstanding and amusing writing brings pleasure to many. And even some education, now and then. I am a better person for reading this blog–exactly as you have been writing it–so it would be selfish if you quit doing what you’re doing. πŸ˜‰

  • I came across your blog and this entry at a time when I am struggling of blogging issues of my own – that are exactly opposite to yours. I write about my travels, too – just sometimes I get so engaged in traveling that I don’t find the time to write about it so instead of writing down ALL the stories (unlike you I mostly post for myself to remember since my boyfriend has a far better memory than me) I end up leaving out the majority of them πŸ™‚
    ANYWAY, it shows me that we all struggle with different issues and to answer your question: NO, it is not wrong for you to blog! You might not know about every headline but on the other hand, reading your blog at least puts a smile on people’s face (and I am pretty sure CNN can’t say that about their site). So please continue and don’t forget the fun!

  • I love your blog, I love that it’s not something you’re trying to make money off and is a dedication to your husband (and cupcakes!) I visit your site regularly to have an escape from all the other stuff going on, I like your whimsical narrative and that you don’t seem to take yourself too seriously. If anything you’re promoting a healthy and happy marriage ideal to a wide group of readers who have likely grown up in divorce culture and seeing a happy marriage, that can also enjoy travel, is surely a wonderful thing to share?

    Hater’s gonna hate just like how cupcakes will be full of sugar – grow, learn but never let them win πŸ™‚

  • Kassie


    First time commenting, I couldn’t not say something to your post. I love your blog. I love your writing. You are a bright spot in a sometimes bleak world. Your blog is a wonderful breath of air, and I’d hate to see it go. Just wanted to let ya know that there are people in internet land appreciate you… Anyways. Whatever you choose to do, wherever you plan to take this blog, I support you.

  • I was recently at an art exhibit featuring masterpieces made by prisoners in the Nazi Concentration camps. And in every culture, in every corner of the world, fashion is important. Women spend hours making perfect braids for their girls, even when there is not enough food to eat.

    The human spirit needs to dream. Our travel blogs, sharing adventures that take us to places many people will never visit, feed the dream.

    That said, we’ve both been touched by Africa and I can’t help wondering if there isn’t something to be done….

  • Molly

    You can’t worry about pleasing all of the people all of the time. There’s a reason your viewers skyrocketed. Your blog is fun to read. πŸ™‚

  • When I am having a rough day because of all my petty little problems that look so insignificant when compared to the horrors of the world but never the less can reduce me to a stressed out puddle of crazy I turn on my computer and am instantly transported half way across the world to somewhere fabulous thanks to travel bloggers like yourself. I used to travel HEAPS, still do whenever I have the time/money – but at the moment I am stuck in uni trying be responsible and get a degree and all – you let my mind travel when I physically can not.

    The world is awful but it is all the more awful if we do not let ourselves be happy.

  • I’m not sure I can say anything that others haven’t but I also wanted to add my support. I recently compiled a short blogroll of the few travel and food blogs I turn to when the news gets too depressing. You’re the top one on my list. I used to read more blogs but now only read the ones that make me smile and feel happy and yours do just that. I recently have given up my job up after a couple of years of being really unhappy. During those dark days it is no exaggeration when I say your blog was sometimes the single highlight… I had to choose tactically when to read it, if it was too early I had nothing to look forward to. Now I am travelling across Central Asia, following the route of the Silk Road – fulfilling a life dream, and here I am in Baku checking your blog. Think that says it all.

    Happy writing, and keep us smiling πŸ™‚ xx

  • Danielle

    Geraldine, don’t you quit on me now! I’m in the middle of university finals (in New Zealand) and reading your blog is a study break I look forward to every single day!

    I get so much more value from your blog than I would reading about another negative event – ‘selfish’ as that may be πŸ™‚

    Thanks πŸ™‚

  • Janine

    Your blogs always makes me smile. It is an escape I need. I have the travel bug and your blog is a way to satiate that burning desire to run away from the hum drum of everyday life. It sometimes brings back memories of places and other times inspires me. I learn and dream about places I want to go someday. And other places I learn about and go to (I don’t care for ice cream but now have to do the ice cream circuit in San Fran every time). Your blog means so much. There is nothing else exactly like it. I think this blog is what you were meant to exactly do. And some of us were meant exactly to find it to make us smile and brighten our day.

  • Sammi

    Hiii πŸ™‚ I am a crap ton behind with catching up with blogs this week so I’ve just caught this. I did see your tweet but 140 characters sometimes isn’t enough y’know.

    Firstly, haters gonna hate. That’s all they’re good at and really they probably don’t give a rat’s ass about what’s happening in OK, or Turkey, or even the flooding in central Europe, apart from to use it against people who are doing things that they don’t enjoy or like. I always think, if you don’t like reading a blog, then don’t read it. You should write it, and continue to write it for yourself and your husband. The fact that quite a lot of other people find it funny and enjoy reading it, that’s just a bonus. What we think about it, doesn’t matter, really. I mean I’m sure I’ve read on here before you’re not one of these bloggers who accepts money and free vacations to say a place is great, so your opinions are very much all your own. Do it for yourself. There’s always someone trying to pull you down to their level, which is a shame. You’d think they’d use the time and energy they put into hating into something that could turn out good for them, but apparently not.

    Keep writing. And the more photos your post from Hayman Island, the better πŸ™‚ Xxx

  • Lola

    I remember my mom saying that during the depression years Hollywood produced heaps of feel good movies with Fred Astair and katheryn Hepburn, with women in lavish gowns and men in tuxedos just to go to dinner. It was an intentional move to keep people dreaming. We can’t afford to sink into a holistic rhythm of living in reality sans dreams. I think the beauty of your blog is your unassuming delight in your privilege and your unabashed love for Rand. It’s that feel good movie that gives others a chance to escape and dream once in a while.if you we’re flaunting it I’d feel differently about it, but sharing your experiences so we can sip the fun as well makes it okay. Keep it up.

  • Jane

    There will always be bad stuff. If we waited to write until there was no tragedy, then nothing would ever be written. Why do we have comedians, musicians, artists, writers? Because we desperately need them.

    I used to be able to travel the world, and went to some exotic places in my younger days. Now that my body is old and my bank account small, I depend on people like you to take me to the places I can no longer go.

  • Do people stop writing books because there are terrible things happening in the world? Of course not. People keep writing books for a variety of reasons; one of them being the fact that we love reading books. Many, many people seem to enjoy reading your blog and that number includes me. I have been a full-time travel writer since 2009 and have seen a truly incredible number of really crappy blogs so it is so refreshing to see your newest post in my reader, heave a sigh of relief that I get to read something interesting, entertaining, and usually funny. Keep writing, keep visiting interesting places, keep eating baked goods, and keep telling us all about everything in your inimitable style.

  • Celia

    Keep blogging! I visit it regularly and I hope you keep it up!

  • All things are better in balance. I think it’s great to travel the world, and to share our love of doing so with our readers in hopes of inspiring them. But I do think blogging about traveling the world without talking about some of the issues that will affect the ability of future generations to do so is selfish, not to mention a little disingenuous. I see it as our responsibility, not just as bloggers but as a travelers, to try to leave each place a little better than we find it. Using our platform as bloggers to do so is, to me, the best thing about having said platform. YMMV.

  • Cindy K

    I love your blog. It is funny, charming and really very well written. It is something I look forward to each day.

  • I understand where you are coming from. It is a crappy, tragedy-filled world, but your blog is a constant reminder to me that there are beautiful wonderful glorious things out there to explore. I may not be able to see them right this second, but just knowing they are out there is incredibly comforting. The fact you and Rand still are hopelessly in love doesn’t hurt either. I really enjoy seeing the world through your eyes, and showing the good in things. As you pointed out, there’s a lot of bad news out there right now. We shouldn’t ignore it, or pretend it doesn’t exist, but we should not forget that there’s a whole lot of good in this world, and you help highlight that. Thank you for blogging and bringing some humor and metaphorical cupcakes to my day. I can tell you, it really does make a difference to me. Sometimes, we all just need a good sappy love story and a picture of kittens.

  • Jodi

    A) People have issues, don’t let their shitty, hateful comments bring you down.

    B) I only subscribe to two blogs, yours and PW. I love to live vicariously through reading about your adventures. You have a great writing style, wonderful sense of humor and you honestly remind me so much of my best friend it’s uncanny. Are you sure you aren’t secretly a preacher’s kid from Florida?

    C) Yes, there are difficult things going on in the world right now. When are there not? It doesn’t make you selfish or uncaring because you don’t write about these things. You are allowed to live your life without feeling guilty. Haters gonna hate.

    D) You’re awesome and even though I don’t really know you, I love you and I thank you for being you.

  • Diane in NC

    There are always people who are going to say hateful things no matter what your blog is about. You could be blogging about the many daily tragedies, big and small, in this world and someone is still going to be a jerk. For some people, your blog provides escapes to places they will never go. For others, it provides information for places they are going to go. I find it valuable to know that food prices at a resort I may stay at are extremely expensive. Even if I had no interest in going, I still would be entertained to know someone gets $12 for a Coke. Just because you have the privilege of traveling doesn’t mean that you can’t be honest about things or express disappointment or joy. It’s no different than the rest of us who hear about terrible things on the news and still get up and go to work and go through our days. Doesn’t mean we don’t care. It just means life goes on. These are the same kind of people who criticize others for buying an item they think is expensive and that money could go to feed the hungry as if you can’t buy the item AND give money to charity. It isn’t a binary world!

    Anyone who reads your blog on a regular basis knows you that you care about others and are affected by bad things too. You have your own unique voice and you don’t need to change it because someone else thinks you aren’t living up to your responsibilities that they have determined for you or because you aren’t filling someone else’s needs. If you want to change what and how you post for your own purposes, go for it. It’s your blog and it should meet your needs. Otherwise, just tell the jerks they are welcome to find another blog that meets their needs.

  • Kjirsten

    Your blog matters to me. You are en excellent writer and it’s a gift that I am glad you share with us. I read the news, I know what’s going on, and I also read your blog every week. And sometimes I learn some really fascinating and important things from you. Sometimes I just enjoy how funny you are or I’m reminded of how much I love my husband and how cool that is. Thank you for writing and for sharing your life with us. I assure you that there are far more people out here that completely love you than those few doorknobs that write nasty comments.

  • There will always be horrible things happening around us, this shouldn’t stop you from sharing your experiences and thoughts and, more importantly, you shouldn’t feel selfish if you don’t talk or write about them.

  • …just…thank you for the ESCAPE from all the shitstorm that is real life!

  • Donny in MUC

    I’ve never been one to read blogs of any kind, but recently moved to Munich as an expat and googled “best restaurants in Munich” and your post about restaurants in Munich came up. If I’m being honest….I haven’t been to any of the restaurants you mentioned (not because I don’t think they will be good…I PROMISE….but life just sort of got busy and I haven’t made it yet…haha). However, I enjoyed reading that blog so much that I’ve become somewhat addicted to reading your blog. No I’m no stalker haha. While, I understand what you’re saying about writing a travel blog being potentially petty, etc, I think you’re missing the grander side of what you do in your blog. You make people smile. On bad days at work, I can always go to your blog and at least smile for a few minutes, because your sense of humor definitely fits with mine. On your more serious blogs, you educate people. For example, when you talked about apartheid in South Africa, I learned so much (granted…you acknowledged that half of it may have been inaccurate…but damnit I believed you and told several friends what I’d learned! :-p). Finally, as an expat living abroad, I need people like you to write and give your perspective on various places to go. Your blogs about your travels in Europe have been very helpful to me. Of course, I highly doubt that I’ll ever be able to afford (and even if I could…I probably wouldn’t be able to convice myself to do so because I’m an to go to Hayman Island and hire a plane to go snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef, but I absolutely LOVE reading about it. You’ve got a fan here, and I’m looking forward to reading more of your blogs! Take care!!

  • Daniela

    Even if you only blog about happy things doesn’t mean you’re not aware of/informed of/helping out in causes regarding the sad things in the world. You have no responsibility or duty or “shoulds” to anyone to include that stuff unless you want to, for yourself and your own interests – there’s no need to fall prey to judgements of “how much you care” based on only the snippets of your mind people see through your blog posts, because for the people who are inclined to judge…nothing will ever be enough! πŸ™‚

  • Steph

    I, like so many, read your blog every day – if anything, if helps me escape from the scary realities. Makes me laugh, shows me places I want to visit, and I appreciate you share your life and honesty with us! Ignore the haters – your blog is amazingly wonderful!

  • Kim

    I’m guessing this will probably just get lost in among millions of other comments but for what it’s worth I love your blog and I love your writing. I’m not one of these people obsessed with travel but it’s your style of writing and tone of voice that make me subscribe to your blog. I’m an SEO by trade and enjoy taking a few minutes out of my day to read your latest post because even if I’m not particularly interested in the place you’re writing about I know I’m either going to have a little chuckle (usually at one of your rambling intros) or I’m going to learn something humbling (like some of your South Africa posts). Crap is always going to happen and when you write about serious things that are happening (or have happened) I think you get it spot on. That said, please don’t stop writing about what you do and they way in which you do it, especially not because of one or two stupid comments.

  • Wayne Gillespie

    I recently read the following saying “smile at life and it will smile back at you”, you allow us to smile despite the chaos and strife in the world. I am also reminded of the lyrics from U2’s Beautiful Day “after the flood all the colours came out”…the world will always be in a state of upheaval and renewal…no one can change that, but some (you) can make it much more bearable.

  • Kelsi

    Don’t Stop!!!! Don’t Alter!!!!! My husband and I both agree that traveling makes the world a much less scary place because travelers realize that the human race is ultimately united by its very humanity. We want our children to travel a lot, to gain compassion and perspective and culture. Your blog lets us into places we may not yet be privileged to go. Your blog makes the world less scary by providing a window to its beauty.

  • If you are privileged and you know it, what’s the problem? On the other hand there are people who are privileged and take it for granted.
    I guess when you’ll feel the need to write about something bad that’s going on around the world, you will just do it. You alredy did that with the troubles in Ireland (ok that’s about bad things in the past). I think that will not even be off topic in your blog, for what it matters.
    Ok, enough with cheap wisdom! πŸ™‚

    • Everywhereist

      Is it bad that I’m now singing “If you’re privileged and you know it, clap your hands?”

      Phrasing aside, I do think that it’s good to remind ourselves of how lucky we are. Thanks for that.

  • tonia

    My advice: Follow your heart. Don’t listen to the lovers or the haters. If you feel that you should be doing more to improve the world around you, do it – either through your writing or volunteer work, etc. Don’t stop writing because you feel it’s ‘selfish’ to write about travel while there is so much tragedy in the world. If we all stopped doing things we loved because of the tragedies happening around us, that would be the true tragedy.

    That said, I love this blog. I’d be sad if you stopped writing. I’d be more sad if I knew that you were only writing because you felt you had no choice but to write to keep us all happy.

    • Everywhereist

      This is really sound advice, Tonia. I promise: I won’t write just to make other people happy. I’ll do it because I want to. But it is really rewarding to know it might make people happy, too. πŸ™‚

  • Meg B

    I have the choice to follow my newsfeed to stories of death and destruction. I can read about heartbreak and disasters and the struggling economy all day. Instead I choose to read your blog, and Buzzfeed and look at pictures of corgis on skateboards. Yes, I know bad things are happening. And my heart goes out to all affected by the bad things. But I can’t dwell on the bad or I won’t be able to get out of bed in the mornings. I will become overwhelmed with sadness and weltschmerz.

    You keep doing what makes you happy. You are an intelligent woman with a good head on her shoulders (minus a tiny chunk of brain named Steve) who writes well, thought out posts about the serious and the funny. You are lucky you get to travel and I am lucky I get to read about it.

    And if you choose not to blog anymore I may drown my sorrows in cake and hope you publish a travel book. But, I will get over it. Cake does that. So do pictures of corgis on skateboards.

  • Jim

    A day late but not too late, I hope. I totally agree with your other readers above. I’ve been reading your blog since “a tumor named Steve”. Of course, I then went into the Archives to find out more about you and Rand. Everyday I smile because of you. Nearly everyday, I laugh out loud. Some days, I weep. And always I send you and Rand my very best. I don’t know you and likely never will, but I love you both. Just because of what you write and the way you express it. Please don’t stop.

  • Anisa

    I don’t know what to say that everybody else hasn’t already said. I will keep reading your blog as long as you keep writing it. I look forward to reading it every morning when I get to work. Sometimes I am disappointed, because when I pull up your site, the newest post isn’t there yet because you are on the west coast and 3 hours behind! I enjoy your humor and reading about all your travels and your love for Rand. I love your writing, and you say all the things I wish I could say to people. I hope you decide to keep on blogging. It would be a much sadder world without your musings and your wonderful sense of humor.

  • tina

    While travelling for business earlier this year, I had the opportunity to do some sight-seeing but would be going solo. I hesitated when thinking about going out solo but then thought about you and screwed up the courage to go out and do it. I visited Copa Cabana, saw Christ the Redeemer, and took some really crappy but wonderful iPhone pics. It was a great afternoon and I’ll always remember it. Long story short – keep writing. Your funny stories make me laugh and encourage everyone to enjoy the life they live. And before heading out, I did check to see if you’d visited rio and posted any reviews or had any tips. I didn’t find one, but did get a chuckle of the pics Rand took on his visit to Brazil.

  • I don’t know what I would do with myself if you stopped blogging. I keep up with my blogs at work and for some reason (probably due to my company blocking some website) I can never see your pictures. So I will actually pull up every single blog post, read through it while following along on my phone so I can see the pictures with the words. I would never go through that much effort for a blog that didn’t make me so incredibly happy. I adore you, Rand and this blog.

  • Jen

    All these thoughtful, eloquent comments from obviously interested and informed readers should be a testament to the benefits of your blogging. Where else can you read comments and not see harsh, sometimes ignorant banter in response to a thought-provoking piece? Your readership seems to consist of people much like you – we love funny, but we also appreciate perspective, and truth. You bring all of this to the table in your writing – without a combination of these, I’m certain your blog wouldn’t be as popular. Know that your blog is more than just a collection of silly musings. Your zest for life, love, travel, learning, food are inspiring.

  • Lia

    Keep blogging about your travels. Wear blinkers and ignore the haters. Travel blogs are my escape from the misery, the mundane and the drab things in life. We are surrounded by bad things day in day out and travel blogs are like jewels in the black night sky, teaching us that there is a bigger picture and that life is beautiful. Your haters have lost sight of the bigger picture and the beauty of life. That’s why they want to take you out. Pity them and keep blogging.

  • Elise

    Hi Geraldine,

    I stumbled upon your blog by accident one day and have not looked back since! Not only do you fill a quiet work day with your hilarious / informative and random blog posts (sometimes a mixture of all three) but you give views to the world that some people can only dream about. I don’t think this is selfish – I think it’s important to share!
    I never would have learnt so much about Irish history (to discuss with Irish friends) if it wasn’t for you.
    I know you’ve said you’re not going to stop blogging (thank goodness) and I don’t mind if you change it up. But just to confirm you have a lot of loyal readers who love hearing your stories.

    P.S. I’m from Australia (Melbourne) and I’ve been loving your recent posts about the Whitsundays, can’t wait for Sydney.

    • Sarah

      Yay for Melbourne!! Elise, I’m sure you’ll agree that next time Geraldine & Rand visit Australia, they MUST come to Melbourne, as we kick Sydney butt πŸ™‚

  • Tracy

    You were the first person to explain the Troubles to me in a way that made sense. And your blog makes me laugh and reminds me to not take stuff too seriously. Because even though the world can be kind of crappy at times, it’s also really funny. And beautiful. So blog on please πŸ™‚

  • Great post! I don’t think it is selfish at all. You should be able to write about whtever you want. But if there is a topic that is not travel related, but it interests you there is nothing stopping you from writing about that too. I love travel blogs that write about what’s really happening in a country and that portrait people. I think it is important to raise awareness of what’s happening in a country away from the tourist path. But that’s only my opinion, which has probably something to do with the fact that I am an aid worker, so I am naturaly interested in these kind of topics.

  • No, it’s not selfish. I started reading your blog about a year and a half ago and it had an amazing effect on me. I actually went through your archives to read all of the old posts because I was, and am, truly captivated by your writing. I even wanted to learn more about SEO so I started reading Rand’s blog and learned a lot there. I’m not a geeky (compliment), tech person but I have still learned a lot from him. I do appreciate the dilemma you feel that you have. One of the biggest appeals for me when I read your posts is your candid, often raw honesty. Perhaps you can find an additional outlet or maybe take us through this transitional writing time with you. I have so much improvement to do with my own writing but I’ve definitely taken on the role of a sponge to learn a lot from you. I mean that. Lastly, you and Rand remind me of my favorite, classic tv shows that I would watch (i.e. Cheers, Seinfeld, All In The Family, The Andy Griffith Show, insert your own) and completely escape. And that like those shows, with your blog, I get to tune out my world for the duration of your post that day. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  • I love your blog! I found your via Twitter and #braintumorthursday I think….I read your posts as often as I can and I love your writing/adventures. πŸ™‚

    PS, what’s “Holy cats” mean? My trainer used to say that too….

  • Petra

    Geraldine, don’t worry about all those negative commenters and comments. You bring such a joy into all our lives. Everytime I am not in a good mood I check your blog if you have got a new story to tell and you can make me smile then. Of course I read you blog, too, when I am in a perfect mood πŸ™‚ So, just go on like you did until now. That’s just perfect!!!

  • People are quick to judge others. Let them be and pursue what you want to express! I am (genetically) from a country, where lots if sh*t happens (BBC once wrote, that in Pakistan any thing that can go wrong, will go wrong!), but should I stop living my life, expressing myself? Will it serve anyone? Continue doing, what you are convinced is your priority!

  • I know… I’m late for the party, but your blessing (that you have worked to earn) is that you have an audience… and for a reason. You are a good read. Yeah, yeah, there is bad stuff in the world and there must always a balance or that damn scale tips us all out.

    Anyone can be a detractor… takes no talent whatsoever. The best pissers and moaners wind up with a show on cable where everyone like them plays into their hands. What the world needs now (Hmmm… sounds like a good song title) is more of you… and me and every positive thinker with a little humor, common sense and realization that there will always be some who don’t like your style.

    One thought to make you feel better about what you do… as if that is for me to say… is find a moral on whenever one fits, say something positive no matter what and know that you are doing your part with your talent, opportunity and good fortune.

    You only have to make a difference to one person to do better than anyone who tries to tear you down… and your success rate is probably better than that.

    I blog in an exclusive world… there are only 80 million others, but I never leave a post without feeling I might have done some good, given someone a laugh, spread something interesting and pleased myself in a positive way. We all need that.

    Thanks. Oh, btw, I have a pimple named Ernie.

  • This post really speaks to a feeling that began growing last year when I was traveling in Borneo. Mostly what I write about is the durian fruit, and eating durian, and traveling to find more durian, when often the places I travel to for durian are beset with poverty, gruesome health issues, and government corruption. Faced with all that, even as much as I do enjoy writing about durian, it begins to seem rather pointless. Who can care about a tasty fruit when rainforests are being wiped out every day?

    I’ve decided to try to use my blog to help other causes too. I’m still working on how exactly I’m going to do this, other than trying to alert my readers to real issues when I come across them (like the Huge Dam project going on in Sarawak that is uprooting tribes people) and hopefully create a list of charities that I would like people to donate to. I’d appreciate any other ideas!

    It’s nice to know that I am not alone in wondering at my own selfishness and good fortune.

  • kokopuff

    You have totally made the big time when you have your own trolls. Blog on. It’s well written and entertaining. That should be enough for anyone.

  • Becky

    I don’t know how else to say what everyone else had said so eloquently. While you may be able to go on adventures that others only dream of, you take the time to learn about the people and the culture, showing you do care. Besides, you acknowledge what else is going on in the world through Friday links & tweets. Btw, I work in the SEO world and stumbled upon your blog through Rand, which I’ll have to thank him for later. There are several occasions where I’d rather read about travel adventures and cupcakes rather than link building. πŸ™‚ You write beautifully and clearly inspire many – keep it up!

  • A.Red

    Selfish? No way so much negativity and sadness in this world in my oppinon if I did not have this blog which I read at work while I see all the negative news my life would suck. Ok im a bit dramatic but I love the joy your blog brings to me everyday. And this is the only blog I read.

  • KJ Traynor

    I read your blog precisely BECAUSE it is fun and light, because it’s the opposite of CNN. It reminds me that, amid the sad, ugly, and cruel of this world, the planet is still a beautiful place full of kind people, sea turtles and kittens, brothers and mothers, cupcakes and high tea, love and laughter, and tons of opportunties for funny photos.
    Please don’t let one hater disturb your confidence. Some people just don’t get it. And that’s OK.
    Write on! And thanks for sharing so much of your adventures with us!

  • sarah

    I think you and Rand are brave to be so transparent online. I’m not sure why some people are so hateful, and I can only imagine how hurtful those comments would be, but (for what it’s worth) I think there are way more readers who adore both of you and love what you are writing and expressing. And I don’t think it’s selfish to blog about travel during tough times. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can’t be heartbroken over the world every second of the day – it would be too exhausting. We all need times to smile and laugh and remember that there is good in the world. Even if it’s posting pics of crazy birds eyeballing your food from the sun umbrella above (that pic still makes me laugh out loud!). It’s a gift and I greatly appreciate it!!

  • Laura

    Geraldine, I look forward to reading your blog! I am so hapy when I see a new post from the Everywherist in my Google Reader (I am still bitter this is going away!). I love your writing, your humour and how honest you are. I think you and Rand are probably a lot more conscious of the world around you than many others, as a result of your travels. Seeing how others live around the world makes you appreciate what you have at home, and also understand and better tolerate other cultures, no matter how different or similar. Ditto what Sarah said above about how we can’t think about what a mess the world seems to be all the time. Your blog makes my day, makes me curious and want to visit the places you go, miss the places I’ve been. Also, as a New Zealander, it makes me want to visit the U.S.! Very glad to hear you aren’t going to stop. I think being real online is brave and responsible. So! Glad you’ve had so much positive support. Thanks for a great read.

  • eo

    Dear Everywherist,

    You are hands-down, the most awesome cupcake eater that I’ve encountered online(through your blog.) I think it’s time I write a ‘thank you’ comment. I have been reading your blog for over a year and your posts never fail to lighten my mood. I stumbled upon your blog one fine day while googling for blogs to read. So far, yours has been the best overall blog that I’ve read. I was 15 when I started reading your blog and it did not take me long to give it its own little space up on my ‘Bookmarks Bar’.

    I was going through a rough time in life and was beginning to lose my sense of purpose. I had just recently uprooted my life and moved to a new country with my mother and things were not going as planned. I spent my every day of my ‘new life’ surfing the net, watching movies to pass time, hoping that maybe tomorrow, I would be able to go back to school and make some friends and do the things that ‘normal’ teenagers did. I hated the situation I was in.

    After discovering your blog, my days were filled with more… uhm… ‘purpose’ or rather, more posts to look forward to (I read the archives on days that you didn’t blog when I was terribly bored.)

    I thank you so much for educating this human being with your well-written, well thought-out, humorous, educational posts. I can’t help but feel privileged to be able to read your and Rand’s documented adventures as you ‘journey into the future’. This is definitely a gazillion times better than reading any romance, adventure or mystery novel; plus, it’s non-fiction! πŸ™‚

    I’m slowly adjusting to my life now and am excited to report that I’ll finally be able to go to school in a few months! πŸ˜€

    I apologize for the lengthy background story but I feel quite overwhelmed to thank you for everything!

    Cheers to the future! πŸ™‚

    P/s: You should never have to feel sorry that you are traveling and blogging about your adventures while bad things are happening in this world. Bad stuff happens. It’s sad. It’s inevitable. You on the other hand, like it or not, have quite obviously made the world a better place. Thank you for that.

  • Divya

    If everyone in the world started harping on about how terrible the world is, the internet would soon degenerate into one miserable whirlpool of sadness. Your blog gives people an escape from real life, and hope about the future – whether it’s hope about what I will do on my next travels, hope about the love I will share with the man I marry one day or hope about the next cupcake I will eat. And the end of the day, your words are inspiring and hopeful and THAT is exactly what the world needs right now.

  • Karly

    Did you think you were going to get an answer in the affirmative when you asked the question in the title of this post? Of course everyone’s going to fawn all over you – that’s selfish. Do you deserve their praise? yes. but you should know better than to basically ask for it.

    • Everywhereist

      Hi Karly!

      Actually, as your comment proves, I often get a lot of people who have no trouble telling me what they think – they definitely aren’t trying to spare my feelings. So when I asked, it was sincere – and also because I was having a crisis of faith, and my husband called it. Anyone who does what I do, and is lucky enough to have the life that I have, would probably do the same. Obviously, I am overwhelmed and honored and truly touched by all the positive responses! (And for the record, quite a few traveler bloggers have told me that they’ve wondered the same thing about their own blogs!)

      I must say, though, I’m a little confused, as I don’t really understand how soliciting the public for their opinion amounts to selfishness. But I could understand how writing about one’s personal travels in the wake of a lot of disasters and devastation could be perceived as that.

  • Kim Sue

    There are so many great comments here that there’s not much to add, but I will add anyway. By sharing your life online your readers have become your friends. I’m one of those Facebook friends that you’ve never met. Friends do talk about problems in the world and problems in their lives. They also tell jokes, show vacation pictures, talk about family and food, and share cute kitten/puppy/kid stories. I enjoy my armchair traveling with you and if I ever get to Dublin I will look for the Little Museum. You and Rand are also adorable.

  • Anne

    With your blog, you are a source of comfort to a lot of people out there!
    Don’t forget that, to survive, laughing is as least as important as eating!

  • Kate

    I’m sure it’s been said already, but I’ll reinforce it. Keep writing. People who are reading your blog probably also watch the news and see that stuff already. Blogs like yours are what keep life fun and interesting. I’m a social teacher and part of my job is to be up to date on current events, but you know what? Sometimes I just don’t feel like it. It’s just too crappy to hear anymore. Sometimes, I just want to read a blog written by a woman I’m more than a little envious of and hear her complain about the price of food in Australia. Nothing wrong with that.

  • Been travelling myself, so it’s been awhile since I’ve visited your blog, which I love BECAUSE it makes me laugh, brightens my day, and reminds me to sharpen my own writing. I also don’t have the energy to blog lately (As another reader once said, “I want my blog to be like your blog when it grows up”). You come across as a truly lovely, witty person. Not selfish at all (I’m pretty sure we’d hit it off in real life) and as someone who is in a deliriously happy relationship herself, people are HATERS. Sometimes people hate for no reason at all. I had a guy come up to me in New York while happily holding hands and laughing with my guy and tell me how I shouldn’t wear this (admittedly form fitting) tennis dress because my belly was jiggling and I needed a girdle. I guess he wanted me to start crying, but was instead treated to a maelstrom of cursing (Guess who’s from New York too buddy! And guess who can curse and insult circles around you). That brain tumor comment is truly awful and people’s minds are sadly binary sometimes. You can have compassion for the world’s pain AND enjoy temporarily diving into you and Rand’s magical, interesting life. It doesn’t make you a selfish person, it makes you a real one. Rock on with your badass writing!

  • What an interesting, important post! I know I struggle with how to be true to all of it. Existence is so complicated! It’s often easier to pick “serious” or “funny” or “sad” or “playful” and just operate in one mode. But those who can bring it all together…well, they are my heroes!

  • hammo

    A blog is like a diary, and keeping a diary isn’t selfish. Love your work.

    Ignore the trolls, and writing about SA wasn’t selfish, was it?

  • Michelle

    Lots of other people have chimed in already and have said it better than I will, but I want you to hear it again, yes, you should keep blogging. It’s wonderful to read about your adventures and gives me something to aspire to, as well as having a mental escape from the day to day grind. You are awesome! Please, keep it up.

  • Geraldine and Rand hopefully only the two of you read this being the tail end of a post. Please read. I’m listening to Enya right now – Caribbean Blue. Risky comment as it’s just a life thanks to both of you but it may piss you off as I already commented but I’m attaching a link which I swore I would never do ever with either of you. I’m NOT, NOT trying to β€œearn” anything with either of you. It’s a life thanks. I’ve read each of your blogs and learned so much. I’m approaching 50 and my mother died last year and she told me, β€œMike, take a chance on getting slapped. Because you might get kissed.” If that is worth something then I hope I can give it to the world. It was life advice, not girl advice. So, I’m almost 50 years old and I am incredibly clumsy and shy with girls and I have an immense lack of self esteem. Yet I’m the best friend to a ton of gorgeous girls. But 10 years ago this dog, Phoenix, enters my life and did everything in his power to change that. So, some 18 months ago I came across your blog, Geraldine. I already commented before. Anyhoo, the two of you have made a life dream at least believable for a day. Yes, I used social media because I learned how to do that through the two of you. But, most of all I learned from you how to be raw and unafraid. I’m scared out of my life right now to click your β€œComment” button because you may block me. I’ve spent two hours typing this as to not upset the two of you. Here is what I accomplished because of the two of you. If I messed up posting this. Well, thanks Mom and Phoenix. We will go on to our next hurdle. Oh, you can look my mom up. Ginger DeBow, Stockton California. She did pretty good in her life. Anyhoo, here’s my post and thank you for making me a better writer:

  • Unfortunately in life there will always be people who are worse off than you and better off than you. Whether you write about your life and your choices will never change that.

    Writing open and honest is the best and most interesting way to write, and it has clearly earned you a number of loyal supporters/followers. It is also far braver and more honourable than the abuse and weak minded things people wrote about you.

    You chose to share facts and stories about your health. Many people would consider your situation shitty but you have risen above it. Many people will find strength in that and reflect from there personal situations.

    I’ve recently started travel blogging and am unsure to why I write, is it for me? Is it for my wife and I to form/aid memories? Is it to keep friends and family updated (even if 3 weeks behind)? Is it to give me a sense of purpose while not working? If it is personal, why am I sharing it with the world?

    However and why ever you write, don’t stop because some people don’t like it. For every person who doesn’t like it (they can stop reading), there’ll be 100 who do enjoy reading. Your writing provides a different viewpoint, perspective and light on whatever your subject is. Other peoples balanced opinions are important in expanding other peoples horizons. If we went through the world only considering our opinion, we’d all be stuffed.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Glory Gray

    Is a travelling blog too indulgent? I’d argue it’s the most important type of blog of all when it comes to ridding the world of the ignorance that separates us to begin with. Writing it with humour, as you do, gets the message across better than a lifetime of lectures. You’re spreading a message of tolerance and knowledge of people many of us will never meet. And that’s a good thing.

  • Michelle

    Love, love, love your blog! Don’t change a thing (unless you really want to), it’s wonderful to have something to make us smile, no matter what else is going on in the world. Thank you for all the smiles you’ve sent my way. πŸ™‚

  • Sarah

    Geraldine, you have a real gift that you bring to this world, so please do not doubt yourself.

    Your writing, your humour, your raw honesty – they are just some of the reasons your blog is so darn popular!

    For me, reading your blog is being able to escape reality and immerse myself in an adventure, experiencing amazing parts of the world without actually being there. It means being able to laugh and cry with you. It means being able to switch off from all the crap the world brings (tornadoes, factory collapses, riots, etc) and stopping to appreciate the roses (or cupcakes).

    So, thank you for sharing your gift with us – the world is a brighter place because of it.

  • HollyFromHomer

    Hello, it’s me. Still catching up. But though last week I was FOUR MONTHS behind in reading your blog, I caught up. When I first discovered your blog last year, I went back to the beginning. And I read every single post.

    From the looks of the comments above, you already know that you’re loved. Blogging is a scary thing, and once your readership is at a certain number you are bound to get a few haters. Just let them be. Sad as it is, you may eventually have to stop reading comments altogether.

    Just be you and keep on keepin’ on.

  • I somehow missed this post but thought I’d weigh-in a bit late anyway. You and your blog are awesome and naysayers shouldn’t be given too much thought. I’m always trying to drum up readers for my own travel blog but then when I read things like this I have to wonder – maybe it isn’t so bad that my main audience is just my mom and dad. Still though, you’re my favorite blogger and a total inspiration to tons of other bloggers and travelers alike. πŸ™‚

  • There’s always going to be bad stuff in the world and good stuff in the world. I’d rather read (and focus on) the good stuff. Keep shining bright!

  • Jenn

    I think it’s refreshing to read your blog as my own personal escape from my admittedly first-world problems.

    You’re doing a good thing here by sharing your adventures with wit and humor. Not all of us are able to travel the way you do, I’m totally ok with that, but it certainly is fun to read about!!

  • I had a similar “crisis of faith” as you put it when I found myself in central america surrounded by a bunch of backpackers successfully living a beverly hills lifestyle on a wallmart salary, completely oblivious to the fact that this was possible because the local minimum wage was so much lower than theres and living conditions are generally shit if you’re not a “gringo”
    Not only was tourism all of a sudden selfish in my eyes, but it was also destructive. A lot of twenty somethings are introducing drugs (a drug market and drug dependence) to areas so remote non of that nonsense ever existed before tourism hit.

    Needless to say it made me question why I was traveling and how I was perpetuating this nonsense.

    However, after some more soul searching I realized that tourism needs balance, if it’s going to be happening, and I’m not the one who is going to stop it, then maybe it needs travelers who are aware and responsible to suck it up and keep going as well as those oblivious to their wrongdoings.

    I find similarity in your situation. You’re aware of an issue, it doesn’t mean you need to quit what you’re doing, just put your motives into question and keep going to balance things out.

    Also, the world is a shitty place where a lot of shitty things happen and a lot of us like to wallow in that. But it’s also a wonderful place where beautiful things happen, and a lot less of those voices are heard.

    Keep it up lady. πŸ™‚

  • I totally understand where you’re coming from. I often have crises of confidence about my blog (which is far less widely read than yours, to be sure). But I think the fact that there are shitty things happening make blogs like yours important, for a number of reasons. Because those of us who are lucky enough to have fortunate lives should enjoy them and share them and always know how fortunate we are. I find that blogging helps me to see the positive in my life and experiences, because no one wants to read a bunch of Debbie Downer nonsense.

    As a reader, I need blogs about food and travel and design and shoes because I can’t read all Oklahoma-Istanbul-Bangladesh all the time. I need to balance the dark with the light, and your blog is exactly the kind of lightness that many people are looking for…and well-written to boot!

  • are we supposed to be responsible and feel guilty for every tragedy that happens in the world?? No, we should feel lucky and blessed for our fortunate situations… and share that with the world so people don’t slit their wrists in utter despair..!!!

  • Ah, I’ve been thinking the very same thing, Lovely to know I’m not the only one. And it’s great to see if from the other side. I love your writing and get a lot from it so no, it’s not a selfish thing to do at all. Thank you!

  • When you write I read, yes! From halfway across the world, here, in South Africa. I’ve followed all your trial and tribulations. Your grapple with cancer, forced me to research and write an ENTIRE …. BOOK–I’m not lying it’s titled Bleeding Shame– a WHOLE thriller about cancer, consequence and victory! Wow! How many people can do that???
    When you give yourself over to an audience your duty is to entertain and inspire… You, my dear, do it with aplomb!

More from The Blog

On Instagram @theeverywhereist

  • Take note: if you ask your husband if you can move to NYC roughly four dozen times, he will start to cave a little.
  • Incredible reading by the love of my life to a packed room at NeueHouse Madison Square. So proud of you, @randderuiter, and the amazing emcee work by @michaeliconking.
  • Re-posting this photo that @wilreynolds took of us and his youngest near the beach outside of Lisbon. We're back home now, and I can't decide what I miss more: this little guy and his brother, or Portugal. Actually, scratch that. I know.
  • This place looks like a damn fairy tale.
  • Lunch with a view of the water, and some of the best seafood of my life.
  • The entire drive from Sintra to Lisbon looks like this. It's just miles of blue sky and rocky beaches.
  • No filter. This is just what Sintra looks like.
  • This street artist does amazing collages of animals from hunks of discarded plastic he collects (part of an effort to raise awareness about some of the most vulnerable victims of pollution). They're all over Lisbon, but we managed to get a close up view of this one.
  • Thousand watt smile on the little dude, and I am done.
  • Those eyes though.

All Over The Place

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