FAQ pages have always bothered me. They seem kind of lazy. Like, if someone goes through the trouble of sending you an email and asking you a question, the least you could do would be to answer them in kind, right?
That was before I started getting emails.
Holy cats. I can’t actually believe it, but after reading the unhinged and potentially litigious drivel on this site, people want to know more. They ask questions. Some of those questions are asked frequently.
And suddenly, just like that, FAQ pages made sense to me. I suppose they still are kind of lazy, though.
But you know what? I’m kind of lazy. So without further ado, here are some of the questions that I am frequently asked. Along with some answers, too.
(Warning: remember that scene in Lord of The Rings trilogy where Gollum starts fighting with himself? It gets kind of like that in the end.)
How can I purchase advertising space on your site?
You must take part in an ancient ritual that involves you stripping naked and tango-dancing with an ill-tempered badger under a full moon (preferably during the autumnal equinox). Photographic evidence is required.
Naw, I’m just kidding. I don’t sell ad space.
Do you accept freebies? (Sponsored trips, free promotional items, giveaways, etc.)
Nope. Taking free stuff makes me feel kinda weird (What if I hate it? How can you write something negative about something that was free? That’s just … rude). So I just avoid them all together lest I have a neurotic meltdown of Woody Allen-esque proportions.
Hello! I am interested in writing a high-quality guest post for your site! All I require is two contextual links placed within the post.
You know that song from the sixties that starts with “No-no no no no no no-no-no no?” That is now playing in my head. Because no.
I’m thinking of starting my own blog. Do you have any tips for beginners?
You can find my top tips for beginning bloggers right here. I cover mostly stylistic issues. If you need technical advice, I suggest you take a look at my husband’s post about how to set up a blog. And my friend Adam Costa also has an entire site dedicated to starting your own travel blog.
Can you please link to/review my blog and tell me what you think of it?
Sadly, no. I get a lot of requests like this, and I can’t honor them all. I’m sure your blog is awesome – you don’t need me telling you that it is. Just be you. Be what you’re like.
As far as my blogroll goes, I don’t link to very many people. And those who I do link to tend to be very close friends of mine. I hope you understand.
What kind of camera do you use?
I find it weird that people actually want to know this. Perhaps they want to take-poorly composed, out-of-focus photos for themselves. And let’s be honest: you can do that with any old camera. But I mostly use a Canon Digital Rebel XSi with the one lens that came with it. Or sometimes I just use my camera phone.
Who designed your site?
My site is a custom WordPress plug-in designed by Kimberly Coles. She is incredibly talented and fun to work with.
Is your sense of direction really as bad as you say it is?
Nope. It’s far worse.
What’s all this stuff about brain tumors?
In June of 2012, I had an MRI because I was getting terrible headaches. Turns out I had a 1-centimeter-long tumor on my hypothalamus, extending into my ventricle (weirdly, the docs say that my headaches were unrelated to the tumor. It was just a happy accident). Because of its location, they wouldn’t be able to remove all of the tumor with surgery. The docs biopsied it (removing about two-thirds of it) and found that it was a very slow-growing type of tumor, and it likely won’t give me any problems from here on out. But if it does, it can be treated with radiation. In the meantime, I’m just fine. (And if you want to read about a guy who’s really combating scary brain stuff with tons of humor, check out Chad’s blog.)
I am considering quitting my job in order to travel the world. Is there anything I should know beforehand?
Just this: don’t quit your job. No, seriously. Unless you are independently wealthy or have some sort of trust fund, it is incredibly difficult and costly to travel around the world without health insurance or a steady income.
Wait, isn’t that hypocritical? Didn’t you quit your job to travel the world?
Nope. I was laid-off. It sucked. I am lucky enough to have health insurance through my husband, and since most of our trips are business trips for him, we simply have to pay for my airplane ticket. If it wasn’t for him, there’s no way I could travel.
Well, you must make some money from the site, right?
Nope. My site actually costs me money to maintain.
But let’s say you did have ads. Surely you’d have enough money to live on?
No. And don’t call me Shirley.
Here’s the blunt truth: there is very little money in the sort of blogging I do. But if you do want to try your hand at monetizing a blog, my hubby says to check out Skyscrpr.
Crap. But Rand gets to travel a lot for work, right? So what does he do for a living? Is that a career path that would be worth pursuing?
Rand works at a tech-company that he co-founded. He accumulated about $500k in debt over the course of a few years trying to get his startup off the ground (and instead of filing for bankruptcy, he paid it back). He now works about 80-hour weeks, and travels around the world speaking at events or meeting with people in his industry. He doesn’t sleep, he forgets to eat, and even as I type this, he’s on his way to the airport to go to a foreign country for less than 24-hours before turning back around and coming home.
It doesn’t sound like you’d recommend his career path.
No, I don’t think I would. But it makes him happy, and that makes me happy.
Can you at least give me some advice on freelancing?
Sure! For me, freelancing sucked. I worked the same hours that I did when I had an office job, for less money and zero benefits. Plus, I was constantly trying to line up more work for when my current gig came to an end. It’s stressful and not very secure work. Those who make a living doing it are far more disciplined and talented than I could ever hope to be.
Gah. You are seriously lame. Can we talk about something else?
Can you give me some tips on my love life?
Yup! Marry the love of your life and everything will turn out fine. That’s what I did.
That’s not particularly helpful.
No, I guess it’s not. Perhaps you shouldn’t ask travel bloggers for relationship advice.
Okay, fine, jerk. I’ll ask you for travel advice. What’s the best thing to see in __________?
If you are looking for information about a specific city, do a search on the blog. If I haven’t blogged about it, I probably haven’t been there. And truth be told, I haven’t been to very many places compared to other travel writers out there. If you can’t find the information you are looking for on my blog, I suggest checking out Nomadic Matt’s site or Everything Everywhere (run by my pal Gary). They’re much more knowledgeable about travel and backpacking than I am.
So, you’re basically a travel blogger who’s unqualified to talk about travel? Seriously?
What are you qualified to talk about, then?
Rand, mostly. And cake.
Fine. Tell me about those things.
Both are awesome. And essential to my happiness. That’s about it.