Why am I so obsessed with cake? BECAUSE CAKE.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Is your sense of direction really as bad as you say it is?

Nope. It’s far worse.

Does anybody remember where I left my car?

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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Well, you must make some money from the site, right?

Nope. My site actually costs me money to maintain.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Gah. You are seriously lame. Can we talk about something else?

Absolutely.

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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.

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That’s not particularly helpful.

No, I guess it’s not. Perhaps you shouldn’t ask travel bloggers for relationship advice.

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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.

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So, you’re basically a travel blogger who’s unqualified to talk about travel? Seriously?

Yup.

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What are you qualified to talk about, then?

Rand, mostly. And cake.

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Fine. Tell me about those things.

Both are awesome. And essential to my happiness. That’s about it.

Full list of categories:  Site News » Somewhat Useful Info
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Comments (39)

  1. 1
    Nina says:

    Fairly new reader here, and I just wanted to say that I really, really appreciate you not taking freebies. I like to read travel blogs, and I hate it when they start off great, then get really popular, then devolve into one post after another about all of their sponsored trips that read like a bunch of ads. It gets really boring because you’re right, it’s really hard to say negative stuff after somebody has given you a bunch of stuff for free. Because of this I’ve unsubscribed to a lot of the travel blogs I used to read, and I was really happy to come across yours!

  2. 2
    Silencer says:

    This is probably the second-most funny FAQ I´ve ever read! Thanks for the good laugh! Besides, I find it very honorable that you´re not trying to make some pennies by selling ads. But perhaps you could think about a flattr-integration because, you know, sometimes when reading your blog I feel the urge to give you something in return to the great texts and wonderful moments you gave me.

    • 2.1
      Katamal says:

      So what we all want to know now is: what’s the most funny FAQ you’ve ever read?!

      • 2.1.1
        Silencer says:

        The funniest FAQ I´ve ever read is for a learning-management-system. While explaining the software, the internet and the universe it includes peppermint, cats and sassafras and other stuff you would´nt expect. But I must admit that there is a certain lack of cake :-)
        Unfortunately, it´s available in german only.

  3. 3
    Candice says:

    I want to be you.

  4. 4
    Jennie says:

    Here’s another crazy question: in the above photo of cupcakes, are those from Brown Betty in Philadelphia? Cause I went there this weekend and whoo boy, delicious. Though although I enjoyed my yellow cake one, I was slightly dissapointed in my sweet potato cake with spiced vanilla frosting. Was slightly too breakfast cakey (ie banana bread, zucchini bread, etc).

    • 4.1
      Everywhereist says:

      Good eye, lady! Yes. They were from Brown Betty. I didn’t have the sweet potato, but the regular cupcakes (and lemon variety) are my favorite in the world. Yup. THE WORLD.

  5. 5
    Jodi says:

    You are one of my favorite bloggers, or writers, or whatever, EVER. Granted I only subscribe to two blogs, but I’m picky, you know? And you are awesomeness.

    And if that was indeed a reference to They Might Be Giants in your “please review my blog” Q, then that just makes you like a zillion times cooler than you already were. Rock on chica.

    • 5.1
      Everywhereist says:

      Aw, thanks.

      I almost added the line, “Be like yourself.” to the end of that. I can’t believe you caught it.

  6. 6
    Sarah says:

    One of the best FAQ’s I’ve read.

    And now I want more cupcakes!

  7. 7
    Krista says:

    Great, great FAQ! When I get an email about sponsored guest post with buried link, I want to respond with a ridiculous rate card, 100% payable in advance.

    • 7.1
      Everywhereist says:

      Ooh – that’s a good idea.

      “Sure thing! That will be $5000, and I can unfollow all the links!”

  8. 8
    Philip says:

    We launched a subsidiary site at work a while back (totally abandoned now, thanks very much) but I fought for — and won — calling it Frequently Unasked Questions, partly because “FUQ” made me laugh and I hated the idea of launching a site with FAQ when nobody ever had asked us any questions ever because the site didn’t exist prior. Words have meaning and I believe in those meanings even if nobody else does. Oh, except for “impactfulness.” I heard that a couple days ago in a meeting. That word doesn’t mean shit.

  9. 9
    Jacko says:

    Cake.

    Is this the only english word that is both a noun and a verb and a stated desire?

    I understand where you’re coming from on the guests posts there are plenty of websites out there people come to this one to see what YOU have to say.

    what you say is…

  10. 10
    ehalvey says:

    I think we were separated at birth.

    Sarcasm, cake, acting like broken blenders when enraged… I totally relate to a.) barely traveling compared to other travel people b.) not winning at freelancing and c.) being unemployed and not making money as a blogger.

    This? This is awesome.

  11. 11
    Melanie says:

    @ Candice – you can’t be Geraldine, I already nabbed that gig!

  12. 12
    ilse says:

    You and Rand make me believe in marriage. And cupcakes.

  13. 13
    kate says:

    Aw, will you stop already? You keep writing really awesome, funny stuff and it puts me off writing my own (fairly vapid) blog. Also you make me want to eat cakes – so maybe I should just go and do that.
    Ignore the ‘stop’ message at the top of this comment. Don’t. Stop, that is – your blog is fab.
    (Do people still say ‘fab’?)
    Off to find cake…

  14. 14
    weezafish says:

    Love your site, for travel and for cake. Maybe more so the cake, that’s okay though huh? Great news on ‘Steve’ the tumour BTW, I’ve been offline in a while and I’d missed the latest.

  15. 15
    Johan says:

    This was great!! Blunt and funny! I could not stop myself from laughing when I read the, “don’t call me Shirley,” response, which is hard not to since I have three roommates that were asleep xD

  16. 16
    KLH says:

    The only blog I read, despite the love of my life suggesting I read others and branch out. Why? There are pictures of delicious cupcakes, places to travel, a cute (not nauseating) couple in love, and a quote from my favorite movie “Airplane”. It can’t possibly get better than that….

  17. 17
    Michal says:

    even though you say you haven’t been to very many places, I’m using your blog in my trip to Barcelona next week! (especially the post about “Bubo Chocolatier and Dessert Shop”:)).
    BTW – when are you coming to Israel? we got cupcakes too!!!

  18. 18
    Tara says:

    This is hysterical. You’re awesome!

  19. 19
    María José Elizalde says:

    Great post! I just wanted you to know that I love your blog. I started reading it a few months ago and it really cheers me up. I live in Quito, Ecuador (I don´t think you have been here yet!) and I really love cupcakes too. They don´t sell them in bakeries here :( You have to either bake them yourself (I am not a baker) or order them online or by phone for special occasions. Can´t wait for my daughter´s birthday party to order some.

  20. 20
    Hemangi says:

    Hahaha! My awhs get redundant after a point while reading your posts.. :)

  21. 21
    Lindsay says:

    I freaking love your blog and sincerely appreciate your humor!!!

  22. 22
    Tara says:

    What I love most about your site is that you are a travel writer who doesn’t travel as much as other travel writers! Those other travel writers are awesome and yay for them for quitting their jobs and roaming the world. But no matter how much I love travel, I also love the stability of a bi-weekly check from my place of employment (which also gives great benefits by the way!). So, keep the “travel-lite” stuff coming, you crack me up!

  23. 23
    Jacqueline says:

    New follower/reader! You are HILARIOUS! The end! ;)

  24. 24
    Erin Walton says:

    That was awesomeness incarnate. I would have laughed out loud, except that I was reading it in a room filled with very serious people. (Actually, that means I should have laughed out VERY loud to knock ‘em out of their working stupor.)

    Thanks for the fabulous witty madness…looking forward to more!

  25. 25
    Karin says:

    Thanks for making me laugh hard. Now I’m going to eat some cake!

  26. 26
    Ling says:

    hahhahahahahhhha.. Best travel blogger Q/A ever!

  27. 27
    boo21smom says:

    “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).” What IS the matter with your husband and my daughter who is paying off her $120K post-graduate student loans instead of filing for bankruptcy? Sheesh! Two people who take their financial responsibilities seriously! What’s this world coming to?

  28. 28
    Jessie says:

    Woop! So excited to have recently found you, will be back for more. Hooray for husbands with health insurance and who make it possible to travel/write/blog/embarrass-them!!

  29. 29
    Emma says:

    Oh my god, oh my god! I feel like I just stumbled into my own kind of fairy tale world where a travel blog has as much personality as an actual… well… person! I’m so happy to have found your site. I began a site this year (blah blah new to blogging blah blah) and after lots of writing blocks, negative feedback from close friends (I mean sista-hood close) and lots of candy and wine… I’m so GLAD to see this.

    Amazing work! Amazing site! Thank you for existing.

    Cheers,
    Emma

  30. 30
    Nhan says:

    You are hilarious, I love the way you write, I literally laughed out loud throughout this whole page!

  31. 31
    Danika says:

    Your husband is Rand! I have heard him speak numerous times, specifically at Hubspot conferences. He’s great! I was reading this page and clicked on one of your links and boom there was MOZ.

    My husband and I left SF to travel around the world for 1-2 years (we are a week in), no we arent wealthy, yes we have insurance and I am in the process of starting a travel blog too…I need to keep myself busy because lets face it… 24 hours a day with the same person can get tiresome…eek and it’s only a week in :)

    I look forward to reading more!

  32. 32

    I love that you are so unabashedly in love with your husband. I’m of the era where a woman is supposed to be super independent and aloof a la “The Rules”. It’s refreshing to hear a different view!

    Kia, Atlas and Boots

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