From the BlogSubscribe Now

Last updated by at .

Our 3rd Blogiversary – in 3 Takes

The date of my 3rd blogiversary hit me by surprise this year. (Honestly, I’d totally forgotten about it!) I was doing a little site maintenance last week and noticed the date of my first post – November 29th. Right away, I knew what I wanted to do – show some of my favorite photos of the last three years but there was no way to weed through more than 2,500 images in two days and decide which ones to use.

I registered my blog about 3 years before I started blogging. Even though I was traveling, I couldn’t seem to get the writing part going. That is, until two of my friends and I made it to southern Africa. Three weeks in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Lesotho and I returned with so many wonderful and memorable experiences, I could hear myself telling the same stories over and over. I needed a medium that would allow me to share my stories and photos – my usual travel journal wouldn’t do. Then I remembered the blog I registered and never used.

Shortly after I returned home, I looked up my blog, downloaded my photos – almost 1000 images – and began writing. Surprisingly, the words flowed and even more surprisingly, they haven’t stopped.

My blog and I have grown considerably since those first tentative moments three years ago. I’ve met and befriended readers and bloggers and can proudly say there’s no group more supportive. It is because of you that this 3rd blogiversary is possible.

In Take One, I’ll go back to where it started – that trip to southern Africa. We visited Johannesburg, Durban, Cape Town, Victoria Falls and Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, and Sani Pass, Lesotho.

If you can only visit two continents in your lifetime, visit Africa. TWICE! – R. Elliott

3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes

Entrance to Victoria Falls

3rd Blogiversary, Vic Falls

Victoria Falls Rainbow

3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes

Victoria Falls

Lunchtime at Makalolo Plains

Lunchtime at Makalolo Plains, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

3rd Blogiversity in 3 Takes

Lone bull elephant at Mbisa, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe

3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes

Mandela House, Soweto

3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes

Iconic Soweto Watertowers

Looking down, Table Mountain

View from Table Mountain, Cape Town

3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes

Table Mountain Tablecloth

3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes

Jackass Penguins at Boulders Beach, Cape Town

Vineyard in Stellenbosch, South Africa

Vineyard, Stellenbosch, Cape Town

3rd Blogiversry in 3 Takes

M’hudi Wines’ Oupa Rangaka

3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes

Durban trees

3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes

Sani Pass Hotel

3rd Blogiversary in 3 Takes

Durban Rickshaw

Morning on the Golden Mile, Durban

Morning on the Golden Mile, Durban

 Some of the people we met…

It’s been a while since I saw some of these photos so that made it even more difficult to decide what to include. But it was great looking back at the wonderful time we had.

I still keep in touch with several of the people we met in South Africa and Zimbabwe. The first time I visited Africa, a friend told me it would change my life. It took the second visit for it to happen.

Coming up tomorrow, Take 2: London, Paris, Toronto, and New York.

Linking up this week with Travel Photo Thursday, which Nancie at Budget Travelers Sandbox organizes. Be sure to head over and check out more photos from locations around the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking Back at Postaday2011

A year ago, I decided to take WordPress’ challenge to Postaday2011. I made the decision without even thinking about it. The next day, I wondered whether I could really hang in for the long haul and post every day, 365 days, for a year.

The first month or so was pretty easy. I had returned from a life altering two weeks of travel in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Lesotho and had what felt like an endless amount of information to share. As a matter of fact, that’s what motivated me to take my blogging more seriously.

After I finished reporting on that trip, I had no other travels scheduled. The challenge then became how to find new and interesting things to post about.

WordPress Annual Report for InsideJourneys

WordPress Annual Report for InsideJourneys

Since music and food are such big parts of my travel experience, I decided to feature a weekly food post that I called Tasty Thursdays and Soulful Sundays. I suspended Tasty Thursday and joined Budget Travelers Sandbox’s Travel Photo Thursday.

WordPress helped by suggesting topics I could write about. They also introduced the Weekly Photo Challenge, which gave me a chance to feature some of my photos. It also offered a ‘break’ from writing.

The one thing I’ve come to love about blogging is how fluid it can be. The people I started with have stopped or moved on to different things. I’ve joined different communities and met other bloggers, all fabulous people who share timely, fun, insightful posts. I hope you’ll stop by their blog and check them out. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

Budget Travelers Sandbox
Colorful Footsteps
European Travelista
Hakea
Hike Bike Travel
Mirth and MotivationTechnosyncratic
The Art of Slow Travel
Totsymae
To Write is To Write
Travelnwrite
Traveling with Sweeney

While I was posting every day, WordPress was keeping track. I was surprised to get an email from them with a review of 2011. Unfortunately, they had only my first 159 posts as by mid-year, I had switched to a self-hosted blog.

Here are a few of my most-read posts:

Travel Photo Thursday: Cuba’s Classic Cars
Travel Photo Thursday: Durban Rickshaw
Things I Love About Harlem, Part I
Manhattan to Spain via the Bronx
What, to an Immigrant, is the Fourth of July?
Harlem’s Backyard Gems
Questions to Answer As You Plan Your Trip

And some of my favorite photos:

[nggallery id=4]

For 2012, I’ve decided not to post everyday though I haven’t decided how frequently I will post. Not posting every day will give me time to travel and time to do other things, like read and comment on the blogs that I’ve subscribed.

I hope you will continue this journey with me in 2012.

We’re Celebrating!

Today, InsideJourneys, is celebrating its first anniversary. A year ago, I wrote my first post. Since then, I’ve written many more and most importantly, made several friends, who stop by everyday.

It’s been a fun year. Thanks for your support and encouragement. So pull up a chair and have a slice of this delicious cake. No, I didn’t bake this one but I can tell you it’s great.

InsideJourneys' Blogoversary

InsideJourneys' 1st Blogoversary

Staying Connected While on the Road

One of the issues we face as we travel from developed to developing world is matching the ‘always on’ level of connection we’ve come to expect and enjoy. It becomes particularly critical if you plan to be away for longer than a week and you’ve committed to post everyday.

Prior to leaving the US, I researched connectivity options available through the major providers in Jamaica – Digicel, Lime and Claro – and felt confident that the only difficulty I’d have is deciding which company to use.

Last Monday, I set out to get a new phone and SIM – I had misplaced my Jamaica SIM and the professional I paid in London to unlock my Nokia phone damaged it instead.  Getting the phone was the easy part.

When I told the sales person that I wanted to purchase a wireless modem, she asked where I lived. She might have seen the look on my face and quickly added that she had to check to see what service was like in my area. I was surprised. According to Digicel, their 4G service was available everywhere.

She tried the modem on their laptop and it fired up instantly. I’d learned from previous experience that getting anything done with a Mac in Jamaica was problematic so I had her try it on my laptop.

Just as I thought, the modem failed. She recommended another, which at about $100, was almost twice the one I wanted to buy.  I was ready to buy but they had none at her location.

We drove to the store she said would have it. When I got there, I decided to check with computer technician at a computer store what modem he’d recommend for the Mac. It wasn’t Digicel’s, the one I was trying to find, but Claro’s, the Mexican company that is reportedly eyeing Digicel for purchase.

Luckily for me, Claro was on the floor below but their Mac expert was out and the modem resupply had not yet arrived. It’d be here in about an hour, I was told.

View of the Caribbean Sea from the Montego Bay Convention Center

View of the Caribbean Sea from the Montego Bay Convention Center

Since I hadn’t eaten since breakfast and it was getting closer to 2 p.m., I decided lunch was my priority. After lunch, I called – the modem and technician were both there. But he was doubtful their modem would work properly in my location. The signal would most likely fade or drop entirely, he said, so he advised me not to buy.

I thanked him and made my way to the Digicel store. The modem was in stock. The sales person (and Mac expert) to whom I was directed was there. Again, the modem that was supposed to work with a Mac, didn’t. She tried three different devices and called their technicians to assist but no joy. I left the store near 5 p.m. — no modem and no way to get connected.

When I told my cousin, she said I should use her DSL service. I was able to hook my laptop up but the connection is so slow, it drops every few minutes.

So, unfortunately, I haven’t been able to be online long enough to keep up with all your posts. I do hope to get this sorted out soon as I do miss my ‘always on’ connection.

I guess the best part is that I’ve been reading more and getting to bed earlier!