Chances are that I’m sound asleep as you read this post, no matter what time of the day it may happen to be. I’ve been up all night working on the upload of my new site design, right on the heels of a painfully long 45-hour journey from Singapore to Cancun.
So, if you could try your best to keep your screams of excitement to a minimum (you are excited about the new site, right?), it would be much appreciated so that I can catch up on my much needed rest.
With that said, there is no denying that today is a swell day. As should be quite obvious by this point, it is the day that I introduce to you my new website design.
My wonderful readers, this is my new website design. New website design, these are my wonderful readers.
I have a feeling that you’re all going to get along remarkably well!
A MIGHTY THANK YOU
When I finally decided to replace my original design, which I had created myself despite having no knowledge of how to do so (I know, it showed), I chose Ali Dark of DigitalEmpowerment.com.au for the job. So first off, I’d like to offer Ali my sincerest thanks for all of your hard work and patience over the past few months. I’m quite certain that I was as frustrating a client as there ever was given the fact that I would disappear to places such as Iraq on a moment’s notice and leave you with questions unanswered for extended periods of time. But you’re free of me now (and probably celebrating that fact as I write).
Seriously, though, thank you Ali!
(Ali specializes in fully customized WordPress themes so if you’re looking to re-invent your own site, I can fully recommend his services. He also informed me this morning that he’ll be offering a variety of special deals to any reader of this site who contacts him. He can be reached through DigitalEmpowerment.com.au.)
THE FEATURES OF WANDERINGEARL.COM
A few new widgets here, a few new widgets there, a splash of color, a new header, better navigation and VOILA… we have a new site design! But what does this fresh design really offer visitors?
The main focus was on creating a site that visitors could interact with and benefit from more easily, which is the reason for the content-packed Home Page. There’s also a handful of useful features that my old site just didn’t have, such as:
“Live a Life of Travel” Resources – This is the nifty page where you’ll find some of the most essential guides and resources designed to help anyone live a life of travel. Whether you’re interested in a one-year trip or a decade of non-stop adventure, look no further. (These resources are either written by yours truly or by other long-term world travelers such as Anil from FoxNomad.com and Dave from TravelBlogSuccess.)
“Where I’ve Been Map” – The addition of this map on the Home Page is so that you can easily see where I’ve been in the world in case you have any questions or need any travel advice. As those who have emailed me in the past already know, I’m more than happy to answer any questions you may have about virtually anything!
“Video Widget” – As I plan on adding a regular video series to this blog, Ali included a new video widget in the sidebar in order to highlight these video posts. The new series will start in April!
“Categories” – Yes, a clear, organized list of post Categories is something I should have added a long time ago. At least I have one now (in the footer) and I think this addition alone will make navigating through this site significantly easier from now on.
What else? Well, there’s much more, but there’s really no sense in me writing about it all here when it’s all just a click away In addition, what you see now is not the end. There are more new features on the way over the coming months as I start to become a little more serious about my blogging.
MORE SERIOUS ABOUT BLOGGING?
That’s right. I must admit that a major reason for launching this new site design, apart from my need to get rid of the slow-loading, user un-friendly, poorly designed previous version, was to re-inspire me to focus on this blog.
While blogging may seem quite easy, let me state that for anyone who is constantly traveling, it ain’t easy at all. In fact, it’s beyond difficult. I simply don’t have the luxury of sitting down in a comfortable chair at a well-positioned desk each day to write posts, read other blogs or stay active with social media.
For the past 4096 days, I’ve been ‘on the road’ and living out of my backpack, and such a nomadic lifestyle, especially if one wants to extract as much education and opportunity from their adventures as possible, is an exhausting full-time job. (*By ‘on the road’, I mean living, traveling, volunteering or working away from my home country).
Combine this full-time job with the 30+ hours per week I spend working on internet projects that actually earn me money and that adds up to 2 full-time jobs. Throw in the need for constant travel planning – accommodation, flights and other transportation, visas and more – and sometimes it feels as if I have 3 full-time jobs. As you can see, this leaves very little time for me to concentrate on my blog (which requires a nearly full-time effort as well) especially if I want to see anything beyond my hotel room or a cafe with free Wi-Fi in the countries I visit.
Somehow, I’ve managed to squeeze by so far, to work, travel and blog at the same time over the past 16 months. However, I’ve now realized – and I’m sure any long-term traveler and nomad will agree – such an intense pace is impossible to maintain for very long.
Anyway, the point is, I needed a change. And that is what this new site design represents. From now on, there’s going to be a shift in the way I spend my time. I am indeed going to concentrate more on this blog while spending less time on my other projects. Sure, it’s somewhat of a gamble to put less energy into the things that actually earn me money but I believe wholeheartedly in this blog and my nomadic lifestyle more than ever these days.
I want this site to continue growing so that my 11+ years of global wandering can help convince even more people that a life of extended travel is not some crazy fantasy, but a very real lifestyle option instead. I want you to receive a sudden burst of motivation and confidence in your ability to live a unique life according to your own terms every time you visit this site. And the only way for me to ensure this happens is for me to re-prioritize and focus on what is most important to me (yes, this blog).
So, once again, new website design, I introduce you to my wonderful readers. Wonderful readers, please welcome my new website design.
I invite you to have a look around. The Home Page is the perfect place to start! And at this point, feel free to scream out with joy as loud as you wish. I don’t think anything can wake me up today.