My 7 Links: A Trip Through the Travel Blog Archives

by Ekua on July 14, 2011 in etcetera

I was tagged to dig through my old blog posts and partake in Tripbase’s My 7 Links by fellow travel bloggers, Phil Paoletta, Suneé le Roux, and Lola Akinmade Åkerström. Here goes:

» My most beautiful post: Falling for Mexico City on the Metro

Last year, the people of the über-metropolis of Mexico City surprised me with their genuineness and warmth. Once I figured out the word that bound my experiences there together, the rest of this post came to me in bursts of haphazard inspiration. This was one of my favorite posts to write and I was happy to share my experience of discovering hidden beauty in Mexico City, one of the most underrated cities in the world. I was back in Mexico City this summer and wondered if my positive experience was just a fluke, if I’d just gotten lucky. I discovered that it wasn’t, that people were every bit as welcoming and helpful as I remembered. I spent a longer time in the city this summer, and with my new experiences there, the awe for Mexico City that I felt when I wrote this post has been amplified.

» My most popular post: 7 Songs by Women to Empower You For Your Journey

This is by far the most unstoppable post on Girl, Unstoppable. Most travel music lists I come across reek of good ol’ boys club, whether it’s the people who write them or the songs they’ve chosen — classic rock, contemporary rock, a little country, very mainstream. I think this post resonates with women who want to be inspired by something different from the typical homogeneous travel music lists.

» My most controversial post: India’s Staring Culture

If you’ve read my About the Site page, you’ll know that I am fully dedicated to writing honestly about my travels. I mostly enjoy the places I visit so it’s not hard to be honest, but the more you travel, the more likely you are to come across a place you just don’t like. I’m not afraid to ruffle feathers from time to time, but I underestimated how hard it would be to write honestly about visiting a place that I struggled to find redeeming qualities in. This was the case with some of my experiences in India. I wrote this particular post not just to highlight a recurring experience that somewhat defined my trip, but to also drum up some insight about the background behind it. It has generated the most, the longest, and the most thoughtful comments of any post on this blog. Many of those comments unfortunately confirm my negative inklings about the sort of attention and reception I received in India. But the process of writing the post was cathartic, and if it made people think about and discuss the topic of experiencing racism abroad, then I think it was a success.

» My most helpful post: The Art of Squatting

Toilets abroad are one of those things you don’t put much thought into before you leave, but can often be quite a cause for culture shock when you reach your destination. There’s the “Gently place your toilet paper in the trash can, NOT IN THE TOILET!” culture of Latin America. There are the bidets in France. For this post, I focused on the squat toilets of world, but mostly Southeast Asia. This post will forever be generating bounce traffic with the most disturbing search terms, but a lot of people find this post because they are genuinely concerned about using squat toilets in Asia.

» The post whose success surprised me: A 20 Hour Indian Train Experience

Conventional travel blogging wisdom tells you that blog posts should be short and sweet and that no one cares about the step by step details of a travel day. But I think this doesn’t always apply to stories about the kind of funny-in-hindsight mishaps you’re bound to encounter as a budget traveler. And in these cases, the “It’s the journey, not the destination” cliche definitely applies. I first began to notice this when I wrote a post about a terrifying journey to the coast of Oaxaca state. But that had a little more action in it, so I was more surprised with the success of this post on a heavily delayed train trip in India. I giggled a lot as I wrote it, but as it grew longer and longer, I wasn’t convinced that people would want to read it. But they did, and they seemed to enjoy it.

» A post I feel didn’t get the attention it deserved: Food and Drink to Try in Oaxaca and Where to Find It

This was the hardest one to come up with. I often pout because I think my whole blog lacks outside attention, but I had to narrow this one down to just one post. A few people liked this one, but it seemed like it was largely ignored. Maybe it was my diatribe about burritos at the beginning. Maybe it’s because I included grasshoppers on the list. Maybe it’s because although the food of Oaxaca is amazing, you really have to try it to appreciate it. Mole negro is not the most fantastic dish to look at, but it’s one of the most fantastic to eat. Whatever it was, other people don’t seem to be as pumped up about the food of Oaxaca as I am.

» The post that I’m the most proud of: Photo Essay: Plants, Landscapes, and Landmarks in Oaxaca

Last summer, Oaxaca state’s scenery slowly crept up on me. Eventually, I couldn’t get enough of the light, the clouds, and the cacti there. I really enjoy nature and landscape photography, but I know people don’t always love looking at pictures of plants or scenes with no people in them. I’m proud of this post because with one just one aspect of Oaxaca, it reminds me of everything I love about Oaxaca, and on top of that, other people seemed to really appreciate the photos as well.

Tag, you’re it:

Delia of Away She Goes
Torre of Fearful Adventurer
Brenna of This Battered Suitcase
Hal of WayWorded
Richard of Where the Road Goes

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Andi of My Beautiful Adventures July 15, 2011 at 3:05 pm

I’ve missed your blog! Haven’t had time to read it because I’ve been on the road. Excited to catch up. 🙂

Reply

Ekua July 17, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Yeah, I also haven’t been updating as much because I’ve been busy traveling 😉 Taking advantage of brief travel hiatus to catch up on post writing!

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