Bradley's May 2019 Update

Personal thoughts and feelings about traveling long term

IMG_9823.jpg

If you travel long enough, you may find yourself with another traveler. If you start out traveling solo, that might be in the form of a partner. As a couple, we ended up having a baby while traveling the world. So far, he’s really enjoyed traveling (read more in the family section below!).

We finally arrived in Southeast Asia and have since already spent a few months in Thailand. Now we are exploring southern Malaysia and Singapore - and have been traveling for over 410 days non-stop! It is starting to really feel like traveling is “normal” now, as we tend to feel like we’ve been in a spot a bit too long once we start approaching the two month mark. That’s how we felt at the end of our two months in Bangkok anyway. It may also have to do with the comfort that we find in one place over another, because we feel really comfortable in our place here in Malaysia, so we could probably stay longer than two months and feel fine with that.

The benefit of staying in one place longer than just a few weeks is that is eliminates the travel dilemma of “What type of travel do you want to do: Relaxing travel, Adventure Travel, Beach Travel, Fun Travel etc.” If you are in one place for two months, there is no reason that you can’t do all types while you are there and feel quite content that you saw and experienced just about everything that you wanted to see and do. It seems to us that 1-3 months is quite an ideal range, so we may try to stay for 2 months at each place in the future, if they let us that is! However, we’ll only be staying for 30 days in Bali because that’s what their visa allows us to do.

Eat Wander Explore business update

We feel like we are finally starting to figure out how to generate money from our blog now that we have been working it for over 400 days. Some of the things that we’ve found work best are based around traffic generation.

  • We started sharing our older posts in facebook groups when someone asked a relevant question that our post could answer. That alone ended up boosting our website traffic by between 1,000-3,000 per month! The traffic improvement in this alone is definitely worth it, but it also helps boost our ranking on Google search as well.

  • We have redesigned our website with a “blog-friendly” template. This way we don’t have to add in every element of the side bar to each post. We update just one side bar and it automatically is on every page and post.

  • A number of blog design improvements:

    • Started adding links to amazon movies and guide books that are related to the country or location of the posts to the top of each post. This way there is a better chance of someone clicking through with our Amazon affiliate link.

    • Added some recommended tour options for people at the location(s) related to the blog post near the bottom, which connect them up with an amazing tour experience from one of our affiliates (whichever we think are best for that area).

    • We have been adding a “Thank you” message to the bottom of our posts, and asking people to share or follow us on our Social Media platforms, or simply joining our RSS feed for the blog. It also connects them back to our Main Section’s for “Travel Easy” and “Travel Forever”.

    • Added buttons to join our Email List, Membership page (hosted by Memberful), Our merchandise page (Etsy with products from Printful), and a simply “Donate” button.

    • Added additional blog posts related to each article at the bottom of each blog.

    • Utilize Google AdSense to place some ads on our blog posts throughout, that pay per view and per click - every little bit helps!

  • Focusing more on SEO methods and keywords to start deciding what articles we should be writing ourselves and which ones we should be sharing from other blogs (but not writing ourselves). We want to make sure we cover highly desired search terms that are not heavily covered already so that we end up with much more traffic!

We have also used a few Facebook Ads to gather likes, and invite those people to follow our page on Facebook. Since then our followers have increased from around 350 to over 600.

Our Family update

IMG_7775.jpg

Yes, we had a baby boy in Cape Town, South Africa while traveling and we’ve had to learn a number of new tricks as we’ve traveled to Thailand and Malaysia since he joined us in February! Traveling with a newborn / infant has been a completely new experience.

We were able to secure an emergency passport for him to leave Cape Town in time, and then had to go to the Embassy in Bangkok to get him a full sized passport afterward. Additionally, visa extensions now cost more because we have an additional person with us (oh man!).

Before “Waltoshi” was born, we had decided that we could have about 2 adventure days per week while working and still finding time to relax and plan for our next trips. After he was born we have since adjusted to 1 adventure day per week, or two “half-days” when appropriate - as we’ve found that he doesn’t do well on very long outings.

The good thing is that he has really enjoyed traveling and actually becomes amazed by all of the things that he observes and discovers when we go out - meaning that he is generally quite quiet and content. However, there is only so much that he can take in, and those long days get him a bit “overloaded” which can result in a 30 minute bus ride where there is nothing that we can do to stop him from crying. So, we are now a bit more careful with longer days.

You can follow his daily adventures at “Where’s Waltoshi” (whereswaltoshi.com)

Other Random updates

It is always a welcome experience to visit a country that speaks English and has a movie theater with English movies as well. It helps give us a little feeling of home, even if it is far from home or even what home is like. So far we have come across these English speaking countries: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland, South Africa, and Malaysia (Singapore soon!).

Here in Malaysia we have decided to take “a month off” - which doesn’t exactly mean what it sounds like. We are taking a month off from going out and exploring, and therefore working the entire month at unloading unnecessary travel gear (that just adds weight), fixing up our website, blogs, and SEO for the business, and spending some time relaxing at the pool that is here at our Airbnb condo. Even after this month is done, we’ll likely still be many months behind, but hopefully we’ll be pointed in a better direction! The good news is that we are here for two months so that allows us time to explore the area next month, so we are not really missing out.

We still use Netflix to keep us entertained in the evenings, if we have time for it. It does help to relax a little together as a couple in the evening - after we get the baby to sleep!

Thanks for keeping up to date with our lives! Please let us know if you have any questions :)