Some of you may have noticed that things have changed a little bit here at Vagobond. To be honest, things have changed for me personally too. I’m finally back at home with my now very pregnant wife. While I was traveling and working in Turkey, she has been preparing our nest in Morocco and it seems that we are ready for the biggest trip of our life, becoming parents. Certainly we hope we are up to the challenge.
I freely admit that I’m scared of lots of things. My usual course of action is to face whatever it is I’m afraid of and hope it doesn’t kill me. That’s what I’m doing with our soon to be born daughter. I’m facing the baby and hoping she doesn’t kill me! Frankly, I’ve never been more terrified in my life. I’ve been less scared jumping out of airplanes or having guns shoved in my face. So, we’ll see how things go.
So, life is changing quite a bit. Our little apartment in Morocco is comfortable and while I was working over the past few months, I managed to sock away enough that we can feel secure for a while. I’m sure you guys have noticed that I’ve started a few projects in 2011 and I just wanted to update you on them. On a funny, yet tragic side note, I’ve begun to suspect that my family has been cursed. My Grandfather, R.W. Walker, once sank all of his savings into drilling an oil well only to have the guy across the road drink his milkshake. It’s a common theme among we Walker descendants. Truth is, we seem to always start something just a bit too late.
This is what seems to have happened with Vagobonding.com. I dreamed and plotted and schemed about how to make a social network dedicated to travel and finally, I took the leap. It was only then I discovered that what had been fresh ideas had become over-saturated. There are a ton of social network sites for travelers now…with great funding and as a result more powerful interfaces. Vagobonding is still growing, but at the moment, it is on the back burner.
With Vagobond itself, there are more exciting things happening. While the site was once just another personal travel blog, I wanted to make it more of a travel resource. This has meant bringing in a ton of new writers who are writing exclusive guest posts about exciting trips, destinations, and travel strategies. One of my favorite features of Vagobond has been the Extraordinary Vagabonds features, which thus far has focused on great vagabonds and travelers of the past. In the coming months, you can expect this feature to start including great vagabonds of the present too. I’m excited about introducing you to some of the world’s greatest travelers. If you know of a great vagabond or want to share your adventures with Vagobond readers, please contact me to get our Guest Post Guidelines or to suggest a story.
Another thing that has changed with Vagobond is that I’ve decided to strip much of the advertising from the site. I found that the banners and ads were often getting in the way of the user experience. As a result, the banners have been replaced with in-house banners and advertising is being even more meticulously screened than ever before to make sure that anything you click on can be beneficial to your travels.
One of the new features that I’m most excited about is offering free travel advice to anyone who wants it. Over the coming year, I’m probably not going to be doing a lot of traveling so I want to offer advice, tips, and planning assistance to you guys to help you have the best travels possible. Truly, it is my joy to help you have a better journey.
With that in mind, I’ve also began working with some of the best tour operators on the planet to offer you amazing adventures, immersion cultural experiences, and travel that goes way beyond the ordinary. You can see some of the tours we are already offering at Vagobond Tours.
Another project I’ve started to develop is TravelHotel.info, a booking engine that will not only focus on the greatest small hotels I’ve come across but ideally will also allow people to rent out their rooms, apartments, or couches (or to rent other peoples) in a simple way without having to pay high commissions. This is very much a work in progress and I appreciate any suggestions you might have about making this a site for wonderful experiences.
Finally, I’ve been slowly putting work into several other sites in the Vagobond family of travel sites. MoroccoBlogs is still a great resource for blogs about Morocco but over the coming months, I will be spotlighting great cities and destinations. Hawaii Adventure Travel is slowly building up a great selection of Hawaii travel related videos and content. Sun Sea Adventures is focused on not only luxury travel, but luxury travel with a conscience. Then there is my sexy girl geography site (which my wife swears she will make me delete) Vagobunny. I should also point out that my friend in India wrote all the posts for this one…his descriptions alone are worth reading since they express an excitement that is well beyond what you might expect but not completely unwarranted. In other words….I’m innocent honey!
One last project that is very close to my heart is Garden Vagobond. While I love travel, my true joy in life is gardening, permaculture, and getting dirt under my nails. Not even travel brings me as much satisfaction as eating a meal from my garden. While I don’t currently have a garden, this sub-blog will focus on not only my quest for the perfect garden, but also on my quest to be a great father and husband. If you want to know what’s happening with me, Mrs. Vago, or our little Vago baby – this is the site to see for that.
As you can see- my plate is rather full. As always, I will endeavor to bring you great content, great trips, and cool travel related content. For the moment though, I am going to be producing a little less content. You can expect new stories or features on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week. Anything else, will be a bonus.
Thanks for taking the time to read Vagobond and let me know what you would like to see, things you like, things you don’t like, and of course if you can take the time to like, tweet or stumble any of the stories here, it is greatly appreciated.