What am I doing here? Bologna is really a city, but bologna is called Mortadella

Vago Damitio. What am I doing here?

I like to think I’m pretty good at this travel stuff.  I mean, I’ve traveled the world on my own without a job, figured out how to pay for it – without having to work for other people, picked up a wife along the way, managing to pay for her with what I do – oh, and bringing our baby along. And all of it is paid for by what I do – travel and writing, working on the web, and finding opportunities along the way that hopefully open up more opportunities. Life is pretty good.

So, what am I doing here? Well, I’m building a business and trying to take care of my family, see the world and get better at what I do on a daily basis.  The fact is though, I sometimes make mistakes. Take this for example, when Google+ came around, I pretty much abandoned Twitter and my Facebook page for what I considered to be a better platform. I still think G+ will end up winning the battle of social media – but here is what I didn’t consider – advertisers and sponsors aren’t necessarily as excited about G+ as I am – so when they look at my social media – they look at Facebook and Twitter first – oops! That cost my family a press trip we were really excited about last week and since then, I’ve been putting more effort into both Facebook and Twitter. If you haven’t visited either lately – please do, I’m there and active!

Luckily, there are other opportunities and just as one door closed, another one opened. The Blogville Emilia Romagna project.  I’ll be going to Italy in April and then in June for an awesome travel  experience – check this out from the site:

“From the 23rd of April to the 31st of May in Bologna and from the 2nd of June to the 14th of July in RiminiBlogVille Emilia Romagna, thanks to two apartaments, will be the perfect place from where you can start to discover Italy and the Emilia Romagna region. We will give you access of the local life and immerse yourself in the “Italian way”. We will also help you to create an interesting itinerary for you and your readership throughout the Emilia Romagna, and of course BlogVille will be the perfect place to experience and share things with other bloggers.

blogville BolognaThe first apartment of the BlogVille project is located in Bologna, aka “La Grassa” (the fat one) in the heart of the Emilia Romagna region and a perfect departure point for discovering the region’s treasures like ModenaReggio-EmiliaParmaPiacenzaFerrara and the Motorvalley, and the top and world famous food producers of the Prosciutto di Parma, the Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese and the Traditional Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.

The second apartment of the BlogVille project is located in Rimini, Emilia Romagna’s top holiday destination, famous for its wide sandy beaches, bathing establishments and nightlife. Yet Rimini is a city of notable historical interest. Starting from Rimini you will have the chance to reach some of the most important cities of the region like RavennaFerraraBolognaFaenzaForlì andCesena, the top trendy beaches like Marina di RavennaCerviaMilano-MarittimaCesenaticoRiccioneMisano Adriatico and Cattolica and the family beach destinations like the Lidos of Ferrara, the Lidos of Ravenna,Gatteo a MareSan Mauro Mare and Bellaria-Igea Marina, plus the hidden jewels of the countryside, plenty of ancient castles, Roman rests, wineyards and excellent food producers.”

This won’t be a family holiday but while I’m gone the first time, my wife will be catching up with old friends here in Turkey and for the second trip she’ll be visiting her family in Morocco.  To be honest, this trip we’re on now is about three months of family travel in Turkey – so the break is something I look forward to.

It’s funny, I’ve been so focused these past few years on building Vagobond as a reputable online travel magazine that I haven’t taken the time to really connect with bloggers, to learn the ins and outs of press trips, or even how to maximize my readership through networking.  All of that is changing now.

Last week, I had to file my taxes.  My 2011 income was high enough that I got an unpleasant surprise when I filled out my self employment forms. Yikes!  My projected earnings for 2012 are approximately three times what I made in 2011 and if all goes well, they will be more than that.  Much to my surprise,  Vagobond Travel Media has become the best paying job I’ve ever had! So, I had to take some action to make things legitimate. Last week, I formed Vagobond Travel Media, LLC and appointed myself CEO.  With great titles come great responsibility – as CEO of Vagobond Travel Media and Editor in Chief for Vagobond.com – my hands are pretty full.  Add to that a new baby and making all of our perpetual travel arrangements and you might start to get the picture.  I love it.  When I was an Air Traffic Controller in the US Marines, the stress was the best part of the job.

Anyway, I’m juggling. Trying to find and hire the right writers, hiring virtual assistants, editing guest posts, writing, putting together business plans, working through a massive To-Do list, networking, trying to relearn how to use social media, connecting with old and new friends – and oh yeah, running an Istanbul Hotel, planning some incredible travel adventures in Eastern Turkey with an infant and wife, and sometimes cooking dinner.  I’m having the time of my life.

Still, I’m looking forward to the time at Blogville – already I can see it as a time to take some breaths, connect with other travel writers and travel bloggers and most importantly experience as much as I can about the Emilia Romagna region of Italy.

By the way, the trip there should be pretty good too, heading first to Bodrum then taking the ferry to the Greek Island of Kos, from there a flight to Bologna and then the opening of the house party! I am already enjoying it.  There might even still be space – contact Nicholas to find out.

Vago Damitio

Mr. Damitio  (@vagodamitio) is the Editor-in-Chief for Vagobond. Life is good. You can also find him on Google+ and at Facebook

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