The 7 Links Award. WoooHooo. Thanks Lu!!! This is an award sifting through the internet that was awarded to me by The Unwitting Traveller, Lu. Now, even though Lu hasn’t hired me yet for a position in and around Bamako, I still have high hopes of being on top of a short list of prospective employees, but even so, I want to thank her profusely for the award and am quite honored to even be considered (for the award, not the job that is, but I do work for cheap. Cheap-cheap :)).
To quickly explain, the 7 links award is passed on from person to person and is really a good way for me to take a good look at my blog and see what has worked, what has not. What I like, what others like and how I can possibly improve on my writing and posting. An award, but also a good way for me to evaluate my own work. Quite a fun lesson in learning really. Seven questions and pass it on. I like it. Some of the questions were a bit hard to answer, for me at least, but I tried my best.
Ok, so I’ll try to let my answers do most of the work (unlike I do when hired for a position in, say, Mali or around). If you agree, disagree, hate me or love me, let me know:
1) My Most Beautiful Post
For me, I think I would have to pick “Chasing the Sun“ - color, exotic locations, setting suns, rising suns, silhouettes, desert, mountains, forest, trees, temples, water, people. It encompasses a lot. Each picture by itself may not be so beautiful, but taken as a whole, for me at least, looking back, I can’t believe how lucky I am to actually see the rising and setting sun in all of these places. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I don’t think there is anything more beautiful than the colors nature provides.
2) My Most Popular Post
Without question my most popular post is “Turban“, out of Ranakpur, India. This post, no doubt, gave me a little bit of encouragement for blogging and basically vaulted my blog into the “blogosphere”. Posted on the third day of my blogging life, it was freshly pressed, gathered 98 “likes” and 93 comments, along with over 9000 views …in the first week of my blog. If that’s not lucky, I’m not sure what is. When I started the blog I figured that I would be good with 30 views a day for a while, striving for 10,000 in the first year. At my second week I already exceeded that. I gotta tell ya’ …it has kept me bloggin’ ever since, and has really pushed me to comment and “like” other posts I read because I know how good it feels to receive the attention and can only imagine what it feels like to write an article, or post a picture, and not have anyone notice it. So my boy at the carpet shop in Ranakpur National Park it is. He looks mad, but was a great guy, with a great turban. A master wrapper.
3) My Most Controversial Post
For this, I’m going to have to bow out and take a minus. I actually only have one post that has a comment that could be even remotely considered controversial but I don’t want to point it out because it will lead right to the person who posted the comment, and that is not right. I’ll tell you what though, I have posted the pics, and linked to the story, of my “Among the Dead” post on another, photography, site, and did have a few controversial comments, so I guess, overall including the whole net, Among the Dead is my most controversial.
…and honestly, I stay away from all the controversy and drama that goes on over the internet. It’s the internet, and that’s not what I’m here for. …and I think this is one of my better posts too A few pics below from “Among the Dead” but many more in the actual post:
4) My Most Helpful Post
Another tough one, as I don’t really think too many of my posts are genuinely “helpful”, but I have had a lot of questions about money in Myanmar, as posted in “Travels through Myanmar III – Money Matters” …and again, I can’t stress this point enough to anyone going to Myanmar. Brand spanking no creases no marks no folds no tears no dirt crisp edge bills only. It’s insane. …and take that bit of advice Bama, if nothing else !!!
Another post that seems to really help a lot of people, or I should say, a post that brings out the most questions, is my “Traveling Light” post. Specifically my mention of the Redwing 2650 pack I use. I have gotten so many questions about this pack that you wouldn’t believe it, as well as view after view, day after day, from google searches (I’m talking an average of ten a day at least for the past few months) …and yes, it DOES work great as a carry-on. You can see a few of the questions in my “Questions Answered” post but I will be doing a full review of the pack soon …so a long story short: My most helpful post is a post that hasn’t been posted yet – The Kelty Redwing 2650 Review. I can already see that now. How’s that for a messed up answer
5) A Surprisingly Successful Post
I can’t really pick one. In my mind, just about every post I publish is more successful than I would even think it could be, sooo, I’ll point you to my “Index“. I’m surprised every time I get a comment…
…I don’t know, maybe the ”Bucket List” is my most surprisingly successful. Never knew these things were so popular (Bucket Lists), and lets face it, if you actually read the article I wrote, I wasn’t too thrilled about them anyway, but they have definitely grown on me and I quite like looking at other people’s now.
6) My Most Under-Rated Post
Hmmm. I would have to say “Everything OK“. This is one of my all-time favorite pictures that I have ever taken. Now, it means more to me because I was actually there and it brings back some great memories, so I understand, and honestly, I can’t really say I have an “under-rated” post, but I would pick this one. I love this girl, out on a boat fishing on Tonle-Sap, helping her family survive, smiling, working. Everything OK.
…and there are about five versions of this picture boppin’ around the internet so maybe a lot of people
don’t like the dark version, so here’s a lighter one:
7) The Post I Am Most Proud Of
C’mon …I can’t answer that. I’m most proud of every post containing every picture and every story I ever took or wrote because I suck at taking pictures and writing so just finishing a post makes me proud most of the time. But, I know, another cop out answer, so, I would have to say from a travel/posting point of view it would have to be “Jambiya Sellers of Sana’a“. I gotta tell you, I get more “Whaaaat’s?” and “You are Crazy’s” when I tell people I have been to Yemen than most countries I’ve been too …except for maybe Nigeria. I was even made fun of for a time (and I’m talking seriously) by a guy because I went there …the guy hasn’t left the USA yet either, so jokes on him.
I’ve been to Afghanistan, Sudan, Syria, Myanmar, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and many more, but Yemen seems to be the place where absolutely no one goes, except for a very very crazy few. I went, I lived, I met some great people and I saw some places that haven’t changed in centuries. I brought one of those jambiyas in one of the pictures home and I still get massive “travel-cred” from even the most hard-core travellers for going there …and looking back, the place was utterly insane, in a “controlled chaos” sort of way. A man isn’t a man without a big, long, sharp, curved knife in his belt, and just about everyone carried an AK over their shoulders. I could go into the gun souk and pick out whatever I wanted. Slightly used AK’s, RPG’s, land-mines. It was …different.
But in the end, people are people, and the people there are nicer than most. I still put them as the second nicest people I have ever met (by country). Just people with a lot of weapons. I think what makes me so proud of my time in Yemen is that I now know what most don’t. Weapons don’t make the man. The man chooses what he is going to do with the weapon, and just because you have one doesn’t make you a bad person. Actually, it was just about the opposite. Great, nice, kind, gentle people, who liked to carry weapons. That’s it.
…and now, for the “Pass it Along” nominees. Three sites I have been regularly following for months now, although they probably don’t realize it. Three great blogs worth a look and definitely worthy of the 7 Links Award. I would love to see each of your answers, but don’t feel you have to answer the 7 questions. It’s all in fun, the award is for you to keep, share, hide or deny!!!:
1) I have to nominate: Love versus Goliath - when I started reading this blog, Love was separated. Half in Australia, half plus children halfway across the world, with a government standing in-between them. The blog was basically a memoir of the trials and tribulations of trying to re-unite. You would think it would be quite easy. They’re married. Take a flight over and start your life together. Unfortunately in this day and age …it’s not so easy. It’s quite an interesting story filled with emotion, horror stories and in the end, a happy ending. Now life starts anew and together. The blog now is in the stages of a “new beginning” of the sorts, now turning into a “what happens” after the happy ending. Take a look, its original, its interesting, its a story of life and family unfolding as it happens. It could be a movie. Maybe it will be one day. …and I’m hoping this paragraph can even come close to summing up Love versus Goliath, but honestly, it can’t, so click over and see. One of the most original blogs I have ever seen, as well as stories.
2) For my second nominee: What an Amazing World! - Bama really has a true amazing desire to travel. I can tell it through his posts, his comments, his questions, our back and forth talk. It’s refreshing to see someone who has such a passion for travel and it’s quite amazing that even though we (Bama and myself) are just about as far as we possibly could be from each other on earth, we share a common bond and are able to connect through our pictures, blogs and passion. He has some great stories and pictures on his blog, take a look!!!
3) A drifter off to see the world - I couldn’t have named it better myself. Perfect. TBT (The Black Twig) sets about drifting the world and documenting her travels, trials and tribulations through some very well-written, insightful and inner-feeling/emotion type articles filled with some great pictures. Every time I click over there is always something new and interesting. Her site is always changing, evolving and getting better and better. Highly recommended.