#travel #blog Traveling Bytes

And it’s a blast back up the #travel1k charts this week, Dear Readers: last week we’d slipped to #117 — and for the week of February 13th it found our tweets again and back up to #53 we go. Almost in that magical Top 50 again!

This week we saw the biggest climbs from Holly (up 1214 places to 515th), Christopher @ Rudderless TRVL (up 797 places to 932nd), and The World Pursuit (up 744 places to 117th).

Just one new travel blogger this week. Please join me in giving a warm welcome to Kelly Mitchell who went straight in at 291st.

It hasn’t been such a good week for travel bloggers Holly HollyDayz (down 1046 to 1728th), Bram Reusen (down 1043 to 1728th), and Christopher Rudder (down 831 to 1728th). Help me encourage them to do better next week!

Well done to this week’s top three Matt MattDebra Schroeder, and Charles McCool (McCool Travel).

And for our new blog to check out this week, here we are at #18 dashing up from #61: @TravelingBytes’s Traveling Bytes!

What is Traveling Bytes?

Due to a series of unexpected events, we embarked on a wild adventure of independent consulting that totally changed our lifestyle. Nowadays, running your own web development business affords a tremendous freedom and opportunity to travel. All you need is an internet connection and a laptop. Thus, we are living our dream of going places around the world.

Traveling Bytes is an attempt to record our journeys, successes and failures (we’ll be honest) and everything that comes along with it (i.e. while researching our trips we accumulated a fair amount of resources and tips that may help in the future)…

They’re aficionados of the “slow travel” strategy, aiming at spending about 3 months in each location before moving on:

Our first destination: Northwest US. We rented a car and traveled across the United States from Washington DC to Seattle. Our immediate goal was to establish a base in Seattle and explore the West Coast. What we did not take into consideration is how vast, different and rich in history the West Coast is. Originally, we planned to spend about half a year in Seattle with a couple “side trips” to Europe and Hawaii. Six months morphed into a year full of adventures and discoveries. By the time of departure to our next destination, Chiang Mai in Thailand, I was almost in tears. Ok, to be honest, I was mightily scared of abandoning comfortably established life and diving into unknown.

Thailand came and went. Six months there taught me more about humility, been able to adapt and enjoy whatever happens, human rights and history than a decade spent caught up in career rat race.

The important lesson we learned from Thailand adventure: 6 months in one place was about 3 months too long. By the end of our stay there, I was again getting into the routine of settled life, aka exactly what we wanted to avoid when we started to travel.

Hence, we adjusted our modus operandi: 3 months in one place with a couple of short vacations (usually, long weekends) is what we are aiming for for each leg of our journey. It works perfectly because 90 days is what the US passport allows in most countries without a visa. Anything shorter than that and you end up spending too much time moving from place to place which is less fun that one might imagine…

Personally, we’ve gone full expat — having a semi-permanent base and leavening it with frequent trips works better for us so far, although should we ever make a full time job out of our little blog here, maybe we’ll give it another think!

Speaking of full expat, here’s an article that’s timely for us right now as Bangkok huddles under the smog of the crop burning season:

Hanoi Air Quality Personal Encounter

Hanoi air quality wasn’t on my radar before we came to the capital of Vietnam.

I checked climate and learned about wet and dry seasons there. Concerned with what winter might look like in Vietnamese capital (they say winters could be chilly and miserable there), I diligently researched this topic too. Somehow, the question of Hanoi air quality never even crossed my mind. Why? I have no idea.

In hindsight, it should’ve been on the list. Northern Vietnam borders China, the notoriously known for terrible pollution. Just this fact should raise a red flag.

As it happened, we settled in the outskirts of Hanoi blissfully unaware about what we got into. For a while, I attributed the permanently grey skies to the tail of the wet season. I even welcomed the constant presence of misty haze. It brought a fragile beauty to every picture.

As it happened, we settled in the outskirts of Hanoi blissfully unaware about what we got into. For a while, I attributed the permanently grey skies to the tail of the wet season. I even welcomed the constant presence of misty haze. It brought a fragile beauty to every picture.

In a few weeks though I got a bit unsettled by lack of clear skies. Who knew that the color blue is so beautiful. I missed the sun too. Ordinarily, I get sunburned too easily, so we are not best friends. Nevertheless, by the end of the second month, I was yearning for a sunny day…

It doesn’t get as bad as that in Bangkok … but it does get bad enough to make you seriously consider the air when thinking about where your next expat touchdown is going to be!

One highlight of this blog is a category devoted to that most urban of artistic highlights:

Street Art from around the world

Welcome to the StreetArt Project. Through different continents and cities; unnamed surfaces and unexpected materials ingeniously used by talented artists, we amassed an eclectic collection of amazing masterpieces and a long list of insanely creative authors. It is also an archive of art that no longer exist. Sadly, the lifespan of this genre is relatively short. Very few last. The authorities, the elements, and even fellow artists make sure that some of these masterpieces do not last.

Specifically, check out Casablanca Street Art:

A splash of color in a concrete jungle. A distraction from the boredom of a utilitarian cityscape. Perhaps, that’s what street art would aim for in the largest city of Morocco.

After all, Casablanca is the business and financial hub and the port. It is also the least flamboyant of major cities in the country known for vivid colors and powerful imagery.

I had no idea what to expect from Casablanca. Street art proliferation around the world is happening so rapidly that by now even tiniest or most remote settlements on Earth might display a mural or two. Artists are quick on their feet and do not hesitate to travel to some exotic or unexpected destinations and leave their distinct imprint there. Interestingly, better known or larger places more likely to have some sort of rules and regulations or be more eager to enforce some restrictions. Thus, I was genuinely curious about how Casablanca deals with the rapidly growing popularity of street art.

In a way, it didn’t disappoint. I found some powerful pieces throughout the city without even trying. As usual, my findings were results of completely random walks. I am aware that I missed a lot. “Sleeping quarters” of the city or industrial zones that tend to have those vast walls begging to be painted mostly were left unexplored. I see it as an excuse and a reason to come over again to do more research walking around…

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p dir=”ltr”>Go take a look — the photos are impressive indeed!

Technically, BuiltWith tells us it’s a standard WordPress + Jetpack setup, and as always we recommend Dreampress as your best choice for that, free Jetpack Professional and all; and a selection of the usual plugins, except for being light on the monetization, just one affiliate management plugin we see here.

We’d already been following @TravelingBytes, it’s one of the more interesting feeds out there, and now that we take a look at it we see that there’s some good in depth resource collections on the various places they visit, so we’ll keep this one on our radar — head over and check it out!

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Alex

I go places.

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