….oh, hey there!
Sorry, I’m a bit late to the party. Things have been slightly crazy down here in Queenstown.
Sometimes I forget that while I’m tucked away on the bottom of New Zealand’s South Island on the bottom of the world enjoying the start of winter, chances are it’s pretty warm where you are.
Not in Queenstown. See that. No, not up there. Down there.
That was my view early Sunday morning as I was heading up Coronet Peak – one of the ski hills just outside of Queenstown. It had been dumping powder for about three straight days.
And then, as I was taking the first lift of the morning, the clouds parted and revealed a beautiful sunrise and a Wakatipu Basin covered with a blanket of white snow.
The White Gold has arrived in Queenstown. So, you’ll have to excuse my tardiness to the party. What party?
The My 7 Links Party…
In a brilliant effort to gain backlinks to their website, the folks over at TripBase.com have put together a campaign where bloggers delve through their archives to find some of their gems that might have gotten lost along the way – and then tag five fellow bloggers and ask them to do the same. Steph over at Twenty-SomethingTravel.com, Dylan from TheTravellingEditor.com, and Kate from AdventurousKate.com all tagged me. What can I say? I’m a popular guy.
One of the biggest downsides to the traditional travel blog is posts in the archives often get missed unless A) A devoted reader digs through the archives and wipes the dust away from old and forgotten posts B) They’re featured in something like the Featured Posts slider on the main page C) Google likes you or D) You tweet them manually.
So, I’m quite excited to dig through the archives and present to you – My 7 Links.
Most Beautiful Post
Over the previous 18 months or so, I’ve moved away from writing posts in the first-person, narrative format and tend to write posts that provide practical advice for backpackers or budget travelers; however, some experiences aren’t best described in the way – as was the case with this post. As any writers or bloggers know, sometimes you’re just not ‘with it.’ Regardless of how hard you try, the inevitable writers block just stands in the way.
The opposite of this – the times when the words, the experiences, the tastes, and the smells flow endlessly out of your head and onto the paper or the computer – are absolutely fantastic.
This was one of those times; I was back on the road for the first time in months and this post documents my experience arriving in Kuala Lumpur.
Most Popular Post
The most viewed post on Backpackingmatt.com outlines 7 ways (a popular number in the archives) you can travel longer, farther and more comfortably – all while on a budget. I find the key is making sure that while you may be living out of a backpack, you ensure you keep some normalcy in your day-to-day life.
Most Controversial Post
I expected this post to raise some eyebrows, however not to the level it ultimately did. While it was controversial, the comments that resulted from the post (92 and counting) are full of fantastic counter-arguments that offer completely opposite advice of what I put forward. Gary from Everything-Everywhere.com disagreed very strongly with everything I had to say and went as far as challenging me to a ‘blog mentor competition’ of sorts that I ultimately turned down. Gary put together a follow up Webinar where he provides some traffic building tips of his own. It’s well worth a watch.
While the tips I outline work well for me, this clearly isn’t the end all and ultimately you have to find what works well for you.
Most Helpful Post
I’ve been based in New Zealand off and on for the past 18 months. I’ve traveled from the North of the North Island to the South of the South Island – from Cape Reinga to Bluff. I’ve jumped off bridges, been on multi-day hikes, flown over glaciers, looked for jobs, climbed mountains and drank some of the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world.
This post presents 15 tips that will make your arrival to New Zealand easier, your trip planning more effective and will allow you to have the best possible experience in the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Post Whose Success Surprised Me
Can you believe it’s aleady July of 2011? Crazy. Time flies, eh? Way back at the end of 2010, I was looking back at the previous year of travel and put together this post.
It focuses on the unexpected – it’s this aspect of travel, the unplanned and unanticipated events, that often make for the best memories, the most challenging situations and the defining moments of life’s journey. 2010 had its ups and its downs, and it was great to see feedback in the comments from those of you who also travel for the unexpected.
Post That Didn’t Get the Attention It Deserved
Whilst backpacking in New Zealand last year in my campervan named Max, two good mates, my ex-girlfriend and I randomly came across the small little village of Te Kuiti. Most days of the year, you’d carry right on through TK (as we learned the locals called it) to your next destination. Not us.
We were lucky enough to be passing through this small New Zealand town during their annual “Running of the Sheep” festival.
Yes, you read that correctly. Pamplona has the running of the bulls. Te Kuiti has the running of the sheep. This post examines this ‘only in New Zealand’ type festival and features some photos of the woolly beasts.
Post That I Am Most Proud Of
If I look back on the last two years of my life, one of the best decisions I’ve ever made has been launching this travel blog. How is that for a statement?
This space has allowed me to document my travels, share my journey with you, and meet so many like-minded individuals; it’s landed me jobs, provides a bit of income and has most importantly has given me the chance in one way or another to connect with people that are considering escaping their comfort zones and also traveling the world.
If you’re planning a trip around the world, I think you should be writing a travel blog, and this post explains why.
So there you have it.
The Best of the Journey.
Thanks for coming along. Now, it’s my turn to share the love – head on over to the party with…
So, did the project work? Are any of these posts new to you? Let me know if the comments section below!