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The following questions have been delivered by Pony Express, processed by the Dwarves of Mal-Kunath, scanned and security tested by the best and brightest TSA Agents, and finally kept in a hermetically sealed mayonnaise jar on Funk and Wagnall’s doorstep.
This my dear friends, is the September 2011 Q&A!
Bogdan Epureanu asks on Google+: I know that you’re using a DSLR and that you have an own bag for it (as well as your other electronics), still you know probably better than anyone that when you travel (especially if you’re an “off-road” backpack traveler) you have to go as “light” as possible. Under these circumstances, what camera would you recommend?
It depends on how seriously you take your photography. If you are photographer going into the backcountry you will probably sacrifice other gear to bring your camera equipment. If you are primarily a backpacker and you just want to take some snapshots, then you will probably just take a point and shoot. Personally, (and I have given this a bit of thought) I’d probably bring my DSLR but with only one lens and few other accessories. Being a Nikon user I’d probably bring my 18-200 VR lens which is the best all around single lens you can probably carry. If you really don’t want to carry a DSLR then I’d look at a micro 4/3 camera or a really good point and shoot that can save RAW images. I don’t think there is one answer that is going to fit everyone on a question like this.
Alissa Monfre ask on Facebook: How do you manage your time traveling between getting out and seeing things and blogging/sales work?
Time management has easily become the most difficult part of what I do. If you think about it, most bloggers usually take a break from blogging when they are on vacation. What I do is pretty much the equivalent of going on vacation all the time! When I’m in a new city I’m going to spend as much time as I can exploring and taking photos. When I’m in Istanbul for example, that is the only place in the world I can take photos of Istanbul. I can write and edit photos anywhere.
That being said, some things just can’t be put off. I spend at least an hour every morning reading/answering email, reading my RSS feeds, checking blog comments that were posted while I was asleep, checking my Twitter stream, checking my Facebook Page, etc. I also have some people helping me now. I have a manager who talks to companies for me and an assistant who handles most of my travel scheduling and deals with people in the travel industry. None of these people are full time of course. I might get some other help in the near future for some large projects I have which involve things like tagging all my photos.
Basically, my time is best spent traveling, experiencing things, taking photos and writing. Those are the things which only I can do. Other things I can get help with and I’m sure as I move forward I’ll get assistance from more people.
Kent Foster asks on Facebook: Have you ever had to use the backup of your blog/website? A similar question: are you concerned about changing your design theme in case all your old content doesn’t format correctly?
Thankfully, I have not. I’ve been pretty lucky or I’ve been a good webmaster. That being said, I do keep a backup of my site which is updated daily.
I’m not too worried about changing my design in the future. I’m sure it will happen at some point. Most of the actual post formatting is pretty simple. There are two big things I really need to change about my theme: 1) I want to get rid of the white text on a black background, and 2) I want to change how captions are used on photos. The second thing is more of an issue for formatting, but I don’t think it will result in many older posts being improperly formatted. If you use CSS, you should be fine.
Troy Floyd asks on Facebook: Seeing how you have seen a lot of different places in the world, how about this “What’s the worse run in you have had with local police, security or military and why?”
I haven’t had any serious run ins with police. I have been pretty savvy about staying out of harms way. I went to an active war zone in Cambodia and I got denied entry in to Kiribati at the airport, but beyond that there really hasn’t been much.
When I first began traveling, I always tried to keep a “golly gee wiz” look on my face when going through passport control. I’d look around as if I just stepped off the farm. As my passport got thicker, that became harder to pull off. I now sort of try to put on the look of someone who is borded and has been through this a million times. Either way, the goal was to reduce the suspicions of the agent with the passport stamp and get me through as quickly as possible.
The same is true with police. I don’t go to nightclubs when I travel. Almost everything bad I heard about that happens to travelers happens in nightclubs (terrorist attacks, druggings, kidnappings, theft, etc) Never get into a big argument with locals over something trivial. If someone scams me out of $10 I’ll probably just take the loss rather than make too big of a stink, because if a cop gets involved, odds are they will side with the local.