New show on the Weather Channel: The Edge with Peter Lik

Hey Guys!

I know I’ve been gone for a while, but I’m still here…just much more subdued than usual! :-) In any case, I got this great email from the folks at the Weather Channel about a new show coming out that seems like it’ll be a fun thing to watch for us travelers! Before we go right into the details, I’m throwing out a disclaimer: I didn’t get paid to put this out into the blogosphere…just thought it would be cool to let you guys know about it!

“From the Edge, the network’s first foray into original programming was
inspired in part by the thousands of viewers who share their passion for
capturing Mother Nature. This natural connection between photography and
weather comes to life through the camera lens of Master Photographer, Peter
Lik, whose unique point of view will give viewers an amazing look at the
country and some of its most treasured landscapes. The show documents his
odyssey across the United States in search of nature’s most dramatic
landscapes. The camera follows as he visits locations as varied as the
volcanoes of Hawaii to the snows of Alaska’s Denali National Park, often
while battling or embracing the weather in his quest for the perfect shot.
Throughout his travels, Lik reveals the country in a whole new perspective,
capturing its diverse climates and natural beauty through his lens.”

Premiere Date
March 31, 2011 at 8 p.m. on The Weather Channel

Show page: http://weather.com/peterlik
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/TWCFromtheEdge
Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/TWCFromtheEdge

Enjoy! :-)

Funnies.

As every good traveler my age…heck, as every good person my age…I’ve been making sure to keep my friends and family in the loop via a stream of facebook photo albums and posts. During the past few weeks, and especially the past few days, I’ve had several comments on the pictures that literally have made me laugh out loud. In fact, I would like to take this moment to apologize to the kid in the Paris airport who will forever remember me snorting hot chocolate out of my nose. I’m sure it scarred him for life…it was very much the chocolaty experience.

So, given how funny some of the comments are, I thought I would share some of the best picture/comment pairs I’ve received:

Safari:

Comment: “love this pic! its so…african safari! lol”

Message in the sand (please note: the description of the photo said, “Baboon hand print!”):

Comment: “i was wondering why you took a picture of dirt and then i saw the description”

The Essence of being German

Comments (more of a dialouge):

My sister:  “could it be more german! lol”
Me: “I think if you added a guy wearing Birkenstocks, lederhosen, and knee high socks it might get more German”
My dad: “That’s racial profiling!!!!”

Thoughts: My dad is only upset because he actually likes wearing birkenstocks and knee-high socks. I rest my case!

 

Google searches and my website. Hmm…

Just a few notes: Your´s truly makes a cameo in this photo on the Field Trip Earth site, where I was working with my BBFL on our field data collecting methods.

Also, wordpress (which is my blogging platform) does me a favor and lists all of the google searches that people have done where my blog pops up. The weird things people search never cease to amaze me. A few of the better ones:

1) Statue of mary from africa
2) German christmas cookies with flower
3) cengizyarjr (what the hell is this? There is no way that this is even a word!)
4) bratwurst sex (um…I had this  google search term three times. The world is filled with weirdos.)

That´s all for now :-)

Blogging Business

Hey Guys!

Just checking in to let you all know that I’ve landed in South Africa and am settling into my new home on the Loskop Dam Reserve, about 50km outside of Middelburg. If you’re keen on seeind where the heck that is, take a look at the google map I’ve put in for all of you :-)
View South Africa – backpacking chica in a larger map

In other news, I’ve been blowing up the news wire with my articles for the Naples Daily News, where I touch on how it felt to see monkeys in the wild, how post-rainforest culture shock is just that…shocking, and my lack of ability to dance through the undergrowth. I’ve also posted the first of a series of photography-based articles, and mused on my struggles traveling solo. Finally, I’ve come out to the world and admitted that I absolutely love Equatorial Guinea and owned up the fact that I initially let my stereotypes dictate my impressions of the people and the culture.

Anyway, thanks to everyone for reading this! I’ve been website hits from all over the world, which is just fantastic. For those of you waiting for a postcard, I’ll be sending them out soon – it wasn’t so easy to do from EG. For those of you who don’t know, I love sending readers postcards (and I might even put a travel secret on it!) and I’m also excited to work with classrooms one-on-one.

In the next few weeks, very exciting things will be happening in the backpacking chica community…can’t spill the beans right now, but keep your eyes and ears open for the news!

Happy travels!

-Yours Truly :-)

Moving from Blogger to WordPress platform: Why?

Sorry for not posting for so long (!) – I decided to move my entire blog from Blogger to WordPress, so my free time has been devoted to working out all of the kinks.

Anyway, I’m back! I guess the big question is:

Why did I move from Blogger to WordPress?

Initially, I picked Blogger because it was free (yay!) and because I like the idea of adding adsense to by blog. I wanted to have some freedom in putting advertising on my blog, if my blog ever got to that point. Blogger is very easy to use, and it is great for people who have relatively small audiences.

For me, though, I felt creatively constrained by the lack of customization available to Blogger users. My ultimate dream would be to have a blog which has a larger readership, and the tools available to me in Blogger just weren’t up to task. Even little customizations (like adding a “contact tab” – such as the one you see on this top left corner of this page), weren’t possible without some prior knowledge in HTML. For comparison purposes, you can check out the template I had on my Blogger hosted version of Backpacking Chica.

Aside from this, the monetary gain from adsense on my blog was literally negligible. Occasionally people would click on the ads on my blog, but as other travel bloggers have noted, adsense just isn’t a good money-maker for travel bloggers. Perhaps if you are selling specific items, or reviewing products, adsense will work better for you.

The combined lack of adsense incentive and lack of customization available to me, pushed me to start thinking about other blogging platforms.

The immediate, and obvious alternative was WordPress. Many, many other bloggers use this as well as hot-shots such as CNN. Quite honestly, I’m still a little confused about how to set up a blog using WordPress.org (rather than WordPress.com) –  but that’s why I have a tech-savvy step-brother!

So far, I’ve been able to have a more customized layout than was possible with blogger, and hopefully, when I get switched over to WordPress.org I can continue that!

I’m still having difficulties:

1) It seems like a lot of widgets and add-ons always compatible with Blogger, and not so much with WordPress. I can’t figure out how to add Tweetmeme’s “tweetback” logo onto my blogposts and the javascript for Facebook’s “fan page” is definitely not working on here (even after I spent a good hour on various help sites/forums).

2) I have to re-link hyperlinks between my blog posts. If there is an easy way to do this…I have not discovered it yet.

3) I am still having trouble setting up my RSS feed. Again, this is where my step-brother comes in handy :-)

What’s the Verdict?

Overall, I am happy with the move to my new blogging home :-) The stats that WordPress provides free of charge on my blog, are amazing and I love how my new site looks!

How have your experiences been using WordPress or Blogger?