Fresh off the press and some classics
Back to the Basics

Back to the Basics

Hello readers!

I would just like to personally take this opportunity to thank you all for being so supportive in my journey to create this travel blog and website. The last few months have been really exciting for me as a blogger. I have received many new followers and readers, and it is great to have you all on board!

I have completed my tour with Hostelling International, which began with the Big Blog Exchange and continued for 2 months with REAJ in Spain. I stopped in over 25 Spanish cities in 8 different Spanish regions. I saw everything from the stunning Alhambra to the beautiful wild horses in the Pyrenees mountains. I got to improve my Spanish, and gain a better understanding for the Spanish people and culture of Spain. It was a good experience for me, and I thank them for the opportunity!

New Developments – PLEASE HELP – I’d love to get some feedback

You may remember me mentioning in the latest newsletter that I am currently redesigning the site. That is true. My current theme has served me well. I have built my current website around this theme and built up a following through it. However, as we all know, development and trying new things are crucial to advancement in life. I feel that to take Backpacking Diplomacy to the next level and transition into full-time blogging, I will need to make a few changes. I am seeking a few features that just are not offered with my current theme.

These are the four themes that I am currently deciding between. Please take a moment to check them out, I’d love to get some feedback:

Insomnia Theme:

Buzz Theme:

Backcountry Theme:

TheSource Theme:

*I will likely wait until the new site is complete to add new posts.

I decided on Sahifa and have been happy with it 🙂

What can you expect for the future

Over the past few months, I have done a lot of blogging on Spain between the different hostels, cities, and activities that I did. I will now be returning to the topics that I was accustomed to blogging about before on my site.  That means that you can expect to hear some new adventure stories soon ranging from my second hitchhiking experience to cultural lessons to a story of experiencing Ramadan for a day. 

I am attempting to find new travel opportunities in the near future. I do not know where or how yet, but I may be going abroad again soon. If so, there is a chance that I may become a full-time travel blogger. I’ll hope for that, but we will see what opportunities the world gives me.

New Sites

In order to make Backpacking Diplomacy a more culturally focused site, I am considering dropping languages as a topic from the site, and creating another. I am not sure what the name will be, but one of the new sites that I want to create will follow my quest to become a linguist. It will share things that I learn, resources that I find, and track my progress. Stay tuned if you like languages. I may be looking into another site or two, but I cannot be sure yet. My mind is turning, so something will come up soon.

Thanks for taking the time to read about my new updates. New posts for you this week!

As always, try new things, respect cultures, and enjoy the road! It is a pleasure and an honor to write for you.

– Andy


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  1. Andy, I moved to Genesis a few months ago so am slightly biased in saying I prefer the Backcountry theme.

    BTW I did consider Thesis. They are the most expensive I looked at but were a close second to Genesis in my choices.

    I noticed a few of them had dark/black backgrounds which I think is a big negative on website design. White or bright colours are the way forward and reader friendly. I dare say these are all manageable in the theme settings.

    Good luck with the new projects. Like you I’m thinking of a second site. All exciting projects and it is great to see you being so successful. You work hard and write beautifully.
    The Guy recently posted…Should You Write Hotel Reviews Online?My Profile

    • I have been looking intently at the Genesis framework for some time. There are certain features that I am specifically looking for with my site update, which makes it difficult to find the right one. I like the Backcountry theme, but as you said the background is dark. Thanks for the input and kind words!

  2. Wow, I really do like them all!! Maybe the 4th one best…but really, they are all great! Looking forward to the new developments!
    Globalmouse recently posted…5 Reason kids love…CubaMy Profile

    • Thanks for the thoughts, I am still not exactly sure which I am going to go with. It may need some tweaking. Thanks and I hope to get something exciting out soon!

  3. Stephen Champagne

    Andy, glad to hear you’ve still got the travel bug, i’m jealous.

    After looking over the 4 themes you posted, i like the Backcountry theme the best. Not sure why, it just seems to stick out to me.

    Hope all is well.

  4. I think I like the 4th one the best as well, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them, they’re all great. I would focus on what features are most important to you and will make blogging easier for you, because they all have a pretty professional feel to them. Good luck! 🙂
    Christina Gmyr recently posted…Travel on a Tight Budget Tips INFOGRAPH!My Profile

    • Solid suggestions Christina! I have been making a list of the attributes that the new theme should have so hopefully I will get one soon. I appreciate you taking the time to comment!

  5. I liked the Insomnia Theme. Thanks for writing …. 🙂

  6. If it helps at all…the Elegant Themes are great. Pretty easy to use, and if you have problems they respond quickly on the forum and try their best to figure out what’s wrong! Good luck redesigning, it sure takes some time!
    Jessica Wray recently posted…Aloo Go…What? : Learning the Language of Indian FoodMy Profile

    • Good to know Jessica! Customer service is an often forgotten aspect of choosing a new theme. It is helpful to know that someone will be there to respond to your questions. Thanks for the tips!

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