This collaboration has encouraged us to look at things differently – whether it’s travel observations of fascinating architecture, or a home renovation project to build a cool bar top. We often come at a challenge from two diametrically opposed perspectives and devise a solution that surprises and delights both of us.
You’re probably wondering why we’re telling you this? Because we’ve been invited by the amazing and talented Kelly over at Compass & Camera to participate in a “Behind the Scenes” Blog Hop by answering 4 questions.
Although she was born in the US and loves the mountains, Kelly has been living in Singapore for the past 3 years. An inveterate traveler since 1998, her posts will take you off the beaten path to places like Bhutan, Morocco, and Borneo. She says,
“Amidst all the chaos and darkness, the world is full of beauty and good people. This is always my focus. There’s no sense in writing about the negative. That can be found anywhere.”
Kelly, you totally nailed it and we couldn’t agree more. Thanks for the honor! We’re thrilled to be invited by you.
So here’s your backstage pass to see what goes on behind the curtain at Gallivance.
Why do we write what we do?
James: Early in my career I was fortunate to land a job that took me all over the world, and almost immediately, these business trips had me yearning for personal travel. Terri and I have explored the globe together, completed two RTWs, lived and worked abroad for a number of years, and I can’t imagine our lives without travel. It’s my hope that my writing will help, encourage, inform and entertain other travelers as well as armchair adventurers. Also, blogging motivates me to be a more observant traveler, which makes the experience even more rewarding.
Terri: Over all our years of travel and living abroad we’ve been the lucky recipients of great travel ideas, information, and advice from fellow expats, travelers, and writers. Blogging is a great way to pay back this debt of gratitude and pay it forward to current and future travelers.
How does our blog differ from others of its genre?
There are tons of excellent travel blogs that provide travel journals or details of destinations and attractions, and because these areas are so well covered, we wanted to take a different approach. We work hard to look at cities, cultures, and sights from a different perspective. Anytime one or the other of us says, “I’m going to write a post on Medieval gables.” the other immediately asks, “What’s your angle?” For instance, we probably won’t write a post on the history of Rothenburg, Germany, but we will do a piece on the artistic Medieval shop signs which illustrate the history.
One of the biggest advantages we have as bloggers is each other. We’re a team and share all the blogging duties: writing, photography, editing, answering comments, and planning future posts. From the beginning our Prime Directive has been that our blog is about fun, and when it stops being fun, we’ll stop blogging. One of the huge advantages of having two contributors is that if one or the other isn’t particularly motivated to write, the other takes up the slack – kind of like tag-team wrestling.
Also, we have different interests and styles, which gives us a wide range of topics, and that seems to appeal to our readers.
How does our writing process work?
We strive to make our posts entertaining, informative, concise, photo-rich, and if the topic lends itself to it, we throw in a splash of humor! We aim to write killer titles and enticing opening lines that will draw you in and and make you want to read more.
But we’re also not afraid to tackle the serious subjects we encounter.
Primarily we write about travel, but we don’t restrict ourselves to that alone. We’re always on the lookout for interesting post topics, and if we write a good quality post, then others will find it interesting as well. Basically, we write what we would enjoy reading.
James: As to the writing process, if I’m traveling, I blog real-time; finding post topics wherever I happen to be. Many of my posts are photo driven. I really enjoy mining the photo files from previous trips and pulling together a post with a common thread and coherent theme. This process is fun because it usually forces me to look at things from a new perspective.
Terri: This is one area where we’re totally different. I usually start with the story and then choose the art to support it.
We both keep a file of post ideas on our computer desktops, and review it periodically. If we stumble into something interesting, a note gets added to the list, and if the idea is good enough, it will eventually bubble to the top and we’ll write a post about it.
What are we working on/writing?
James: Recently, I’ve been working on our “Weird and Wonderful” series, which was inspired by a year-end review and culling of our iPhoto library. We had lots of wacky, unique, and offbeat photos that were just begging to be published. It’s been a particularly fun series to write because W&W cuts a wide swath, and our comments have been entertaining, illuminating, and frequently surprising.
Terri: I’m expanding on my “Global Cottage” series that looks at how people around the world live in modest dwellings. I’m also exploring how minimalists travel the world. And I’m having great fun with a follow-up to my “There Goes the Bride” post.
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Our Blog Hop Nominations
We would like to invite two bloggers we enjoy immensely to participate in the Behind the Scenes Blog Hop. Their writing fascinates us and we would love to know how they go about it.
Curt at Wandering Through Time and Place – There are travelers and then there are Travelers. If you take some time to review Curt’s lengthy résumé you’ll see what we mean: Peace Corps in Liberia, year after year at Burning Man, kayaking with orcas, and backpacking with the grizzlies. He walks the walk and his blog documents all of it.
Martha at Therapeutic Misadventures – Martha, in her own words has “slowed down, cut down and committed to a life-long dream.” She’s a world traveler, published author, and a beekeeper with a fascinating expat history that she documented in her book Therapeutic Misadventures. If you’re looking for a woman of the world who knows her mind, Martha is your woman.
Curt and Martha, you’re under no obligation to participate. We think your blogs are wonderful, so please take this as our Thank You for all you do. To everyone else, thanks so much for reading!
James & Terri