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celebrating the wedding

As I have reached my 27th birthday, I thought it would be interesting to ask my readers, followers and generally people I know to ask me some questions. I have written up all my answers below, while if you have another question you would like me to propose, please do leave it in the comments at the bottom of the page and I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.

What has been your favourite country so far?

I know I should come out with somewhere tropical or off the beaten track, but so far it has to be the USA. Each state I visited offered something so contrasting to the last, from camping in the deserts, to gambling in Vegas, cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge in San francisco, shooting a gun in Miami, saving a pilot whale by the Keyes, partying in New Orleans, living like a cowboy in Fort Worth, living the hippy lifestyle in Austin and everywhere else, it was the greatest moments of my life. It helped being with great friends, but I have never been happier than those moments.

Do you hate being back home again or are you OK returning to work?

This one is a hard one. When I was at Directline Holidays, it was the happiest I had been (except for travelling), where I woke up every day with the biggest smile on my face. People at work respected me, I was damn good at my job, I would have banter with everyone and every day felt better than the last. It was the only job I’ve ever been in where I would go to bed on Sunday night with a smile and wake up Monday Morning dancing around my room. I left the job for another one paying much more money and I regretted it pretty quickly and I haven’t felt the same feeling of happiness since that job, so I would say don’t always think about the money, appreciate the good times!

Have you ever spent your birthday abroad anywhere?

Yes, I spent my 26th birthday in Peru, I was off Ica and Lawrence sang me happy birthday while I drank orange juice and ate some bread and jam. We then went on a boat ride around what was the budget version of the Galapagos Islands, looking at seals and other cool animals. We then jumped on a coach and went up to Huacachina for a hell of a lot of Pisco Sour’s. This was also the day where I became close to Lorenzo and Faye, the people I spent the rest of my journey with and still hold really close to me.

Where do you really still want to go to?

The main place I long for is Asia. I want to take a three week trip next year there, but I will probably leave the big trips now and adjust to holidays instead, albeit travelling style holidays. I’m just not one of those people who can do two week beach breaks to Tenerife or Lanzarote. I haven’t been to a full moon party, so that has to change soon!

What has been your biggest regret so far while travelling?

The main two things I can think of are 1) when we were in Vegas, we could have got a helicopter ride over Vegas, which would then take us over the Grand Canyon, all the way to the bottom, where we could then go white water rafting. After a full day and night (or just day if we wanted), we would then get the helicopter back over the Grand canyon and back to Vegas. The price was definitely affordable, but we were near the start of a massive adventure and I was scared of running out of money. But the main reason we didn’t do this was because we were with people who simply weren’t interested in doing this. What did I learn? When travelling do what you want to do, even if others aren’t interested. Do it separately otherwise you will look back with regrets.

Have you ever got a piercing or a tattoo while travelling?

Yes, I got my nipple pierced while in Budapest. It was insanely painful, but hey, the magic of alcohol got me through! Two weeks after I got home I accidentally punched it out when getting out of bed. The pain of putting it back in meant I just left it out and moved on with my life.

What would be your top recommendations to someone who wants to setup their own travel blog?

Firstly, work out a name and make sure the domain name is free. Once you have finally chosen the one (don’t underestimate how long this will take, domain names are all pretty much gone if you want a decent one, so prepare to be creative), buy it and get all the associated social media profiles. I would generally recommend getting the hosting with the domain provider, simply as it is easier, but this doesn’t always mean it is better, just an easier process at the start.

Set up your site with WordPress and get to know the basics. Go on to Codecademy to learn the basics of HTML and CSS. You will also want to look into PHP as this is how WordPress is run. I’m not saying you have to have a deep knowledge of coding, but understanding the basics will definitely help you.

I would then work on building up a giant content pile. When my site went live, I had about 2 months worth of blog posts ready to go in at once every 3 days. My biggest time killer is actually making these articles, so don’t underestimate how useful it will be to have a huge collection of these already out of the way, so you can focus on making your site look nice and gain some much needed rankings.

From this point, you need to start thinking natural link building tactics. Learn about the topics and how to meet the Google guidelines while building out link building campaigns. For example, try and offer to be a case study for newspaper and magazine journalists, this has brought me a ridiculously large amount of success. Plus a link from one of those sites is worth a thousand weaker links.

Well, that’s all from me, I hope you all have an amazing day, time for me to pop some champagne!

Written by | tombourlet

Tom Bourlet is the creator of Spaghetti Traveller and has been addicted to travelling ever since taking a roadtrip across the USA.

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