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Like that title? I honestly couldn’t come up with anything so, that happened. I don’t really have anything of use to write this month as I didn’t travel and didn’t really do anything except scrape some dirty teeth, since turns out dental hygiene is a fuck-of-a-lot more lucrative than blogging. At least I’m guaranteed to make money, and by law they do have to pay me unlike PR organizations and shifty companies I gotta chase down for unpaid invoices because the internet is still the wild god damn west in 2018.

How I feel about companies not paying up via GIPHY

So what did I really do in April?

Mostly worked. As in at my actual day job because I guess I have to be a productive member of society. On my time off I went snowboarding, and tried going on a couple of hikes, well that was until we accidentally broke Rogue’s toe. Rogue is my friend’s dog, and by ‘we’, I mean he broke his own toe running around all excited. Aside from that I wrote a few articles on here and have been patiently awaiting my last documents to arrive from Pennsylvania in order for me to apply for Italian citizenship.

I’ve also been really thinking about getting more done on my second website Alaska on a Bootstring. But, I haven’t. I decided to start a website solely focused on travel in Alaska since I, you know, live here.

I also tried to hustle that trip I’m leading to Tajikistan, China, and Pakistan a little more. Turns out, I’ve explained how to travel Tajikistan a little too well and people wanna do it on their own just gauging from the types of emails I’ve received in the last month. And well, not many people are rushing to Pakistan. But if you’re new here and you’re interested, you can get more information here on Inertia Network’s website. They just got back from a successful trip with a blogger to Bolivia and Peru in April and a really wild and our trip to Russia’s Kamchatka region with Expert Vagabond.

Things I did in regards to this website and other not so exciting related things this month:

  • I created a new logo. Still don’t like it and can’t be fucked to make a better one, or pay someone to do it. All those ‘how to be a successful blogger’ posts out there say you need a captivating logo, but I’m kinda lacking to see the importance as I don’t see a logo and think ‘Damn, that’s a good logo. I bet they write useful or sell some useful shit on there.’
  • I did an Instagram loop giveaway. What an immense pain in the ass that was. I’d honestly rather be stuck in a 127 hours type situation and cut off my own extremity than do that again. The organizers run this thing through a ‘what’s app?’ group. Imagine 40 women fighting over what time an image should be posted. It’s literally like getting stuck in a group text message with like 27 of your asshole friends when planning some kind of drinking outing and 3 girls decide to have a deep discussion about something as banal as what to wear in the group message. If you don’t know what a loop giveaway is, it’s this: 40 bloggers/influencers/e-circlejerkers chip in on a prize. Then entrants will need to follow all 40 instagrammers, comment and tag all their friends and like all the photos. So the lure for the entrants is to win an awesome prize (in this case a trip to Cappadocia), and the lure for the giveaway-ers is that we hopefully gain more followers that we think may be interested in our photos. So what really happens? You gain like 2000 followers (organizers claim 3000+, but blamed an “Instagram glitch” for the post not doing as well, queue my laughter. A glitch? BAHAHAHAHAHA), and then within days, you lose nearly half of those new followers, because people wanna win shit, not follow a bunch of accounts they don’t care about. So, lesson learned. I mean I already stopped giving a shit about Instagram a while back, but I got an email asking if I’d like to join this, and I figured why not? Well, I’ll tell you why not: If you value not being stuck in an annoying group trying to alter the original plan of the giveaway getting a message notification every 30 seconds, then never ever agree to do one of these. The other kicker is that the ‘chip in’ was $60+ per account. So according to my calculations 40 participants x $60 each = $2400. Now let’s subtract the overhead. $500 airfare credit, a hotel I estimate at $300, a balloon ride worth about $100 and a clothing gift certificate of $300 that equals up to roughly $1200 in cost. So $2400-$1200= $1200 in profit for the two organizers. That’s a pretty steep profit for a giveaway if you ask me.
  • Now that I did do one giveaway, it’s opened me up to being spammed by sketchy AF bloggers doing ‘secret giveaways’. WTF is a secret giveaway you ask? Well, I don’t quite know, but if I sign up and pay the $600 fee to join I’ll find out how it works and I’ll magically acquire 18,000 new Instagram followers. Hold on to your tits.

via GIPHY

  • Now that I have participated in one of these stupid loops, not only do I get spammed for the chance to join a secret giveaway. I now have to deal with catty snatches out there over the fact that I participated in one giveaway. Although I find it funny that a lady who runs a curated travel account (meaning she reposts other’s photos for her own egotistical and financial gains), and the other being from a lady that has participated in some practices much shadier than being involved in one giveaway are the biggest shade-casters at the moment (let’s not forget subject b) with the shady practices has also participated in many, many loops in the long time I’ve followed her). Funny enough, I don’t see male bloggers being catty and passive-aggressive like this in their Instagram stories. Why do girls have to try to take each other down? Why???? My lack of cattiness probably explains why no one likes me though, I’m pretty direct most of the time, and people get all offended.
  • Debated with myself over just abandoning this travel blog altogether since I’m not really that successful at it. But then I decided that I’ll continue writing on here and essentially abandon social media. Who wants to bother with paying to have people see things you post anyway? I don’t. I run this bitch, no algorithm can stop me.
  • Answered a lot of emails about Tajikistan. Turns out I (gasp) influenced some people to go there on their own. Thankfully most were from people that had very specific questions on the treks I’ve done there, a few were from people who saw the posts I wrote, but didn’t actually read the post, so it turns out they want someone to plan their trip for them (what you’re actually looking for is called a travel agent, and they do expect payment), and even a couple travel bloggers wanting some tourism board and hotel owner information to try and get a paid trip out there.
    • A paid trip to Tajikistan? Excuse my while I die laughing via GIPHY

  • If you do have more questions about places I go to, I do like it if you email me or leave comments whether you want to tell me about your trip, or you can’t find an answer to your question. That’s what I’m here for. I actually had someone this month send me a photo from Oman of a specific door he saw a photo of on my blog and wanted to find himself. I like those things, it makes me realize people actually use the things I write.
  • I’ve marked countless emails as spam from companies looking to ‘collaborate’ with me for exposure. After 3 years of blogging, I’ve learned that the terms ‘collaborate‘ and ‘exposure‘ tend to be the words of choice among PR managers and companies wanting you to do some marketing for them for free. They really should start to realize what they’re asking for is to exploit me.
  • So until ‘exposure‘ is a valid form of payment among most major retailers, then no, I probably can’t waste hours of my time trying to market your product/service/app to readers here. If I’m going to spend time writing about shit for free on here, then it damn well better be something or somewhere I actually give a fuck about.

So what am I doing in May?

via GIPHY

Haven’t gotten that far yet. I don’t like to live my life methodically planned out. Why would I commit to something too far in advance? Like what if I don’t feel like eating Thai food next Wednesday, Amanda? My inability to commit to simple things is probably the reason why I only have a small handful of friends.

But in reality, my work calendar is booking out (I mostly am a temp dental hygienist, if you didn’t know that already). And planning my trip to Italy later this year.

Oh sorry, did I not mention before that I’m going to Italy sometime this year? Well, I am. Turns out getting my Italian citizenship via the consulate in San Francisco isn’t a reality being that you can’t seem to get an appointment to even take care of it. So I’m doing it in the motherland. But, with Pennsylvania taking their sweet ass time getting the last couple documents I need dug up, I can’t say when I’ll go do that yet. If you must know it should take an estimated 60-85 days for them to procure my documents, I am currently on day 145. Yes, I have called them, and I pretty much just have to wait.

Sorry to keep you guys on your toes about my upcoming plans.

But I’m finally at that point in this post that I don’t really have any more shit to continue whining about so, I’ll leave you with a list of my posts from April.

What I wrote in April

18 Off the Beaten Path Destinations in Asia You Need to Visit in 2018– Some fresh ideas on where to visit on Earth’s largest continent.

One Week in Oman: A Budget Friendly Roadtrip Itinerary– I wrote this last year, but updated it for 2018.

A Guide to Bako National Park in Malaysian Borneo– I finally got around to writing this, Bako NP is still one of my most favorite places in Southeast Asia.

The Best Hostels in Anchorage, Alaska– Well, it really should be called ‘The Only Hostels in Anchorage’, not much to choose from here.

10 Reasons to Visit the Pamirs– Some clickbait to try and get you join my tour in June. But really, it’s a cool place to go even if you don’t come with me.

What I wrote on other blogs

The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Alaska on We Are Travel Girls- I broke it down and tried to encompass the massive state in one article.

Need Travel Insurance?

Start shopping plans over at battleface, my go-to travel insurance choice, or over at World Nomads.

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