Although this blog used to directly chronicle my round the world travels, the stories are now most often presented non-linearly. This makes it hard to know where I am and what I’m working on right now!
This is the current state of things as of September 2017.
Location & Travel Plans
I spent the summer walking the Camino de Santiago (and staying offline for the entire six weeks). From there, I jumped straight into a new work opportunity that will take 80% of my focus for the next six months. I am working with USAID on a tourism project in Kyrgyzstan. I visited in early August on a research trip, and throughout the autumn I am basing myself from the U.S. so that I can write five websites for five cities in Kyrgyzstan. USAID has worked on the project for several years now, and brought me on as a consultant for content development and SEO services. With a new independent travel infrastructure, my job is to develop the websites and content to help guide future tourists around the country. It’s been truly fascinating to witness firsthand what it takes to help a developing region design tourism products and services that will boost and support the economy. I am thrilled. After years of writing about social enterprises and the need for tourism to directly contribute to local economies, this USAID project ramped up my knowledge and understanding ten fold.
As noted, I am basing from the U.S. so that I can focus on writing for the Kyrgyzstan project. That means back in my hometown in Florida for a while, and a month with friends in Colorado, too. Additionally, I am in the process of applying for a Spanish residency visa, with a goal of moving to Barcelona by spring 2018, if I am approved for the visa. If not … no clue. :)
Projects and Passions
2016 marked the end of most of my client projects. I am on a long hiatus from marketing consulting, at least outside the travel sphere. This past year was the first time I had taken a break from that line of work in 10 years. Saying no to the consulting work freed me to focus on my passion projects and launching new things that I’ve wanted to push out into the world for a few years now. Here’s a quick snapshot on those:
- I did a 52 books in 2016 project. I’m a big reader but sometimes books are the first thing to fall away when I’m busy. You can follow my book journey here, where I shared what I read and what I learned from it. Although I read at least to 70 books, I didn’t make my goal because I wanted to read 52 non-fiction or critically acclaimed books. I hit close to 40 of those, and then 30+ of other fun reads. I’ll continue the goal throughout 2017, however, and continue updating that page.
- Country guides. Every time I travel, I round-up my tips and resources, now they’re getting formally laid out and easy to browse. You guys asked for more of these, and they’re popular on the site, so I am expanding this section. The first dozen are up now, I’d be chuffed if you check them out.
- Editing my 5,000+ backlog of photos from my travels so I can share those stories in the coming year.
- Supporting my GV Ambassadors who are dedicating their time to my responsible travel website. This is a passion project that often falls through the cracks when I don’t say no to enough things.
Need to Get in Touch
Right now, I’m focusing all my of attention on these projects. If you’d like to connect on one of these things, read of my contact page or join me on social media:
This page is inspired by Derek and was last updated on September 2, 2017.