Getting from Here to There

My last few days in Vietnam around the corner. Saigon has been a lot of fun just to walk and eat and sometimes drink. Tuesday I fly to Manila for a day and then I catch my original flight to SFO. I have a week there the first time at a Airbnb in Daly City which ends up costing less than most lodging in the city. I will wander around the US for about a month getting from California to Texas via Amtrak and then off to Orlando Florida to see my daughter. Then back on Amtrak to New York and on to Seattle across the US. The very nice thing is that all of the Amtrak voyages are in sleepers which make comfort a bit nicer and its a promise I made myself some years ago to do the Amtrak across the US. I’ll be recording the trip and my destinations with the iPhone 11 and with the new Moment Lens I have. I will have three lens to play with including the Telephoto, Wide Angle, and Macro. The ultra wide angle on the iPhone is pretty cool as well but it does have some limitations like shooting in RAW mode. I will also treat myself to a few days in Seattle and then a week in San Francisco downtown at a hotel to wander around the city with no one to see or things to do. Then its back to the edge. Back to Hanoi to live. That’s the best part for me of all this moving around is ending up for longer in one delightful, wonderful, somewhat strange place. Hanoi is a lot of fun to wander around and with a few Vietnamese friends and a long time to simply unwind from two years of wandering, I think I should reach the good point with life. I could have chosen Cambodia just as easily and bummed around there on a retirement extension which is very easy to get. I may still do that after my year visa ends in Vietnam but its likely I will spend more time in Malaysia as well since I can get 90 days there with no problems.

Blogging and Changes and Platforms and Stuff

A friend Mikka Luster changed his blogging platform from Write.As to SquareSpace. I have never used SquareSpace but in looking at its promotional materials and costs it appeared to be oriented toward professional and business movers and shakers and it offers perhaps some tools that extend how blogs work on a single domain. I am not sure because I only have one blog and cannot ever imagine a second one. Everyone though must get what works for them and as long as Mikka can write his content, share pictures and stories, I am so happy. If its easier for him, so be it. I can see why people that want more or want to be able to extend how they can manage multiple blogs, images, and other rich data want to find better resources to be more productive and be happy. For me and only for me, I left WordPress because I was not happy and I had grown tired of the prevalence of a few things which damaged the credibility to me of the platform:

  1. WordPress is oriented and focused on business users. To be able to use two rather interesting solutions you have to subscribe to higher accounts which then cost more money. There are no upgrades that blend different platform tools. You cannot just purchase a year of theme support on a lesser account. You cannot just get plugin support on a lesser account. You cannot really extend the storage if you plan on using it for images or a photography blog without upgrading to a greater account. It’s all about the push to the business account. There is also the forever frustrating likes and comments trap. Back in the Technorati days, a blog was judged with authority based on linking from another blog to a blogpost. These were harvested and Technorati would publish the top 100 list of blogs based on authority. This gave blogging the readability and referencing and one was able to continue the conversation. Now with the WordPress business orientation to me, the actual roots of blogging are soon forgotten in the push for ads and domain authority and SEO. I’m sure all that is important to influencers and others that wanna be influencers. It does nothing at all for those that merely want to create. It brings me to my second point.

  2. Creation as the Goal. To me the art and act of writing these things is the creation itself. It’s the pushing words against each other and feeling the release sometimes of producing a piece that no one may read. Here on Write.As there is no button to say like”. There is no comment” field. There is only creation. For those wanting to sell its probably not a platform that they would ever go to. I’m, convinced that most of the travel and lifestyle bloggers do not write for the joy of creation ever. They write to become something else. Successful, more followers, more comments. Travel bloggers do not write the feelings and thoughts of the place they just saw too often. Creation as the goal has been dropped in favor of ads and sales and traffic generation. Gone are the halcyon days of writing these things because you loved to find the words next to each other, the feeling it conveys, the joy of simple creation bending that creation to no one’s will. Now this brings me to the last point in this exposition.

  3. Joy and Love of the Word. I write only because I want to write and create and if you read or don’t read, I don’t really care. It’s my joy and love to bring words either good or bad to this canvas. Let you see and feel and find out about one old retired guy that wanders a world he has found so many and actually so few things in. It’s about taking these three things together into one focus point. Getting away from Wordpress with its myriad swings toward business accounts and those that wish to write these things not because they love the words or the goal is creation.

Luckily because of Mikka I found Write.As and I knew as I wrote the first piece that this was it. No plugins and no ads. No likes and comments. Just a canvas to exercise the words and the joy bringing them. For me, its meant more by being less than a thousand WordPress travel blogs with thousands of followers. It’s the canvas folks. It’s the method of the creation and the joy.

I wish Mikka happiness and success in his endeavors writing and I know I will find much in his stories and images. His blog, wherever he writes it, is the stuff to find. The real stuff.

And that’s how I got from here to there. It’s good to relate sometimes when you feel that blogging perhaps has gone so far down that looking up is not seeing the view from the top but just a low ceiling that many so-called bloggers want to find.

If you want detritus and BS and some dirty words once in awhile, you could find them and perhaps interspersed with little tales about the places and the little things with no real merit I have found in wandering. That joy also fuels the creation and the joy in it.

January 10, 2020