7 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About My Posts On foXnoMad

July 9, 2013 by Anil Polat  

sitting on bokur mountain

On June 24th, this blog turned 7 years old. Over the past 84 months I’ve written 2,180 posts, created 394 pages, and received 26,165 comments from all of you. (My favorite part of running foXnoMad.) Most of you are likely new readers, perhaps finding me though The Best City To Visit Travel Tournament or one of my recent mentions in Lifehacker. Maybe you’re old school from 2008, but hopefully not constipated anymore. Or you’re my mom, the only person who read this site for a long while after it was created.

During the last 7 years the articles here and their writer have developed small traditions of our own. From Cardassian space stations to my emergency editor, these are 7 things you probably didn’t know about the posts on foXnoMad.

1. There Were Originally Multiple Authors

Initially I started this blog with several friends as a way for us to keep in touch with each other after we had all moved to different parts of the globe. About a few months in, I was the only one writing, mostly about absurd random topics. That is, until I got my first comment from someone who wasn’t an immediate family member. It was then I decided to try to put some effort into what I was writing. I chose the three topics I knew best and was passionate about: travel, technology, and anthropology.

amritsar india golden temple

2. I Used To Post 5 Times A Week

And I don’t know how I did it. In early 2010 I cut back to 3 times a week. Then, late last year, twice a week. It’s not that I have less to say but that each post requires more behind the scenes work like editing photos and uploading videos. I also write reviews of all the places I’ve eaten, stayed, and bars I’ve not been too drunk to remember. So there isn’t less content really, it’s just distributed differently.

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number 5 macbook pro

3. Planned Articles Are Usually Finalized The Weekend Before

I maintain an idea list of several hundred, adding to it as my mind or experiences give me inspiration. Sometimes I have a general idea of where my posts will go over a period of several weeks, but I rarely know for sure prior to the preceding Sunday.

new delhi train station

4. Almost All Of The Photos Used In Posts Are Mine

At least after sometime in 2011 if I’m recalling correctly. Around then I decided to use only pictures I’ve taken in my posts, unless otherwise noted. That means I now take hundreds of photos at every place I visit, often snapping random pictures at gift shops and museums. You never know when you’ll need a photo of a velociraptor.

oaxaca art

5. My Sister Is My Go-To Editor

It takes me an average of 8-10 hours to complete a given post, most of that time researching relevant information and editing the draft multiple times. Occasionally, at the end of that process, nothing looks right. I don’t send every article to her but when I’m unsure about a theme, sentence, or title, she’ll graciously tell me I’m stupid and help me (temporarily) correct the problem.

sydney ferries

6. You Probably Won’t Get An Email Response From Me Early In The Week

Monday through Wednesday are my primary writing days to prepare my weekly Tuesday and Thursday posts. I get 200-400 emails a day and found it’s more productive to focus on writing first, then deal with everything else later.

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air mail box mexico

7. There Are Deep Space 9 Easter Eggs Hidden In Posts

Some are more obvious than others but there are a number of covert references to my favorite Star Trek series, Deep Space 9. A great series to marathon on your next long layover, somehow inserting various mentions, quotes, and names became a habit I formed. I’ve thought about running a contest to see who could find the most Star Trek easter eggs but I doubt even I could even locate them all at this point.

Now It’s Your Turn

This list of 7 is limited to my side of the keyboard. Since you are all as much a part of this site as I am, I’d like to hear what I might not know about how you read my posts. How did you first find my site and when was it? Any favorite posts or not-so-favorites? Let’s take a trip down memory lane together in the comments below, I’ve got your visas ready.

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  1. I’ve been following your website (along with your friend, Wandering Earl which was the link to you) for a couple of years now. I used a lot of your information to help us prepare for the change in our lives to become perpetual travelers. I’ve been married 33 years so downsizing from a home to a suitcase and backpack each took about a year and a lot of thinking, research & planning. Your advice on VPN’s, computers, technology, etc. has been great and has helped tremendously. We’re in our tenth month of travel, started a blog, and love our new lifestyle. I’ll continue to check out your tips. Thanks! Anita

  2. Gayla says:

    I wish I could be as regimented in my scheduling when it comes to writing and posting. Thanks sharing your system πŸ™‚
    #8 for your list: Yours is the only site I’ve seen, thus far, that has a prompt and a link in the comment section for obtaining a gravatar.
    Now, I have a gravatar. Thanks!!

  3. Adam Finan says:

    Hey Anil,
    I have been aiming to get my site to 50 posts first and then plan to do a post a day for 30 days while in Chiang Mai.. I think setting little challenges can help. But I also like to use my own videos and it can take a few hours editing and uploading..etc.. SOld my Nikon D3000 to get a GoPro and happy about the decision so far.. Currently on a NZ road trip sitting on the couch in a YHA as I write this.. πŸ™‚

    • Anil Polat says:

      I agree – personally, without a schedule, goals, and deadlines, I wouldn’t be able to keep regularly posting this long. I’m tempted by GoPro as well, may have to pick one up!

  4. Agnishwar says:

    HI Anil, frankly I started following your site only a couple of weeks ago, but what a journey its been and boy do you have a fan in me. I remember coming across your site thru a google query for “tech travel asia”

    Its still been too new and irregular for me to give u an honest perspective, but I will keep in touch πŸ™‚ in much the same light as these other kind comments so far, i reiterate the fact that U Inspire!

    • Anil Polat says:

      Hi Agnishwar, thank you very much and I’m very humbled to hear I’ve got a fan in you. I hope you’ll enjoy the content I have coming and if not, feel free to let me know what you’d like to see.

  5. Julia says:

    I only the one about your sister being your editor and nice of you to say she tells you ‘graciously.’ Really? πŸ˜‰ We (as in Barry) found you on Twitter by the way.
    As for our posting schedule and planned posts…as and when and *very* rarely planned. It’s seen us straight for the last 5 years so it will have to suffice because we’ve tried to be organised and it doesn’t work! πŸ˜‰

    • Anil Polat says:

      haha, I think at this point she just puts up with me asking πŸ™‚

      I never knew it was Twitter! But do remember the first time we met πŸ™‚ I wish I could make the no organization work but it disrupts me and generally folks here tend to get upset when I modify the schedule.

      Though it works well for you and personally, I like seeing the surprise of a TurkeysForLife post pop up on my news feeds.

  6. Priyank says:

    Very cool! Congratulations Anil! It’s hard work keeping a blog going that long (and also staying humble despite having a near-celebrity status)!

  7. Before seeing your site, I was becoming a little disillusioned with the idea of having my own blog as it seemed that to be the best, you had to have a really expensive camera and some advanced photography skills.
    Then, on a post, you told me how you only use a point and shoot, which got me thinking that I didn’t need to upgrade my camera (very low level dslr) to take decent shots.
    Anyways, long story short, youre the reason im still blogging.

    • Anil Polat says:

      I’m honored to hear that. With the technology available to us now and the quality of point and shoots, it’s really narrowing the field.

  8. I haven’t been following you long enough to answer most of your questions. I started following you, honestly, mostly because my boyfriend and I started our own travel blog and we got into reading and commenting on other travel blogs. I added the ones I liked most to my feedly and yours made the cut.

    I appreciate this breakdown of your ‘schedule’ it’s nice to see how other people organize their time especially when you’re so new and still trying to organize your time. πŸ™‚

    • Anil Polat says:

      Happy I made it πŸ™‚

      And I’m glad to hear my schedule was useful, without an organized one, whatever it may be, it’s difficult to blog consistently. You’ll find this especially true once your RTW begins.

      • Jade H says:

        I can imagine, that’s why we’re trying to get somewhat of a flow now so hopefully it sticks while we’re gone. πŸ™‚