Hello everyone and welcome to foXnoMad’s first ever live chat to go along with the best comments from this past month.
Click here to jump right down into the discussion, see the best comments of October, and talk travel with my guest John O’Nolan and I.
John is an interactive designer traveling the world with laptop and a camera – working as an interactive designer for people like Microsoft, WordPress and Virgin Atlantic Airways. He also writes books and speaks at travel and technology conferences all over the world.
I met John in Valencia, Spain back in June and have invited him to hang out for the live chat so you can talk with him about travel photography, what it’s like to be a few days away from a major round-the-world trip, and anything else you’d like. John is also one of the creators of the travel blogging media site Travelllll.com if that’s more your chatting fancy.
- The chat is only open from 11am-2pm US EST (3pm-6pm GMT)!
I’ll also be posting photos and chatting with you from Porto, Portugal where I happen to be this week. The chat will take place exclusively in the comments section right below this post – click here to get started!
Hi everyone, I’m a bit early but getting things tested for the live chat about to get going in a few minutes…
wow, that is a first time you are early! 🙂
😀 I was thinking the same thing! Although I did almost just oversleep…
Hey there. The fastest Turk picture is a great one to use!
Thanks! Showcasing John’s photography skills. Man I wish I could do that F1 again…
Before I forget, I wanted to highlight the best comments from this past October. The first is from The World Or Bust who says you shouldn’t neglect stretching your stomach simply for the sake of stretching your budget.
Guest this chat John O’Nolan points to this nifty language translation app and Connie reminds us no matter what we use, not to mumble!
Hi everyone 🙂 Great to be here – happy to answer any questions!
How’s your travel going so far John? Where are you these days?
Hi Brooks – I’m in central London right now, but in less than 12 hours I’ll be on a plane to Brisbane to speak at WordCamp GoldCoast at the end of this week!
Nice! I figured you’d be sticking around for WTM. Got any activities planned for Brisbane besides the conference?
Nah I’m only there for the conference I’m afraid – after that I’m flying on to Sydney for a couple of months. No idea what I’m doing there yet, but I’m certainly looking forward to it!
Hi John, I appreciate you being here. Especially after the “quiet” weekend at Travelllll 😛
Ok, I’m prepared now
John O’Nolan likes this. (y)
Yeah, that’s a surprise 🙂
Hi John, I was wondering how you prepare for a round the world trip or any major trip in general. Any pre-travel rituals? 🙂
At the very last minute – naturally! But in all seriousness, I just email Anil a lot with annoying questions and then do whatever he tells me. My RTW trip was actually sparked by a conversation with Anil earlier this year!
How’s that for buck-passing Anil?
haha, you’re not annoying but I’ll take that buck 🙂
“very last minute” is Anil’s middle name!
I’m incredibly terrible. I don’t even know where I’m going after my airport arrival in Istanbul tomorrow. Though staying there for a few days is *very* tempting!
@ Anil: Not jealous that you’re going to Istanbul at all!! 😉 Tantuni – don’t forget. Be careful with that wine you’re drinking there. We’re REALLY enjoying some new Sevilen reds. Lovely!
@JohnONolan: Hope Turkey is on your itinerary somewhere…
It will be a quick stop but wish you guys could be there too. Will definitely stop for tantuni after a session at Big Pub 🙂 Enjoy the Sevilen!
…and I’ll triple the recommendation for a visit to Turkey John 😉
What’s the first thing you’ve missed so far since selling everything and living out of a backpack?
Honestly? The only thing I miss is my dog – who’s staying with a friend of mine in Wales. There’s literally nothing else I’ve even thought twice about. That might change, but I can’t foresee it at present! Very much enjoying the minimalist existence at the moment. I know everyone always says it, but it really is quite liberating not having all that “stuff” to worry about.
One day there will be an airline that has areas for dogs so they’re much easier to fly with. I can’t imagine that won’t happen, until then, definitely tough.
There wasn’t that much I missed, until I got back. Now that I’m back in the states, I miss everything…
The road is so seductive, especially after traveling like you have. It’s hard to go back; to me it’s always a feeling like Captain Kirk coming back to Earth.
Yep, although, about 6 months in I started getting tired of everything I had with me since i was using it day in and day out. Same shit, different day! I splurged in Amman for a pair of jeans and a sweater. It was heavenly 🙂
Come to Porto, it’s an extremely fashion oriented town with a very cool style.
Alright, gotta jet for a job interview 🙁 But great chatting with ya and safe travels!
Thanks again and talk soon!
Hi!,just came back from work, so someone might have already asked you this, and you probably logged out, but.. Where did you spend Halloween?, and For how long do you think you will keep travelling around the world?
I’m here! As long as the comments are open the chat is rolling…
as for Halloween, I had heard there was a big party here in Porto but the weather was incredibly bad I didn’t venture out. From what my friends have told me, not many other people in the city did either.
As for how long I’ll be traveling? Hmmm, tough question. I have the long-term goal to visit every country but think my traveling style will change at some point. Right now it would take me about 10 years to complete my goal at a comfortable pace.
How about you, what did you do for Halloween?
I don’t really do Halloween – but I was in Bournemouth in the UK when it was going on, which seemed to involve little more than a lot of young girls wearing surprisingly little.
I have no idea how long I’ll be travelling for – which I kind of like – all I know that 14 months is the minimum, after that we’ll see 🙂
Surprisingly this year it seemed like many more people around the world outside of the US were celebrating.
Really excited for you btw, that first go to the airport is a memorable experience and catching another flight may become routine at some point, but personally, it doesn’t get boring.
I do have a semi-blogging/photography question for you – what do you think some of the most common travel photo mistakes are?
Whether they’re being published online or just shown to mom…
I’ve got a few:
1.) Over-processing. People think whacking out the contrast and levels or applying vintage filters looks great. In reality, all processing should be done *subtly*. Reduce the opacity or level of whatever effect you’re applying and make it less obvious.
2.) Shooting in RAW on a DSLR and not processing at all. The only reason the RAW format exists is to make it possible to do advanced processing. RAW images *without* processing are *deliberately* washed out and ugly because it’s expected you’ll edit them. If you’re just taking tons of snapshots, shoot in JPG. If you’re shooting something special and you’re willing to process, use RAW.
3.) Kneel / lie / climb. Take photos from every possible angle that’s *not* standing up and holding the camera in front of your face. The most common angle for a photo in the world is 186cm off the ground. Boring!
Awesome – I can see in my own pictures where I figure out how to make a certain change, then have pictures where I go totally overboard until I learn to achieve the same effect without making it look like a comic book or acid trip. A bit embarrassing but interesting to be able to go back and see the progression.
Good question.. as I’m the worst photographer in the world, or at least in America, I find it difficult to fin just one mistake.
Firstly,I think we always try to take pictures of common things from the same point of view, we don’t try to innovate in that field. Secondly, I personally have issues with the sun, with light and the flash and all that (grrr!), but I would have to say that when we travel, we always take pictures with tourist in the middle, we just can’t avoid them! And for the technical part, I’ve no idea. Maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll take a photography course during the summer.We’ll see..
And for Halloween, I spent it at home with my family, watching the Scream Awards.
Thanks for answering you guys! Glad to hear from you!
Flash is something that still confuses me to the point where I try to overcome that deficiency by taking different shots with different lighting settings. And the tourists, I’ve been trying to use them more because in some places it’s impossible to avoid unless it’s 5am!
Thank you for sharing and stopping by 🙂 Hope Halloween was a good one!
Thanks for the tips John! I’ll do my best tom implement them correctly.
Bye AnilP ! Hope keep receiving your newsletter from time to time.
Happy Halloween to both! Later!
Hi guys! I’m speaking at a photography class in a few minutes – any last minute advice I should give the high schoolers?! Also – trying to plan my 2012 travels what off the beaten track country would you recommend I should include?
Hi Sherry 🙂 My advice would be to take smaller photos within a larger scene to add variety. A pigeon with the Palace of Westminster in the background for example. I’ve noticed after a while my shots start looking all like each other so I try to shift to other smaller stories taking place around the big subject.
As for offbeat (I’m actually writing something like that for Thursday funny enough) I would suggest Oman. Beautiful country, nothing like I had expected in terms of the people and especially landscapes.
Good advice! I think the high schoolers will love it! Will look forward to your thursday piece. Impressed that you know what you are writing already. I am so last minute lately!!
Have fun today Sherry!
I try to write one week in advance – or at least have the ideas in my mind already. I find myself mentally writing drafts which makes it easier when I get in front of the laptop. Not always but when I can!
I’ve been following you for awhile and thoroughly enjoy your insights and tips. On that note, I just started my travel blog, that I will update throughout my 2012 RTW trip, with the goal of turning it into a content-based travel site. Aside from what you written about what advice could you give to help me form my voice, stand out, and offer unique advice/tips?
Hi JT, thank you, I’m glad you’ve been enjoying the site. My primary advice would be to write about what you love from an angle you’re very knowledgeable about. Don’t go at travel in the same way as most others do and be accessible. I try in a way to make foXnoMad and extension of myself and travels.
Hope that helps a bit!
It does, thank you. One more question is where did you learn to write? I’m taking a Matador U writing course to hone my skills so Im curious where others learn their craft.
I’ve never taken a formal class in English, much of what I’ve learned is from writing and writing everyday and taking time to read other books and blogs. I find hearing a variety of voices helps make it easier to find your own.
Hi everyone, I’m going to shut things down for this month and hope to do another again on Thursday, December 1rst with another guest. I want to thank you John for spending a part of your valuable time chatting with everyone today.
I encourage everyone to check out John’s site for development, travel, and photography. He’s a great guy who’s very knowledgeable about all of those things and more:
Also, those of you interested in travel blogging, social media, and related should swing by Travelllll.com; one of the best sites covering those topics. Another one of John’s creative projects.
Until next month, happy traveling!