When Blogging Changes Your Life

Art of Backpacking turns two years old!

The first post went out on December 4th, 2008 with a simple picture of Grinnell Glacier Moraine. I was just testing the waters. I had no idea what I was getting into and it started with really simple and lame articles. The site was hosted for free from a friend and we didn’t even have SEO friendly URL’s because the host didn’t have that functionality.  The first theme we used was the Church Child Theme by StudioPress. There was absolutely no flow to it and the colors used were horrible for a backpacking travel site. The big leap was when I bought a years worth of hosting on Bluehost and later changed to our current theme.

The First Design (Only picture we have of it)
The first design (Only picture we have of it) and the computer it was made with.

Why did AOB start?

During the process of planning my RTW trip, I realized how little my family and friends knew about backpacking and extended travel. To be honest, I knew very little about it as well but I was open to the idea of learning and doing it. I kept sending blog links to my family to prove I wasn’t crazy and other people were doing it. I didn’t have a single friend that had ever backpacked either. After I got back from a short trip to Montreal, I came home feeling motivated to share what backpacking is all about in hopes to inspire family and friends to travel. I’ve been making websites for years but never a self hosted blog.

Where is AOB at now?

Art of Backpacking is designed using the wonderful and powerful theme of Thesis on WordPress. I’m against using too many plugins therefor most of what you see has been designed and made by me. I’m not an expert in coding neither design but I’ve learned as I went along in the last two years. These last few days I’ve spent hours with new designs, functionality, and code. The new header, navigation bar, and the tab feature on the right are three new changes. I’m in love with simplicity in a website and always aiming for it on here. The website is constantly growing and changing.

  • 500+ RSS Readers
  • 800+ E-mail Subscribers
  • 5000+ Twitter Followers
  • 3,600+ Facebook Likes
  • 300+ Articles
The Daily Life of a Travel Blogger in Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Daily Life of a Travel Blogger in Buenos Aires, Argentina

What has this website done for me?

Countless things. For one, I found love. Sounds nerdy but it’s the truth. Art of Backpacking has completely changed my life’s direction. It has changed where I travel, my philosophy, and my future. I am grateful for everything it has done for me. I am of course even more grateful for all the income it has drawn to continue my travels. If someone were to tell me all this could happen after two years consistently blogging, I would have thought they were out of their mind. Art of Backpacking has grown into something I’ve never expected.

The travel blogging community is enormous and I had no idea it existed prior to starting one. I’ve made friends all over the world, many of which I may or may not have seen in person. I tend to now talk to my travel blogger friends more so than my friends back at home that are not bloggers. There’s a general understanding among us of the traveling lifestyle and blogging thus making it easier to relate to and to have conversations with. I know more of what my travel blogger friends are doing than my own family. This is thanks to Twitter and Google Reader. Makes sense as updates are sometimes instantaneous and articles are written day-by-day of someones life.

A friend told me a few days ago after I said I’ve been working all day on the blog, she says “What’s so hard about blogging? All you do is write.” This got me thinking of all the things involved in a blog. How I could possibly explain how much it actually impacts a person? It was much simpler to say “There’s much more to it than that.” and end it at that.

I want to end with a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has supported Art of Backpacking. Thank you to all of you for the incredible journey and to all the friends I’ve made because of it. Happy Holidays and Happy New Years! Here’s to another two years and more!

Safe travels :)

Michael Tieso

Michael Tieso travels around the world writing, photographing, and filming his adventures. He is the Editor-in-chief of Art of Adventuring.
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