Should We Bring A Laptop?

VS. BT Keyboard and Smartphone


If we want to blog while we are on the road then a laptop would sure make things easier.   It would also let us watch movies and TV shows during relax time.   We have an old (2009?) Acer Aspire 1810T Special Edition that is a great little 11″ ultraportable.  It plays HD movies, still gets about 5 hours battery life and runs Windows 10 Pro without breaking a sweat.  The big problem though, is that with the power adapter it’s 1.7Kg!  Pretty ironic for a carry on round the world blog no?  With a 40L pack and small laptop we’d already be up to 3Kg.  That’s almost 50% of some low cost carriers weight allowance!  So should we bring a laptop??

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Moments of November Oddness

Frayed not

Is oddness a word?  Since it didn’t come up underlined I can only assume yes, I could confirm that it is.. but where is the fun in that?  I like the start so will just go with it.  November has been full of odd moments.  It all started off when I booked a massage… sounds scary I know!  It appears that the booking of the massage has resulted in me losing my job, being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, my family together for the first time in 17 years, a new hot water tank and swimming lessons.  What?  For real? Why yes, yes indeed I reply.  Let’s start at the beginning…

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Hosting a New Website

How do you go about hosting a new website?  This is another big step in the process of starting a blog.  There are so many choices out there, you will probably suffer from information overload once you start researching how and where to host your site.  There are 2 main decisions to make:

  1. How should I host it?: the type of hosting service you need such as home servershared, dedicated, VPS etc.
  2. What hosting company to pick to provide that type of hosting service.

The two are obviously related.  Depending on the type of hosting you need will drive your hosting company choice.  For instance if I decide to go the shared hosting route I’ll research what is a top shared hosting company.  The main drivers of the first choice are what kind of money you want to spend and how technical you are.

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Picking a Domain Name

So we knew we wanted to start a website for our journey and one of the first big to do items was picking a domain name.  Based on work I’ve done in the past, I’ve found that picking a domain name is becoming very difficult.  Most of the easy ones are gone due to the billions of people on the internet, unless you get incredibly lucky.  Creativity is the key.  You don’t want it too long or be tough to decipher.  I highly recommend you do it with someone else who you can bounce ideas off.  When you think of one, first find out if someone already has it.  Unless you are rich, you probably don’t want to pay someone for a domain they are cybersquatting on.  I use to do a search which will tell you whether you’ve found an unused one.

The .com “top-level domain” (TLD) is the one you ideally want but if you must have a specific name and don’t care about the TLD you could go for another that is available.  Here’s a good article on the ins and outs of TLDs and another about picking a domain name.

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Best Blogging Platform?

So you’re doing something big in your life and you want to document your experiences online for posterity.  What is the best blogging platform to use is an important decision to make.  For those of us who consider time a valuable resource, choosing a free, fully functional and well featured solution is definitely the way to go.  I suppose if your super geeky and have a LOT of time on your hands you could open up your favourite text editor (vim, emacs, notepad++, textedit) and start hacking away at php, html, css, js etc.  I wouldn’t mention it to anyone if you did. 😉

After a few minutes of research it quickly became clear that WordPress is by far the people’s best blogging platform of choice.  As a result, we’ve joined the masses and setup WordPress to use as our travel journal/blog.  We’ll be documenting the process of preparing for an awesome trip round the world and then actually doing it.  Installation was easy and it seems straight forward to use and very well supported with a huge community.  Currently it’s on our home Linux server (Ubuntu) in the basement that runs  At some point the server and basement will be gone along with most everything else we own. 😯

So we’ll need to migrate it to a website hosting service ASAP.  Add that to the list of things to investigate and do.  It looks like you can do amazing things with just WordPress and it’s free plugins and themes.  However if your blog takes off, there’s a plethora of paid plugins and themes available.  This is probably why WordPress appears to be the most popular blogging platform out there.

Update Sept. 10th, 2015:  I’ve moved our blog to using their GoGeek server package and our shiny new domain name.  😎