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Published: January 7th 2010
7 January 2015 - Time flies so fast. It has been 7 years since I joined Travel Blog, but I feel like it was just yesterday. Over the past 7 years, I have made more than 10 trips abroad to 12 countries and uncountable trips in Vietnam. I have also published 213 blogs and uploaded 9,600 photos. Today I celebrate my 7 year participation in Travel Blog. I would like to thank Alistair (the founder of Travel Blog) again for his help so many times and for his great works to develop this website. I would also like to take this chance to thank 120 regular readers who have recommended me and followed my travel stories for a long time. How did I find out this website?
Back to January 2008. I had been a regular poster on the Thorn Tree (TT) travel forum of the Lonely Planet website for 3 years and reached 10,100 posts in the TT3 system. It was then changed into TT4 and I was pushed back to having only 1,800 posts in my record. This happened the same way to everyone there. I didn't want to go back to the milestone that I had
Dambulla, Sri Lanka (2010)
The Golden Temple in Dambulla, Sri Lanka.
passed a couple of years before. Also, many posters complained about the new format and they left the place. I realized that it was time for me to move on for a new project instead of answering the same questions and wasting my time with the meaningless discussions. I talked about the change to my American friend Jerry and he sent me the links to two websites. The first one was Trip Advisor which is another travel forum. After experiencing both the good and the bad on TT forum, I was no longer interested in any forum. It was enough for me. Becoming a travel blogger
I fell in love at once with the second website which is Travel Blog. I liked the format and its many advantages, for example, unlimited photos, little space for ads, and easy to use. I can write and edit text as well as pre-moderating comments. So I joined Travel Blog and started working on my own page. I wish I would have found this website earlier and set up my own blog. But better late than never. Some people, who read my blog, have never been to Vietnam. I appreciate your patience
Kathmandu, Nepal (2009)
A Tibetan woman was touching her forehead onto the bell at Bouddhanath temple in Kathmandu.
to read all of my entries, as many places are new to you and also difficult to understand. I hope my blog can be a guide for those, who are interested in Vietnam and want to go off the tourist trail.
There is a saying "When the door of happiness closes, another opens". Travel Blog has changed my life. I bring my camera everywhere to take photos of the events, festivals, things around me and collect information for different topics. You can see my style in different positions, as a traveler, blog writer, trip advisor, photographer and model of my own photos. There are difficulties in every position. As a traveler, it takes time, money and energy on every trip. As a blog writer, I have to think what I will write and try to express with my limited English vocabulary. As a photographer, my biggest concern is the weather and how to bring my camera back home safely. As a model of my own photos, it is not always comfortable to wear traditional dress while traveling. Sometimes it's too hot, or too cold, or it rains. I have to walk on high-heels along bumpy dirt roads. I also
Terelj National Park, Mongolia (2011)
Me next to a Mongolian ger - June 2011.
don't feel well after moving around too much by various means of transport. The people, who helped me take photos, were anyone I met on the trips. They could be tuk tuk, cyclo or motorbike taxi drivers, who didn't know how to take photos. Interesting experiences when people found me on this website
In May 2009, I received a message from a Nepalese named Rabindra. He/she saw my photos which were taken near his/her old house in Bhaktapur city, Nepal. He/she wrote "Namaste, in the world I saw you. Thank you, you made me happy. Wish you have a nice world!".
In October 2012, I met a group of Vietnamese tourists at the terraced rice fields in Yên Bái province, North West Vietnam. One of them helped me take a photo. Then we said goodbye and went our different ways. We even didn't know each others names. One day I got a message from one of the guys. By chance they found my blog and contacted me. What a nice surprise! Top 3 most viewed blogs
My top 3 most viewed blogs are all related to Vietnam (the Vietnamese traditional dress, My favorite food in
Savannakhet, Laos (2009)
That Ing Hang stupa, Savannakhet, Laos
Hanoi, and Vietnam - Guide for trip planners). Meeting people through Travel Blog
I have met some bloggers (small number if compared with TT forum) and a few people who found my blog through Google. One of them became my very good friend (Ned). I learned many new English words from him, for example, national trig point, bas-relief, keffiyeh etc. Some people also used my blogs as information for writing essay/article and they sent me a message of thanks.
There are a few friends of mine on TT forum, who have known me for many years. They also keep reading my blog. I haven't made any post on TT forum since 2009. The only reason for me to go back there sometimes is to update information in the FAQ Thread for Vietnam as I am the author. Photos in this blog
The photos in this blog were taken on my trips during 2008 - 2014. Beside every photo, there is a story about the places and people I met in 10 countries and Vietnam. I have traveled by various means of transport and took uncountable flights. Some days the adventure was so scary that I
Dhaka, Bangladesh (2010)
Rickshaws in Dhaka city, Bangladesh.
couldn't believe I still survived. For me, the greatest experiences were meeting with so many interesting people on every trip and reaching new destinations. My future plans
I look forward to making new trips in the future and meeting new friends. There are many great places in Vietnam and I hope you will be here someday. You may say my blog is an advertisement for Vietnam and I only say good things about my country. That is not true. I think it all depends on your attitude when traveling. Some people sent me messages and they said I was lucky I could travel so much. I enjoy going anywhere in both Vietnam and abroad, and experiencing new cultures. I also like what Ali
(the founder of Travel Blog) wrote to me in an email: "I am a world citizen now". That is the attitude I hope every traveler should have.
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