My 7 Links is sort of like a Best Of post, but with a twist. Instead of measuring by number of hits, Tripbase asks each of us to evaluate our blogs based on 7 different criteria. Kind of a Yom Kippur for bloggers, if you will.
Audrey and Dan of Uncornered Market tagged me as one of their bloggers.
This comes at a particularly perfect time as I’m in the process of moving my blog over –- finally – to Wordpress and have been going through all my posts to decide which I want to keep and which will be left to seep into the dark and forgotten corners of cyberspace.
And now, with no further drama or ado, I give you my seven.
Most Popular Post
This one was easy to choose. This post has by far received the most hits, the most links in and the most e-mail. It's been featured on AOL twice, MSNBC and other places I don't even remember.
I do remember, though, exactly where I was when I wrote it. Sitting in Cafe Victoria on Plaza 9 de Julio, the main square in Salta just a few weeks after we arrived. At that point, I had no idea we would still be here three years later.
I was just starting to gear my blog beyond family members so this was one of the first posts I wrote with a larger audience in mind. I published How to Pay For Two Years Of Travel, Part II, shortly after.
Most Controversial Post
Almost immediately after hitting publish on this post, I began to receive nasty and usually anonymous e-mails about how I'm not a good American and have betrayed my country. Then I watched as my blog subscriptions dropped more in one week than in the rest of the five years I've been blogging.
I don't believe myself to be unpatriotic simply because I'm willing to be honest about a very ugly part of American history. I believe it is only through that honesty that we can become a better, more inclusive nation. Anyone who can't handle it? Too bad.
Most Helpful Post
My choice for this category was a toss up between this one and a post giving the nitty gritty, boring details of renewing your tourist visa in Salta. I ultimately chose How To Avoid Scams, because it has a more widespread usefulness. While the scam I encountered was in Buenos Aires, the methods to avoid, handle in the moment and report afterwards are universal.
Post That Surprised Me With Its Success Most
This was my first post to go viral. I published one night before ped, and the next morning when I saw my hits were about 1000 times what they normally were for the early morning, I was surprised.
This, too, was shortly after I began writing posts for people other than family or friends, and I was just beginning to get a feel for what worked and what didn't. While I can't say I have mastered the art of making posts go global, seeing the response to My Birthday Challenge taught me much.
Most Beautiful Post
This post always gets me. I think because when I read it I remember being at Lenox Mall so clearly and being overwhelmed with conflicting emotions of being overjoyed to be home while simultaneously and with equal force wanting to return to the beach and the freedom of travel.
It's a feeling all travelers know well, but it's not so easy to capture and explain. I think this post does both.
This post was also featured at the TBEX 2010 convention in New York City. I couldn't be there in person, so I'm glad a little piece of my writing could represent for me.
Post That Didn’t Get the Attention It Deserved
When a family member, pet or human, dies, once we get over the initial shock, we parents soon realize our kids are going to have questions. How does one explain death to a child? How are we supposed to encapsulate and clearly transmit information about something that, quite frankly, adults don't understand either?
When we talked to Lila that day in August, she made it easy. She asked the questions, and she was content to accept that sometimes Mommy and Daddy don't have the answers either.
This post didn't have much readership, though. I think in part because, well, I didn't have much readership. But it's also because it is so difficult to talk about death. So often, we hide it, push it away, cover death in metaphor in an attempt to avoid our own discomfort with not knowing.
Dan from Uncornered Market cited Unspoken Patagonia as his choice for Didn't Get the Attention. I think it didn't for similar reasons. We simply don't really know how to talk about death and the injustice that often comes with it.
Post Of Which I Am Most Proud
The way I describe her on this day a bit over two years ago is no longer an adequate portrayal of my daughter. Now, she rides horses. She can swim. She reminds me every morning to take my multivitamin and even brings it to me with a glass of water. She still loves art and music. She's still very much attached to us, but has lost her fear of going places without us.
I am proud of this post, because I am proud of LIla.
Now that I've finished my 7 links, it's time to tag five more blogs. All are from people whose blogs I read and opinions I respect.
First, Juliane Huang who knows the best place to find sandwiches in NYC and writes from her own twisted and wonderful view of the world.
I had a chance to get to know Aracely and Jason of Two Backpackers when they spent some time with us in Salta. The writing is funny, poignant, interesting, but don't forget to check their videos, too.
Paul Sullivan of Slow Travel Berlin, crazy funny English guy who knows how to take a photo.
I met Susanna Donato in college. She writes the Cheap Like Me Blog where you'll find endless ways to save money and the environment.
And I know the rules say five, but there's one more person I have to add. Hal Amen from Wayworded. His recent photos of roads traveled, landscapes (including the South Dakota Badlands which hold a special significance for me) just got me.
So tag, you're it. Thanks again to Audrey and Dan for tagging me.