Ten days of the magpie

Ten days of the magpie

2 Jan 2017

It’s been ten days since I launched this blog. Not my first travel blog, and not my only current blog.*

In that time I’ve done a lot of wrestling with WordPress, themes, plugins, and myself. There’s a tonne of work in running a blog if done properly, and I’m nowhere near doing it properly.

There’s a lot of travel blogs out there, I’m discovering. Compelling writing, stunning photography, exotic destinations, and if I turn to the “About Me” page, like as not the thing is done by a stunning twenty-something beauty in odd moments between nightclubs and long-haul.

Me, I’m into my seventh decade (beginning with the Fifties), I need a nap and several cups of coffee just to get out of bed in the afternoon, I’m lucky if I leave the terminal when I travel, I sweat blood over my turgid prose, and my photographs invariably turn out fuzzy so I have to use the odd one that is in focus, but the lighting is wonky.

And I travel with a teddy bear. How pathetic is that?

I want to make this blog a success. I’ve been looking at travel blogs and they are a mixed bunch, to be honest. So I’ve got two questions:

1. How can I improve?
2. Where in the world is Routebear?


*I run a pun-infested joke site called Dud Jokes which is a useful resource for those Dads who like to make their children groan and roll their eyes. G-rated, but it should carry a health warning.


  1. Pete, the most important thing about writing is that you write from the heart. Your photos my be blurry but if your words have feeling you have already succeeded. Write for yourself and no one else. Best of luck!

    1. Write your passion, in other words. Sage advice. If I don’t feel engaged with the subject, it’s just work. Thanks!

  2. I hope you continue writing since I loved your form of writing. Many new bloggers get disillusioned and leave after a few months. Most of these started blogging for money and then they leave once they don’t make any. Always write for the love of writing. 🙂

    1. You are most kind! I’ve started any number of blogs and gotten tired of them. Nobody commented, the ad revenue was a few cents, the costs mounted. I’m retired now, and have more time – and less money.

      I like writing, and its comments like yours that keep me going!

  3. There is many successful travel blog written by 50something so dont get yourself into “I am too old for that”. Just write what you feel and I am sure you will get your readers! Also you can find basic photography courses for free in internet to improve your photos ! I love the idea about your teddy bear! It might be something unique what can make your popular 🙂

    1. Routebear has been with me for a while now. Been around the world nine times. Photographing him in front of iconic landmarks hasn’t always been easy. I’ve got a fund of stories – and photographs of him falling off various things.

  4. I’m pretty sure I’m going to be reading your blog with or without photos. Your writing is so engaging! I love a good photo, but for me it’s always the writing that keeps me around. If you have a clear voice I think it makes all the difference. If I just want pretty photos, I can go to Pinterest.

    Also, I travel with a little cat, I can’t leave the house without him. So maybe I’m a bit biased, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with travelling with a teddy bear.

    1. Awww, I’m blushing now!

      I travelled with a little kiwi on my first RTW trip. He was loaned to me by a friend and I had such fun with him! When I was given a BBC bear in Shrewsbury, I knew he would be my companion. I get a few odd looks, but people tend to play along.

  5. I love your writing Pete, and really think it’s worth sharing with the world. I also really like this format – if only I had thought of it first! You have so many stories to tell, and I can’t wait to read them all.

    Oh, no idea where Routebear is. The UK maybe?

    1. You are most kind! After all, you inspired me to take a more professional attitude to travel blogging – and I’ve got a long way to go yet.

      I selected the postcard-type format so I could post every day, rather than spending a long time writing humungous trip reports with galleries of images. Hope it works out.

      No, Routebear’s not in the UK, but not too far away. Europe, for sure!

  6. Absolutely loving these postcard snippets into your travel adventures and am looking forward to reading more. Also love your teddy bear – he deserves his own Instagram account!

    1. Routebear’s a colourful creature, for sure. Not sure about yet another account to log in and out of!

      But you’ve given me an idea…

  7. I agree. To get a blog up and running is a real pain. It takes time to settle. I am still struggling with my one and only blog. I tested my hand at Solo trip in 2016 (no teddy bears with me) and I am geared up for 2017 starting Feb with big plans for 2017.

    1. It’s easy to start a blog. There are free sites with “canned” themes. WordPress.com, for example, or Google’s own Blogger platform.

      But if I want it to work the way I want, and to be a part of the community, well, it involves a lot more ongoing effort, as we are discovering.

      For me, the hard part is when I’m actually on the road. For the first day or so, all goes well. But then I find that cheap and easy internet dries up, I’ve got other stuff to do, like pack and unpack, I’m testing out all the museums and restaurants, and when I stagger back after a fabulous day, I have no time to write it up!

  8. Haha love this post. I hope you continue to bring us more wit and humor through your travels here! And maybe include some photos of yourself, even if you aren’t a 20-something beauty 😉

  9. Wow! Your post is quite intriguing! And nothing’s wrong with traveling with a teddy bear. I totally understand what you mean by “everyone has a blog” these days. Keep writing though. Everyone has a story to share.

    1. Thanks, Suzanne! I love telling stories. And what keeps me going are kind words like yours. Thanks!

  10. Ha ha ha… There may be many travel blogs out there (incl mine!), but hardly any with the funny bones that you have! You have such a humorous tone! Looking forward to read many more of your travel adventures (with your teddy bear ofcourse)…

    1. Thanks! I’m currently spending time on a week long retreat, where I’ve been making up for the lack of blogging opportunities by telling bad jokes to good people.

      More on this when I return.

  11. Hello to Mr. Teddy Bear and Pete! 🙂 I’m the one who is not in her 20s and who has recently started her first travel blog ever .. It is never too late to write your own story! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Milijana! Your blog is a stand-out. As I hope mine will be, by taking a different approach.

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