Summertime - Photography by Lola Akinmade
I’ve been intermittently online the last two weeks for many reasons. Besides focusing on getting a few deadlines out the door (phew!), there have been other exciting offline developments that I’ll probably share in due time. Now is as good a time as any to take another mid-year step back, and assess just how things have progressed (or regressed).

For those within the travel blogging community, you’d have noticed a surge of “My 7 Links” posts cropping up all over the place. The goal is to dig through current blog archives, pull out some of your favorite posts based on a certain list of topics, and recommend up to 5 other bloggers to participate.

With special thanks to fellow writer Candace Rose Rardon for her nomination, here are some nuggets from my archives.

1) Your most beautiful post – With Deepest Gratitude: THANK YOU!

This particular post was a no-brainer for me. While I never did get the opportunity to go to the North Pole, my heart was and is still filled with so much gratitude to all those who voted and campaigned on my behalf. Thank you once again.

2) Your most popular post – The Surströmming Experience

Who knew stinky fish was such a draw? 3 years later and I still get keyword searches almost daily looking for fermented herring.

3) Your most controversial post – Thoughts on Investing in Travel

While on the surface, this post may not seem controversial – after all, most travel is a form of investment – the core of the post was that whirlwind traveling, especially through press and media trips don’t fill me in a way that does adequate justice to a place. I’d be hard-pressed to go on a luxury press trip through India noshing on 5-star food while right next door to a slum and starving people.

4) Your most helpful post – A to Z of Pitching Outlets

This is the presentation I delivered at TBEX Copenhagen last year. It’s a condensed summary/borderline cheat-sheet for writers on how they should approach publications and pitch their story ideas.

5) A post whose success surprised you – Letting Go of Past Lives

I was blown away by how much of a similar nerve this struck. While I’ve been blessed to able to work full-time as a freelancer for many major publications, the post really was about me looking back at the past life I had – the business career with the matching salary. And fully realizing that those aspects of my past life don’t define who I am at the core.

6) A post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved – Thoughts on Preparedness from the Swedish Royal Wedding

Here’s a direct excerpt -> Stories abound of people who were at “the right place at the right time”, which turned into an unbelievable change of lifestyle for them…from random authors appearing on Oprah, receiving six-figure dollar grants to hobby photographers winning prestigious awards for one-time shots. These lifetime opportunities, it seems, usually come knocking on unlikely doors of unprepared owners.

For me, these stories actually reinforce the fact that they were prepared and, as defined by the Encarta dictionary, “ready to deal with something: in a suitable physical or mental state to be able to cope with something, often something hard or bad.”

They were mentally prepared to fully recognize when opportunities came knocking and didn’t let self-doubt or a poor assessment of their skills get in the way….

7) The post that you are most proud of – Dreaming Someone Else’s Dream

While this isn’t my strongest piece of writing, it’s still one of the posts I’m proudest of. It was written during one of the heights of travel blogging fighting and cattiness I witnessed on Facebook and Twitter.

To think that people were losing sleep over other people whose dreams and paths in life are completely different from theirs…


You can read more writing snippets under this category – Writing.

Nominations

As part of the “My 7 Links” roundup, I’d love to nominate the following bloggers:

Ekua Impraim – Girl, Unstoppable

Greg Gross, I’m Black and I Travel

Ernest White III, Fly Brother

Oneika the Traveller

Lily Girma, Lily Lily Images