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Every Single Thing I Know About Travel Blogging

While so many of my friends are travel bloggers, and I love to read other travel blogs, I hope that my readership encompasses a much larger part of society. That being said, this post is most definitely about travel blogging. I’ve gotten a few emails from people wanting to start blogs or people who write with questions about blogging, so I thought I’d throw everything I know into this post.

I am not going to pretend that I am an authority on blogging, not at all – there are so many other bloggers who have created much more “successful” (more on that word in a minute) sites, and I encourage new bloggers to research what they have to say. I’ve included some of my favourite links at the bottom of this post. While I have indeed been blogging for twelve years and my job is focused almost entirely on blogging, what I have to say here is only going to encompass what I’ve learned about blogging on This Battered Suitcase.

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The Beauty of Bicycles in Aarhus

Yeah, I’m going to get straight to the point here – this post is purely to showcase these pretty photos of bicycles in Aarhus, Denmark. I visited Aarhus at the end of June and I absolutely loved it; not only is it a beautiful city, it’s full of warm people and fun things to do. It’s also full of bicycles, and I do love a good photo of a bicycle.

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Why I Love Copenhagen

A Danish reader once wrote to me to tell me how disappointed she was that there was barely anything on this blog about Denmark, despite the fact that I had visited in 2006. Actually, of the 80-odd countries I’ve been to, not that many of them are documented that well on this blog at all. I’ve never really been one for writing “guides”, I guess – I already do that for work, and I prefer to keep this blog more story-oriented.

That being said, after my recent trip to Denmark (which also included Aarhus) I felt the urge to write about why I love Copenhagen so much, and compile a list of all my favourite things to do in the city.

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Best Summer Reads

The phrase “summer reads” gets thrown around a lot – I guess because summer implies sitting around in a garden sipping lemonade with a good book. Or sitting on the beach sipping a margarita with a great book (much better scenario, really). And while summer has already started long ago, it’s never too late to delve into a big old pile of books… right? Here are a few books I’ve read lately and can recommend, along with some books I’m eager to read this summer.

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Our Rainbow Panorama in Aarhus

It seems like every time you turn on the news there’s a new story of tragedy and loss. How amazing, then, to get some absolutely great news from America at the end of last week – that same-sex marriage is now legal in every state. I’m not American, and proud to be from a country that has supported gay marriage for some time, but I consider this a huge step forward for the world in general.

It was fitting then, that only the next day the world celebrated with pride parades. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to celebrate in a parade, but I think I got the next best thing: the Rainbow Panorama in Aarhus, Denmark.

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On Accepting Sadness

Stress with my book, my degree, with money… none of these things are all-consuming or life-changing. None of these things are even that bad. Taken individually, I probably would have shrugged my shoulders and chalked whatever it was up to, you know, the ebb and flow of life. But for whatever reason, the combination of these things made me reach my boiling point. I just got kinda sad.

And here’s what I decided to do about it…

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Flying Over the Okavango Delta

Nearly our entire group opted to take a scenic flight over the delta. We would be camping in the delta for two days, swimming in its shallow pools and navigating its twisting arteries by dug-out canoe, but as an introduction to the area, we could choose to fly over it first. At around £150 for an hour flight, it seemed like a good deal. In the little airport in Maun we handed over our credit cards and our passports, then were shuttled six at a time to tiny airplanes basking in the heat on the runway.

I could tell we were all a bit nervous; small planes have a tendency to do that to even the bravest souls. We took off, quickly leaving the the small city of Maun behind us. Within minutes, the delta appeared, verdant and alive, a contrast to the dusty ground we had spent the last few days learning. The water fanned out below, snaking its way through the lush landscapes. It seemed to go on forever, this vivid green against the blue of the sky.

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Just Not My Type: The Places I Didn’t Love

It would be impossible to think that one could love every single place in the entire world. Although I frequently claim to, and usually only write about the places I really do recommend and love, there are a whole lot of places that just didn’t really do it for me.

The thing is, I could never say that I hated a place, nor could I say I’ll never go back. It’s just not my style. In the same manner that I’ve never really had a bad date (interesting dates, definitely, but never a really godawful one), I like to think that I’m generally pretty easy-going and can make the best of a bad situation. But, just as I politely sipped my pint of beer on those mediocre dates, realising I would rather be at home watching Better Call Saul, there are a few places I’ve been to that I realised I’d rather move on (or go back to my room to watch Better Call Saul). I completely recognise that, in a lot of these situations, I was lonely or sick or in a weird place in my life or I just didn’t meet the right people – my so-so destination might be your favourite place in the world. I am also in no way not recommending these places, just acknowledging that I haven’t had the best time in every place I’ve ever been, contrary to what this blog might promote. So, in no particular order, here are a few of the places I didn’t love.

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Five Years of This Battered Suitcase: What Next?

The memory is a vivid one: I’m sitting on my bed in Osaka, looking out the windows to the low, grey buildings sprawled out as far as the eye can see. I’m wearing a dress – I think it is black with little red and yellow flowers. My hair is up, of that I’m sure. My fingers are resting on the keyboard of my laptop, hesitating, hesitant.

My days of Livejournal were waning. That platform had hosted my first blog, back when I called myself Chapter Fourteen for no other reason than I like how those two words sounded together. I needed a new name, a new online persona. My Livejournal blog was almost solely about travel anyway, and at this point, 2008, I had already decided that I wanted travel to be a permanent and prominent part of my life. I remember that I tried to find the right words and then, like that, they appeared – This Battered Suitcase – and I registered my new blog immediately.

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