Best of Explore for a Year – 7 Links


Lily Leung - Explore for a Year. Varna, Bulgaria.

Lily Leung - Explore for a Year. Varna, Bulgaria.

After over a year of blogging, here’s a look back at 7 of my favourite posts from my Explore for a Year blog.

I was recently nominated by Natalie Sayin of Turkish Travel Blog and Corbin Fraser of iBackpackCanada to participate in the My 7 Links project sponsored by TripBase. The purpose is to identify seven posts that belong to each of the seven categories below, and then nominate five other blogs to do the same.

Categories and my 7 posts

  1. Your most beautiful post – 26 Highlights from 26 Days in Incredible India

    In the process of writing this post after my first month of travel, I realized the most beautiful memories come from experiences, not marching through cities to tick-off the “must-sees.” This mental shift changed how the next 11 months of my round-the-world trip would unfold.

  2. Your most popular post – 6 Months of Travelling Alone – a Safety Update

    I was relieved to report that nothing happened to me in my 6 months of solo travel. Turns out the world isn’t nearly as hostile as I had imagined it to be based on news and movies. I hope this post helps others to feel more comfortable with the idea of exploring the world. This has been the most viewed article on my blog for the last two months.

  3. Your most controversial post – Quit Your Day Job – 15 Practical Ways to Start Now

    I don’t think any of my articles are controversial! I occasionally check the “Service Providers” panel of Google Analytics to see what internet provider or companies my visits are from. I chuckled when I saw visits to this article from company names I recognize, because it means people were reading this article from work!

  4. Your most helpful post – Dark Weather in Charming Transylvania (Brasov, Romania)

    This was the first time I included practical information and sample prices on getting to a destination, groceries and accommodations. I soon got feedback from readers about how helpful this was for trip planning and budgetting.

  5. A post whose success surprised you – Romania to Budapest on a 1st Class Train

    This article was the second most-read post this month. I speculate it’s a combination of the romantic creepiness associated with Romania and the luxurious idea of travelling by 1st class train. I suppose starting the post with a photo of a happy smiling face didn’t hurt either :)

  6. A post you feel didn’t get the attention it deserved – Leaving a Job, Travelling Solo – Highs and Lows of An Unforgettable Year

    This was a condensed version of my whirlwind 2010 year, plus the 3 most important lessons I learned along the way. It had everything from leaving a job, parting ways with a romantic partner, exploring my interests in web design before flying off to start my travels. To me, this was one of the most exciting posts on my blog.

  7. The post that you are most proud of – Yup, I Quit My 9-5 Job Today!

    This blog post marked the day I left my corporate job on Friday April, 2010 to begin my time off. Publishing this article was an emotional achievement because I was still so scared about what people would of my decision. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” and this blog post symbolized my first step.

Blogs I nominate for 7 links

Next, I nominate the following bloggers to share their 7 Links:

1. Idelish – a ridiculously beautiful travel photo blog
2. Globetrooper – an intelligent travel-meets-freakonomics/social science blog
3. Go Mexico Guide – local explorations of Mexico
4. The Brooklyn Nomad – great NYC tips and photos
5. Boomer and Echo – a top Canadian personal finance blog (money is helpful for travel, no?)
And, last but not least:
6. Where is Jenny? – a round-the-world blog by a rocking celebrity graphics designer

>> What do you think of my post selections? Did I miss one you think should have been included? Leave your comment below :)

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  • Anonymous

    I finally found time to go through the remaining posts of yours and they are all great! I truly admire you for your courage, how well prepared you are and how you thought through your one year time off plan. I wish I can do it too but is not yet at the point where things are that clear cut for me. Hopefully through your advice and experience here, I’d one day embark on the same journey :)

    Thank you for nominating me too for the 7links initiative! It has given me a chance to summarize and showcase our blog to many new readers!

  • Well for what it’s worth I did love the highs and lows post, it’s inspiring to hear about when people are doing great but I also like to commiserate on the lows.

    • Thanks Ayngelina, I agree with you about acknowledging the lows. I’ve gained a lot of self-awareness and resilience from the challenges of the low moments.

      – Lily

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  • Andrew

    Great roundup Lily. Thanks for tagging me!

    • Hi Andrew, 

      You’re very welcome! I’m new to your blog, so I’m looking forward to your 7 links round-up :) Thanks for letting me nominate you too.

      – Lily

  • What a cool project, thanks for tagging me Lily!  Great post on quitting your day job and how to get started.

    • Hi Robb,

      Thanks for your kind words, and for letting me tag you! I’m looking forward to your 7 links round-up :) 

      – Lily

  • Great Post Lily. I have some reading to catch up on now!

    • Hi Natalie,

      Thanks a bunch for nominating me, I really appreciate it. I wish I had discovered your Turkish Travel Blog before I took my trip there 2 months ago, it would have been really helpful for trip planning. Now I know for next time ;)

      Thanks again Natalie,
      – Lily