For a whole year I kept up with posting personal updates on my long-term travel experience at the start of every month. These anticipated check-in posts held me accountable to sharing my most personal thoughts as I embarked on my first continuous travel adventure around the world.

I’m glad I did these check-ins for my "year of deviation." But now that I’m in the 13th month of my travels, it’s time for a new focus.

As part of my new monthly updates I will be reviewing a different travel hack of my choice—or yours!

An end to monthly check-ins

 
 

There are several reasons why I’ve decided to end my monthly check-ins as they currently exist.

For one, I started off naming these posts “Second Month Check-In,” “Third Month Check-In,” and so on. I just can’t see continuing this tedious pattern beyond the one year mark. Think about it. “Twenty-Third Month Check-In” just won’t have the same ring to it.

I also kept thinking about the upcoming changes to my travel lifestyle.

Fairly soon, I’m going to be heading back to the USA to start a job and settle into a new location for a while. My regular posts about travel experiences will not cease, but my personal experience of traveling long-term will.

I plan to explore and write about the new location to which I settle and new places to which I travel in between the hours I spend at my new job. However, monthly updates are no longer relevant as I won’t be traveling continuously anymore. If my situation ever changes back to a continuous travel lifestyle, then I will, of course, consider going back to this format. For now, it’s time for a new focus.

As the 1st of October approached, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I want to do instead of my usual monthly check-ins. I’m still going to be traveling and blogging regularly. But I also want to keep up with a once-a-month entry that is consistent and keeps people interested.

This is how I arrived at the idea of a monthly travel hack series. This series already exists to a certain extent. The difference now is I will be posting around the first of every month specifically about travel hacks.

Why you should read my hacks

I’ve become pretty good at the travel lifestyle. And people I know and have met have taken interest.

I have been privately answering questions from readers, from friends and family, and from people I meet on the road ever since I embarked over a year ago. I’m asked about everything from what camera I use to how to save on airfare to how I make international phone calls home.

I realized the answers could and should be written down to be shared with more than only those who ask me.

I write a lot of tips and mention little hacks here and there throughout my blog updates and stories. However, it’s time I start organizing these tips into their own posts focusing on one topic or travel hack at a time.

While I don’t know everything there is to know about travel hacking, I do know some things. If there’s something I don’t know, I am a researcher by training. So I will find out the answer from trusted sources and post about it so that even a total rookie can understand and apply it.

If you want a sneak peak at what my travel hacking posts might look like, check out my packing list post, my house-sitting and couch-surfing post, and my review of the liveaboard experience for diving the Great Barrier Reef.

What to expect from the series

For the travel hacking series, I will be revisiting some of my experiences from my year of deviation. This may be stories about what SIM card to buy to make local calls in Iceland, what technology (laptop, camera, phone, etc.) to bring along, or how to look for a job in New Zealand.

I will also be revisiting the posts I’ve made about how to earn miles and points to cover the cost of airfare. There’s much to share about travel hacking to earn frequent flier miles. I can’t wait to be back in the USA again to start earning tons of points again. And I’ll be sharing how I do it on this blog!

I would also like to cover topics raised by my readers.

If you have a question or a topic you’d like me to cover, please mention it in the comments below or you can email me directly at rikka@deviatingthenorm.com. Maybe you read a post of mine and were wondering how I did something or found out about something. Or maybe there’s something you’ve read in other travel blogs but you want to hear my take on it.

Whatever it is, I’m keen to share what I know with you!

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I look forward to hearing your suggestions and comments on this new focus for the blog!

Stay tuned for my next monthly check-in which will be all about: The Ultimate Tech Setup for Long-Term Travel.