A few weeks ago, we released a survey to elicit reader feedback as to how we can better help you travel the world.

The responses we received were very positive and encouraging, but more importantly, they were constructive. Readers did not hesitate to offer us specific ways in which we can improve the content we share. So thank you to those of you who completed our survey and offered your honest feedback.

We wanted to evaluate what type of travelers our readers are, as well as to get your feedback as to how we can improve our website. Although we do publish this site because we enjoy it, our primary goal is to help you find a way to explore the world, even if you have to do it just two weeks at a time.

The survey responses helped to confirm our suspicion: Most of you are limited to traveling only on the weekends with just a few full weeks of vacation time available each year. You have job responsibilities, family obligations, and financial restrictions. We’re reaching our target audience — people like us. Your feedback, however, provided valuable insight as to how we can share more useful content with you.

Justin explores the "Wild Wall," one of the unrestored sections of the Great Wall of China.

 

Key takeaways from our survey responses include:

People don’t just want to be equipped to travel, they want to be inspired to travel.
Although readers indicated they appreciate our time-based travel guides, they also communicated their desire to hear more about our personal travel stories. Such stories not only entertain, but also inspire. What good is it if we tell you how to make the most of two weeks in Peru if we don’t provide you with enough personal detail and reflection to actually inspire you to take the trip in the first place? You’re right. We need to share more of our personal travel stories, in addition to publishing itineraries and mini-guides. Although we don’t want this site to turn into just a travel journal, it’s definitely time for us to get more personal.

Our readers want to know specifically how we leverage our opportunities to travel.
We market our site to working professionals with limited vacation time because that is what we are. We figure a lot of you could identify. Turns out, you can. The only problem is, we’ve focused so much on publishing guides that help you make the most of a set time in a particular location that we have neglected to show you how we manage to even find the time to do all of this traveling. One responder said, “What originally attracted me to your site was the fact that you’re a couple who is trying to juggle travel with jobs and life and I thought ‘wow, that’s me’.” She then continued to explain that we could be more specific in how we show people that we’re actually able to do that. Excellent point. We need to be more specific about how we do it; we need to reveal how we’re unique; we need to show you how to juggle all the demands of life without having to forego your travel dreams. 

We need to be more visual.
I know. I agree. I’ve heard many people say that you can’t base your decision to travel somewhere off of a picture you saw. They’re wrong. You can and, often, you should. Photos engage and compel. Words help to back up the spectacular image, but they alone will not convince me to travel somewhere. If we want to inspire you to travel, we must provide more visual incentives.

Exploring the majestic walls of Dubrovnik's Old Town during our honeymoon in Croatia.

Exploring the majestic walls of Dubrovnik's Old Town during our honeymoon in Croatia.


How we plan to address these concerns:

Share more of our personal travel stories
We’ll be living in China for the next year and will not lack entertaining travel adventures to share with you. In fact, next week, we’ll be publishing a hilarious tale of how we survived a Chinese medical exam! In November, we’ll be sharing with you the details of our three-day sailing adventure in Belize, during which time we survived a spontaneous tropical storm — in a tent! We hope you enjoy, and we’ll be integrating more personal stories into our content from now on. To follow along in real-time with our adventures throughout China and Southeast Asia, be sure to like our Facebook page, where we post photos frequently.

Provide more specific information as to how we balance life and travel
It’s not always easy, but yes, we are able to travel quite a bit. Over the next few months, we’ll work on developing content that more clearly reveals to you how we do that. As a result of the survey responses, we’ve already written about some of the tips and tricks we use to travel as much as possible during our time off.

Photo Essays
We tend to overlook these. Not sure why. They’re some of my favorite posts to read on other sites! So, we’re planning to publish several photo essays over the next few months, documenting our time in Belize this summer, as well as some of our favorite images from China so far. We’ll also be sharing some guest blog posts in the form of photo essays on locations we ourselves have not visited.

Changes to our Travel Guides
Although we still plan to publish mini-guides like our “Perfect 3-Day Weekend” series on our blog, the longer posts, such as “How to spend two weeks in …” will now be published directly to our Destination Guides section. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be re-organizing our Guides section to make content easier to find as well. We’ll still publicize when we’ve added a new guide, but we won’t publish it directly to the blog. We’ll also focus more on finding off-the-beaten-path experiences to include in our guides. We’ll focus on recruiting guest contributors so that we can cover a wider variety of destinations in our blog posts and the travel guides.Let us know if you’d like to contribute!

My trip to Uganda in 2009 was just one of countless life-changing experiences travel has afforded me.

My trip to Uganda in 2009 was just one of countless life-changing experiences travel has afforded me.


Additional changes to expect from this site:

We’ll continue to explore the concept of the power of travel to affect change.
I recently confessed to you why I’ll never stop traveling, sharing the powerful experience I had visiting the Nazi concentration camp Dachau as a teenager. It was at that point that I realized the power of travel to bring history to life and to inspire change within our own lives. We’ll be working hard over the next several months to develop a specific project through which we, as travelers, can impact positive change in this world that we love to explore. Stay tuned for further developments!

We’ll provide practical information for those seeking to move overseas and embrace the expat life.
Since this is how we’re living right now, we figure we’ll share our lessons — and mistakes — as we go along!

We’ll highlight some of your inspiration for traveling.
We’re currently putting together a post that’s written entirely by you, our readers! We’ve asked, “What motivates you to travel?” If you’d like to be included in this post, please share your travel motivation below!

We hope these changes inspire you to get out there and explore the world yourself! And, we hope you’ll enjoy getting to know us a little bit better along the way, too.

 

If you have any additional suggestions as to what you would like to see on this site, please include them in the comment section below.

Thanks again for all the helpful feedback!

Feature image photo credit

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