4 Days Left Till TwinF Becomes Frozen

By: leelefever on January 2, 2007 - 4:11pm

For the past year, TwinF has been our baby, our home, our object of interest and we are quickly approaching the day when we stop writing here.  In fact, we have decided to close the site this coming Saturday, January 6th - exactly one year from the day we left Hawaii for New Zealand.  From that point on it will be frozen in time - no new updates.  Between now and then, we plan to post lists of our favorite things - photos, videos, experiences, countries etc.  It should be fun.

It's a sad moment for us, really.  We have had such a great time with the site and it's connection to you as our online companion. It's hard to let go and I'll miss it, really and truly. The connection will end here, but it will sprout in other places, where we'll continue to live online in one form or another. 

For those of you who want to continue to keep up with us through my writing, photos, videos, etc., tune into Lee LeFever dot com.  I've already started blogging a little there and it will turn into our personal home on the Web.  In fact, I'm committing myself to posting one picture per day to the site for all of 2007.  Don't expect to be impressed on a daily basis. :)  

If you're interested in our consulting business, it has also come back out of "hibernation" to give our business a home on the web once again. See: Commmon Craft - Social Design for the Web

Again, keep an eye out for our favorites and other goodies coming your way soon. 

The Final Itinerary

By: leelefever on December 21, 2006 - 11:10am

 It was never really possible for us to have an itinerary until now since we made it up as we went along.  Now that we're home though, we have the completed list, now with fancy hyperlinks. The info below was copied from the Itinerary page.  Enjoy.

All told, we were away from home for just over one year and in that time visited 29 countries and 4 continents.  The list below represents our basic intinerary.  The links go to page that are organized by location.

December 4-8th:  Workshop in Banff, Canada

December 11th: Leave Home for Long Term

December 11th-15th: New York City

December 16th-22nd: Carolinas with friends

December 23rd-30th: Christmas with Lee's family in North Carolina

December 30th:  New Years with Sachi's family in Hawaii

January 6th: Leave Hawaii for New Zealand.

January 8th:  New Zealand

February 9th:  Brisbane, Australia

February 25th:  Singapore

March 4th:  Sri Lanka

March 15th: Malaysia

March 18th:  Mumbai, India

March 22nd: Delhi, India

March 27th: Darjeeling, India

April 2nd:   Bangkok, Thailand

April 8th: Phuket, Thailand

April 15th: Ko Lanta, Thailand 

May 2nd:  Tokyo, Japan

May 30th: Back to Bangkok, Thailand 

June 2nd:  Phuket (and Ko Phi Phi), Thailand

June 13th: Chiang Mai, Thailand

June 23rd:  Luang Prabang, Vang Vieng, Laos

July 3rd: Phnom Penh, Cambodia

July 13th:  Siem Reap, Cambodia to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

July 31st: Hanoi, Vietnam to Macau

August 3rd: Macau to Hong Kong

August 8th: Guang Zhou, China

August 15th: Chongqing, Yangtze River, Shanghai

September 9th:  Beijing, China on Trans-Siberian Railway

September 10th:  Ulanbaatar, Mongolia

September 14th:  Irkutsk, Russia (Lake Baikal and Siberia)

September 18th: Yakaterinburg, Russia

September 21st:  Moscow, Russia

September 24th:  St. Petersburg

September 27th:  Helsinki, Finland

September 29th: Lofoten Islands, Northen Norway

October 4th: Oslo, Norway

October 7th: Copenhagen, Denmark

October 9th: Amsterdam, Holland

October 13th: Enschede, Holland

October 15th: Berlin, Germany

October 18th: Prague, Czech Republic

October 22nd: Milan, Italy 

October 23-31: Venice, Florence, Rome, Siena, Lucca, Cinque Terre, Italy

November 1st: Paris, France

November 6th: Lisbon Portugal

November 9th: Cadaques, Spain

November 12th: Barcelona, Spain 

November 23rd: New York City, USA

November 24th: Kernersville, NC, USA

December 1st: Atlanta, GA, USA

December 6th: Route 66, USA

December 8th: Los Angeles, CA, USA

December 11th: Home in Seattle, Wa, USA (YAY!)

More Below...


So Now What?

By: leelefever on December 12, 2006 - 5:32pm

We may be home, but we've got a few more weeks to go on TwinF.  Our plan is to stop blogging on the site within a month.  From then on, it will continue to be available online for many years. So, we have about a month to get out everything we want to say about the trip. 

If you'll hang around here for another month or so, we'll be posting some best-of lists, a year in review, more pictures, a couple of videos and some things we wrote but never posted. It should be a fun way to end up. 

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We're Using Twitter For Snippets of Our Trip

By: leelefever on December 1, 2006 - 5:53am

I've come back to an online world filled with all sorts of fun little social tools that can keep us connected in stange and interesting ways.  The one we're experimenting with using on the roadtrip is called Twitter

 Twitter enables me to post something that is a bit like a blog post, but a small and posted more frequently.  I can use our mobile phone to send a text message (SMS) to Twitter that then posts it online and on our blog - notice the new format of the "Currently" block on the home page.

Since it is so easy to post something new, I plan to be sending multiple updates a day to Twitter.  Most will be goofy and mostly useless, but homefully fun. This little badge will also keep up with the action:

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The Tangled Web We Weave

By: leelefever on November 21, 2006 - 3:01am


We are both continually amazed at how having this web site has connected us with people we would have otherwise never known.  Just a couple of nights ago, we had dinner with the sister of a friend’s former roommate, Maria.  I was asked her in an email how in the world she knew about us. Here is the connection…

Maria was a housemate with my long time friend JJ in Seattle (1999-2002).  We met a few times, but only at parties etc. A couple of years ago, JJ moved to S. Carolina and Maria lost touch, so she recently Googled him, hoping to make contact.  She then found a blog post from me about his wedding in 2003.  While reading about his wedding, she noticed a reminder that Sachi and I were traveling around the world and started reading TwinF.  Once she saw us reach Barcelona, she contacted her sister Camila, who got a group of her friends from business school to take us to their favorite local tapas bar in Barcelona’s Gracia neighborhood.  Though we only barely know Maria, the tiny connection was enough to help us make new friends in a foreign country. Thanks Maria and Camila!

If this wasn’t enough, Maria also reminded us that we help her brother too…

My brother Fernando and his wife printed out all your Thailand dispatches and read them on the plane to Thailand in early September.

Crazy. We both think it is pretty amazing that suddenly, because of blogs and the Internet that these sorts of connections are possible. What a world in which we live. What a world.

How We Do It Video: Blogging As We Travel

By: leelefever on November 17, 2006 - 2:40am

We've been asked many times about our process and technology for keeping this site updated regularly.  So, we decided to shoot a short video showing all the tools we use (hardware and software) and our process.  We're not sayng it's the best way - it's just how we do it.

In the video we mention a number of resources. Our camera is the Pentax Optio WP.  Our computer is the Sony VGN-T350.  This site runs on the Drupal platform, which is hosted and supported by Bryght.  Our graphic design was done by Rain City Studios. We share our photos using Flickr.  Oh, and the post we created on the video is here.

 This post doesn't account for the mobile blogging, where we use the Palm Treo 650 to send a picture and story to this site via Flickr.  Oh, and our video camera is the Sony DCR-PC 1000.

Comments are Working Now

By: leelefever on November 5, 2006 - 3:33pm
After a little technical difficulty, it appears that comments are working properly now, but you'll still need to be a logged-in member of TwinF to participate. 
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Reader Question: The Impact of Blogging on Travel

By: leelefever on October 21, 2006 - 8:26am

We recently received a nice email from Nath at Blue Fronier Media. Nath asks...

Firstly, how much has running this blog taken over the 'mission' that you guys have embarked upon?

Hi Nathan!
What a can of worms you have opened. We love talking about this stuff... Let's see...about the mission...

TwinF is a huge part of our experience - I am personally thinking about it all the time - usually in terms of what would make great content and where the next Web connection is going to come from (man, I sound like a junky). As for mission though - TwinF was part of the mission from the beginning. We saw it as an opportunity to travel and experiment at the same time. We had a hypothesis that a new type of travel is possible now because the Internet makes it so easy to collect information and meet new people. In testing this hypothesis, I get to learn new things for my work with Common Craft. So, we're very motivated to keep things rolling. I'd also say that our hypothesis has proven to be true - blogs and the Internet have enabled us to learn about places and meet people we never would have known otherwise. TwinF has helped us make our travel world much smaller and more localized. We call it the "Long Tail of Travel", if you're familiar with that idea.

Has it enriched the trip...something to keep you interacting with your world and -- in the case of a travel diary like yours perhaps -- ensuring that you keep engaging critically with what's going on around you; chasing the next post, as it were).

It's a double-edged sword. It is amazing to know that people are watching and are ready to help, but it's also intimidating sometimes. I honestly worry about looking like a rookie or saying something insensitive. Aside from that, the notion of sharing something on the web has pushed us into places and situations that we may not have pursued otherwise. The perfect example is eating weird things in Asia - that would not have been so fun without video and TwinF as a means to share it. Also, it has made us really think about how a place makes us feel because we want to be as authentic as possible. I have no regrets - I would say blogging has enriched more than detracted by a long shot.

Also, Member Travel Experiences along with comments and emails has enriched the trip immeasurably. We found some of our favorite spots by asking for advice from our readers.

Has it become a pain at times when you'd just rather blow TwinF off and be another hedonistic, aimless vagabonding vagrant?

I have a little voice in the back of my head that is constantly keeping track of the length of time between posts and sometimes it is a bit too loud. However, that voice is not specific to TwinF, I've heard it since my first blog and I'm used to it.

It is the administrivia that gets old... Finding a connection, uploading pictures, trying to use the mobile phone, dealing with comment spam, etc. If wifi was ubiquitous and the technology worked consistently, we would have no complaints.

Blowing off TwinF has never even been a possibility and I think we would both count it as a failure if we did. TwinF is a project that are both committed to seeing through to the end and I think we're lucky that we have such fun doing it.

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TwinF - Now Geotagged on Flickr

By: leelefever on September 2, 2006 - 5:56am

Flickr is surely one of the best websites evar.  We're using it to archive and organize the photos that we'd like to share on the web.  Just recently they released a new feature called Geo Tagging that allows you to arrange your photos on a map.  So, being the Flickr nerd that I am, you can now browse all our TwinF photos on a Flickr map



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Back in the Game (in Shanghai)

By: leelefever on August 24, 2006 - 5:55am

Just a quick note to say that we've just gotten into Shanghai from the boat journey on the Yangtze and Three Gorges.  What an experience.  We have all sorts of things to say, but we need a little time to get it all together.  The boat had dial up Internet, but we abstained.  The withdrawal wasn't too bad.

Until then, here's something shiny to look at...

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