There is only so long that one can continue to pile one thing on top of another – books on a shelf, clothes in a cupboard, notebooks of forgotten ideas.
The same goes for a blog. There comes a time when it brims full of content that is slowly becoming buried. Then is the moment to say “order!”.
I said those words a few months back and have since then slowly been trying to make sense of what this site is and where it might be going.
You are looking at the results (unless of course you’re reading this on RSS in which case, please, please go look at the website!).
The first thing you’ll notice is the design. The credit for this goes to my good friend and the wonderfully talented designer, Hannah Loaring who also blogs at Further Bound. I’ve been a fan of Hannah’s work for the past two years and finally got to meet her in Ubud last year. I’m delighted to call her a friend. She has done an amazing job of refreshing the site – retaining its original feel while also adding tons of her own beautiful touches and making it a hundred times better. I, for one, am in love with it. I hope that you will be too.
The structure of the site has also been changed. This is to reflect a whole host of new content, which I have recently added to the site, and to also re-surface some of the stories that had been buried. It should be much easier to find the info you’re looking for.
Let me take you through it…
Tagline and Homepage
First of all, we have a new tagline: Inspiring Exploration. This is to reflect that Bridges and Balloons is not only about inspiring you to explore the world, but also your place within it. The new about page describes this in more detail.
We also have a beautiful new homepage, which highlights the different sections of the site and has some of my favourites of Hannah’s design details. A special thanks to Lee (Hannah’s boyfriend and business partner) for coding the slider. Make sure you hover your mouse over it to see the colour change.
Navigating your way round
The main content of the site is still travel and as such the travel section has its own homepage. Have a look –it’s pretty! These are divided into travel stories, travel planning, destination guides and digital nomad guides. The final three sections are made up of pages rather than posts so they will not appear in the blog roll or your RSS feed. I did this because I know that many people enjoy Bridges and Balloons for its stories rather than its tips. I don’t want to fill subscribers’ feeds with practical info when they’ve signed up for stories instead. That said, after years of travel, I have a lot of tips to share so wanted to make room for them on this site. You can find tips on everything from travel insurance to digital nomad taxes to booking flights or getting started in cities like Barcelona or London. I hope you’ll find them useful.
There are, of course, still plenty of travel stories. These are divided by country / city, and there is also a section for photo stories. Each category has its own page with a pretty picture at the top (my favourite is Argentina).
A few months ago, Steve and I started sharing our favourite links in a fortnightly Favourite Things post. Instead of collating these links into a single post, we are now publishing them straight to our Tumblr blog, which is also syndicated on Bridges and Balloons. We have named this section The Inspiration Files.
The Inspiration Files has its own RSS feed or if you’re on Tumblr, you can follow us there. If you subscribe to the normal Bridges and Balloons RSS, The Inspiration Files will not appear in that feed (again, we don’t want to spam you with things you didn’t expect).
There are also interviews in the inspiration section of the site. These are something we plan to do more of in the future (perhaps even including some video).
As any regular reader of this blog will know, a lot of the posts on Bridges and Balloons delve into my own personal story, as well as the thoughts and musings that occur to me along the way. The Thoughts section of the blog is dedicated to these stories.
Other bits and bobs
I have a favourite page on this blog and it’s made up of my favourite things. Just a glimpse of it makes me happy. I hope you might like it too.
There’s also a page for new readers with an overview of some of our best content, and don’t forget to look at the about page.
If any of you are interested in the tech side of things, you might like to know that the new site has been built using the Genesis Framework. I coded the theme myself using the Dynamik Website Builder. Let me repeat that: I coded it myself! Steve helped me along the way (especially for the last few days and the tricky work of making it responsive) but I’m proud to say I did the bulk of it myself. This means there are likely quite a few bumps in the site. Please have patience and do let me know your feedback and any problems you come across. Thank you.
And there you have it. Welcome to the new look Bridges and Balloons.
A final massive thank you to Hannah for making it look so beautiful. If you’re interested in having her design your site, be sure to get in touch with her. She’s a pleasure to work with and I can’t recommend her enough.
And do let me know what you think of the new site. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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