Welcome to the new Bridges and Balloons

Last updated on

Explore the world

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!).

Design

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.

Structure

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

There are three main sections to the site: TravelInspiration, and Thoughts. I’ll take you through each, one by one.

destination screen shot

Travel

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).

Inspiration

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).

Inspiration files

Thoughts

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.

Technical details

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.

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!

44 thoughts on “Welcome to the new Bridges and Balloons”

  1. It’s fabulous! I can see that you’ve put a lot of thought and work into your site. I look forward to exploring it properly. x

  2. This is gorgeous and so exciting – I love it! I also really like your ‘favourites’ page, thanks for the shout out to our site there (!) and for reminding me of the Worst Witch – that takes me back to being about 10!

  3. What a great update – it looks amazing and I love how easy to find everything is! And you actually coded this yourself? Wow!!

  4. Stunning, really streamlined and exceptionally well presented.

    It’s great to see a travel blog that doesn’t forget the beauty is just as important as information.

  5. Looks wonderful. Love it. We want to re-design our site soon too – we’re really sick of it. Just need to find the time.
    Congrats on yours!

  6. It’s so wonderful to finally see the new design in all it’s full glory – she’s a real beauty, even if I do say so myself! It has been so wonderful working with you, and I’m excited to watch Bridges and Balloons continue to evolve xxx

  7. Congratulations! It’s totally refreshing. Looking forward to new stories 🙂 What about Steve’s movie? Any news about the release?

  8. Looks beautiful! I’m impressed you did the coding! It takes me a few hours to just figure out how to code different colors on mine 🙂

  9. Looks awesome guys! I’m also in the process of having my blog redesigned and I’m so excited for it NOT to look like what it does now!

    • Design really does make a difference. I’m so delighted this one is looking so pretty now, thanks to Hannah 🙂

  10. Gorgeous! I love it. Hannah is so darn talented. I commend you, after taking an HTML class at the community college this winter term, on the coding. It’s challenging and like learning a whole new language, so good for you. You have now inspired me to go out and update my site a bit too.

    • Isn’t she? She’s also a pleasure to work with. A great combination! Good luck with your site. It’s a steep learning curve but worth it, I think.

  11. The design looks gorgeous!! I’m proud of you that you coded things yourself, and Hannah is very talented as well! We actually just redesigned our site as well in celebration of our 1st year blogaversary (tomorrow! May 3rd!) so looks like lots of people are doing some spring cleaning!

  12. Love the new site and am super impressed you coded it yourself! That must have been a tremendous undertaking and I hope you gave yourself a pat on the back once finished!

  13. *sigh* I really adore the “new” Bridges & Balloons! I think the new tagline is marvellous and sparkles of profound simplicity along with “elaborate ambiguity”… 🙂 It is “inspiring exploration” indeed and it was a pleasure to wander around for a while and discover a few corners previously unknown or some that may have changed. Some most charming treasures to be found everywhere… 🙂
    Victoria, just to let you know that I almost fell off the chair when I came across an all too familiar blog among your favourite things! Seriously, it means a lot to me, thank you so much!!
    I just visited the “inspiration files” on tumblr as well and look forward to following along! By chance a came across the fact that its link in the footer widget area (below the social icons) apparently needs to be adjusted.
    So yes, it has been a pleasure indeed and I do look forward to following your path a wee bit more. Congrats again and all the best for now!

    • Aw, you always say the nicest things Oliver 🙂 And thanks for the heads up regarding the link. All fixed now 🙂

  14. Congrats on having finished the redesign… Love the new look!! The look of the Travel section (photo for each country) is my favorite. I am so impressed that you coded it yourself – I wonder if you’d like to teach me the site builder you used next time I see you? 😉

  15. The new site looks fantastic! I’ve heard great thinks about Hannah from Further Bound (I believe she also did the re-design of Alex in Wanderland) and seeing what she’s done with Bridges and Balloons has confirmed for me what an amazingly talented individual she is 🙂 Also, I can’t believe you coded the theme yourself…WOW!

  16. Hi Victoria,
    Of course after reading one article I moved to the next one. Loved the set-up of this post.

    The outline of what’s changed is cool. We’re still new to blogging and the learning curve is huge. Social media, content creating, coding (props and a high five for doing this!), design, etc. There’s tons to learn but that’s part of what makes it exciting. Some short cuts of course but lots of grinding. We’re also new to your blog so we didn’t see the old design but I’m super attracted to the blog design. I love the gentle playfulness it displays, it’s so inviting.

    The way you put things and the justification gives a great outline for what other bloggers should be thinking about. Good job on the structure. I’m sure you will continue to progress the blog and am excited to now be part of the journey.

    Thanks again,
    Mark

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.