A new look for 501 Places in 2014

Cotswold Lavender

2013 was a quiet year on 501 Places. I barely published 30 posts in the whole year and anyone who was paying attention and cared would be forgiven for thinking that the site was in terminal decline. Wednesday marks a new year and with it, an excuse to start afresh with new enthusiasm for this site.

So why the sudden motivation to make another effort?

I want to add more, shorter posts on an almost daily basis. My wife Sameena has far more talent with a camera than I have with a keyboard and it seems to make sense to combine our efforts in a single website rather than trying to work on two separate sites. So now that there are two names behind 501 Places, you can expect to see a regular series of photo posts, usually accompanied by a short anecdote or two. While I’m still behind the tedious technical controls of the blog, the input will very much be a joint effort.

I’m also opening up the comments again on this site – please bear with me if there’s a slight delay in seeing your comments appear as I’ll be moderating every one. I want to make sure I only include those with something useful to add, rather than the spammy types who tend to try and litter most blogs with their links to branded fake handbags, dodgy watches or Himalayan adventure holidays.

There’s another reason behind this change. While trying to secure assistance with flights or accommodation for trips relating to commissioned work, I’ve been asked a few times whether I’d write a piece on my blog. I’m going to be a little less dogmatic about this in the future and I will start including stories that have come from trips where I’ve been supported in some way. But they will be stories such as this one from Barra where I discover something that I think is a genuinely interesting story and that I want to share; I don’t plan to start reviewing hotels or restaurants anytime soon. Any support relating to the trip from which I pick up a story will always be disclosed.

So what won’t change about 501 Places? For a start it will remain strictly free of all advertising; there will be no paid links, guest posts, sponsored posts. I’m grateful to everyone who stops by to read this blog and have no intention of trying to make money from you by subjecting you to the junk that you can very easily find elsewhere online.

After a sluggish year, I’m ready to share more words and pictures from our travels on here and I’m sure you’ll enjoy the variety and quality of Sam’s photos. Have a Happy New Year and please stop by and say hello in the comments – it will be good to know that there’s still someone out there!

Author Information

Freelance travel writer

3 Responses to “A new look for 501 Places in 2014”

  1. Tracey #

    Well Andy, I’ve only just found your blog and this is the first post I’ve read, so I guess I shall look forward to a great year of interesting posts :) Can’t wait!

    December 30, 2013 at 5:25 pm
  2. We have read your blog and we like what we see as obviously a lot of people do. Looking forward to see more of you and your wife’s work. So hopefully we will connect through 2014. All the best to you both, from Paula and Gordy

    December 31, 2013 at 6:03 am
  3. Ishani #

    I myself is an aspiring travel blogger. Just started reading your blogs for inspiration.
    My husband and I are avid travelers and want to travel the world, although that is only a dream as of now, since this particular dream requires financial support which we do not have at the moment. So, its only India for now, since we are from India.
    Hope to connect with you soon and wishing you a very Happy New Year!
    My Husband and I

    January 16, 2014 at 7:23 am