What the #$%! is happening with this site?


OK, by now you’re probably wondering: What’s happening to this site?

I’m cross-posting the answer on both affected sites, Away is Home and Souvenirist.

If you’re reading this on Away is Home, here’s what’s up: After three years of nonstop travel, the Elliott family took a much-needed break in November. We looked at where we’ve been and where we planned to go and decided to make some dramatic changes.

Until now, we’ve brought you our story in a conventional way, through blog posts, mainstream media stories and social media shout-outs. But differentiating our adventures from that of thousands of other bloggers was difficult. Sure, we have kids and cats. We have the consumer advocacy angle. But really, it was pretty traditional storytelling.

We’d been approached by a production company about developing a TV show. As we considered our format, we went back and looked at the videos we’d shot over the years. We were struck by how vanilla some of the footage looked — that our videos were virtually indistinguishable from anyone else’s.

We knew something was missing.

We had failed to capture the excitement, the soap opera-like tensions, the ups and downs — perhaps most importantly, the downs — of being on the road. Nothing makes that clearer to you than when you have to put a lifetime’s worth of experiences into a three-minute sizzle reel.

The result? Going forward, we’re making Away is Home more visual and zeroing in on what made our journey completely unique. Above all, we want to be unflinchingly honest about our experiences.

No sugarcoating. No trying to find the positive when things go wrong. No more euphemisms.

That meant re-imagining the way we travel and the way we communicate with you. We took our time and we invested in the equipment necessary to tell our story. It also meant parting ways with some long-time sponsors who would not be comfortable with the new approach we were taking.

In coming days, you’ll see the result on Away is Home. We’re shifting to telling our story in videos and you’ll also notice a difference in our tone. We are going to tell you what really happened when we visited a place … not what someone else wants us to.

It may be a very short trip. But you deserve the truth.

If you’re reading this on Souvenirst, here’s what you should know: That approach — being honest about your travel experience — deserves a bigger platform. Souvenirist is that platform.

During the last three years, many of you have asked us if you could write for our site. Since Away is Home was our family travel site, we had to decline. Now, we’ve invited our friends to join us and to tell everyone about their travel experiences — good, bad or indifferent.

And that brings us to you. Frankly, we’re weary of looking the other way when things go wrong, as travel writers often do in order to sell a story or to secure the next assignment. We’re so done with that.

Life is too short. Souvenirist is the travel site where you can read about travel as it really is, not about some fantasy version of it. I hope you like it and I hope you’ll join us.

One thought on “What the #$%! is happening with this site?

  1. Cool website! I love that you describe your travels as “vanilla.” I’ve traveled a lot because of some weird jobs and all my friends are so jealous of my stories – I always want to be like, yeah, but you weren’t there after our 14 hour drive from Kentucky to NJ when I got a flat tire in Newark and my boyfriend literally threw the tire iron across the parking lot because we were so sick of the car, the tire, the freezing cold and, honestly, a tiny bit of each other – and then it started to rain. :0P Everything’s got it’s ups and downs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.