Welcome back to Sushiyama Travels. It’s so good to see you again. A lot has happened over the last few months that I need to fill you in on.
For those of you who missed my major meltdown back in August, here’s a short recap.
On Monday, August 5, 2013, I lost everything, in regards to Sushiyama Travels — web design, content, some hand-drawn graphics, everything. In my own naive, teenage state-of-mind, I didn’t keep up with full website backups like I should have and was kicking myself over it. “It could never happen to me,” I thought. WRONG!
As I was rearranging things in my file manager, rather than deleting one file like I had intended, I deleted every single file in the SYT database. One by one and in a matter of 3 seconds, all of my files disappeared. Two years of writing, memories, and travel stories gone with a click of a button. After summoning my website host to help recover anything they could, I leaned back against my wall, eyes closed, my mistake scrolling through my head like an endless filmstrip, and panic filling my insides. There wasn’t anything they could do. It seems silly to have the loss of a website create such a stir, but just like any creation or work of art, it’s devastating to lose something you worked so hard on.
At that point, I was prepared to pull the curtain on SYT and perhaps disappear without notice, but even after I had exhausted all recovery options, my heart punched me in the chest as a signal to start again.“They’re rooting for your success & celebrating your milestones. I’m waiting to watch you fail to see how gracefully you fight to get back up.” The decision to start again was not an easy one, and that’s why I knew I had to start anew. This fall, I had been planning to do a massive overhaul of SYT anyway, and this unfortunate incident was the shove I needed.
If anything, travel remains the central nervous system from which everything else extends, and a difficult lesson learned is making me rethink the way I’ll run SYT 2.0. It will be a work in progress over the coming year, but I’m excited to share SYT with all of you again.
Oh, and not to worry. I’ve got a robust backup schedule in place now so that won’t be happening again.
The Miracle that YOU are
In the midst of a dark 24 hours trying to track down any remains of the old SYT, an army of readers came to the rescue. Together we were able to recover 90% of my content. Talk about incredible. When I learned of what had been accomplished, I was just elated to have all those words back that it didn’t matter whether they were online or for my eyes only. Archive wise, Sushiyama Travels may never be whole again, but I rest assured that together we’ll fill in the cracks where we can. I’ll be working diligently over the coming months to update copy, edit photos and captions, improving SEO, and other miscellaneous tasks I neglected from the start of SYT.
A colossal thank you from the bottom of my heart for sticking with me through this journey. I truly cherish all the messages and stories you share with me, and I hope you’ll continue to do so.
What’s New on SYT
Santa came early, and he brought me some relief. A long overdue, new design has FINALLY arrived, AND it’s responsive so now you can easily read new SYT articles on your computer, smartphone, and tablets. Humongous thanks to my buddy Mike Baumgarten for giving the site a fresh facelift. Some of the new/updated features include but are not limited to…
- New background adorned with passport stamps
- Fully revamped About and Resources page
- Cleaner navigation, footer, and sidebar
Finally, because my travels have become increasingly driven by food, that growing infatuation warranted its own section on SYT. I’ve created a second category entitled EATS with recipes I’ve tried at home or in cooking classes, reviews of my favorite restaurants, and food culture from some of the world’s culinary meccas. I’ll be posting new content on Sundays so keep an eye for that. There are still a few minor elements that are being tweaked, but overall, what do you think?
The powers that be say that we should create what we think is missing in the world. Well in the digital world, what’s missing for me is genuineness and ad-free space. Through social media, I am constantly bogged down by Facebook ads, promoted tweets, banners, and emails trying to sell me something. It’s too much. SYT is my safe haven where I can come to dream about all things travel without worrying about hidden agendas, and I want to create the same experience for you. I don’t have any ads, sponsored posts, or affiliate links anywhere on the site. All the hostels, websites, and restaurants mentioned on SYT are places that I’ve visited and would return to again. I don’t get paid for hosting those links on my site. They’re my honest recommendations.
So consider SYT the treehouse in the backyard where you can escape after a taxing day at school or work. Just relax and enjoy.
If there’s one lesson I’ve learned over and over again these last few months, it’s that things change at the drop of a hat. Travel plans constantly get cancelled and either evolve into something better or send me back home sooner than expected. Sometimes I don’t know where I’m going or when until I get on the plane, and even then, I’m not so sure I’ll end up at my final destination. It’s making me rethink the way I unveil my future travel plans, and I’m moving in the direction of just showing up somewhere and surprising you.
Anyway, my trip to Australia in September was the last one for 2013. Where I’ll travel to in 2014, I don’t yet know, but I have my eye on a few places. In the meantime, I’m learning to appreciate my hometown, Detroit, again and finding ways to turn the city’s recent filing for bankruptcy and underdog reputation into something positive. The advantage of living in a city that few want to visit means being the first to report on an undiscovered pocket of the world right in my backyard. I’ve also realized I have a lot more to explore of the mitten state including Sleeping Bear Dunes and Pictured Rocks in the Upper Peninsula. In terms of international destinations, it’s kind of exciting not knowing where I’ll venture to next. It’s like a mystery I can’t wait to solve. Wherever the next place will be, as always, you’ll be the first to know.
Guest Posts & Feedback
During this reconstruction period, SYT will not be accepting guest posts. Opportunities will be available again in 2014. BUT I would love two minutes of your time to fill out this reader survey. Tell me what you like and don’t like about SYT, where I can improve, what you’d like to see more/less of, and how I can help you travel more efficiently. I appreciate your feedback and I’m excited to grow SYT into a travel haven and better online resource.
Mega-List of Favorite Recent Reads
- Forget Cronuts. Try These 6 International Food Combinations (via Gadling)
- Travel Plans and How I Can’t Stick to Them (via What’s Dave Doing?)
- 40 Maps that Will Help You Make Sense of the World (via Twisted Sifter)
- Asia Through an Iphone (via Anna Mazurek)
- How Bad is Your Travel Addiction (via A World to Travel)
- Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Taiwan (via Twenty Years Hence)
- 25 Amazing Places to Eat and Drink in NYC (via Nomadic Matt)
- An Istanbul Photo Story (via Seattle’s Travels)
- Japan: Home to the World’s Most Beautiful Light (via Adventurous Kate)
- 20 Things I Learned While I Was in North Korea (via Wait buy Why)
- 17 Interesting & Weird Pictures from Japan (via Traveleing Canucks)
- Photographing Vietnam’s Rainy Season (via Everything Everywhere)
- The Long Way Home in Photos: Taking the Via Rail Across Canada (via Brendan’s Adventures)
- How Traveling Turned Me Into a Foodie (via Be My Travel Muse)
- Travel Guide: Sydney (via Reykjavik Boulevard)
- Why I Can’t Live My Dream of Traveling the World (via Ever in Transit)
- Wanderlust Wednesday – Cherry Blossoms in Tokyo (via Over Yonderlust)
- The Lions of Street Food (via Roads & Kingdoms)
- Minimalistic Visualizations Explain Differences in Eastern and Western Cultures (via Taxi)