My cat of 15 years companionship died last night. Or rather early this morning on the way to the emergency hospital. If there had been fewer red lights…actually she had been in decline since a messed up vet decided to update all her vaccinations at once a little over a year ago. Anyhow, after crying non-stop for the past 8 hours I started reading some sites on pet grief and they provided some good advice. One was to think of all the good things in your life you can still enjoy that are not pet dependent. One of these is travel, which (sadly) would in fact be easier now. I’m not done grieving, but planning ‘projects’ is endlessly distracting and engrossing for me and may help keep my eyes from completely swelling shut.
I like reading Matt Gross’ Frugal Traveler in the New York Times. His perspective is quite like my own when researching, planning trips. I brightened a bit this morning when I saw this older blog posting of his describing the steps he takes when researching trips AND the sites he compares. I have to admit I have gotten lazy in the past couple years, letting TripAdvisor do most of the work for me. I mean, find a hotel with good reviews and click! you get estimates from all the ‘major’ travel sites. Note that word, ‘major’. I, like Matt, previously revelled in mining out gems of lesser known choices. However, after hearing an interview by Rick Steves of travel guru Arthur Frommer I my doubts about their authenticity grew. Mr. Frommer suggested that the online reviews have been heavily salted with paid reviewer comments and thus were flawed. It begs the question, just how do you establish credibility as a resource and maintain your reputation? Saving that for a rainy day, I suggest you read Matt’s article for it gave me a new list of resources to follow my travel fantasys.
Related to some Twitter research I am doing, I also considered Matt’s article a method in itself for instructing a larger internet user group. Late adopters of the internet are now familiar with blogs. Locating instructions and writing them in a step-by-step linear fashion as accessory to newer tools such as Twitter may help increase adoption and more complex use of the tool. Lists of steps, ‘how-to-manuals, have been around for decades and are comfortable format for less web savvy user groups. Something to consider. If you write it ALL out, you do not assume a level the user might NOT be at, thus avoiding confusion.
…I don’t think planning a trip is going to help much with the grief process btw.