One year ago today, I published my first post on LandLopers, The Dogs of Santorini. It was a look at a subject near and dear to my heart, the plight of homeless dogs abroad and the role of the traveler in their protection.
The weekend before my first post was frantic as I struggled to learn the mechanics behind owning and operating a web site. I’m not a technical person by nature, much more right than left brained, but I trudged through and LandLopers was born.
I’ve been asked many times about the origin of the name LandLopers; I just wish I had a more interesting story. I knew that my web site was going to be about seeing the world affordably and comfortably and wanted a term that would be instantly identified with the travel experience. So I got out my trusty thesaurus and starting researching synonyms for traveler. Gadling was taken, as was every variation of vagabond and I didn’t think Happy Fun Travel Site would work. About three lines down was LandLopers. It was unusual and it struck a chord with me right away. I thought that the name would be easy for people to remember and the curiosity of it would resonate.
What I didn’t realize at the time is the alternate meaning of LandLopers. It seems, as many readers from the Netherlands have pointed out, that in Dutch Landloper refers to a homeless person or, more accurately a hobo. That’s right in Dutch, and Afrikaans interestingly enough, my site appears to be focused on those bag-on-a-stick rapscallions who wander the countryside aimlessly.
The past year has been an amazing one for me, and I have all of you to thank. There are scores of travel sites and blogs out there and yet you visit my site often and provide amazing feedback on my work. Not all of my posts have been informative or even interesting, but I hope the majority of them have. I don’t make a cent from LandLopers, instead I run the site in my spare time for the sheer love of it. The love of not just talking about travel, but hopefully encouraging others to get out there and see more of the world, all on a budget of course.
I’m not sure what the next year holds in store for me and for LandLopers. What I do know is that if the next year is even half as exciting as the last, then I am a lucky person indeed.