Celebrating 4 Years of Man On The Lam
Well, it’s hard to believe I’ve been at this for 4 years now.
Four whole years.
I began this site on December 31, 2010 to get an early start on a New Year’s resolution. Within 6 months I had quit my corporate 9 to 5 job and I’ve been at this even since.
And it’s been quite the ride.
One thing that was pretty constant over those 4 years was the look of this site. I started on Blogger, but after a month moved over to WordPress with the free Arras theme. I did all the customization myself back when I didn’t know HTML from a hole in the wall. And I was pretty darn pleased with myself with the result. And while it served me well over the years, it was starting to look a long in the tooth.
It wasn’t responsive, so the mobile experience left a lot to be desired, and other than the header, it was pretty generic looking. So in a sea of blogs there was nothing that really made it stand out (okay, except maybe articles like dioramas of dead gophers and eating rats.)
A “blah” website was also starting to have a more tangible effect — I started to get pretty “blah” about blogging too. There were spits and spurts where I’d write something almost every day, then go a month (and sometimes longer) with nothing but cobwebs and tumbleweeds.
And for that I apologize.
So much like the New Year’s Resolution that started this whole endeavour to begin with, I’m making another one this January 1st — more regular updates.
The New Look
My original thought was a Prohibition era inspired design, but after showing the first draft to a few folks, the consensus was that it looked a little too depressing. And depressing is not a good look for a site designed to inspire people. So back to the drawing board it was, and the result is what you see before you today — a quirky, vintage 1920s theme that I feel really drives home the “On The Lam” experience.
There are still some quirks that need to be worked out (I’m looking at YOU Internet Explorer), but it’s time to go full steam ahead. Please take a poke around and let me know if you like what you see. And if you do see something amiss with the site, please let me know that too in the comments section below.
I’m also shifting gears and making a slight change in direction. While you’ll still see plenty of travel stories on here, I’ll also be incorporating other forms of escape too. You can read about that and all the new category explanations on the ABOUT PAGE. Inspired by ads in the back of pulp magazines from the 1920s, it’s the page that I’m most proud of. The custom social media icons you see along the sidebar, the CONTACT PAGE, and the ADVERTISING PAGE are pretty nifty too.
Bela Kolar from Andersen Media did a stellar job with the finer design details (and putting up with my fussiness!), and his coder Laszlo put in hours of work to get things running smoothly. I’d highly recommend him to anyone looking to do a site redesign on a reasonable budget.
There’s still some work to be done, but for now I’m happy to be starting 2015 on a high note. And a big thank-you to everyone who’s shared in the ride along the way. I hope you’ll stick around.
To celebrate the launch of the new look and direction, I’ve partnered with some great companies for a giveaway for Man On The Lam readers for chance to win one of the following great prizes. Details on how to enter through Rafflecopter are below the prize descriptions.
1 rotation180° Travel Away Backpack (value $199)
When I first saw the rotation180° Travel Away Backpack from MindShift Gear, I wondered why no one had invented something similar sooner. It’s a backpack with a rotating beltpack built right in. No more having to haul your entire pack off to get at your camera, wallet, or, passport — just swing the beltpack around to grab what you need, then swing it back to store in its cubbyhole. The beltpack is kinda like a fanny pack, but without the ugly. A fanny pack for people who wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a fanny pack, if you will.
The backpack itself holds 18.5 litres, while the beltpack holds 3.5 litres, and they can be used separately if desired. The backpack also has dedicated pockets to conceal a 15” laptop and 10” tablet, while the beltpack can fit an 8” tablet. Pretty neat, huh?
1 Boingo Global Plan One-Year Subscription (value $708)
Boingo is pretty much the Godfather of the Wi-Fi Hotspot. The Boingo Global Plan offers 2000 minutes per month of worldwide (yes, anywhere in the world!) Wi-Fi access per month with no roaming fees. This plan allows access on up to 4 laptops, mobile phones, or tablets on any of their over one million hotspots globally. I’ve been a Boingo user for a few years now, and I’m a big fan of how easy the Boingo app makes it access any of their hotspots. And it’s not just airports either. Check out their coverage network to see where Boingo can get you connected.
10 Prizes of 1 GO-SIM European SIM Card with $20 Credit (value $27.50)
A GO-SIM card is a great option if you’re doing a lot of country hopping, and don’t have the time (or the patience), to sign up for a local SIM card. It can also save you to 90% of the cost of using your own mobile phone carrier’s SIM while travelling. All GO-SIM cards come with a British Isles and a U.S. phone number. Data plans available too, you just need to have an unlocked device.
1 Kobo Mini eReader (value $79)
Kobo Mini is the smallest and lightest eReader in the world. It’s also got built-in Wi-Fi and a no-glare e-ink touchscreen. Plus you can hack it to use as a computer for sailplanes, hang gliders, and paragliders.
1 Amazon Gift Card (value $100)
Well what can I say about Amazon? They’ve got just about anything anyone planning an escape of their own will need. The prize here is a $100 USD Amazon gift card (converted into your local Amazon store currency if you so choose.) Maybe you can use it to get a couple of those stocking stuffers you really wanted.