Getting Geeky, Alltop & Changes

April 15, 2008


Can you believe Guy Kawasaki at Alltop picked Soultravelers3 as one of the top travel sites in cyberspace?  We are honored beyond belief and are amongst some amazing influential blogs. They gathered the best of the blog world in many different categories  and you can find us on the Alltop Travel Page. It is a great way to peruse lots of good blogs at once. To put this in perspective, I recently read that if you google "travel blog", there are over 61 million listed, so to be one of 60 in Alltop, is pretty heady stuff. We will be very  proudly displaying our "best of the best" Alltop badge!

Alltop, all the top stories

Yep, this is where we have been spending lots of time this winter, traveling the web 2.0 world, learning about all of the educational opportunities online, how to blog better, revamping and moving our website and meeting some cool people. We haven't forgotten our travel loving readers, we just had a lot on our plate to accomplish this winter, so had our noses to the proverbial grindstone.

I jokingly call us & quote; "the three laptop family" and chuckle when we are all on at the table. Thanks to some kind readers we even got nominated several times for a Travvie which is like the Oscar for travel blogs. Mozart has not been on as much as her dad and I, but is very happy with her new laptop and has been doing lots of geography, practicing typing, MIT's Scratch and fun games. We have our favorites, but we all use all three of the laptops and we are glad that we have two macs and one pc.

I am starting to feel like I am attached to my laptop and will be glad to get unplugged more, once we hit the road again, soon. Funny, we look so forward to having a good connection like this when we are on the road and then we are glad to leave it behind when we get moving again. The mix makes a nice combination for this mobile traveling family.

As you can see by the blog, we have lots of changes going on here in Spain before we take off. I still have little more to post about Italy from last fall, but thought I should address some of the latest happenings here now. For early retired folks, we sure have been working hard this winter, but we are feeling pleased by all that has been accomplished, which was long overdue.

We had to put the blog together quickly before we left in 2006 and we knew very little about blogs. We had a glitch in our RSS feed  and comments part of the blog, which we could not seem to fix and that held us back in many ways. It is hard to believe, but we are almost two years into our family journey and world adventure, yet we have barely begun in many ways. The website and blog were starting to get unwieldy with all the posts and pictures, so we have to find news ways to organize things. All of this has quite a bit
of learning curve for us non-tech types, so bear with us as we learn and grow.

Feel free to comment now after each post and let us know what you think about the new changes. Now that we have a photo page, I will be using less in the blog, but they will be just a click away where you can see them as a slide show, singular or go to our site on flickr.  We will also be doing more video, which you can see on its own page here and we also have our own channel at Youtube , since it is easiest to put them on there and then move to our site.

You can now search the whole site by key words or use the months or countries to find old posts easier or look up an area that you are interested in. We have to physically move each story, from the old site to here, so we are still in process on that one with about 200 more stories to come. We are hoping to get them all up before our take-off date. This has all taken much more time than expected, so we have had to extend our leaving Spain date up to May 15th.

We have a new logo, new look, new favicon and even a translator that allows people to read our blog in  any language. We have "feeds" now, so you can subscribe to it by pushing the orange button on top right or adding your email (no spam and private) address so that our blog can come straight to you, every time we update.

We have entered the world of social media, so you can friend us on Twitter, Stumbleupon and the others or please join our Soultravelers3 Group on Facebook. The funniest thing, is we did not even know what these things were a few months ago, but have found them very useful for connection and collaboration. I am hoping it will help in our communications and I have already met some great people who have given me some fantastic information on future travels and educational ideas for Mozart.

I have been very impressed with educational innovators who see using the web as a key component in 21st century education and I will be doing more posts on this in the future as I am very excited about the possibilities. Recently I did an interview with one of the leaders in this field Steve Hargadon who started Classroom 2.0. It was my first live webcast and you can listen to it here. I also connected with a professor from University of Connecticut who did a large presentation on Participatory Pedagogy recently in New York City at a major conference and she used our story as part of that presentation.

I am sure that you noticed that we are working now with some great affiliate stores as a way to help pay for the time that we put into this ever growing website.If you click on one of our stores, we receive a small percentage of the purchase price of anything you buy from that company (whether we have it advertised here or not). So next time you need to go shopping, think of us! I know lots of you follow our book list and we have barely begun putting the reviews on here for books and other things that have worked for us. Stay tuned in that department!

I have also lost over fifty pounds this winter which was another of my goals and we have all gotten healthier. Sad to say, but it hardly shows because I am barely half way, yet I am feeling determined to get it all off now. I found some great online support at Peertrainer and even aerobic videos on YouTube for rainy days in the winter, so even in this area I am finding our laptop and connection useful. We have moved ourselves more toward a vegan life by reading such things as Fatsmasher and Eat to Live. It is not that different to how we were eating before, but enough to make a difference.

In our mobile, traveling lifestyle, our laptops play a key role in many ways, but one of the most exciting opportunities has been the opportunity to share our adventure in an educational way for kids that can not travel the way that we can. I have started an educational page and will be putting more on there for the children, homeschoolers and classrooms that follow us.

This week, our Mozart was interviewed by a classroom in the U.S. about her travels by two girls who were just about her age. When the teacher sent me a screen capture picture of the Skype webcam photo of the three of them happily conversing, I couldn't help but feel excited about the possibilities in the future for all children and families!

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I love the changes to your site!!! And congrats on your weight loss, that is an accomplishment!


Hey Amelie,thanks!

You are our first comment and after almost 2 years of struggle, I must admit it is thrilling to finally have an interactive blog!!

So glad that you are liking the changes and I am determined to be my svelte self again in time! ;)


This is awesome. Lots of great information to link to. Keep sharing the LOVE.



Thanks so much Popsbabe34!

I appreciate hearing the positive feedback!


I have been following your adventures since you started. I have wanted to post a comment so many times and am glad you were able to add a comment section to your blog.

I love all the extra info you have added.

I wanted to put your link on my blog in my new traveling bloggers section and wondered if there was a link that will take people straight to your recent posts? I find that for some, if the info is not right there and you have to scroll down first to find it, many won't take the time to scroll.

I am looking forward to reading more about your adventures this summer! :-)


CONGRATULATIONS on the new site!
I posted on fodors awhile back saying you had me hooked and I needed a soultravelers fix! Well I got it! You have all obviously been flat out working (very rewarding and enriching work though!)

Also, congratulations on your travvie and alltop awards! You deserve them!

And the weightloss - not easy I am sure, but certainly worth it!

I wish your wonderful family only the VERY BEST in life. You deserve nothing less. I am continually touched and impressed by your experiences, and feel blessed to be able to share them.

Kindest regards and warmest love,

Cookiescompanion (Australia)


Hey Girasoli!

Thanks for your comments, so glad to have you along! Hawaii is my daughter's fav place, so we will get there eventually.

Sooo, many people have told me that they have wanted to comment and we felt bad not having that ability, thus it is quite thrilling to see them now! ;) Blogs are suppose to be interactive after all.

I think it is probably best to use our main URL as the link or you could use the blog page URL (

I will link yours too on our link page. I am not done with that page yet, so open to any friends who want to do reciprocal links.


Awww, thanks so much cookiescompanion, for the kind words of support!

It will be a while, but we are looking forward to our time in Australia! I love the passion that there is for travel in your country. We run into a lot more Australians on our travels than Americans.

Nadine Touzet


I love that photo. Was Mozart chatting with her dad over the internet?

Congratulations for the Alltop selection. I can see why you were selected. The whole idea of this trip is so rich in so many ways: enlightening, courageous, innovative, wonderful. I hope that when you 'take off' again, you'll be able to add plenty more to your experience, and of course this is invaluable for Mozart!

Best love,


Bonjour Nadine!

Merci! They were actually working on two different things & I was working on a third until I decided to grab a picture.

Mozart's programs tend to be full of fun kid's music, so we have a policy that headphones are a must if there is any noise, so we all grab for them before listening to something.

It is funny how we can be working on three things and still have time to chat a bit, as we sit at our table. Tuesday's are the funniest because we add a digital piano to the table for her lesson over skype.

We are learning so much on so many levels, I am excited about having an easier way to get it all up.

I am also tickled pink that we will be going to eastern and western France this year ( coming and going).

I will wave to my favorite translator. ;)


Congrats on the new blog--I've been a devoted reader for quite some time now, perhaps because I used to be a little girl who packed piles and piles of books to read in my family's van camper on our travels!

Anyway, it's nice to say be able to say hi to the three of you! I admire your choices and priorities immensely...


Thanks Renee!

I swear, we attract the sweetest people in cyberspace! The joy of the comment section is being able to converse with old and new friends as we go.

I loved hearing your connecting story about your book reading, travels as a child!


I count 2 Macs and one PC. Tee hee... I am loving your blog. Your family is stunning.

Draper Family

We are very impressed with the 'new' blog, you have been working hard. We are looking forward to reading more about your travels & hopefully meeting up again this summer.
The Drapers.
Take Care & love to all 3 of u.X


Thanks squawkfox!

Hey sweet Draper family!

Thanks. We look forward to seeing you this summer and are so excited to hear that you are working on a book!

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