Our Projects

A Fresh Start

Four years ago, we started writing this blog. First on blogger.com and later on our self-created website.
 While we were very enthusiastic about the whole idea of sharing our experiences with the world, our concept quickly started to fail, as we wanted to tell too many stories. Good stories, however, need time. And there was the problem: as we were always on the road, we constantly fell behind our schedule. We postponed targeted blog posts and ultimately never realised them.
The fact that we always wanted our stories to be proofread by native English speakers didn’t help us much. Neither did the fact that both of us were working on the same texts.
As a result, our activity on the blog took place in a wave motion: whenever we began a new journey, we were overcome with enthusiasm and started writing. Halfway through our journeys, we couldn’t keep pace anymore and, finally, we gave up. Until the next adventure began…
It has been more than half a year since our last blog entry was published. As we don’t want to return to our old habits, we have decided to adapt the concept of our blog and to dare a fresh start.
Less Is More
We have realised that writing about everything and everyday in detail is quite impossible, at least for us. To lift the pressure from ourselves and to make it more interesting for the readers, we want to focus on the essential in the future: photo stories and authentic experiences that are dear to us, and advise and reviews with quality information content for you.
1. We are not writers. We just record our travels and share our experiences.
More Human
So far the protagonists of this blog have been Bimbino and Bambina, our two self-made stuffed monkeys. To give the blog a more human face, we have decided to switch the focus to ourselves: Inga and Florian. Like this we want to share our stories, views and advise as first hand experiences. In simple words: we want to make this blog more personal.
2. So far the monkeys have been in the focus of our blog.
Monkey Diary
Bimbino and Bambina will, however, remain an essential part of the blog. Their stories will return in form of the Monkey Diary: a bundle of Instagram posts that focus on a certain destination in a diary style.
3. We love our monkeys and don't want them to disappear from this blog.
We don't want to restrict ourselves with any special concept. Unlike it was before with the monkey stories, our blog will be diversified and flexible. We will develop it according to our knowledge, our interests, and the feedback of our audience.
4. Monkey stories? Or photo reportage?
As native Russian (Inga) and German (Florian) speakers, we sometimes have our difficulties when it comes to English language. Especially figures of speech, emotions, and feelings are sometimes hard to express in another tongue. Therefore we have made the decision to not limitate ourselves to blog posts in English. Future articles mights also appear in Russian, in German, or as a mix of different languages.
5. In some of the coming blog posts all you might see is Russian.
Social Media
It is not so easy for us to post blog articles every day when we are on the road or busy sightseeing. However, social media gives us great possibilities to share our fresh experiences in a short form. Even though, we have multiple social channels, so far we've only been active on Instagram. Florian has been posting Monkey Stories @travellingmonkeys on a regular basis since more than a year. We have almost 3000 monkey pictures there from our various travels, dating back till the year 2012. Inga has finally started taking care of her personal travel photos @iklesch and shares them regularly as well.
We have noticed that Telegram is becoming more and more popular as a messenger. Yet, not many people know about Telegram Channels that can be used for broadcasting messages to large audiences. We have created such a Channel to test out how well it fits as a platform for short travel notes. We hope that posting there on a regular basis will help us keeping track of our travels for future blog posts. Besides, we want to use our Telegram-Channel as information board for updates about new blog posts. When you join our channel, you will be able to see the entire message history all the way to day one. Join us on Telegram! Don't be afraid of Russian, German, or English messages, if you don't know the language. Just add YTranslateBot, forward it a message in an unknown language, and the bot will translate it for you. Beware! The quality of the translation won't be very high. You often will have to guess the meaning of the sentences. And you might be mistaken in your guess :)
Our other social media channels, like Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter do not have a concept yet. We will rethink how we want to use and develop them. Until further notice they will remain more or less sleeping.
6. Follow us on Telegram and Instagram
This website is built on MODX, an Open Source CMS. It is very flexible, but needs some advance web developer skills. We looked at the possibilities that other CMS offers, and decided to stay with MODX so far. We will use minimalistic design principles to keep the pages clean and structured. We will add more functionality, categories and pages according to the amount of content. As long as the website is small, we don't need any fancy javascripts :)
Our Website is hosted by Beget. We pay around €25 yearly and have 5GB of disk storage on a Start plan. We pay around €25 for the domain name travellingmonkeys.org. All together that is €50 annually for keeping our hobby online.
We don't have a clear idea right now where we are heading with this blog. We have been thinking about monetising it, but we are not sure about the way to do so. For the moment, this blog is not more than a hobby, but one we are trying to take serious. Thinking realistically, right now we neither have enough time nor the desire to go a more professional way. In fact, we have many hobbies. We make monkeys. We do photography. We travel. And we have to find a balance to be able to have enough time for all of them. Still, we are open for further development in the future.
Taking this blog seriously means, we will be posting regularly. For the start, our plan is to publish one article a week. The more we get accustomed with the concept of regularity, we will begin with multiple posts a week. We wish to develop different thematic projects around travelling and Couchsurfing, such as hitchhiking stories, interviews with Couchsurfers, and event reviews.
At the end of the year we will see how all of this has worked out.
7. From now on you will see here more of each of us individually, as well as together.
Many thanks to Darina for wonderful photos that we have used in this post. Don't hesitate to contact her if you want some nice shots of yourself. In summer you can meet her in Saint-Petersburg, and in winter she captures portraits in the sunlight of Goa. Find her on Facebook, VK, or visit her website.

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