7 hidden places to explore the Philippines!

The Philippines is known for places like Boracay, Bohol and of course, Palawan. However, the country has some other amazing places off the beaten path if you want to venture out and find them. As someone who has been about everywhere (besides Batanes), I want to give you seven places you might think of trying where you are not just a walking ATM card. Read more

Traveling the world with disabilities : How is being a world traveler with Epilepsy

Many people look at me and think I am just another guy. I might seem a little odd to a few but to most, I am just another nomad. However, what most do not know is that I have a medical disability. I am 100% disabled according to the US Government due to Epilepsy. I have a seizure disorder and hardly anyone knows about it until something goes wrong. Read more

Calling the Pacific nations using Skype

Calling the Pacific can be quite pricy. While sometimes, using applications like Skype can save you some money, the truth is that calling the Islands is still going to cost you a pretty penny in many cases. Read more

Trey Ratliff Lightroom Presets review

Trey Ratliff from Stuck in Customs has these Lightroom presets that he sells. I was able to pick up his latest collection and I wanted to see what they would look like. Read more

Special Message from Peter Vandever

Travel the Fire is a website committed to helping people travel to the Ring of Fire and nothing is changing but the road has seemed to come to an end. I have traveled in some pretty far out places like Tuvalu and Kirbati. I have lived in American Samoa and Fiji. I love the islands and being in the islands has been the adventure of my life.

However, there has been two events that had shaped the road ahead for the website and I want to make that clear to all the readers. I also want to tell you what is coming to the website in the future. That is the least I owe the people who have followed this project. That includes over 3,000 people on Facebook and just under 5,000 people on the mailing list.

Out of the gate, I am a disabled American. I am not sitting in some home because of it. However, the issue of decent medical care has become a major issue and this is something that just downright sucks in the Pacific. The best hospital in the Pacific is the world hospitals in America.  I need to be close to quality doctors and that is just not an option.

The options for a good doctor are to live in Tokyo, Hong Kong or Singapore if I want to be in the region. Having high quality neurologists is a requirement that I have at this point and that rules out living in most of the Pacific region, including the Philippines. Literally. it is either Hong Kong or Tokyo. Both of these options are very expensive for daily life.

The second issue is related to an American that took the liberty to insult the youth of America claiming that 90% of them could not survive 72 hours. This is not factual and even the most liberal stats put majority of our youth with scouting skills. However, for someone to even believe this, especially someone who is former military, is concerning. Last Kodiak is my response to this challenge.

What is the future of Travel the Fire!

It is not likely that there will much new content coming as long as I am out of the Pacific. It is possible that something in the news cycle needs to talk about, such as when American Samoa changed the visa rules for Australians. Otherwise, there will not be new content as I will not be in the region to review things and tell you how to do this or that anymore.

I will continue to work on making it a better website and getting the domain to preform better in search engines. The domain authority of Travel the Fire has over 150% in the last 90 days! I expect that to continue.

The other issue is when I do visit the Pacific Islands, including Hawaii; I will update the website with new adventures and stories. Given that I work with several missionary groups in the region, visits from time to time are very likely.

What will become of the Facebook page, group and mailing list?

This is a logical question and one I think deserve an answer. The short answer is I will keep them and use them for Last Kodiak as much of the vision is similar, just a different niche. I understand that we will see a few hundred people leave the mailing list but that is fine. In fact, I expect it to happen. However, the bulk of the thousands will enjoy the new direction, I am positive.

If there is a question about this, I don’t mind the discussion about it. I thought this would be best as that will be where I am most active in the coming months. As I said, this website will be mainly dormant and used just for historical purposes.

Is blogging about the Pacific profitable?

One of the harsh realities about running a blog is that at some point, it needs to become profitable. The money that comes in from Adsense and affliate marketing is good but I could not live on it. One day, adsense had a $54.00 payout. That sounds great and you might be saying that that is over $1,600 a month. It would be but most days are closer to $5 than $50 for the website.

Part of the issue is that Adsense is based on cookies and location. If you are in the Philippines searching for something in the Philippines, the ads served up will be related to the Philippines that is a low paying market. Mainly, ads based in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom pay much better than ads served from Asia and the Pacific.

It just makes sense that blogging about the United States would attract more readers from the United States. More readers that are American will result is more traffic from ads related to the United States and that become better pay days from Google Adsense. It is just logical business sense to focus where the money is, not where you want it to be.


Guide to using PNR (Trains in Manila) in the Philippines

If you are needing to get around Metro Manila from the old Manila area out to the Las Pina (Alabang) past the airport, using the PNR (train system) in the Philippines is an option for you. Philippine National Railroad has been gutted but it still does run one route every hour until really late. Read more

How to get from Tokyo Airport to Osaka Airport

A question that people ask a lot is about to travel from the airport in Tokyo to the airport in Osaka. The reason being that most airlines from the United States and Europe serve Tokyo but most of the regional airlines use the Osaka airport in the south. The good news is that Cebu Pacific Air and Air Asia are now adding directly flights to Tokyo so this trip might be a thing of the past. Read more

Lewis and Clark State Park in Rushville, MO is great for birdwatchers

Growing up just about 20 miles from it, I have been by the Lewis and Clark State Park dozens of times and never stopped by. I took some time to drop in recently and see what the park has to offer. It is a newer state park and it is not as big as most of them in Missouri (The state has a tendency to set aside huge tracts of land for parks) Read more

Dating for the Backpacker : Guide to relationships for people living on the road

One of the unspoken frustrations for a traveler going around the world is about sex. We don’t like to talk about it but sexuality can be a pain to cope with as you travel. Some people have some serious misconceptions about people who travel and their sex life (or lack thereof). Believe it or not, most backpackers are not asexual. Read more

Kansas City guide : 20 things to do in the City of Fountains

Kansas City is the city of fountains but there is a lot more in the city than just that if you are looking to explore the place that is known as the bread basket of America. Read more