Google Analytics for WordPress

Google Analytics for WordPress

Google Analytics is a tool that tracks the performance of your website in terms of visitor profiles.

Profiles like country they were currently in, what articles they are reading, how long they read it, what google keywords they used to arrive at your website, etc.

I’ve been using Google Analytics since ages and while my readers are stalking my website, I stalk them back. ^_^

I’ll share with you interesting tidbits from my google Analytics:

I found out that 67% of people are visiting this site from google search. And some have been visiting my site by typing grasya.com directly.

google analytics 1

Most people come here for travel information about Thailand, Nepal and the Philippines. But I realized they also go visit this site for life hack tips, like how to bake a cake without an oven.

google analytics 2
google analytics 2

And interestingly, they also go here to look for recommended books to read <3.. I have geek readers, I love it <3 google analytics 3

I also observed people who visit this site are from the Philippines, United States, India, Russia, Kenya, Thailand and United Kingdom.

google analytics 4

For those who wants to install google analytics in their wordpress websites, you may browse around for articles about it like this:

https://digwp.com/2012/06/add-google-analytics-wordpress/

For wordpress experts, it is better if you create your own analytics so you don’t have to depend on other 3rd party installations.

If you want me to install it for you, let me know and I’ll gladly do it.

Project Updates: Letting Go to Move Forward

Project Updates: Letting Go to Move Forward

How do you negotiate your way into increasing your payrate? I met a French girl in Malaysia traveling the world. She’s young, 25 yrs old, and have been to different countries already.

Deep inside, I was green with envy on how a 25 year old can travel without working for years.

I’m working myself with different projects online, but I can’t fill up my travel fund that fast. In fact, I felt like a loser multitasking while we were traveling together while she was just enjoying her time sight seeing.

She gave me a tip. She traveled to Australia and working in a farm gave her so much travel funds.

I asked myself, do I need to go to Australia to work in a farm too?

I’m technically skilled, I have years of work experience, I even hold a high position in one of my projects.. and we have a farm in the PH, I’d rather work in our own farm instead even if it’s just for the family’s self sustainability.

After a root cause analysis, I figure it has something to do with the way I negotiate my payrate. I can’t always sell myself short just because I’m not from a first world country.

So yeah, I go back to my first sentence question.

How do you negotiate your way into increasing your payrate?

***************

pay peanuts

And after much pondering and asking around, I may need to let go of some projects that drains me of positive energy so I can move forward.

Before that, I need to focus on what I do best.They are the following:

A. Authentic Story telling – reason why clients are hesitant to ask my services to promote their business like hotels or tours, because my honesty is very expensive :D

B. Streetsmart Travel – bring me anywhere and I’ll survive. I may look like a shy fragile dark skinned probinsyana but I’m a warrior in my head. I love to stay at communities that advocates the sustainable lifestyle. If you know one, please bring me there.

C. Homestays – After collecting mishaps from the recent South East Asia trip, I decided to just stay put and not travel overseas.. sorry trolls who enjoys reading how I torture myself. I do love to stay at different homes and showcase them as a homestay so my friends who owns the homes can earn too.. i can still go back to traveling, who knows what the future holds.

D. Technology – I love and hate it. But tech work is one of my highest paying gigs.. so as much as I love offline moments, I have to bear myself to be online to toil for moolah.

I must not forget to document all the tech challenges that I solved this year:

1. Solved malware infection on blue host websites. Saved me a lot instead of paying for expensive softwares to clean the site.
2. Managed tech auditors to do a country wide evaluation of a high end tech brand
3. Changed themes of my website
4. Created an analytics plugin – will create a blogpost about this soon
5. Solved a paypal bug where someone can’t send money in USD currency because she only has SGD.. it’s still a paypal bug but at least I found a workaround on how to send money without encountering issues.

My current tech challenge is:

1. How to develop an App for one of my projects.
2. How to get more technical writing projects. Maybe this gig can get me more offline moments, so I’d focus on this too.
3. How to get high paying clients preferably in the tech field
4. How can I get a macbook as a gift (because 3rd world salary is alloted for house projects, buffet food and coffee needs)

Miss Tech

Here are the updates on my major projects:

grasya.com – I love my advertisers! Some have been with me since 2012 and have tolerated all my crazyness. This year, my web host sponsor will be retiring on giving me freebies so I have to be sustainable and pay for my own host and that’s where the advertisers fee was allotted.. Plus I did a giveaway for a lucky reader so she can avail to stay in different beautiful homes in Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore for free. In the end, not much ROI that I got for grasya.com but I’m happy to be giving.. hope we can give more in the future ha. That’s how I love my readers too.

Readers who have been searching my blogs are interested in: Philippine Tribes; and How to bake a cake; Thailand vs Philippines, and Things to buy in Nepal

Brand Evaluations – I am paid to criticize luxury brands. I manage elitists, CEOs and other socialistas so they can get paid while window shopping. Now, my focus is to actually have the means to pay for those expensive stuff that I’m criticizing.

Book – I’ve been reading waaay too much so it’s high time for me to get started on writing one. I’m compiling herb medicines and other alternative treatment. If you want to get a copy, reach out to me at grasya (at) grasya dot com. I will ask you for a donation so we can in turn give back to individuals and communities that needs it most.


grasya.org
– a portion of my advertisers fee goes to the buffet feeding program of the Elderly in my small community. There was also a sponsor who have donated lots of clothes to them, thank you sooo much. Hopefully I can reach out to more people who needs help. Let’s see what the future holds. How to help? Ask me.

To be honest, I want to take on all the projects that comes my way. But my human capabilities are limited so I need to leverage. I have other mini projects that have become stagnant and still in the zygote stage of development. There are also times where my major projects are draining me out of positive energies that I just want to be offline and curl up in a book.

Then I realize, I need travel funds.

But since I’m not traveling out of the country at the moment anyway, being offline and just reading books and gardening is really tempting.. maybe I will do that one time to find my zen. Who knows what the future holds.


she is a beautiful piece

************

PS. I’m collecting fairy mentors, people who are passionate about living life, those who are successful in their fields and wants to mentor the next generation. Feel free to reach out at grasya (at) grasya dot com and let’s collaborate.

Alternative places to stay when traveling

Alternative places to stay when traveling

I used to think traveling to different places is expensive because you have to stay in posh places like hotels.

Well, some people really do travel and stay in hotels all day. I was lucky to stay at 5 star hotels on various occasions. This was at Shangri La Hotel in Edsa.


shangri la hotel
 

Read this if you want to stay in posh places for free.

Well, now that more and more people are traveling, it has now become apparent that there are other alternative places to stay when you want to take a break from your daily life to meet people and see other places.

Alternative places to stay can be hostels which is cheaper than a hotel and suitable for young people because of the vibe and the connections.. For those who have a large network, or family, you can stay in your relative’s homes which can be free as long as you wash the dishes or help around the house… in my case, I try to cook or buy people food instead.


cebu with chuchay
 

You can sleep in family homes, but you can also sleep at other people’s homes too.. it will be more interesting if the house has a character. So far, I have stayed in our old traditional Filipino house in Antique, a farm house in Laos, an art house owned by a movie director in Palawan, I’ve stayed at nipa huts of friends, and I’ve stayed in a Tribe community in South Cotabato..

 



If you don’t have a large family clan, but belong to an organization or community, you can try to sleep in the org’s headquarters in the area where you are in. I was able to stay in Tagaytay for a few months because of an international community called Focolare. In Nepal, I stayed in a school that has a children’s home run by the Ananda Marga organization.. in return, I took care of the kids, became a temporary computer teacher, treat them food that they don’t get to eat always, like spaghetti.

Now, those houses are still normal resting places. Let’s explore a bit more of the unconventional places to check out when looking for places to stay while traveling.

You might want to consider these places to add more interesting travel experiences.

Have you tried sleeping in a convent? I did. During retreats, we get to stay in religious places.. I am also curious about temples and other religious places though.. might try to stay in one out of curiousity.

How about sleeping in a tent? I’ve tried that when we were in Omkoi, Thailand last 2011 while doing volunteer work in the far flung area.


tent


Ok, if there’s no tent, sleeping under the stars is an option too.. yep, tried it one time with a french friend in Bohol in Alona beach, Panglao… we just put our towels in the sand and slept outside ignoring the posh establishments.


I also tried sleeping in moving vehicles, a bus, or train.. this saves time and money because you are moving while sleeping.


sleep

Another temporary refuge is the airport or bus terminal.. Get a bench, make your backpack your pillow, and catch a few hours of sleep. I tried that in Malaysia, then I overslept and my plane went ahead of me.

Hammocks are nice too. I haven’t tried this yet but who knows what the future holds.

But after all these traveling, you know what I realized? A 5 star hotel can still feel like an any star hotel.. And a home can feel like the poshest hotel that gives you all the positive feelings..

It really doesn’t matter where you stay or where you rest your head at night.. what matters is the positive vibe that the place is giving.. Here’s a list of my favorite places to stay whenever I travel.

Were you able to travel and stay in alternative places other than the usual hotel/hostel/home? I’d like to hear your thoughts and recommendations.

What to buy in the Philippines

What to buy in the Philippines

I am minimalist but there are wee times that I would like to shop and bring souvenirs from countries I have visited.

Now if you are traveling in the Philippines and would like to bring something from the places you have visited to your home as souvenirs, take a look at these suggestions:

Aside from the normal fridge magnet, I have observed my foreign friends buys these stuff, so it might interest you as well.

1. Traditional dress. This can be a patadyong, filipiniana, or a more tribal getup. It’s always nice to buy something traditional, it’s like you’re partaking in the culture of the country specially if you wear it in special occasions. You can try to buy those stuff out of the country but it’s authentic if you buy it inside the Philippines.

Patadyong Filipino traditional dress


2. Tshirt that says you’ve been in the Philippines. This is not really an exotic find but this is what others buy to humble brag that they have been to a particular place. I buy those shirts printed with – I love (insert country here) too just because I’m human and feel the need to humble brag too.

3. Traditional instruments like angklung or marimba. I used to be an angklung and marimba player when I was in elementary. I love to reminisce those days of playing with those instruments made with bamboo. Kinda sad coz no one uses it now even here in the PH. If you know someone who produces these instruments, I might buy just for the sake of reminiscing the past.

4. Pearls and shells – the Philippines is blessed with abundance of water.. to the point that it floods during typhoon. Good thing the under water world is full of splendid creatures, for those who wants to take a piece of the ocean, you may want to buy pearls and shells as souvenirs.

pearly shells


5. Bayong – I know of bags that are worth 1000 USD, yet the sturdy bayong that takes hours to make by hand is also worthy to have its equal attention and price. Unfortunately, our Filipino colonial mentality frown on our own products.. but I’m also seeing Filipino pride in the youth so we’ll see how the bayong will evolve.

6. Sungka –Sungka is a game where shells or stones are dropped on a long canoe shaped board. It has become an exotic toy and is a perfect gift to kids if you want to snatch their attention from their gadgets.

7. Banig – This is used as bed by locals and is still being used in provinces. You can use this too for decoration or bedspread if you want your bedroom to look something exotic.

8. Filipino goods such as pancit canton and canned sardinas – this can be a treat if you want to give a gift to Filipinos who are outside the country. It can bring back that old familiar feeling thru their tastebuds, they will surely thank you for that.

9. Local delicacies such as ube candies and polvoron and bohols peanut kisses, piaya and tablea chocolate. Of all goodies, I love to promote tablea. Tablea is a chocolate that is formed like large tablets and you either eat it raw or put it in rice porridge, or make a chocolate drink out of it. The ingredients is less processed and directly come from the cacao tree.


tablea chocolate


10. Barako coffee. Strong aroma will make your nerves awake for the rest of the day. As much as I love the coffee in Vietnam, it is my responsibility to promote the coffee in the Philippines too. Check it out.

If you noticed, most of the stuff I featured here are exotic and can be only be found in the Philippines. Some, like Marimba are unfortunately almost extinct or not being used already..

So if you want to look for unique finds only in the Philippines, bookmark this article.

If you are outside the Philippines and want to buy any of these, we can ask errand runners at Errand to go to help you out.. it’s a mini project in Beta testing, feel free to test it out.

Offline is the new Luxury

Offline is the new Luxury

Sometimes I look back at my life and see all the computer gadgets that I used since 15.. from 386, 486, pentium 1, 2 etc etc

I realized, the cost for buying all the stuff is equal to a round the world trip ticket already.

I’m not complaining that technology is fast evolving, but sometimes, I just wish I was a doctor or a lawyer instead.. coz doctors and lawyers don’t have to deal so much on versioning.. the human body and laws don’t change too fast.

I do ride the waves of technology and still grateful for the opportunities it has given to me. And someday, it will afford me to earn online while i’m offline too… yep, my ultimate goal of an alternative lifestyle.. a different way of life alright.

But for now, sadly, I live by this quote:

I’m in the transition and to be honest, I can afford to be not in the computer for the whole day.

I just wish that when I travel again, I’ll be able to stay in self sustainable communities, away from racism and people that drains my positive energy.. and then I’ll be able to leave a trail for other adventurous souls to follow.

Many people in poorer countries love to travel.

They just are not privilege enough to do so.. hopefully we can help each other out.

As for the privileged people, I do hope they know the value of being offline.. living in the present moment.. and just enjoying the surroundings. I will feature sustainable communities as I travel along.

Meanwhile, you might want to see this interesting documentary: