I Suck At Titles, Especially Unique Ones
January 24, 2014 10:29 AM   Subscribe

Alright, I've been letting this problem get in the way of starting a travel blog too long - the blog name I came up with has already been taken by a score of other blogs. So what do I call the damn thing?

So a combination of starting to do travel writing for realsies combined with re-reading some of my old travel journals has spurred me to try blogging again. I'd post short, quirky literary-type travel stories from trips I've taken, about tiny but cool things - that funky conversation I had with a London cabbie or the time I crashed a radio program in Dublin or dancing the Time Warp with three strangers in a bar during Mardi Gras or the game of charades me and a Roman candy shop owner got into while trying to communicate about hot cocoa.

Originally I was going to riff on Spaulding Gray's observation about trying to have a perfect moment when you travel, but a shit-ton of other travel bloggers seem to have had the same idea. Which is a shame, as it's exactly the kind of way I wanted to describe these little snips of stories.

I always sucked at coming up with titles anyway, so I'm appealing for help from y'all. Thanks.
posted by EmpressCallipygos to Media & Arts (31 answers total)
Brief Encounters?
posted by yoink at 10:36 AM on January 24, 2014

Brief Connections
posted by Quisp Lover at 10:39 AM on January 24, 2014

Best answer: Something like "That just happened!" or "Man, did you just see that?" always appeal to me. Phrases as names. Gives you way more options.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 10:43 AM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Something about being in the state of flow so maybe


Or variation on "you had to be there"

You had to be there
I had to be there
We had to be there
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:44 AM on January 24, 2014

Uggghhhhh this is such a difficult thing in the travel space.

There are So Many Travel Blogs. So many. And there's something about the nexus of keywords and areas of focus and SEO and all that which results in every name that works already being taken.

So I really feel you.

What about The Conversationalist? It puts the focus more on storytelling, and specifically storytelling about small moments of interaction between you and others on your travels.

It also frees you up to write about things like this that aren't strictly travel-oriented in your own life, which is the dirty little secret about travel writing: most people (except for maybe guidebook writers) don't spend most of their travel writing career traveling, they spend time talking about their own home base or regions/spaces/verticals they already have specific experience with.

Other ideas:

The Curse Of The Gab

Lost In Translation (there has to already be a travel blog with this title, though)

Road Awkward

Shoestring Adventures
posted by Sara C. at 10:44 AM on January 24, 2014

Response by poster: Liking the concepts behind what I've starred so far - that may not be "it", but at least it's the intriguing direction on the map I may want to wander down. But I haven't booked the ticket yet - thanks, and keep 'em coming.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:49 AM on January 24, 2014

Response by poster: Oh, crap.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:51 AM on January 24, 2014

This One Time, At...
posted by Sara C. at 10:57 AM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I came across a Rilke quote the other day that I thought was title-ready, particularly for something travel-related:

"the resourceful creatures see clearly
that we are not really at home
in the interpreted world."

So, like, something along the lines of "The Interpreted World", or maybe even "The Uninterpreted World."

Looking at it now, it seems a little pretentious/clunky, cf my username, but I already wrote out the comment, so.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 11:05 AM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: ....For some reason "Airline Peanuts" has just popped into my head. Is that "so stupid it actually goes all the way around into smart" or is it just "stupid"?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:10 AM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ten Thousand Tiny Postcards. (the idea being that each of these memories are little postcard reminders of your travels. Perhaps ten thousand is a bit ambitious, depending on how many trips you've been on).
posted by brambory at 11:10 AM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Airline Peanuts reads a bit cutesy-tutsey to me. My snap judgement would be to not read it just because I hate cutesy stuff and I would assume it would be boring because someone who liked cutesy stuff probably wouldn't be writing about things I'd be interested in. Clearly, YMMV but that is what I would have thought.

I don't know you from a hole in the wall, but what I know of you based upon the types of answers you usually post I would say you're more intelligent and witty than that title suggests (to me at least). You can probably find something better that would better fit your style.

What about "Stop the world, I want to get on!"
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 11:26 AM on January 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seatbacks and Tray Tables
Upright and Locked
Linear Inches
In the Seatback Pocket
Cruising Altitude
Holding Pattern
posted by melissasaurus at 11:29 AM on January 24, 2014

Lost the Map
posted by mikepop at 11:30 AM on January 24, 2014

Your Oh! Pass (if there is a lot of Europe stuff)

What's Good Here?

A Little Serendipity (alternately A Bit of, A Slice of, A Smidge of, etc.)
posted by mikepop at 11:39 AM on January 24, 2014

The Happenstance
posted by mikepop at 11:40 AM on January 24, 2014

What Had Happened Was
posted by Night_owl at 11:42 AM on January 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

I would assume "airline peanuts" was going to be about flying or airports or experiences with air travel, which is a whole specific travel blogging niche.

I think if you're OK with people coming to your site looking for air travel stuff and then leaving, or you're OK with potentially losing your audience because they assume your blog is not what they're looking for, go for it.

That said, my last travel blog (really more of a "place based writing" blog) was called Travels With Gloria, which despite a very thoughtfully worded explanation on the blog, nobody ever understood. So, you know, do what you need to do. I assume this is more of a personal project for you and not some kind of SEO deal.
posted by Sara C. at 11:43 AM on January 24, 2014

Lonely Planet (et al!) have appropriated Hemingway's appropriation of the Catholic "a movable feast", and to allude to and play off that a bit: 'Feasible Moves'.

And Gertrude Stein famously derided Oakland's lack of character by (de)claiming "there is no there there"; so in order to convey, perhaps too obscurely, the idea that you deal only in places with character: 'There There Theres'.
posted by jamjam at 12:51 PM on January 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

How about something like "Dancing the Time Warp with three strangers in a bar during Mardi Gras" or something similar?
posted by carter at 12:57 PM on January 24, 2014

I wanted to suggest "gone going'" or "get gone" or "I got gone" but those are songs by the Black Eyed Peas, Fiona Apple, and Buddy Wakefield, respectively. Something about going, or having been gone, anyway.

Other than the particularity of your take on the world, and the joy and brevity of these connections, is there another angle we should think about? (E.g., only taking buses, going last minute, travelling with a buddy, dart on a map, or something better than the things I've just thought?)

"Comfort of strangers?" (I'm already going to say get gone to that.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 3:34 PM on January 24, 2014

Best answer: And Then This
All The Things that Happened
Incidents and Incidentals
Episodes on Foreign Soil
posted by Glinn at 4:23 PM on January 24, 2014

Choose a title for one of your stories, and use that for the blog.
posted by zippy at 11:02 PM on January 24, 2014

Best answer: The Time Zone Warp
electric yanni boat (NSFW, doh) - and my bro used to do that too, publishing the results as well
Eclectic Travel Quilt
Eclectic Travel Louge
A Vroom with A View
Liquorice Allsorts (or something similarly striking to you about which you have a story)
Doodling in the Margins
Chapter in Verse
One leg's the same
Como se dice

Just trawling through your answers for inspiration ...
posted by tilde at 5:52 AM on January 25, 2014

Response by poster: Oooh, I really liked "doodling in the margins", but it's already poached by a bunch of non-travel blogs. But that notion of marginalia and....quick-one-off-y-ness, I really like conceptually.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:06 AM on January 25, 2014

what do you have travelling

pocket plunder you might pick up and scribble on along the way ...

logo-ed napkins
note pads (logo)
eclectic ephemera
phone cards/logs

I know I come home daily with scribblings on all kinds of papers with notes to myself about htings to write on.
posted by tilde at 6:20 AM on January 25, 2014

The Wandering Scribbler
posted by mikepop at 5:39 AM on January 27, 2014

Written On A Napkin.

(You might also think about poaching a phrase from Joan Didion's essay "On Keeping A Notebook", which has very much the kind of tone I think you're describing.)
posted by Sara C. at 9:04 AM on January 27, 2014

Response by poster: Is "Stuff From My Pockets" travell-y enough? If not so much, how about "Stuff From My [some suitably travel-oriented container]"?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:16 AM on January 27, 2014

I don't know, with that title I mostly just hate the "Stuff From..." construction. I especially hate "Stuff From My Pockets" because its pretty much the least specific title for anything since "Random Thoughts".

But what about something like "Written On The Suitcase", or "Scribbled In My Passport", or "Notes From The Standby List" or something?
posted by Sara C. at 10:28 AM on January 27, 2014

I'm more into the alliterative look of Pocket Plunder. When I mentioned it to my dad, he mentioned a now defunct travel blog that would start with the guys' pocket plunder from the trip, expanding out where he was and what was going on there.

It's had a negative connotation (plunder) for most of the time of its use (still kind of does, though I've seen it used more casually to talk about stuff people came home with, even mostly accidentally).

Rummaged Roads? Rummaging Roamer?

Plundered Paths?

Hiatus Hearkens? Dart of Hearkness seems a weird and pointless malprop but it's been bugging me.

I dunno. Brain goes weird places some times.

Holiday Hearkens
posted by tilde at 11:01 AM on January 27, 2014

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