What Should I Name My Travel Blog

Freshly Made Corn Tortillas

Gaining Knowledge On Colonial Latin America

When I decided to start travel blogging about Colonial Latin America, I was surprised to find the domain name www.coloniallatinamerica.com available.  So I purchased it through GoDaddy.  At the time, I felt this was a perfect name for blogging about my travels through Spanish and Portuguese colonial towns in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central, and South America.  But was it the perfect name to call my travel blog?

As I completed visits to all colonial areas of Latin America, I amassed a lot of knowledge about indigenous civilizations, European conquistadors, and African intellectual and cultural influences.  With my Latin America travel destinations focused on UNESCO World Heritage Sites/Cities, I visited many museums that told how extensive and important indigenous culture was prior to the arrival of Europeans.

I wanted to know more about pre-Hispanic civilizations, the arrival of Spanish and Portuguese people, and how important Africans were to the development of Colonial Latin America.  Obviously, I turned to Google to find out more.  However, to ensure I wasn’t reading “fake facts”, I ended up buying a half dozen academic books.  Specifically, the books Colonial Latin America by Mark Burkholder and Latin America in Colonial Times by Matthew Restall.

Combining my knowledge gained from my travels to UNESCO World Heritage cities like Guanajuato, Mexico, Antigua, Guatemala, Cuenca, Ecuador, and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, with visits to museums such as Museo Larco, ChocoMuseo, and Museo del Oro, and reading books such as the one from Burkholder, my views of Colonial Latin America profoundly changed.

Colonial Latin America UNESCO World Heritage Cities were still beautiful examples of colonial architecture, set in myriad climates and geographies, a blend of indigenous, European, and African cultures.  But what changed was my perception that these cities grew solely from European know-how and muscle.  That the Aztec, Tupi, Arawak, and Inca civilizations were less advanced.  That all Africans were enslaved.  That Christopher Columbus took three ships and “found” America on one voyage.  That the U.S. was the only Western Hemisphere country to think slavery was OK.

In reality, Colonial Latin America was built because of the existing civilizations and the back-breaking work of Africans.  Europeans made dozens of voyages over decades to establish their rule.  Indigenous groups contributed amazing skills and knowledge to the construction and culture of the colonial period.  I started to think that the name Colonial Latin America didn’t capture the essence of the period between 1492 and 1821.  Colonial reminded me of oppressive colonizers.  Latin reminded me of European dominance.  And America reminded me of Amerigo Vespucci, who didn’t really contribute all that much!

The words “Colonial Latin America” are broadly used, and have been for quite some time.  It remains the easiest way to describe the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and South America areas.  But is it the best way to describe what exists in these areas nowadays?

Brainstorming the Name of My Travel Blog

When I started Googling, “How to Start a Travel Blog”, the search results turned up some excellent travel blogs that had already blogged about the subject.  Travel websites such as The Wonderlusters, Never Ending Footsteps, and Expert Vagabond have excellent blog posts that detail the entire process of setting up a travel blog.  Part of that process is deciding on a name for your blog.

Most travel blog experts suggest shying away from naming your blog with travel terms as they can be limiting (20somethingtraveler), confusing (trips2go-on), and generic (mytravellife).  Over a decade ago, I started a blog called “The Dean of Travels”.  I thought it was cute, corny, and catchy.  I do own www.thedeanoftravels.com.  Unfortunately, I discovered that www.thedeanoftravel.com, while dated, is a well-visited and respected website.  How many visitors to my website would end up heading to Dean Jacob’s fine website?

Even if I decided to use www.thedeanoftravels.com, it might be too broad given my desire to focus on Colonial Latin America.  Naming my travel blog “The Dean of Colonial Latin America” sounds pretty academic and encompassing but also that I’m an expert.  Which I am not.  I did have friends and family recommend that my personality is expressed in my blog name.  A lot of people think that I’m a fun person; while I’m serious to accomplish travel goals, and dip into the intellectual side of travel discovery, I do enjoy joy and laughter as I travel.

I brainstormed how to answer this thought equation: Combine Colonial Latin America with Indigenous Heritage with The Dean of Travels with Fun and Joy.  I envisioned the Aztec, Maya, Inca, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, British, Africans, Silver, Gold, God, Gods, Sugar, Ships, New Spain, Viceroyalty, Peru, Camino Royal, and anything else that conjured up memories or descriptions between 1500 and 1800.

The name of my travel blog needed to pay homage to indigenous cultures, intertwined with the colonial period, that was still relevant today.  With maize and chocolate existing prior to European arrival, gold and silver mined during pre-Hispanic times, and llamas, cashews, and peanuts originating in South America, I felt that I was close to a blog name that I’d be proud of.

Chocolate as it exists today didn’t exist in the Americas.  It was cacao and variations of the cacao bean.  So, the word chocolate was out (even though it has it’s origin in the Nahuatl language: xocoatl).  Gold or oro and silver or plata just reminded me of colonial oppression of Indigenous and African labor.  When I thought about cashews and peanuts, I thought of all the people with nut allergies.  So what should I name my travel blog?

Maize, corn was important before, during, and after the colonial period.  And llamas were too!  Maize could loosely represent the Viceroyalty of New Spain and Llamas could loosely represent the Viceroyalty of Peru.  I mulled over something to represent the vast area of Brazil, but decided on just two words: Maize and Llamas.

My gosh!  Maize and Llamas seems to be a mouthful.  Corn and Llamas could be “The Corny Llama”.  And then, eureka!  Tortillas are very often and originally made from corn, eaten during the colonial period, and enjoyed pretty much everywhere today.  And llamas?  Who doesn’t like llamas?  Pack animals and used for clothing in the past, they are still useful, cute, and adored nowadays.  Tortillas.  Llamas.  Old.  New.  Mexico.  South America.  Enjoyed.  Loved.

Selecting the Name for My Blog

I would name my travel blog: Llamas and Tortillas!  The name represents the past, present, and future.  The name pays homage to Indigenous folks, European influences, and the beautiful Colonial Latin American cities that exist today.

Leave a Reply