The Wandering Gaels are two friends who are exploring their heritage by visiting the stomping grounds of their ancestors. Their blog features beautiful landscape shots and hunger-inducing photos of food they’ve eaten along the way. I especially like this post the gaels did on “The Most Haunted Places in Ireland“—so interesting and unique!
Katherine (of Creating Katherine) is originally from the UK but is now an expat living in Rome (I’m so jealous!). She writes about what it’s like to live in Italy, but she also covers a myriad of other topics, like technology and style. I especially like (and agree with) her blog post: “10 Reasons Everybody Should Visit Rome (At Least Once) in Their Life!”
What is the Liebster Award?
I will be completely honest with you—I didn’t know what the Liebster Award was until I was nominated. I wouldn’t say it’s an “award,” really, but instead, a recognition that one blogger gives to another blogger who may not have as many viewers as they deserve, which is fabulous.
What are the rules?
The rules for nominating a blogger for a Liebster Award, as outlined by the Global Aussie are:
- Thank the person who nominated you. (See above! ;))
- Display the award on your blog.
- Write a post about a blog that is not your own (150-300 words).
- Provide 10 random facts about yourself.
- Nominate 5 blogs who have fewer than 200 followers.
- List these rules in your post.
- Inform the people/blogs you nominated that they’ve been, well, nominated!
Who is my favorite blogger?
They are a boyfriend-girlfriend team of digital nomads who quit their boring 9-to-5s (Nate was a plumber and Hannah was an accountant in New Zealand) and now they travel the world and make money while doing it!
Nate does blog posts but they’re supplemented by videos, which I find quite enjoyable. Hannah is a self-proclaimed introvert who writes posts about what it’s like for a person who is less-than-outgoing to travel the world—I appreciate her unique approach to travel; she’s really nailed down her niche!
Though Nate and Hannah write about the same experiences on both their blogs, they both bring a unique point of view and an awesome sense of humor to the proceedings.
They also have offered webinars and teaching materials (their Behind Closed Doors program), which gives aspiring digital nomads tips for making money while traveling full-time, including but not limited to growing your online presence using social media.
10 random facts about myself
- I had never left the country until 5 years ago (not even Canada, and it’s literally just over the Blue Water Bridge).
- In the last 5 years, I have been to 13 different countries.
- Of all the countries I’ve been to (so far), Italy is my favorite, but Portugal is coming in at a close second!
- I am an avid reader and have read 80 books this year.
- “The dream” is to travel more often and blog full-time.
- My full-time job is as an Intellectual Property Analyst for an academic publisher (it’s okay if you don’t know what that is; most of my family don’t know what I do, either! ;))
- I love to experiment in the kitchen.
- I must eat gelato in every country I visit. Gelato is life.
- I love cheese. ALL OF THE CHEESE.
- I love bicycles, Vespas, owls, and the Eiffel Tower (they are all over my house).
Questions asked by Wandering Gaels
Q: Why did you start your travel blog?
A: When I was younger, I loved to write, but as I grew older I lost the inspiration. I realized the trick is to find something that I’m passionate about—turns out once I did, the act writing was a breeze! My travel blog allows me to combine all of my passions: writing, traveling, and photography.
Q: What is your favorite post that you’ve written, and why?
A: I would say my first post, “How to Plan an Epic Trip in 6 Steps,” simply because it was the beginning of it all. 🙂
Q: Who would you most like to see in an airport, and why?
A: Probably Mindy Kaling, or maybe Ryan Reynolds and/or Blake Lively.
Q: What do you think of selfie sticks?
A: Super annoying, but I can’t deny I’ve found it useful when the hubs and I are traveling and want to take pictures together.
Q: How do you decide where to travel?
A: It varies. For our first trip, I just knew I wanted to see Europe. For our second big trip, I knew which places I wanted to revisit (France and Italy) and decided to go to Spain as well. For my third big trip (which was my mom’s first time in Europe), I decided upon Italy because it’s got the trifecta: it’s beautiful, the people are awesome, and the food is phenom. Our most recent trip started as a “Spain” search and ended up as a Canary Islands/Lisbon trip. I suppose it also depends on when we can go, how much vacation time we have, and what our budget is.
Q: What is the thing you miss most about home while traveling?
A: Easy. Our doggies.
Q: How has travel changed you?
A: It’s definitely made me more adventurous, more open to new places and things. I think it’s made me a more well-rounded person. And I also believe that “wanderlust” is a very real thing and has lived inside me all along; it just wasn’t “awakened” until I went to Europe for my first grand adventure.
Q: Do you have a guilty pleasure while traveling?
A: See above comment about eating gelato every day in every country (sometimes twice a day). Gelato really is life.
Q: What is the number 1 place on your travel bucket list?
A: Australia and New Zealand
Q: What’s your travel style (off the beaten path, popular sites, sand and sun, adventure, nature-lover, etc.)?
A: I like to have a healthy combination of popular sites and off-the-beaten-path things. The popular sites are popular for good reason, right? There’s a reason millions of people flock to them every day. And for a lot of those things, I prefer guided tours; I feel like I get the most out of the experience that way. I like to know the history, the stories behind sites and architecture and towns. But I also make it a point to search “unique” things to see in each place I go to. I’ve found some real gems with those recs.
Q: How do you like to travel? (Solo, in groups, with partner, family, budget or luxury?
A: I don’t love traveling solo. I love traveling with my husband, and I’ve also had a blast going on “girls trips.” I definitely lean toward the “budget” side (this is a blog about how to have affordable adventures, after all), not only because it allows us to travel more, but because the trappings don’t always make the trip for me. We could spend money on top-notch hotels, but unless we’re going to a beach destination or something, we’re not spending a lot of time at the hotel; we’re pretty much just there to sleep and shower. That being said, we still manage to do all the things we want to do and don’t count pennies (for the most part) when we’re traveling.
Questions asked by Creating Catherine
Q: If you had to choose one, which photograph from your travels is your favorite?
A: Holy crap, that’s a really difficult question! Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve got some pretty awesome pics from my travels! 😉 If I had to choose one, I would say this photo of my husband and me in front of the Eiffel Tower, not because it’s a particularly stellar photo, but because it was taken moments after he proposed to me. 🙂
Q: Do you prefer traveling to one destination and immersing yourself into the culture, or hopping from place to place trying to see as much as possible?
A: I try to walk somewhere in between, but more often than not, I’m hopping from place to place. The hubs and I both have full-time jobs, and we’re only afforded so much vacation time every year, so we try to see as much as possible.
Q: What is your number one travel essential? (Aside from necessary sanitary items.)
A: A Wi-Fi hotspot. It is a game-changer. It’s cheaper than using data internationally, and we don’t have to worry about finding an establishment that offers Wi-Fi if we find ourselves desperately in need of it (i.e., for directions or for calling people if we need to).
Q: Tea or Coffee?
A: Definitely tea. Coffee is gross. (I realize I’m in the minority about that, though!)
Q: Which destination has surprised you the most during your travels? Was this surprise good or bad?
A: Probably Lisbon. We had a feeling we would like it, just based on all of the hype it’s been getting in the last few years, but we didn’t expect to love it as much as we do. We can’t wait to go back! I would love to spend a whole week (at least) just exploring Portugal.
Q: What’s the most unusual dish you have ever eaten?
A: I had to really psych myself up to eat escargot in France and tripe in Italy. I realize that’s probably not super unusual to most of you, but it was certainly unusual to me!
Q: What’s your favorite thing about Christmastime?
A: The lights! And the cookies!
Q: Who do you consider your biggest inspiration?
A: All of you digital nomads and expats. You’re living the dream!
Q: What’s your favorite cocktail?
Q: How would you most like to be remembered?
A: As a generous, loving, adventurous spirit.
Q: Which film can you watch again and again?
A: There are too many to count, but since it’s Christmastime, I’ll go with a holiday movie: “The Holiday.”
My nominees for the Liebster Award (aka the 5 blogs you must check out immediately)
- Savvy Roving: Savannah and I have actually crossed paths in college and in the publishing world. Savannah is currently living the dream: she’s living in Italy, bopping around Europe, and she’s writing full-time.
- Time Travel Turtle: I was quite shocked to see that this site has fewer than 200 followers! Michael’s website is fantastic. He is a full-time digital nomad who explores touristy things but also features awesome things that are a little more off the beaten path (he hates queues). His homepage features a map that allows you to search by country (which suits my OCD very well)—he has been to 61 countries and has told (so far) 850 stories about his travels.
- Oh, the Places I Will Go!: For one thing, I love that her blog title is inspired by Dr. Seuss. I especially like her post “What I Learned from Traveling Around the World.” It gives some great advice, from “It’s OK to Go Back” to “Have an Empty Passport.” I had actually never thought about what would happen if I ran out of pages in my passport. I think what I value most about her blog posts, though, is her honesty: she’s completely transparent about the ups and downs of long-term travel, from how exhausting it can be to how amazing it can be.
- Into Foreign Lands: What I love most about Megan’s blog is the way that she writes. Her blogs posts are informative, sure, but above all, it is clear that Megan is a world-class storyteller; her posts read more as short stories (see, for example, her post on traveling solo to South Korea). I was immediately hooked, and you will be, too.
- Young Adventuress: I stumbled upon Liz’s blog when I was searching for info on Australia and New Zealand—and I quickly discovered that while that info is uber-helpful, there is so much more to love about Liz’s blog—not the least of which is her sense of humor (she has a whole section on “Where I screwed up big time,” which is hilarious; see her post on getting naked in Istanbul).
And now, my questions for the Liebster award nominees…
- What’s your absolute favorite place in the world?
- What is your least favorite place that you’ve visited?
- What’s the biggest item on your travel bucket list?
- What do you love most about traveling?
- What’s your favorite book about travel? (It doesn’t have to be a how-to; in fact, I’d prefer if it wasn’t. Are there any books that take place in foreign lands that you love or that inspired you to go to a certain place? I want to know!)
- If you had to choose just one picture from your travels, which one is your favorite and why? (Thanks for the question, Wandering Gaels!)
- What kind of traveler are you? (Budget or luxury? Indoor or outdoor? Adventure or museum-going?)
- What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made on your travels?
- What’s the #1 thing travelers should know about?
- What inspires you?