Huge thanks to Pam from A Blonde Around the World for nominating me for the Leibster Award! While it really is just a way to meet and get to know new bloggers, and doesn’t TECHNICALLY mean I won anything, I take it to mean Pam enjoys my blog and thinks it’s good enough that others might enjoy it too, which makes me feel like I really did win some kind of award! Below I answer the 10 questions she asked as part of this nomination.
1. When and why did you start your travel blog?
I started my blog in October of 2013. I love traveling and my favorite resource for trip planning is blogs. I love getting firsthand tips and advice from fellow travelers. I feel like that is always the most valuable resource. I finally decided it was time to start my own blog so I could contribute to the community and hopefully help someone else!
2. What is the core value of your blog?
I guess I would have to say “usefulness”. I really think about what I find the most helpful in other blogs I read, then include as much of that kind of thing as possible. Whether it’s a gadget to pack, a location to get a great photo, or how to experience a city on the cheap, I really want to share what I’ve learned to make things easier for another traveler.
3. How do you organize your trips?
Oh man. This is a process for me, haha. First, like I said, I read a lot of blogs about a place I am about to visit. I make a list of all the things I want to see/do/eat while I’m there. Then I use my TripAdvisor app to “Save” everything on that list, then pull up the map showing my saves. I see what things are closest to each other, and what itinerary makes the most sense. I enter my itinerary in my TripPlannerPro app, then double check it a few more times before my trip!
4. The most beautiful place you ever visited?
This is a tough question! I’ve been struck by beauty in so many different places and in so many different ways. But if I HAD to narrow it down to one, I would probably have to say the Grand Palace in Thailand. It was truly awe inspiring. A close second might actually be the US Air Force Academy campus with the Cadet Chapel. It’s set right in the mountains and the day I went there was a fresh layer of snow.
5. The weirdest place you visited, and why?
Last fall a friend of mine and I took a trip to a Wamego, Kansas. This small town celebrates it’s many Wizard of Oz attractions. Many things in the town are Oz themed, including an Oz Winery and a Wizard of Oz Museum. We went for Oztoberfest, a local Oz themed festival with rides, characters, and booths. We both really felt like we were in an alternate universe for the day. It was a very interesting experience in a cute town; but it was definitely weird! (Maybe I should write a future post about that trip….)
6. The weirdest custom you got to see abroad?
This is weird only in that it is very different from what I am used to, not weird in a negative way. I went to my friend’s wedding in Poland, and right after the ceremony, the couple’s parents brought them a tray with bread, salt, and wine, and fed it to them. Apparently this is a Polish wedding tradition. The bread symbolizes the parents’ wish they will never go hungry, the salt symbolizes that they must learn to cope with life’s struggles, and the wine symbolizes the parents’ wish that they never go thirsty but have good health and good company. I thought it was so beautiful.
7. Do you make any sacrifice to stick to your travel life?
Obviously traveling does cost time and money; which means I sacrifice some luxuries in order to be able to afford travel. For the most part though, I feel like I’ve found a good balance, and eating out less often so I can spend that money on traveling doesn’t even feel like a sacrifice anymore.
8. Solo travel vs travel in company?
I’ve done a small amount of solo travel, which has the benefit of being able to go at your own pace and speed and set your own schedule. I must say I prefer traveling with company though. I get so excited seeing and experiencing new things, I love to be able to share that with someone else. I’m lucky that my boyfriend Nick is so laid back that I really get the best of both worlds, because he is fine with me planning our trips and schedule, but I get to have someone there to experience it with!
9. The most disastrous trip and why?
Last year Nick & I drove to Atlanta Georgia to watch our alma mater (University of Missouri) play for the SEC Championship (football). It is about a 10 hour drive, but there was a blizzard RIGHT when we left, and it took us about 15 hours to get there, driving through terrible weather. To top it off we had trouble with the defrost on our car, so it was a stressful 15 hours! Once we got there we had an incredible time though. I would do it all over again.
10. Your next destination?
Nick & I are taking a roadtrip to Kentucky to visit Mammoth Cave over Memorial weekend, but our next BIG trip is in June. We’re spending two weeks touring the Northwest. Starting in Portland Oregon, then heading to Seattle Washington, then heading on up into Canada to spend a week in Vancouver with day trips to Whistler and Victoria. I’ve heard this is an incredibly beautiful area and that each of these cities is incredible, so I can’t wait! (If anyone has any tips or recommendations for this trip please let me know!)
Thanks Pam, this was a lot of fun!