We are beyond honored to be nominated for our first Liebster Award! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to Image Earth Travel for the nomination! If you haven’t checked out her site already, explore the world through her eyes as you gaze upon her gorgeous travel photos and read about her adventures around the world! Also, check out her photography site, Nilla’s Photography!
Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. The Liebster Award is an internet award given by bloggers to other bloggers to help spread the love and give attention to awesome blogs that deserve it!
Award Rules if you choose to accept:
- Post about the award, thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
- Answer their questions about yourself.
- Nominate 5 –10 people with fewer than 1,000 followers, let them know via social media.
- Write your own set of questions for your nominees.
- Feel good about yourself for winning an award and pass it on!
The questions from Image Earth Travel and my answers to them (written by Becky):
1. Is travel in your DNA and if so, explain why?
- Absolutely! My grandfather was in the Air Force so my dad grew up travelling and moving at least once a year throughout his childhood. He lived in places such as Italy, Germany, Hawaii, etc. When he grew up, he too enlisted in the Air Force as he was used to moving around a lot. However, he realized the military life wasn’t for him and decided to go work in Yellowstone National Park for the summer. There he met my mom, who was visiting through a college course and also working for the summer. They fell in love, got married, and decided to start a family. Even though they decided to settle down, my dad was so used to moving once a year that we still moved around a lot. Growing up, I lived in Tennessee, New York, North Dakota, 5 different houses in Michigan and several more cities in Michigan (South Haven, Indiana and South Carolina once I graduated from high school and moved out on my own. My dad has travelled extensively across the globe doing mission work for an organization called World Mission. They travel to hard to reach, remote areas distributing necessities along with solar powered audio Bibles to teach people about Jesus. I’ve been fortunate enough to go on trips with him to Russia and Guatemala so far and the Russia trip is really where I caught my travel bug when I was 15 years old. I wanted to immerse myself in new ways of life and I wanted to see new and different lands so from then on, I have been absolutely enamored with traveling. My mom has always taught my sister and I to “taste, touch, and see the world”! She says “The biggest part of being alive is LIVE”! I love this quote of hers and have to tried to live my life accordingly so far. I have had an adventurous spirit since I was small and I have never been able to sit still because I’m always looking for my next fun adventure. I developed a strong appreciation and respect for the diversity of this earth and all of its colorful cultures through family vacations and from watching my parents travel the globe on mission trips. I learned to cherish experiences rather than material things and to this day, my family often foregoes traditional gift giving in place of gifting experiences (kite-boarding lessons, skydiving together, cooking classes, wine and canvas nights, etc.) The memories made together are so much more valuable than material things to us.
- Dustin grew up with a true love for boating. Although his parents separated when he was very young, they were both very much involved in his life and didn’t waste any time acclimating him to a life of adventure. His mom taught him to swim and downhill ski when he was only 2 years old! She found her passion for sailing when he was very young. She finally decided to get her own sea-worthy (well, Lake Michigan-worthy) boat so her and Dustin could start a whole new chapter of their lives together. That first boat ended up being a beautiful 29’ Ericson sail boat that took her 2 weeks to sail home from Lake St. Clair on the other side of Michigan. She named it Dalliance and it was their home during the summers. Once or twice each summer they would sail as far as they could make it in the time that they had and sailed the entire east coast of Michigan many times, all the way to St. Ignace and Mackinaw Island. He quickly realized that being on the water meant being happy. Dustin’s dad also loved being on the water and often took him water skiing and wakeboarding. His dad has always been an adrenaline junkie with a desire to experience all that life has to give. When he wasn’t working, he spent all of his free time with Dustin and his brothers, sharing with them his thirst for adventure. He bought the boys their first motorbikes when Dustin was 10 years old and took them up north to ride. They often took family trips and went camping in the Great Smoky Mountains at Fall Creek Falls, traveled out west where they hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, played on a natural formed waterslide at Sliding Rock National Park, went horseback riding through Bryce Canyon and even climbed Angel’s Landing in Utah. He says he doesn’t know if he would have the guts to climb it again if he were to go back with me now, but he knows I will make him. 🙂 I am an adrenaline junkie just like his dad! One of his most memorable trips with his dad was when they spent a couple of weeks camping on their 19’ Glastron at Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee. They anchored every night in a different cove and woke up each morning to another action packed day of wakeboarding, swimming, cliff diving, and exploring the lake. Both of his parents helped to mold him into the person he is today and he is constantly counting down the seconds until he can be on the water again.
2. What do you like most when visiting a blog site (content, photos, poetry, or other)?
- I am most drawn to a blog that has incredible photography along with a user friendly layout/design. I don’t like having to hunt for things on a site and can appreciate when I find one that has been carefully and creatively pieced together. I also love reading the “About” section on blogs to better acquaint myself with the authors.
3. Are you at ease writing about yourself and sharing innermost thoughts in your blog, and why?
- I am naturally a pretty outspoken person and even more so when it comes to my writing. I write simply for the joy of writing and documenting our adventures and I love the opportunity to open up and share my thoughts and views with the world about my biggest passion! Not everyone shares my love for travel so I really enjoy having an audience to speak with and gain advice from. I tend to be very honest and forthcoming when I write. That makes it even sweeter each time I receive notification that I have a new follower, because I know they have enjoyed the “real” me. (Thank you so much to all of our followers so far! You mean so much to us) 🙂
4. Do you have any advice for those that are thinking of travelling overseas but afraid?
- Just go! The news portrays such a negative outlook of the world and if you listen to it too much, it could be easy to talk yourself out of going, either because it’s “too dangerous” or “too expensive” or “not responsible”. But if you don’t, you will miss out on so many incredible places, experiences, and people! By nature, I am a pretty fearless person. I joke and say that my only real fears are spiders and the dark (haha) but I know there are a lot of people who feel very outside of their comfort zone when they travel and culture shock for them can be a very real thing. However, if you push yourself to get past the initial feeling of discomfort, and have an open mind to new cultures then there is literally a whole world out there to discover and enjoy! Pushing yourself past your fears allows you to grow as a person.
5. How long do you spend on a blog site that you follow reading posts (1, 5, 10 minutes)?
- I usually spend 5-10 minutes looking at blogs that I follow and return frequently to the ones that I enjoy!
6. What is your preferred device/camera to take photos with and why?
- I honestly use my smart phone a lot because of its convenience. Dustin and I are very active so carrying around a big camera bag would be a real pain for us! Our favorite camera phones so far have been our Nokia Lumia 1020’s, which each had a 41 megapixel camera and produced fantastic photos! However, the screen was not very durable and we each had to replace our screens multiple times, which finally led us to switch phones. Right now, I use a Samsung Galaxy. I also have a waterproof digital camera, the Olympus TG-4, which I really love. It’s rated the best underwater digital camera on many sites. The model I have is waterproof up down to 50 ft, freezing temperatures to 14 degrees, crushing force, is shock resistant to 7 feet and resists dust, which is ideal for our active lifestyle and perfect for taking on the boat, as we don’t have to worry about it getting wet. We are learning to scuba dive in a couple weeks in St. Thomas and I’m happy to have this camera to take with us on our dive to hopefully get some good shots of all the colorful fish!
7. What is your ‘pièce de résistance’ signature dish you love to make?
- Lately, my favorite dish to make has been parmesan crusted tilapia with lemon pepper, paprika, garlic powder, and minced onions served with green beans sautéed in fresh garlic and olive oil, and a baked sweet potato with cinnamon/honey butter.
My Nominations for the Liebster Award:
- https://lovejennyphotography.com/– Jenny is a beautiful soul who took a leap of faith and moved to Europe where she fell in love with her perfect match and has begun to inspire the world (and me) with their incredible photos and travel stories! She is one of the people who inspired me to start our blog and has an incredible writing style that I’m sure you will enjoy!
- http://www.sailbluestarr.com/blog-1/– Rayford was tired of chasing the American Dream so he sold his home and moved to the Pacific Northwest where he bought a sail boat and decided to pursue his passion! Such an inspiring blog! He’s a few steps ahead of what Dustin and I are trying to do!
- http://kylespitzley.com/wp/– Kyle’s blog is about personal growth and development and has some really great posts about improving yourself so that you get the most out of life! Great site for everyone to check out!
- The Dreamer Writes– A collection of writings about life, love and travels. Jayson has a very genuine style of writing that is refreshing to read!
- Italophilia– Enjoy Ishita’s stories of her journeys through Italy! Having honeymooned in Italy, we hold a special place in our hearts for Italy and Ishita beautifully depicts this gorgeous country in her photos and travel tales.
Questions for My Nominees:
- If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
- What do you believe creates the most traffic on your blog and why?
- What makes you feel most alive in life?
- If there was only one message your readers could take away from your blog, what do you hope it would be?
- Out of the millions of blogs that exist, what grabs your eye/interest enough to stay on a blog for more than a second to explore it more deeply?
- What is your favorite quote about life or travel?
- What inspires you to keep writing?
Thank you again to Image Earth Travel for nominating us for this award! And thanks to everyone else for reading!