Liebster Award: Discovering New Blogs

We were recently nominated for a Liebster Award by our friend Alex from Novice Wanderer and Sarah from 2 Travel To. Thanks guys!

Basically, this award is a chance to get to learn more about other new bloggers and celebrate our shared love of travel.

Both Alex and Sarah prepared some thought-provoking questions for us, so here it goes!

Questions from Novice Wanderer :

Peyto Lake in Alberta, Canada

1. Why do you travel?

My reason changes constantly. Sometimes traveling is about delving into the culture and history of a country. Other times, I travel to learn about myself. Some trips are about getting away from everything and relaxing on the beach with a mojito in hand. Others are about trekking and pushing myself to my limits. Sometimes, I travel for the adventure, and other times I travel to feel at home.

2. What's the biggest struggle you have while on the road?

Getting hangry. One weakness we have as a couple is we are indecisive. This leads to us roaming the street of a new city, getting hungrier by the minute because we can not make up our minds. Then the hangry-ness ensues. After a couple hangry incidents in South America, we now know to always have snacks on hand!

3. What's your least favorite destination so far?

Great question. I feel like we only focus on our favorite spots and never the bad ones. There are a lot of places that have been underwhelming. Pisa, Italy for instance was dirty, crowded, and not all that impressive. We were both disappointed by Rome as well. We've found that big city destinations are often underwhelming, while smaller towns are usually our unexpected favorites. But sometimes small towns can be a disappointment too. Case and point - Montañita. We were excited to visit this little beach town in Ecuador, but couldn't get over the cigarette butts and broken bottles littering the sand. Good thing the nightlife is amazing, because that's just about all we liked. 

4. Have you ever experienced discrimination because of your nationality?

There have been many times when people make blanket statements about “stupid Americans”, but the time that sticks out most is when we were crossing the border from Peru into Bolivia. Long story short, we were humiliated in front of hundreds of people. As infuriating as the situation was, it was just a taste of what some people go through on a daily basis because of their nationality.

5. Where were you last on the beach?

A couple weeks ago, we spent a holiday weekend camping on the beach in Namhae Island (with Novice Wanderer!). But saying you went to the beach in South Korea is kind of like eating soft serve and saying you ate gelato. It’s just not the real deal. The last real beach we were on was in the Philippines. And I’ve gotta say, that country may have ruined all other beaches for me.

6. What's on your travel playlist?

Favorites at the moment:

“Riptide” - Vance Joy

“Waves” - Robin Schulz

"Rather Be” - Clean Bandit

Always on my playlist:

“Send me on my way” - Rusted Root

“Follow The Sun” - Xavier Rudd

“I’m on Top of the World” - Imagine Dragons

7. Do you have any advice for people doing a long travel trek for the first time?

Two words. Be flexible. Things will go wrong and not according to your plan, but just roll with it. The more easygoing you are, the more fun you will have. Sometimes it’s hard when you have a plan in mind, but we have often found that our favorite travel memories are not moments that were on an itinerary.

8. What's your favorite travel quote and why?

“The most dangerous risk of all - The risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later”  -Randy Komisar

Both Ben and I have watched tragic things happen to loved ones too early in their lives. We don’t want to risk missing out on opportunities now in the hope we can do it when we retire. Later is never a guarantee.  

And here are the questions from Sarah over at 2 Travel To :

1. Have you ever bought a one way ticket and how did it feel?

Yes! It was terrifying and thrilling at the same time! A ridiculously cheap flight, and an insatiable case of itchy feet prompted us to click the purchase button. So there we were, newly married, with one way tickets from our home in Minneapolis to Cartagena, Colombia. We quit our full-time jobs, took with us only what would fit in our backpacks, and embarked on an adventure that hasn’t ended since.

2. If you would win the lottery today, where would you travel tomorrow?

Thailand. Mmmm, no Italy. Or Switzerland. Okay, those are all places I’ve been, so maybe I should branch out a bit. South Africa, Brazil, Morocco, Nepal, Croatia, and New Zealand are all high on the list. Hell, if I won the lottery, I would do a round-the-world trip. So my answer is all of those places. Oh, and the Maldives too because I hear they are expensive. So I’d probably need to win the lottery in order to go.

3. How do you kill the time on a long-haul flight?

In-flight movies, card games, and spending quality time with my Kindle. And sleeping.

4. Do you plan all your trips or are you a more spontaneous person?

We do both. On our recent trip to the Philippines, we had to plan a lot of the trip in advance because we had a limited amount of time and a lot we wanted to see. But we don't always need a plan. In fact, we prefer to be a bit more spontaneous. In 2014, we spent 3 months backpacking through South America. We had a general route planned, but we mostly figured it out on the way. Umm, last minute flights to the Galapagpos?! Yep.

5. How do you pack your suitcase? Do you roll or fold your clothes?

Roll. We always roll. And then we stuff them into packing cubes. Pretty much the best travel accessory ever.

Amazon Jungle in Bolivia

6. Desert, jungle or Antarctic – what do you choose?

We ventured in to the Amazon jungle and the Atacama desert during our few weeks in Bolivia. Out of the two, we would both choose the jungle. There was so much life everywhere. Though I do have to say, Antarctica would be quite the adventure. There’s something about stepping foot on land that so few have touched that is pretty enticing. And there’s penguins!

7. Describe your dream holidays in three words.

Adventurous. Relaxing. Jaw-dropping.

8. How do you save money for your trips? Do you have any tips?

We (mostly Ben) keep a budget like a boss. I am always putting money into a perspective of how far it could get me on a trip. Do I want a new dress, or 3 nights in a hostel in Thailand? Usually travel wins. And when it comes to flights, I am a stalker. When I know I have an upcoming trip, I monitor the flight on several different sites and pounce when the price is low.

We nominate…(drumroll, please)...

  1. Prue and Becky from Straight on Detour
  2. Tess from A Life Full of Serendipity
  3. Carolin from Breathing Travel
  4. Camille from Camille in Wonderlands
  5. Tine from Fractions of the World

Our Questions for you:

  1. What is the strangest item you pack for your travels?

  2. What is the one food from home you wish you could bring everywhere you go?

  3. What have you learned about yourself through traveling?

  4. Traveling can be tough, both mentally and physically (most often the latter). How do you stay healthy on the road?

  5. If you were to travel during another era, when would it be and why?

  6. What is the first thing you do once you get into a new city?

  7. Coffee, tea, or juice? Choose one.

  8. Who is the person who has inspired you to travel the most?

  9. What is one destination you felt was overrated?

  10. What is the best travel advice you've ever been given?

  11. Where is your happy place?