I’d first like to thank the academy – you’re wonderful! Then our parents for giving birth to us, that really helped. And of course a huge thanks to… Oh… You mean it’s not like that? Wait, what is this Liebster thing anyway?
The Liebster Award is given to bloggers from bloggers. It’s a set of questions asked to support the community, give some insight on why we’re all blogging, and a chance to pay it forward. The rules are: (1) someone nominates you for the award and asks you to answer 11 questions, (2) you answer the questions, and (3) create 11 new questions and nominate five or more other blogs to answer them.
So really, we’d just like to thank Happy Travelers and North to South for nominating us. Since these nods came within 2 weeks of each other, we’ve decided to split it up, and answer a few questions from each of you. Here we go…
What drives you to travel?
Michael: It keeps us on our toes. Life’s a journey, right? How could I possibly stay in the same place, doing the same thing for years on end? I’m driven to make life for Shannon and myself the best it can be. I don’t think “average” and “satisfactory” are good enough. Everyone of us has the ability to live extraordinary lives, and for me, it’s all about keeping it fresh and exciting. That’s what travel is to me; it’s a shot of caffeine, a kick in the ass, and the climax of sweet love.
Where would you fly off to right now if you could?
Michael: I’d fly back to Thailand, most likely the Krabi province. Not just because it’s one of my favorite place to go, but because I’ve been in the Western world for a tad bit too long now. I love going places different, eating unique foods, trying uncomfortable things, and seeing new people. The US is certainly the world’s melting pot, but there’s nothing like the shock of Asia, and so far, for me, Krabi is the tops! Amazing scenery, great food, nice people, and just strange enough.
Shannon: Hawaii! I’ve been reminiscing about a trip Michael and I took to Kauai years ago. We were living in SF at the time, and chose Kauai because it’s one of Hawaii’s untouched, scenic beauties. We celebrated Turkey Day luau style, feasting on succulent Kalua pork, and spent the week on a happy high with lots of fruity/frozen drinks, ziplining, hiking, napping on the beach… I always look back on that as one of my favorite trips (even though it’s like choosing a favorite kid), but this one was pretty special. I wouldn’t mind checking out some of the other islands and falling asleep in a hammock with a tasty, tasty mai tai.
Cold weather or hot weather destinations?
Shannon: It’s a toss up, but mostly it depends on time of year, what I’m looking to “get” out of a trip, and my state of mind. You can’t possibly compare a tiny town in the Swiss Alps to being on a beach in Thailand; apples to oranges. They both win!
What’s the first thing you do when you arrive in a new place?
Michael: Force myself to stay awake, walk, eat, nap, walk, eat, sightsee, eat, sleep. In that order. So I guess to answer the question; it’s preparing myself for the awesomeness to come.
The coolest tour you’ve ever taken is….?
Michael: We typically don’t go on many guided tours, but there have been a few gems. Private boat rides around the South Pacific, or motorcycle rides in the Philippines come to mind, but I think the best “tour” we’ve been on in the traditional sense is the black taxi tour through Belfast. I’m not sure why, but the details of The Troubles have always spoken to me. Getting an unbiased, firsthand account of what truly happened (in very recent history), was eye opening.
What is always in your carry-on?
Shannon: Toilet paper! I know… it’s kind of weird, but oh so handy. If you travel enough, maybe you can relate? Or at least appreciate the usefulness of having a few squares on hand. Anyone? Bueller? Also, sandwich size plastic baggies. They are great for everything from protecting luggage from liquid leakage, to storing handfuls of free chocolates, to smuggling beach pebbles from the French Riviera. (Shh!)
Michael: Zip ties – I don’t leave home without ‘em! I get the reusable ones, and make sure to tie up my suitcase while flying, and my backpack when out for the day. I’ve never been robbed, pick pocketed, or anything like that. I’m not really worried about it, but maybe that’s because no one could get past my zip ties without me knowing. There’s a bunch of odd stuff though, in fact, here you go.
What is your camera of choice while traveling, why?
Shannon: We’re loyal Nikon users. Primarily using a D3200, and then our old D40X as a backup. When it comes to taking great photos, it’s not all about the camera, but the lens as well, and Nikon makes some really good ones. I tend to photograph primarily in manual mode (aperture priority is my go-to), but if I just need to take a quick photo, I love the range of easy-to-use auto functions.
What has been your worst travel experience?
Michael: It’s a tossup between the great snow chain debacle of Switzerland and the lost baggage/cancelled hotel/get me the hell out of this airport journey from the Philippines to Malaysia. I’m going to give this to Switzerland though. One of my absolute favorite places in the world, but it happened.
What has been your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Shannon: Where do I begin? Haha. Day to day, the obstacles vary – social media, networking, building it as a business – but the real hump is getting exposure. In a sea of overwhelming information and competition so to speak, it’s not an easy feat. But we just keep on doing what we do, sharing our stories, our passion, and crossing our fingers.
If you could give an amateur traveler one piece of advice, what would it be?
Shannon: Don’t let fear hold you back. And… you don’t need a backpack.
Michael: Don’t fall for the hype, think it out. It’s true; everyone can live a traveler’s lifestyle, but I think there’s a common misconception that getting off a plane and then figuring out what to do is the “cool,” “true backpacker,” “adventurous” way to travel. And it can be, but doesn’t have to be. We’ve done it, most of the time it’s great, a lot of the time it sucks. Do some research, manage your finances, and don’t miss what could be just around the corner because “it’s so much cooler not to Google anything.”
What’s your favorite quote about travel?
Shannon: “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” ~ St. Augustine
- Ashley of My Wanderlusty Life
- Elizabeth & Dale of Elizabeth and Dale Abroad
- Adrian of Adrian’s Travel Tales
- Amber & Eric of With Husband In Tow
- Megan of Forks and Footprints
- Juliana of Clever Dever Wherever
- If you could buy a house anywhere in the world, and call that home, where would it be?
- If your plane crashed in the middle of nowhere and your only way to survive is to (A) have a pack of apes accept you as there own, (B) live high up in the trees completely alone forever, or (C) get rescued but only after succumbing to cannibalism… What would you do and why?
- What is your absolute favorite place to go for a short visit, say 4 days?
- Describe the worst thing you’ve ever eaten in a foreign country.
- You’re going on a one month long trip, but you can only bring a laptop, camera, iPod, or cellphone (but an old one that can only do talk and text, ‘cuz no cheating), what would you bring?
- Where are you most afraid to travel to?
- What’s your favorite mode of transportation?
- Describe your travel philosophy; jet setter, backpacker, city buzz, the middle of nowhere, etc.
- You blog. You travel. You blog about travel. What else might we find you doing?
- What makes you YOU? We’re all unique. Share!
- If no one ever read your blog, would you still do it?
We tried to go a little out of the box with our questions, so have fun with it! If you have your own questions for us, feel free to comment below! Nominees, let us know via twitter or comment below once your post with answers is up. Congratulations and keep spreading the love!
The End! Enjoy this photo of me trying to fit through the “e” in Amsterdam. 🙂