The Liebster Award


What is the Liebster Award?

 

The Liebster Award is an award given by bloggers to bloggers.  It was created to bring awareness and recognition to new and upcoming blogs.  In German, “Liebster” means: beloved, kindest, or dearest.  It first began in 2011 and has been going strong ever since!

As recent recipients, we must say that it certainly does feel pretty damn good to not only receive it, but to give it as well!

So, first and foremost, we would like to thank WhenTwoWander for graciously nominating us.  They are a young, British couple on an adventure of a lifetime!  They left their homes behind to travel and explore the world together while learning about themselves along the way.  And, we love that!  They have wonderful articles, fantastic Photo of the Week posts (like this funny one!), and their videos are super cute and entertaining!  We recommend you check them out, you won’t regret it!

While we’re on the topic of great blogs, we also highly recommend you go see what our friends at Brooklyn Bread Blog are talking about.  Their articles are something we all can relate to and they’re written in such a funny, down-to-earth way, which makes them fun and easy to read.  We love hearing their views, stories, and challenges of raising kids in the city.  Plus, they’re bringing light to a lot of issues we should be paying attention to! So, head on over and give them a read!


Now for the fun part, here are our answers:

Where is your favorite place that you’ve been to?

Honestly, it’s so difficult to answer that question.  We’ve had so many amazing experiences that it’s hard to narrow down to just one.  I guess it would have to depend on what type of favorite we would be talking about and even then it would be impossible to say with certainty which one that is.

Each place we’ve been holds its own special memory and brings back its own unique feeling – regardless of how grand or subtle it was. 

There was that first “Babe, I reeeally have to pee” stop on our honeymoon road trip in some-small-town-I don’t-remember-the-name, Georgia.  At the time, we hadn’t seen many small towns in the United States. 

We were living in Pooler, Georgia at the time with a population of 30,000 so I guess that’s small.  But, this town made Pooler look like New York City.

There was one street with about ten businesses – half of which were closed.  We searched desperately for a bathroom, and after three failed attempts, we finally found victory. 

The Beginning…

That stop was a pretty awesome feeling.  It wasn’t Crater Lake, the Pacific Coast or even Palm Springs, but it felt like we were on a movie set.  It was the first real suprise on our adventures and it set the tone for the adventures that followed.  

From then on, it has been a constant seesaw between extremes and we have loved every minute of it. 

Mountain peaks to empty plains, towering skyscrapers to grounded ranch houses, and everything in between.  

Now, the only thing we know to expect is nothing at all.

 

So… it would probably be easier (and quicker) to answer what was our least favorite.

We’ve liked or loved pretty much every place we have driven our wheels through or stepped foot in, but Olympia left much to be desiredWashington state is gorgeous and we enjoyed the cities and towns we went to, but Olympia was different.

It wasn’t anything particular about the scenery.  The streets and coffee shops were cool. 

 

The people were funky, weird, and different, which is everything we applaud and celebrate.  But, there was something off.  The vibe just didn’t feel good to me. 

Maybe to the normal eye that has seen cities like Portland and then Olympia, they might not see too many differences as far as the people.  But, we felt them.

In Portland, everyone is so relaxed and happy at the same time, even the homeless people

Which brings us to another favorite place and proves the point that we can’t possibly answer this question. 

In Portland, everyone is simply themselves and worried about what they’re doing.  There is no feeling of animosity or judgment in the air whatsoever.  No one is rolling their eyes or curling their lips at you.  From the 8-hours we spent at the coffee shop there, we saw an array of people. 

We saw your regular, irregular crowd: the funky haircuts, colorful hairdos, and eclectic clothing.  We saw every letter of the LGBTQ community, every color of the racial spectrum, some college kids, a homeless person, a few strippers, I’m sorry exotic dancers (Portland has a lot of strip clubs for some reason), and a Tibetan monk.  

It was quite the experience.  Olympia is a little different in that everyone is pretty much the same. It’s like a bunch of rebellious teenagers trapped in 30-something bodies. 

Not everyone.  But enough. 


Which destination that you haven’t been to yet is at the top of your list?

This is another one that’s difficult to answer.  Are you noticing a trend?

Even asking us the opposite and having to choose a destination that is least on our list would be impossible. 

We want to go everywhere and see everything.  The more we feed into our curiosity, the more it grows.  And, recently, its growth has been exponential.

Right now, the next on our list past the Americas and Canada, would be Europe.  It would be awesome to have a continued adventure of road tripping, house sitting, and exploring public transportations except with more foreign accents. 

We definitely want to visit all of the continents together, but due to Boris’ discomfort with flying, we’re taking it one at a time. 

He had a pretty crazy experience on his flight back to JFK from LA.  They were coming to a landing and then all of a sudden, the pilot changed directions and jolted straight up.  That, along with not wanting to be out of complete control in an undesirable situation, makes him a little reluctant.

I’m a little more at ease when it comes to flying. 

Actually, I love it. 

 

I’ve had a few negative experiences as well.  Nothing as traumatic as that, just the time I think I had malaria on a 22-hour flight back from Africa.  

I had to try to hide the fact that I was shivering and sweating at the same time.  The entire flight, I had to fight off the smell of airplane eggs and mystery meat.

Luckily, I had a row of seats to lie down on and I fell asleep before they could quarantine me. 

I don’t know what was worse, the flying or the 30-minute layover in Heathrow International Airport.  We almost missed our plane due to the airport security woman’s desire to rearrange our entire suitcase. 

Then, we had to run to catch a bus that goes to the terminal and managed to touch our foot to the plane just seconds before they left us behind.

Aside from that and a few less than favorable landings and ear popping, flying has always been a pleasure for me. 

Being the daughter of bona fide world travelers helps for sure.  I was lucky enough to tag along on more than a few cross globe treks to become comfortable with flying. 

I am hoping to rub off some of that onto Boris. 

Which, fun fact, we’ve never flown together! So that’s an experience I’m looking forward to.


What do you miss the most from home when you’re on a trip?

The road has definitely become our home.  We have gotten so comfortable with the discomforts of travel that we can easily adapt to whatever location we’re at. 

The only thing really that we can’t take with us and we miss when we’re away is our family.  But, it’s always great to look forward to seeing them.

It’s a different experience spending time with family when you live close and when you’re far away.  The time spent together seems to be more treasured and filled with laughs.

It’s always nice to come back to somewhere familiar and take advantage of that time to squeeze in all the moments you can before it’s on to another adventure.

Oh, and pizza.  Definitely miss Brooklyn pizza when we’re away.  It’s one of the very few strays from our organic, plant-based lifestyle and it’s definitely worth every bite. 


If you could tell your pre-travelling self one thing, what would it be?

Travel more and pack less.  Whatever you think you need, divide it by two and then take half of that. 

 


What is your top money-saving tip for the road?

Sleep in the car. Lol.

No, but seriously.  It has really saved a lot of money and is just as comfortable! Minus a few things lacking such as indoor plumbing, a kitchen, electricity, space, a television, closets, or room to stand up, it’s really awesome!! 

When we’re on the road, sometimes it’s nice to see a movie or find a place to eat.  There are always deals going on wherever you are.

With luxuries like google and apps beyond count, it’s easy to search no matter where on the map you are.  Almost every movie theatre has deals on Tuesdays for nearly 50-60% off.

Restaurants also are always offering something through Yelp or their websites so take advantage of that as well.

Also, drink less.  Sometimes, it’s super nice to have an amazing view with a drink in hand, enjoying the ambience, but most of the time it’s just a huge waste of money. 

If you really want to drink, buy a bottle and drink responsibly elsewhere.  


What is your favorite international dish?

Now that we’re mainly plant-based, it has become a little more challenging, but not any less fun.

We really enjoy all cuisines from Thai to African to Korean to Mexican.  But, our favorite would probably be Indian.  There are so many incredible Indian dishes full of exotic flavors and spicy – just how we like it.  We love so many dishes, that it’s hard to name just one!


Tell us your scariest/most harrowing experience from travel.

So far, we’ve been lucky with some pretty fantastic experiences, but when your life is on the road, you’re bound to encounter some treacherous weather conditions.

I think all of our – not necessarily negative – but just emotionally straining memories come from a few particular instances that stood out. 

On our road trip honeymoon, we made the drive from New Mexico into Texas.  A few minutes into our drive and we were already greeted with an opaque cloud of dust at our horizon.

It looked crazy and we couldn’t even understand what it was at first.  We’ve both been in the Middle East and encountered some sand storms, but this was a stagnant fixture in the middle of the highway. 

As we drove into it, our car was engulfed in the sand and we couldn’t see even an inch in front of us.  It almost felt safer to drive with our eyes closed and just hope for the best.

 

I think in about ten minutes we were out of it, but it was a very looong ten minutes.

Another recollection was more recent.

On this recent journey, on our drive through South Dakota, we had another intense road warrior moment.  We were leaving from Minnesota and were trying to avoid an impending storm.

So, even though it was late and the sky had already blackened from the thick clouds, we headed west.

 

I was tracking the storm on the radar the whole way.  We were driving parallel to it, but it was gradually inching closer.

As I saw the dark red spot move in our direction, we could feel the wind pick up.  The car was shaking and there was no light in sight.

Our only guide through the night road was the electrifying lightening strikes that were dancing on the other side of the highway.  A strong, sudden gust swiftly brushed against our SUV and we heard a sound.

It wasn’t until later that we realized that one of our rain guards flew off!  We have been through hurricanes, tornados, and blizzards and it had never done that!

As we made it closer to our rest area for the night, we exhaled deeply as we were grateful and relieved to finally feel safe again.


Describe your worst hostel/hotel/accommodation experience.

On our road trip honeymoon, our first official stop was Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

We had long wanted to visit the Smokey Mountains and it was our first National Park.

After a wonderful day spent gawking amorously at the Blue Ridge mountains, we arrived in Gatlinburg.

Our initial reaction was excitement, as after 9 hours of driving, it was nice to finally arrive somewhere.

We spent a short while walking around, but found the town too touristy for our liking.

We honestly didn’t mind because we were just so damn excited to lay down.  We were going to kick back, get in bed, put the TV on, and just take it all in.

Well, the TV worked, but it was like watching with double vision.

That was a no go, but it’s okay, we had an iPad.

So, we go to jump into bed and it was like jumping into a concrete wall.

I think Boris fell asleep from pure exhaustion and doing all the driving, but I wasn’t as lucky.  I stayed up searching routes of the quickest ways to get out of there.

A few hours went by, and I think I nodded off.  I woke up with the most intense neck pain from the rocks…I mean pillows that accompanied the granite mattress.

I, not so subtly, woke Boris up and told him I couldn’t sleep.

So what do we do?  We get up at 3am after all day of traveling (Boris being my hero and driving), pack back up and head to our car.

It was pitch black and we were in the middle of the mountains.  The road out of there was an adventure in itself, but it left an unforgettable memory. 


Who is the most interesting character you’ve met on your travels?

Well… it’s really hard to choose just one, so we’ll pick seven.

These goats have been the wackiest, most hilarious, and sweetest characters on our journey.

They each have their own personalities and mannerisms and you’re never not entertained.

We are so grateful that we had the experience on the ranch with them where we were solely responsible for them.  It made us bond that much more with these smart animals and allowed us the opportunity to do so.

Ellie, is the little black one.  She is the smallest one but thinks she’s the biggest.

She’s always giving you the side eye and she’s oh so cute!  She’s one of the two girls of the group.

The other girl, Juliette, is my favorite.

Granted, I’m a little bias, because I had the amazing opportunity to milk her every morning.

She’s the milk goat, and she’s the boss.

She definitely runs the show and she will always be the first one to take or steal food.  Hay, alfalfa, acorns, or mash, you name it, and this girl will tear it up!

They’re all hungry beasts, but she’s at the top.  Her kids, the twins, Yin and Yang (aka the Ying Yang twins) were the biggest of the bunch and the goofiest!

They still think they’re little and sure do act like it.  Yin is the light one and he’s a suspicious sad clown who’s always looking at you sideways.

Yang just wants to be loved…and fed.  He’s a huge sweetheart and likes his chin rubbed.

Shilo is one of the oldest.  He has white and gray hair and missing teeth so we call him Grandpa goat.  He’s always chewing something and he’s the wisest of the crew.

He’s the only one who doesn’t mind the rain, and he always knows where the food is.  Oh Shilo! How we love you!

Django is just chill and looks out for Ellie.  He’s not big on affection, unless you have acorns. 

Last, but not least is butt man aka Ares the Greek god of war. 

He’s the red-headed stepchild and also the bully.  He loves rubbing his face against the boys’ behinds and hogs all the food. 

He will growl like a demon if they attempt to cross to his side and will charge anyone who defies him.  He constantly looks stoned… which might explain the food situation. 

Overall, they will forever have a place in our memories and our hearts and we can’t wait to see them again! 


With your skill set, where do you think you could make the biggest difference in the world if you were to volunteer?

I’ve done a lot of volunteering, especially during my time at law school.  While, most of it was very rewarding and gratifying, some of it was unfulfilling.

Efforts either weren’t enough or were taken advantage of, and it just didn’t seem like I was doing all that I could.

We love helping and are always willing to lend a hand, but I think the best way we can help is what we’re doing with our website.  We hope to grow it to something that we can’t even plan for, but we hope it will be something that will impact the world in a positive way. 


If you could learn another language in one hour, which language would you choose?

Boris and I already speak Russian, since it was our first language.  The official language of Moldova is Romanian, but since we grew up during the Communist Regime, we were forced to learn Russian.

I also took interest in foreign language my whole life.  I’m pretty fluent in Spanish and pretty not fluent in French.

And,  we could each say a few words and phrases in about ten other languages. We certainly hope to learn more and many of them, so picking one is difficult.

But, since this would be one we could learn in an hour, we will take the most difficult one that we wish to learn, which is Mandarin.

We would love to speak a language that communicates with such a large portion of the world population.  Especially something so different than what we’re used to.  It’s fascinating.

I hope we learn it eventually, even if not in an hour. 


Well… those were our answers! We got a little in-depth again, but it’s the best way for you to get to know us.

Our Nominees

Now on to the other fun part, our wonderful and deserving nominees:

  • TanlinesForTwo – This couple is pretty damn impressive! When we found their site, we knew right away that they were perfect nominees.  Katie and Chris are traveling the world on their bikes and sharing their inspirational stories and adventures along the way.  Also, they’re vegan! So, they also help travelers, like us, find the best options no matter what the location.

 

  • PPF Financial Blog – As new bloggers, we were so happy to find this blog.  Ryan takes his time to share his journey of blogging the first year and each article is filled with so many great tips and motivation! We always make sure to keep up with his progress and learn from it as well.  He’s relatable, honest, and his posts are always transparent.  Which, as a reader, is definitely something we value.

 

  • Cody Bullis – Cody is a Canadian blogger whose page is definitely one of a kind! He has so many interesting and captivating articles on various topics.  It was definitely a blog that caught our eye and we related to.  We love his honesty, passion, and array of knowledge.  He continues to enrich through his words and we definitely recommend you check it out!

 

  • TravelKiwis – Terry and Maura are a cool couple from New Zealand that travel the world together while house sitting! As fellow house sitters, we love to see others making the most of the endless possibilities that are out there.  We love reading their posts and the great advice and information they contain.  They’re always on an exciting adventure and their photos are incredible!

 

  • WalkaboutWanderer – Kathy is a traveler from England who embarked on the adventure of a lifetime to travel solo.  So far, she has visited 55 countries…and counting!  She shares beautiful stories, fascinating information, and is sure to infect anyone who reads her page with the travel bug!

Honestly, we could go on and on about our amazing nominees, but we’d rather you hear it from them.  So, here are our questions.  Make sure to follow up with them to read their answers!

Questions:

  1. What do you think is the most challenging part of running a blog?
  2. What is the most rewarding thing about writing a blog?
  3. If you could choose anywhere in the world to live right now, where would it be?
  4. What are you most proud of?
  5. If you could change one thing in your life at the moment, what would it be?
  6. Where is your happy place?
  7. If you could eat only one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  8. Pick an animal that you think best represents you, and why?
  9. What is your definition of happiness?
  10. Do you prefer the city or country, and why?
  11. Are you happy?

Here are the rules for our nominees:

  • Write a post about the award making public your witty answers and your worthy nominees.
  • Thank your nominator and link to their blog.
  • Answer the 10 questions they’ve sent you with as many illustrations as you feel appropriate (as long as they make you look cool).
  • Nominate 5 – 11 bloggers with less than 1000 followers and let them know on social media.
  • Write your own questions for your nominees. We’ve added an extra one.
  • Tell everyone you know you’ve won an award!

 

 

 

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28 Comments

  1. OMG Incredible pictures, those landscapes are amazing!

    1. Thank you so much, Maryanne! Agreed! Those places were magical and even the pictures don’t do them justice!

  2. Great photos you have here. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thank you! Congrats to you!! It’s a great feeling!

  4. Pingback: We Were Nominated for the Liebster Award! | Tanlines For Two

  5. Congrats on your win! I’ve seen quite a few bloggers get this one when starting out.

  6. These photos are incredible! Congrats on winning and I would love to checkout more of your blog.

    xoxo
    Isaly Holland
    http://www.memoriesbyisaly.com

    1. Thanks, Isaly! We’d love it if you did! We have some great new adventures coming soon!

  7. Great Blog! The pictures are amazing and make me want to travel again!! Congrats on the honor!!

    LoL I would love to be nominated for http://www.jimburgoon.org 🙂

    1. Thanks, Jim!! Maybe one day you will! And hope you do travel more in the future! It truly is life changing each and every time.

  8. Congratulations for the award! I like Libster Award idea. Your blog is awesome!

    1. Thanks! We love the idea also! Great way to discover new bloggers and share with readers as well!

  9. Wow, this is amazing! Congrats for winning the award. When my blog grows up, it wants to be just like your blog 🙂

    1. Haha thanks so awesome!! Thank you so much, Ashley! Your comment definitely put a smile on our faces!

  10. Congratulations on winning the award! May you travel more and share your experiences with us.. 🙂

    1. We sure plan to, Anne!! Thank you for reading and come back to check on our new adventures!

  11. Congratulations on winning! There’s no better way to experience the different things that life can offer than through travel. These experiences open your eyes to new things, things that you won’t easily see when you stay at home.

    1. We couldn’t agree more, Mai!! Travel changes your world in ways you can’t even plan for. We can’t wait to keep traveling and we love meeting like-minded travelers! Thank you!!!

  12. Awesome, that’s great. Congratulations on winning the award!!!

  13. well done on your nomination! so much great material here – can see why you were nominated!!!

    1. That’s so sweet, Amanda!!! Thank you for reading and leaving us feeling all warm with your comment! Thank you kindly!!

  14. Thank you kindly, Linda!! We’re huge fans of yours as well! <3

  15. Big big congratulations on your nomination! Thanks for taking the time out to answer each question so thoughtfully and for adding some great shots as well 🙂 Those goats are just the cutest – I can see why they they made the list for the most interesting characters you’ve met thus far! Great read, thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much for reading and your thoughtful comment, Lindsay!! They definitely are the cutest! Every time we see pictures they make us laugh all over again. Happy to share!

  16. Wow, what an amazing way to discover new blogs and bloggers. And such a cool avenue for the bloggers to express themselves to the world. Love this! Congratulations on being nominated!! Great answers and awesome questions to your nominees 🙂

    1. Completely agree! We were so excited to learn about this award and loved the opportunity to share more with our readers. Thank you kindly, Vaishnavi!

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