Recognition, when you receive it, is an honor and a privilege. It always makes you feel good when someone recognizes you for what you do. And when it comes from people you consider your peers, then it also makes you feel like part of a community. For this month’s Traveler Profile, I thought I would take an opportunity to do something slightly different.
I was recently nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by two fellow bloggers, Ali from What Ali Sees and Shiloh from A Distant Mentality. The Versatile Blogger Award is a way to recognize bloggers who provide a unique perspective, great quality writing, and have beautiful photos. In a sense, bloggers who are versatile in what they do! It’s always a nice thing to be recognized for doing something that you have put so much heart into. I feel honored to be given this nomination, and also happy that people are enjoying the stories that I share on this blog.
The rules of the Versatile Blogger Award are as follows:
- Publicly thank the person (or people!) who nominated you, and link their blog to share the love.
- Select 5-10 nominees who you think best exemplifies this award. Notify them through social media.
- Describe 7 random things about yourself, and ask your nominees to do the same thing too. Let’s see what weird and wonderful things we learn about each other!
Thank you again to Ali and Shiloh for the nomination! And in case you haven’t yet discovered their blogs, you should head over to What Ali Sees and A Distant Mentality and check them out. I “met” Ali and Shiloh on Instagram a couple of months ago, and I have just been enjoying all the photos they’ve posted of each of their travels. Ali’s blog showcases her family adventures, as well as tips about how to travel with young children. As a family travel writer myself, I feel like I can relate to many of the stories that Ali writes about. For Shiloh, as a forensic psychologist, her work has enabled her to travel to different countries around the world, and she often writes about those travels on her blog. I can certainly relate to that, as I was lucky enough to be able to travel to India, Zambia, and South Africa this year for work. I’m looking forward to following both these bloggers and seeing what new travel stories they come out with next.
You may not think it, but travel is so much about community. And in this digital age, even a virtual community is great to have. This past year has been all about building a community for me, and I’ve been so touched by the people I’ve connected with along the way. The Versatile Blogger Award is just another way to connect with the greater travel and writing community both online and offline!
As part of my Versatile Blogger Award responsibilities, here are 7 random things to know about me:
I once biked 3,000 kilometers in a year
In my younger days, I spent two years living and working in a small village in the West African country of Togo. It was right out of college, and I was serving as a health volunteer in the Peace Corps. Being in a small village, my transportation options were somewhat limited, so if I wanted to go somewhere, I’d either have to wait for a taxi to come along (which could mean a few hours wait), or bike there myself. The Peace Corps issued me a fairly good quality mountain bike, so being young and in relatively good shape, I often chose the biking option. During my last year in service, I decided to make a goal of biking 3,000 kilometers over the course of the year, which translates to roughly 1,864 miles. I’m proud to report that I made that goal by around October of that year. It was a good excuse for me to get some exercise, and see the country.
I love learning about dance around the world
As a young girl, my mother put me in ballet lessons, and all throughout my childhood, ballet played a very prominent role in my daily life. I am not by any means a phenomenal dancer, but I think that those years of classical ballet training really primed me for a deep appreciation of dance in all its forms. It’s what led me to study traditional Indonesian dance as an adult, and what has led me to continually seek out dance experiences on my travels. One of my favorite moments during my travels in Togo was actually dancing at a village ceremony with all the ladies in my neighborhood, letting go of my fears and inhibitions, and really embracing the life that I was living at that moment.
My husband and I are avid road trippers
I love road trips, and in my adult life so far, I have made three cross-country road trips around the United States. My husband and step-son have joined me on two of them, and on our last cross-country road trip six years ago, we even took our then three-month-old daughter. I love the diversity of the United States, both the natural and the cultural. In my opinion, the best way to enjoy this beautiful country is by being on the open road!
I have aspirations to be the next Samantha Brown
Yes, that’s true. I’m a fan of Samantha Brown! I remember watching her on the Travel Channel, getting paid to visit exotic destinations and staying at fancy hotels, and thinking to myself, “wow, she’s got it made.” Even today, a part of me still wishes that I could have a job like Samantha Brown’s. Now that I’ve spent more time getting to know the travel industry, I realize how much you have to work to get yourself to where she is. I admire her so much more for it, and she still has the best job in the world, in my opinion.
My ultimate travel goal is to visit all 7 continents
At last count, I have visited 31 countries on six continents. It’s not too shabby, but when you thinking about how many countries in the world there are, that’s less than 16%. Not even a sixth of the world! When it comes to continents, the only one I have yet to visit is Antartica. Being a hot climate kind of gal, Antartica was never historically high on my list of places to visit. But a few years ago, I made a deal with my husband. Once he catches up to me in terms of continents visited, then I’ll agree to take a cruise down to Antartica. He’s at four continents now, so I figure I still have a few years to go.
I love my day job
Although I have aspirations to be the next Samantha Brown (as I mentioned previously), I actually have a pretty fulfilling professional career separate from my travel writing. I have a Master’s in International Development, and by day, I’m a project administrator for a fairly large global health non-profit organization. We work on projects all over the developing world, and I’ve been lucky to be able to travel to some pretty interesting places for my work. I find that this kind of work allows me to combine my love of travel, my desire to make a difference, and my Type-A personality tendencies.
I love my family
My family is so important to me. They’re what gets me going in the morning, and what pushes me to do the things I do (pursue my career, travel, write, and get through the endless chores that need to be done every day). I’m lucky to have a partner who supports me in my interests and goals, and lucky to have children who are willing to follow me around the world. When it comes to my family, I choose to make travel a priority (after bills and covering for their basic needs, of course!), and even now, after only seven years of having a family, I’ve already seen the benefits. We have so many fun family memories, and my children are adventurous and open-minded little beings. I wouldn’t want it any other way!
There you have it folks. 7 random things about me that you didn’t know before.
And now it’s my turn to pay it forward, and nominate other bloggers for this award. Here are my nominations:
I’m looking forward to reading what these bloggers have to say. Each of them bring something special and interesting to the travel sphere. Whether it’s solo travel, family travel, part-time travel, or a full on travel lifestyle, I appreciate the unique perspective that each of these bloggers provide to the community. And really, that’s what all this is about: community. We are all part of this wonderful community of travelers and adventurers, sharing our stories and constantly seeking out new places to explore. So folks, get cracking on your 7 random things, and be sure to share them with me! And thanks again to Ali and Shiloh for the nomination!