Longtime readers of this blog will no doubt recognize the evolution (and migration) it has taken over the past … fourteen years, I guess it’s been. From LiveJournal, to Typepad, to Blogger, and now WordPress, I’ve covered topics ranging from newlywed life to buying our first home, to selling that home and buying a new one, to discovering my love and food and my ability to actually cook pretty well, and now our lives as a childfree expat couple in Ireland.
This whole expat-slash-travel blogger persona I’ve recently developed still feels a bit new to me, but it seems like y’all are liking what I’m throwing down. First there was Emma’s invitation to join the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers and now Cass Travels has nominated me for a Liebster Award. For those of you who aren’t aware, the Liebster Award is passed around from blogger to blogger as a way of acknowledging and promoting new (or new-to-you) blogs so that followers of a blog can get to know a bit more about blogs they might want to read.
Through the years I’ve followed and unfollowed more blogs than I can keep track of, and like most of us, along the way I discovered some favorites. Right now I’m consuming a lot of travel blogs as a means to see what I like and don’t like about this niche, as well as to find new and exciting places to add to our travel list. One of the ones I follow pretty regularly is Cass Travels, so it was an honor when I she nominated me, among others, in her post. (I mean, how could I not love a blog whose tag line is “I go places. There will be selfies. And wine.”? That’s pretty much a solid description of what my life is like these days, no?)
The Liebster Award comes with a few rules for participation:
- Answer the 11 questions that posed by whomever has nominated you (and let them know that you’ve done so!)
- Come up with your own list of 11 questions
- Nominate 11 newbie bloggers to share the love
- Don’t forget to include the logo, a link to whoever a nominated you, and the rules in your post
And now … onto the questions!
If time and money weren’t a consideration, where would you go?
I have a couple of different answers for this question depending on my mood on a particular day. I think the big bucket list trip that we’d both love to undertake is packing our bags on traveling Europe via rail. I love the idea of going somewhere and having no set timeframe for how long to stay and only moving on when we felt we’d done the place sufficient justice, or choosing our next destination not based on proximity or cost, but instead just really what was in our hearts at that particular moment in time.
What’s your best “you’ll never believe what happened …” travel story?
We’ve been pretty fortunate to avoid any major problems during our years of travel, so this one is kind of a hard question to answer. We don’t necessarily have any outlandish tales to tell, which is both good and bad. For the sake of answering this question, perhaps I’ll share a short tidbit about something I did that is really, really, really out of character for me and now, looking back, I still can’t believe I did it. What is this OMG moment, you ask? Me, one of the most prudish people I know, flashed her boobs on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras. Yup. That happened. I know, you can’t believe it either, can you?
What do you have planned for 2016?
The other day I posted my wish list for 2016 travels, and unfortunately, just days later some of those items have had to be crossed off the list. We definitely know that we’re spending five days in Venice next month to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. The other travels I’m definitely going hoping to make a reality this year is a trip to Iceland, some time on the Amalfi Coast, and New Year’s Eve in Edinburgh. Beyond that, we’ll just have to play it by ear.
What would you choose for your last meal?
Since it’s my last meal and all, I can probably gorge myself and not have to worry about heartburn or whether or not the components work as a unified meal, right? In that case, give me a bowl of poutine from Wildside Grill in Tofino, a plate of sushi from Kirala in Berkeley, and a bottle of Teeling Vintage Reserve 21 Year Old.
When you’re not blogging, what are you up to?
I’m currently writing my next book, a contemporary romance set in Dublin, with a rugby hero and the woman who hates him.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
The ability to teleport!
What’s your spirit animal?
Right now I’m kind of obsessed with the foxes that live behind our house and use our backyard as a thoroughfare for their nightly shenanigans, but they’re all about cunning and trickery and I’m not sure that adequately describes me. Maybe a cat? I do love a long nap and being adored.
What was the last thing you cooked?
The other night I cooked up some beautiful duck breasts, roasted potatoes, and put together a fairly simple salad. The meal was both simple and delicious, exactly how I love to cook.
Where are you now?
Standing at my kitchen island watching the world go by.
What is your favourite place in the world?
Tofino, British Columbia
Beach, city or mountains?
So, that’s me. Now it’s time to pass the baton to these lovely ladies.
Northstory – Alex is probably one of the craftiest people I’ve ever had the good fortune to “meet” online. She’s also very down to earth and doesn’t have a big head, despite the fact that people are constantly stealing her projects and posting them on Pinterest. She also has a pretty awesome aesthetic when it comes to home decor.
Rachel in Ireland – you can probably guess why Rachel’s blog appeals to me, what with the whole Irish connection and all. She recently got married in Venice, Italy, and her photos are stunning. You should check her out for those alone, but I bet you stick around a lot longer.
A Modern Girl’s Travels – Alexandria is in the midst of planning her life as an expat, and in the meantime, has plenty of thought provoking posts about that preparation.
Adelante – Spain is a place that I’d be happy to visit if it happened, but I haven’t been hankering for it in the same way I have other places. Well, that is, until I started reading Courtney’s blog. Her photos alone are enough to make you want to hop on a Ryan Air flight tomorrow.
Beer Time with Wagner – Jordan is another blogger whose photos have inspired all sorts of travel lust. I’m pretty sure that after her last few posts my travel wish list has expanded exponentially.
Jess-on-Thames – you all probably already read Jess’s blog, but just in case, I wanted to put it here. Another blog that inspires a lot of wish list travels.
Lady Relocated – Jen recently moved from London back to the U.S. and it’s been interesting following along with her repatriating experience while launching our own adventures across the Atlantic.
Sara Sees – a fellow Dublin expat who is living it up in this fair city
Stacy Fenton – a travel and lifestyle blogger from Australia currently living in London. Her blog is new to me but already she’s inspired a couple of additions to my travel wish list.
The Notorious M.E.G. – I’ve “known” Meg for years; she’s the little sister of a woman I met (and who I consider a great friend) back when I was planning my wedding. Fast forward several years and I realize she’s a travel writer who has had some pretty amazing experiences. Her blog updates are few and far between, but she’s definitely someone you want to follow along with.
The Domestic Front – food and lifestyle blogger based in Pasadena, CA. I’ve known Kate since the early 2000s and have consistently enjoyed her writing and I’m sure you will too.
Okay, that’s 11 fabulous bloggers you should check out … technically the requirement for the Liebster Award … but I’m going to go ahead and get extra credit by calling out a few other bloggers I think you should read because they are terrific human beings and have such interesting and varied lives that are worth taking a gander at.
Crabby Fox – Brooklynite. Works in academic publishing in NYC. Is hilarious. With Dakota gone, I think her cat Izzy might be my spirit animal.
Country Chic Renovator – Danica and her husband are building their own home. From scratch. Like, with their own hands. It’s sort of intimidating and amazing and awe-inspiring.
Old Town Home – Wendy and Alex are some of my favorite people I’ve met through the power of the internets. And I mean, like, met in real life. Once a few years back I was in Monterey for a work offsite. I posted a pic on Instagram, we all realized we were literally less than a mile away from one another, and the next thing we knew, we were meeting up before I had to run off and be all professional. Then, a week after we moved to Ireland they were touring the country and I got a Twitter DM, did we want to meet up? You bet your four leaf clover we did! We took the DART down to Dalkey and hung out for a couple of hours trading stories and having a grand old time. I can’t wait until the next time we surreptitiously meet up because you know it will happen. Oh, have I also mentioned that they live in a beautiful, historic home in Old Town Alexandria that they have painstakingly renovated into the beauty that it is, and they’re currently renovating another historic property on the water? Yeah, they’re pretty amazing.
Whew, okay. Not onto the questions. (Drumroll please …)
- What’s your favorite travel memory?
- Where’s one ridiculous place you want to travel to that no one seems to understand?
- If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
- Where’s the best place (hotel, hostel, b&b, self-catering) you’ve ever stayed?
- What’s your favorite book, and why?
- What’s your dream trip?
- What’s your best OMG travel story?
- What’s your favorite movie, and why?
- Have you ever visited a place you wouldn’t recommend to others?
- What’s your favorite thing about blogging?
- What was the hardest blog post you ever had to write?