Two-Time Liebster Award Winner – Is That Even Possible
Yes, you heard that correctly, Two-time Liebster Award Winner. We could not believe it ourselves and momentarily were in a panic about whether that was even possible to accept two awards at the same time! With plenty of research we found that yes, it is not only possible it happens quite frequently. Whew, feelings of relief have now set in because how awful would it be to decline the already published work of these two wonderful blogs that thought of us for this very special award!
It is with gratitude that Durham’s Love, Life, and Travel Accepts the Liebster Award
We have made so many wonderful connections with fellow bloggers. With the help of our new relationships in the blog world we have been steadily growing. We are very honored and want to give a very special thank you to Romantic Explorers and Escaping Life for nominating us for the Liebster Award!
But What is the Liebster Award?
The Liebster Award is an online award given to bloggers by other bloggers encouraging and sharing the love, thereby paying it forward to 5 to 10 other new bloggers that have under 1,000 followers!
Upon acceptance of the award, the new blogger must write a blog that includes:
1. Post the award on your blog so everybody knows how awesome you are.
2. Publicly thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
3. Answer their questions about yourself, feel free to add photos!
4. Nominate 5–10 people with less than 1000 followers, inform them via social media.
5. Write your own set of questions for your nominees.
6. Pay it forward.
We are so excited to be winning this award not once but twice. Both blogs that nominated us put a lot of time and consideration into choosing their nominees and writing their acceptance speech. We graciously answer below 10 questions from each blog.
Michelle is a hopeless romantic at heart and loves to travel. Her entrepreneurial spirit and marketing background shine through on her blog where she provides a space for those who are also hopeless romantics and love to travel. Check her out on social media.
1. Which couple or other bloggers do you look up to the most and why?
Two couples come to mind when we each think about who we look up to and that would be our parents. Both sets of parents are somewhat alike in upbringings and family values. Both our parents fell in love and continue to love each other after many years of marriage. We are looking forward to spending a lifetime together as our parents’ do
2. What do you think is unique or interesting about you as a couple/blogger that other traveling couples/bloggers can be inspired by?
Love has no boundaries and nobody knows that better than us. We met by chance, stuck in an ice storm. We are two soles in love that started out across the pond from each other with a shared passion for travel. Our site was created to inspire our readers to do what they love and enjoy life. There is adventure waiting right outside your doorstep, whether it’s traveling on a long journey or a short-day trip!
3. Pick one of your favorite photos where you were enjoying a romantic activity, location, gift, or scenery together and write a love story type description of how you felt in that moment, what made it such a special moment for the two of you.
This photo was taken in Abu Dhabi relaxing on by the beach to catch the sunset after a beautiful day soaking up the sun. This is one of the first travel holiday’s that we have taken together and where our journey began with the idea of writing a travel blog.
4. How did you meet your partner and what was the first romantic location you visited together?
We met in Oklahoma City at a pub called the Tapwerks, which happened to be one the only place around that was open since the state was hit by a freak ice storm. I (Tina) was on a business trip and Jimmy was traveling with a work college. While stuck in this storm we had plenty of time to chat and exchange phone numbers. Weeks later we met again and our first travels started off flying back and forth from the States to the UK, with each visit romantic and memorable!
5. What would you vote as being the most:
- most romantic accommodation you've stayed in
- romantic activity you've experienced together
- and the most romantic or unique restaurant you've visited and, where are they?
To be honest, it’s quite difficult to answer this question. This year has mainly been about transitioning to an expat in the UK for me (Tina) and our travel adventures outside of going back and forth to the states have yet to come in the near future! We also actually don’t go out to eat funny enough. I love to cook and meals really are at home or with our parents, which we love and are both so grateful that we each get along so well with our in-laws! I would say the funniest activity we have experienced together was weekend getaway on P&O Ferries to Bruges! This was a first for me both the ferry ride and experiencing Belgium. We spent the rainy day laughing and wandering around all the pubs to sample a few.
6. What has been your favorite gifts that you've given each other or received?
Even though Jimmy keeps burning his mouth with his tea, I will forever hear him talk about the Stanley coffee mug that I gave him early on. He loves that thing more than anything because it keeps your tea or coffee hot for hours and is not big and bulky like other Stanley products. I could buy him or give him gift after gift but it’s the Stanley Travel Mug that has stolen his heart. Just ask him and he waffle on and on about it. My personal favourite gift was Chanel bath oil! the first time I visited Jimmy in the UK, he was so thoughtful knowing how much I love to soak in the tub, had a bottle of oil waiting for my arrival. I can still smell it now even though it is long gone.
7. What relationship advice would you give to other traveling couples?
Never go to bed mad and always complement each other. Because we also have other interest that differ from each, you have to bend and sometimes do things you may not want to do. Decide where your trip is going to be and what you each would like to do so that you both have an opportunity to have input on your holiday.
8. What is your ultimate dream bucket list destination and why?
Japan is on our bucket list as well as the North Pole. We have both been obsessing about going to Japan and plan to do so in the near future. We also want to experience the North Pole and watch the compass go berserk! Both places are different from our previous travels and a place neither one of has been so it will be a first experience for both of us.
9. Why did you decide to start blogging and what are your dreams and aspirations for your blog?
I (Tina) had thought about travel blogging well before I met Jimmy but never really had the time to do it. With the move to the UK I thought this is the perfect opportunity and time to consider blogging. I pitched the idea to Jimmy and he loved it and was very excited to partner with me as a traveling couple to take on the adventure together. We are very excited with how well our blog has been growing in such a short time. With our moto, really being about enjoying life, we realize we also have so much we enjoy outside of traveling as well. We aspire to continue to grow the travel side of our blog as well as add other categories into more of a magazine style to share all the things we love. We also have been playing with idea of opening our blog to guest writers to bring in unique idea’s and experiences to share with our readers.
10. What is your favorite romantic travel movie?
Well, ha Jimmy is not too much into mushy romantic movies. We just couldn’t really come up with a romantic travel movie per say, but we both have a love for the old wholesome black and white films and agree that Great Expectations by Charles Dickens is by far our favorite movie!
Johann began with an idea of wanting to travel more. His unique experiences provoked positive changes in his life driving him to crave more experiences from traveling. He is a writer, photographer, and positive influence in the world. Follow Johann on social media and be inspired to recharge those batteries and experience the world!
1. When and how did you start traveling and blogging?
For both of us I think traveling is something that has always been in our blood from birth. I (Tina) have always been a free-spirited wanderer as long as I can remember. As young as 5 years old I used to wander off leaving my parents terrified and looking for me. I have spent my entire life traveling around the United States and Canada. I always looked for jobs in my career that kept me traveling to new places (on their dime of course) and as to date very close to hitting my goal of visiting all 50 states. I’m also a foodie and had dreamt for a long time about a traveling foodie blog but never really had the time.
Jimmy also has been traveling his whole life globally since he was a child with his family. His love for travel inspired him to learn language very young and speaks several languages today. He loves traveling and talking with people from all over the world.
Together with our love for travel We decided that a travel blog would be a great idea. I spend a couple of months researching blogging and taking tips and advice from other bloggers and learning how to build the blog from scratch on WordPress. Together we have really enjoyed the journey of putting this blog together and we are looking forward to an exciting 2017 of traveling to new places.
2. What is your style of travel?
Not really sure about the style, we are not backpackers, not completely luxury, not completely budget and go to places that normal holiday makers most likely don’t go. I’d say we are curious and inquisitive about the world! We enjoy a variety of things but more often than not we like to find a place where we can get a good pint and fill our boots! We always look for the best deals and are not fussed about the hotel as long as it has a comfy bed and not remote away from everything we are happy. We are relaxed travellers that just take things as they come and don’t try to over plan anything. Each day brings new adventures and we are more spontaneous about what activities the day will bring.
Basically, the old saying from Shakespeare is “The World is Your Oyster” is a quote that we live by, and travel about every 7 weeks or so, to wherever our hearts desire. Other than that, we are just an ordinary working couple enjoying life and doing what we love.
3. What are your best and worst travel experiences?
While I think we, both have a lot of great stories and travel experiences over the years. I think we would agree the best travel experience is being stuck in Oklahoma in an ice storm. A fate that brought us together on that fine day and forever changed our lives!
Jimmy has had some misfortune in his travels as well. I think he is undecided at what is really the worst. But at the top of the list would be when he took his mum to New York. While out and about he lost his passport the day before he was supposed to leave. Not feeling well from a night of overdoing it he and his mum went traipsing around looking for the British Embassy to get papers so he could get back home. Hours and hours of waiting. He also had a not so fun time at first when he surprised his sister in Sri Lanka for her wedding. He booked at last minute which gave him a hassle in the airport and they almost didn’t let him fly. When he got there, he had to hire a speed boat to get him across the bay and by the time he arrived at the wedding he was drenched from head to toe! But in the end, he had a splendid day!
4. What is your opinion of India as a tourist destination?
Neither one of us has yet been to India but have discussed maybe going with his Sister and her Husband one year. We are open to India as a tourist destination and have read so much about the different communities. There are so many places that are of interest that it is difficult to figure out which one would best suit us. I personally would love to go to the Taj Mahal. I can remember reading eat love pray years ago, and can remember thinking how spiritually uplifting it would be to visit or stay at an Ashrat, something I have never done but would still love to. The peacefulness is alluring and because I’ve not been of course, my perception is clouded by a book.
5. Where would you travel to right now, if money is not a criteria?
The Galapagos Islands for sure as well as the South Pole to see the penguins. We both love to watch those shows about wild life and it would be so very exciting to visit the Galapagos and experience a place so pristine with life that can be found anywhere else on this earth.
6. Your top 3 photos from your travels?
7. Name an experience you had while traveling that you would do again and again.
As a couple, together we keep going back to Abu Dhabi. We went 3 times last year and plan to go again. It’s the perfect place to get away from the cold and relax in the sunshine. The pricing is right and we love the Trader’s Hotel. Next time we go we plan to ride the fastest roller coaster in the world! Can’t wait.
Jimmy is a creature of habit and when he travels to places that he really likes he will go back several times. Talk about again and again, he has been to Abu Dhabi and Las Vegas both at least 30 times. Canada and Hong Kong several times as well. The reason is simple, the atmosphere! These places have one thing in common, many many people from all over the world to talk to, which is his favourite pass time. He loves talking to people and it doesn’t hurt that they have great pubs either! At the top of Jimmy’s activities is diving and anywhere he travels it is something he will continue to do again and again.
I’m more of the adventurer and love skiing and camping. My again and again experiences have been canoeing in the Boundary Waters and downhill skiing at Lake Tahoe! I’ve been to both several times over the years and hope someday to go again.
8. What is your favorite travel destination?
I don’t know really, what my favorite travel destination is. I’m really happy going anywhere and actually love a change of scenery from time to time. I think together as I mentioned, love Abu Dhabi and it is somewhere we most likely we never stop going to so that would have to be at the top of the list. I personally really like Santa Barbara and Orange County California thus far but I know that perception will change as I travel and see the world more. Jimmy Enjoys and really likes many places, such as Maldives, Hong Kong and the Middle East. So many beautiful places in the world hard to choose just one!
9. Give 5 travel tips to my readers and other travellers?
1. Live in the moment and try to be more spontaneous.
2. Don’t sweat the small stuff
3. Don’t let anyone hold you back from fulfilling your travel dreams anything is possible
4. Keep an open mind and challenge yourself to new things
5. A smile goes a long way!
10. Finally, what is your impression of Escaping Life?
We really love that Johann of Escaping Life has such a positive attitude about life and traveling. Your unique experiences are truly an inspiration to anybody who is thinking about traveling or is already traveling. Love reading your travel post and your passion for traveling really shines through and we wish you the very best in your future travels!
We decided to make two list of nominees to pay it forward too. 1. We chose nominees that we have worked over the past few months and have been so helpful to us. 2. For our second list we chose blogs that we have enjoyed watching grow and we just plane like them!
The nominees Are
Thank you to this list of nominees for being so helpful to us through our journey!
1. Mexatia - http://mexatia.com/
2. Beanies and bakinis - http://beaniesandbikinisblog.com/
3. Salt and sandles - http://saltandsandals.com/
4. Happynfull - http://www.happynfull.com/
5. World Inside My Pocket - http://worldinsidemypocket.co.uk/
6. XYU & Beyond - http://www.xyuandbeyond.com/
The nominess on this list are we just plane like your blog!
1. MVMT Blog - http://mvmtblog.com/
2. Hair To There Blog - http://hairtothereblog.com
3. Fash Packing by Sydney Fashion Hunter - http://sydneyfashionhunter.com/
4. Danik The Explorer - http://daniktheexplorer.com/
5. i Share - http://isharethese.com/
6. 100 Cobbled Roads - https://100cobbledroads.com/
7. Bonvoyage Bitches - http://bonvoyagebitches.com
Our selection of questions for the Nominiees are
1. What inspired you to start travel blogging?
2. What is your favorite place that you have traveled so far and why?
3. What advice would you give to a new traveler?
4. Whats on your travel bucket list for 2017?
5. What is your funniest travel story?
6. What has been your biggest challenge so far?
7. What is your biggest travel inspiration?
8. Have you ever had any regrets while traveling?
9. What is your preferred style of traveling?
10. What advice would give to Durham’s Love, Life, and Travel?
Congratulations to the new nominees! We look forward to hearing your responses!