The Liebster Award

Mark Stewart Travel Stories 18 Comments

So, by some wonderful stroke of awesome, we received three nominations for the Liebster Blogging Award in one week! How flattered we are to be thought of that much for writing a blog. This website is our baby, it requires a lot of attention, feeding, changing and love. However, at the end of the night, we can put it to sleep and it stays that way until we wake up in the morning, so at least as parents we’re well-rested!

We want to mention also something that is very important to us… the travel community. This community is not exclusive to bloggers, as it consists of everyone who travels, loves to travel, or even talk about travel. That’s what this award is all about, helping to share and get the word out on newer blogs.

You are all amazing and we’re so grateful to not only have found but be accepted by, this wonderful community. Each time we meet new people from this incredible group we love it even more. Everyone has something different to offer, whether its SEO or Social Media advice from fellow bloggers, a good laugh at a silly joke, or just someone to talk to in this crazy weird world.
 
We are honoured to be a part of this group and can’t wait to meet more of you!

As part of these nominations, those who nominate must ask a few curious and interesting questions to the nominee. Here’s where we do our part!

On a side note, there is a part of this award that is optional, saying that we could list 10 things about ourselves that you don’t already know, but, since we did get nominated three times, (still blushing at the fact) we decided you will learn quite a bit about us in these thirty-some questions, so we are skipping this part.
 

So let’s get started with the questions!

The first award was given to us by Vino Hiking, a couple, Carrie and Pat, that hike with, you guessed it, wine. Great idea right? They take leisurely strolls all the way to hiking mountains and when they reach a beautiful spot, they stop for wine and snacks.

Here’s what they had to ask us:

What flavour of lip balm does not exist but should and why?

Kylee – Dill pickle, because it is the only flavour you would ever need in your life.

Mark – Colman’s Mustard, because I am addicted.

A jar of colmans mustard

Everything should taste like this.

Had you ever had anything stolen while travelling? If so, could it have been prevented and have you done things differently since then?

Thankfully, no. The closest we’ve ever come was way back in 2007, Vietnam. We had a few drinks at a bar and Mark forgot his daypack in the booth. It had his passport, camera, and money inside. We woke up in the morning and went back to get it and the bar staff had kept it behind the bar. Nothing was missing. Still thankful to those amazing people in Da Lat!

What was the best smelling country you ever visited and what did it smell like?

We actually have a best smelling town: Yountville, California, in the Napa Valley. It smells like fresh cooked bacon and motherly love.

What was the highest elevation you ever spent a night at and what were you doing there?

We had to look this up, because we both thought it would have been Sarangot in Nepal, but after researching, it ends up being Bogota, Colombia. We were just hanging out eating amazingly good food and seeing some badass street art!

How many pairs of shoes do you pack and what style are they?

Kylee – Three. Sandals, flats and hiking shoes. Why? Because that is all a girl needs… when having to carry it all on your back.

Mark – Three. Sandals, casual city walking shoes and hiking shoes, because I have all the terrain covered.

Name 3 must-have items in your everyday bag or daypack.

Camera and money are essential… and a multi-tool, because you never know what kind of McGyver situation you’ll find yourself in.

Have you eaten insects? If so, which ones and where?

Yes. Plenty.

Crickets and grasshoppers, bamboo worms, and creamy mealworms in Thailand/Cambodia, Chapulines in Mexico and red ants in Canada.

What was the most devastating thing you have seen in your travels?

Witnessing the effects of the war while travelling through Cambodia and Vietnam. Many people were missing limbs, and one man’s face had literally been melted off.

It’s the reality of life that you never really want to believe exists. But we learned that even though this happened to these poor people, that they were still happy and that was probably the most profound lesson we’ve received on the road.

What was the most uplifting thing you ever saw in your travels?

Seeing that where ever you go in the world, people just want to be happy. Watching kids being happy with the simplest of toys. Just the fact that they are loved, and have friends and family and life, they are happy and content. Happiness is the same in every language.

What genre of music is the soundtrack to your travels?
Cover of CCR's greatest hits album

All genres apply, but the band that really sticks out is CCR It was one of the three CD rotation on our 6-month road trip in Australia.

Every time we hear anything from that album it takes us back to being broke, sleeping in the back of our Toyota Camry Hatchback, drinking Goon and eating instant noodles every night.

It makes us smile.

Would you have preferred a lobster or a Liebster?

Hmmmmm, good question. We really enjoyed answering these questions and being a part of this amazing Travel Tribe. So it really comes down to how much lobster and melted butter we would get haha
Just kidding, this is awesome! And hopefully, someday we can all eat lobster together!

 

Our second LEIBSTER AWARD was given to us by some crazy ass monsters. Bonster and Chopster (their monster names) are from a blog called Monster Voyage These are two super outgoing, amazingly fun travellers that share their wild and crazy stories, check them out!

Here’s what they asked us:

What is the most unusual / interesting place you’ve visited?

India. It was crazy, exciting, wild, insane, and nothing like we have ever experienced before. It’s the only place we’ve ever been where you can feel every emotion at the same time.

What country / attraction has been the biggest surprise, good or bad?

Disneyland. We were grown ups and we had just enough money to go there after our year abroad during an extended layover in Los Angeles. So on a last-minute whim we decided to check it out.

We’d been in transit from Sydney for over 24 hours. The journey included cancelled flights, missed connections, and several re-routes. The following morning we flew from SFO to LAX on about three hours of sleep in an airport hotel. We were strung out and cranky, but as soon as we crossed the gates into the magical park, everything was amazing.

We had such an incredible time that we decided to begin our current journey with a visit!

What’s the most expensive drink you’ve paid for on holiday? And… was it worth it?

We tried the famous Singapore Sling at the Raffles hotel in Singapore. The bar was amazing but the drink itself was rather plain. It was pre-mixed and poured from a jug for the tourists. It cost nearly $20 (Canadian) which absolutely blew our backpacker budget away.

What’s the most exotic food you’ve eaten and where?

2011: San-nakji – live baby octopus in Seoul, S.Korea fish market. It was weird and messed up.

See the video here
 
2014: Hakarl – Fermented shark in Iceland. It was gross and the booze to wash it down was worse.

We’re glad we did tried both but won’t do either again.

What has been your most humbling experience abroad?

Going to a three day talk with the Dalai Lama at his residence in Northern India. It was a very powerful atmosphere with some incredible lessons on how to change your outlook on life. Totally incredible to see him in person.

Oh yeah, and Richard Gere was there too.

View of a green valley with colourful houses

Beautiful McLeod Ganj – Home of the Dalai Lama

What’s the most extreme sport / activity you’ve taken part in abroad?

Jumping off the tallest canyon swing in Nepal. It wasn’t just the physical jump that was exciting either. Simply getting there on the washed out roads, full of landslides, barely wide enough for our bus was an adventure in itself.

What’s been the scariest moment you’ve experienced abroad and where?

Mark getting Dengue Fever in Vietnam in 2007.

What was the cheapest / most expensive holiday you’ve ever taken? And… would you do it again?

These are two extremes, so let us pick one on each!

Cheapest would be our first year long trip back in 2007. We had each saved $5000 CAD to travel for a year. We went to Japan, Thailiand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia. We lived on a very tight budget, including sleeping in a car for six months in Australia, but it made us the travellers we are today!

Most Expensive would be Mark’s birthday in San Francisco and the Napa Valley. As chefs, one of our dreams was to eat at the French Laundry. So we did. The meal with all the beer, cocktail and wine pairings cost us more than a mortgage payment, and the accommodation and car rental was way more than we would have ever spent on any trip previously.

It was a very expensive vacation, but worth every penny!

Have you ever met someone on your travels that now plays an important part in your life?

We have met so many people during our travels that we still stay in touch with. We met up with a friend from Finland in Prague whom we met in Australia; and another friend in Vancouver, an Brit whom we met in Nepal.

One of our best friends is a Thai that we met in Chiang Mai way back in 2007. He’s been living in London for many years and we’ve visited him twice there. We’re actually heading back to visit him in a few weeks!

Have you ever been so drunk you’ve woken up in another country?

No. But now that you ask, we kinda wish we have! Have you??

Do you think we’ll ever be able to travel to the moon, on holiday, in our lifetime?

The moon? Wow, we have our doubts with this one. However, we never thought Canada would legalize marijuana, but that just happened. So sure, why not, lets aim for visiting the moon!

And… if money was no object, would you go if you could?

Kylee – Nah, too much preparation – like exercise.

Mark – I’d give it a go!

 
Alright ! And last but not least we have our third nomination by Dream, Book, and Travel writer Anca Tegan, a very curious girl that believes in magic – what more could you ask for?? Her and her husband Sinan write step by step guides for travellers, including which books to read, how and where to book your trips, and help you with what to do.

We had a lot of trouble with these questions, so good job guys!

The Questions:

Describe your blog by assigning a color to it. Explain your choice.

This is going to sound sad but we pick Grey. This is for all the ways our words and experiences can be interpreted from each person. The world is rarely as simple as black and white. Experiences of travel are very subjective. Everyone has a different background and experience of life. It is like a song that makes one person cry and one remember the love of their life!

Describe your blog by assigning a sound/piece of music to it. Explain your choice.

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Home

Since we started dating back in 2005, we left home together and ever since then we felt like home is whenever we are together since we are never in one place, and that is what our blog is about, our travels and how we feel at home on the road.

Describe your blog by assigning a smell to it. Explain your choice.

Unicorn farts.

We have never actually smelled them (yet!) but I am sure its like cotton candy nestled on a mountain of perfectly cooked bacon. These two smells make us so very happy and writing our blog makes us very happy. (Ok, so this is a bit of a longshot, but it’s a pretty awesome answer right?)

Describe your blog by assigning a taste to it. Explain your choice.

Cheese.

There are so many flavours and textures when it comes to cheese. Some are sharp, some are sour, some are nutty and all of these descriptions are in the words and pictures of our blog.

Describe your blog by assigning a texture to it. Explain your choice.

The fuzzy side of velcro.

We want our blog to stick with people and we also want the people to stick with us. But we want to be the soft side to always lend a soft helping hand when you need it.

Describe your blog by assigning a feeling to it. Explain your choice.

That feeling when you get butterflies in your stomach.

Those butterflies can mean so many different things, but usually it is because you are facing an unknown. Our blog is written for people taking journeys into the unknown, which can be exciting and scary at the same time.

Describe your blog by assigning a season/month of the year/time of day to it. Explain your choice.

Lunch time or dinner time or snack time. Basically any eating time!

We love both of these times of the day, we can take a break and do our other passion, cooking. Also, our blog does contain recipes that we’ve picked up along our travels!

Describe your blog by assigning a plant/flower/tree/animal to it. Explain your choice.

Taco tree. (these questions are wild, so our answers are too)

Tacos are amazing, which we can all agree. Having a tree of them would make people happy forever. That is one of the biggest goals of our blogl!

Tacos in Oaxaca, Mexico

If only they grew on trees…

Will you ever retire from traveling?

I don’t think we will ‘retire’ from travel. The type and way we travel might change as we grow older, but we do love the new experiences. Also, whenever you experience something new you are actually travelling in some form or another.

How do you see yourself in your old age?

We see ourselves with really sore backs from carrying backpacks around and sitting on crappy buses for long drives. However, we’ll be very content with the choices we have made, no regrets.

If internet did not exist/imagine living 100 years ago – what would you be doing?

100 years ago was World War 1… we’d rather not imagine what we would be doing!

Well there you have it folks!

Now for the next part, we get to nominate some of the bloggers we follow and ask them questions.
We would like to nominate:

Summer Rylander (Summer Outside)

Summer is a brilliant writer, traveller, and food lover – especially when it comes to Scandinavian Cheeses.

Alex and Lisa from Career Gappers

Their blog teaches about the steps to take to take a career break and travel the world. They also give amazing tips and itineraries for places they have been, and they have travelled a lot!

Chris and Amy from Two Wild Wanderers

Great writers and photographers that enjoy getting into anything and everything. They are an amazing couple, who we love to follow along with.

Alexander Popkov from Engineer on Tour

An engineer, photographer and traveller that goes to amazing places. He is always honest in his opinions and is such a great blog to follow.

Alison Browne from Dreamer at Heart

A fellow Canadian who retired early and hit the road. She is an amazing inspiration and tells her stories with such warmth.
 

Paul and Mona from Toast to Thailand

Two lovebirds from India now living in London, with a love for Thai everything. They write about tips and tricks to travelling their favourite country, so follow along!

Alright bloggers, this is the link to all the rules of this award

And here are your questions from us:
1. If you could re-do one trip, which would it be and why?

2. What is the greatest meal/food you have eaten on your travels and where was it?

3. Would you rather visit the mountains or the ocean if you had to pick, and why?

4. What would you do if the internet broke down and was no more?

5. If you were stranded on a desert island and you got to pick:
– one book
– one album
– one dish/food/cuisine

What would you pick and why?

6. If you had to have one Instagram filter on your vision, which filter would you pick and why?

7. If you could pay to have one thing done for you for the rest of your life, what would it be, why?

8. If you had us over for dinner, what would you cook for us and why?

9. Who would play you in the movie of your life?

10. If you had to pick between a strong body and losing your mind or a strong mind and failed body, which would you choose and why?

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Crystal
Guest

These are some great answers. I would have never guessed California would be the best smell. I also really appreciated how adventurous you are with trying new foods – especially insects. I think a lot about travelers who go to a country, but don’t want to experience, fully, the culture. I think it makes the locals seem more like “others” and I feel it means a lot for people to see you’re taking in the culture and traditions

Sydney
Guest

Congratulations on the Liebster Award! I love reading these kinds of posts and learning more about the blogger.

Richa
Guest

I am not sure whether I like the smell of your blog (LOL MY KIDS WILL LOVE IT THOUGH) but I sure LOVED the feel of your blog – you totally deserve the The Liebster Award 🙂 Birthday in Napa Valley sounds awesome… All the best you guys!

Jaz | www.thelifeofasocialbutterfly.co.uk
Guest

Congratulations on the award! What a lovely idea! As travel bloggers, we spend so much of our time travelling that it’s good to find out more about the people behind the blog! Though, not sure a Colman’s lip balm would be a great soother for the lips…mine would definitely have to be Marmite! 🙂

Jaz

Alexander Popkov
Guest

Thanks a lot for nominating me! I don’t think I can pass the award, I have done it already. But I am happy that you like my content. Keep up your good work with the blog

Bruce Schinkel
Guest

I’m so loving the concept of this award; such a great way to get to know our fellow travellers! Big congrats on being nominated 3 times at once 🙂 Loved reading your answers and learning about you

Nitasha
Guest

I would say after a long long time I really enjoyed reading a post. Wow! Loved each of your answers. I am totally heading to Mcleodganj for some peaceful time and trying that fermented shark only to complain later. And yes not to forget jumping off the tallest canyon in Nepal would be so fun too.

Sarah
Guest

Congratulations on your nomination (or should I say Nominations). I love the thought of the colour being grey, as life and travel is not black and white.

Inna
Guest
Inna

Great answers, I loved the ones about lip balm especially and that the taste of your blog is cheese…I love cheese!