The Liebster Award is an online award given to bloggers by other bloggers that helps spread the love that we all so desperately desire. Liebster is a German word that translates to “dearest” so getting nominated for this is bound to give you a warm, fuzzy feeling.
The rules are as follows:
- Post the award on your blog so everybody knows how awesome you are.
- Publicly thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
- Answer their questions about yourself, feel free to add photos!
- Nominate 4–10 people with less than 1000 followers, inform them via social media.
- Write your own set of questions for your nominees.
- Feel good about yourself for winning an award and passing it on.
Coleman Concierge has been nominated for a Liebster Award by the incomparable Josie Acland from Six Year Gap Year. Her blog focuses on long term, budget, and solo travel. It’s a collection of stories, tips, and advice from one girl avoiding adulthood by traveling the world. We recommend you click there right after you get done exploring here. You will not be disappointed. Thank you Joise. Here are our answers to your questions. (as opposed to our first try when we answered the questions to you because we didn’t read the instructions…)
Where was the first country you traveled to?
Jenn: Ixtapa Zihuatanejo Mexico. I was pretty young, so I don’t remember much about the trip. I do remember how different it was then my home in Denver Colorado, which I absolutely love it. We also stayed in a gorgeous hotel, which is where I think my penchant for nice hotels comes from. I also remember this lovely local lady teaching me and my little brother Spanish in the pool. I still can count to 10 in Espanol quite well 😉
Ed: Toronto Canada when I was four. We drove up to Canada from Auburn Alabama to Canada through Ohio. This was also our families’ Ohio preview tour. This trip stuck with me enough to make it into About Ed.
Where’s the last country you traveled to?
Tijuana Mexico for wet and wild waterpark fun.
When was the last time you were in your home country?
Home country – easy for us. We still live in America. We plan to travel the world someday soon as digital nomads.
What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
Jenn: I was guiding the Skykomish River in Washington state. My crew got a bit overwhelmed going into the bottom pool drop of the class V rapid and didn’t listen/execute to my instructions as well as they should have. We ended up flipping over and I was trapped in a deep recycling hole. While being maytaged in the hole I remembered that a good way to get out is to make crazy shapes with your body so some body part could hopefully grab the out current. I almost ran out of breath before I was ejected. Everybody watching breathed a huge sigh of relief when I finally surfaced.
Ed: I getting ready to rappel off a cliff in the Grand Canyon to swing into a cave. The 2000’ drop combined with a little time to think about it made me back down from going. (link to rocks and roller coasters) That one didn’t count since I didn’t actually do it… How about going through an unnamed cave near Young Arizona. We took the forest service entrance in and worked our way down to the main borehole through the Seven Selectors. Each one was more terrifying than the last. The final selector was the Fallopian Tubes, which, by definition, was tighter than the birth canal. It was a 20-foot tight crawl with a 90-degree bend in the middle. I was too tall to make the turn comfortably. Going this way wasn’t too bad since right on the other side of that squeeze was a huge passage so I pushed through no problem.
On the way into the cave, I was in the back and I got to hear some really strong cavers laboring through the selectors in front of me. The way back, however….I insisted on going first. Lord knows I didn’t want to have my fear grow listening to my friends struggling again. I plunged out of the relative safety of the main passage head first (literally) into danger. I rounded the 90-degree bend and I couldn’t see the way out of the tube. Instead, I was looking straight into a choked out side pocket I didn’t even see on the way in. I felt the panic rising. I didn’t think that I could turn around and get out and I was sure that I didn’t want to do that bend a third time. I called for my friend, Juan Pablo to come up to me. I curled up in a fetal position in that damned sided pocket and waited. JP crawled up. He looked at me curiously and crawled right on by. To this day I still don’t know how I could have missed the exit hole. I could see it plain as day once I saw JP going through.
Have you ever volunteered abroad? If not, would you?
Jenn: I haven’t yet but it is a big part of why I want to get into this business. This winter we were trying to volunteer at the Jaguar Rescue Center in Costa Rica but we couldn’t take enough time off work to make it happen. We both do volunteer at a local exotic animal sanctuary Lions, Tigers, and Bears.
Ed: I volunteered with a caving expedition in Belize to survey caves for the Institute of Archeology. My experience on this project included:
- Unnamed cave- Surveying and exploring ~2km of virgin cave passage that no person has ever seen before.
- Actun Tunichil Muknal – Assisting a photoshoot of the Crystal Maiden and other cave highlights for the institute.
- Barton Creek – Cave resurvey past the river passage
- Actun Kabal in Chiquibul – Large room photography with high power strobes. (included camping in the cave in the middle of the rain forest).
- Tikal – Off day adventure that included an overnight in the park and sunrise / sunset visits to the temples.
- Caye Caulker – Off day visit that included an undersea visit to Hol Chan Marine Reserve and Shark Alley
Do you take a lot of photos or do you believe in living in the moment?
We don’t see exclusive and there are many kinds of pictures. In ascending order of difficulty:
- Snapshots to close friend
- Photo documenting for notes
- Cell phone pictures for the blog (or social media)
- GoPro pictures for more rugged adventures
- SLR snapshots
- SLR photoshoot including tripod and waiting for ideal lighting conditions
We find the first two help bring us into the moment. We love chatting with friends and family while adventuring. It’s like having a friend there with you instead of that strange time delay between having an adventure and publishing a post. Also, photo documenting travel reduces the travel writing work we have to do while on assignment and helps us actually focus more. As for the rest of the list, it’s part of the balance we are trying to achieve. In some ways travel writing (in general and photography specifically) helps connect us to the scene we are in. In other ways, it is a burden. We are constantly looking to balance our experience and lens as writers with having authentic experiences as travelers.
Have you ever traveled solo? If not, would you?
Jenn: I have traveled solo many times. From 18 to 35 I saw the west one ski resort at a time. Every two to three years I would move to a new ski mountain and start working (full list here). Many moves were solo, with very little money and no friends but I had my three cats. Though I would get lonely sometimes, I could alway call family or a good friend which helped a lot. I did learn to be comfortable doing a variety of things solo such as going to restaurants, movies, and even concerts. I think it’s really important to travel on your own at least once in your lifetime.I believe it is a must to enjoy your own company as well as to cultivate the self-reliance it takes to be out on your own.
Ed: I have taken little trips here or there. Usually no more than an overnight. I would travel solo but I just like traveling with people more.
Which country has the best food? Or the worst?
We think every country can have amazing food options unless you are really off the beaten path. It just depends on how much of your budget you put towards food. Three experiences really stand out and they are all similar. In Jamaica, Belize, and Mexico we stayed at very small boutique resorts with their own kitchen staff. The cooks prepared local dishes from extremely fresh ingredients. That combination has proven to be magical.
Have you ever felt homesick for a place you only visited?
We don’t really get homesick (but we go get pet sick missing our cats). We were both born with the wanderlust gene and desire to experience everything.
Why did you first leave home?
Jenn: Home left me. My family moved out of Denver when I turned eighteen and I stayed up on Keystone Mountain for a gap year that turned into twenty years in the ski industry.
Ed: My first big non-family trip was in sixth grade. It was a month-long French exchange program were I stayed with a host family in Paris. My exodus from Ohio was….. Do you remember then ending of Breaking Bad?
What piece of advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
Jenn: I have struggled my entire life with weight and body image. When I was younger, I used to always think I was too big because I could never fit into that size 2/4 once I passed Junior High. I never appreciated my bulging thigh muscles and strong abs. Now that I am in my 40s with two artificial knees and struggling against that middle-age pooch, I would tell my younger self that my body is strong and capable, and that I am my own worst critic. I would tell myself to focus on what I can do, to appreciate the strength in my body, and to find beauty in strength. I would also remind myself to enjoy absolutely every moment because many things in this life, both physically as well as externally, are fleeting, so it is crucial to embrace every day with an attitude of gratitude.
Ed: In deference to Ayn Rand… I always considered my younger self to be like Hank Rearden and my current self to be like Franciso d’Aconia. Given that, almost any thing Francisco said to Hank would fit. However, this particular quote is the most apropos – “All your life, you have heard yourself denounced, not for your faults, but for your greatest virtues. You have been hated, not for your mistakes, but for your achievements. You have been scorned for all those qualities of character which are your highest pride. You have been called selfish for the courage of acting on your own judgment and bearing sole responsibility for your own life.”
The most poignant quote would be between the newly transformed Hank consoling a dying Wet Nurse, but that still cuts too deep and I have made peace.
Our Nominations Are:
Practical Wanderlust– Lia and Jeremy are newlywed travelers currently backpacking through South America on a budget. Their mission is conscientious and responsible travel. We really love reading their posts about one of our dream destinations, the Galapagos Islands.
A Southern Traveler– Jessica is a southern girl who’s blog is full of beautiful photography as well as practical advice. We also love that she too holds down a 9-to-5 job while travel blogging. We really enjoyed her post ‘Renting a Car in Costa Rica’. We wish we would have found her blog before we chose to rent a car on our trip to Costa Rica from the airport.
Our questions for you are:
- What was the inspiration for your blog?
- What is the greatest piece of advice you have been given about blogging?
- What is a favorite, unique travel experience? Did you plan it, or did it just happen?
- What has been your most hilarious/comedic travel experience?
- Which activity/place is number one on your bucket list?
- What are few of your travel tips to save money?
- What is your favorite inspirational quote/quotes?
- How much of your time is spent on writing new posts, versus promotion on social media?
- What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?
- Tell us something we don’t know about you
- What do you think of our blog and do you have any suggestions for improvement?
Well that’s all we got folks. A huge thanks to Josie from Six Year Gap Year for the nomination. So happy to spread the love to all of you wonderful new bloggers! Be sure to check out their websites for some incredible tips, advice, stories and photos from around the world.