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Blogging Awards!

16 Jul

A few weeks back I was somehow nominated for not one, but TWO blogging awards!

Crazy Train to Tinky Town (she’s hilarious, an English girl who packed it all in and moved to Turkey) nominated me for the One Lovely Blog award, and Turkish Musings (whose site is inexplicably dismantled, but keep checking back, perhaps it’s just an update thing?) nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award.


As part of the nominations, there are some rules, which are as follows:

* Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post

* Share 7 things about yourself

* Nominate 15 or so bloggers you admire

* Contact your chosen bloggers to let them know (If you find that I’ve linked to you below before I’ve notified you, sorry! We have junky internet right now so it’s taking a while to get all the messages out.)

Here are my 7 things:

1) I have never broken a bone.  That’s right, never.  Watch, I’m going to trip over my own flip-flop and break both arms tomorrow…

2) I have a secret love of Spaghetti-O’s.  They are so good.  I know they are horrible for you and made of fake toxic chemicals so I don’t allow myself to eat them as a ‘responsible’ adult (unless I’m hungover, then all bets are off)…but still, I love them.

3) I am allergic to cashews and pistachios.  The best nuts I hear.  This made it quite problematic to enjoy delicious things in Turkey and Israel, as there are pistachios on everything!

4) My right foot is nearly a full shoe size bigger than my left foot.  This is why I love flip-flops so much.

5) I can barely ever remember people’s names the first few times we meet.  It’s like I get introduced to someone and instantly their name flies out of my head.  It can be embarrassing.

6) I have a childish and pathological fear of ‘under the bed’.  No kidding, even in my own house I often leap onto the bed from as far away as possible to avoid getting snatched under by whatever monster lives under there with all my old sweaters.  Don’t judge me. Please.

7) Even after all this time, I still get nervous heading out to a new country.  You’d think I’d be over it by now, but I’m not.

And now, the 15 blogs

Travel blogs

Happy To Be Homeless – Another American couple who packed it all in for a big adventure.  We met them on our cruise to Antarctica, and managed to meet up again months later to travel together through northern Argentina and Bolivia.  They have an ambitious route planned in the next year and half, so you’ll have lots of time to get to know them!

Ric and Roll – A friend of ours from New York who decided it was time for a break and set off nearly 6 months ago for his own trip around the world.  He’s currently living it up in Buenos Aires.

Positive World Travel – A couple who has recently returned to Australia after some serious extended travel.  They post a lot of videos, which we love!

One Giant Step – Gillian and Jason took off for their own RTW trip in 2009.  Even though they are back to ‘real life’, they continue to travel regularly and post great a variety of great articles.

Fluent in Frolicking – A Hawaiian girl who frolics around the world, and shares the best of her tales with the rest of us.  I particularly live her drool-worthy ‘travel porn’ photos.

So Many Places – Another couple from the US (yeah, as a couple we do tend to read about other couples…) who just started their wanderings, beginning at home with a trip around the USA to different national parks.  Stay tuned, their adventures are going to be HUGE.

The Cantaloupe Tales – a student blogger who has spent a semester studying in Morocco.  She’s hysterical!

Global From Home – A blog that sets out to prove you don’t actually have to leave home to be global.  She does weekly interviews with travel bloggers, or people who blog from abroad (we did a virtual interview with her earlier this month!) but she also incorporates food and other international tidbits into her posts.

Where’s My Toothbrush? – An adventurous girl who spends her time working in Asia and writing about her travels and day-to-day adventures.  She’s witty and honest and often makes me laugh.

Teacher Blogs – As a former teacher, I do still appreciate reading anecdotes from the classroom.  These are some of my favorites:

The Present Perfect – A former NYC teacher who hit the road to teach in Beirut, Lebanon.  Three years later and she’s still going strong!  She’s also an incredible photographer.

Bluebird’s Classroom – A middle-school science teacher who has been blogging regularly since before I started teaching, and who was a great source of inspiration to me when I was in the classroom.

Line 46 – A high school English teacher who writes about her observations, rants, raves, and the general nonsense that happens in the ed system.

Teenagers Are Ridiculous – The title says it all.  She posts anecdotes that are so hilarious that I laugh out loud regularly.  If you are not a teacher in real life you might think she;s making some of this stuff up, but I assure you, she’s not.

Other blogs – my favorite non-travel or teacher related ramblings:

Eggton – A perfect mix of funny anecdotes, fantastic food recipes (with photos) and adorable puppy photos.

Looky Here – My aunt – a professional stylist, shopper, and procurer of all things awesome – has created this fantastic blog that showcases great gift ideas. Seriously, it’s a lifesaver!  I regularly find things on here that I want for myself, and she does such a great job at posting a range of gifts that you’re sure to find something for that person in your life who is ‘impossible’ to shop for.


Photo Friday – Mt. Nemrut, Turkey

1 Jun

Giant stone heads at Mt. Nemrut

We were incredibly bummed to not be able to pull off a trip to Easter Island while we were in South America, so when we heard that there we a different type of giant stone heads that date back to around 62 BC in Turkey, we were determined to see them.  It’s in the middle of nowhere on the eastern side of Turkey, and to see the sunrise on the heads you need to drag yourself from sleep at around 2:45 in the morning (give or take, depending on the season) in order to get to the mountain and climb up to the top.  While it’s no Easter Island, it’s definitely lovely and we’re glad to have made the journey.

As an aside, if you do end up going, try to remember that you aren’t the only one who got up before dawn to see this site.  The jackasses below insisted on taking all their group photos RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE HEADS as the sun was rising, thus preventing everyone else from getting a clean shot of the ruins with the pink morning light.  A number of us asked them to please move for a few moments so we could all get a picture, but they refused.  The obliviousness/obnoxiousness/self-righteousness of certain types of tourists really wore on our nerves throughout this little side trip, and reminded us why we generally avoid group tours.

Don’t be a jerk, remember other people want to take photos of that big famous monument as well.  Snap your picture and move out of the way.

Photo Friday – 7 Super Shots

23 Mar

We’ve decided to try and be more diligent about sharing pictures of our journey, so from here on out we will have a regular Photo Friday post.  We’re starting with a nice little travel meme, “7 Super Shots” started by HostelBookers and passed along to me by Nod ‘n’ Smile travel blog (check it out, they are in the final stages of the planning process and will be heading out soon!).  This meme is very straightforward – select 7 photos that fit into 7 categories and then nominate 5 others to share the same.

Since we are on the road, we’ve chosen only from pictures that we’ve taken on this journey.

A photo that…

1) Takes my breath away

Justin in the Andes at Macchu Pichu, Peru

We had gotten up long before dawn to make our way up to Macchu Pichu before the sunrise.  As day broke, the mist that had settled in the valleys overnight began to shift, rising and flowing up through the Andes.  It was a moment of such unexpected beauty that it really did take my breath away.

2) Makes me laugh or smile

Dianna Arroz. Of course.

I mean, how can you not laugh or smile at this?!?! We were grocery shopping in Bariloche, Argentina when we came across this marketing gem.

3) Makes me dream

Sunrise at Deception Island, Antarctica

I still cannot find the words to describe how incredible Antarctica is.  It really is the most beautiful, almost magical place we’ve ever been.  We got up at 4am so we could witness the sunrise on our final day of landings.  Watching the sun break the horizon that day, I felt like anything was possible.

4) Makes me think

Local woman near Maras, Peru

We took this picture on our way to see the salt ponds of Maras, in Peru.  The juxtaposition of this woman with the beauty salon advertisement, in the background (notice that the model is a blonde woman) makes me think about what happens when the modern and the new crashes into the traditional.

5) Makes my mouth water

Olives at the market in Arequipa, Peru

We LOVE local markets.  We can spend entire afternoons wandering around and sampling food, eating little bits of everything there is to offer in lieu of a real meal.  These olives were so perfect that I can almost taste them as I’m typing this…

6) Tells a story

Shaman during a wedding ceremony in Ollantaytambo, Peru

We were blessed with the chance to attend a local wedding during our stay in Ollantaytambo, Peru.  The traditional ceremony was performed by a shaman, and while we couldn’t understand the language much at that point, the beauty and the purpose of the ceremony came through very clearly.  At this point, a young girl had just come into the ceremony site with a bag of fresh milk.  The bride and groom’s families took turn offering the milk, and some wine, to the four directions, after which the wine was poured by the bride and groom and shared with all in attendance.  It was one of the most mystical things we’ve experienced, and we feel very fortunate to have been a part of it.

7) I am most proud of (a ‘National Geographic shot)

Glacier in Paradise Bay, Antarctica

It was hard to not choose pictures entirely from Antarctica for this challenge because it’s just so easy to take great photos there!  For me, this one just leaps out every time we sift through the tons of images from that trip.  Our zodiac cruise around Paradise Bay was one of the highlights of the cruise because we had absolutely perfect weather and, as you can see, totally still waters.  As our zodiac made its way closer to this ice hunk, a piece of it collapsed and sent huge chunks of ice crashing into the ocean, a reminder of the ever-changing landscape in Antarctica.

And now…I’d like to see 7 Super Shots from

Happy To Be Homeless

Fluent in Frolicking

Ric and Roll

Adventures in Nature

Click. The Good News.

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