My first blogging award! I feel all warm & fuzzy inside. 🙂 Seeing as I only started this blog 3 short months ago to document my travel adventures & somewhat humorous attempts at personal growth, it’s really special to be nominated.

So what is this whole Liebster Award deal? It’s a way for bloggers to shine a spotlight on other up-and-coming blogs and welcome them to this fun and crazy blogosphere.

Liebster Award Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who gave it to you.
  • Answer the eleven questions they ask you.
  • Nominate other bloggers with less than 1,000 followers (or 500 or 5,000, depending on which set of rules you read lol).
  • Ask those bloggers eleven questions.
  • Let the bloggers know they’ve been nominated so they can continue the chain!

So first, a big thank you to Amy from The Unsettled Meliorist! I can’t believe I was nominated by someone with such a fabulous blog! Amy is a girl after my own heart who refuses to settle down, and insists on living life to the fullest through travel even while working a 9-5 job. She’s also a highly entertaining writer, so go check out her blog and I promise you won’t be bored!


Questions Asked to Me:

1. If you could move to one city to live, which would it be?

Oh my gosh, I have to pick just one? If I’m really dreaming big it would be Cairns, a coastal city in Queensland, Australia. While the city itself is said to be modern and sophisticated, there’s easy access to the reef, rain forest and outback. The best of both worlds for someone who loves city living and nature. Plus, Aussie accents are my FAVE.

2. What sparked your travel bug?

It’s always been there, but I never thought I could afford to travel until I learned there were ways other than vacation resort packages. When I lost my job, I basically said “Screw it. This may wipe out my savings but I’m sick of living life by someone else’s standards. I’m going to see the world no matter what it takes.” I used my severance check to buy a plane ticket and here I am. This is my first long-term travel experience and I know I’ll never be content to stay home again.

3. Are there any cities or countries you visited that you didn’t like?

Hmmm. There are definitely places that I’ve liked more than others, but I can’t think of any where I’ve had a really negative experience. Unless you count Kansas, which really isn’t a city or a country, but sure feels like one when you’re driving from end to end.

4. Favorite drink or cocktail you’ve had traveling?

I have to say the highlights would probably be the Bloody Mary I had in New Orleans or the “Irish moonshine” I drank in Ballybofey, Ireland. Don’t ask me what Irish moonshine is, because I have no idea, but you drink it hot with cloves, sugar & lemon and it’s the perfect drink for a cold, rainy evening.

5. What’s your favorite travel-related book?

I guess I’d have to go with Tara Road by Maeve Binchy. (The book, not the movie.) It’s what sparked my desire to go to Ireland and fueled my love of Irish culture and storytelling. I also have to give a shout out to Angels & Demons by Dan Brown, which left me dreaming of beautiful Italian architecture.

6. Are you a planner or do you wing it?

Haha, I’m the WORST planner. I force myself to buy things like plane and ferry tickets in advance because they’re much cheaper that way, but other than that my plan is generally “I’ll figure it out when I get there.” Things usually have a way of working out, and I think it’s a great exercise in learning to trust yourself. (See how I just justified being a lazy planner?)

7. What’s the craziest thing you’ve eaten while traveling?

I’m one of those people who will try anything once, as long as it doesn’t have mushrooms. I’ve eaten octopus, eel, alligator, and a chocolate-covered beetle, but I swallowed it really fast without chewing, so I don’t think it counts.

8. What’s one thing you don’t leave home without?

Besides my passport? 🙂 I always carry a notebook in my purse so I can jot things down when they pop into my head. It helps me remember stories and landmarks, and it’s handy for writing down random funny observations about strangers on public transportation.

9. Best tip for budgeting for travel?

I’m not really a “budgeter” exactly. My budgeting consists of spending as little money as possible 90% of the time and then splurging big-time on special moments. I’m really good at saving money though, because I hate to shop and I don’t like to have a lot of stuff. The most important thing is to keep your priority in mind. Every time you go to spend money on something, just ask yourself “What do I want more? To visit Bali or to buy a new outfit?” And once you get on the road it’s sort of the same. Don’t be cheap, but spend your money on what’s really important to you. For me, I’ll skimp on accommodation by Couchsurfing or doing Workaway, but splurge on adventures like zip-lining or hot air balloons.

10. What was your scariest travel moment?

Probably driving through Texas on my cross-country road trip. I was just outside of Dallas driving a U-Haul truck with a trailer behind me. I had a yowling cat on the seat beside me and I hadn’t slept in about 2 days. All of a sudden this massive ice storm hit and people started swerving off the road left and right. Traffic was at a complete stand-still until about 3:30am and I was almost out of gas. I probably wasn’t actually in danger of freezing to death, but it was pretty scary at the time.

11. Where’s your next trip taking you?

Well, I’m headed to Greece next week to work at a paddle-board & kayak rental shop on the island of Skopelos for a month. After that, I’m hopping a ferry to Italy where I’m planning to work on a vineyard for a couple weeks. From there I’ll probably work my way back north, hitting as many awesome European cities as I can along the way. It looks like I’ll head back to the states a bit sooner than I’d originally planned because I’m going to try to make it to TBEX in Cancun in September. I hope to meet lots of other awesome travel bloggers there! 🙂


And My Nominees Are:

The Heart of a Traveler – Kelly is a teacher with a traveler’s heart who’s determined to live her life to the fullest. She’s been traveling since 2008 and has a passion for exploring new places. Her writing is warm and open, and I can’t wait to follow along as she heads to Europe this summer!

parTASTE – If you weren’t already travel-hungry, you will be after exploring this beautifully designed blog that takes you on a culinary world tour. Jen highlights cuisines from all over the world and post photographs that will make your mouth water. This site is an oasis for a foodie like myself.

A Week at the Beach – Sarah is a busy mom and a travel addict who believes in making time for getaways. No matter how busy your schedule is, she’ll inspire you to make time for travel! For someone like me who is roughing it in true backpacker style, I enjoy drooling over her stories of luxury resorts and yoga excursions.

From Shores to Skylines – It’s so much fun to read about Katie’s travel adventures because her upbeat and funny personality really shines through her writing. She caught the travel bug in 2001 and has been going ever since. She’ll make you fall in love with the places she goes!

Somewhere I have Never Traveled – Kara is, in her own words “pseudo-hippy backpacker.” She’s been to nearly 20 countries and has the lofty goal of learning 5 languages by age 30. She makes me feel like a total underachiever, but in the best possible way. 🙂


My Questions to the Nominees:

1. What is your most memorable travel moment?
2. Do you prefer to visit popular attractions or get off the beaten path?
3. If Hollywood was to make a movie about your life, which actor/actress would you want to play you?
4. If you could live anywhere in the world for 1 year, where would it be?
5. What’s the best thing you’ve ever eaten while traveling?
6. How did you choose your blog name and what does it mean to you?
7. Have you ever had a major travel fail?
8. What’s on top of your travel bucket list?
9. What do you hope to be doing 5 years from now?
10. What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
11. What is the #1 way in which travel has changed you?

Looking forward to your responses, and happy blogging!



Mandie is a writer, rebel & web design junkie. In her spare time she enjoys drinking wine, traveling & working on her perpetually unfinished novel. She was a nerd before it was cool.

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  1. Sarah Fazendin    

    Hey thanks for nominating me!! How fun, and thanks for sharing these other great blogs, very fun reading!

    1. Mandie    

      Hey Sarah, you’re welcome! I had a lot of fun reading through a bunch of new blogs choosing my 5 to nominate, too! 🙂

  2. Katie    

    Thanks for nominating me Mandie, I posted my response! What a fun way to get to know everyone 🙂

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