We have only been blogging for a little while, but we are very honored and excited to be nominated for a Liebster Award! Many thanks to Laura from Grassroots Nomad for recognizing us!
What is the Liebster Award?
Laura explains it well:
The Liebster Award is a ‘pay-it-forward’ award where a blogger nominates ten other upcoming bloggers to answer a series of questions. Each nominated blogger answers the ten questions assigned to them and then nominates ten new bloggers to answer a new set of questions. Not only is it a great way to discover new bloggers and make new friends, it is also a great way to pick up some extra knowledge, advice and travel tips along the way.
We’re excited to use this as an opportunity to share a bit about our travel thoughts and philosophies and to recognize some of the other great blogs we’re reading!
Without further adieu., our answers (as written by Stephanie)!
1. What is the best thing about your hometown and why should people visit?
Well, Adam is from Portland, Oregon, and I am from Boston, Massachusetts, but our shared hometown is Washington, DC. DC is an incredible place- we’re living at the intersection of the history and future of the USA, international diplomacy and partnership, and the city’s own unique culture and flavor. DC is great for tourists, but it’s an even better home base. We have miles of free museums, gorgeous outdoor space (like the National Mall, home to so many famous monuments), and delicious food. DC is a great place to get to know the United States.
2. What is your favorite part of travel blogging?
For us, travel blogging is all about the stories. I think the only thing better than being out on the road, experiencing a new place, is sharing it with friends and family when we’re back home. Getting to tell the stories of the people we meet and the lessons we learn help us to advance a dialogue you can only be part of when you travel. Our blog is a collection of tips and stories that have changed us, and we hope they get you excited about creating your own stories, too.
3. When you are on the road, what do you make sure you always have with you?
For me, the one thing I always need to have is a scarf. Scarves have been my emergency blanket on cold planes (and once on a barge trapped in a crazy storm off the coast of Uruguay!), they have been sarongs to cover up at sacred spots in Southeast Asia, they have been makeshift umbrellas in dreary London weather, and they have been shields between myself and too-curious locals in India (look for that story on the blog soon!). One of my favorite books, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, suggests travellers always carry a towel. My response to that is to always carry a scarf.
For Adam, his phone is his most needed possession. His phone has been entertainment on long flights, a saving grace when finding a delicious but local restaurant in Budapest, a camera to document the sights and details our over-stimulated brains might forget, and a connection to home- traveling the road is great, but letting our loved ones know we’re OK is peace of mind for us just as much as them.
4. Why did you decide to take the plunge and start long-term traveling?
Actually, we didn’t! That’s what Road Unraveled is all about for us. We both have great careers, and for now they have us based in DC. Our travel is about maximizing the amount of time we have for annual vacation to see the world. We’re not opposed to long-term travel, and we both hope extended trips are in our future. For now, though, we see the world on trips that align with federal holidays.
5. What is your number one tip for someone looking to travel in a more sustainable and responsible way?
Sustainable travel is crucial for responsible travelers. This was made very clear to us during our recent trip to Easter Island. Given its geographical location, anything a tourist takes to the island but doesn’t take back with them becomes a burden for the local people. That would be our tip: think about how your visit to a place will impact the people who aren’t just passing through. Strive to leave every destination better than when you arrived.
6. If you wrote a travel memoir, what would it be called and why?
That’s easy: Road Unraveled: How We Balanced Travel with the 9-5
7. What is your favorite photo from your travels so far? Why is it so special?
For Adam, it’s our Easter Island photos; it was a lifelong dream to visit, and the photos are a great reminder that persistence can make dreams come true. For me, it’s a photo I took of the Great Wall of China from a commuter train. It was my first time in China, I was travelling solo, and I hadn’t arranged a tour. I found my way to a local train station, purchased a ticket (in very broken Mandarin!), and prayed the whole way that I got on the right train. When I saw the Great Wall looming in the distance I was pretty overcome with emotion- the Great Wall was my dream, and I was so proud of myself for getting there on my own and so excited to set foot on it!
8. Do you prefer to travel solo, with a partner or friends, or a combination of all of these?
For Adam, he prefers to travel with me (he likes that I find joy in the transactional side of travel- the planning, the itinerary management, etc.). For me, it’s a combination. Adam is my favorite travel companion, but I have had incredible experiences with close friends as well as by myself. A good part of my travel has been alone, and I have found it to be both empowering and freeing to set goals and explore on my own.
9. What is the most unusual mode of transportation you have taken?
I have traveled in a lot of ways. The most unusual would have to be a local bus I took from Cambodia to Vietnam. It was packed (I had a seat, but someone was sitting on the floor in front of me- on my feet!). The locals sang karaoke for a full seven hours. Nothing strange about the bus, but the company was anything but normal for me!
10. What do you do to spoil yourself when you are overseas?
It’s a combination of great food, great wine, and the luxury of doing only what we’re interested in without feeling obligated to check in or be productive. Oh, and a massage from time to time isn’t bad, either.