As with The Liebster Award we were nominated for way back in October 2016, we are indebted to Gareth at Broken Jaw Travel for our nomination for the Versatile Blogger Award. BJT have been good friends to us here at WhenTwoWander. You should totally go and check out Gareth’s site for some really funny articles, with unique angles taken on some wild travel experiences. BrokenJawTravel is also on Facebook, and Twitter, seriously go check it out.
In accepting this award, we are offering you a chance to get to know us a little better. So, here are seven facts, in a question and answer style, to get your curious juices flowing. We’d be more than happy to answer any other questions if you leave one in the comments at the end. Happy reading:
1.WHY DID YOU START BLOGGING ABOUT YOUR TRAVELS?
The same reason as any travel blogger starts out initially – keeping their family up-to-date with their travels, experiences, and unforgettable moments. WhenTwoWander began as an up jumped travel diary we both contribute to. It’s a memory bank for the amazing things we’ve done and its immortalized on the internet. It’s a representation and a manifestation of our relationship and the memories we’ve made together.
Since we began, we’ve grown a little – not a lot – and maybe one day, WTW will grow to help sustain our travels. We’re putting more effort into self-promotion (can you tell?) and concentrating on writing the best, most enjoyable stories from the road we’ve been ambling down for 6 months now. Who knows where WTW will be in 6 months from now? All we know, our lives are very exciting right now, and we’re extremely grateful for the opportunities we have.
2. GIVE US YOUR MOST UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE FROM YOUR TRAVELS
Sam: Mine is easy. I will never forget watching the sun descend slowly and visibly in the skies above the small Filipino island, Siquijor. There is little more enticing, enchanting, and encapsulating than a magnificent sunset. Couple that with warm, clear, calm ocean; a vast, open sky; gorgeously warm weather; and a girl next to me; and you’ve got the perfect example of contentness in one bottled moment. It was a truly unforgettable experience. We’ve beamed this photo around the world a million times now, but it was just such an incredible and visceral feeling.
Katherine: Mine comes from the most random and spontaneous day ever. In Koh Rong, an island off the coast of Sihanoukville, Cambodia, we met another group of British travellers: a brother and sister, and another couple from up north. Koh Rong is pretty remote anyway, but on the opposite side to where the resorts are there is an uninhabited paradise called Long Beach. We were all in to go an explore it, but first we had to trek through an hour of Cambodian jungle. Unguided. I’ll leave it there for now, but keep watching and we’ll tell you all about it.
3. TOP 5 COUNTRIES YOU WANT TO VISIT NEXT
Firstly, this is one of those times where it’s actually difficult to come up with a Top 5 list, because there are so many incredible places on this earth. Secondly, we still have over half of our trip to go in which we will travel to several Latin American countries so we won’t include those.
Japan is high on the list because of its wonderfully diverse culture and history, its food and its landscape, and its natural appeal. Myanmar has only recently entered our radar because of some blogs and blogs we’ve seen from some of our nominees below. Its relatively new to the tourism scene with the government only recently relaxing its immigration laws. No tourism industry means no Thai-like culture corruption. Its a veritable haven for culture travel and we want a piece of the pie.
Sam’s never been to Italy and, frankly, what is there to not want to go to Italy for? The food, the landscape and scenery, nature, music, culture, history, architecture… need I go on? We both want to go to India and it was initially our starting point until we realized we didn’t have enough time to see a country with so much to offer. Belize is up there too for its tropical lushness, its snorkeling and scuba diving, glorious beaches, and wonderful weather. I guess this one is more of a cheat holiday destination but nevertheless, its on the list.
Notable others include: Turkmenistan (for The Gates of Hell), Jordan (for Petra), Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico, Argentina, Croatia, New Zealand, Fiji, Egypt (for Giza), Iran, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa. It may, in fact, be easier to list countries we have no intention of visiting.
4. WHAT HAS BEEN THE TOUGHEST THING ABOUT CONSTANT TRAVEL?
In the grand scheme of things, there’s nothing tough about what we do. Its a fantastic experience and we’re lucky to have the opportunity to do it. Arriving in a great new place with the knowledge that you’ll be leaving again in a few days is tough. As is leaving people you’ve met, and the high energy levels needed to move around as such a fast pace in such high humidity. But it’s par for the course when you’re backpacking so many countries in such a short space of time.
5. WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOURSELVES AS NEW TRAVELLERS IF YOU WERE JUST SETTING OFF?
Focus on the little details. The senses. The colours and the smells. The sounds and how a place feels. Reflect on cultural experience, learn as much as you can, and research beforehand. We did as much as we thought we could at the time and still, it wasn’t really enough to truly appreciate a place of historical and cultural significance. It’s also important to travel slowly. We’re both of the opinion that we moved around Southeast Asia too quickly, and in a way we’re rueing not visiting some locations.
Ultimately, remind mindful and make as many memories as you can. Throw yourself in to everything and ‘do it while you’re young’ as we’ve heard hundreds of times.
6. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CUISINE FROM THE PLACES YOU’VE VISITED?
The best food we came across was undeniably Vietnamese. Although the coffee was completely foul and I hated it (Katherine doesn’t drink it anyway), the actual food was b-e-a-utiful. Cripsy spring rolls with sweet, spicy chili sauce. Beef dishes, chicken dishes, pork dishes, noodles… yum, salivating just think about it.
7. WHAT’S IT REALLY LIKE TRAVELLING AS A COUPLE?
Its grand. The happy photos we are blessed to post on Instagram and Facebook are not manipulated or falsified at all. Sure, there are moments when you need some space from each other, and there are the regular disagreements about food. When we look back though, we always feel honoured to be able to share this experience with someone we love. In fact, we can’t imagine doing something like this solo.
Solo travellers always have a lot of fun and are usually very happy, confident, and smily people. But the one thing they all have seem to have in common is periods of loneliness, perhaps not even wanting to socialize. It’s exhausting enough for us meeting amazing, interesting people just for them to move on after three days, but at least we always have a constant: each other. We have cherished every second of this journey and long may it continue.
Our justified nominees:
As we’re in the travel industry, and reading blogs is a lot of what we do, our nominations are all travel writers in some form. Here they are:
Always A Friday – Another traveling couple in their 20s from the UK, Rebecca and Nathan post interesting and eminently readable articles on the places they have been. Now temporarily based in Japan, they also produce excellent, and good-humoured videos to YouTube in a vlog-style.
Rooting Robert – Another young traveller, Robert, moves around the world in a mindful, earth-conscious way. He’s involved in many rewarding and helpful projects and we enjoy finding out about what he gets up to.
Teach A Man To Think – Moldovan couple, Sasha and Boris, set off on a long-term trip after leaving their jobs (twice). Their website is full of conscientious, on-the-road, musings and adventures from their trip.
The Travelling Tom – A veritable expert on the life of a backpacker in Australia and New Zealand, Tom has a variety of interesting takes on the world. He;s now planning to travels to Canada and back to Europe.
Cheskie’s Gap Life – Cheskie left her mundane job in the UK for a gap year in the beautiful land of Australia. 6 years later, after meeting a kiwi dive instructor, she’s still on her gap and has made it her life. Witty articles, funny photos, and unbelievable stories are included.
Sometimes Home – Mikkel is already a pro photographer, but her blog is the showcase of her writing style. It’s beautifully laid out and has a variety of resources at your disposal.
The Soul of Seoul – Hallie has called Seoul, South Korea her home since 2006 and with her Korean husband and their daughter, they share stories of traveling to different countries across the world. A part-time postcard seller, she will teach you all about life in South Korea – a country on the rise in the travel world.
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