The Versatile Blogger Award!

Many moons ago now, the wonderful Travelators kindly nominated me for a Versatile Blogger Award! I was very chuffed to be in such great company (see their other picks here) and to have a shout out from them. Their blog is a wonderful account of how to fit travel in and around a career, and they draw on a wealth of experience gained over ten years of travelling and sixty or so countries visited! Since then, I Spy Pretty Places has also very kindly passed on a second nomination (the more the merrier…!), which I am delighted to receive. I Spy Pretty Places actually also makes my list of nominations too, and you can read all about why below!

I’m therefore really excited to pass on some (much delayed) nominations of my own. The Versatile Blogger Award is really what you make of it, and I’ve tried to create a list that not only gives a wide range of perspectives and approaches to travel blogging, but that is also really representative of blogs that I genuinely love to read, or that have caught my eye. Travel blogs are ten-a-penny these days, but I know that all of the people behind the blogs below are slogging away to create great content that’s engaging, beautifully written and distinctive.

What is the Versatile Blogger Award?

The VBA is given out by bloggers to other bloggers, which sounds a bit incestuous but is a really positive way of showing some love to smaller or up-and-coming blogs. Through a bit of promotion (and yes, some backlinks!) it helps hard-working bloggers to be recognised and – who knows – maybe find a few new followers or audience members along the way. (Also, who doesn’t love receiving or giving an award?! See, I bet you feel all warm and glowy inside already). Nominations can consider or take account of:
– The quality of the writing
– The uniqueness of the subjects covered
– The ‘level of love’ or enthusiasm for the subject covered
– The photography on display

There are also a few simple rules:
– You should acknowledge the blogger who nominated you and share a link to their blog
– Display the VBA badge on your blog
– Share seven facts about yourself
– Nominate up to ten other bloggers for the award

7 Facts About The Travel Realist

In keeping with the above rules, therefore, here are seven mildly intriguing facts (!) that may or may not blow your mind:

  1. My first ‘major’ travelling experience was a working holiday in sunny Oz. And I only saw one incy wincy spider the whole time I was there.
  2. My favourite meal when travelling is usually breakfast. What other meal gives you the option to have either sweet or savoury as the main course? And don’t even get me started on how much I love brunch…
  3. I’ll always opt for somewhere hot and sunny over a cold or snowy holiday. (I’m based in the UK. It’s cold and wet most of the year here, alright? I need my Vitamin D!)
  4. I tend to go east rather than west when travelling – I love South East Asia, and all the different foods, cultures and religions.
  5. My trips tend to have a fairly regimented itinerary planned in advance – somewhere on a scale between FOMO and OCD.
  6. The main things I tend to miss when travelling are (in no particular order): good cups of tea; my cat; the British art of queuing.
  7. Number 1. on my travel bucketlist is Tibet – but a fairly irrational fear of altitude sickness is forever stopping me in my tracks. If you’ve been (and survived) please let me know how it was!

And the award goes to…versatile-award-black

The Secret Traveller

Sina, the German travel-pro behind The Secret Traveller shares her worldly knowldge built up over many years of globe-trotting. After making pit-stops in parts of Ireland, London and her home country of Germany, her more recent adventures have taken her to South America for five months, from which she is sharing vibrant trip reports, reviews and photographs. Her blog is also an excellent resource for information about Europe, with a whole host of country and city guides.

Wayfaring Sarah

Wayfaring Sarah blogs from a really interesting – and important – perspective: that of a traveller with a chronic illness. Don’t get me wrong, this blog is also packed with useful advice, funny anecdotes and cool trip ideas, but it’s refreshing to find a writer who isn’t afraid to tackle some weighty issues head on. Physical, spiritual and mental topics are discussed alongside travel tips – in particular, Sarah has some excellent advice for what to do (and what not to do!) with a long airport layover…!

Sit Still Write Pretty

I can’t really stress enough how much I like this blog. The excellent tagline ‘Books, booze and a boarding pass’ spoke to me straight away, and I am a little bit in love with the author’s straight-up writing style. (Who else admits to planning their next trip purely based on anticipated tequila consumption at said location? Like I said: LOVE). The content is always searingly frank, hilarious and utterly distinctive, and if you don’t believe me just take this recent account of celeb spotting and a game of ‘California Bingo’ as evidence. I rest my case!

The Modern Adventurist

The Modern Adventurist takes travel blogging to the next level, offering not just an array of travel tips, but a whole approach to finding the adventure in every trip. The beautifully minimalist website offers practical insights (like how not to find yourself in Reykjavik at 5am with nowhere to go) as well as ways of making life a bit more adventurous in between those big trips abroad. Oh, and the photography is also stunning. Be adventurous, and take a look!

I Spy Pretty Places

Providing the view of a teacher – and expat – living and working abroad, I Spy Pretty Places is a way for me to vicariously experience the path that I could have taken, if I’d have got my arse into gear and properly completed that teaching qualification. (Oh, and it’s also a super travel blog packed with great content!). I particularly like the posts on Asia: the Gili islands piece initiated some furious travel planning and flight searching on my part, whilst the post about Singapore’s love of the humble ‘fine’ was a fascinating read. The section on ‘expat life’ is also full of useful, first-hand accounts and information for anyone thinking of living and working abroad.

The TRVL Blog

I first came across The TRVL Blog when I spotted the author enthusing about Watson’s Bay in Sydney. Without wanting to be overly dramatic, this is probably One Of My Favourite Places In The World, and I had to investigate further (and reminisce, and look at photos…). Predominantly covering Australian cities and parts of South East Asia (again, my two favourite regions) Nathan at The TRVL Blog provides both helpful hints for low-cost travellers (cheap eats in Melbourne; how to save money abroad) and advice about the Australian working holiday visa. And seriously, check out that post about food in Melbourne – the photos alone are worth the effort.

Lifting Anchors

Over at Lifting Anchors, you’ll find an eclectic mix of travel tips, anecdotes, musings and memories – along with the odd travel-related movie review! Based in North America, Angela not only blogs about her home country of Canada (the photos on the Best National Parks post will have you digging out your hiking boots) but a whole range of other travel topics. Some are timeless (see The Art of Road Tripping) whilst others are very timely indeed – from the plus-points of Pokemon Go, to boycotting Trump’s America. And if you won’t be packing your suitcase for a trip anytime soon, check out the Wanderlust Movie Monday posts: perfect for sofa-based inspiration.

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