Thanks to our Readers for the LIEBSTER BLOG AWARD!

After happily receiving a couple of nominations for this Liebster Blog Award, it was time to do some research. It seems that Liebster is a German word that can be translated to mean favourite.  It is also apparent from the millions of Google hits it gets, this popular blog award has been around for a few years now.  As such, it has morphed a number of times and many different rules have emerged.  From what we’ve gathered, this for fun pass-it-on award is simply a way to showcase up and coming blogs. We certainly appreciate the nod of being awarded the Liebster and so today, we pay it forward.  That’s the easy decision.  Deciding which of the many versions of the rules to follow was a bit more challenging.

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According to our research, the rules we’ve found are:

1. Thank the nominators and link to their blogs:

OK that’s easy:

We would like to thank our first nominator, Ellen from and we highly recommend a visit to her blog.

We also are appreciative of the nod we received from Nina at and again, we wholeheartedly encourage a visit.

2. Link to new blogs that we’ve enjoyed reading:

This one is a bit trickier.  It seems the evolution of this rule has it specifying that the number of new blogs to be nominated range anywhere from 3 to 11.  And to further complicate it, these new blogs are to be up and coming which has been defined as having anywhere from less than 200-3000 followers depending on the source.  So which rule do we follow?  And how do we confirm their number of followers since not everyone lists their stats?

3. Copy and paste the Liebster Award logo:

Done. The logo at the top is the one that our nominators used but there seems to be many options here too:


4. Write random facts about yourself:

Again, in the award’s evolution this rule isn’t always part of the deal, but when it is, it seems to match the number of random facts to the number of required new blogs.  So, our first nominator above followed the rules of 11 new blogs and 11 random facts.  That’s a lot!  So here again, we’re faced with some decisions to make….

5. Write a comment on the blogs you nominate to inform them that you have nominated them for the Liebster Blog Award:

Ok, that is a given.  There’s no point in nominating someone if you don’t also inform them so they too can pass the award on.

6.  Answer the questions posed by the nominator and posed the same number of questions to the bloggers nominated:

Our “11 new blogs/11 random facts” nominator has posted 11 questions (and tough ones at that) while our other nominator has put no such pressure on us.  Whatever shall we do?

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OK, so it is decision time.  After some deliberation, we have decided to do a combination of the above rules.  We will nominate 11 newish blogs we have found in recent weeks that we think deserve this nod without worrying about how many followers they might have.  We will answer the 11 questions posed by our first nominator but pass on only five questions to those we nominate and we will write 11 random facts about ourselves because that’s kinda fun.  And we will leave it up to our nominees to decide how many new blogs, random facts and questions they will pass on.  We hope the originator of this virtual chain letter award, whomever that might be, and our nominators/nominees will be satisfied with our decisions….


[drum roll, please…]












We encourage all our readers to check these winners out!  There are plenty of other worthy blogs out there so please pass on this award!

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(We’ve shortened the list to five – you can thank us later)

1. What is one of the top things on your bucket list? (Read about our bucket list here)

2. Why did you start blogging and what is your favourite thing about it?

3. How would you spend your time, if you didn’t need to worry about making money?

4. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten lately and who was it from?

5. If you could learn something new, what would it be and why?

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Christmas Eve Dinner

1. We are both Canadian and grew up within approximately 2-3 hours’ drive of each other, yet we met in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
2. Al has a passion for beer, seeking out new beers everywhere we go, and Carol doesn’t mind tagging along because she likes beer too.

3. Al also loves ice cream and will want to stop for an ice cream cone on even the coldest Canadian winter day. Carol doesn’t get it.

4. Carol is addicted to travel and, even when no trips are on the horizon, she will be found researching travel destinations. Al doesn’t get it.
1-From old computer 70015. We had a black cat named Jaffa even though “Jaffa” is a type of orange.

6. One secret to our 18 years of harmonious marriage is retreating to our separate corners until after our first coffee in the morning.

7. Al loves to cook and manages to dirty almost every dish we own in the process.  Carol hates doing dishes but loves his cooking.

8. It’s easy to tell when Al is in a good mood because he makes up silly songs and sings them without consciously realizing he’s doing it.

9. Carol finds it charming that most Al’s silly songs are about how much he loves her ♥.

10. Carol is notoriously late for everything.  Al has tried everything from secretly resetting the clocks to lying to her about the expected arrival time.  It never works….

11. We are about to embark on the adventure of our lives and we’re scared shitless but there’s no turning back now.

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1. Who’d be your 6 guests for your ultimate dinner party?

After batting around numerous names we finally narrowed it down to the following list.  Assuming these dinner guests can be living or dead, we would invite Bob Marley (for his music and philosophy), Ellen DeGeneres (for laughs), Stephen Lewis (for his political activism on AIDS in Africa), Che Guevara (during his Motorcycle Diaries years, for being a visionary),  Bono (because we’ve been fans forever) and Lek Chailert (for championing the cause for saving Asian elephants).

2. Who would the entertainment be at the party?

Bob Marley, Bono and Bruce Coburn because we’re huge fans and wouldn’t that be a wild jam session?   Ellen would be dancing.

3. What’s your motto/mantra?

Favourite quote: “You have exactly one life in which to do everything you’ll ever do.  Act accordingly.” ~ Colin Wright

4. What’s your most awe-some (as opposed to awesome!) travel moment?

This was a tough one, because we have had many awe-inspiring moments, but we would have to say it was our day with Asian elephants at Elephant Nature Park.  Interacting with these gentle giants was a highlight from our recent trip to Southeast Asia and you can read more about it here:

5. How would you describe your home town to a like-minded traveller?

Toronto is as multicultural as a city can get and one of our favourite things about our city is the opportunity for people who hail originally from various corners of the world to meet, become friends and learn that no matter what our cultural backgrounds, languages spoken at home or religious affiliations, we are more similar than different.

6. How do you feel about your own blog?  What’s the elevator pitch? Work or play?

Play.  We wouldn’t keep our blog up if we didn’t enjoy it.  Currently it doesn’t make us any money and we’re not in a rush to bridge that gap so we don’t have a elevator pitch yet. Once we’ve started our indefinite travel adventure and the money is dwindling, we will likely change our tune but the one thing we know for sure is that blogging needs to stay fun and genuine for us to be happy about it.

7. What would your ideal career/profession/job be?

We often dream about what we would do if we had more than one lifetime to live (reincarnation believers would say we do and hopefully each life is better than the last) and that dreaming generates a list of professions we would love to dabble in from anthropology to zoology.  Currently, the most important aspect of any profession we engage in is that we’re self-employed (tired of living by someone else’s rules), it will allow us to continue to travel (we don’t want to be tied down), it serves to make the world a better place (the “helping field” is in our blood), and work demands can be balanced with enjoying life’s pleasures (we will no longer glorify being busy).

April 2013 - Bathroom Renovations

April 2013 – Bathroom Renovations

8. What does a typical day look like for you?

House renos, house renos, house renos!  We’re trying to get our house ready to go on the market asap so we can travel.  Between stripping wood, painting and dealing with contractors, we don’t have much time left in the day for anything fun right now (unless one considers sorting through and selling all our belongings to be fun – if so, send us an email, we might have a job for you).

Ao Nang, Thailand 2012

9. What would an ideal day look like for you?

Exploring somewhere new, preferably warm and sunny with the ocean and good snorkelling nearby, and having absolutely no schedule to keep and certainly no more house renos!

10. Do you play any musical instruments?

Nope.  Neither of us play an instrument even though we have some very musically inclined people in our families.  Al has expressed interest in learning guitar and Carol has been told her long fingers would suit piano playing but that’s as far as it goes.  Maybe a pursuit for down the road….

11. Body, mind or spirit?

All three.  All three need to be nurtured, challenged and well-fed and one of the reasons we love travel is that it satisfies all three at the same time.

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We hope our winning bloggers enjoy the attention this award brings and choose to take the time to answer our questions and pass the Liebster Award on!  Let us know when you’ve posted your answers.  Happy Blogging!

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As always, thanks to everyone for reading, we always appreciate your comments and feel free to share this blog.