The Versatile Blogger Award (and a Giveaway!!!)

The Versatile Blogger Award (and a Giveaway!!!)

This article may contain references to some of our advertising partners. Should you click on these links, we may be compensated. For more about our advertising policies, read our full disclosure statement here.

The Versatile Blogger Award

Huzzah! We’ve just received an award, and it is a doozy! We have been nominated for/received the very prestigious “Versatile Blogger Award“…and I’m totes stoked.

I love me some awards. I love them so much that when I get one, I just want to celebrate. And what is a celebration without friends? So, I’m going to let all of you in on the action with a pretty swank giveaway as well. But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, we’ve got to fulfill our Versatile Blogger Award duties. So without further ado, away we go.

What the fudge is a Versatile Blogger Award?

I’m glad you asked! Until we were nominated, I had no idea what it was either. Essentially, the Versatile Blogger Award is a fun little chain letter that gets passed from blogger to blogger like a doob at a Phish concert. It’s a fun little treat meant as a way for bloggers to support one another, and when its is there, you hit it up and pass it along. My new friend Mandie, who blogs about her solo travels over at Rambling Mandie, nominated us for the award – which we obviously accept. I feel like Mandie and I are somewhat of travel blogging kindred spirits. Neither of us began traveling extensively in our early 20’s, we both like the phrase “awesome sauce,” and we’ve each worked in the corporate world. Plus, we are both in our 30’s – which seems to be pretty rare in the travel blogosphere. She also wrote two of my favorite travel pieces entitled “How Travel Gets Better in Your 30’s” and “40 Lessons Learned From Long-Term Travel.” You should all check them out…after signing up for the giveaway! So, Mandie, thank you for the nomination. I hope to do you proud!

7 things you don’t know about me

Part of this whole “winning” thing is to let ya’ll know 7 things about me. So, here goes…

1) I see dead people.

Yep. I see them pretty much every day. My day job happens to be working as a mortician. And, to answer your question…yes, I do all of it. I meet with families, I plan funerals, and I even embalm and cremate deceased people. After losing my brother in a car accident, I decided to go back to school and help others who were experiencing grief. I’ve been fortunate enough to really enjoy what I do, and I’ve been helping the bereaved full-time for 10 years.

2) I hold 2 bachelor’s degrees.

You may have caught that being a mortician isn’t my first career. I actually earned my first bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts Performance and Directing. My brother’s accident happened just a few weeks after I graduated with my first degree. A few months later, I moved to Chicago and kicked around the theatre scene there for a few years. After acting in several plays there, I felt something pulling me back toward going to mortuary school. So, I decided to follow that path instead and I haven’t looked back

3) My first international trip was…

My first international trip was to Thunder Bay, Ontario…for Spring Break. Yep. You read that right. I went to Thunder Bay…for Spring Break people. My college buddies and I were under the legal drinking age here in the U.S., so we decided to make the 10-hour trip to Thunder Bay on a whim. We had no plans, no hotel, and just a little bit of pocket change. The trip was a complete blast and something that I will never forget.

4) I’m a “Survivor” addict.

Yeah, I pretty much love the show Survivor. I have watched every episode of all 28 seasons except for maybe 2 or 3. Seriously, I dig the show. I’d go on it in a heartbeat if I could. I’ve even sent a silly audition tape to them – twice. Alas, no call backs yet. Unfortunately, the closest I’ve gotten to this type of adventure was when I went hunting for a hidden treasure in New Mexico – which happened to be amazing, BTW. I’m also a giant “Game of Thrones” junkie (When the hell is G.R.R.M. going to finish the next book?!?) and I think “Breaking Bad” was probably the best all-around TV series I’ve ever watched.

5) My dream is to be location independent.

I love my job. I love the town where I live. And, I obviously love travel. My ultimate dream, though, would have to be becoming location independent. Having the freedom to roam anywhere at any time would be amazing! Luckily, we’ve already been able to accomplish this for my wife. However, we do have two little ones, so we’ll always need to have a home base – which I find comforting in itself. But hey, a fella can always dream, right?

6) Travel Blue Book is not my only blog.

A few years ago, I decided to try building a website about the funeral industry. After spending hours and hours putting the thing together, it finally went live…and went absolutely nowhere. However, it did provide me with a lot of the technical knowledge to create my second blog with my wife, a personal finance and lifestyle blog called Club Thrifty. Although I’ve pretty much bowed out of Club Thrifty, Holly has continued to run the blog with great success. She was even able to quit her day job and parlay that gig into a full-time job as a freelancer – writing for places such as U.S. News & World Report, Get Rich Slowly, Frugal Travel Guy and several others. I’m very proud of her not only because of her success, but I’m constantly impressed by how she works so hard to help provide for our family. I love that girl 🙂

7) Holly and I met online.

Back before online dating was acceptable and I was still using Netscape as a browser, I met Holly in an online chat room. We hit it off, exchanged emails and phone numbers, and became pen pals for 5 years. Over that time, we really got to know each other. Eventually, we decided to meet – and it was love at first sight. I’m so thankful that we met that fateful night. She is the greatest wife and mother to our children that I could ever ask for. Better yet, she is my best friend, my travel buddy, and the only person I’d ever want to spend my life with. And, now that it has been 10 years, I think it is going to work!



So, now that you know entirely too much about me, it is time for me to nominate a few people who rock my socks off. Here goes:

Ashley from Ashley Abroad

Alex from Alex in Wanderland

Dave and Carmen from Double Barreled Travel

Pam from A Blonde Around the World

Emily from Let’s Roam Wild

Jean from Holy Smithereens

Renuka from Voyager for Life

and our staff writers…

Lauren from The Write Budget

Mel from Broke Girl Rich

Anne from Unique Gifter

and Kemmy from Next Bite of Life

It’s time for you peeps to tell us all more about yourselves 😉