A gigantic thank you to Jess from I’ve Bean Travelling for her Outstanding Blogger Award nomination.  She and I (and probably you) are suffering from the pandemic disease.  Oh, sorry, no.  Not COVID.  The other pandemic disease: Chronic Stage 3 Noninflammatory Type 2 Travel Withdrawal Syndrome, commonly referred to as CS3NiT2TWS.  Symptoms vary from person to person; I for one am suffering from intrusive travel thoughts, obsessive travel-related web searching, and compulsive interruptive travel talk.  These are among the more common symptoms, but that doesn’t make them any less agonizing.  Fortunately, this award provides a temporary remedy: the chance to at least talk about travel to a receptive audience.  It’s only palliative, but since pharmaceutical treatment is still in the experimental phases, I have to take what I can get.

Award Rules:

  • Provide a link to the creator’s original award post.

  • Answer the questions provided.

  • Create 7 unique questions.

  • Nominate up to 10 bloggers and ensure that they are aware of their nominations.

What hobbies have you picked up while travel is on hold?

I know the pandemic has been a source of unparalleled free time, creativity, and new hobbies for many, but that hasn’t been the case for me.  When coronavirus started to really become a thing in the US, this technophobe was busy trying to transition to online teaching while simultaneously taking the first class for my copyediting certificate.  Later, in summertime, I eschewed my usual crafting activities, knowing the holiday craft shows would be cancelled due to COVID.  Besides, we spent most of July on our Colorado-Utah road trip, and most of August in a haze of grief over the unexpected loss of our beloved bun. Fall was a shitstorm of multiple teaching models: distance, then hybrid, then distance again (we’re back in person now), all while taking my second (and more demanding) copyediting course.  Autumn also saw us adopting and adjusting to a new bun, who was quite a handful until we could finally get her spayed, and further, we spent the last four months adding two rooms to our house, which, though we did none of the work ourselves*, kept me miserably busy and stressed.  In retrospect, the last year has been one of the busiest and most stressful of my adult life.  So no, no new hobbies, I’m afraid.

*with the exception of one switch plate cover, which I installed with masterful skill and precision

What is your favourite travel-related film or television series?

My favorite TV series is Northern Exposure.  I own every episode and watch them periodically.  Though set in the fictional town of Cicely, Alaska, the show’s exterior scenes were shot in Roslyn, Washington, a town I visited not long after the series ended, and where I picked up my beloved NX mug.  But since I don’t really consider Northern Exposure travel-related and was just using the question as an excuse to talk about my favorite show, I’ll answer for real next.

The best movies of all time are a series of three, and they really can scratch a travel itch:  Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight, set in Vienna, Paris, and Greece, respectively.  You wouldn’t think films that basically show two people walking around and talking—largely shot in real time—could be so captivating, but they absolutely are.  The viewer, while transfixed by the electric onscreen chemistry of Céline and Jesse (one of the two best duos in cinematic history, the other being Joel and Maggie from NX, of course), is also treated to endless shots of three beautiful European destinations.

What is the best/worst accommodation you have stayed in during your travels?

Best is tricky.  We once got upgraded to The Four Seasons, which occupies the top four floors of Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and is frequented by the rich and famous.  At that time it was probably the fanciest hotel we’d ever stayed in and was our first experience with “turn down service.”  Then there’s the splendid Mokara Hotel and Spa, which I wrote a post about after our return from San Antonio.  But if forced to choose, I’d have to say the Atrium Suite we get every time we go to Couples Swept Away in Jamaica.  It just exudes a relaxed, tropical vibe and thus, leads the pack. (I decided to go the fancy schmancy route with this question, which unfortunately disqualifies copious beautiful, unique, historic, charming, and character-filled accommodations we’ve enjoyed across Europe.  Oh!  And the places we stayed in both Laos and Cambodia were fantastic . . . aarghhh!  Don’t make me choose!! )

Worst is easy: our adjacent-to-sewage RV site in Fairplay, Colorado.  I wrote a post about it here.  How could I not?

What is the strangest food you’ve eaten while travelling?

I wish I had a great story about strange food, but those belong to the husband, a much more adventurous eater than I am.  Though I do have food goals when I travel, they don’t include eating things that are slippery, slimy, slithery, or six-legged.  On our honeymoon in Belize I did eat conch for the first time . . . it was like gnawing on a bicycle tire.  That’s the best I can come up with.

Plane, train, or automobile: which is your preferred mode of transportation while abroad?

I’m going to focus on Europe here, as that’s where I’ve traveled the most outside the US.  Cars are so dang convenient for going wherever you like whenever you want, but trains are just so easy and much less stressful than driving—buy your ticket, show up, board, sit.  And within that last action there are several relaxing options: read, do crosswords, put your feet in your husband’s lap and hope he starts massaging, sleep . . .  You can’t do those things behind the wheel.  Trains it is!

Travel is cancelled, forever. You have the chance to go on one final, single country trip for two weeks before you sink into lockdown depression — where will you go?

Japan.  And then, at the end, I will “accidentally” miss my flight so I can stay longer because two weeks just ain’t gonna cut it.

Show us the last travel photo in your album and tell us where it was taken.

Though the pandemic forced us to cancel our Spain-Andorra-France trip last summer, we were lucky enough to take a three-week road trip to Colorado and Utah instead.  Our final destination was Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park.  Here’s a photo that didn’t make it onto the post of that segment. It’s not my best work, but it has mountains, so that’s something:

View from Estes Park, Colorado

My nominees:

I’m taking a new-to-me approach to nominations, meaning I’m nominating bloggers I’ve discovered only recently.  All are travel-focused and offer fun and/or interesting reads.  Give their blogs a look—you might notice a momentary easing of your CS3NiT2TWS symptoms.

As is always the case with these blogging awards, if you have neither the time nor the inclination to participate, no worries.  Just ignore and carry on with your life!

My questions:

  1. Everything bad has a silver lining.  Can you think of anything good—both related to travel and for you personally—that has come out of the pandemic?
  2. You are being given three weeks off to take over the course of one summer. You can only travel within your country of residence. Do you take three separate one-week vacations, or one three-week vacation?
  3. If suddenly and magically your job became something you could do wholly online, would you sell up, become a digital nomad, and travel the world 24/7/365?  Why or why not?
  4. Do you have any of those bucket list goals that fall along these lines: all 50 states, all 7 continents, every national park, every country on a given continent, etc.?
  5. Aside from blogging and as much travel as you can manage, what is something about you or your lifestyle that sets you apart from your friends, family, and colleagues?
  6. Have you ever hosted an exchange student?  Tell about it.  If not, would you like to?  From where?
  7. When booking travel accommodations, are there any must-have amenities or special features you seek out?

Thanks again, Jess.  It was fun answering your questions and coming up with my own.  If you discover any effective home remedies for our shared ailment, private message me!

28 thoughts

    1. Thank you! We found ourselves awake briefly at 2am, so I quizzed him: cow brains (France), rattlesnake and bison tartare (Utah), durian and balut (both brought to him by a student). He also tends to like things that aren’t technically strange and that are enjoyed by many, but that have a reputation for getting an “ewwww” response from many: blood pudding, haggis, jellied eel, etc.
      I know there is an insect cafe in Siem Reap, but they kept us so busy (and full) that we didn’t have time to seek it out. Well done on the tarantula. I possibly would have taken a bite, but not sure I could get myself to eat a whole one… unless it were covered in chocolate or something. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Now wait a minute… there’s another BEAN out there? I am pleased to know this. Also you went on vacation last summer so how can you be suffering from CS3NiT2TWS? Hmmm…? I haven’t been anywhere in over 2 years, a definite first for me. Still, I enjoyed reading your answers. A fun post.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes! You should check her out. You BEANs gotta stick together!

      I think the fact that I got to travel and still came down with a case of CS3NiT2TWS speaks to just how much I crave travel. It’s not a want, it’s a health requirement!

      Thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Glad you agree that the “Before…” film series is one of the best; they truly are one of the best travel films out there! I’ve watched them several times, and they never cease to inspire the wanderlust in me. That photo of Estes Park is stunning, especially with that rainbow; I’m surprised it didn’t make it onto your previous post! Here’s hoping we can resume travel soon, but until then, we’ll enjoy the stories we tell online. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh thanks for the tag! I’ll have to put some thought into these questions 🙂 Honeymooning in Belize sounds like a dream- we were supposed to do ours in Costa Rica this year but have had to put it off til next year. Looking forward to when we can all travel again!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love going through your archives because there’s so much quality content to go through before I ever found your site, so now it’s almost like I’m catching up with your website in its entirety.

    I always love these award posts because I get to learn so much more about the blogger behind the screen, and you know what? If I were to pick only one country, it’d have to be Japan too, but for different reasons. One, is because it’s a stationery haven, and two, because the country seems to be built for introverts like me.

    One observation I had when I was there though, was that Japan’s a nice place to visit, but maybe not so nice to work or live in. But maybe that’s just my uneducated speculation.

    Anyway, I enjoyed this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So it’s YOU who’s been going through my old posts! I love that! I seriously love it when some of my older posts get some attention. I’m honored that you’re taking the time to check out the “more mature” parts of my blog.
      We were just discussing Japan this morning. We’re hoping to get there in the next couple of years, but we’ve resigned ourselves to going in the hot, sticky summer. It’s that or else wait for retirement, and I don’t want to wait that long.

      Liked by 1 person

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