I was nominated for the 2018 Liebster Award!
What’s that, you might ask? It’s an award created by bloggers, for bloggers. The primary purpose is to draw attention to other blogs that you find inspiring or useful! I was nominated by Kristin In Motion, a fellow 9-5er who posts about escaping the doldrums of a desk job to see the world! She works in Western Massachusetts as an Interior Designer and loves good beer,
A Liebster Award comes with some stipulations! When another blogger nominates you,
1) What was the first trip that made you realize that travel was a passion for you?
The trip to Dahlonega, GA helped me realize that travel is my passion in life. It was only a weekend trip, but it showed me that you could adventure to new places and scratch your travel itch without quitting your day job! That quaint little town, the amazing waterfalls, and the awesome wineries motivated me to start figuring out budget travel. I didn’t (and still don’t) get a lot of vacation time, so I’ve been purely focused on maximizing what I have. Work with what you have instead of getting down about it, you know? I see myself as a beer mug half-full kind of guy, in case you couldn’t tell.
2) What is one thing you never travel without? (Besides the necessities, ie., passport, phone, etc.)
My camera(s)! If you know anything about me, you know I’m crazy about photography. I have a camera with me almost all of the time and, when I don’t, I’m generally looking at the world like I would through a lens. I think it’s a profession that goes hand-in-hand with adventure blogging. What makes a story about almost getting crushed by fallings rocks that much better? An epic shot of the waterfall they fell from to give you context!
I recently bought a Mavic Pro as well as a Fuji X-T20 as my travel-photography duo. The Mavic’s compact size and 4k quality make it the perfect adventure drone while the Fuji’s tiny body, excellent resolution, and top-notch colors let me take professional grade photos without weighing down my backpack. If you’re interested in checking either of them out, you can click their names above. Also, I’ve rated all of my photography gear for travel! If you’re trying to decide what camera is best for your needs, you can read more here.
3) Do you have a crazy “You’d have to see it to believe it!” story from your travels?
You didn’t think I’d mention almost getting crushed at a waterfall and not talk about it, did you? I’ll set the stage: Michele and I are hiking the Hanikapiai Trails in Kauai last August. It took a few hours to hike the 4 miles to the falls, but the view was absolutely worth the trek.
After swimming under the Hanakapiai Falls (and potentially getting low-grade hypothermia), I took a few shots of Michele standing in the shallows. She was only about fifteen into the water and a pretty decent distance from the fall itself. After a few shots, we switched places and she took a few snaps of me standing in the same spot. We waded back to shore and were preparing for the four-mile hike back when what sounds like a CANNON goes off. We turn around, and a guy who was swimming next to me earlier shouted, “You almost f***ing DIED!” Apparently, a huge rock dislodged from the top of the falls, fell almost 300 feet, bounced off one of the ledges and smashed into the shallows right where I’m standing in this shot not three minutes beforehand. Needless to say, we packed up and got the hell out of there.
4) What’s your advice for someone who’s debating whether to book a trip or not?
Do it. It’s as simple as that. I’ve regretted buying electronics before, I’ve occasionally been bummed with my food purchases, but I’ve never been let down when I’ve invested in travel. Without devolving into the typical, travel-based platitudes, traveling is the best road to personal fulfillment and growth. It opens you up to new experiences, allows you to meet new people, and experience new cultures. For instance, I never would have realized my hatred for static electricity if I hadn’t camped in Utah! All jokes aside, book the trip. You’ll thank yourself later.
5) How did you decide to start a blog? And how long have you been blogging?
Like I mentioned before, on my Dahlonega trip I decided to start blogging about my travels. I didn’t initially look at it as a business, it was more of a travel journal I could use to tell stories and share photos from my excursions. As time went on and I became more involved in the travel blogging community, it motivated me to change the way I looked at my efforts. Andrew Uncharted should be a brand and it should provide a real value for my readers. That’s why I started breaking down my content a little differently. Its purpose morphed into helping you travel cheap, far, and wide without quitting your day job. Vacation days are few and far between so my goal is to help you maximize your travels and take epic photos along the way! It evolved further into featuring other bloggers, interviewing explorers I find fascinating, and even offering a monthly book suggestion! I’ve been running Andrew Uncharted for less than a year, but I’m incredibly proud of what it is now as well as what it will one day become.
6) What is your favorite thing to do when traveling? (Hiking/adventures, food, alcohol, sightseeing, museums, etc?)
Everything outdoors! I’m all for tasting new cuisines, sampling every IPA at a brewery (or in a tent), and visiting museums. However, what really gets me excited is the chance to experience something breathtaking. There was a term I learned (and subsequently forgot) in my Art History class. It’s defined as, “The mixed feeling of both awe and terror when viewing nature.” That’s what I’m in constantly in search of. Whether it be standing at the highest point of Angels Landing in Zion National Park or winding through the Navajo Sandstone of Antelope Canyon, I’m in it for the wonder.
7) Where to next?!
We’re going to Portland! Michele just finished up our itinerary and we’re heading there in mid-March! (For those of you who don’t know, Michele is an incredible planner and is responsible for figuring out where to go for most of our trips together. I couldn’t run this blog without her). There’s going to be some epic hikes, frosty beers, and great food all around. Keep an eye out for a future blog post and check out the Pinterest board we used for inspiration!
Answering these questions was a lot of fun! I loved reliving my previous trips while contemplating how far (or not that far) I’ve come. I’m tickled pink that I was nominated for such a community-driven award. Now comes the fun part!
- What’s the first trip you think of when someone asks about your adventures? Why?
- What’s the most dangerous thing that’s happened to you on your travels?
- If you had to live off of one food for a whole trip, what would you fill your backpack with?
- What’s one pro-tip you’ve learned through your adventures?
- If you could take anyone, living or dead, on a trip with you, who would it be and where would you go?
- What fear have you overcome throughout your travels and how did it help you improve as a person?