Versatile Blogger Award for Horse On The Menu

It’s a real honor to have received the Versatile Blogger Award by Lynne Nieman over at Wander Your Way. This peer nomination community is such a brilliant idea, a way for us bloggers to encourage each other and spread the word about other great work. What is blogging, after all, without each other to bounce ideas off of and learn from?

In fact, if you haven’t already, you should definitely check out Lynne’s fantastic website and blog related to all things independent travel. She even does consulting for your next travel adventure, planning all the little details you couldn’t possibly have thought of to take the stress out of your trip.


But before I return the nod with my own list of nominees, first here are a few things about me (as per the Versatile Blogger “rules”):

7 Things About Me

1 – I can cross one eye. No kidding, I taught myself how to do it at summer camp one year when I was nine. Don’t know if I had some sort of genetic predisposition for this, but it’s a fun party trick that both creeps out and fascinates people…including myself.

2 – I am an avid horseback rider. My first memory of being on a horse was when I was three, and ever since I’ve been hooked. I’ve showed Dressage horses and horse-packed through the Wyoming mountains for a month, trained Rocky Mountain horses in Kentucky (which, despite the name, is actually a KY gaited horse), and even took a ride on Hawaii’s Big Island (that’s me, below). Every time I’m back in KY, I try to ride at least once, and get in a full gallop through a farm field: one of the best things on earth. It’s some kind of unfettered freedom on a knife’s edge because you never know what will happen around our 1200 lb. equine friends.

Me riding horses on the Big Island, Hawaii (USA)
Riding horses on the Big Island, Hawaii (USA)

3 – I have a Master’s in Urban Planning, focused on pedestrian travel. No joke. You wouldn’t know it if you met me today because I haven’t worked in the field in over five years, but I spent the ages of 22 to 30 working my tail off to forge a Land Use Planning career, then promptly jumped ship when my (now) feyoncé offered a life of adventure and travel. Seriously, though — I still nerd out every time we drive through a historic neighborhood that has mixed architectural forms, often embarking on a professor-like rant about the evolution of planning theory and practice over the past hundred years…which of course drives Jason nuts. But that’s okay. Since I teach English, these days, I tell him that if he doesn’t want to hear about the impact of post-WWII housing policy on street connectivity, then I’ll be happy to correct his grammar, instead.

4 – My first foreign language was not Italian, but French. It’s true. I started learning it in middle school and even moved to France for a job after graduating. You’d think I would have ended up there, but no — I moved to a country where my language skills included (1) knowing how to order a coffee and (2) thanking the barista for it. That’s it. The first few years in Italy were doubtlessly rough, but with four years under my belt now (and halfway through my thirties), I’m finally getting comfortable enough to do things like argue with my doctor about the weather. She says it’s hot this summer, I say it’s not…the truth lies somewhere in between.

Buildings of Perugia, Italy, at sunset (June 2016)
Buildings of Perugia, Italy, at sunset (June 2016)

5 – I am a technophobe. I harbor sincere distaste for computers and anything electronic, which makes blogging a challenge since you must be good with code, photography manipulation, and social media. My brain is not made for this stuff. Don’t get me wrong, it can be a lot of fun when you finally get a post ready, but it isn’t header image size requirements or html tags that keep me coming back for more.

6 – Artichokes are my absolute favorite food. Steamed. Grilled. Pan roasted. Oven-baked. You can scrape the meat straight off the leaves with your teeth, incorporate them into a ravioli or a sauce, or scatter them on a pizza. It doesn’t matter how, as long as artichoke can be tasted, I am one happy gal (since childhood, it’s even been a ritual of mine (and my younger sister’s) to have them every birthday). Lucky for me, the artichoke would be Italy’s national vegetable if the tomato were wiped of the map.

Those are cooked-from-scratch artichokes hearts cooking on the stove (Naples, Italy)
Those are cooked-from-scratch artichokes hearts cooking on the stove (Naples, Italy)

7 – I once ate horse meat. This last one may make me look like a hypocrite (given my professed love of horseback riding), but…it happened. We were in France back in 2012 and it was one of those cultural encounters you know you won’t be able to stop thinking about until you try it. So you do. And I gotta’ say, it wasn’t traumatizing, and I’m totally okay with the fact that it happened. If you’re curious how I justify having eaten horse meat, or whether I’d eat it again, you can read my post about it. Hell — I even named my blog for it, so it must have been memorable. Is this situational irony? I’m never really sure….

And now for the nominees.

These bloggers are all working their hearts out putting great work together, so please click on the links below, share their work with your friends and family and work buds. Share with your neighbors. Share with your grandma. Share with anyone you can. And read up yourself…you won’t want to miss the talented writing and beautiful photography these folks are putting together:

1 – Six Year Gap Year

2 – Nattie On The Road

3 – Her Adventure In Style

4 – Huskies In The Hatch

5 – A Pair Of Passports

And as for any nominees who would like to pay it forward, here are the rules for the Versatile Blogger Award:

  • Thank your nominator
  • Share the award on your blog
  • State 7 things about yourself
  • Choose 5-10 new nominees who have fewer than 300 followers
  • Notify them via social media

Again, gratitude for the nom, and congrats to all the recipients, as well!

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