Liebster Award 2018

So, What Exactly Is The Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award has been around since 2011 and it’s basically a way for bloggers to recognize other bloggers! It sort of takes the form of a chain email (I know, I know, chain emails are THE WORST but hear me out) but this works instead with blog posts, which is a super cool way to find new and awesome blogs you may never have found otherwise.  It works like this: if you are nominated (and want to participate), all you have to do is create a blog post answering the 11 unique questions given to you by the blogger that nominated you, come up with 11 new questions of your own, and pass them along to any bloggers you nominate for the award, and so on and so forth… The winner is chosen based on the creativity of their questions, responses, and overall blog post! The full rules are listed here on the official Liebster Award Rules page.

Before we dive in, we want to give a HUGE thanks to Djamila and Tommy from TogetherTheyTravel for nominating us! They are a beautiful couple living in the Netherlands who have a wonderful blog and a stunning Instagram account. Check out their blog and give them a follow on Instagram!

Djamila & Tommy from TogetherTheyTravel

Why We Blog

The main point of our blog is to document our favorite experiences from our year-long trip around the world, which we call our “pretirement”, and hopefully inspire others to do something similar.

What exactly is a pretirement and why do we feel so passionately about sharing the idea with others?

Basically a pretirement is a retirement with a planned end date. It’s different from taking a gap year or becoming a digital nomad, which seem to encompass the majority of people who choose to travel long-term or live abroad. A pretirement occupies its own space in the realm of extended travel, because it’s neither a way to fill in time between two fixed points in life nor a way to figure out how to live abroad while working. A pretirement is a break from work, a break from the normal routines of your current life, and can be taken at ANY time (as long as you’ve planned and saved accordingly), not just when it conveniently fits between point A and point B. If you are waiting for a convenient time to uproot your whole life and set off on a one way ticket to a foreign country with only a backpack full of belongings, you’ll probably be waiting forever. Ultimately the hardest part of actually making it a reality is taking the plunge and just GOING!

We could go on and on about the benefits of a pretirement, but here are the two main points:

DON’T WAIT to travel or do the things you want to do! Most things you want to do in life, whether it be travel or anything else, are EASIER to do when you are younger, more physically able and fit, and more adaptable. Maybe it’s not impossible to do all the things you want to do when you are old and gray, but it definitely won’t be easier (except MAYBE monetarily if you have done an excellent job saving up your whole life). Also – why deprive yourself of things you really want to do until you are ancient? What if you never make it to retirement? What if by starting to do that thing you always wanted to do you find a new passion and are able to reshape your life for the next 40-50 years in a positive way that will lead to a more fulfilling life? Why wait until you’re 60 or 70 or even 80 to find that passion, that now you only get to spend the last 5-10 years of your life pursuing? Especially after 60-80 years of doing something that didn’t excite you like this new passion does!

We should practice being retired before signing up for full-time retirement. What else in life do we just throw ourselves into with no preparation? Sure, some people save money for retirement (although not nearly enough in most cases) but there is no practice or mental preparation. Everything is just sort of, “Oh, I’ll have so much free time I can do whatever I want!” But how many summers when we were in school did we get sick and tired of having nothing to do by the end of summer and we were ready to go back to school? And that is only after a few months! Imagine signing up for YEARS of doing nothing if we aren’t prepared for it and don’t have a plan to keep busy and keep a purpose. We aren’t good at not working if all we have ever done is work. A common phenomenon exists (at least in the United States) where people retire and either suffer depression or end up re-entering the workforce shortly afterward. It seems that after working nonstop our entire lives, we are terrible at not working and finding a purpose outside of work.

10 Random Facts About Us

  1.  We met on the very first day of college orientation
  2.  Our favorite meals to cook while traveling are Thai curry and pasta (Cabell aka Chef Cabs is the cook)
  3.  In almost every country we have visited, people think we are Italian, but neither one of us is
  4.  Our first international trip together was a week split between Paris and Mykonos
  5.  Our second international trip included Cabell getting to spend his 25th birthday in three continents trying to get home after missing an international flight earlier that day
  6.  Things we have left behind and/or lost (unintentionally) on our pretirement so far: 2 corkscrews, Cabell’s passport holder (with passport inside), Jesi’s entire backpack, a gift package of Italian meats, cheese, bread, and limoncello, Cabell’s bag of external chargers and headphones – we got everything back besides the corkscrews and food!
  7.  Jesi gets a McDonald’s Big Mac combo with a Coke in every country she visits
  8.  Technically our pretirement is also our honeymoon so the majority of our married life so far has taken place on our honeymoon! We even celebrated our first year anniversary while still on our honeymoon.
  9.  Jesi’s favorite food is Nashville Hot Chicken, and Cabell’s is Memphis BBQ – we love our Tennessee cuisine!
  10.  Jesi is less than half the size of Cabell, but eats as much (or more) than he does
travel couple

Djamila & Tommy’s Questions

These are the 11 questions Tommy and Djamila asked us to answer on their Liebster Award blog post, so here it goes!

1.  If you were an animal, what animal would you be and why?

Jesi: Probably a bear because I hate the cold and love to sleep, so hibernating through the winter sounds like the best deal ever!
Cabell: Jesi says I’m a baby racoon, and I still haven’t been able to figure out why yet


2.  What is your guilty pleasure while traveling?

Watching Netflix! It’s just nice to hear your home language on a regular basis.


3.  Say you are an amazing singer and you could pick one person, dead or alive, to sing a duet with. Who would it be?

Cabell: I would un-ruin Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” duet with Beyonce by taking her place
Jesi: I DO NOT condone Cabell’s dislike of Beyonce, and I’d totally want to belt out a throwback with Destiny’s Child


4.  If you had to choose between having your dream home but with only one vacation a year, or a life on the road while traveling full time but never having a home, which one would you choose and why?

Dream home! We love being on the road, but spending so much time away from home has really made us find new appreciation in a lot of things that go along with having a “home” that we used to take for granted.


5.  What would be the title of a movie about your life?

“How to Feed a Jesica in 10 Seconds” (the girl is constantly hungry!)


6.  While traveling did you ever splurge on something you were hesitant about but have absolutely no regrets over?

Our successful trip to Norway to try and see the Northern Lights, including a 1-night stay in a glass igloo at Lyngen North


7.  If you were a Disney character, who would you be and why?

Jesi: Sleepy the dwarf from Snow White because I’m super short and my favorite thing to do is sleep
Cabell: Marlin from Finding Nemo because I’m constantly making sure Jesi doesn’t run off and get into trouble (I literally had to hold her back from chasing a fish down past our depth limit while scuba diving!)


8.  You can only go to one travel destination for the rest of your life, where would you go and why?

Thailand, because it’s super cheap, has incredible food, and has tons of variety in landscape and activities (jungle, mountains, lakes, beaches, cities)


9.  If you could solve one major problem in the world, what would it be?

Good water infrastructure around the world so that not only is the water drinkable straight from the tap, but also without shortages! We were in Cape Town during the water crisis this year and it was pretty crazy.


10.  What would your dream trip look like if money was no factor?

We’d travel around the world eating all the best food we could find! And we would hire a translator to come with us if we didn’t speak the language. Jesi would want to fly First Class Emirates. Cabell would want to stay in all 4-star or lower-end 5-star accomodations (he thinks the service at high-end 5-star places is overbearing).


11.  Is there anything you found so beautiful that it brought you to tears?

Filling up a glass of tap water our first night in Milan after over 3 months in SE Asia drinking only bottled water!

Our Nominations for the Liebster Award

Since the whole purpose of the Liebster Award is to help bloggers get exposure, we would like to nominate some of our favorite bloggers in hopes that they will participate and keep the nomination chain going! Here are our nominees:


Joel and Marla have the most infectious smiles and you can tell how much love they have for each other and for adventure.



Tenesia and Terrence are the definition of couple goals! They are vacation pros and we love following along with their travels.



Jamie and Ivana are one of our favorite travel couples, probably because they are the REALEST people you’ll find on Instagram!



Steff and Ells are the most funloving and adorable couple! We find ourselves laughing along with them in their Instagram stories and we’re SUPER jealous of their adventures in New Zealand!



Jessie and Nick are our go-to couple for anything Southeast Asia! They are backpacking pros and always manage to capture the most beautiful moments together.


Our Questions For Our Nominees


  1. Backpack or suitcase?
  2. What are the top 3 items you can’t travel without?
  3. What are the top 3 apps you can’t travel without?
  4. If you could start a business in any country you have traveled to, what business would you start in what country and why?
  5. What’s your favorite photo you’ve taken on your travels?
  6. What’s one thing in your day-to-day routine that stays consistent when you travel, no matter where you are?
  7. If you could ask anyone in the world one question and they had to answer honestly, what would it be and who would you ask?
  8. What’s the strangest thing you’ve eaten while traveling?
  9. What custom (in another country) have you observed that you most wish you could import to your own country?
  10. If you could only eat the food from one establishment in the world for the rest of your life, which would it be?
  11. If you could give a younger version of yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?

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