I’m pleased to announce that Cook Sip Go was nominated for a virtual Liebster Award by Manouk of Bunch of Backpackers! Although the roots of the Liebster Award are unknown, it is an honor given by bloggers to other bloggers. The word “liebster” has German origins and can be translated to a variety of English meanings, such as lovely, kind, pleasant and beloved. When a blogger is nominated for the Liebster Award, the nominee is asked to answer ten questions and then nominates other bloggers and asks them new questions. This is Cook Sip Go’s first award and I’m very excited to participate in this exercise of sharing and discovering new blogs. In addition to BoB, I was also nominated by Samantha from The Wandering Wanderluster and Dorothée from The Touristin.
Who nominated Cook Sip Go?
Bunch of Backpackers (“BoB”) nominated Cook Sip Go. BoB is a fun and informative site run by Manouk, a well-traveled 28-year-old Dutch blogger. Her posts seek to inspire authentic and adventurous travel. BoB has a new theme each month and May is Kenya month. Please take some time to check out BoB!
BoB’s Questions and My Answers
1. How did you come up with the idea of starting a travel blog?
A. I have wanted to write about travel since I was a teenager, but I never had the time to dedicate to getting a blog up and running. My wife got a work opportunity in East Africa, so we quit our jobs in New York and I knew it was the right time to start.
2. What was the inspiration for your blog name?
A. I like to experience a destination through its food and drink when I travel, so the three-word name includes each of those areas. Also, every witty iteration of a name containing “nomad,” “wander” and “traveler” was already taken by the time I started blogging last year.
3. Who or what inspired you to travel?
A. Going on summer trips with my family as a kid was always my favorite time of the year. A lot of reading and photography has inspired me to travel, too – National Geographic, Travel + Leisure, Bill Bryson’s books and Paul Theroux’s writings.
4. What was the biggest culture shock you’ve encountered during your travels?
A. My first day or two on the ground in sub-Saharan Africa was a shock to my system. The sounds, smells, images and attention I received were all very new to me, despite the fact that I had already traveled extensively.
5. In which country did you experience the greatest hospitality?
A. Spain. Every other place I went for a meal or coffee felt like a second home after ten minutes.
6. What was your biggest ‘low’ moment during your travels?
A. I was pretty unhappy when my iPhone got pick-pocketed in Addis Ababa. While the phone was replaceable, the photos I had on the phone of my travels and our cats are gone.
7. Which place is your ‘hidden gem’ e.g. a place that you loved, but is little known amongst other travelers?
A. Montevideo, Uruguay. I spent a few days in Montevideo during their winter season and loved being in a bustling city with a small travel footprint.
8. What is your favorite travel music?
A. I listen mostly to podcasts when I travel, which are a mix of news, comedy and sports. I also listen to a lot of flamenco.
9. A non-travel question: What is your ‘guilty pleasure’?
A. Sweets. Chocolates, baked goods…anything sweet.
10. Where are you off to next?
A. I will probably be traveling within Ethiopia next. The rainy season is starting in much of Africa now, so I may hold off on traveling to other African countries until later in the summer.
Cook Sip Go was also nominated by Samantha of The Wandering Wanderluster. Samantha is an English ex-pat blogger based in Prague who shares her fantastic photography, travel stories and travel tips.
Samantha’s questions and my answers:
1) What’s the kindest thing a stranger on the road has done for you?
The first time someone offered to buy me a drink just to hear about my travels – this was in Vienna. It was such a nice gesture.
2) What is the best story a stranger has ever told you?
I’ve heard so many stories of perseverance in the developing world that it’s impossible to choose. But people seem quick to open up to travelers, which I love.
3) If you had a week to live and an unlimited budget where would you head to?
A really luxe safari in Botswana would be just about right under these circumstances.
4) What is the strangest travel experience you have ever had?
So many people in Ethiopia yell “GERMANY” at me when I walk by. I guess I look German to East Africans!
5) What is your recommended travel hack?
Bring along these essentials to make the most out of your food and drink experience in the destination.
6) If you could only take three things with you on a deserted island what would you take?
A corkscrew, a guitar (lots of time to learn) and a copy of Don Quixote.
7) Where was your best beach experience?
Spending time with my family at the beach in Hawaii when I was a kid.
8) What was your most disgusting travel food experience?
These all took place in the air – countless bad airline meals.
9) What made you start blogging?
My wife and I left our jobs in New York for a stint in Africa and I wanted to share my experiences and photography.
10) What is your best travelling tip?
Learn some of the local language before you depart. It will endear you to the people you meet and will be useful in terms of negotiating prices and selecting the right food.
Cook Sip Go’s third nomination came from Dorothée of The Touristin (the female tourist in German). Doro is a German blogger who spent seven years as an ex-pat in Australia. Her travel stories and photographs are always entertaining and beautiful.
Dorothée’s questions and my answers:
1. Who are you?
Dave Cole. I write about and photograph the destinations I visit and dig deep into their culture and cuisine.
2. Please give 5 adjectives to describe the way of life in your home country.
Easy. Confident. Bountiful. Competitive. Innovative.
3. Coast or countryside?
4. What is the longest road trip you have ever been on?
As a little kid I drove across the US with my family.
5. What would need to happen before you give up travel and adventure?
I’d have to be in the ground permanently for that to happen.
6. Would you rather spend your money on a stay at a fancy boutique hotel or on a lavish dinner at an exceptionally great restaurant?
The dinner at the restaurant. I can fall asleep pretty much anywhere and remember meals more than anything else.
7. Some say money can buy happiness. What is your opinion on it?
Money can buy plane, train, boat and bus tickets. Those usually lead to new travels and thus happiness.
8. Last time you felt truly cheerful?
I was pretty blissful when I ate some exceptional shiro (Ethiopian stew made of chickpeas and onion) a few weeks ago.
9. Please let us know what 3 skills make life easier for a travel writer/blogger?
1. Experience writing under time constraints. 2. Time management skills. 3. Caffeine-ingesting skills.
10. Please explain how social media can lead to friendship?
Social media makes finding people who share common interests much easier. And those people can quickly become friends as you have so much to talk about and share.
Who I’m Nominating
Its All Bee – Bianca’s blog has inspiring posts about adventure travel, including scuba diving and rock climbing. She does a great job of educating her readers about the destination.
City Sea Country – Christina and Thomas are the team behind this colorful, bi-lingual travel blog. They explore a broad swath of the globe, from Louisiana to Laos.
In Pursuit of Adventure – Ashley and Alex are exploring the world, one city at a time. Their posts are entertaining travelogues with great photography.
Justin Plus Lauren – This Canadian couple is incredibly passionate about discovering new places, whether on local day trips or Caribbean cruises. They also love exploring vegetarian cuisine while on the road.
The Happy Passport – Rebekah blogs about and promotes solo female travel on her site. While I do not precisely fit into this demographic, I still read her posts because they’re hilarious.
The Questions for the Nominees
1. What is the first travel you remember?
2. Which destination is at the top of your travel bucket list?
3. Where did you experience your most memorable meal on the road and what was it?
4. Who is your favorite travel writer/blogger?
5. Even though new destinations are fun, what is one place you could return to again and again?
6. What’s the most interesting wildlife experience you’ve had on your travels?
7. What’s one place you’ve traveled to and have no desire to return? Why?
8. What is your favorite restaurant in your hometown?
9. What is the most athletic feat you’ve accomplished while traveling?
10. Have you ever attempted to cook at home a dish you first tried while traveling? If so, what was the result?