While I was away in Beirut, enjoying Middle Eastern hospitality, combined with sophisticated nightlife, the lovely Liz from Travelogged gave me a One Lovely Blog award. It’s a bit like blogging tag – each blogger given the award has to pass it on to another 15 of their favourite and newly discovered blogs (letting them know of course) and they pass it on, until everyone feels a rosy glow of appreciation and recognition.
So how to choose my favourites?
When it comes to blogging I like to make it personal. I like to live through the eyes of the writer, soak up the atmosphere and feel what it is that makes that moment and that place so essentially true to itself. I like to see it in the photos as well as the writing, in full colour, and if there is a steaming plate of something tasty to make my mouth water, then even better. I think that I must be a secret hedonist (or just plain greedy?), wandering through the blogshere in search of pleasure, to feel truly alive through travel. So here are my faves in no particular order;
Ever the Nomad
Anja is a writer who takes you into the narrow lanes, the backstreet cafes and the offbeat neighbourhoods. She’s not the most prolific blogger, but the stories she has to tell are always worth reading. I especially enjoyed her memories from her birth country of Croatia.
Notes from Spain
As a confirmed Hispanophile who’s dozed through many an evening class in my efforts to learn Spanish I’ve enjoyed Ben and Marina’s blog for a while now. Their podcasts have helped transport me to the fiestas and football matches of Madrid and the greener corners of Asturias and Galacia, and all on my walk to work.
Betty in the sky with a suitcase
And talking of podcasts, Betty, the airline stewardess is my new discovery. Normally I’m not that interested in the mechanics of getting from A to B, but Betty’s funny stories from her high flying world keep me smiling and her laugh is so infectious that you can’t help but enjoy the flight with her.
Cool Travel Guide
Lara is a professional travel writer who travels the world with her photographer husband Terry, in a never ending whirl that is exhausting just to observe from afar. Rather than cover destinations, Lara muses on travel themes and trends, developing her ideas from one post to another. Lara and Terry definitely have their finger on the pulse of the Travel world.
Going Local Travel
As you’d expect from a writer at my weekend travel rag of choice, the Guardian, Vicky’s articles are well-written and thought provoking. Her chosen theme is using social networks and websites to make connections with locals on your travels, and see places through their eyes rather than as a typical tourist. It’s a great way to travel on a budget too.
Escape from New York
Wendy’s a photographer who’s blog is illustrated by great photos and a bite sized story with insights about the places she’s visited. Like me she seems to gravitate towards the warm and exotic; India, South America, North Africa. And like me, she’s seen the souks and cedars of Lebanon.
Where is Kristine now?
Kristine’s in Belize right now. She shares little stories from her everyday life, and about her travelling around here and there. She reads, she reflects on cultural differences, she photographs. Love those beautiful pictures.
Camels & Chocolate
Kristin is a travel writer and 2009 Bloggie Award winner, and all round party girl. But although I’m madly jealous of her success, it’s hard not to enjoy her antics and wish you were out there having fun with her and her friends. All illustrated with great photos although I try to ignore those slightly techie details about what camera she used.
Forks & Jets
Jeremy and Eva are eating their way around the world and there’s not much they won’t try. They’ve just tasted their way through South America and now they’re hitting the Tapas and Sangria in Spain. Anyone for roast guinea pig?
I’ve been following Xander’s travels for a while now from his time in Thailand and South-East Asia and now his move to South Africa. He travels on a backpacker’s budget but with an appreciation for the finer things in life, the beautiful architecture, the interesting annecdotes about the local people and culture and the food … Oh the food!
Mr & Mrs Smith
This is where I go to dream – the gorgeous boutique hotels, the lifestyle, the in-crowd, but what sets it apart from the other luxury blogs is the witty, tongue-in-cheek style. And there’s something rather British about it that I identify with – like a slightly eccentric friend you can gossip with over a few cocktails.
Teacher meets world
Monna and her partner DP are Canadian teachers in Barcelona and have been using the chance to visit the cities of Europe at every opportunity. She even takes her students on holidays – now that’s what I call dedication! Now she’s off to Bankok so I’m looking forward to discovering South-East Asia through her eyes.
Mother of all trips
Mara is one of my favourites among the blogging gang who are determined not to let young children stand in the way of their travels, but try to adapt to their childrens’ pace and interests. With Mara every day is a holiday, even if it’s just a trip round your own back yard.
Pret a Voyager
Anne brings her designer’s eye to her travels, finding colour and beauty in everyday objects. She also loves maps, fonts, quirky travel related objects and everything about her home town of Baltimore.
Inside the Travel Lab
And last but not least, meet my new blogging friend Abi who’s currently in Bristol (we Bristol bloggers need to stick together). I like the way she manages to find an original take on the obvious travel sites, drawing our attention to the little details others might miss. She’ll soon be on the move again, starting a new adventure in Seville, so I’m looking forward to seeing what gems she uncovers there.
Phew! That was a mouthful, but I didn’t want to just reel off a list of names without telling you why these blogs are worth your attention. Here is the idea behind the One Lovely Blog award.
1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.
3. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.