Versatile Blogger Award

The Detour Effect has been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by the talented writers/travelers behind Prosperity Passenger and Excuse My Thai! This is exciting because the descriptor “versatile” holds a lot of weight to me; it means one is multi-faceted and able to thrive at multiple endeavors. I love to travel in a variety of ways, including road trips, hitchhiking, and trains, but I also love to hike and be active, and over time I feel my interests shifting to include outdoor fitness more and more. I enjoy photography with my Canon, but for convenience and lightweight packing purposes I just do the best I can with my iPhone half the time. That the blog has been recognized for being versatile as opposed to not niche enough is a great compliment, and encourages me to keep following my muse and delivering content in whatever way feels the most honest.

The Versatile Blogger Award celebrates blogs who have unique content, passionate writing, and quality photographs. Below I’ll be nominating 15 more bloggers who inspire me in these areas - a huge thank you to them for keeping the bar high and giving me the heart to stay motivated and fascinated with the world. And of course, thank you to Prosperity Passenger (a blog about living life to the fullest) and Excuse My Thai (about discovering Thailand’s culture), who are the very definition of versatile - I learn so much from your travels and unique reflections on life, and I’m honored to be a part of your community. You deserve your badges tenfold! 


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Award Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you.

  • Link to the blog of the person who nominated you.

  • Share 7 facts about yourself.

  • Nominate 15 more bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.


Facts About Me

  • In my music career I worked with Slash, The Black Keys, The Kills, Father John Misty, The Black Angels, Black Lips, Dead Moon, Moon Duo, Allah-Las, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, King Khan & BBQ Show, ISIS (the band), Prurient, Brand New, Kevin Devine, etc.

  • I love being on the road/trail and have little interest in long-term comforts, but one thing that worries me about my lifestyle is health insurance. I have it through my current company and I know I can use World Nomads while traveling, but every year while in-between seasonal jobs there are inevitably some months when I risk going without. There was a company called Rock For Health that used to help musicians with this situation and I love the idea of doing something similar for travelers.

  • I had melanoma removed from my shin a couple years ago, so UV protection while hiking is incredibly important to me. You won’t see me out there in shorts. 

  • I am obsessed with protein bars and discovering new “health” foods. I love Dave’s Killer Bread, meals or soups by Amy’s Kitchen, Oatmega, WellaBar, Honey Stinger, GoMacro bars, Bob’s Red Mill muesli, Flax4Life muffins, YumButter peanut butter packets, Mamma Chia packets, etc. I basically live off of trail food 100% of the time, even when I’m not on trail. I like the convenience. 

  • I get really salty when the weather is bad. It’s childlike and ridiculous. Particularly when it’s snowing, which is the event most likely to sideline my hiking or driving plans, I catch myself having a pity party about how I won’t be able to move forward with my original itinerary that day. Ironic for someone devoted to letting life send her on detours, I know. One of my goals is to face the challenge of winter backpacking head-on by learning about proper gear and survival techniques for the snow. I’d like to get better at it so it won’t stop me. 

  • I was a competitive horseback rider for 7 or 8 years; I rode both English and Western style. 

  • Bucket list destinations: Scotland, Ireland, Slovenia, Morocco, Croatia, Russia, Peru, Belgium, Norway, Iceland, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Jordan, Yosemite, Smokey Mountains, Vancouver Island, China, Japan, Mongolia, Latvia, Estonia, Slovakia

Nominations

Upheaval Project
Catie and Christie decided to change their lives by taking up running and healthy eating, and their journey has been inspiring me on a daily basis. Their posts check in about their training progress and fun recipe finds, but they’re always honest about setbacks and days that feel less than ideal. I much prefer this kind of account to those of influencers who seem like they’ve already reached all their goals and are preaching to us from on high. They’re also amazing about lending a supportive hand or word of advice on fitness struggles - I’m so grateful to have people to go to when I need some direction!

Stephie On The Road
Stephanie is a road trip savant, and has been to more states than I can probably name. I like her style because she’s a budget traveler like me, and lives a life of exploration both on and off the road (I like her article about “10 Things To Do When You Can’t Travel” - who says you can’t still discover new things when you’re in one place?). She’s also devoted to looking after her mental health, and I find reassurance in her social media reminders about being kind to ourselves during lows. Also - such a wild coincidence that she’s currently living near my hometown in Texas! 

Muffy Davis
I started following Muffy because of her epic hiking adventures, especially the Mogollon Rim Trail here in Arizona, and then quickly recognized that I also resonate with her thoughts on body positivity. She’s open about having struggled with this in the past, and to see someone who’s “been there” out kicking ass and prioritizing strength gives me a feeling of solidarity. 

This Big Wild World
I have so much fun following along with her adventures! This Big Wild World makes the world look big and wild indeed; it always seems like she’s suddenly in the farthest corner away from the last location. Most recently it was Jordan, before that an African safari, and before that, my personal love - Arizona! In each place she chooses the types of activities I would want to do there, particularly hiking (shocker) and other outdoorsy pursuits. I also love her positive attitude and perspective on allowing yourself to slow down when life demands it, which is extra important to keep in mind for those of us who always want to go-go-go.

Girl Astray
Karin is my kind of traveler. She’s a hitchhiker, budget traveler, and into #SlowTravel like me! Most recently she’s been living in Slovakia. Her photos are gorgeous and dreamlike, but they’re not about luxury, they’re about capturing what’s unique. She’s got a whole section on her site dedicated to Urbex, if you don’t believe me. She’s also done some long distance hiking, like the Camino De Santiago (bucket list!), and based on her outdoor photography you can tell she has an obvious love of nature. I’ve been learning a ton from her stories about what’s special to each location she exposes us to, from local authentic foods to architecture and street art, and I genuinely feel like I come away from her page feeling more informed about other cultures abroad. If there’s any account that makes me want to drop it all and move to Europe, it’s hers. 

Time Given Us
Jaimie posts gorgeous updates from her current home in Mexico City, and includes information about the cultural significance of those places which is particularly educational for a pleb like me. I know very little about Central or South America, so it’s helpful to experience it through the eyes of a US expat who understands where my knowledge base might break down. Jaimie also knows Spanish and has hiked the Camino de Santiago, so I’ve been asking her advice about language learning and potentially doing the Camino. 

Peacoat Travels
Kara has long been an advocate for all of us travel bloggers, offering support to other writers and photographers via social media on a daily basis and exposing us to each other so the community can grow. Peacoat Travels is her own foray into the blogging world, a joint effort with Bailey Schnur. It’s rather new, but already I’ve learned a ton from their posts; each one is thorough and describes their destinations within the context of history and cultural significance, while still being highly personal to their own individual experiences. The pictures provide great illustration to their points as well, so overall, these ladies are killing it in every department!

Traverse Blog
I was drawn to Megan’s Instagram because of the bright, fun colors of her photos and the carefree, joyful expressions in the pictures she posts of herself in each destination - I like people who look ecstatic to be living the travel life, and not too self-conscious about the angle and the light. Megan just looks like she’s having so much fun. It makes me want to go to all the places she visits, which is a main goal of ours, isn’t it? To encourage people to get out there and explore new places? I am totally along for the ride (or the sail - her recent posts were from Semester At Sea!), and working on catching up with all her past adventures on her blog (which is also super well-organized, pretty, and sleek). Hit up the “Destinations” section - she’s been everywhere!

Stromfield Adventures
It’s motivational how these guys manage to strategize travel around their daily lives; too many people make excuses that they can’t pursue their priorities because work gets in the way, but Janina and Jim make it happen. The photos from their recent trip to Georgia (the country) were drop-dead gorgeous, and the food updates had my mouth watering. They make an effort to explore their own turf, too, which exposes people like me to little-known places in the UK I would have never known otherwise. Living somewhere so beautiful and steeped in history helps; for their anniversary they just bopped on over to STONEHENGE for a quick day trip - can you imagine? But I guarantee you 90% of people with incredible attractions in their own backyard never venture to take advantage of it, so Stromfield Adventures provides a nice reminder not to zombie your way through life. 

Staggs Crossing
I started following Chris and Brooke because of #RoadTripLife; I noticed when they visit places around their home-base in California that I’ve been to myself, they manage to find quirky attractions along the way that I never even knew existed. They’ve given me tons of incentive and ideas for next time I make it out west, and have me kicking myself that I didn’t dig more thoroughly into all the cool things I could have had the opportunity to see and learn while I was there. Upon closer inspection of their blog, it turns out they’ve also been all over the world and offer custom tour itineraries for would-be travelers - how cool is that?? Their photos are also super diverse; they clearly have a variety of interests, from history to nature to wildlife. Never a boring moment!

Wandelgek
I imagine the The Wandelgek as having been traveling from the moment his feet hit the ground. It seems like he’s been everywhere, trekking through jungles and paddling through the arctic long before ultra-lightweight gear and social media aided our adventures. It’s clearly instilled in him a curiosity and excitement about the world that’s refreshing to see in a culture that often seems insincere, and he’s absorbed so much first-hand information about the customs and landscapes of these places - I feel like I could come to him with any inquiry and he’d have an anecdote to share. I most resonate with his long-distance walking experiences, but I’m always surprised and intrigued to learn about history, literature, or legend from his blog too. It is truly well-rounded. 

These Foreign Roads
Kylee and Mark’s adventures are presented like photojournalism; their blogs and captions are some of the most informative I get to read on a daily basis, and incorporate highly individual experiences they’ve had in addition to overarching facts about each destination. My appreciation for their accounts is all in the details. I love this glimpse at a local monk they ran into in Moldova, this license plate from Udaipur, street art in Bristol, or this parade costume in Juayua. They’re also chefs by trade and expose us to local cuisine around the world, which is very rude when I’m on a diet.

Wandering Crystal
I get my fix of the macabre from Crystal, the One True Queen of dark tourism and haunted history. I wouldn’t mind spending an entire trip in Edinburgh or New Orleans simply following her footsteps through catacombs, abandoned hospitals, and battlegrounds. Her posts highlight how much else there is to see and learn of our own past that’s been swept under the rug. I also love that she made the jump to become an expat, a dream that I haven’t figured out how to accomplish yet myself. Homegirl saw what she wanted and went for it. HOW DO I MOVE TO SCOTLAND?

Exploration Project
I love Heather’s content because she notices things I might have walked by without a second glance, and translates why she found it interesting in a way that reels me in too. Of course I’m drawn to her hiking adventures, and I enjoy following along with the many different types of environments she explores, but in the end it’s these small daily moments she observes in nature that capture my imagination. It might be an abandoned building or ship, a moody cast to the colors of the skyline, or a strange arrangement of plant life. I feel like I have a more intimate understanding of her daily experience and thought processes than I do from other accounts who attempt to explain themselves in a million words. I guess you call that “perspective” - Heather’s got perspective. And also a really cute dog.

A Walk And A Lark
One of my favorite hiking-related blogs. Josy moved from London to Vancouver and now covers a ton of amazing Canadian hikes that I’ve never even heard of before - I love getting a more in-depth look at the wilderness of a country I’m unfamiliar with, and being exposed to new landscapes via her gorgeous photography. A Walk And A Lark has me jonesing for a trip north and plotting how I can become more winter-ready. If you need a different kind of fix, she also speaks Japanese, used to live in Nara, and has spent a good amount of time in New Zealand. 


Do you have any favorite blogs to suggest? What do you think makes a blogger “versatile”?