Unexpected Wanderlust Welcomes a New Blogger: Ruby

Where have you been? I have toured around Europe (Ireland, England, Scotland, France, Spain, and Italy) and traveled sporadically around the US (most of the Eastern seaboard, Tennessee, Louisiana, New Mexico, Colorado, and California). I am currently living and teaching … Continue reading

Unexpected Wanderlust Welcomes a New Blogger: Elias

Unexpected Wanderlust is excited to announce a brand new blogger! Elias, tell us about yourself! Where have you been? I’ve been to Germany, Poland, Israel, the Czech Republic, England, Italy, and Iceland! Who are you? I’m just your average 23-year-old … Continue reading

Liebster Número Dos

LiebsterAward

Well, we are so excited we might just cry!

This week we announced our very first nomination for the Liebster Award. Here we are again to announce our second nomination, courtesy of the awesome non-traditional full-time traveler Jonathan from http://lifepart2.com/. Thanks, Jonathan!

He chose to do the rules a little differently, and we dug it, so here they are:

Rules:

1. Post the award on your blog.

2. Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to their blog.

3. Answer the questions the person who nominated you asked.

4. Nominate 5 up and coming travel bloggers who you feel deserve this award.

5. Answer the 10 questions posted by the presenter and ask your nominees 10 new questions.

6. Post a really fun travel picture in your post! (This one we came up with)

 

Jonathan´s Questions:

1. What makes you smile?

Hamilton: Happy life surprises. When I don’t believe that a plan is actually going to work out and somehow, miraculously, it does.

Lucia: The sun, good movies, jazz, ice-cream, French patisseries, children sometimes, books, trees, the sound of the beach, so so many things!

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Stuart: Laughter, genuine laughter. Performance art where you can really sense the artist’s expression of themselves. Sitcoms. The antics of my friends.

2. What makes you shake your head in disbelief?

Hamilton: People who are mean to children and animals.

Lucia: When people make sexist/racist/homophobic comments orjgergerñksghbgv

Stuart: People who lie, cheat, steal. And feel like it’s alright to do so.

3. What is the first thing you do when you get to a new place?

Hamilton: I listen to and watch the people around me.

Lucia: Depends on why I’m there and for how long! Usually, stare at the buildings and take it all in.

Stuart: Hmmm… I usually like to watch the patrons of the new place. Understand the target audience a bit.

4. Where do you find inspiration?

Hamilton: My elders, films, other travel blogs, nature, and people who exude warmth with whomever they meet.

Lucia: In people, in books, in films, and in nature.

Stuart: In nature. In the people around me. And often in my dreams.

5. Other than friends and family, what do you miss most from “home”?

Hamilton: When I leave, I miss my dogs! They’re my four-legged children.

Lucia: This is difficult because I’m multi-cultural and I’ve lived in several places so “home” is not one place. From Colombia I miss the food, the music, the people; from Miami I miss the weather, the pool, the beach; from New College I miss the bay, the weirdness, the promenade towards College Hall, the sunsets,and from France I miss the wine, the cheese, the food, the amazing parks, and being able to walk everywhere. Phew!

Stuart: Taco Bell… Just kidding. I miss Pandora and US television programming.

6. What is your favorite quote?

Hamilton: My favorite quote changes depending upon where I am in life, but right now it’s, “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”  It’s from the world-traveling anthropologist extraordinaire Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. I’m leaning into the fact that I’m in the “years that ask questions” stage of life at the moment.

Lucia: Ahh I love quotes! I’m such a geek that I have a quote book! But I guess at this moment of my life I really like a quote from The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: “For what it’s worth, it is never too late-or in my case, too early- to be whatever you want to be.”

Stuart: I know this sounds cliché but I really believe in Gandhi’s words about changing the world. Everything begins and ends from the actions of individuals. It is up to each and everyone of us to do better.

7. Could you be happy if you had to stop traveling completely?

Hamilton: It depends! If I were stuck in some awful region at the time of my halted travels, probably not.

Lucia: I want to think that I would adapt to such a situation and find other forms of happiness. It would definitely be extremely difficult but I would overcome it.

Stuart: Me too. Happiness, for me, is a result of the relationships I have fostered.

8. What fears did you have that you have now discovered were unfounded?

Hamilton: I definitely feared solo travel for several reasons.  Traveling has made me discover that I’m far more capable than I would have ever thought.

Lucia: Well, I have an unfounded phobia of psychopaths that I hope always remains that way…

Stuart: I’m afraid of heights. Probably always will be.

9. How has traveling changed you?

Hamilton: Traveling has improved my communication skills.  I am always working on the art of engaging in random conversations with strangers.

Lucia: It has definitely made me more confident and much more of a go-getter. I used to be extremely shy (still am a bit) and it has forced me to get out of my shell and be more comfortable in my own skin. I’ve also learned how to go for the things I want. More importantly, it really puts reality and culture into perspective. As a sociologist, I have all the theories, but traveling makes cultural differences and the necessity to get past our own barriers and mentalities a reality.

Stuart: Traveling has allowed me to challenge myself to push my comfort zone.

10. What is the difference between being a tourist and a traveler?

Hamilton: Tourists want a sanitized, commercially-produced version of culture. Travelers usually seek to experience a local, holistic version of culture.

Lucia: A tourist is the kind of person who pays $3k to go to another country and then complains because everything is different. I travelled with a group once where people only ate at McDonald’s or BK, and they complained every time someone didn’t speak English or whenever something wasn’t like it is in the States. UGH! I’m not saying that you will always love everything about everywhere, but I think a traveler makes an effort to immerse in the culture and to experience things differently. The whole point of traveling is to learn and do new things, not to take instagram pics.

Stuart: Tourists retain a sense of entitlement whereas travelers tend to immerse into themselves.

Nominees:

1. Kanlaon - A blogger who refers to herself in the third person and has a pretty awesome sense of humor. She recently took her “self” to Ireland and took on a weekly blog photo challenge while there.

2. theadventuresofbeka - A Fulbright scholar teaching English in Colombia and blogging about whatever she feels like.  It’s pretty awesome. Just check it out.

3. Kat Pegi Mana - This blogger from Kuala Lumpur has travelled through Asia and Europe, and shares her thoughts on various cultures.  Look at all of the gorgeous photos on her blog.

4. Spicy Road - It’s a food and travel blog that is sure to have some mouth-watering posts.

5. Charlotte’s Nest - A UK blogger who is currently on an all-American road trip.  There are quite a lot of yummy pictures being posted on this journey.

Questions:

1. What is the most foolish thing you’ve ever done while traveling?

2. Who is one person you’ve met while traveling that you wish you could see again?

3. Where are you planning on traveling next?

4. If you had to settle down in one place and never leave it again, where would it be?

5. How would you describe the perfect travel companion?

6. If you could be fluent in a language other than your mother tongue, which would it be?

7. What is your best travel tip?

8. Have you ever felt more at home in a place that is away from your actual home? If so, where?

9. Where have you had the best meal of your life?

10. What is the one piece of technology that you can’t live without during your travels?

Florida Week: Beaches

Hold on to your seats everybody! With wanderers coming back to Florida, planning their escape from it, and feeling nostalgic about the constant sunshine, Unexpected Wanderlust is continuing its discussion: Florida Week!!

 

Next up, we’re talking about everybody’s favorite part of Florida’s natural landscape: the beach!

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What is your first Florida beach memory?

Hamilton:  A beach day during a family reunion in Palm Coast! It was the first time that I had ever been to any sort of event on a beach.  I learned that I am not very graceful eating a full meal on a blanket in the sand.

Lucia: When I moved to the States, my dad’s cousin picked me up from the airport and we drove by the beach. She pointed it out to me and asked me what I thought but I was a little 10 year old who had just been forced to leave everything she loved behind so I wasn’t in a praising mood and I just coldly replied that I didn’t see what the big deal was…rude!

Stuart: When I was younger, I won a trip to Disney World for a Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis conference. I remember sunshine and a lot of clear water. I used to think I went to the beach. When I moved to Florida, I realized that Disney World is landlocked in Central Florida… My actual first Florida beach memory was at Treasure Island in Saint Petersburg for July 4th celebrations. I had only been in Florida for about 2 weeks, and randomly one of my friends from Massachusetts was in the area for vacation. We drove up on the beach, posted up, and watched the sunset and fireworks show.

 

Which Florida beach is your favorite?

Hamilton:  Tree beach. It’s a place in Sarasota where the blue sky and the equally blue ocean seem to meet at the horizon.  Trees spring from the sand and the water.  I’ve yet to see anything else like it.

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Trip to Tree Beach

Lucia: Siesta Key in Sarasota! Rated #1 beach in America by someone somewhere. The sand is glorious and the water is beautiful, I’m so excited to go next week!… Hollywood beach comes in a close second for it’s awesome walkway and Nikki Beach in third as the best beach in Miami.

Stuart: Lido Key in Sarasota. I love how accessible it is, especially North Lido. I’m not a beach person. So I like to be able to park easily, hop onto the beach for a nice vista, and then leave at my leisure. North Lido Beach allows for that.

 

What makes Florida beaches special?

Hamilton: The warmth and the clarity of the Gulf coast deserve a mention.  But ultimately the fact that Floridians treat the beaches like their own personal playgrounds where they put their quirks on display makes them special.

Lucia:It’s one of the few states where you can go watch the sunrise in one coast and see the sunset in the other on the same day.

Stuart: I’ve never experienced east coast beaches, but I really like the gulf coast beaches in Florida. For two years, I’ve vacationed at South Padre Island Texas for New Year’s Eve; while I liked the beach there, I liked the other side of the gulf coast better.

 

What has been your greatest Florida beach experience?

Hamilton: All of the times that I went to the beach to escape the pressures of my school work with my closest enablers, I mean, friends.

Lucia: One time I went with two friends to watch the sunset in Lido Beach. We saw a gorgeous sunset that gave way to a clear view of the milky way band (first time I’d ever seen it!), and then there was the most beautiful thunderstorm inside of this huge cumulus cloud. The stars were so beautiful and we couldn’t help but decide to go in after the sky was dark. We dived into the sea, opened our eyes, and saw our bodies glowing! We hadn’t realized it but there was bioluminescence at the beach that day. It was one of the moments of most intense connection to the beauty of nature I have ever had (and yes I do realize I am a hippie).

Stuart: My time in Florida is coming to an end and with that, I’ve been hanging out with some really great friends. An attempt to cherish these moments. A week or so ago, we were hanging out at a restaurant that abruptly turned into a bar/club (that was quite awkward), so we ended up hanging out on a beach. And it was amazing. It was serene. We could see the stars. We could sing to the ocean. We could cherish our time together. It was kind of like time stopped for a bit while we were out on the beach.

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Beautiful Florida sunset

 

What has been your worst Florida beach experience?

Hamilton: That would be my only experience on a Florida beach at night.  A few friends decided that I could not leave Florida until I had experienced the beach after the sun had gone down.  Walking across the sand, the sound of crashing waves, a full clear moon, and creatures, creatures everywhere scurrying across the sand.  I couldn’t even see what these creatures were.  I could just see them popping out of the sand, moving quickly, and in one case, felt one of them running over my feet. Never again.

Lucia: One time I bought a bathing suit from H&M. I went to the beach, went in for a swim, and after I got out of the water I realized the bathing suit became see-through when it was wet…

Stuart: My roommate and I took the day off to go to the beach. Spring was in full bloom, and we wanted to get some sun and relax. Too bad the winds were a little too high and the sand pelted. So many granules in my teeth that day…

 

What do you love the most about Florida beaches?

Hamilton: The variety of beaches: beaches with powder soft sand, beaches with shells, beaches with trees, beaches with warm water, beaches with cool water, beaches with imported sand…

Lucia: People watching! We have such a different array of people so you can get everything from the swimsuit model to the giant family so it’s always fun.

fun at Siesta Key

fun at Siesta Key

Stuart: The sand. It is very soft. It doesn’t retain too much heat but it’s warm enough to be comfortable.

 

What is the worst Florida Beach faux-pas?

Hamilton: Blasting bad music like you’re the only person on the entire beach.

Lucia: Littering. There is no excuse for littering. If you do it, please don’t visit Florida or anywhere else for that matter.

Stuart: People who mess with beach animals. One time I was at the beach, and this family just let their children run into a group of birds. Over and over and over again. It’s cruel to the animals plus it affects other beach goers too.