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John and Mandi

us --> van --> overland
1,976 days a wanderin'

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Versatile Blogger Award 2017

Feb 23, 2017
by John

A couple of weeks ago we were surprised to read we had been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award from our dear friends Jim and Rhonda (The Next Big Adventure). They probably think we didn't know they nominated us since we haven't said anything about it. Our intention was to write this post while on the island of Roatan, but alas, island life doesn't allow for blogging...at least our version anyway.

Tranquil Seas, Sandy Bay, Roatan

We are all winners here

The rules are fairly simple. We must thank and link back to our nominator, state 7 random things about ourselves, and nominate 7 blogs that continue to inspire us and deserve recognition for their work. The only other things we decided to do were to only include current bloggers and make sure we didn't repeat any blog that Jim and Rhonda, or anyone else we know of, nominated.

7 Random Things About Us

Before moving into our van to drive the Pan American Highway we did not have a single stamp in our passports and had never taken off more than 10 days from work.

Our life plan has always been to move into an RV and travel fulltime, probably when we retired. It never occurred to us to do it earlier or to include any place outside the US except for Canada and maybe Baja.

The first time we heard about someone driving the Pan American Highway, Luis and Lacey (Lost World Expedition), we thought they were out of their effing minds. Ha.

We stopped showering everyday long before we set off on our journey, our skin and hair are much happier.

Apparently we drink too much, water that is. Everyone jokes that they know where we are by our water bottles.

Even though in our pictures we are in one or two outfits, we are carrying a shit ton of clothes...really.

We are dog people even though we do not have a fur baby at this time. We, mostly Mandi, have vowed to not adopt one during this trip...we'll see.

7 Inspiring and Deserving Blogs

The Dangerz

Bryan and Jen are phenomenal. While their journey through Central America ended several years ago their life path is still unfolding. A real life example of implementing a less is more, time spent is more important than money earned approach. We hope to achieve something similar when our Pan American trip comes to a close.

Travel Amateurs

Josh and Jenna helped us during a rough patch, and many others too. They are a wonderful couple full of kindness, love, and understanding...we should all aspire to be as such. Even though they are behind in their blog, ahem, we know they will eventually catch up and share their hilarious stories from the road.

Across The World

Irene and Simon are the Swiss us, or maybe we are the lesser American version of them. Either way, they have an unnatural ability to locate and capture the essence of the most wonderful places. Their blog is in Swiss-German but their photos say everything and more. They are also our secret weapon, when in doubt ask Swiss people as they have already fully sorted it out.

Calder Escapes

Doug and Fran, the only couple in our list we haven't had the pleasure to meet...yet. We have corresponded a few times and we use their blog extensively in our planning. Their style is akin to ours, albeit way more in depth, a traveler's travel guide.

Reisefriedli

Beat and Betty are another fabulous Swiss couple who remind us a lot of ourselves. We still have a ways to grow to match Beat's laid back approach and to be as khul as Betty. Like many on our list, there is a gap between us due to our slower pace, but we hope to catch them and everyone else somewhere in South America.

Joe and Josee's Journey

Joe and Josee are our first close Pan American road friends and will always have a special place in our hearts. They jumped ahead when we stopped for our second spell at Pasaj Cap on Lake Atitlan, something tells us we'll eventually be sharing a campfire again somewhere down the road. We lovingly refer to Joe as the "hammer", which he is when he needs to be, but he is one of the nicest people we have ever met. In contrast, Josee is the most calm, probably to offset the hammer ; ).

Dream Drive Repeat

Mark and Sas have had a rough beginning due to vehicle problems, but damn are they tough. While they speak proper English, don't be fooled, they have an American spirit of rebellion in them (yes, that one is ours...we earned it). Their English wit is only part of their charm, they are a great couple who we only wish the best for and hopefully next New Year's Eve we'll all be using their dress up box again.


Say what? (6)
Feb 23, 2017 at 01:38 PM
Great choices! Glad you had such a relaxing time on Roatan that you didn't have time to blog :) Happy trails until we meet again.
Feb 23, 2017 at 01:44 PM
Thanks Rhonda!

Picking 7 blogs was much easier than coming up with 7 things about ourselves. I guess I feel I blab about us enough in our posts and I didn't want to repeat something I might have already entered.

Well, when in the Caribbean...drink more and do less has always been our motto. Keep on keeping on and we'll see you somewhere down the road!
Sri Kanth
Feb 23, 2017 at 01:43 PM
Interesting random things. I am sure you both will need new passports after the trip as your's will be full of stamps :)
If you have to name one thing from US that you miss most in the trip, what would it be ?
Feb 23, 2017 at 01:58 PM
Hey Sri, great question!

Besides family and friends, at this time we'd have to say availability of high quality food and replacement items. While we don't want for much, when we really need something it can be weeks or months until we find exactly what we are looking for. Right now we are wanting a GoPro Session 5 but we have only been able to locate the 4 at a price much higher than the 5. Not a show stopper, but something we could pickup almost anywhere in the States. Our waterproof camera is on its way out so we do want a replacement before it dies. We expect to find one in Costa Rica, we'll see.

We also miss the culinary options in Tallahassee. Samrat, Bada Bean, and Reangthai are at the top of the list!
Feb 24, 2017 at 10:49 AM
Since when did you guys start spreading false information?!?! I used to rely on your site for detailed, researched facts! Kindness? Love? Understanding? I call BS. I was ready to slip away quietly and leave this blog crap to the pros, but now I feel obligated to post something...on the back of a compliment and nomination no less! Thanks a lot!

No seriously, we're honored! Now work a little harder on that whole going south thing...thanks! :)
Feb 26, 2017 at 04:21 PM
We live in the age of alt news, get on board or get out of the way! How can we go any faster when barely anyone is current with their blogs? We're left having to figure everything out on our own...waaaah!!! XOXO
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