I would like to thank Jackie and Mark [and of course their canine companions] from the excellent blog World Wide Walkies for this nomination for a Sunshine Blogger Award. They gave up work, bought a caravan and four cavapoos, sold most of what they owned and began travelling full-time, mixing up living in their caravan with rentals. They have a tremendous sense of adventure and their posts are always entertaining and thoughtful.
The Sunshine Blogger award is given by bloggers to bloggers who inspire positivity and creativity in the blogging community.
- Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you for a blog post and link back to their blog.
- Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
- Nominate up to 11 new blogs to receive the award. Leave a comment on their blog to let them know they received the award and ask your nominees 11 new questions.
- List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
1. What is the inspiration behind your blog and who do you want to reach?
The inspiration for my Back on the Road blog is two-fold. It firstly gives me a chance to document some of our travels in our campervan, the Blue Bus, and secondly gives me time to practice my writing technique and try out ideas, without the constraints and word limits of magazine editors. I hope to reach other people who are interested in living a purposeful and frugal life and who enjoy reading about beautiful and interesting places.
2. Which is your favourite blog post and why?
This is a tough question! I like to write posts that are useful so my top tips for different destinations are great posts that I am pleased with as they get a lot of hits. Everyone likes a drama and so the stats say it is my blog post about our Greek incident – not something I like to remember! I like to tell stories and one of my favourites is the Tale of the Postman, because the incident marks my early retirement and a new life and it is a story of a helpful postman that you might not expect to encounter in Salford.
3. Tell us an interesting or unusual fact about yourself – do you have a hidden talent or claim to fame?
I write another blog about memorial benches I find on our travels and write a mixture of travelogue and the story of the person that is remembered in the bench. This blog was featured on Radio Four recently.
4. Name your favourite song, book and movie.
Song – It is so hard to choose but pretty much anything by Black Sabbath would be in the running.
Book – Today it is Death and Penguin by Andre Kurkov [this choice might be something different tomorrow]
Film – Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe – it makes me laugh and cry every time I see it
5. What’s on your bucket list?
There is no bucket list. I am happy that I am able to explore new and familiar places independently.
6. What piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t waste your time marrying that first husband, he will treat you badly and try and break you.
7. Living or dead, which three people would you invite to your dinner party and why?
Although I wanted to say three good friends would be my choice, I thought I would play the game. If I was inviting people I didn’t know round for dinner I would get Geezer Butler, bass player with Black Sabbath, Chris Wolstenholme, the bass player with Muse and Stuart Maconie together. We could start with music and see where the conversation went.
8. Is your ideal holiday lying on a beach, climbing Mount Everest – or anything else?
My ideal holiday is being pretty much anywhere with my partner Anthony in our campervan. I like to be somewhere warm but never lie on the beach. My ideal day is walking in the mountains among wild flowers and bird song, the warm sun on my arms and no one else around.
9. What would you do if you won the Lottery?
I did blog about what I would do if I had loads of money and writing my thoughts certainly helped me work out what I might do. I would give some to my favourite local charities, some to our son and daughter-in-law and then spend some on travel, in particular going to visit our lovely friends in California and Australia.
10. How do you relax? Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I don’t feel guilty about enjoying myself and relaxing. I have loved getting lost in books since I was a child and this a favourite relaxation. My biggest fear is running out of books to read while we are away in our campervan!
11. Dogs or cats?
This was the easiest question to answer! I have had the pleasure to live with six different cats in my life.
I follow lots of blogs and can’t nominate them all. I am also aware that after the first flush of excitement has worn off about being given the Sunshine Blogger Award, you might realise it involves writing another post! I tried to give this task to people who will grasp the opportunity with enthusiasm but if any of you want to skip the post that is, of course, your call. I do hope you all think about following some of my favourite bloggers.
OurTour Motorhome Blog – Julie and Jason have reached financial independence and are travelling in their motorhome. As well as blogging they have published several books. Their posts are both practical and fun and always honest about the ups and downs of living in a van.
The Urban Wanderer – Sarah is a Manchester-based blogger whose outdoor travel and lifestyle blog always has something new and interesting to share. Her enthusiasm will win you round and encourage you to get outside and have a mini adventure.
Gail and Keith Blog – Gail and Keith share their motorhome travels, delicious recipes [with mouth-watering photographs] and even tips on wine with a flair and energy. Their blog gives you a feel for life on the road.
Bon Voyage Blog – Jane and Tim are determined not to let life pass them by and are travelling full-time in their motorhome. Their blog is honest, thoughtful and interesting as they share what they have learned as they travel.
Tea & Cake for the Soul – Jo is a hardworking freelance writer and blogger, a music, cake and tea lover who enjoys reading, writing and upcycling. Jo’s blog, like mine, is a mixture of travel and lifestyle. She has tips on surviving the menopause alongside trips along the Basingstoke Canal.
(Get Your) Legs Down – To non-caravanners the title of Richard’s blog might seem unusual. This beer-drinking caravan owner writes what he calls, ‘random ramblings’ but are useful and informative diary-style blog posts about his trips away in his caravan. He has also written openly about his grief following the sudden loss of his partner, Trev, after 27 years together.
Eyes in the back of my Head – Joyce likes to surprise her readers with sensitive and well-observed posts about a whole range of topics. Joyce shares stories from her travels in her motorhome, about life with her dog, reading, nature and astrological psychology and is always a kind and generous blogger.
In Pursuit of a Dream – Deb and Steve are a caravan owning couple, originally from the north, now living in the south and working as wardens for the Caravan and Motorhome Club. Their posts are often funny and always compelling as they follow their dream to, ‘Work less, live more, see more and meet more.’
Brian Jones’ Diary – I have been enjoying reading the journey of this newish blogger. Brian is 60 years old and transitioning into retirement. He writes sincerely about the things that are important to him at this time in his life, his health, family and friends, finances and how to enjoy life in this transition phase.
Gum Trees and Galaxies – This Australian dog-owning couple have adventures in their teardrop camper. The name sums up their trips out to the bush to escape the light pollution and stargaze. As well as camping stories they are enthusiastic about books and their blog has reading tips and #BooksnapSunday.
My 11 Questions
- What is your favourite thing about blogging?
- What would be your top tip for a new blogger?
- Assuming you are still with us, do you think you will still be blogging in five years time?
- If you could have something named after you (either your real name, nickname, or blog name) what would it be?
- If you could have one super power what would it be?
- What is your favourite road trip film?
- What is your first drink of the day, tea, coffee, smoothie, water or something else?
- What song would you like played at your funeral?
- If you could go back in time, what event or period would you go back to?
- I was a chef in a previous life and love cooking and eating, what is your signature dish / favourite thing to cook / eat?
- Where in the world do you feel you most belong?
I look forward to reading your answers. Thank you all and happy Sunshine blogging!