Liebster Award

We returned from our unplanned vacation from blogging to learn that “Leisure Freak” had nominated “No Pension, Will Travel for a Liebster Award. Thanks, Leisure Freak, we accept your kind nomination. Here is Paul’s response…

Its origins shrouded in the mists of time – some say it originated in Germany at the end of the previous decade – the Liebster Award is an informal “pay it forward” regime, where early-stage bloggers search out and nominate other beginning bloggers. It has a certain “chain letter” feel to it, so at first I hesitated. After getting some advice from fellow bloggers, and realizing the process could be both fun and useful, I decided to jump in.

The rules evolve as the award passes from blogger to blogger, so there are many variations. Here’s the set I’m following and will suggest to my nominees.

Liebster Award Rules

Nominated by Leisure Freak

Nominated by Leisure Freak

  • Create a post like this one, with the image and rules.
  • Include an acknowledgment of the blog that nominated you, and the answers to their five questions. (Follow their blog, or at least comment on it. Let them know you accept their nomination.)
  • Nominate three to five blogs that you enjoy, but which are not yet well known – say, with less than 200 followers. The objective of the Liebster Award is to help bring talented young blogs to light.
  • Include your five questions for your nominees. What would you really like to know about them?
  • Then inform your nominees. (If the blogs you select are worth nominating, it would make sense to follow them as well.)

So, thanks again, Leisure Freak. Now to answer your questions…

Leisure Freak: What made you decide to start blogging and, expanding on your tag line, what is your primary message you want your blog to give to its readers?

No Pension, Will Travel: Our blog is aimed at people like us who are heading into what have traditionally been the “retirement years”. However, we like to think of it as an “advancement”

A low-cost family hotel on Santorini

A low-cost family hotel on Santorini

rather than a retirement; a looking forward to what’s next in life. One thing we want to enjoy is more travel. But we don’t want to wait until our financial advisor says “You have enough.” So we’re exploring ways to do more for less, even when we may have reached an age where sleeping on a couch isn’t what it was at 20.

We’re exploring creative ways to do more for less, and get more out of what we do. We want to share what we learn along the way. Even more than that, to inspire others to live their dreams now without waiting until they’ve got “enough money.”

Ultimately, this whole process is about self-discovery. We expect that our dreams and goals will evolve as we continue through this journey. We may learn more from this journey – and this blog – than anyone else.

Leisure Freak: I am a car-freak and crazy about road trips. What memorable road trip have you taken in your life, why is it memorable, and if you may, what kind of automobile did you take it in?

No Pension, Will Travel: In my youth, our family took a number of road trips. By my early 20s, we’d driven through about 40 states, as well as ten Canadian provinces and territories. A visit to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky still stands out vividly after more than four decades.

In 1983, my new wife Cheryl and I – landed immigrants in Australia – took a six-week road trip from Sydney to Perth, along the southern coast through Melbourne and Adelaide and across the endless, treeless Nullarbor Plain.

And for about another 1000 km after that.

And for about another 1000 km after that.

We didn’t usually think much about cars, but in this case, we chose carefully. We wanted something reliable, with parts easy to find in dusty Outback towns. In the end, we chose a ten-year-old Toyota Corona over a homegrown Aussie Holden. It was a good choice, and we’ve had three more Toyotas since. (All used, I might add; we’ve yet to buy a car new.)

Exploring a new continent with a new romantic partner: what else could you ask for? Looking over the photo diary we put together at the time, I recall how the Down-Under flora, fauna and landscape, fascinated us. There was an open-endedness to the adventure too. We might well have put down roots in Ulladulla or Perth. In the end, we settled in Sydney’s Northern Beaches for the next four years, before finally moving back to North America.

These days, driving is one of our least favourite choices. We cycle to nearby destinations if we can. Overseas, we love to figure out how to uses trains, buses, subways, and boats to get around. Aside from saving money, we feel that we get a richer experience that way. We never drove during our six months in Costa Rica, and we won’t be driving during our upcoming trip to Slovenia and Croatia.

Leisure Freak: I believe that a person’s character and kindness is a better way to decide if you would want to know and be around them than the amount of money they have or don’t have. What 2 characteristics do you value when deciding to get to know someone new?

Sailing the Meltemi in the Cyclades

Sailing the Meltemi in the Cyclades

No Pension, Will Travel: People who march to the beat of their own drummer have always appealed to me. They think and act outside the box, not following the scripts laid down for them by society or authority. I’m also drawn to people who really listen. They can really hear and understand the perspectives of others, even if they don’t share them. In my experience, the people I’ve just described also have a quirky sense of humour.

Leisure Freak: If money was not considered or what your education was in and you could have chosen a career or way to make a living that you are passionate about, what would you have been or done as opposed to what you did do for most of your working years?

No Pension, Will Travel: I might have been an adventurer or explorer such as Thor Heyerdahl or Tim Severin. Or perhaps a theoretical physicist, beset by wanderlust, such as Richard Feynman.

Money played a relatively small role in my initial career plans. As time went by, it began to occur more and more as a limitation – spider web of sticky expectations and commitments. Part of my mission now is to clear away some of those cobwebs and get back to life as pure fun and adventure. If it also pays the bills, so much the better.

Leisure Freak: I nominated your blog because I saw something that said you aren’t stuck in a rut and you live a full and freedom-seeking life. I always say that life should be and is an adventure. Unfortunately some people never see that. What is it that makes you see life differently than the everyday Joe or Jane stuck in a rut?

Don't Fence Me In (even on Santorini)

Don’t Fence Me In (even on Santorini)

No Pension, Will Travel: We are all stuck in some ruts. I’ve been stuck in many myself. No doubt, I’m still deep in some. However, once I become aware of it, the feeling of being in a rut doesn’t sit well with me. I long for that experience of setting out on some unexplored road, be it physical, emotional, or intellectual. I hear a certain music calling to me. I know that I can either wait for some new adventure that may never come. Or I can take the first step myself. Sometimes I do. Here’s to more first steps!

My Nominees for the Liebster Award:

And my Questions for the Nominees:

  • What is the primary message of your blog, and how has it changed since you started?
  • What do you get out of blogging? Why do you keep doing it?
  • Where are you finding or looking for community in retirement or on the road?
  • What’s your favourite post, and why? Do your readers agree?
  • What aspect of your blog are you looking to improve at this time?

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