“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” – Mahatma Ghandi

Hiking

Recently I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award (psst…thank you again Just Leaving Footprints). I was so taken aback. One, I had no idea this even existed and, two, to have someone actually nominate me, I was floored!

So, what is the Blogger Recognition Award?

recognition award

This award is a way for bloggers to recognize each other’s hard work. And let me tell you it’s hard work! It’s not all just pretty pictures and great posts of drool worthy locations. Most blogger spend hours working on posts, improving their blog, networking, researching, and reading. So this gives other bloggers the opportunity to give a nice shout out to each other.

What’s the rules of the nomination?

  1. Once you have been nominated you have to write a post and thank your nominator (Just Leaving Footprints)
  2. In the post, you have to tell everyone how you got started with blogging
  3. You have to share 2 pieces of advice to other newbie bloggers
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers

The story of Wandering with a Dromomaniac

I have always loved writing and have had this addiction to wandering for most of my life. For a long time, I considered trying to write travel articles for magazines but while doing my research I came across travel blogging. The more blogs I read, the more intrigued I became.

I have a very long list of places I want to go and things I want to do. I decided to focus my blog more on adventure and experiencing things outside my comfort zone. This could be in the form of food, hiking, or something that I wouldn’t normally consider doing.

With my blog I hope to inspire others to go outside of their normal and experience the world for the natural beauty it has to offer.

Some words of wisdom to bloggers just starting out

  1. Read everything you can get your hands on with respect to blogging and travel writing. You can learn so many valuable tips from books that will help you understand the process better and in the end, make you a better blogger.
  2. Have patience. It doesn’t happen overnight. Gaining a following, getting paid, becoming a force on the web takes time and patience, a lot of time and patience. But it will come if you are diligent and keep working hard at it every day.

Now, without further ado I nominate….

  1. Girl with the passport: A solo traveler, she wants to show others, through funny and engaging posts, that we are not alone and you really can follow your dreams. She wants others to get out of their comfort zone and try new things.
  2. Beer and a backpack: Justin is an international volunteer documenting his around-the-world journey, while trying to make a difference along the way.
  3. You bloody tourist: Anthony is a budget traveler looking for adventure, something to push his boundaries and introduce him to something new and then share it to inspire others to do the same.
  4. Authentic Food Quest: Rosemary and Clare set out to explore places through the local food culture. They believe that travelers can have deeper connections with a destination and people by opening up to the local flavors and tastes.
  5. The Bucket List Review: Mike is another budget traveler who provides a comprehensive guide to the best and craziest adventures worldwide and reviews some of the coolest, one-of-a-kind accommodations you can find.
  6. Study Hard Travel Smart: Katie uses her wanderlust to discuss her travel adventures, lessons learned, and musings about culture and the world around her.
  7. Explore the Map: Sam and Jacob are serious outdoors enthusiasts that provide detailed information on the beautiful trails and wonderful adventures around the globe.
  8. Roar Loud: Cathy and Frank have a curiosity to explore the world for new adventures and take every opportunity to get out and explore the world around them.
  9. Wondrous Paths: Rosie has a love of art history and chronicles the serendipitous things you may run across when traveling. The once-a-week outdoor markets. The festivals. The quintessentiality of different cities and towns.
  10. Little Things Travel Blog: Marissa is a believer in the little things in life and appreciating life’s simple pleasures. Her blog provides a travel guide to the world to help you appreciate the little things in life.
  11. Brazen Backpacker: Emily is a solo adventure traveler who wants to inspire people to get outdoors and out of their comfort zones. With each adventure she steps out of her own comfort zone and fully experiences the nature around her.
  12. Nomad Revelations Travel Blog: He is out to inspire and motivate others to travel, discover new things and live great experiences. In his blog he archives 16 years of travel adventures to inspire others to explore the world on their own terms.
  13. The Bucket List Project: Eric shares his bucket list in an effort to hold himself accountable and to share one-in-a-lifetime experiences and inspire others to get out there and create their own bucket list.
  14. MVMT Blog : Diana and Hope show you how you can travel outside of the boundaries of work, school, and other obligations that inevitably plague our lives. They provide resources on how to maximize your vacation days and budget your trips.
  15. Stray along the way: Bevan and Jill write about their adventure travel around South Africa, Mozambique and Indonesia inspiring others to get out and enjoy the outdoors and what nature has to offer.

“Happiness comes in waves,” Anonymous

Turks & Caicos

With winter upon us and the temperatures outside close to record breaking cold all I can think about are the beautiful beaches of Turks and Caicos. The crystal-clear water, the perfect weather, and being on the beach.

We went to Turks and Caicos to escape the winter and were not disappointed. We booked a condotel (yeah, I didn’t know what that was either) but it was the perfect choice. The place had only a few rooms, which consisted of a separate bedroom, bathroom, living room and a full kitchen and private balcony. We were right on the bottom floor so you could step out from you room and see lizards scurrying and exotic birds preening their beautiful feathers. Oh, and I can’t forget our daily visitor, the stray cat. Sigh.

Lizard

Exotic Bird

Stray

Turks and Caicos is beautiful but let me tell you it can get pricy. If you want a drink on the beach, expect it to cost around $18 USD per drink and dining out for two is easily $100 USD. However, if you stay in a condotel, or other hotel with a kitchen, you have the opportunity to save some money on at least some of the meals by cooking yourself (which is what we did). I’m not saying you have to do this for every meal because of course you want to experience the amazing seafood but it takes the edge off the budget a little to be able to eat breakfast and lunches in your room.

This island has a lot to offer and being the outdoorsy type of people that we are we wanted snorkeling and lots of it. We discovered that if you are willing to walk for it there was a beautiful reef right off the shore close to Turtle Bay. We were staying right in Providenciales, to have access to stores, restaurants and the action so Turtle Bay was about an hour walk on the beach, which was fine for us. The first time we took a taxi and it was kind of ridiculous. We walked back after our initial go and it made more sense to us to walk on the beach, enjoying the feel of the fine white sand between our toes, admiring the sheer beauty of it all and just taking our time, than giving lots of money to a taxi driver.

On the beach

The snorkeling in this area is incredible, I wish that at the time of this trip we had our underwater camera so I could show you just how incredible it was. You enter the water and within a few short steps you were underwater and circling a large tropical reef. There is a plethora of fish, corals and we did see a shark, which made me nervous but we kept going back regardless because it was just so perfect.

Caicos Dream Tours

The water is like bathwater, you will never want to get out. And because we wanted to continue our water journey we signed up for a snorkeling excursion with Caicos Dream Tours. They took us out to a secluded area where we dived for conch, getting to keep our shells after they were done preparing the most delicious conch salad I have ever eaten. If you have never had conch they prepare it raw mixed with fresh veggies, lemon, salt, and some also incorporate fruit. It’s to die for! It’s pretty much all we ate while we were there, prepared in as many ways as we could find. My favorite was the conch fritters.

Da conch

The conch was accompanied by rum punch that will sneak up on you if you’re not careful. The guides took us to Iguana Island after to check out these giant lizards close up and to sip on rum punch while we did it. This island is awesome! Especially for reptile enthusiasts like us. The island is completely deserted save for these incredible reptiles and some beautiful bird species. It’s a long tour and was worth doing because we got to see so much more and snorkel in other areas.

Big iguana

One of these other areas includes the barrier reef. The barrier reef runs parallel to the island shore keeping the waters around the beach calm and clear. The reef was teeming with life and some of the most magnificent corals I have ever seen. It left us wanting more. Which is why we continued to go back to our quiet snorkel spot in turtle bay.

We were never overwhelmed by tourists, and the snorkeling off the beach seemed to be virtually unknown to people. We may have encountered 2-4 people total in all the times we went there (which was pretty much every day). It’s like your own private underwater oasis. I recommend that anyone with an interest in snorkeling, whenever you visit a tropical island seek out these places because they change the trip completely and give you something special that’s pretty much all to yourself.

Blue water

Other than snorkeling in Turks and Caicos, I highly recommend attending the local fish fry. This is where the locals have stands set up and restaurants show off some of their best seafood. There is rum punch served in coconuts, conch cooked in all ways, spiny lobster, fish (of course) and so much more. There was music and dancing and I had a blast. I am so glad we didn’t miss this. It is typically held on Thursdays so make sure to extend your stay long enough to check it out. You won’t find better food in any restaurant I guarantee.

Although, I will say there is a great restaurant called Coco Bistro. It’s a little bit of a walk outside of Providenciales but it’s worth it. It’s this cool refurbished house painted a bright orange, set back off the road surrounded by palm trees. There is outdoor seating with lights strung from the palm trees that become part of the ambience of the place.

They are always busy and they recommend a reservation but if you aren’t picky you can just grab some bar seating, which has some bar tables, couches and a laid-back vibe. You can still get all the same menu items as in the regular restaurant seating and it’s right next to the regular seating so the atmosphere is no different. The food was amazing to say the least. Try it, you won’t regret it.

Have you been to Turks and Caicos? What was your experience? Any other hidden snorkeling gems I should know about or other wonderful places to eat?