Sunshine Blogger Award

This is a bit of a more personal post than the normal travel guides.

Yesterday was a pretty great day for me as a newbie blogger.  Not only am I starting to get 500 views daily on this website, I reached 1000 followers on Instagram and was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award!  Big thank you to Girl About Europe for the nomination!!

The Sunshine Blogger Award is a peer-recognition award given to bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring.  

Sunshine Blogger Award


  • Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate (at least) 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.


So here are the 11 questions posed to me:

A Happy Passport - Alison, Eric, Sunny & Shadow

1. How different is your life compared to one year ago?

Quite a bit different career-wise.  A year ago, I was pursuing a Ph.D. in Genomics.  Now I am involved in travel consulting full-time.  I have always had a passion for travel and encouraging others to travel more, now it is just what I spend all my days doing!  I still enjoy my day-to-day life with my husband, Eric, and our two peculiar cats, Sunny & Shadow in St. Louis, MO.  


2. If you could live anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

Scandinavian countries have the highest quality of life ratings for a reason.  Now having been to all of the Scandinavian capitals, the choice between them is a difficult one.  Copenhagen, Denmark would probably be where I would choose.


3. Where’s the funniest place you’ve ever fallen asleep?

Since I can only fall asleep if I am in a comfy bed in a pitch-black silent room with adequate temperature-control... I'd have to say ... a bed in a pitch-black silent room with adequate temperature-control.


4. Have you ever conquered a fear?

I strive to never let a fear prevent me from doing something I want to do.  While I might be a bit terrified of heights, I will walk out on a swinging rope over a lake of crocodiles when given the opportunity.  At the end of the day, am I still afraid of heights?  Do I still have a long list of irrational fears?  Yes.


5. What’s your personal anthem?

While I don't typically think of songs in the term of personal anthems, but throughout my life, there have been certain songs that have resonated with me in different stages.  One I keep going back to is Good Life by One Republic.



6. Can you speak any other languages?

Ein bisschen Deutsch.  Un peu de français.  And Hello and Thank You in the languages of most of the countries I am going to next.  


7. If you could meet your 15-year-old self what 1 piece of advice would you give?

I am going to have to steal Melinda Gates advice: Make sure you continue to trust what you know now about yourself and stay true to what you believe in.


8. What inspired you to start your blog?

When planning my travels, I make extremely detailed itineraries and plans.  I then come back home after the trip with thousands of pictures, memories, and tips that would be helpful for others wanting to explore the same areas of the world.  Too many times I hear from people that they wish they could travel internationally, not realizing how easy and cheap it can be.  I feel extremely fortunate for all the places I have visited and want to encourage others to leave the comfort of home, revel in the spectacular landscapes across the globe, experience new cultures, and take some adventures.


9. Describe your fashion style in 3 words.

Comfortable. Simple. Timeless. 


10. Are you a procrastinator?

Who isn't at least about some tasks in their life?  Actually, according to research, procrastination makes you more creative.  Procrastination can give you time to consider divergent ideas, to think in nonlinear ways, and to make unexpected leaps.  While I tend not to procrastinate on menial tasks like filing taxes or things I am extremely excited about like planning new trips, I have been known to procrastinate occasionally.


11. 3 things you couldn’t live without.

Oxygen, food & water... did I get it right?  Okay, so my less serious answer are My family, a camera, and a passport.


My Nominations:

Questions for the Nominees:

  1. When did you realize your passion for traveling and how?
  2. Where is your favorite place you have celebrated a birthday?
  3. What item could you not travel without?
  4. How did you choose the next place you are traveling to?
  5. Do you have any tips to give anyone new to blogging?
  6. Road trip or scenic train ride?
  7. What is your favorite type of cuisine?
  8. Describe yourself in five words.
  9. What inspired your blog name?
  10. What was the first stamp on your current passport?
  11. If money was not an issue, where would you travel to?