EricaShaun_Overyonderlust-couple travel bloggers

A Deluxe Assortment of Delightful Couple Travel Bloggers Who Will Melt Your Heart

It’s easy and, frankly, quite fashionable to be cynical about Valentine’s Day. No matter what your feelings are toward this holiday, you have to hand it to couples who can travel together. No matter how strong of a bond you have with someone, how well you get along in other circumstances, or how irresistibly sexy you find each other, travelling together can strain any kind of relationship and test it in unexpected ways, so it’s a huge accomplishment that these folks not only pull it off, but make it look damn easy. It’s enough to soften the most cynical of hearts.

Luci & Mike of 1000 Places to Fight Before You Die

Reasons to love them: You’ve gotta love their honesty and realism. In general, most trips bear a closer resemblance to a National Lampoons Vacation movie than the alluring fantasies of a travel brochure, and Lucie and Mike not only share their misadventures, but revel in it. They embrace the humour (at least in hindsight) of situations like getting separated at the Louvre and, after a harrowing experience, returning to find that your partner enjoyed a five-star meal in your absence.

1000Fights couple travel bloggers
Mike and Luci –

Nat & Tim of A Cook Not Mad

Reasons to love them: Naming their blog after Canada’s first cookbook earned these guys a soft spot in this nerdilicious heart of mine straight away. They take their food seriously, but their blog is very accessible, even for someone like me who can’t cook to save herself. Not only are there luscious, drool-inducing photos on this culinary travel blog, there are also recipes!

Beth & Randy of Beers and Beans

Reasons to love them: Their logo is a dirigible. They do things like challenge themselves to meet 26 new people on a cruise ship by treating each person to a cocktail starting with a different letter of the alphabet. They also wrote a highly regarded photography book called Getting Out of Auto, whose title also makes an excellent philosophical motto for travelling.

Beers-and-Beans couple travel bloggers
Beth & Randy – Beers and Beans

Chris & Tawny of Captain and Clark

Reasons to love them: Until they fell in love while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, these two actively disliked each other. Now they call themselves modern cartographers. Since maps are awesome and ultra sexy, it stands to reason that cartographers inherently possess a certain awesomeness and sex appeal. Plus, they make bombastically entertaining internet videos, and turn up in costume when you least (or most) expect it.

Kenin & Lauren of The Constant Rambler

Reasons to love them: They travel with their dogs. They are road trip aficionados extraordinaire, and their blog has many photos of cool trains. And they have a manifesto. There’s nothing sexier than a manifesto.

Andy & Becki of Discover with Andy and Becki

Reasons to love them: When Andy can tear himself away from his job in the cancer-fighting business, these two pack their bags, bring their fuzzy alpaca, and embark on adventures like crossing the Atlantic by ship. Yes, I said alpaca. His name is Alfie.

Discover with Andy and Becki couple travel bloggers
Andy, Becki, and Alfie – Discover with Andy and Becki

Cassie & Kevin of Ever in Transit

Reasons to love them: You can find your own reasons to love these guys. There are plenty to choose from.  For me, I love that they share my enthusiasm for Easter Island, Punxsutawney Phil, and a good sweets crawL. Both are great photographers, and generous with their knowledge and travel wisdom. One of the things that makes their blog stand out is how they are able to weave thought-provoking social issues into many of their stories, without ever being pedantic or partisan.

Cassie Kevin Ever in Transit couple travel bloggers
Kevin and Cassie – Ever in Transit

Adam & Hannah of Getting Stamped

Getting Stamped-couple travel bloggers
Hannah and Adam – Getting Stamped

Reasons to love them: Their motto is “A full passport is a happy passport” and I am inclined to agree. My little-known ability to converse with inanimate objects has allowed me to establish that my passport loves getting stamped. Their blog is filled with stunning photography, inspiring stories, and delicious stats about their travels.

Heather & Ish of Globetrotting Mama

Reasons to love them: Having travelled with these two in the lush limestone lowlands of County Limerick, I can attest that both of them regularly have a mischievous glint in their eyes and a ready sense of adventure. They seem to be passing this on to their children, of which I wholeheartedly approve.

Nick & Dariece of Goats on the Road

Reasons to love them: Their site has much less to do with livestock than you might think. In fact, the goats in question are the bloggers themselves. It’s a reference to the fact that they carry all their possessions on their backs. Rather than being the goat equivalent of Crufts, as I had initially imagined, their Goat Shows videos give viewers a slice of life in many of the destinations they visit.

Gerard & Kieu of GQ Trippin

Reasons to love them: This young couple knows what they like to do best. Travel. Eat. Blog. Though they can seen trying all kinds of different foods around the world, they also don’t lose touch with their roots and travel with a supply of their favourite soy sauce and sirhacha.

GQTrippin-couple travel bloggers
Gerard and Kieu – GQTrippin

David & Veronica of The Gypsynester

Reasons to love them: These aren’t your garden-variety empty nesters. Loads of people travel once their kids leave home, but this couple has taken it to the extreme. Adopting somewhat of a scorched earth approach, they sold their nest and everything in it and set out on a life of full-time travel and taking on adventures that could put some gap year hijinks to shame.

Veronica & David – Gypsynester

Dalene & Pete of Hecktic Travels

Reasons to love them: How can you not? Every photo of them in existence is utterly adorable and their stories are entertaining, heartwarming, and compelling. From the mundane but serious matter of trying to get a decent haircut when you don’t speak the language, to their touching saga of how a life of travel has its roots in dealing with personal tragedy, its easy to connect with Dalene and Pete through their blog. No wonder National Geographic named them Travelers of the Year in 2014.

Pete and Dalene – Hecktic Travels

Karin & Kieran of K & K Adventures

Reasons to love them: They have British accents, which science has proven is the sexiest kind of accent one can have. In those British accents — which you have to imagine in your head as you are reading their blog — they describe their experiences putting down roots in Canada, as well as exciting travel escapades to locales both near and far.

Kieran and Karin – K and K Adventures

Erin & Simon of Neverending Voyage

Reasons to love them: Simon travels with a guitar, and Erin puts up with it — I find that very romantic. They’ve also designed a handy app for tracking travel expenses and, more importantly, a t-shirt that says I <3 Mooses. Need I say more?

Simon and Erin – Never-ending Voyage

Caanan & Kent of No Vacation Required

Reasons to love them: When I had an epiphany in 2012 and abandoned my conventional career in ordered to travel as much as I wanted, I felt very alone in that. It was enormously refreshing to discover the NVR guys and in them find someone else who recognized the absurdity of only being able to live the life that you want a few weeks out of the year. They convincingly show that you can really live your life every day.

Hai & Jessica of Notes of Nomads

Jessica and Hai – Notes of Nomads

Reasons to love them: Join one of their joyful photo walks ,like I did in Athens, and you will soon see what’s so loveable about Hai and Jessica. They are super supportive of others, and that comes through on their blog, which is loaded with tips and resources for travellers, particularly in Japan.

Erica & Shaun of Over Yonderlust

Reasons to love them: This duo has been bringing badassery to the travel blogosphere since 2010. Together for half their lives, these two cover travel through a creative, indie lens. Speaking of lenses, Erica has mad photography skills, and recently mounted her first gallery exhibit of photographs from their travels.

EricaShaun_Overyonderlust-couple travel bloggers
Erica and Shaun – Over Yonderlust

Dave & Deb of The Planet D

Reasons to love them: Hands down, these are the most positive, exuberant people I know. Dave and Deb are pioneers of travel blogging and they have made a name for themselves in a big way as Canada’s Adventure Couple. It seems as though they take everything in stride and bounce back from any obstacles, even when Dave recently broke his back in the wilds of deepest, darkest Peru!

Deb and Dave – The Planet D

Michael & Nicole of Suitcase Stories

Reasons to love them: Besides covering luxury travel and giving their readers a sneak peek of the plusher, more opulent side of travel, they often post couples travel tips to help maintain a healthy and happy relationship while travelling together. They should know. They’ve been together for 14+ years.

Nicole and Michael – Suitcase Stories

Ryan & Vanessa of Turnipseed Travel

Reasons to love them: I might be biased about these two, as they let me live with them sometimes and drive me to pirate festivals and soul food joints. Besides those highly attractive qualities, they are also thoroughly hilarious yet pragmatic in their pursuit of affordable luxury. Still married after the infamous Myanmar Train Fiasco, I think they are in it for the long haul.

Audrey & Dan of Uncornered Market

Reasons to love them: This pair is universally respected by seasoned travellers and bloggers alike and in some cases downright adored. In person they are affable and generous, and their blog is teeming with profound tales and eminently useful information and insights, such as the role of empathy in travel, or how to avoid spending your holiday praying to the porcelain gods.

Dan and Audrey – Uncornered Market

Caz & Craig of yTravel Blog

 Reasons to love them: Not only is their site truly inspiring, visually pleasurable, and filled with gorgeous photography, a key motif of their blog is enabling others to live their dreams and so Caz and Craig have provided a snazzy 12-step guide to help aspiring travellers make a break for it. You really have to see it to believe it. Oh, and they have cute kids, too.

y Travel Blog-couple-travel-bloggers
Craig and Caz – yTravel blog

Disclosure and acknowledgements: All photos in this post were used with permission. Many thanks to the respective bloggers who retain copyright of them. All opinions and smartassery are my own. No one put me up to any of this.

Katrinka Nadworny

A Compendium of Amazing and Inspiring Female Travel Bloggers

For the second consecutive year, Evelyn Hannon has created an online photography exhibit on her blog to mark International Women’s Day, which is coming up on Saturday. When I was notified that one of my photos was selected for this year’s exhibit, I immediately went and checked out the entire photo essay. It got me thinking about all of the incredible women travellers in my life and how much they inspire, amaze, and entertain me. A list began to form in my mind, so I decided to share it here.

Tammy Burns

Tammy writes the most fun, poignant pieces on her blog, and in her spare time she is Editor at Travel + Escape where she has to deal with my nonsense on a regular basis.

Liz Carlson

Delightfully opinionated and sassy, Liz also has a strong geek streak. Someday I will visit Hobbiton just like she has.

Vanessa Chiasson

I think of Vanessa as the Martha Stewart of travel. She is an encyclopedia of tips and hacks to make travelling more efficient and, more importantly, massively upgrade the enjoyment factor. I also appreciate her enthusiasm for sweets and seafaring rogues.

Vanessa Chiasson. Photo courtesy of Turnipseed Travel
Vanessa Chiasson. Photo courtesy of Turnipseed Travel

Geraldine De Ruiter

Geraldine makes me giggle. We both have holes in our heads. In an alternate universe we could be best friends.

Annemarie Dooling

Chuck Norris doesn’t hold a candle to Annemarie who, in addition to garnering much respect as a blogger, editor, and speaker, is on a first-name basis with Grumpy Cat.

Nora Dunn

A trained financial planner, Nora helps me to delude convince myself that perpetual travel is a sane life choice.

Jo Fitzsimons

Just as her blog’s name suggests, it’s easy to imagine Jo swinging from a rope through snake-infested ancient ruins or cracking a whip to fend off the wayward advances of inebriated ne’er-do-wells.


In addition to being to blame for convincing me that it’s normal to travel with stuffed animals, Linda is the first nomad I ever knew and planted that seed in my mind many years ago. She’s obviously a dangerous influence. You have been warned.

Evelyn Hannon

Evelyn is a pioneer and the godmother of travel bloggers and travelling women alike. Her site, Journeywoman, is one of the most established travel blogs around and serves as an invaluable resource for female travellers.

Emma Holliday

With the name Holliday, Emma may have been preordained to be a travel writer. Officially, her blog is about tea and travel, but in the right mood you can easily get her talking about Doctor Who and other geekalicious pleasures.
Cassie Kifer in LA
Cassie Kifer looks on as a man shoots a dramatic selfie in Los Angeles

Cassie Kifer

I love Cassie’s socially-conscous take on travel and all of the neat finds she posts about.  She’s also a mighty fine companion on a photo walk.

Becki Kremer

Becky only started travelling for reals when she met her husband Andy and took her first international trip. She has taken to it with gusto!

Pam Mandel

Pam and I disagree about some things, but there are two subjects we’re in 100% solidarity on: the superiority of the ukulele, and that nerds rule.

Karyn Means

Because I feel like I’m barely managing to keep myself out of trouble most of the time, parents like Karyn never cease to amaze me. Her well-travelled little ones are some of the luckiest kiddos alive.

Katrinka Nadworny

Shooting her photographs with film is only the beginning of Katrinka’s badassery. She was named Storyteller of the Year for 2013 by HostelWorld. We share an affinity for swordplay.
Katrinka Nadworny
Katrinka Nadworny in Istanbul (obviously!) Photo courtesy of Katrinka Abroad.

Sherry Ott

Blog: Ottsworld
Sherry was my mentor at BlogHouse and I have an enormous amount of respect for how she has been able to be a digital nomad for many years. Her insights into the practicalities of perpetual travel are gold.

Arienne Parzei

Arienne is my role model in the world of videography, and she has graciously shared her expertise with me in my as yet unfulfilled quest to get into making films for this blog. Watch for cameos by yours truly in her video about Toronto’s Distillery District.

Andrea Rees

In my hands an iPhone is a device for populating the world with blurry photos of my fingers, but in Andrea’s it is a tool for making art. This professional photographer took her skills to Africa with The heART of a Woman Project, where she taught iPhoneography to nine women so that they can make greeting cards to sell and earn money to support their families.

Sally Robinson

Hunt Museum Sally Robinson
Sally Robinson in historical costume at the Hunt Museum in Limerick

Blog: Robinson Rambles On

A skilled photographer, public speaker, and limerick writer, Sally’s enthusiasm is infectious.

Kay Rodriguez

Last year I made the prediction that this young firecracker and go-getter will be President of the Universe someday. I stand by that assessment. You read it here first, people.

Megan Smith

You learn a lot about someone when you share a bed with them. Megan’s blog chronicles her travels as she attempts to find a new direction in her life after ending a significant relationship and quitting her job.

Alicia Taggio

I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Alicia for co-founding the stupendous Toronto Travel Massive, where I hang out with my tribe. She’s also one of the most cheerful people I know.

Sally Thelen

Because unicorns. And cookies. And being brave enough to go solo and the candour to own up to daunting challenges like non-fitting pants and full-length photos. It’s a hilarious combination.  Amirite?

Mariellen Ward

You may know her as my personal tea guru, but Mariellen’s blog is about meaningful, transformative travel. She’s also co-founder of Toronto Travel Massive and founder of WeGoSolo, a movement that supports female solo travel.

That’s the end of my list. I encourage you to pay these ladies a visit by checking out their incredible blogs.
So, who are the women that inspire you?
BlogHouse welcome

On Finding My Tribe

Finding your tribe is a lot like falling in love. You don’t know you‘ve found it until you’re there, and it’s an incredible feeling.

I got into the travel industry by accident

After my first grown-up job proved to be a disastrous, exploitive rip-off I was jaded (gee, can you tell?) about employers so for the next couple of years I worked an incredibly diverse series of temporary assignments for a staffing agency. I had several offers of permanent jobs, but couldn’t bring myself to commit to any of them. Then in 1999 I was assigned to a travel company.

My first day in the travel industry was unbridled chaos. Everyone in the entire department I was to report to had called in sick unbeknownst to each other, and the guy who got roped into supervising me that day had just returned from vacation and didn’t have a clue what was going on either. We just answered phones in a blind panic all day and did our best.

Maybe it was finally having a use for my knowledge of the International Radio Alphabet that I taught myself when I was 11, or hearing people throw around city codes like namedroppers at a black tie affair that won me over. Whatever it was, I felt at home and worked my way up through the ranks for the next 10 years.

Then I discovered BookCrossing

BookCrossing Flasmob Dublin
BookCrossing flashmob in Dublin. You kinda had to be there to understand

No one realized it at the time, but the moment in July 2002 when someone sent me a link to altered the course of my life. At first I joined because the idea of tracking a book’s journey fascinated me, but after I attended the inaugural BookCrossing Convention in 2004, I experienced my first inkling of what it means to find your tribe. I arrived in St. Louis to find a gathering of people who were like me in a lot of ways, and I didn’t have to explain my enthusiasm for books.

BookCrossing became the catalyst for several trips and was the impetus behind the start of my travelling solo. I think that in every nerd’s life there comes a time when you want to go to a convention, and no one else can/wants to, so you just have to summon the courage to go by yourself. I went to the BookCrossing convention several times on my own, and once I started doing that it seemed natural to plan other solo trips, and so on and so on and so on.

Enter Travel Massive

Early in 2012 I made a groundbreaking discovery. After having written about travel for years and years, and having managed the FlightNetwork travel blog for a year at that point, I found that there was a whole community of other people who are nuts about travel and who are into blogging. This is going to sound dumb, but it had never occurred to me that there were organized groups who get together to discuss travel blogging.

My first Toronto Travel Massive was slightly intimidating. I arrived flustered because I’d taken several buses and a train to get there and technically I was crashing the party because I wasn’t on the guest list. I’d only decided to start A Nerd at Large the week prior, and had registered the domain and my Twitter handle the night before.

Toronto Travel Massive Movember
Toronto Travel Massive Movember shenanigans

It was cramped because that particular meeting was in the sponsor’s offices and classroom style seating for the presentation meant there was little room to move around. I sat there and eavesdropped on Karin and Kieran (who I had not met yet) for a minute or two and then I found the nerve to introduce myself to the similarly quiet person next to me, Jen from Loving the Ride, and soon we were gabbing about our travel plans as though we’d been friends for life. Two rows ahead was a man (who I later learned was Ken Kaminesky) in a dazzling and colourful western shirt adorned with gemstones on the collar that constantly competed for my attention during the sessions. There were several presentations, but the highlight of the evening was Mike Corey giving a talk about his approach to travel videos. I left the event bursting with creative energy. I was almost skipping down the street on the way to the train station.

And then there was TBEX

A few short weeks, and a trip to Ireland later, I was Googling “travel blog best practices” when I discovered that there was this travel blogging conference called TBEX happening in Colorado in 12 days’ time. Holy wow, not only were there meetups about travel blogging, but an entire conference devoted to it! I’m not normally good at asking for things for myself, but I was so jazzed about this that I brought it up with my boss. I fully expected him to say no, but to my astonishment he was enthusiastic about it and we made the arrangements for me to go.

Next thing I knew it I was exploring Denver with fellow bloggers, drinking beer for the first time, making new friends and nonsensical videos during the road rally up to Keystone, singing Folsom Prison Blues with Chris Christensen, having hamburgers made of chocolate at a ridiculously high altitude, and also learning a metric whackload about travel blogging.

Chocolate hamburgers at Keystone resort
Chocolate hamburgers. For reals.

Remember, until a couple of months before this I had been blogging in complete isolation. I’ve always been passionate about travel, and I know writing because that’s what I do, so I’d taught myself WordPress and blogged on my merry way.

TBEX was an incredible experience, both professionally and personally. I gained a bunch of pro tips from the sessions that gave me, and the blogs I managed, a huge leg up and allowed me to sound like I knew what I was talking about throughout the rest of the year. I also met so many cool people, many of whom I’m now honoured to count among my friends.

It was this tribe of travel fiends whose support gave me the courage to make the tough decision to leave my job and go out on my own. I honestly I don’t think I would have had the confidence to take such a huge risk, and do something that doesn’t make any sense to anyone who is not addicted to travel. It has been their feedback and encouragement that helped me realize that A Nerd at Large isn’t just a ludicrous folly, but a viable business opportunity.

The latest additions to my tribe

Anyone who knows me in real life has been well aware over the past year how excited I was that TBEX was coming to Toronto in 2013. I bought my ticket the day they went on sale and have been talking the ears off everyone who will listen ever since.

In a scenario eerily similar to the one described earlier, I was emailing with Andy who I met at TBEX last year when he mentioned BlogHouse. I’d seen that name floating around in connection to TBEX Europe in Spain last year but at the time I thought it was a bunch of bloggers who had cleverly decided to rent a house together during the conference. When I looked up what BlogHouse actually is, I was delighted to find that it’s a sort of boot camp for bloggers that immediately precedes the TBEX conference. A commenter on another post about BlogHouse described it as “Hogwarts for travel bloggers” which I think is the most perfect, geektastic way to characterize it. The thing was, there was only one day left to apply!

I immediately set to work writing up the application, which I think in hindsight might have been a very frantic, desperate-sounding plea. The reason I wanted to go to BlogHouse is that when you are self-taught you have no idea where you stand. I didn’t know how much I knew and what I still had left to learn. The thing with travel blogging is that you have to be adept at so many different disciplines. I might get some flak for saying this, but it is much more difficult than being a writer and by several orders of magnitude. Not only do you have to be a good writer, researcher, and interviewer, you also have to have a lot of technical knowledge, be a social media guru, videographer, photographer, trip planner, PR flack and several other areas of expertise to boot. BlogHouse presented the chance to pick the brains of some of the best in the business and I was all over that.

So I sent off my manic form and carried on, not really expecting that I would be selected to participate. A few weeks went by and then I got an email offering me a spot in the BlogHouse. Well I’ll be darned.

BlogHouse welcome

The Hogwarts analogy was brought to life even more by the fact that sponsor FlipKey arranged for the BlogHouse to take place in a castle! I’m local to Toronto and even I didn’t know that there’s an amazing 11-bedroom castle in the middle of the city that you can rent. The hilarious thing is that we were so focused on upping our blogging game that we kind of ignored the fact that were in such a remarkable building most of the time.

BlogHouse participants

The senior bloggers from Navigate Media Group took us under their collective wings and were tremendously generous with their knowledge. The entire group gelled immediately, and this harkens back to the whole tribe thing. Just like with BookCrossers, anytime I meet a travel blogger I know that there’s an excellent chance that we’re going to get along. We are predisposed to becoming good friends because we already have a lot in common and share certain values. When you meet someone from your tribe, no explanation is required for why you do the things you do and why you care about it so much. They just get it. With an intensive experience like BlogHouse, where we were together 24/7 for several days, that phenomenon is magnified and we soon became like family.


I want to introduce you to some of the cool people who are part of my tribe, but there is so much to say about them that I’m going to devote an entire post to it. Oh, and the big lesson I took from BlogHouse is that I know what I’m doing and I need to develop the confidence to trust my instincts and keep doing what I do well.

Have you found your tribe yet? What was that experience like?

Snarfy at Stonehenge

Adventures in Snarfing

What the Dickens is Markeroni?

Markeroni - Historic is an online community devoted to landmark snarfing. Clear as mud, I bet. Anyhow, it’s been an integral part of many of my travels since 2004.

My introduction to landmark snarfing — the act of visiting historic landmarks and photographing them, often with a toy mascot in tow — occurred serendipitously while I was attending the original BookCrossing convention in St. Louis.

During an outing at the convention I was paired with Linda Gentile, founder of Markeroni. We hit it off immediately, with both of us possessing a wry sense of humour and having a nerdy bent. Since we’re both introverts, we were feeling the need to have some distance from the crowd for a bit and ended up exploring downtown St. Louis.

At the time I didn’t know I was on a snarfari, or the role landmark snarfing would come to play in my life, just that I was having fun exploring history and discovering things that I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. Linda explained the site to me as we walked and snapped pics.

I will be the first to admit that having a toy “mascot” and running around all over Hell’s half-acre looking for historical markers and sites sounds like a load of nonsense. I am accustomed to being viewed as eccentric, but it struck even me as a bit daft at first. Like pairing Captain Crunch with hummus, it turns out to be one of those “Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it” deals.

Meet Snarfy

You can see where this is going. Before long I’d drunk the kool-aid and was officially a Markeroon. To compete in the annual Markeroni Challenge requires a mascot, which is how Snarfy entered my life.

Snarfy at Stonehenge

I didn’t put much thought or deliberation into acquiring Snarfy. I was eager to get started so I simply picked him up at the dollar store. Since then we’ve become loyal travelling companions, having all sorts of adventures together, from mountainpeaks to the Houses of Parliament and everything in between.

How Markeroni Has Enhanced My Travels

Noticing things — Once I started looking for landmarks I found them everywhere. Right away I saw a historical plaque that I’d walked past at least a thousand times in my daily commute and never noticed before. I’m so grateful that Markeroni caused me to start really looking at things instead of giving everything a cursory glance. Landmark snarfing has made me more observant, and while I started out just trying to track down plaques, I see so much more of everything now.

historical marker mascotsTrip catalyst — Because I don’t do things in half measures, I quickly exhausted the local supply of landmarks to snarf, and soon we were going farther afield to find fresh snarfs, and then even farther. Gradually the radius grew until we began to take multi-day snarfari trips and have visited oodles of places I wouldn’t have considered otherwise. I often need a reason or purpose to justify travelling, and Markeroni has provided that impetus many times.

Different stuff — I confess that I can be a bit list-driven sometimes. I’m embarrassed to admit it since it belies a lack of substance, and a tick-the-box mentality, but sometimes it’s incredibly, irresistibly satisfying to check every single item off a list. On occasion I have visited sites and attractions that I had no interest in whatsoever other than wanting to snarf them, and many times I have made amazing discoveries in the process and broadened my horizons.

Road trip! — Markeroni made me a road-trip-loving fool! Maybe it was traumatic memories of long family car trips from my childhood burbling to the surface, but road trips didn’t hold much appeal to me before joining Markeroni. Then came a few of the aforementioned overnight snarfaris and I caught the road trip bug. I came to love the planning of a road trip and the exploration involved, and yes, even getting lost! Now I’ll jump at any excuse for a road trip, whether it involves snarfing or not.

Snarfy at the British MuseumContext — I’ve always had a fascination with history, but before I started landmark snarfing history wasn’t really a part of my life. Landmark snarfing has dramatically deepened my knowledge of and interest in history. Historical knowledge brings context to my travels, adds meaning to the places that I visit, and helps me to interpret their significance.

Conversation starter — I’m an introvert and can be extremely shy in person, especially around new people. There’s nothing like having a teddy bear peeking out of your handbag, or curious onlookers witnessing you lining up your mascot for the perfect shot to get the conversation started. I may not have the gumption to strike up a conversation, but if someone asks “What are you doing?” or “What’s with the bear?” I’m happy to chat with them, and I have met many interesting people this way.

Camera at the ready — Nowadays it’s normal to always have a camera at hand, but when I joined Markeroni 8 years ago that wasn’t so, and I wasn’t in the habit of carrying a camera wherever I went. However I started to carry one all the time because you never know when you’re going to encounter an interesting bit of history. Inevitably I encountered more than just history, and I have become a better photographer and blogger as a result of having the camera in the moments when it counted.

Snarfy at Allen GardensCommunity – Like many of the other online communities I belong to, I know that no matter where I am in the world, I can get in touch with a fellow member of the site, and there’s an extremely high probability that we’re going to get along like gangbusters. It’s always good to have a community to draw upon when you travel and I have been fortunate to spend time with several Markeroons in my travels, and they have always enriched my experiences enormously and been fantastic company to boot.

Your Turn

So, if you have a penchant for quirkiness and an appreciation for the past, present, or future, consider giving Markeroni a try. I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention that Linda is currently running an indiegogo campaign to fund the replacement of the ridiculously archaic computers that she uses to run the site, so if funding zany but beneficial projects is in your wheelhouse, you may want to get in on it in the next few days before the campaign expires.

Historical marker - snarfing in London