Today's featured blogger taking over my site is Casey from We Took the Road Less Traveled.
Casey may have taken the road less traveled living abroad with her husband like she is, but it is a wonderful road indeed that should inspire all of us do something a little more courageous in our own lives. If ever there was a blog full of amazing photography and great posts that gives me the travel bug, it is Casey's. If you're in the mood to "get away" this weekend I definitely recommend checking this blog out!
1. Tell me about life abroad.
Well, it's pretty darn amazing. The traveling, the food, new cultures, learning how to speak German (ok, not that one)…all of it has been a total dream. My husband D and I moved to Germany in the summer of 2011 by orders from the good 'ol Air Force and have spent the last 2.5 years jaunting around Europe like it was our jobs. We've done crazy things like ride donkeys in Santorini, figure out how to use our strange German toilet, sipped champagne atop the Eiffel Tower, have weird conversations with Germans, and partied our brains out at Oktoberfest. If you had told me I'd be living this life 4 years ago, I would have laughed square in your face. It's been the single most rewarding experience of my life and has change me in so many different ways. I'm all kinds of sad it will all come to and end next summer. Germany, I can't quit you!
2. What do you miss most about America?
The sweet thing to say would be my family, friends, and my adorable weenie dog, Tuck…but that's already a given. What I really miss is Target. I have dreams about roaming the aisles of Target. And going to eat spicy chicken sandwiches at Chick-Fil-A. And parking in parking lots with ample space (Germany has a serious lacking of parking lots and large parking spaces…it's like playing car Tetris here.) I also miss being able to walk down the street without being stared at. Germans are notorious for their unabashed staring. I'm constantly checking to see if I've missed a belt loop or have chocolate on my face. Seriously unnerving.
3. Tell me more about your holiday gift guide?
This is the second year I've hosted a Handmade Holiday Gift Guide on the blog and I'm hoping, wishing, and praying it will be even better than last year's! Basically, it's my way of sharing and supporting all the fabulous handmade shops out there. I am constantly buying awesome jewelry, prints, and knits from various shops on Etsy and Storenvy, so I thought, why not showcase tons of them on the blog in the form of a holiday gift guide! This way, shops can show off their best swag and my readers can get their Christmas shopping on. Win-win for everyone! Look out for the guide to go live on the blog the week of November 11th! They'll be lots of discount codes, too! Spread the word, won't you?
4. Where do you see yourself in five years?
What a loaded question, Taylor!! Gahhh. So, if I had it my way, 5 years from now I'd still be married to my hot husband, we'd have a seriously adorable kid (preferably a girl…duh), and I'd have a mega huge blog. 2 out of 3 seem doable, right? I'd also love to still be traveling my heart out. The wanderlust bug has bit me hard and I don't want that part of me to ever go away. And if we're being totally honest, I'd also love to own our own home. Military life isn't always conducive to that, but hey, a girl can dream!
5. Any advice for bloggers just starting out?
March to the beat of your own drum. When I started out, I was trying to be and do everything I thought I was "supposed" to do in order to have a successful blog. Truth is, there is no right or wrong way to do this blogging thing, and don't let other bloggers tell you otherwise. Write what makes you happy, find your voice, and thoughtfully interact with the blogging community. Authenticity is what keeps readers engaged and coming back for more. And get on board with all kinds of social media platforms (especially Twitter and Instagram). They're pretty important for spreading the word about your space and networking with fellow bloggers. Also, once you get your blogger bearings, advertise with Tay. She's kind of the shiz.