“It’s a major award!” Versatile Blogger Award

by Stephanie Withers
Versatile Blogger Award

I’m so grateful to be recognized by one of my favorite bloggers, the fearless traveler/talented writer/badass woman behind The Detour Effect, for the Versatile Blogger Award (Thanks, Claire! <3).

Claire inspires me to get outside, get moving, and to take care of myself. She’s always sharing amazing photos of her long solo hikes out West and talking all things personal growth, endurance, and personal challenges. She’s someone who embodies everything I admire in a person – doing what they want, when they want, with a shit ton of passion. Go check out The Detour Effect!

Being nominated by this open and honest female badass is especially important to me because of my passion for versatility. Being open to change and to chances, and adapting as the circumstances around us continuously shift and change, is the way I love to live my life.

My husband and I even come with a tagline that we repeat to each other every time we make a spur-of-the-moment decision, “We do what we want and we accept the consequences.”

What it means to be versatile…

To me, to be versatile is to be human. Adaptable, multi-faceted, many-sided, changeable – ever growing and evolving.

Yes, I’m a traveler, but I’m also so much more. And in an effort to build community and get to know you all as people (and not just spit U.S. road trip facts at you), I like to share all of those sides of me.

The fact that I’ve been recognized for being human (versatile) and open about myself in a society where people often try to be something else just to get a ‘like’ means so much to me. We all come with struggles, pains, and faults. Not all road trips are fun and perfect!

But they’re all an adventure and an opportunity for growth and change – physically, spiritually, and mentally.

Award Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you.
  2. Link to the person who nominated you.
  3. Share 7 facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award. I’m doing 10 for now, to update later as I get to know more of you!
Versatile Blogger Award

7 facts about me – the every day and the seriously quirky

  • My husband and I don’t plan on having children, but we have three “special needs” dogs who we love more than anything. Our biggest is Sugar, our 1-year-old Black Lab with a bum leg. Next is Rex, my best friend and 10-year-old Chihuahua who has been with me since he was a baby. He’s been living with heart failure for about two years now. Last is our 8-year-old Chihuahua named Dobby who we inherited when my grandmother passed away. He was a rescue and has all kinds of PTSD-like symptoms from whatever happened to him before.
  • When my husband and I first started dating, we bought an old school bus off of Craigslist and started converting it into a tiny home. We had so many ups and downs with that project and learned SO much together. That didn’t work out how we wanted, but we’re still preparing for van life. Happy to be going into it a little wiser this time.
  • My husband is a woodworker. Together, we started a bookbinding business that we ran on Etsy for three years called Bowtie and the Bandit. We LOVED this business but had to stop after relocating to Texas to care for his grandmother. We still do some custom bookbinding projects and I don’t think we’ll ever stop.
  • I struggle with mental illness. BAM, I SAID IT! My every day is a surprise roller coaster with some normal days and other days in the extreme highs and lows. I also struggle with severe anxiety and panic attacks. I’m open about this because I want to help others who deal with unmedicated mental illness not feel so alone and inspire them to live a fuller life as well as educate those who don’t know what it’s like to be a prisoner to your own mind. People who struggle with mental illness are normal, everyday people you see all around you just trying to get by. We’ve just gotten pretty good at putting a happy face on things. Travel is my favorite way to escape my illnesses – a very welcome and healing distraction.
  • I love taking pictures with statues. I have no idea why. I’ve been doing it FOR YEARS. I have a pretty hefty collection of photos of me, all over the country, looking like an idiot in front of inanimate objects. I should seriously put up a gallery of them.
  • I’m vegan, mostly for my mental health. After reading up on the mental benefits of healing your gut, I cut out the foods that cause me the most digestive distress – meat, dairy, onions, and garlic. Definitely noticed a decrease in the significant fluctuations of my moods. I feel much more balanced, clear-minded, and energetic.
  • I’m studying computer programming. Whaaaat. If I went back in time and told my younger, Myspace-personalizing self that I would one day learn how to really code, I wouldn’t have believed it. My passion in life is helping and inspiring others to realize and chase their dreams. It’s my end goal to compile the skills between my husband and I to start a ‘small business solutions’ company where we help creative entrepreneurs grow and maintain their businesses. As former Etsy sellers and passionate makers, we know budget and time are two things entrepreneurs need more of. While living in a van, our expenses will be fewer, so we hope to work for a little less and do more to boost others up and help them succeed. You can check out what small business services we already offer here.

My 15 10 nominations for the Versatile Blogger Award…

Sophia Rose Roams

Sophia is an awesome writer. She writes from a place of passion – for travel and new experiences, veganism, and environmentalism – and bundles her interests into her new blog, Sophia Rose Roams. While she’s new to the game, she’s always learning and growing and is definitely a versatile blogger worth watching. Check out her post about how losing everything gave her a better outlook on life.


Hannah is another new, promising, and versatile blogger. She writes about compassionate lifestyle (ahimsa, a yoga philosophy). Travel, veganism, and thrift shopping are her specialties. I love her beautiful post explaining the philosophy of ahimsa.

Deafinitely Wanderlust

While I’m not a member of the deaf community, I absolutely love that Stacey’s blog exists. She gives great advice for other deaf travelers and hearing travelers alike, has great adventure stories, and is working to create a more diversity-inclusive deaf travel community. Check out her post on struggling to find an interpreter in Louisiana.

Live Wonderfilled

Kristina is such a sweet presence on Twitter. I love reading about her life as an expat in Spain and interacting with her observations on life. Her blog is inspirational, educational, and SO relatable. She discusses traveling as a plus-sized woman (to which I totally relate), exploring life in Spain, and living wonderfilled and following your dreams.

Family Destinations USA

Laura is a mom of three and a fellow U.S. traveler. She’s got great content about family friendly destinations throughout the U.S. and researches new places based on themes that she’d like to check out. I think that’s super cool! I can’t wait to check out some of these unicorn themed U.S. travel destinations.

The Planking Traveler

Emily not only has great tips for travel destinations, but she also writes a lot about fitness and nutrition – one of my other favorite topics. I’ve found her post with 5 Tips For Successful Fasting super helpful as I start my journey with intermittent fasting.

Wild Hearted

Ashley is another vegan blogger who focused on a ‘do no harm’ philosophy for life and travel. She writes a lot about vegan destinations, eco-friendly travel practices, and has several activism resources. I love Love LOVE her blog. Check out her post on vegan spots in Nashville, TN where I’ll be traveling next month!

Places, Pages, & Plates

Travel. Books. Self Care. Mental Health. What else could you need? If it’s a lot, get ready, because Hannah delivers. She’s a busy bee who’s been nominated for a lot lately so that shows you she’s doing something oh, so right. I love reading her short posts on her adventures and favorite reads. Check out these posts on her travel experiences.

Explore With Lora

Lora writes about hiking, wildlife experiences, and exploring the world. Her photos are gorgeous and make me want to go everywhere!! Check out her post on 101 Things To Do In Toronto (cause I can totally road trip to Canada!).

Radically Ever After

Namita is a traveling yoga teacher and her blog is so beautiful and inspiring. With posts about art, life, culture, and volunteer work, she really makes me feel the soul of her travel destinations. I love scrolling through her blog to find posts like this one on a road trip through rural Andalusia.

Thank you, bloggers!

I want to give a big ‘thank you’ to my list for staying versatile, showing your true selves, and not pretending to be anything more than human. Keep on bloggin’!

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Hannah Read 06/20/2019 - 3:24 pm

Thank you so much for nominating me, and congratulations! Those books are beautiful 😍 I love your tiny home idea as well – I don’t think it’s something we can do in England as our housing laws are different but I’ve always dreamt of doing something like that!

Stephanie Withers 06/20/2019 - 3:29 pm

It’s well deserved! <3 and I follow so many vanlifers in Europe! I'm not sure I've seen a skoolie though....


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