The Liebster Award

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Recently, my friend Allysse nominated me for a Liebster Award. I was very excited about this for a couple of reasons. First, it introduced me to some new blogs I was unfamiliar with, and I’m already enjoying what I’m reading. Second, it gives me an opportunity to answer some questions about myself and my blog, and Allysse asks really good questions.

Wait, what’s the Liebster Award?

I’m glad you (hypothetically) asked. It’s an award for bloggers, by bloggers, that encourages community, connection, and the discovery of new blogs. We pass it from person to person to nominate blogs that we find interesting or noteworthy. Here are the guidelines for how it works:

  • Mention the person in your post who nominated you for a Liebster Award.
  • Answer the questions he/she asked you.
  • Nominate other great bloggers for a Liebster Award.
  • Give your nominees a list of questions they have to answer.

So let’s get to it! Here are my answers to Allysse’s questions:

What is inspiring to you?

One of the things that I find inspiring are the people whose blogs I’ve started reading in the last six months (yours included, Allysse). Reading about other people’s experiences has really given me support to take my own adventures a step further. Likewise, a couple of people have told me that my blog has been a positive influence for them, and that has really inspired me to keep churning out content and hopefully get better at it as I do so.

I think that the people in my life are really a great source of inspiration. The one area of my life in which I’ve been exceptionally blessed has been friendship; I’ve met so many people along the way, and they’ve shaped who I am, and how I approach things. Sometimes I stop and think about how Tim would solve a problem, or how Joe would try to fix something, how Jason would phrase something, or how Anna would organize something. If I want their input, I can just call. I won’t necessarily do the same thing they would, admittedly, but it’s incredibly helpful to have a team of people I can rely on, and those people really inspire me.

I find a lot of inspiration out in nature as well, which is why I want to spend time outside. It’s a big world out there, and the only way to see it is to actually go outside and take a look, even if that’s just starting around the corner from your house. I spent a lot of time caught in the trap of “I can’t do everything, so I guess I’ll do nothing” and so getting up and doing, trying, or making something is important to me. Seeing others do that is really motivating.

Favorite book(s)?

It’s difficult to pick just one…

I’m a big fan of Daniel Quinn; his books have influenced the way I think about our world, and I can’t recommend them enough. I’ve read them multiple times, and I get something new from them with each and every pass. Please consider picking up Ishmael and seeing what you think.

I also love comic books, and read quite a few. I’ve been disappointed with the recent fare from the superhero world (except Batgirl, that series is amazing), so I’ve been reading a lot of older works that I pick up at the library. Favorites include Batman and Green Arrow; I like the notion that at the heart of these characters, is an individual who has decided to focus their will and developed themselves into something mythical. It’s all made-up, of course, but the principle of becoming more than you currently are is really inherent in those characters, and I find that incredibly motivating.

The last book I’ll recommend here is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It appears to be a children’s book, and in some ways it is, but there is some really insightful stuff in there, and I think every adventurer should read it. At its core, the book illustrates that exploration has as much to do with looking at things in new ways, as it does with seeing new things. It’s whimsical, and really captures what’s great about the places you see and people you meet as you travel through life.

How do you keep your memories?

I try to keep up with journaling, but I have to admit I have been really bad over the last few months! When I broke my hand at the end of September, I couldn’t really keep up with it, and instead of finding an alternative, I just let it fall by the wayside, and I’ve only recently started picking it up again. Trying to encapsulate over two months worth of events and thoughts in a couple of journal entries has been a pain. I suppose my blog is also a bit of a journal in a sense, though it’s a journal that is written and edited with public consumption in mind.

I carry a little notebook with me just about everywhere I go and use that to record thoughts and musings, and I keep a lot of early drafts of blog posts and other ideas in Evernote. I also take a lot of pictures! I try to be fairly active on social media without being too active on social media. Sharing the experience is really important to me, but I have a rule about the experience taking priority over the story. When you’re trying to commit to writing and helping others have experiences of their own, it can be hard to figure out how much is too much, and occasionally I do have to stop and consider if I’m spending too much time in front of or behind a camera.

Lakeshore Nature Preserve
I try to balance getting photos of what I’m doing with actually just experiencing what I’m doing, like climbing trees in the Lakeshore Nature Preserve in Madison.

Most importantly though, I try to really commit scenes and experiences to memory. I want the experience to stay with me for a lifetime, so I really try to let myself feel with depth. The details may get fuzzy, but I tend to remember the feelings, and that’s perhaps the more important part.

Upcoming events/journeys looking forward?

Breaking my hand changed my plans for fall and winter, but I’m starting to get a better picture of what’s coming up and you know, it looks good. I’m flying out to LA at the end of the week to run a Spartan Sprint with my oldest friend Tim, which should be a great time. I’m a little nervous about how my hand will hold up on some of those obstacles; it’s still not up to full strength and my wrist is still pretty tender, but we’ll just have to see how it goes. We’ll probably explore some breweries and local attractions while we’re there, though our plans aren’t set in stone. Other than that, I don’t have any specific schedule, though I have a number of plans in development. I know I’m going to do some winter camping, most likely solo, and work on some skill development while I’m in the woods. I need to knock the rust off of a lot of skills, like navigation and first-aid, so I’m going to be seeking further instruction in those areas over the next few months, as well as researching some wilderness survival and primitive skills training. Once it starts to warm up, I’ll be retaking the safe rider motorcycle course, and I’m planning on hiking the Great River Trail in the spring. So, while I don’t have a concrete schedule yet, I’ve got a lot on the horizon that I’m looking forward to.

Favorite place(s)?

It’s hard to narrow down favorite places… I’ve been to a lot of wonderful locales, and they’ve all left a mark on me in some way. I really loved Dinard in Northern France, though I also loved Southern France. All of France really. It’s been over a decade since my visit, and hopefully I’ll return before another decade passes. Carrickfergus, in Northern Ireland sticks with me for a number of reasons. Other favorites include Panama City, where my father and I enjoyed some great diving, Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois, and I fell in love with the Black Hills in South Dakota during my honeymoon. I honestly didn’t want to come back.

Harney Peak, Black Hills, South Dakota
Harney Peak in the Black Hills. Absolutely lovely.

I also have to mention my favorite bar in the whole world, Roc’s Blackfront, which is back home in Coles County Illinois. A trip home is never complete until I’ve had a drink at the bar. I love the local brewpubs here in the Quad Cities, no doubt about that, but my heart will always belong to Roc’s. Be it ever so humble, it’s one of my favorite places in the world.

Big city or small town?

I need a little bit of both in my life. I’ve technically lived in both, but never the extremes of either. I’ve had good experiences living in and visiting both, so I really can’t disparage one or the other. I will say this, I don’t know how I would do living in a city as large as say Chicago or New York, but I don’t think I would fare well in a town without a tavern or a few restaurant options. The Quad Cities have spoiled me a bit; they’re very midwestern, so you get a little bit of the city life, but also our neighborhood still feels a bit like a small town.

So I guess for me, the answer is somewhere in between!

Name an international food/dish you can’t get enough of?

I really love food in general; I just love to eat! I’m a fan of French food, and I love crepes. I’m also a fan of Curry, and Mexican food. I suppose I’m actually kind of a let down when it comes to international flavors; there’s nothing incredibly exotic that I’m mad for. The upside of that is that there is tons of stuff for me to try, and I’m always taking recommendations! I always try to be open to new culinary experiences, even if they’re a little outside my comfort zone.

What are you looking forward to when Winter closes in?

I love this question, because there’s this great tendency to complain about winter, but I think I prefer this approach. I mentioned that I would be doing some winter camping and skill development. In some instances that will be redevelopment- I learned a lot from Boy Scouting as a child and teen, but haven’t practiced in so long that I really need to re-engage. I’ll be working on those skill sets over the winter. I used to hate cold-weather camping as a kid, but I find myself really eager for it now. Tastes change, I suppose. I’m also looking forward to some building projects that I’m going to make time for now that I’ve got a workshop in the basement. And as I get more strength back in my hand and wrist I’m looking forward to getting back to the gym and back to the yoga mat. Also, I plan to begin the process of learning archery this winter, so we’ll see how that goes.

I’m also going to try to be productive on the blog front and do some more design work, and maybe even transition to a hosted site, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it will go off without a hitch. I’m also working on some Intrepid Daily “peace flag” designs, and some other prints, so I’m sure I’ll keep busy until spring.

Describe a skill you would like to learn/are learning?

There are so many skills that I wish I had and that impress me. I’d love to learn so many things, but with only 24 hours in a day, one does have to prioritize I suppose. I already mentioned that I hope to start my archery journey soon, and I know I have a lot to learn in that area. I’m looking forward to it, but I’ve no doubt that there will be a number of frustrations along the way. I’ve also decided that while I’m learning to use a bow, I’m also going to try my hand at constructing my own, which will be a completely different new challenge.

In general, I like skills that people use to “make stuff” and woodworking really impresses me. I have some of the basic skills, and I inherited a number of the tools from my father, but I have a lot to learn. My friend Joe has been an inspiration to me in this regard, because he knows what he’s doing and I look up to him a lot, so I’ve been trying to develop this skill and build things for around the house. Hopefully you’ll see some in posts and on Instagram over the winter.

I find myself spending more time here lately.

Eventually I want to build my own canoe and take it on an excursion, but I think I’m still a year or two away from that. I’ll start with the smaller projects and work my way up from there.

Camping or hotel?

If I had to pick one, I’d definitely pick camping. I love being outside, and waking up to the sunrise in the wilderness is an almost transcendental experience. I want more of that in my life. That being said, hotels definitely have their time and place; as much as I love sitting around a campfire or crawling into a tent after a day of hiking, there’s also something I love about loosening a tie and flopping down on a nice hotel bed. In a way it goes back to the question about cities and small towns… There are plenty of cities I’d love to visit around the world, and tents don’t always work out well for those kinds of trips. So if I had to pick one, I’d go with camping, but there is definitely room for hotel stays in my life.

What made you start blogging

There are a lot of different things that came together to make me start blogging. It was a bit of a perfect storm. One of the initial pushes was actually a job rejection. I had gone through a long interview process for what seemed like a dream job, and had gotten to a point where they had actually flown me out to meet the staff and tour the facility. It was very exciting, and I felt really great about it, but they decided to go with someone else who had more experience. I don’t have any hard feelings, but it definitely took the wind out of my sails. I wouldn’t say I was depressed, but I was a bit blue for awhile. There was a positive consequence to this, however, in that it really made me examine and re-evaluate what sort of lifestyle I lead, and how I wanted to spend my time. That examination was really the seed of what I’m doing now; I knew I wanted a more active, adventurous lifestyle, but I wasn’t exactly certain what that meant for me.

I was an avid reader of Indefinitely Wild, the writers of which were having these really big adventures. I think most people read about stuff like that and wish they could emulate it, but those big excursions feel very inaccessible, even if that’s not always the case. I knew that I wanted to have similar experiences, but I have a wife, debt, and bills and I’m not in a place yet where I can quit my 9 to 5 to take a grand epic adventure. The more I thought about it, and the more self-examination I did, the more I wanted to embark on the kinds of adventures teenage Wade assumed he would. I figured out more of the kind of stuff I wanted to do, but I wasn’t sure how to make it happen yet.

At the same time I was also reading the Art of Manliness blog, and I was a bit envious of what Brett McKay was doing there; helping people figure out how to improve their lives in small ways that add up to big results. More and more, I realized that this is what I needed to do. And when I read McKay’s “Getting Out There: My 8-Week Microadventure Challenge” based on Microadventures: Local Discoveries for Great Escapes by Alastair Humphreys, things started to come together in my head, though I didn’t know what exactly would come of it. I picked up a copy of the book, and started to plot and plan, but I still hadn’t committed.

I think the last piece of the puzzle came from my then fiance, now wife, Clarissa’s Instagram success. For her, this combined her passion for yoga with a sharing community, and enabled her to encourage and inspire others to improve their practice, as well as challenge her to try new things. It’s been a wonderful creative outlet for her, and while I didn’t want to try the exact same strategy, I knew I wanted to do something similar. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a “lifestyle blog” should be something I should try out.

In the end, I came up with the name Intrepid Daily, and I meant it quite literally; I wanted to be a little more intrepid every single day. Just as importantly, I wanted everyone else to do so as well. Because those little things add up to big results. I also knew that lots of people want to get started but don’t know how, and I thought that I could help fill that niche. I’ve never come out and said it, but one of my thoughts has been that if an individual wanted adventure in their life but had no experience, no technical gear, not a lot of money, and didn’t know where to start, they could follow along from my first few posts, and develop alongside me. A year into that experiment they would BE an adventurer. I’ve only been blogging for six months now, so I don’t know if that will hold true, but I do hope that my own explorations will be helpful to others trying to do what I’m doing, which is to live the adventurous lifestyle and to be intrepid daily.

I’ve enjoyed answering these questions, and I’m thankful that Allysse nominated me for a Liebster. Please take a moment to check out her blog Beste Glatisant. She’s got an awesome trip coming up, and her writing is fantastic, so I think you’ll enjoy her blog.

My nominees for the Liebster Award are;

Clarissa Mae Yoga
Full disclosure, Clarissa is my wife, so I’m a little bit biased here. That being said, her yoga journey is interesting, and her photos are colorful and fun. Even if you’re not a dedicated yogi, there is plenty of good stuff to read here.

Plying Through Life
Dave shares stories about his travels, and I’ve really found myself taken with his scuba tales. He’s got some great photography, and I’ve really been enjoying his blog.

Globe Trotting Teen
Harriet may be young, but she’s done a lot of traveling. Though I’ve only followed her a short while, I’ve been enjoying her posts in which she shares her experiences with other cultures.

Please give these blogs a view, I think you might enjoy them as well.

And nominees, remember the guidelines for the Liebster:

  • Mention the person in your post who nominated you.
  • Answer the questions he/she asked you.
  • Nominate other great bloggers.
  • Give your nominees a list of questions they have to answer.

I’m looking forward to reading the  answers to my questions, which are:

  • What inspires you?
  • What’s one piece of gear, clothing, or equipment you’d recommend to everyone?
  • Who are some of your role models and heroes, and why do you admire them?
  • What upcoming events, journeys, or adventures do you have planned?
  • What are you looking forward to when winter closes in?
  • What are a few of your favorite experiences?
  • If time and money were no problem, where would you go and what would you do?
  • What is the most memorable bit of advice you’ve ever received?
  • What got you started blogging?

I hope you all enjoyed reading my responses to Allysse’s questions, and that you’ll check out some new blogs as well. I’ve got more great content coming soon, so keep checking back. Until then, stay intrepid.

6 thoughts on “The Liebster Award

  1. Thanks a lot for answering the questions. I’ve enjoyed reading your answers.

    It looks like you have a lot of trips coming up. I can’t wait to read more about them and find out how they went.
    Good luck with the Spartan Sprint. It sounds like quite a challenge.

    What drew you to archery?
    I did a bit of it when I was younger but I was really bad at it. I haven’t tried since but I’m still fascinated by it.

    I love that you work with wood. My grandfather used to do a lot of household items out of wood. I still have a few scattered about in my flat. What sort of things are your making at the moment?
    I find wood fascinating and working with it is something I’d like to develop at some stage in my life. It seems tricky right now in London though…

  2. Thank you for asking such good questions! They enabled me to dig into some information that I was happy to share, and proved to be rather illustrative of what my goals with my blog are.

    It’s funny; when I think about what’s coming up, it seems like there isn’t much going on. If I stop and make an actual list, however, it does seem like a very action packed near future, doesn’t it? That’s quite pleasing!

    I’m actually a bit nervous about the Spartan Race… Breaking my hand has meant no gym time, no intense exercise, and very little running in the last couple of months. Really, I’m only concerned because my wrist is still really tender when it comes to bearing weight. I’m probably worrying for no good reason, but if I have to I’ll drop out instead of re-injurying myself. I don’t think it will come to that though, and I’m going to be cautiosly optimistic.

    The archery is a bit funny when I stop and think about it. I did a little bit when I was in Boy Scouts, and my dad used to bow hunt when I was really little, but I was never really exposed to it. I had contemplated it a few times here and there, but in all honesty, the big push came from watching “Arrow” on TV. It’s a bit silly, but it made me think about it more. After reading more about the sport, and debating about it in my head, I brought it up to Clarissa and she was very supportive about it. My plan was to get started in early October, but alas, that broken hand thre everything off.

    As for woodworking, I’ve been influenced a lot by my friends, my father, and just an urge to be more self-reliant. My dad was one of those men who could build just about anything, and I’m really drawn to that. I’m certainly not anywhere near that level, but I’m slowly learning more, and making improvements. I’m fascinated by the idea of making things by hand and then using them, hence my desire to make my own bow and my own canoe. I can’t say how these projects will turn out, but I feel that the process will be enjoyable, though occasionally frustrating.

    My most recent project was a desperately needed shoe rack for our back door. It’s not high end furniture, but it looks pretty decent and I learned a few tricks when I made it. I’ve made other bits and pieces, but my last real project was making a yoga bench for Clarissa back in the summer. Upcoming projects include a small bookshelf, a wine rack, and potentially a writing desk. We’ll see how I progress.

    I really do encourage you to give it a try, though I can imagine it would be difficult in a city as populated as London! Before we moved into the house with a basement, I really couldn’t do much either, so I know how limiting some spaces can be. I do know that in some cities here in the US, there are clubs and organizations that have communal spaces and tools that individuals can join, so it may be worth trying to find something similar near you in London. If there isn’t anything like that nearby, you could always start small by making boxes or getting into woodcarving. Hand tools don’t generate nearly as much dust as power tools do (although it’s still going to be around and probably get on everything), and a small tool box can usually tuck into a closet or in a corner. Just a thought anyway.

    Also, thank you for sharing Chris Mount’s blog with me. I wasn’t familiar with it and now I can see that I’m going to have plenty more reading to do!

  3. Hi Wade. Thanks for the nomination – it came as quite the surprise. For what it’s worth, I’ve also been following Allysse, and have enjoyed seeing a couple of good young writers get their due.

    Just when I was thinking about what to post about next, you’ve stuffed the answer into my hands and said “do this.” Fate is kind of funny that way sometimes. You’ve asked some challenging questions – it’ll take some thought. You may not get the answers you expect…

    1. Dave, I’m really looking forward to reading your responses! No rush, of course, but I’m even more excited knowing that I’ll get some unexpected answers!

      I love reading about your diving adventures, and as my fins have been dry for over a decade, I’ve been inspired to get back in the water, hopefully soon (though landlocked in a midwestern winter doesn’t give the best outlook on that!)

      Thanks for all the great posts! I’ll keep my eye out for what comes next.

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