In Memory of Reabon- Unsung Heroes: 2013 Best Family Travel Blogs Celebration Begins
A small handful of us white folk stood shyly at the back of an all-black Southern church funeral. I knew Reabon as the cheerful janitor who knew everyone’s name, and stopped, every time to ask how you were doing and wish you a blessed day. He was so very extra happy the week he fell and died, for his girlfriend had just delivered a baby girl, and now, “I’m a father!” I wanted to get up on that stage when the preacher called for anyone who wanted to speak on behalf of the deceased. I wanted to tell them what light he brought to our synagogue community, but more so, I wanted to tell them how I had lost $465 in an envelope with names jotted on the outside in blue ink, and how, Reabon handed it to me on Monday morning with twinkling eyes, and an angel-like, “We got to look out for each other Ms. Gabby, don’t we?” He walked away with a nod and a tip of his baseball cap, unaware of how easily he could have taken that money home as a well-earned tip, unaware of how much I admired this man’s integrity, honesty, and light. Not getting on that stage is one of the few moments I deeply regret in my life. His girlfriend, newborn girl, and community deserved to know what an unsung hero Reabon was.
And so, friends, I’ve always loved celebrating Unsung Heroes. We did it also when I was the executive director of a non-profit, and we honored janitors, teacher’s aids, at-home mom volunteers, and lab assistants who normally went unnoticed. I like to find those who don’t normally get in the spot light, those who modesty try to do their best and silently succeed in their own perfect grace. This is not a popularity contest further glorifying those with the most Facebook friends, who have won the most awards, or who are the savviest social media marketers. We’re looking for Unsung Heroes- magical people now living across the globe who deserve to be sung about, praised, shared, and celebrated.
It is with great honor that I hereby open The 2013 Best Nomadic Family Travel Blogs Celebration. Will you join me in my deepest hope that maybe, just maybe, this year we’ll do something amazing and fantastic and bring some deeply deserved talent to the light?
The 2013 Nomadic Family Travel Blogs Contest
Last year’s 2012 Nomadic Family Best Travel Blog Contest and then the all-amazingly insane Run-Off was unreal! People ruthlessly, bribed, stole, threatened, and sold their first-born child. It was a riot and a half, and with over 800 participating comments, it brought to the light fresh inspiration, new friends, and a heightened appreciation for the travel blogging world. And, in a constant effort to grow, develop, and create new definitions of Who I Am (for all of us), I’m going on a limb to try something new. This year’s winners won’t be based on popularity vote, but on the careful and loving decision of a panel of travel blogger judges.
Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to bring more light, more attention, and more recognition to those truly devoted family travel bloggers who spend endless hours sharing their adventures and making themselves vulnerable for our entertainment. Your mission is to seek the truly unique, wacky, different, colorful, breath-taking ones who leave something in your soul. This is your chance to say thank you to the family travel bloggers who inspired you this year, who is allowed you to live vicariously through them, and who touched your heart in ways that sometimes words cannot express. Let’s dance friends.
Categories for Nomination for the 2013 Best Family Travel Blogs Celebration
- Most Humorous and Eccentric
- Most Emotionally-Compelling and Tear-Jerking
- Most Inspirational Photography
- Most Off-the-Beaten Path and Unique
- Most Spiritual, Holistic, or Earth-Friendly
- Most Informative, Helpful and Motivating Others to Go Do It!
How To Nominate Your Favorite Family Travel Blogs
Simply leave a comment below starting with the category letter you are nominating them for, the name of your favorite family travel blog, and the url of one post which you feel best reflects your nominee’s magic. If you want to give any loving words or a reason why you feel they are worthy to win, feel free to toot that horn. But, to nominate, follow the following example, please:
(I’ll give an example from The Nomadic Family for convenience)
- [category] B
- [name of blog] The Nomadic Family
- [post url] http://thenomadicfamily.com/2012/11/i-know-nothing-and-99-other-things-the-road-has-taught-me/
- [toot if you want] “Gabi makes me cry ALL THE TIME and I want her to be mine, forever, and evermore!”
**** Because of the potential volume of nominees, we will be unable to notify nominees that they are in the Unsung Heroes Celebration. Should you want them to know that you nominated them and encourage them to have other followers nominate them as well, kindly take a moment to contact your favorite family blogger and let them know.
**** BEFORE NOMINATING, please read the rules and regulations near the bottom. We want your vote to count so read loves, read.
How To Help Your Favorite Travel Blog Win
Simply share this post using the bookmark to the left in as many social media forms as you can. Ask your friends to support your favorite travel blogs by nominating them as well. At the end of the nomination period, our panel of judges will examine the top five nominated blog under each category and we’ll announce the winners once they’re ready!
Presenting This Year’s Panel of Judges
1- Heidi and Alan Wagoner of Wagoner’s Abroad
Heidi and her husband Alan are both authors of the popular travel blog Wagoners Abroad. Having lived internationally and traveled to over 35 countries and working 20+ years in the corporate world, they decided to make their own dreams come true. In August of 2012, they sold most of their possessions, bought 4 one way tickets and settled in Southern Spain. With Spain as their home base, they are able to explore more of Europe as well. They are a true source of inspiration, winners of 2012 The Nomadic Family Top 50 Best Family Travel Blogs, and authors of Live In Spain how-to e-book.
2- Alyson Long of World Travel Family
Alyson is the Mum and chief blogger at World Travel Family. She was born with severely itchy feet and a thirst for knowledge which she has indulged wherever and whenever she could. Born in Wales,she moved to London for 8 years after meeting her Australian husband in Egypt. She knows Europe well and visited Asia repeatedly for the first phase of her life. She tried expat life in Australia for 6 years, but there weren’t enough travel opportunities down-under. Six months ago, she and her chef husband, James, realised there was no reason to stay in Australia, the kids were homeschooled already prolongued travel would work out cheaper thn paying hefty bills on their Port Douglas house. They sold just about everything , packed up the kids and hit the road on a mission to eat well, learn more and have great family experiences. Alyson has been blogging for 18 months about travel, food and education. She proudly appears in Page One of Google under “Family Travel Blogs”.
3- Emiel of Act of Traveling
Introducing our judge from the Netherlands: Emiel van den Boomen. Ever since 2008 Emiel has been blogging about his (family) travels at Act of Traveling. Emiel is the ultimate advocate of slow travel and embracing serendipity: his blog shows you travel
tips beyond the guidebooks! Emiel adores high quality photography. He has traveled from paradise on the island of Mauritius up to the
dirty alleys of Old Delhi in India. From the Inca cities in Peru to the Gion district in Kyoto, Japan, where he literally bumped into a
geisha. The world is Emiel’s best buddy but also a classroom to his kids. He is a 2012 The Nomadic Family Top 50 Best Travel Winner!
Special Important Announcements and Rules
1- The top 5 family blogs nominated in each category will be judged by our panel.
2- You may only nominate one blog per category per day.
(Which means, yes, you may nominate a different blog for each category each day but only the top five in each category will be viewed by our judges, so use your votes wisely)
3- For simplicity for our judges, please only submit one blog per comment.
(So, if you have four nominations today, please separate each nomination to four individual comments.)
4- Bloggers (and family) can and are encouraged to nominate themselves. (Toot your own horn honey! You’re worth it!)
5- Blog must be at least 6 months old.
6- Nominations will be accepted until NEWLY EXTENDED DATE: December 24th, 9 am EST.
7- While contest host and the judges’ blogs may be nominated (bribes accepted, preferably in large bills, chocolate, or alcoholic form) and will be recognized as nominees, they cannot win in any category. (Conflict of interest)
8- The top five contestants in each category and the winners will be notified once the results are in. Once published, all nominees will be welcome to copy the coding for the nominee badge to display as they see fit.
9- The judges will use great care and integrity in their proceedings. Their decisions are final.
What Will The Winners Receive?
A huge smile on their faces, the chance to take a deep breath and know that their contributions have been acknowledged. Because of the love you are giving them, they’ll get more readers and more followers in their journeys, and have more conversations with a growing community inspiring each other, like ping pong balls in a storm, to make our family travel dreams come true, and to stay on that path, regardless of the obstacles or criticisms or fears along the way. Word!
In addition, winners will be allowed to proudly display The 2014 Nomadic Family Travel Blog Celebration Award Banner on their side bar.
A huge thank you for our judging panel who stood up and said, “Sure, I clearly have nothing else to do with my free time, so, hit me up, world. Give me 40 blog posts to read!” Actually, our open-minded, kind-hearted judges are busy travel bloggers themselves with kids to feed and to stop from fighting, but they love what they do and are honored to be a part of this celebratory process. So THANK YOU HEIDI, ALAN, EMIEL, AND ALYSON!
Thank you you! Thank you for joining me on yet another adventure of the heart, of the body, of the soul, and of the imagination. I am still sorry I didn’t have the nerve to get up on that stage and tell them what a hero Reabon was, and he was. But I’m telling you, so next time you say a little prayer, say ‘hi’ to Angel Reabon from me, send love and energy to the girlfriend and the baby girl who never got to know her father, and next time you get the chance to tell anyone something that will fill them with light, like a dear friend always deserves, do it!
Be that light, like we are all being here.
It is my joy and honor to skip, roll, and dance like total goof-balls in the living room with you in this colorful, tie-dye blog adventure.
Three cheers to Unsung Heroes!!!!