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Posted on Dec 9, 2013

In Memory of Reabon- Unsung Heroes: 2013 Best Family Travel Blogs Celebration Begins

In Memory of Reabon- Unsung Heroes: 2013 Best Family Travel Blogs Celebration Begins

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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?

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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.

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Categories for Nomination for the 2013 Best Family Travel Blogs Celebration

  1. Most Humorous and Eccentric
  2. Most Emotionally-Compelling and Tear-Jerking
  3. Most Inspirational Photography
  4. Most Off-the-Beaten Path and Unique
  5. Most Spiritual, Holistic, or Earth-Friendly
  6. 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)

**** 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.

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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!

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 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.

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Thank You’s

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!!!!

Namaste friends,

Gabi

 

Comments

comments

55 Comments

  1. Wow you’ve got some terrific judges, Gabi! I adore all their blogs and will spread the word about the contest. 🙂

    • hi renee. i’m sooo excited. the judges are amazing!!!!!!!! i know. thank you for the kind words and the vote of love. all of their blogs are phenomenal and they will make the best judges on this planet. thank you for spreading the word renee. i hope you can nominate some great people. i’m so excited! last year, we discovered amazing blogs through the contest. hugs, gabi

    • god i love you! thank you. just be yourself and all else is good in the world. loved your last post. gabi

    • i am so beyond honored heidi. deeply honored. can’t wait to see how it rolls around here. sooo much fun.

  2. A very touching story about the janitor. It’s nice to see someone taking the time to remember him.

    Looking forward to seeing who wins this year’s competition as well.

    • thanks manfred. super excited. if you are in any circles where you could share, we’d appreciate that to death! yeah, reabon was amazing!

  3. Great judges! Looks like it will be an interesting contest- I’ll spread the word!

    • hi melissa. thanks for coming by. yeah, the judges are amazing and the contest is of a different kind. thank you for sharing. i believe this is where we bring light to others who deserve it. i love it that you will be a part of this by sharing. thanks so much, gabi

    • do you prefer cash in large or small bills? any currency you prefer?

  4. Great Idea Gabi, unsung heroes are so often overlooked. I’m sure Reabon knew how much you admired him. 🙂

    • andrew. thank you. i’m honored that you’re helping me share it and get more people to know about it. thank you dear. and i think maybe he knew too, but all those beautiful in the church didn’t know. they didn’t know my story, but i bet they had a few goods of their own.:-)

    • yeah! our first nomination! thank you colleen. come back as many days as you remember to dear, and vote for them and any others. thanks so much! gabi

    • totally agree. she rocks beyond words. thank you for the vote. please come back and vote again often until the 20th for her or any others that you love. thank you

    • thank you amy. so honored you are here and participating to bring light of great blogs to others. please come back and vote again and add more light. thank you. suitcases and sippy cups is a great blog. jessica is amazing!

    • great amy! thank you so much! dreaming of alaska with all my heart. will go check it out! gabi

  5. I tried to nominate 1 Dad 1 Kid too – did you get that one?

    • hi colleen. thank you for your sharing the light so beautifully. no, i did not see your nomination for 1 dad 1 kid. tell me which category you’d like dear one?

    • I have met Erin and have followed the Akonthego. Website and blog since I moved to Alaska. This site helps me decide where to take my family and what to see and do while we are in those places, I have also seen through her family’s eyes some beautiful parts of Alaska that I have gone to to take pictures of and some that I have added to my bucket list to go to soon. Thank you to AKOntheGo for your insight and advice. We love this great big state we live in and the sights places we have seen.

  6. [category] F
    [name of blog] Pure Wander
    [post url] http://www.purewander.com/mix-it-up-kids-and-music-festivals/
    [toot if you want] “The only goal is to take experiences of all types of families, whether it be parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nannies, teachers, au pairs – and use them to inspire others with adventures abroad and in the backyard!”

  7. [category] Not sure where I fit in… F, maybe?
    [name of blog] Paul In Oz
    [post url] http://www.paulinoz.com
    [toot if you want] “My adventures in Oz have only just begun, but I’ve already been featured on Sydney Morning Herold, The Telegraph, News.com.au, Yahoo, and more, after one of my cafe reviews went crazy! I hope my personal experiences of a pommie vising in Oz for the first continue to engage people!”

    • hi paul. i love it! welcome to the hood friend. i’m so glad you nominated your young and so well media shared self. go you brother! do teach me. good for you. please tell you fam and friends to nominate you too dear. and F is a great category! 🙂 gabi

      • Thanks Gabi – It was unintentional media sharing, but welcomed all the same!

        I don’t tend to make a quiet entrance 😉

        • don’t apologize for anything. i meant it as a compliment that you’ve been featured so much. welcome friend. gabi

  8. It started again!! Thanks so much Gabi for having me as one of the 3 judges…I have such great memories of last years contest..the battle of blogs it was LOL.
    But seriously, there are so many wonderful travel blogs out there. Some with superb photography, some with emotional stories. They all deserve an audience and that’s why I love your initiative Gabi. Job well done already!
    Emiel

    • i could not be more honored than to have you hear my friend. i am deeply grateful for you being a judge, and for your friendship. yes, how many people did you bribe last year emiel? poor child just wanted dinner! thanks for letting people know about the contest. i’m excited to learn of more great travel blogs. hugs, gabi

  9. Thanks guys, for the kind note. I’m thrilled and humbled to be included in this amazing lineup of nominees. Will pass the word along, and THANK YOU for considering our little corner of the Far North. Sniff. 🙂 xo EK

  10. Cat: C photography.
    Travel With Bender
    http://travelwithbender.com/
    Josh Bender takes consistently great photos. Some of the best out there. I love that Erin is uctally IN the photos. That so rarely happens on my blog, I’m always behind the camera.

  11. Catagory- Photography
    Blog- AKontheGO
    URL- http://akonthego.com/blog/alaskas-little-norway-welcomes-your-family
    Toot the horn- Erin always does a great job of capturing a place and community, not just the beauty but the local people and how you can interact with the community. Her pictures are always breathtaking and very representative.

  12. Catagory- B
    Blog- AKontheGO
    URL-http://akonthego.com/blog/make-a-wish-alaska-akonthego-and-steam-dot-coffee-team-up-for-kids
    Toot the horn- Not only does Erin travel around the state but she also gives back. This year she is supporting Make a wish foundation, she can also be found at local parks for clean up and trail restoration. She is very inspiration to be a part and give back to a community you love.

  13. [category] F
    [name of blog] AKontheGo.com
    [post url] http://akonthego.com/blog/tips-for-exploring-national-parks-with-kids
    [toot if you want] Erin is exceptionally generous in sharing her family travel successes and making it easy to plan a great family adventure. Erin’s site is the only family travel blog in the state of Alaska and therefore incredibly useful. The site fills a much-needed gap in providing families with information about how to travel with children, great ideas for Alaska adventures, kid friendly attractions and activities, and seasonal must-sees for families that want to stay on the go. Our family has personally benefited numerous times from her blog posts and we check-in regularly to see what’s new and definitely search her site for past posts before planning a trip around Alaska.

  14. Wonderful idea. It’s the acts of kindness from everyday people that create positive change in the world. We need to celebrate our unsung heroes more often.

  15. Category F
    Blog: AK on the GO
    URL: http://akonthego.com/blog/providing-kids-a-sense-of-place-ak-mom-goes-home-to-montana
    AK on the GO is *the* place to go if you want to get inside info about traveling in Alaska with kids. The writer of the blog, Erin Kirkland, is someone I first met in 2012 and have frequently encountered through friends, work, community events and travel. She tries everything, meets everyone, goes everywhere and her eagerness is contagious. The best thing about Erin and her blog is that she truly *cares* about sharing her rich network of contacts and travel experience with people who want to provide their children a wonderful experience in Alaska. Reading her blog is akin to having a smart, funny, caring, reliable and exceptionally connected best friend sit down with you over coffee to give incredibly helpful insights about all things Alaska. What I love about this particular blog entry is that you can really see in it why I think Erin is so special. In the wake of a beloved aunt’s death, Erin brings her readers—her friends!—to a place that’s special to her, shares memories and finds solace.

  16. Category: F
    Blog: AKontheGO
    URL: http://akonthego.com/blog/alaska-holiday-destinations-for-families
    AKontheGo is a great place to check out what is happening in our state. We have a HUGE state and the AKontheGO family explore all of it and let us know where to go, how to do and what works for families!
    I appreciate their sense of community and the message of philanthropy that they share with their readers. Truly a great blog that let’s AK families know how to get out and play!

  17. Gabi,
    Sounds like a great next contest! I am sure you will find wonderful unsung heros to sing about!! We were honored to be included in last year’s competition!
    Thanks again for all of your inspiration!
    Lisa and George
    We Said Go Travel

    • hi lisa and george. i am sorry we keep just missing you around the globe. eventually, we’ll end up in the same corner of the world i hope. you guys were so inspirational in last year’s contest, and always. thank you. we’re doing it differently this year. if you know any unsung heroes, let us know. hugs, gabi

    • Thank you so much tree hugger! We are so excited to be on this list!

      • we looooove trees. and are so excited to have you on the list, which reminds me to share the winners from our dear judges. thank you dear sarah.

  18. [category] F
    [name of blog] Jdomb’s Travels
    [post url] http://jdombstravels.com/northern-lights/
    [toot if you want] “This post 5 Things No One Ever Tells You About the Northern Lights sets realistic expectations and offers practical advice.”

  19. Category: F
    Name of blog: Worldtravelfamily.com
    URL: http://worldtravelfamily.com/worry-taking-kids-to-thailand/
    Why: Alyson has made me less fearful of grabbing the kids and making a run for it. Seriously, she constantly blogs about the reality of traveling with kids — the great, the not-so-great, and the ugly…and how it ALWAYS works out. She has a sense of humor that shines through the writing. (Also category C — love the pics!)

    • sweet nat! thank you. really excited to check it out! gabi

    • i’m thrilled to take your entry late. shhhhh. don’t tell all the millions trying to share the work of unsung heroes. 🙂 welcome aboard curtis. gabi

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Here Comes The Judge: We Have Been Given An Honor | Wagoners AbroadWagoners Abroad - [...] out the rules on The Nomadic Family Site and nominate one or many of your favorite unsung [...]
  2. Family Travel Blogs: They like us, they really, really like us! - AK on the GO - [...] Nomadic Family, it seems, nominated AKontheGO for their Unsung Heroes 2013 Best Family Travel Blog awards, to be announced…
  3. 20 years of travel: the places we have visited - Act of Traveling - [...] the coming days you can still vote for your favorite Family Travel Blog! Visit Nomadic Family and leave a…

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