Liebster Award

Liebster Award2

After what seems like forever, we’re finally getting around to this post.  Way back in August, Maggie from Northern Expenditure nominated us for the Liebster Award.  Thank you so much!  It is truly an honor.  I’m still amazed that every day people all over the world (albeit not that many) are reading our posts. 

This award is passed around to recognize newer and smaller blogs.  These are the rules as given to me:

  • Link back to the person who nominated you
  • Answer the questions given to you by the nominator
  • Nominate up to 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers
  • Create 11 questions for the nominees
  • Notify all nominees via social media/blogs

Here are the answers to the 11 questions we were asked.

1. Describe your “I must start a blog!” moment. 

Honestly, it kind of just happened without much planning or forethought.   For whatever reason, friends and family always seemed to come to both of us for advice.  In the months leading up to our launch, multiple people told Mrs. DTG she should start a blog to share her recipes and other thoughts.  I had also toyed around with the idea in my head a bit, but never seriously looked into it.  One day, we decided just to go for it!

2. What do you think is the best use of your money?

Right now, our money has two primary uses: 1) cover our cost of living and 2) create more money.  On our current income, we live very comfortably and plan to continue doing so even when our steady paychecks are gone.  To do this, we’ll need to continue growing our passive and side income to the point where we’ll no longer need to work full time. 

Once we reach the “normal” retirement age and gain access to our retirement accounts and my reserve pension, we should have a significant excess of money.  Besides giving some to grandkids (assuming we have any), we’ll likely donate a sizable amount to various worthy causes.

3. What would a perfect day look like for you?

On a perfect day, we would wake up whenever we were fully rested and it felt natural. There would be no arguments and the kids would actually listen. We’d do some type of exercise and/or outdoor activity as well as some reading or other personal development. In the evening, we’d prepare a nice meal from scratch, go for a walk, and then relax a bit before heading to bed.

4. If you could travel anywhere in the world (costs aside), where would it be and why?

I’d mentioned before about our desire to take an extended trip throughout Europe with no itinerary or formal plans to come back.  Another family trip we’ve discussed is going on a real African safari in Tanzania followed by a stay on the beaches of Zanzibar.  We plan to do this once the kids are old enough to appreciate and remember it.  For a couples trip that Mrs. DTG really wants to do, we would stay in an over-water bungalow in one of the French Polynesian Islands and do all of the exotic excursions and adventures the area had to offer.

5. What is an experience that changed your life for the better?

The experience that really changed my life was joining the military.  This was never Field Training1the plan when I graduated from high school, but everything changed after 9/11.  I joined ROTC the last 2.5 years of college and two weeks after I graduated, I was training in another state en route to my first duty station on the other side of the country.  The military opened my eyes to places I never thought I’d ever live, things I never thought I would do, and presented to us unimaginable opportunities.  During this time, I really grew as a person in ways I don’t think would have been possible had I stayed in my hometown.

6. If you were going to die after dinner, what would your last meal be?

For my last meal, I would want something completely new that I’d never tried before paired with a nice craft beer.  

7. What is your favorite thing about the area in which you live?

This is a tough question since I don’t particularly like where we currently live.  Being a military family, we’re told when and where we’re moving which has its pros and cons.  Although we’ve been here almost two years, we’re still just beginning to really explore the area.  In general, we do enjoy the numerous outdoor activities available here in the Texas Hill Country (hiking, tubing, etc.).  

8. What would early retirement look like for you?

Early retirement will include a little bit of part time work with a sprinkling of travel, DIY projects, exercise, and learning new things.  It would actually be fairly similar to now minus the annoying working full time part.

9. If you could fix one world problem, which one would you choose?

Mrs. DTG would love to change the state of food.  Get people back to caring about their food, making their food, growing their food, buying local, and not mindlessly stuffing their bodies with processed junk full of non-food ingredients.  As a result, the hope is that the domino effect of this would be drastically reduced rates of heart disease and diabetes (and quite possibly many other health issues), which would lead to an overall healthier population and significantly reduced healthcare costs.

10. If you’ve been to Alaska, what do you love about it? If you haven’t, what do you think Alaska is like?

I’ve never been to Alaska, but imagine it having huge open spaces where you can really get lost in nature.  I picture beautiful summers and harsh winters.  We’re hoping to visit in the next few years.  It is definitely high on our list of places to go!

11. What one piece of advice would you like to give the world? (Obviously, we’re assuming they’re going to listen to you. The whole entire world. Go.)

The best advice I could give is to not be afraid to take chances.  I’m not talking about being reckless, but I think it’s important to try new things, get out of your comfort zone, and take risks.  For example, for at least one year, live somewhere other than where you grew up (not like 30 minutes away, but at the very least several hours away) so that you can experience something different and be forced to adapt to another environment.

Now it’s time for our nominations.  I’ve been reading so many blogs lately and a few have really caught my eye.

The first is My Nerdy Life.  In some ways, this blogger kind of reminds me of a younger version of myself.  Although I disguise it with athleticism, affinity for brewing/drinking craft beer, and charming good looks 😉 , I am really an undercover nerd.

The second is called Our Escape.  This family is very similar to us (three young kids and a dog) and is seeking a slower, simpler life.  I can’t wait to read more of their escape from consumerism to financial independence.

The third blog is probably one of my favorites right now and is called Simply + Fiercely.  The blogger, Jennifer, writes about falling in love with life.  This blog really resonates with me because although I have a really great life, I often find myself unhappy and dissatisfied.  I love how she is following her dreams and taking risks most of us would be afraid to take.

For our nominees, your mission, should you choose to accept it (and it won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t), is to answer the questions below on your own blog and nominate a few other smallish or newish blogs with new questions for them.

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. Since each of you currently live outside of the United States, what do you like most about your local area? I’m curious to learn more about other places.
  3. If we were to ever visit the country you live in, what hidden attractions do you recommend that others may not know about?
  4. What is your favorite place to visit in the U.S. and if you haven’t been here, where would you like to visit?
  5. What is your favorite hobby?
  6. What season (spring, summer, fall, winter) do you prefer and why?
  7. Would you rather go sky diving or scuba diving?
  8. What is your go-to food/snack?
  9. If you had to work and money wasn’t an issue, what would be your ideal job?
  10. Vanilla or chocolate?
  11. We can’t think of an 11th question, you get a free pass!

14 thoughts on “Liebster Award

  1. slowlysippingcoffee says:

    Congrats! I find these posts fun – just to make us think about stuff we don’t normally write about. I love your idea of a perfect day – with two small kids and a job I am at before 6am – I can’t remember the feeling of waking up ‘naturally’. I’m glad you are finding stuff to do in Hill Country – we don’t particularly love living in Texas, but you have to make the best of the situation you have!


    • Ditching the Grind says:

      Yeah, even though we both grew up in Florida, I think we’d prefer to move out west. The weather is so much nicer and we (or at least I) love the mountains. We’d love to live in Colorado at some point.

      Waking up super early every day is no fun at all. Can’t wait till that’s over!


  2. Maggie says:

    Thanks for participating! It’s great to get to know you guys more. I love your travel plans. Those all sound like fabulous adventures. I agree with Mrs. DTG on the food thing. We’ve created all sorts of health problems that never existed! When you guys make it up to Alaska, be sure to let me know! Happy Friday!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Maggie says:

        Sorry to dash your hopes and dreams, but you have to live in Alaska for a full year before you’re allowed to dipnet. But I can have you over for a lovely salmon dinner. 🙂


    • Mrs. DTG says:

      Will def hit you up when we make it to AK! And yes, it’s so sad.. Like so many crazy food allergies that kids never had, and worse yet, Type II diabetes which used to be called “Adult-onset diabetes”, but now we can’t call it that because kids as young as 12 or less are getting it. That is so taxing on their bodies and the healthcare system for the rest of their lives 😥

      Liked by 1 person

  3. our next life says:

    I love your answers! I didn’t realize you guys have a financial structure like ours in the sense of having more resources at your disposal once you reach traditional retirement age. We don’t have a pension, only 401ks, meaning this scenario is highly market dependent. But if historical averages continue to play out, we’ll be in a position to do nicer travel and give a lot of money away once we reach 59 1/2. Now just working on saving up the money to sustain us for the many years until then! Your travel plans sound wonderful, and we’re completely with Mrs. DTG on changing the food system!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ditching the Grind says:

      I talk about our pensions sometimes like we’re already qualified. We still need to make it to 20 years, which I’m assuming we will (either one active duty and one reserve or two reserve retirements). Because of this, we deliberately haven’t put a ton in retirement accounts (though it’s still a good amount) because then we’d have a crazy amount of excess at 59 1/2+. I’d rather have more available now to help fund ER!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Jennifer (@simplyfiercely) says:

    Wow, thank you so much for thinking of me! I’m really excited to answer your questions and will be writing a response very soon. (I don’t want to give away the answers to my questions, but I’m actually an American too and I grew up in a military family. So we’ve got more in common than you think! )

    I’m always soooo interested to read more about other people who are rethinking their lives and rejecting the idea that a 9-5 lifestyle for your entire life is the only way. Not saying it’s inherently bad for everyone – but there are other alternatives and it’s great to see other people talking about it and supporting each other.


      • Jennifer // Simply + Fiercely says:

        Thanks! My life has definitely not turned out like I thought it would – in a good way 🙂

        My dad was retired USMC, he retired before I was born (he was a disable vet) so I didn’t have the ‘military brat’ life, but the USMC was always a huge part of my life – we used to visit Paris Island where my dad went to boot camp on our family vacations! My brother was obsessed with the Corp and joined when he was 17.

        I’m writing my answers now – will be up soon! I hope they don’t disappoint!!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ditching the Grind says:

          We thank them both for their service. Being in the military can leave a lasting impression on people’s lives and it’s cool your dad got to share some experiences with you guys.

          I’m sure your answers won’t disappoint. We’re looking forward to reading them soon!


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