The Riesling bottle is empty (there was no champagne lying around). But wide smiles are still splitting our faces.
We recently learned that our Sand In My Suitcase blog won Silver for “Best Independent Travel Blog” in the 2015 North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) annual awards competition.
Do we care that this best travel blog honor isn’t gold?
This isn’t like acting – where you audition, make the cut as one of the top two candidates for the starring role, then the director makes the final decision and it isn’t you, so you go back to waiting on tables.
No, this competition, now in its 24th year, honors the “best of the best” in travel journalism. It’s kind of like the Oscars (or the Golden Globes?) – but for travel writing. We’re in the company of top writers, also honored, who contribute to The New York Times, BBC Travel, National Geographic Traveler, Yahoo Travel and Travel + Leisure.
So you can understand why we’re super EXCITED!
Best Travel Blog (Silver)? Wow! We’re in the company of great blogs
We’ve won several awards for our travel articles published in magazines and newspapers before – forgive the plug :-). But this is the first time we’ve won a best travel blog honor.
We’re especially thrilled because the other travel blogs which snagged best travel blog awards this year are such awesome blogs, and we’re so happy to be honored along with them. Sincere congrats to:
- The Planet D – Gold
- My Itchy Travel Feet – Bronze
- Legal Nomads – Finalist
- The Vacation Gals – Finalist
- Xpat Matt – Finalist
We lucked out with our magazine writing too this year.
We won a Silver award for our travel feature on the fairytale Mexican town of “San Miguel de Allende” and a Finalist award for “The Temple Whisperer” (links to the magazine articles are highlighted at the end of these blog posts).
Congrats to all the other award winners
We also want to give a warm shout-out to just some of the other award winners whose writing we love:
- Carolyn Ali – Finalist, Best Travel Column (less than 250,000 circulation) for “Living the fast-car dream on the Sea-to-Sky,” Georgia Straight
- Jenn Smith Nelson – Bronze, Illustrated Magazine Story for “Unplugged prairie escape in Saskatchewan,” Just For Canadian Doctors
- Mary Ann Treger – Bronze, Luxury Travel Article for “Mountain majesty: Blackberry Farm,” Style magazine
- Lucas Aykroyd – Finalist, Destination Travel International Magazine for “North of 60 in Nunavut,” Just for Canadian Dentists
- Mindy Poder – Gold, Special Focus Article for “India, like a Beatle,” TravelAge West
- Irene Levine – Finalist, Destination Travel Domestic Newspaper for “Lyon harbors the best of French cuisine,” The Chicago Tribune
- Debbra Brouillette – Finalist, Cruise Article for “Stow away,” The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
- Katherine Belarmino – Gold, Travel Series Online for “Swedish Lapland Travel Series,” The Travel World
Here’s the complete list of NATJA 2015 award winners.
And we’re tickled to see that one of the magazines we regularly contribute to – TravelAgeWest.com – won Gold for “Best Travel Journalism Website” in this most recent NATJA awards competition.
Thank you for reading our travel blog
Finally, BIG thanks to you – our readers – for following our travels. We love exploring different countries and places, trying novel experiences (like snorkeling in a Mexican cenote!), meeting new people along the way – and sharing our travel tales with you. It’s our passion, and we’re so glad to be doing this.
You can see how celebrating these awards is also a lot like the Oscars, what with all the thank-you’s :-).
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We’re Janice and George Mucalov, professional award-winning travel writers, sharing tales of luxury travel with a twist of adventure.