I got a Liebster Award! I’d like to thank my mum, my cat…

Ok, obligatory ‘cheesy acceptance speech’ aside I am flattered to receive this and see my name listed amongst some of the most inspiring writers in the travel blogging industry.

If you’re not sure what this ‘Liebster award business’ is, it’s kind of like a gauntlet that is passed from one travel blogger to another in recognition of their work. Getting noticed for something you are passionate about is a really wonderful feeling, especially in an industry so crowded and competitive as travel blogging, and it reassures you that you are on the right track, and somebody out there enjoys what you are doing. When you begin writing a blog, you do think to yourself ‘who’s going to read this apart from my mum?’

My nomination came from the lovely Stephanie at Big World, Small Pockets – she’s been listed one of the best travel bloggers so I’m flattered she stumbled across my little site and enjoyed my posts! [By the way you should check out her page too! She has some great tips on budget travel and I always feel a sense of pride when I see other fearless Women travelling the World alone]

So the rules are basically, your nominator selects 11 Interview questions for you to answer, then you select your favourite bloggers and ask them 11 questions of your own.

So here goes…

1. When did you first realise you wanted to travel?

As a Child I used to always look forward to our family holidays, crossing days off the calendar like a prison inmate with a wall tally until it was time to go. As soon as I started earning my own money I knew I wanted to use it to travel more, I travelled around Egypt and Morocco with my ex-boyfriend when I was 19 and then when I was 20 I moved to California for the Summer – after that I was hooked and safe to say, had truly caught the travel bug.

4
Volunteering in Thailand

 

2. Do you think this desire was something innate or something taught?

It’s funny you ask that actually because I often wonder myself. My mum was an avid traveller – she travelled around the US and Canada in a campervan and then backpacked Morocco in the 70s – a time when people barely left the Country! I loved travelling from a young age – my sister on the other hand grew up to be a bit of a home bunny, so it’s almost as though there’s a wanderlust gene? (I won’t quit my day job and become a Scientist…)

California
Hanging out in Santa Barbara, CA

 

3. What made you start blogging?

I’ve travelled a lot and always said to myself I’d keep a journal, then got lazy and forgot– looking back I’ve always regretted that because I find I’ve forgotten certain things or places until someone reminds me (old age). In October 2015 I walked out of my corporate job, got a one way flight to Asia and started travelling again. My friends loved hearing about my funny experiences and said I should think about blogging so I gave it a whirl.

Hatshepsut
Temple of Hatshepsut, Luxor

 

4. What’s your number 1 tip to new travel bloggers?

Just write it, don’t worry too much about how you should be writing, what people may think or how other travel writers write – let your personality flow through. I write exactly as thoughts pop into my head, as if I am having a conversation with my Microsoft Word you know? (I’m doing it now!) It’s easy to feel embarrassed or self-conscious when writing but you should just go for it; You can always go back and edit past posts later and everyone takes a while to find their ‘voice’.

da
Protecting my modesty in Marrakesh.. that Monkey kept putting its hand down my shirt!

 

5. Do you think travelling can make a difference? Why?

Yes. In so many ways – it’s made me a much more open minded person. People have been so kind to me when I’ve been travelling – I’ve felt touched by how they have gone out of their way to help me and it’s encouraged me to be the same way towards people.

seoul
Seoul, South Korea

 

6. What’s the best place you’ve stayed while abroad

I’ve had so many amazing experiences couchsurfing and staying with locals so it’s hard to choose just one! On my recent visit to Korea, I did a homestay with a family in Seoul, staying with a really sweet Korean lady and her two children. They really took care of me as though I was part of the family. We couldn’t speak each others languages well but the lady had a little translator app on her phone so we could have conversations. Whenever I came back at the end of the day, she made us a cup of tea and we’d have a chat. We still keep in touch now, I don’t think I’ll ever have the words to thank her for her kindness.

asolo
Asolo, Italy

 

7. Which city in the World would you most like to visit and why?

It was always Tokyo but thankfully I’ve now had the chance to experience it and its eccentricities (you can read the article here ) Right now I’m going to say Mumbai. People always seem to either love or hate India and I can’t believe I haven’t had the opportunity to explore it yet. Just the concept of how noisy, crazy, and an attack of the senses it is – it excites me.

 

8. What has been your worst moment as a traveller?

In October I stomped out of my corporate job, left the rainy UK and booked a spontaneous flight to Asia. I’d been using my bank cards with no problem for months without notifying my bank. It wasn’t until I got to Osaka, Japan and had about $4 worth of yen left and tried to withdraw money that I noticed my account was blocked for suspicious activity! “I’ve been on vacation for a month in Korea” I tell my bank, no doubt adding to the guy’s suspicion – not exactly a common holiday spot is it? It took almost a day to get it resolved so I walked everywhere instead of getting the metro and just ate chocolate…. That is not so much of a bad travel experience as much as my own idiocy.. it’s a wonder I manage to dress myself let alone travel the world alone!

 

9. Travelling romances, do they ever last?!

I think travel has given me commitment issues all round – I’m used to goodbyes and only living in places temporarily so I’m laid back about relationships being the same I guess.
That said, I think you’ve got more chances of meeting ‘the one’ travelling and bumping into someone with similar interests than you have swiping left or right on a dating app – I have met some wonderful people through travel and as we know, the world is a much smaller place these days, so I’m sure if you really wanted it to work, it would.

10. Which other travel blogger most inspires you

There are a lot of great travel bloggers, I don’t think I can choose just one! I started following Nomadic Matt back in 2010 when I had just started travelling solo and back then it didn’t seem to be such a common thing. He seemed so fearless and has so many great tips for solo travel on a budget. In addition to that though, I love the undiscovered bloggers – the people writing for a passion for travel, not to make money from it, and to hear their personal stories and the emotions stirred from the places they have travelled.

Perth
Penguin Island, Perth, WA

 

11. What’s the Number 1 country on your Bucket List?

I’m currently trying to organize my trip to Mongolia this Summer so at the moment I’m ALL ABOUT MONGOLIA. Have you seen the Gers they live in? They look SO cute, I want me a piece of that Ger action.

So… drumroll please… My Liebster Award nominations go to:

  1. Karin from Girl Astray
  2. Laura from Willful and Wildhearted
  3. Aubrie from Globetrotting Ginger
  4. Kaitlin from The Globeturner
  5. Kristina from The Nerdventurists
  6. Alyssa from She Went To Spain
  7. Shane from The Inshane Traveler
  8. Naomi from Probe around the Globe
  9. Stephanie from Ginger on The Go
  10. Jessica from Longest Bus Ride
  11. Laura from Grass Roots Nomad

The questions I’d like to ask you lovely travellers are:

  1. What is your favourite dish you’ve discovered along your travels?
  2. What type of traveller are you?
  3. If you could give one piece of advice to a travel newbie what would it be?
  4. Have you had any negative travel experiences?
  5. What has been the most memorable act of kindness on your travels?
  6. Do you think travelling has an impact on your friendships and relationships back at home?
  7. What’s your number one tip for travelling on a budget?
  8. Where to next, traveller?
  9. Where has been your favourite place so far?
  10. What is the most ‘can’t live without’ item in your backpack?
  11. Any recommendations on handy travel apps or websites?

When you’ve posted your answers, tag me (on Facebook or Twitter). I would love to read them!

Rules of the award:

  1. Thank and link back to your nominator
  2. Answer your 11 Questions
  3. Select your top 11 bloggers

I’m excited to hear what you have to say!

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. cmblackwood says:

    Nice! You should always thank your cat when you receive an award. They love you best, anyway. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved reading your answers here and thanks for accepting the award – can’t wait to read about Mongolia! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Whoa, thanks for the nomination, Melissa! 🙂 I’m excited to answer all these, and check out all these bloggers you’ve listed.

    Loved reading yours! I hadn’t realized you quit your corporate job to start traveling — that’s awesome! Also…I just googled Mongolian gers, and now I’m in love, too! I’m really interested in those middle Asian countries, like Kazakhstan and Mongolia. Some day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay! I really enjoy reading your posts and I think the award is such a cute thing! Ha, I was flattered when I received mine 🙂
      Oh my gosh I know right? I have a tendency to just sit and look at random facts and nonsense on Google for ages and somehow I came across an article on Mongolia – I’d never really considered or heard anything about it before but now I’m fascinated by their nomadic lives – it will definitely be a memorable one for sure. I’d love to do Kazakhstan too! I’d like to tie it all in with the Trans-Siberian and do Russia and Beijing but it’s so expensive $$ I may have to split it over a couple of trips. I look forward to reading your answers! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. 87pages says:

    Your homestay sounds so similar to when I did a two week Airbnb stint in Suyu, the family was so helpful and nice. It really was so encouraging while I got over my jetlag and began to explore Korea.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aw that sounds amazing! Korean people are SO sweet. I honestly didn’t expect to love the Country as much as I did. Cannot wait to go back again!

      Like

  5. Thank you for nominating me! I had a blast reading through your answers and coming up with my own for your questions! Let me know if you need any help with Mongolia. Loved that place

    Like

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