Being complete social media addicts we had recently seen lots of tweets or posts about the Liebster Award 2017 and so when, just over a week ago, we received an email from Mario @ The Backpacker saying that he would like to nominate us we were super excited!!
For those of you who are yet to come across it, the Liebster Award is a blogging award given to bloggers by bloggers. Its a great way to show your appreciation for blogs that you love and to share them with your own following. This way we all get opened up to blogs we may not have heard about before but which certainly deserve more recognition. Plus you get to communicate with some other cool travellers along the way helping to expand your blogging network.
Its a fantastic idea and we’ve loved taking part so thanks to Mario @ The Backpacker for choosing us for a nomination! Mario describes his blog as an “unfiltered” journal of all his impressions and thoughts of his travel experiences so far. Mario is a diving addict and you can find some top tips on his blog about the underwater world!
How does the Liebster Award work?
So, once you’ve been nominated (and had a little celebration! Yay!) its your time to get writing and nominating. The full official rules and details for 2017 can be found here, but here are the basics;
- Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their site on your blog/social media
- Display the award on your blog
- Answer their 11 questions about yourself
- Nominate 5-10 other bloggers for the award and inform them via social media
- Create your own set of questions for your nominees
- Enjoy winning an award and pass this fabulous feeling onto someone else!
So here it goes, our 11 questions from Mario;
1.How did you get started travelling? What inspired your… “wanderlust”?
Before we met, Josh and I had both been travelling individually and so were already well and truly addicted to that sense of freedom and way of life when we became a couple. Travelling was something we bonded over and after a few years slogging away at jobs in London that we weren’t that interested in we began to yearn for our travel days. The seed was planted and we just couldn’t shake the feeling that there was something more out there that we could be doing. We started saving and booked a one way flight 8 months later…the rest is history!
2. What is your most used app for travel?
Our favourite app by far and something that we cant imagine living without or how we managed when we travelled 5 years ago is Maps.Me. It has been an absolute life saver and instrumental in helping us seek out all the amazing places in a new city. We’ve biked down tiny dirt roads tracks in Nusa Penida, found the “free way to Bromo” in Java, never got lost in the tiny streets of Hanoi Old Town and found all the best sunset points on the boulders of Hampi – all because of Maps.Me. For that we are forever grateful and we always preach the Maps.Me app to our fellow travellers!
3. What was your most favourite blog post you wrote?
Oh this is such a hard one! We would probably have to say our blog post about our time spent volunteering on beautiful Mantanani Island in Borneo. We found it quite hard to write at first and left it for months after we’d left to actually put pen to paper, as it were. The island was so remote and after living off grid for 5 weeks it felt like the whole island was like a little dream that only we knew about. How could we possibly convey all the amazing moments we had had? Once we sat down and wrote it though it was amazing to relive and to put in to words all the things we had experienced, worked on and witnessed whilst living on this remote island paradise. We hope it shows people the opportunities that volunteering opens up and inspires them to do something similar. Our videos are also out favourites but I guess we didn’t exactly write these…!
4. Ever had an unpleasant experience during your travels that changed you? (Either in a positive or negative way)
On this trip we have both been very lucky in that everything we’ve done and everyone we’ve met have been fantastic. However, this hasn’t always been the case! (Charlotte) Last time I was travelling I was not only involved in a bus crash in Cambodia ending with a stint in hospital but then managed to brake my ankle in Australia ending up in a knee to toe cast and crutches for a month! Nightmares we hear you say! Well actually, yes it seemed like it at the time but whilst travelling alone and dealing with these kind of incidents it certainly made me a much stronger person and instilled in me the idea to never give up on travelling even in the tough times. You will always come out the other side and in some ways these unpleasant experiences can really shape your trip. I managed to travel the whole of Australia on crutches and met so many great people along the way usually through the conversation starter of “What on earth had I done?” These people not only helped carry my backpack for me, carry me over the sand dunes of Fraser Island and off the boat in the Whitsundays but became life long friends. If I had given up and gone home I would never have had these ridiculous stories to tell or met these wonderful people. So, never give up…!
5. What’s the top item on your bucket list? And why?
There are sooo many things all at the top of our bucket list how can we ever choose just one? Okay, the two probably pipping the post right now are visiting and trekking in Nepal and going to live and work in New Zealand. We have heard so many amazing things about Nepal; from the friendly people, the breathtaking treks and the good food (we love momos!) In addition we’d love to spend some time volunteering in Nepal too. New Zealand is a place Charlotte fell in love with and was always desperate to return and Josh having never been is excited to go and try all those adrenaline junkie sports!
6. Out of all the places that you have travelled to, which one could you imagine living in permanently?
We really loved Hanoi and after going back there at least three times whilst in Vietnam we already began to feel at home. It has so much buzz about it and we loved how the streets in the Old Quarter always felt so alive whether it be with street foot, or Bia Hoi stands, street markets or everyone going about their daily lives. The traffic is crazy but there are many quiet spots to be found where you can just sit back and watch the world go by. In total contrast we also really loved Sri Lanka due to its laid back beach vibes and super friendly people. How we will ever choose where to settle we have no idea!
7. What is your recipe for happiness?
Our recipe for happiness is just following your heart. As long as you always feel like what you are doing is the right path for you then happiness should come naturally. For us, leaving London and going out to explore the world couldn’t have felt more right. If there ever comes a time however where we feel like we need a bit more routine and stability in our lives then of course we will reconsider. Its all about following natural flows in life, things change and so you should too.
8. I’ve got a favourite quote, “The most dangerous worldview is the worldview of those who have not viewed the world” by Alexander von Humboldt, do you also have one?
Our favourite quote is “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you’ve imagined”. (Charlotte) My parents gave me a bookmark with this quote on before I left on my first solo backpacking adventure at 21. The quote really stuck with me and also rings true on Josh and I’s journey. Sometimes its hard to break the social norms and take a different route to what is generally “accepted” but we should all be confident in creating the lives we imagine for ourselves, not what other people imagine for us.
9. Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? … What is your best way to kill time during a flight or bus ride?
We’ve done a lot of long train rides in India and found the best way is either reading a really great book (although this usually ends up in us falling asleep) or making sure we have a few new films on our laptop to pass the time. Any one we meet on the road we share films with so we always have something new to get engrossed in. When you’re on a train for 22 hours you can easily get through three films and so it certainly makes the time go a little quicker!
10. What is your least favourite part of blogging and why?
Our least favourite part of blogging is the amount of time it takes away from actually going out and travelling. We have so much to say and so much we want to share from what we’ve experienced but in reality it takes a really long time to put this all together into something that you want to publish. Being always on the move it is sometimes hard to find the time to put it all down without taking precious time away from actually going out and exploring where we are. Luckily we like to travel slow so we have found it easier to spend an extra day in a place here and there and just spend the whole day catching up. This doesn’t always work and we always seem to be so far behind but hey, we would never give up our experiences or else in the end we’d have nothing to write about anyway!!
11. What is the most unusual dish you ate during your travels?
Josh; This one time in a random stopover place in Malaysia Charlotte was in a really bad mood and to make matters worse had ordered a terrible dish for lunch (as always). To get her own back she made me eat these weird looking white balls and me being the dutiful boyfriend, obliged. They were awful and left a disgusting fishy aftertaste that I had to carry around with me for the rest of the day….thanks!
Charlotte; Whilst in Thailand I did the classic tourist thing of trying the insects on sticks. I had the grasshoppers which I thought would taste awful but were actually pretty tasty. They tasted like salty crisps; two more grasshopper sticks please!
Now for the best bit!! Here are our own Liebster Award Nominees;
Infinite Saturdays – This lovely couple from the UK & US are on a six month trip around South East Asia. Give them a read for lots of travel tips and fun photography!
The HofWayRound – A South African couple on a six month sabbatical – looking to down size on stuff and up size on life. We love this motto!! Go follow their adventure!
Two Scots Abroad – A Scottish couple (if you hadn’t guessed from the name!) who have been backpacking around the Americas and Europe. They, like us, love to combine travelling and volunteering and their experiences are worth a read!
Ravenous Travellers – A fellow UK travel couple who quite the 9-5 and set off to travel the world. They have been teaching in South Korea but are about to get back on the road. A great time to start following their adventure and all their foodie tips!
Gemma Harris – Okay, so this ones a bit of a cheat….Gemma has been my (Charlotte) close friend since meeting on the first day of University. We both absolutely love travel and its so nice to have a good friend who lives life on the road like me and goes through all the same trials and tribulations. Gemma travels the world full time by working on a 30m luxury sailing yacht. Follow her blog for an insight into life in the yachting community – she also takes fantastic photos!
Now for our questions;
- What’s the top item on your bucket list? And why?
- What is the most extreme thing you have done whilst travelling?
- What is your most used app for travel?
- Our favourite quote is; “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you’ve imagine!” What would be yours?
- What/Who inspires you to travel this world?
- What is the best memory that you have whilst travelling?
- Name the top 3 most beautiful beaches you have visited?
- Ever had an unpleasant experience during your travels that changed you? (Either in a positive or negative way)
- Whats your favourite blog post you have written?
- If you could only take one more trip, where would you go?
- What is the most unusual dish you ate during your travels?
We hope you all enjoy answering these as much as we did and we look forward to seeing all your responses!
C & J x