I was kindly nominated for the Liebster Award by bilingual blogger Sabrina of In My Suitcase, whose site includes short stories about love and travel.
This award, which translates as ‘favourite’ in German, aims to promote the work of fellow bloggers by listing the blogs nominees have especially enjoyed reading or been most impressed and inspired by.
My answers to Sabrina’s questions are as follows.
What do you find more difficult in travel blogging? What’s the dark side of it?
Getting visitors to your blog requires much use of social media. I find this quite draining, especially if I’ve spent much of my day at work (I have a full time job unrelated to my blog) looking at a computer screen. I find that platforms like Twitter show the superficial side of some travel bloggers, reflecting the cyber world of self-promotion we live in. Even if regular use of social media may boost my stats, I don’t care about blogging enough to spend all my free time online!
What would you suggest to people who are afraid to travel alone?
Firstly you need to identify what you’re afraid of – getting lost, being a victim of crime, or simply just your own company? From this you can make a plan. Start small – try a city break, perhaps even in your own country. Find accommodation suited to your preferences and if you’re worried about finding your way around alone, look for guided tours. That said, my first solo trip was to Canada, second largest country in the world, and I felt perfectly safe. I think it’s healthy to put yourself out of your comfort zone sometimes, otherwise you’re likely to later look back with regret. Remember, despite stories in the media, there are a lot of nice people in the world!
What kind of travel makes you happier? (budget and free, planned and cozy, food trip, photo itineraries…)
I’m definitely not a fan of luxury travel, although holidaying with friends at a resort in Hawaii was a lovely experience (and let’s face it, you only live once!) I prefer to plan my own adventures rather than having someone do this for me – I see this freedom as half the fun of travelling. I’ve always been quite frugal with money, so tend to go for the cheapest transport and accommodation options, choosing to treat myself in other ways when away. I love being active and much prefer hiking a mountain instead of lying on a beach. A road trip through the States has definitely been my favourite travel experience so far.
What App can’t you do without while travelling?
I’m a little backwards when it comes to 21st century technology… so you won’t catch me travelling with an App!
Have you ever travelled without smartphone or internet?
I don’t own a smartphone and rarely travel with a laptop unless I’ll be based in one place for a while. If I need the internet during my time away, I’ll visit an internet café or use the computer at my homestay if doing one. Overall however I try to avoid being online when travelling, because I see this time as a chance to escape from social intrusion. I like “switching off” and being in my own bubble sometimes.
Have you ever visited south Italy?
No, I’m yet to visit Italy at all, but I’d definitely like to.
Tell me 3 words that come up to your mind as you think about Italy.
Gelato, vineyards, (handsome) waiters
Which wine do you love more?
I’m no wine expert, but I do like Pinot Grigio.
What likes and attracts you most in other blogs?
I prefer reading a travel essay with high-quality and engaging writing over viewing a page full of photos promoting the standard touristy areas with little commentary. I like it when bloggers relate travel experiences to current affairs and make the effort to consider the local perspective when talking about a country’s culture. I think blogging can be a great way to reduce others’ cultural ignorance.
Suggest me a place to go, knowing I like travelling solo, like good beer and wine, and I’m a veg.
Germany is a great place to travel solo, and of course they love their beer there.Can’t speak so much about their vegetarian options!
Have you ever experienced a very good veg food? What and where?
There’s a place in London just off Oxford Street called Ethos Foods which offers many tasty and healthy vegetarian and vegan dishes – think stuffed peppers, chickpea and lentil curries and lots of aubergine and courgette. It’s self-serve so you pile on your plate as much as you want and are charged per weight.
I would now like to nominate the following travellers with their diverse but equally inspiring blogs for the Liebster Award:
Angela of Chasing the Unexpected for her in depth commentary on solo female travel in Iran.
Roaming Renegades. I really enjoyed their detailed article about how to travel (and survive and thrive!) as a couple.
Eloise of My Favourite Escapes, because I loved and could relate to her thoughtful post about livig far away from family.
Gloria of Nomadic Chica, who has been relating her travel blog to pertinent world affairs.
Katie of Wandertooth for her honest and valuable insight into life as a freestyle blogger.
Noel of Travel Photo Discovery, who takes lovely photos and always has great tips for European destinations.
Two Scots Abroad, who are uncovering cool places in the Pacific North West – an area I love.
Himanshu of Everything Candid for his beautifully rich writing about India.
Kim of Walkaboot for her dedication to sharing exciting adventure travel destinations.
Kami of My Wanderlust, who inspires me to see more of central and eastern Europe.
If my nominees would like to carry on the award when time allows, please answer the following questions, which are influenced by topics I have discussed in my blog. After giving your answers in a new post, please nominate 10 bloggers you think are worth looking out for.
1. Where did you have your first travelling experience?
2. How have you changed as a traveller since when you began?
3. What has been your jammiest travel moment? (When you were lucky without perhaps deserving to be.)
4. Can you recall a moment abroad when you experienced the “kindness of strangers”?
5. Have you ever been disappointed by a travel destination? What was the problem?
6. What has been your most difficult/embarrassing/memorable travel experience caused by a language barrier?
7. Which country have you visited that you’d like to see more of? And why?
8. Describe the closest friend you have made while travelling, and how you met.
9. What’s your favourite travel souvenir and what makes it so special to you?
10. I have a big sweet tooth! Can you suggest a bakery for me that you’ve discovered on your travels?
I hope they got you recalling some (mostly) fond memories! Thank you 🙂
Thank you very much for the nomination and welcome to Liebster Club! #PNW was an epic part of our trip – would love to see more of Oregon in the future. Happy blogging!