The Liebster Award is an award for bloggers, from bloggers. It is a way of acknowledging start-up blogs and welcoming them into the blogging community. It’s paying it forward.
Starting a blog can be overwhelming and newbie bloggers sometimes become disheartened because of the many different aspects that make up a blog. That is where the blogging community can lend a hand. By recognising a blogger’s effort and progress we act as cheerleaders and urge them on.
The ever-exploring Samantha from Explore the Map recently nominated me for the Liebster Award. It is both exciting and encouraging. Thank you Sam, it means a lot to be noticed.
Are there rules for this award?
Certainly, but it’s straightforward. Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their website. Display the award and answer their ten questions about yourself. Nominate other bloggers including links to their websites (I asked their permission beforehand) and present them with your own ten questions. Enjoy, and then spread the joy!
Q&A session: asked by Sam, answered by Chris
- What do you hope to accomplish with your blog? Where do you see it, and yourself, in five years?
I understand that building a blog takes time and I’m comfortable with that. Looking five years ahead, I expect the blog to support our long-term travelling lifestyle.
- What’s your favourite quote and why?
“In order to write about life first you must live it” – Ernst Hemingway
It is my caution to live in the here and now. My reminder that a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor. My inspiration to follow my dream.
- In your opinion, what’s the most underrated country/city and why should more people go there?
Russia, or Россия or “rah-sii-ja” as the locals would refer to their motherland.
Although the Soviet hammer and sickle flag was lowered for the last time in 1991, the fascination with Russia remained with me. I eventually got the chance to visit Russia in 2003, an experience that I will always remember fondly.
To stand in the middle of the Red Square, where the Red Army used to show off its military prowess during the cold war, is awe inspiring. Walk towards the Moskva River and you will reach St. Basil’s Cathedral. Look right and you will see the Kremlin. Three iconic landmarks, and then you have the rest of Moscow!
I travelled to St. Petersburg by train and loved everything about the place. The city’s history, so well preserved and presented by the Winter Palace and Peterhof Palace, is almost palpable. And my favourite restaurant of all time is in St. Petersburg!
- What’s the best advice a fellow blogger has ever given you? This can either be through conversation or something you read.
It’s from Jeff Goins who blogs about writing. The title of his book says everything: “You are a writer, so start acting like one.”
- If you could have dinner with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
Winston Churchill. Apart from his sharp wit and excellent orating ability, I admire his unyielding determination to lead his country from the brink of defeat to victory.
He is also quite the all-rounder – soldier, writer, statesman, historian and artist. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1953 and was the first of only eight people to be made an honorary citizen of the United States.
I can only imagine sharing a bottle of red wine with Sir Winston!
- If the internet weren’t around, how would you share your expertise?
Oh goodie! Then I can chuck my computer in the dustbin and get back to pen and paper. Since “writing” became “typing” the world is at risk of being taken over by geeks and madmen!
- How did you find your niche?
I think my niche found me! I did not set out to be a travel blogger and then decided on a niche.
Our story goes back to our decision to pack it up and set sail. We wanted to generate an income and I searched for ways to earn a mobile living. And the answer was writing.
As I gathered more information, writing became blogging and blogging became Travel Hippi. And I suppose our chosen way of life – retire early, abroad – determined the niche.
- What have you found the most rewarding about blogging?
The personal growth in terms of learning about both writing and blogging. And overcoming the challenge to write in my second language.
- What’s your most embarrassing travel experience? I promise I won’t laugh!
It was work, not leisure, but no less embarrassing. As COO of a previous business, I established many new offices and teams in various African countries. Being the eternal punctualist, I instilled the behaviour.
Until that one trip when I forgot to adjust my alarm clock upon arrival and rocked up for a training session an hour late!
- Have you ever been scammed while travelling? What happened and how would you avoid this next time?
Thankfully, only once. It was in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, a country I have visited many times.
It was late afternoon and I was out of local currency. So when an informal trader offered to exchange my US Dollars I thought why not, it’s a slightly better rate than the formal exchanges anyway.
He counted the Tanzanian Shillings in front of me, but with the skill of a magician, he swopped it for a fake bundle – two large notes outside and small denominations on the inside.
About $50 and a bruised ego later, lesson learnt. Use the formal traders.
And my star nominees are…..
The Heart Of Travel – Chelsea has combined her travel blog with her boutique travel business; focussed and crossing over seamlessly. I like everything about the blog, from the look and feel to the writing style. Check it out!
Flying Flusky – Rosie and Karl typify the dream of many young couples; to remain employed but actively travel. The blog is well organised and the writing style is fresh and personal. I will not be surprised to see them doing this full-time!
My very best wishes accompany them.
And here are my questions for them:
- How did you find your niche?
- What is the best book you have read recently?
- What do you do for music while travelling?
- Using any criteria, what is your favourite place you have visited and why?
- And using any criteria, what is your number one bucket list destination and why?
- If I offered you a vacation on a tropical island, who would you want to take with you? Any person, dead or alive. Why?
- What is your favourite dish that you discovered through travelling?
- What is your biggest challenge around blogging?
- If you can give newbie bloggers one piece of advice, what would it be?
- If you were offered the opportunity to be part of the first mission to Mars, would you go and why?
“To refuse awards is another way of accepting them with more noise than is normal” – Mark Twain