The Leibester awards, are peer nominated blogging awards.
The awards are designed to promote small, up and coming blogs. Blogs that are loved by those in the blogging industry and share them with a larger audience.
Now you might say ‘pah, no awards panel, no governing body these aren't real awards’ but I disagree. Bloggers read a LOT of blogs, they study their industry and work on identifying what audiences love best. To be nominated by your peers, from hundreds of potential candidates as a blog that has the potential to go far is a huge honour, even if it does not compare to a Nobel peace prize.
The rules of this award evolve over time as the priorities of the community and audience change.
The rules of my nomination are as follows:
· Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog including a brief description.
· Answer the 10 questions the previous blogger provided.
· Post 5 random facts about yourself.
· Nominate 4 bloggers - remember they don’t have to be from your industry on niche.
· Create a list of 10 new questions for your nominees and notify them of their nomination.
First, I would like to give a big thank you to Rebecca Decker from Where to This Time who nominated me for this award. Where to This Time is an awesome travel site cataloguing adventures from 1985 until today? I love the mature approach to travel and the variety of locations and articles available.
10 Questions to answer: What is the best food you've ever had and where?
Best food strangely enough was Chinese fusion in a very upmarket restaurant in India we were taken to by a family friend. I ate perfect kale chips and hard fried noodle desserts 10 years before they became a thing in the rest of the world.
What is your favourite mode of travel and why?
Backpacking for sure, not only do I love to chase a deal but I love the independence and spontaneity that backpacking can afford you.
Name a place you've travelled to, that has surprised you and exceeded your expectations.
China. We were told again and again that the language barrier and unfriendly people would make independent travel in China a nightmare but we found amazing helpful people happy to share their culture wherever we went.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you in your travels?
Choosing just one is hard! Most of my funniest moments are only funny in retrospect. Probably unknowingly staying in a rooming house under construction in Vietnam. My travel buddy and I were happily watching things being lifted up and down past our open window on the end of a rope, when there was a crash and a huge chunk of concrete flew through our window and smashed right on our bed! Out of nowhere a parade of workmen appeared and catered it away, without a word or making eye contact with us, just another day in the life…. The poor workmen were getting considerably more flak from an elderly woman in the alley below. Totally surreal and definitely not what I wanted on my tombstone.
What is the friendliest country you have ever visited? How did the people make you feel welcome?
Indonesia was probably the most open country I have travelled in. Outside of the main centres, I found locals open and friendly. They saw enough travellers that I wasn’t an oddity but weren’t commercialized to the point I was always being pestered for money. It was great to be able to relax and get to know some locals who wanted nothing more than to have a chat.
What is the most profound experience you have had with a local in any country you've visited?
Profound could cover a lot of ground, I don’t think I have had one profound experience, so much as a string of experiences that have given me the opportunity to grow and get to know myself as a person. When I look back at my attitude when I started travelling seriously - only six years ago, it is easy to see that the experiences I’ve had travelling have made me a better person.
Is travel something you've always wanted to do since you were young or did the travel bug bite later in life? What was your favourite childhood vacation?
As a young child we would go to the snow (Mt. Ruapehu in NZ) every year for a long weekend of skiing, even then I loved exploring. I had always felt the need for adventuring but it didn’t manifest into a desire to travel to foreign countries until my early 20’s, when I spent a lot of time dreaming of escape. Eventually that’s what I did, heading off to travel and work all over the world.
What photography tips could you give for taking great travel photos?
My design background means I have a knack for composition, apart from that I’m actually quite hopeless! So my tip would be, unless you’re a photo buff get the best auto ‘point and shoot’ you can and get in the habit of photographing everything until you get the hang of it.
What do you hope people will learn about the world by reading your blog?
I hope people will learn that they too can travel, it’s not something reserved for the brave or the rich. You can do it too, simply do your research and give yourself the kick in the pants you need to get started and you will suddenly realise that you can make your dreams happen.
Five random facts about me:
As well as a blogger I am also a dancer and circus performer and have partly funded my travels performing and teaching all over the world.
As a teenager, I was a Ju-Jitsu sports fighter and I credit this with a lot of the confidence it took to start travelling solo.
As well as travelling I have also published two books and hope to have another children's book out in the next few months.
I am the most stubborn person you have ever met this has helped me build my own business but has also led to me going hungry due to refusing to pay what I consider “too much” for the food on offer.
I am dyslexic and spend a lot of time having other people edit my work and second guess myself over whether or not choosing writing as a career was a good idea. If you really want something, go for it don’t let any excuse hold you back.