As newbie bloggers we are so excited to be nominated for the Leibster Award!! In case you’re wondering what the heck the Leibster Award is (as we were at first!) it’s an accolade given to bloggers by other bloggers. The award exists only online and helps to shine a light on new bloggers and recognise valuable content. We’ve been blown away by how amazingly supportive the blogging community has been since we started our travel blog four months ago and the existence of this award just further demonstrates that.
Massive thank you to Ani and Lloyd from ‘The Hofwayround‘ for nominating us and HUGE congratulations to them on their own well deserved Leibster Award win. Like us, this South African couple took a sabbatical from their fast paced city life to travel and explore this incredible world that we live in. They’ve kept us entertained with stories from their travels around South East Asia and truly impressive photography skills!
Check out their blog at www.hofwayround.com and follow them on Instagram @hofwayround
Now it’s Q&A time! In true Leibster Award style, here are our answers to the questions given to us by Ani and Lloyd from ‘The Hofwayround’
What is the most random item you take with you when you travel? A hot water bottle because I’m always cold! It has been well used, particularly in our freezing campervan in New Zealand!!!!
Where in the world have you found the friendliest people? The Filipinos are definitely the friendliest people we’ve met. They have an amazing sense of fun and zest for life. They’re always smiling (and singing!) no matter how difficult a situation is. Climbing the Mayon volcano in a torrential tropical downpour, drenched through, singing to Justin Bieber at the top of our voices with our Filipino guide who was a huge fan will be an experience I’ll never forget!!
What place would you absolutely NEVER go back to? This is a tough one as we’ve genuinely loved every place we’ve visited. But if forced to pick we’d have to say Hervey Bay in Australia as we were stuck there for over a week when Cyclone Debbie hit. Although it’s a perfectly pleasant little town we’d pretty much seen it all by the end of day 1!
What was and where did you have your worst transport experience? When travelling from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng in Laos our minibus blew a tyre on a steep winding mountain road. We had to scramble around in the bushes looking for big rocks to wedge in front of the wheels to stop the bus rolling off the side of the cliff and then build a homemade rock ramp to enable us to change the tyre as the driver didn’t have a jack!
Have you ever had a wardrobe malfunction while travelling? Arriving at a farmstay in the Australian outback we were told to wear a long sleeved top and trousers despite the heat as the mosquitoes were so relentless. Unfortunately the only long sleeved tops and trousers we had with us were almost identical chequered shirts and matching blue denim jeans! So not only did we look like a farming cliche, we were also sporting his and hers outfits, much to the amusement of our friends, family and everyone on the farm!
We value experiences over things. What drives your desire to travel? Neither Rich or I took a gap year after school – we both went straight into busy careers as a lawyer (Rich) and journalist (me), so although we talked about travelling, it never quite happened. Then we lost a close friend to cancer aged just 32 and my mum was diagnosed for the second time within the same month. We realised life is heart-breakingly short and we wanted to see more of the world. So we started planning and saving, we launched a furniture upcycling business to help pay for the trip and then in January 2017 we packed up our belongings, rented out our home and said goodbye to our family and friends. Now here we are!!!
Have you ever had a run-in with the local wildlife in a new place? Rich and I are big animal lovers so we always seek out the local wildlife and consequently have had quite a few run-ins! Snorkelling with whale sharks in Oslob, in the Philippines, I had to literally dodge out of the path of an oncoming whale shark the size of a bus! We’ve also encountered a kangaroo intent on stealing our washing from the clothes line in the Australian outback and come face to face with a venomous Pit Viper on the island of Palawan in the Philippines!
What travel experience left you feeling humbled and grateful? Travelling in the Philippines was a really humbling and eye-opening experience as the people there have so little and yet they were the friendliest and happiest people we met.
Is there a specific thing or scene that you love to photograph while travelling? As cliched as it sounds, we both love a good sunset pic! Ideally with an ice cool beer or a cocktail in hand.
What is the very first thing you do when you get to a new place? This is a little geeky but the first thing we usually when we get to a new place is download the mobile phone app ‘maps.me’! Rich and I both have a terrible sense of direction and it’s much more exciting to discover a new place for yourself on foot rather than relying on taxis or tours all the time. It’s our favourite travel app!
What brings you the most joy while travelling? Stumbling upon a new place or a hidden gem by accident brings us the most joy for sure. Guidebooks are great and are essential for identifying the key things to see and do in a country. But when you step off the beaten track and discover some magical place by yourself, it’s the best feeling in the world! That’s what travelling is all about.
Our favourite blog
This year all nominees have also been asked to write a short post about their favourite blog.
We stumbled upon Our Big Fat Travel Adventure about a year ago when we first started planning our world trip. Like us, they are a British couple who have swapped their 9-5 life for a globe-trotting adventure so immediately their story struck a chord! Andrew and Amy have been travelling, volunteering and working their way around the world since March 2013. Their comprehensive country-by-country guides not only inspired us with ideas for our own trip but they also helped us work out practicalities such as how much money we would need in each place and what to pack. Their blog became our go-to guide for useful information! We still follow their adventures today and they continue to inspire us with ideas. But don’t take our word for it – check it out yourself www.ourbigfattraveladventure.com, follow them on Instagram @ourbigfattraveladventure and Facebook.
So onto our nominees….!
The Little Blonde Traveller
Elise is an Australian who packed up her life to volunteer and travel around the world. Her blog provides insightful and useful information about solo travelling.
Read her blog www.thelittleblondetraveller.com and follow her on Instagram @littleblondetraveller
Like us, Alexis and Lindsay are a couple who quit the 9-5 to travel. They have travelled in New Zealand, Fiji and North America to name a few, sharing their fantastic photography and travel tips.
Read their blog www.aforeignerabroad.com and follow @aforeignerabroad on Instagram
Couple Around the World
A newly married couple from England travelling the world a country at a time and sharing their experiences along the way.
Read their blog www.couplearoundtheworld.weekly.com and follow them on Instagram @couple_around_the_world
To Africa, Europe and Beyond
Gemma and Lachie (aka ‘The Wedded Wanderers’) put their lives back home on hold to travel. They started their blog so they could record their travel journey through Africa and Europe, but their goal is to visit every country in the world!
Read their blog www.toafricaeuropeandbeyond.wordpress.com and follow @theweddewanderers on Instagram
He Travels She Travels
Jamie and Jessie are a Canadian couple in their early 30’s who dream of travelling the world and becoming expats with their two Great Danes. Their blog is unique as it documents their travels from two points of view.
Read their blog www.hetravelsshetravels.com and follow @hetravelsshetravels on Instagram
So the questions for our nominees are:
- Which travel destination has surprised you the most?
- If you could take a celebrity or famous person travelling with you, who would you take and why?
- What has been your favourite wildlife encounter?
- What item do you miss most from home when you’re travelling?
- Plane, train or automobile?
- Best hike?
- Of all the places you’ve visited, where could you see yourself living?
- Name the most beautiful island you have visited.
- You have been given a private jet for 24 hours and can fly anywhere. Where do you tell the pilot to take you?
- What is your best tip for a first time traveller?
- What is the single most useful item you carry with you when you travel (NB you’re not allowed to say mobile phone!)