As brand-new bloggers in the travel-blogging world, we’re super happy to have been nominated for a Liebster Award by Miguel and Yvonne of Trip Bitten fame. They’re a half American, half Dutch couple, currently writing from China where they’ve been since 2010. Their blog is full of tips on travelling in Asia, and you should definitely check it out.
Anyway, when they nominated us, I was like ‘what the heck is the Liebster Award?’ – but it’s pretty simple. If you’re nominated, you have to answer a series of questions set by the person who nominated you. Then you set your own questions and nominate a couple of other bloggers you think deserve a shout-out and hopefully they’ll respond with their own answers.
So, without further ado, here are our answers to Trip Bitten’s questions.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give your younger self?
I think I personally would tell my younger self to care less about what people thought of her and what other people think is the ‘right’ thing to do. I swallowed a lot of messages about how I was supposed to have a 9-5 job, get married and have kids, and it took a while and a lot of courage to realise you should only do those things if you want to. It’s perfectly possible to make your own relationship, your own career and your own lifestyle. Don’t listen to people who nag you to ‘settle down’ or ‘get a real job’ and don’t be pressurised to conform to a model of what you should have achieved by a certain age. Make your own path and be proud of it.
Do you have any pets? Tell us about them.
Nope, no pets. I’m a cat-lover, whereas Jean absolutely hates cats and is more of a dog person. So, I think we’re never going to agree on that. It’d be hard to move a pet around with us anyway, so we prefer to travel light.
What do you think of when you think of China?
I actually know very very little about China so it’s cool to be able to read tales from other bloggers who’ve taken the plunge and moved to such an amazingly different country. The first thing that springs to mind for me is the incredible (but very difficult) language – probably one of the hardest for English-speakers to learn. And the food is also really intriguing. I’ve mostly just eaten the westernised versions of Chinese foods, but I’d like to try something really crazy like a 100 year old egg.
For 2015 what is your biggest goal?
Probably my biggest goal is to make my translation and writing business successful enough to live off that long-term on the road. I already make money as a translator, but I want to make that into a full-time business that is satisfying to me as a lover of all things languages, writing and translation, and that makes me enough money to keep on doing what I want to do. I also really want to learn at least the basics of Ukrainian, Russian and Polish.
Who is your dream dinner party guest?
Scarlett Johannsen. I would get her drunk and hopefully it would turn into a fun evening.
What is your favorite outdoor activity?
I like to do just about anything outside if the weather is good. I like to take my work or a book to the park or the beach and write or read in the fresh air. We both like to cycle and walk a lot, so that’s normally a great way to see new places.
What does a normal day look like for you?
At the moment, I’m finishing up my job in London ready to leave on 7th June. So at the moment my day isn’t very exciting for you to hear about! I hope I’ll be able to post something much more interesting in a month or so, when I’l be freelancing, blogging, instagramming like crazy and seeing what it’s like to live in Lviv.
What are you really, really good at?
Honestly I don’t think I’m terribly good at any one thing. However once I set my sights on something I’ll work very hard to make sure it’s a success. Languages are my number one passion in life and I suppose I can say I’m pretty good at them. I pick things up very quickly and I have a really great memory for anything I see or hear, so I can learn new things at a fairly impressive rate and that helps me to be a pretty decent linguist.
What surprised you most about blogging?
I’ve been blogging for years, although I’ve never had the time and patience to make one blog very successful. I’ve previously managed my own blogs on alternative music, languages and translation, so I think I’ve learned a lot from doing that. But it’s always a surprise how much work has to go into a semi-decent blog. It’s all very well to chuck down some thoughts every now and then, but posting once a month is never going to get you recognised. I’m always full of ideas for things to post about, but finding the time to actually do it is a different thing.
Between the two of us we’re quite well equipped to run a blog as Jean is a programmer and I’m a writer, but we’re both a bit rubbish at the design side of things, so I’m trying to learn more about photography and we’ll hopefully get better at the layout and design aspects of making a blog awesome.
What’s your favorite travel product?
There are various things that I like to take travelling with me. However I’m a very light sleeper and become incredibly moody if I don’t sleep. So for me it’s very important to bring stuff to help me sleep on planes, buses etc: earplugs, eye masks and those funny-looking sleep pillows are my best friends.
What are the top 5 countries on your bucket list?
Well, our blog is all about travelling in Eastern Europe, so our upcoming destinations are all around there. We’re especially excited to go to Transnistria – ok, so it’s not technically a real country, it’s more a little state between Moldova and Ukraine, but it considers itself an independent nation and the only remaining part of the USSR. Also on our bucket list are Georgia, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Russia if we can get visas together for those.
1 Olga at The Russian Abroad
2 Conni at Language Muscle
3 Liz at The Blog of Happy Things
4 City Girl at Tiptoe the Globe
5 Ioana at ioana.land
6 Charlotte at Xuexi Sprachen
7 Sam at Confessions of a Wanderer
Our questions for you 😉
1 Why did you decide to start blogging?
2 If you could travel to any country, where would you go?
3 What’s your favourite activity to do when you’re on your own?
4 What’s your favourite language and why?
5 If you could have any skill (without trying!) what would you choose?
6 If you could speak any language, what would it be?
7 What’s your next trip destination and what are you most excited to see there?
8 What’s your worst fear?
9 What are you most proud of?
10 What’s your guilty pleasure?
What to do:
Post your answers to our questions on your blog. Then nominate your own favourite bloggers with up to 1,000 followers, and set your own questions for them. Remember to tweet them so they know they’ve been nominated!