When I started this blog a little over a month ago I had no idea how warm and welcoming the travel blogging community would be. Now, here I am being nominated for a Liebster Award from Nat and Rob of Love and Road!! Thank you so much! It’s so nice to be recognized by fellow bloggers, especially when this blog is so new and I’m still trying to figure out so many things. Hosting? Platform? SEO? Plug in? Huh? What I do know, is that I’m passionate about traveling and I hope to convey that passion to others through my writing so that I can inspire them to pursue their passions as well. So thanks again Nat and Rob; receiving this award is just more motivation for me to keep moving forward on this new adventure.
About the Liebster Award:
This award is given to new bloggers by other bloggers and is a great way to network and get to know fellow bloggers. There’s no prize money, but it does leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling inside! It also works similar to a chain letter; you can either accept the nomination or choose to ignore it and break the chain. I obviously chose to accept the nomination because I think it’s a great way to introduce myself to the blogging community, make new contacts, and exchange ideas.
There are different variations of rules for this award, so I will use the ones given to me:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you for the Liebster Award with a link back to his or her blog.
2. Answer the 10 – 11 questions that your nominator asked you.
3. Nominate 5 – 11 bloggers of your own, with under 500 followers, whom you think are awesome and deserving of this honor.
4. Create 11 questions for your nominees.
5. Display the Liebster Award logo on your page.
6. List these rules (1-6) in your post.
Here are my answers to Nat and Rob’s questions:
1. What did fire you up to travel?
I’ve dreamed of traveling the world since I was a little kid. I remember looking through my mom’s encyclopedias (yes, those things people used before that Google machine came along) and telling myself that one day I would see all of those places.
2. What was the hardest thing to leave behind?
I currently have a full time job and I’m going to school for my Masters, so I am settled in Florida for the time being. However, I was in the military so I got used to moving every few years. In the past, the hardest things I’ve had to leave behind were the great friends I made.
3. What is your favorite travel memory?
It’s so hard to pick just one… but if I have to pick, I’d say my favorite travel memory is of when I met Ketut Liyer in Bali. If you’ve read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, you know he’s the medicine man that she studied with for a few months while she lived in Bali. Getting to meet him and talk with him and have him give me his advice was something I’ll never forget. It was a very emotional experience for me.
4. Funniest thing that happened on a trip:
I’m drawing a blank with this one. Maybe all the times I’ve fallen in snow or slipped on ice when I traveled around Europe?
5. Worst thing that has happened on a trip:
My rental car was broken into in Brussels and my laptop was stolen. I didn’t really care about the laptop itself, but I had pictures on there of my trips to England, Spain, and Poland that I still hadn’t saved onto my external hard drive. I remember sitting on the curb crying and thinking of the pictures I’d never get back. That was a pretty bad day, but luckily, that’s the only time I’ve had anything bad happen to me during my travels.
6. When did you decide to blog and how did you choose the name of it?
I decided to blog just over a month ago. I followed a few bloggers on Facebook and one weekend I just thought to myself, “That could be me!” so right then and there I made up my mind to do it. Because there are so many travel blogs out there, I wanted to do something a little different. I’ve had my stuffed monkey Buddy for a few years and had taken pictures of him at different landmarks around the world. Usually when I stopped to take pictures, people around me thought it was funny or a cute idea. Since people seemed so receptive to a “traveling monkey” I decided to name my blog after him.
7. What do you dislike about blogging?
The only thing I dislike about blogging is the technical part of it. I know what I want to do with my blog and how I want it to look, but actually getting it to that point is proving to be a little more difficult than I thought.
8. How do you finance your traveling?
If there’s somewhere I really want to go, I put away a little bit of money every month. I even have a jar (that I made myself) where I put all of my change. In the past I’ve also used Go Fund Me to get donations for a trip. And although I try to leave this as a last resort, sometimes you just have to say “Fuck it” and charge your plane ticket to a credit card. There will be time later on to pay it off.
9. One precious advice about travelling:
Keep an open mind. Remember that you are traveling to experience other countries and cultures. Don’t insult your hosts by saying, “Wow that’s dumb, that’s not how we do it back home.” Nothing should be “dumb” or “wrong,” it’s just different. There is so much that you can learn from others if you’re just open to it.
10. Do you travel alone or with a partner? Why?
I’ve done both and there are pros and cons to each way of traveling. When I’ve traveled alone it was a very liberating experience. I did what I wanted, when I wanted to. If I wanted to sit and people watch while I ate gelato I could do that without worrying if anyone I was with was ready to move on or was bored. If I wanted to read every single placard at a museum, I could. On the flip-side, however, sometimes you do want someone to share your experiences with. It has to be the right person though. I’ve traveled with someone who didn’t give a rat’s booty about anything cultural or historic and it was absolutely horrible. If you’re wandering around on of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world and you go back to find the other person asleep in a pew, there’s a problem. But if you find someone that has the same love and passion for traveling as you, it can be a really awesome experience. If your partner is just as excited as you are to push boundaries and go on crazy adventures, you may do things that you might not do if you were traveling on your own.
11. Which amazing place would you love to keep hidden just for you?
There was a temple in Bali that I visited in the middle of the jungle. I saw a narrow dirt path that none of the other tourists had seemed to notice. It looked like no one had been down this path in a while because as I continued along I walked into multiple spider webs (not cool!). I followed it down until it came to a little stream. I felt like I had gone back in time! There were old forgotten stones that were covered in moss and the only sounds were that of the wind blowing through the trees and the trickle of the stream. If it wasn’t for the bugs that were trying to eat me alive, I probably could have stayed there for hours…
Here are my nominees:
1. Miro and Mirko from Fly Eat Travel or @FlyEatTravel
2. Roy from The Drinking Traveller or @DrinkTraveller
3. Alex from Skip Trippers or @SkipTrippers
4. Carly from Lipgloss and a Backpack or @LGandaB
5. Teresa from Velvet Compass or @teresacordov
And my here are my questions for the nominees:
1. If you could only travel to one more place, where would you go?
2. Do you have a favorite book that you like to travel with?
3. Is there an item that you always pack even though you know you most likely won’t use it?
4. What is your favorite travel related quote? Why?
5. What advice do you have for new travel bloggers?
6. When you travel do you make detailed itineraries, completely wing it, or do something in between?
7. What would you like to accomplish with your blog?
8. What or who has been the biggest influence for you to travel?
9. What has been your favorite meal while traveling?
10. Where have you experienced the friendliest locals?
11. Have you ever had a favorite stuffed animal? What was its name?
Thanks again for the nomination Pat and Rob from Love & Road! I hope the next group of nominees has as much fun with this as I did!