The Liebster Award: My First Blog Award a Few Little Secrets and The Official Rules

I have my first award! Cue the trumpets, unroll the banners, I have finally made it. Let this be the first of many!

I want to start by saying a massive thank you to Lena Dre, from – – for nominating me for this award. Of course, I am more than happy to receive it and help spread the love!

So what is a Liebster Award? OK, so I don’t have a golden medal in my trophy cabinet just yet, well, for blogging anyway, but what’s cool about the Liebster Award is that is is not something that you apply for, it is something that is given to you by fellow bloggers, it’s recognition from a peer within the blogosphere which means a lot to me. Unless you have ever blogged, you probably do not realise how much work goes into running these things. We all started like “Yeah, it will be awesome, I’ll share my stories, people will love them”. Next step you get your URL and start writing. Then nothing. You realise people don’t come to you, you have to find them. So you spend the next couple of month trying to become an expert in SEO (Basically waving to Google shouting “Oi, over here, that person that searched for that would love to read this”). Then after two months, you realise you hate the design of your website and spend days playing with themes, tweaking this and that until it’s perfect at which point you realise you haven’t actually written a blog for three weeks.

My Liebster Award Questions

What I guess I’m trying to say is it feels good to be found. So what do I do next? Well as part of my Liebster nomination I get to answer 11 questions that were given to me by Lena about my travels, followed by 11 random facts and finally I get to nominate people myself for the award. So without further ado, here goes:

1. How many countries have you visited so far?

2. Why are you blogging?
While travelling I found it difficult to find enjoyable blogs from an area I was in. That’s when I thought it would be cool to have loads of great blogs based on a map so you can find where you are and then find blogs from the local area. I wanted it to be a hub to share blogs as well as a place for my own content.

3. Name your top 3 items that you consider most useful when travelling?
iPad for keeping my diary. Camera, I never go anywhere without it and a bottle opener, you never know when you may be called upon to be a hero.

4. What was your best trip?
Trip is such a big word so I’ll shift it down to moment. Although there were so many highlights one hat stands out was my visit to the Monkey Temple in Lopburi. I love the cheeky little buggers, and watching them run, play and terrorise other visitors was a lot of fun. I particularly enjoyed watching the two bank security guards trying to retrieve a mobile phone from the monkey sat up a pole. Check it out here if you want to read more about it!

5. What was your worst trip?
The disappointment of Ha Long Bay. It is one of those images that I have had in my head my entire life, an image that inspired me to travel. We were in Hanoi and short on time so we booked a day trip. It involved waking up at 4 am in the morning and a 3 and a half hour bus ride each way. When we finally got the dock to board our day cruise through the iconic limestone towers, we were told all boats were cancelled due to an impending typhoon. We spend three hours on the dock in ‘will we won’t we’ stasis before boarding the bus for a three and a half hour drive back to Hanoi.

6. What is your advice for people new to travelling?
If you are going to a country, do some research and respect their customs. If you walk along the street in Myanmar wearing a mini-skirt, don’t be surprised if people stare at you and you feel uncomfortable.

7. What do you find most annoying when travelling?
People who put their aeroplane seats all the way back. Yes, I know you can, but to me, it just shows a lack of empathy for the people behind you, it’s a real dick move. That and people listening to headphones too loudly.

8. What is your dearest travel memory?
It has to be meeting Jimmy at Jimmy’s school in Siem Reap. He runs a school for street children. So many families can’t afford to send their kids to school as they have to be out on the streets, selling to tourists, trying to make money just to survive. Jimmy’s place is an evening school that is free and teaches English to the kids. His dream is to one day have some of his students go to university, but just by giving the kids a place to meet in the evening with other kids, learn the language, feel safe and have fun, he is doing something amazing. He often provides food for the kids as well, relieving some of the pressure from the families and he does it all with money made from his Tuk Tuk business and donations. If you would like to know more about Jimmy I’d love you to take a look at my blog about it here:

9. Do you prefer to travel solo or with a friend/partner and why?
Honestly, I prefer travelling solo, I like the freedom of being able to make a decision of where you want to go without having to agree all the time. I have travelled both ways and have had great experiences. Having a travel buddy definitely has its plus points, but I like the adventure.

10. How are you choosing your travel destinations?
I don’t really know if I have a method. I guess based mainly on recommendations.

11. What’re your preferred means of transport?
I love to travel by train, watching the world pass by from the track. It could be to do with being the son of a train spotter, but probably more that I actually hate flying and although I wouldn’t compare myself to those that have a genuine phobia, I get very nervous and do not enjoy it.

how to win a Liebster Award

11 Random facts for the Liebster Award

I have a wine qualification
I play hockey and until recently American Football (I have a medal for that)
I love having my back scratched
I have a book on Amazon called How To Clean Your Underwear in Africa
I support Torquay United Football Club
Whenever I see the video to Gangnam Style I get kind of hypnotised and can’t turn it off.
My dad was a photographer and my mum a journalist before they retired
I was born in Bury St Edmunds
I have lived in Florida, Colorado and now live in Madrid, Spain
I eat way too many sweets
I really miss British beer living in Spain
I am too lazy to count
I always make the sensible decision when buying things like buying the higher spec computer rather than the pretty one the spins and then always regret it.

Liebster award nomination what is it

Liebster Award rules

Once you accept a nomination, you are expected to complete the following steps:
* Thank and link to the blogger who nominated you.
* Create a post on your blog, displaying the Liebster Award logo.
* Answer the 11 questions assigned by the blogger who nominated you.
* Give 11 random facts about you.
* Provide rules/instructions for accepting the award.
* Nominate at most 6 new favourite bloggers for the Liebster Award.
* Come up with a list of 11 new questions for your nominees.
* Notify the nominees.
* Post your Liebster Award blog post link in the comments of your nominator’s Liebster Award Post

Questions to my nominees

Where are you right now?
Where are you going next?
What ignited the fire inside of you that burns for travel?
What is the funniest thing that you ever witnessed in an airport?
What is the best food you have had outside of your own country?
What is your favourite animal and why?
How long have you blogged?
What camera do you use?
Beach, mountains or city?
What is the furthest you have ever been from home?
Where do you see your blog in 12 months time?

So who to nominate?

We live in a time where we are spoilt for choice in travel blogging, so many great writers sharing their love of travel. Personally, I prefer blogs that tell a story rather than simply give you lists of things to see and especially when the bloggers personality shines through their words (surprisingly difficult to do. I also love photography and great travel tips, so with that said, here are my nominees:

Amy from
A fellow fluent Spanglish speaker, in her own words, her blog is mostly “poor grammar, run-on sentences, cuss words at inappropriate times, alcohol, desert-dry sarcasm, my travel screw ups and accidental successes.” Exactly the kind of blogs I love!

Rachael from
If you want a great looking blog with stories, advice and great itinerary suggestions then be sure to check out Rachael and her blog.

Pamley-Liddells family of
As at the time of writing, I myself am about to be a father (worrying for everyone involved as I can’t even look after myself yet), my next nomination is a blog based on family travel. This nomadic British blogging family have been all over the world and share stories of their life and travels on this little piece of the interweb.

Eryn –
This blog is simply gorgeous. Canadian-based, Eryn, blogger shares her passion for the outdoors and adventure. It is still very new but I have a lot of faith that this will grow into something special, the images alone are drop dead stunning.

Michele from Turning Left for Less –
We all need aspirations and travelling in luxury is something I hope to attain in the future. In the meantime I can keep my eye on this blog with loads of great tips for finding the best deals in the luxury sector. With insider knowledge from years in the travel industry this blog delivers on its promise of “Champagne budget on a Prosecco budget”.

Congratulations to all of the above and all that have gone before in this achievement. Keep up the great work.

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