Only a couple of months after we started our nerdy travel blog, we received a very nice email from Katie, an American girl living in Kentucky who works as a biologist while traveling the world any chance she gets. In her email she nominated us for the Liebster Award! YAY!!! 🙂

I first stumbled upon Katie`s travel blog From Shores To Skylines by chance just surfing around, and liked it immediately! Both her photos and writing are a true inspiration! And as it turns out we launched our blogs at almost the same time, with only a few days apart!

We were very happy to be nominated for the Liebster Award, but to tell you the truth, being a total newbie to this blogging thing, we had never even heard about the Liebster Award! So of course, we turned to Google – who has the answer for everything, right?! 🙂

What the heck is this Liebster Award?

Yep, Google sure knows a lot about this Liebster Award! Apparently it has been around for several years (decades?). It is not an actual award with a committee that nominates you, or where you compete against other blogs. You sadly don’t win a lot money, or get to be on TV where you can hold a thank-you-speech thanking your mom and God, or anything like that….. No, it is just a fun way to get to know other bloggers!

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  • It is originally from Germany (of course since the German Word “liebster” means “dearest” in English, I remember that much from my school days learning Deutsch…).
  • It is not an actual award or prize, it only exists on the internet, kind of like a chain letter given by bloggers to other bloggers.
  • It is very similar to a chain letter, with certain “rules”, and should be passed on to a specific number of other bloggers.
  • When you get it, you can choose t0:
        1. Look at it as a great way to get to know other bloggers and them to get to know you. Thereby accept it and pass it on to other bloggers.
        2. Think of it as annoying and something that brings you yet more work, delete the email with the nomination and stop the chain.
  • It does`t look like there are one specific set of rules to this “award”, the rules seem to have been changed a lot over the years.

The whole idea behind the creation of the Liebster Award was to recognise and discover new bloggers, as well as welcoming them into this blogosphere. A pretty nice idea and gesture if you ask me!

Well, so now you must have figured out our answer to the nomination: YES, we accepted the Liebster Award from Katie! 🙂 Accepting the nomination, basically means that we won the Liebster Award.

The rules of the Liebster Award

There are so many different versions of the Liebster Award rules, but we choose to follow the rules given to us by Katie who nominated us:

  1. Thank the blogger who gave it to you.
  2. Answer the 11 questions they ask you.
  3. Nominate other bloggers with less than 5,000 followers.
  4. Ask those bloggers 11 questions.
  5. Let the bloggers know they’ve been nominated so they can continue the chain.

Following the rules

A million thanks to Katie from the travel blog From Shores To Skylines who nominated us for the Liebster Award! Be sure to check out her fabulous blog!

Our answers to the 11 questions from Katie

1. What’s your favorite food you’ve tried while traveling (or living) abroad?

Sri Lankan Chicken Curry with Watalappan to dessert is high up on our food-we-love-list!

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Delicious Sri Lankan rice and curry.

And of course we always LOVE Thai food!

2. What’s the best travel moment you’ve had thus far?

Well, this might not have been my best or proudest moment when it actually happened, but when we went to Asia for the first time, everything felt so different and scary (the people, the culture, the food, the noise, the smells….everything!), so I had a total break-down after a couple of days, with tears and everything, and me screaming “I want to go home to Norway!” to Espen. 🙂

The ironic part of it all, is that this happened in Singapore, the most posh and Western city in the whole Asia! Hehe! 🙂 Oh I was so totally lost! Well, to my defence my breakdown came after we had visited a temple in Little India, where someone stole my brand new and expensive Nike sandals while we were inside. I had to walk back to the hotel barefoot in the dark through all the chaos and people of Little India.

That breakdown was a turning point for me. After I had worked through it, I came out of it as a stronger person and we carried on with our six months travel through Asia. That trip turned out to be a life alterning experience for me.

3. How has travel changed you?

Travel has shown me that there is more to life than climbing the career ladder and working 9-5. Through meeting people from cultures different than my own, I have become more confident and open minded. I now know I can handle over-crowded old buses, squat toilets and strange food. I have learned more about my self as well as other cultures and met some amazing people along the way. Travel has shown me that one can be happy even despite owning and earning little.

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Me and our amazing 80 year old hiking guide in Sri Lanka.

4. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Hmm, this is a difficult one, as there are so many great places in the world, and we have only seen a few! I think we are still searching. If it was a city, we would probably choose Bangkok. Otherwise, we have totally fallen in love with Bali and Sri Lanka. But we have still so much of this world to see, so please ask us again in 20 years. 🙂

5. What’s the best advice you have for planning and/or budgeting for travel?

Pack as little stuff and clothes as possible (we are not good at this ourselves, but that`s our goal, to pack less), and as much money as possible. You can and want to buy things along the way.

We honestly tend to plan our trips less and less these days. Apart from a few airline tickets we tend to make them up as we go. That does not mean we go totally unprepared. I think there is a difference between preparation and planning. We research and prepare for a trip, take the necessary vaccinations, travel insurance, research local food and culture etc. But we like to be free to let the trip evolve as we go, and enjoy the little surprises along the way. We feel that the true beauty of traveling is in stepping into the unknown, temporarily loosing yourself a little. When you do that unexpected experiences and great moments will happen, that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

And last but not least: Don’t worry, don’t try to plan everything , just GO! That`s the hardest part, stepping out of the front door….

6. What place fills the number one spot on your bucket list?

Safari in Africa, Machu Picchu, the Egyptian pyramids, Petra in Jordan…hmm….can`t choose! 🙂

7. How do you decide where to travel?

Hmm, we always struggle with this! We want to see it all. Our advice is just go pretty much anywhere, just start a place that appeals to you. Don`t try to find the perfect destination. Sometimes one can become frustrated trying to plan the perfect trip to get the most out limited vacation time. So JUST GO!

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Our dear Lonely Planet book helped us to plan our travel through Sri Lanka. Here we are at Polonnaruwa.

8. How and when did you catch the travel bug?

When I went on inter rail (a one month train trip) through Europe with my best friend Kristin when we were 18 years old. Ah, happy memories! It was the most amazing feeling, standing there on the train station in Oslo with the ticket in our hands, knowing that we had the whole Europe in front of us! From then on I was bitten by the travel bug and have been traveling ever since.

As for Espen, he caught the travel bug when he at 18 packed his backpack, bought a one-way-ticket to Indonesia, and set out to discover South-East Asia on his own.

9. What’s your travel style (off the beaten path, popular sites, sand and sun, adventure, nature-lover, etc.)?

Our style is pretty much all of them, both off-the beaten paths, popular sites, adventure, sport, nature, and we love the sand, sea and sun! Although we don`t stay in dormitories any more, and we do like a little comfort.

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10. What’s your favorite spot so far?

Definitely the Great Wall of China, and the temples of Angkor in Cambodia.

Our walk on the Great Wall of China was breathtaking! We visited during winter, so it was off-season and no other tourists, and we chose to walk a part of the Wall that was not restored, so it was actually only us up there the whole day! The weather was also nice, with sun and no smog like in Beijing, so that was pretty much a perfect moment frozen in time for us.

We have been to the temples of Angkor in Cambodia three times! That`s how much we like being there! Our first time was the most memorable one, of course, since it was our first time, and we rented bicycles and went around the temples at our own pace for three whole days! It was awesome! The other two times we went only on a day-trip with tuk-tuk, but it was also nice since we were “guides” for my parents the second time and my brother and his girlfriend the third time. It was great to finally get to show it to them so they could  experience it with their own eyes and not only through our photos.

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The temple Angkor Wat.

11. What do you hope to accomplish through your blog?

We hope to inspire and motivate our readers to travel more, and show that it is not difficult or dangerous to travel and that anyone can do it!

Our Nominees

  • The Trusted Traveller
    Logo_trusted_travJen is born and now lives in Sydney, Australia. She and her husband Mick went on their first trip in 2010, a six week independent trip across Europe. Since then they have travelled to over 20 countries on 4 continent, including 18 months living in London. Besides travel Jen loves shopping (especially for shoes of which she has too many of according to Mick), theatre especially musicals and comedy, food and cooking plus she has a bit of an obsession with Michael Buble. Jen also has a fear of flying. She keeps traveling despite that due to the joy of discovering a new destination and the feeling of freedom that travelling gives her.

 

  • WM Travellers
    logo_wmtLiz and Alan are married and live in the West Midlands (that`s what the WM in their domain name stands for) of England, with a passion for wildlife and travel. They both have full time ‘real’ jobs, and usually take three to four trips a year. Alan and Liz went on their first adventure trip in 2005, a safari in Kenya. This trip had such an effect on them that it changed their approach to adventure trip planning, and now their first thought on deciding where to travel is “what animals might we see?”

 

  • Big Travel Nut
    logo_big_travel_nutMarie is a Canadian travel writer who resides in Toronto and spends as much time as possible traveling the world. Beside traveling and writing, her main interests are photography, videography, food, hiking, wildlife, and world music. She is obsessed with travel, and would not be happy with the “trip of a lifetime”; she wants a lifetime of trips! She got bitten by the travel bug when she was 29, when she went on her first real adventure: three weeks in Europe on her own. After that trip she was hooked and she has so far visited 53 countries, and every continent. Her travel blog has just celebrated a 10 months anniversary! Congrats Marie!

 

  • Mr and Mrs Adventure
    logo_mrmrsadventureBrittany and Drew are engaged, living in Los Angeles, USA. They went on their first adventure in 2011, a 2 week road trip across the United States (from Florida to Los Angeles) in Brittany`s 2-door Ford Focus, with everything they owned crammed in the back. They love all things exhilarating, different, colorful, undiscovered, old, new, foreign and wonderful.

Check out these blogs guys, as they are fantastic!

Our 11 questions to the nominees

  1. What made you start your blog, and what makes your blog different?
  2. What do you most enjoy writing about?
  3. What is your favourite destination, and why?
  4. If you were to give one piece of advice to someone thinking about traveling, what would it be?
  5. What kind of transport do you prefer when traveling?
  6. How do you promote your blog, and what works best for you?
  7. Is there any place in the world you never wish to visit?
  8. What does traveling mean to you, how has it affected you as a person?
  9. What country has the best food in your opinion?
  10. If you could choose any country in the world to live, where would it be and why?
  11. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

 Looking forward to hear everyone`s answers! 🙂

Here you can read the answers from our nominees:

After written this blogpost, we actually received ANOTHER Liebster Award!!! Super-YAY!!!! 🙂  Thank you so much Alison and Peter for nominating us!!! Check out their amazing blog Lublink! Alison and Peter are from Canada and now live in Kuwait where they work as teachers. They love to travel, meet new people, taste new foods and explore this great planet. Check out the great places they have been, and have a look at their beautiful photos!

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