I started this blog at the end of 2015 before I moved my life to South Korea. I imagined it to be a way of keeping in touch with everyone back home. In a way, it has become that, but it has also become something more important to me: a personal journal of my stories abroad. I write from the heart in a very stream of consciousness way, as if I was standing in front of you telling the story in person. I want to share my stories with anyone that will listen but I also want to look back on these stories of travel and be able to remember them as vividly as possible.
Since moving to Seoul I have also become dependent on other people's beautiful blogs for sources of information, recommendations, and stories that warm the heart. I've met fellow bloggers who were just as inspired as me to tell their stories and that only makes me more motivated to keep telling mine. Another way to recognise these blogs other than just saying it is nominating them for The Liebster Award. This award is something that derives from the online community of bloggers in an attempt to spread not only awareness of each other's stories, but to spread kindness to the people who are telling these stories. I was lucky enough to be nominated this year for The Liebster Award 2017.
Liebster is a German word meaning sweetest, kindest, nicest, beloved, and valued. The award is given to show recognition and give kindness to the nominated blogger.
The Liebster Award Guidelines
One of the conditions of accepting the Liebster Award is that you must follow the guidelines and then pass on the award. This ensures spreading kindness well throughout the community. The rules are as follows:
1. Thank the person who nominated you for the award and provide a link to their blog.
2. Display the award on your blog.
3. Answer the questions that your nominator has provided to you.
4. Nominate five or more blogs for the award and let them know they've been nominated.
5. Provide the new nominees with a set of your own questions.
If you would like more information about the Liebster Award or have been nominated, you can learn more about it in more detail here.
A Thank You to Wandering Journals
It's important to be grateful. So I would like to thank Wandering Journals for my nomination this year. Until she had messaged me I hadn't even heard about this award. Wandering Journals is a beautifully crafted travel blog that touches on stories of culture, love, food, and education from around the world. She hopes to inspire women to travel and tell their stories.
Questions From Wandering Journals
1. Why did you start your blog?
I started my blog before I left home as a way of keeping in touch with family and friends. It's turned into something more meaningful since then.
2. Have you ever travelled somewhere for the first time that instantly felt like home?
I don't think I have. I've definitely travelled places and slowly thought this could be my home, but it's never happened instantly.
3. Do you enjoy solo travel?
I've only experienced solo travel for days at a time. I've never actually done an entire trip where I could have been considered solo. However, during those solo days I have to say I really did enjoy it. You only have to think of yourself and your needs and sometimes that's the best thing to do while experiencing a new place.
4. Tell us about a travel experience that was uncomfortable.
I had to think quite hard about this one. I tend to keep the happy memories at the surface. I'll go with my first night in Bali. I arrived in the early AM with no data and no contact with my hostel. I had misinformed them of my time of arrival so I had to think quick. I was bombarded with people offering me a taxi and each time I explained I was waiting they tried to sell me with a deal. It was hectic and very uncomfortable. Everything was sorted in the end.
5. What is your favourite season to travel in?
Summer, Summer, Summer! It doesn't even have to be summer really, it just needs to feel like summer. I love the weather and the light packing!
6. Is there something you try to do in every place you travel?
I definitely make a solid effort to learn the most basic phrases and use them - even if I forget them as soon as I leave. I love talking with the locals even if it's just an exchange of a few words in each other's languages and a lot of hand gestures.
7. How many languages do you speak and are there any you would like to learn?
I'm a little embarrassed to say I only speak fluent English. I speak Korean as well, but only enough to live my daily life and definitely not enough to have a a full blown conversation. I would definitely love to keep learning Korean for as long as I am staying.
8. What type of traveller are you? Early riser? Go-getter? Laid back? Planner?
I would call myself the early riser meets planner. My friends would probably call me the difficult over planner. It's just my personality. I've recently tried dabbling in other ways of travel.
9. What has travelling taught you?
I think the most important lesson I've learned through travel is to to always keep an open mind. With an open mind you can enjoy and experience new languages, new cultures, and new ways of living and doing things.
10. Where is your next adventure?
My next adventure is home. It might not sound like much of an adventure, but being thrown back into your own culture for a few weeks and then back into another one is quite the adventure I would say.
1. Why did you start your blog?
2. If you are lacking writing inspiration what do you do?
3. Have you ever travelled somewhere and been disappointed?
4. Which three places in the world would you recommend someone to visit and why?
5. Is there a song you listened to so much during a trip that you now associate it with that trip?
6. What was your most memorable travel experience and why?
7. What is the weirdest thing that has happened to you during your travels?
8. Tell us about an act of kindness from a stranger you received while travelling.
9. What is a possession you cannot live without besides your phone?
10. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Who was it from?
The Liebster Award is not a trophy you can hold and does not extend to the real world. However, it is an honour to have been nominated by Wandering Journals. Being nominated essentially means someone wanted to spread kindness to you and recognise your work - that is no small thing. Congratulations to all the other nominees for 2017 and let's continue to spread kindness throughout the blogging community. Until next time, keep being the extraordinary human being that you are.