This week I received my first ever blogging award – The Liebster Award. In case you’re wondering what on earth this is, the word ‘Liebster’ means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, cute, endearing, valued, welcome… and the award is given to new bloggers by bloggers.
I was so happy to receive the news that that the lovely Nadine, from Le Long Weekend enjoyed my blog enough to have me as one of her 5 nominees. It’s so nice to know that someone noticed the hard work I’ve been putting into Zo Around The World over the past few months. Nadine was born in the South Island of New Zealand (i.e the most beautiful place in the world – how lucky is she!?) she caught the travel bug and now, a mother of one, has moved her family to her new home in France where her blog, ‘Le Long Weekend’ was then born. Through her blog Nadine aims to inspire others to explore this beautiful world. Check out her blog to discover perfect places for your next weekend away.
The Rules of The Liebster Award
The award began in 2011, with it’s main focus being to support new bloggers. It’s such a great way to discover new blogs as well as connect with other new bloggers from all around the world, check out the official rules here.
In order to officially accept this award, I must firstly answer 11 questions which Nadine has asked me in her post. So here goes…
My 11 Questions Answered
1.How did you come up with your blog name
Travelling to different parts of the world is my main passion, so I wanted a way to incorporate that into the blog name. Zo Around The World randomly popped into my head one night in the gym… and it just stuck with me!
2. How long have you been blogging?
I created Zo Around The World in April 2016, however I only started blogging seriously in the last few months when I got back from my last trip around Eastern Europe, full of inspiration to write all about it.
3. What inspired you to start a travel blog?
While Shaun and I were away in Eastern Europe (and also on our last round the world trip) I found myself keeping track of everything: I have numerous diary notes, what we ate, where we slept, where we went, how much it all cost and info on how we travelled around each country. My head was full of so many amazing memories, I wanted a place to write about them as well as use my destination knowledge and organisation to help others when they travel too.
4. What are your goals for your blog?
I don’t have any serious goals just yet. I’m just starting out with blogging and I’m seeing where it takes me. Travel is my number 1 passion and I seriously enjoy writing about it, so for now blogging is a favourite hobby of mine and we’ll see where it goes 🙂
5. What one piece of advice would you pass on to a new blogger?
Well I’m still a very new blogger myself, so I don’t like to think I’m anything of an expert in advising new bloggers but I would probably say it is important to find your passion which will then help you decide your niche.
Knowing your niche is important so your blog has a focus. For example, my passion is budget travel/ backpacking so that’s what I decided to write about, but I also decided that as well as writing up detailed budget travel guides and itineraries, I wanted to portray our passion for interacting with and experiencing new cultures that are different to our own, as well as getting off the beaten track at times. Shaun and I often get tired of travelling on a well-trodden route; we like to include places that are a little different in our itineraries, so this was my inspiration for one of the main focuses for my blog.
Also, my advice would be to not take it too seriously; have fun and don’t compare yourself to others.
6. What other work do you do/did you do before blogging?
I currently work full-time for a commercial property company in central London. I have been working there for just over a year now and I’ve made some great friends, they are also very understanding when I ask for 2-3 weeks off to travel! 🙂
7. Where are you from?
I’m from Derby, a small city in the middle of England. I still visit lots as both mine and Shaun’s parents still live there. My favourite thing about Derby (apart from it being the place I get to see my Mum, Dad and Sister Amy <3) is the Peak District National Park in Derbyshire. It was great growing up somewhere with such wonderful scenery right on your doorstep. I lived with my Mum in Derby until I went away to study Geography at The University of Chester when I was 18.
8. Where do you live now & what’s the best thing about it
We live in a suburb of West London, where we rent out the tiny but cosy attic of our landlords home,
for thousands of pounds a month you don’t want to know how much it costs a month, but well that’s just London! The best thing about living in this area is getting off the 30 minute tube journey at the end of a working day and feeling like I am far away from the city. It is quiet here (well, in comparison to the city) with fresher air and green areas. Plus there are lots of nice restaurants and a good cricket team which Shaun enjoys playing for.
9. Where is the last place you travelled?
In June this year we travelled to Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. We tried some of the most delicious food in Romania, were amazed by the beauty of the scenery in Bulgaria and fell in love with the city of Istanbul.
10. Where are you heading to next?
So this is actually really exciting, because just this week we booked our flights to Morocco in March! Shaun will also be going back to Bulgaria in January with his friends (lucky thing!) but for me, I’m just counting down the days until Morocco. Morocco has been getting nearer to the top of my list of my top places to go for a while now, I’ve spent the last few months selling it to Shaun and shoving photos in his face telling him just how amazing it will be! Now the flights are officially booked, I can’t wait!
11. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Okay, so anyone that knows me very well will know that this is never a good question to ask me, as they know they’ll have me listing off a ridiculous string of places for the next 10 minutes; how I’m going to go to them all and how I’ve probably already got itineraries and budgets planned for them all too. If I had to choose a top 10 (of which I have made it a personal target for myself and Shaun to head to them all in the next 2-3 years) they are: Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, China, Japan, Tibet, Nepal, India (again!), Tanzania and South Africa.
I now get to announce the 5 bloggers I would like to nominate for this award. I have selected a variety of types of travel bloggers and they are:
Kathy shares my number 1 passion: exploring the road less travelled and being immersed in different cultures. In 2008, Kathy quit those package holidays and she now travels solo around the world. Kathy has been to a seriously impressive and inspirational 55 countries! Check out her blog to read about these destinations and proof that it is safe to travel around the world as a solo female.
Josie and Greg quit their jobs in early 2016 and left their home in the UK to travel. They have spent 5 months in the USA; road trippin’, camping and exploring their way around the country proving that amazingly budget travel is in fact possible there. Both keen lovers of reading, they provide a growing list of relevant books they’ve been reading since they started their travels. Follow their blog to read all about their current and upcoming adventures in Central and South America.
‘Nýr Dagur’ means ‘new day’ in Icelandic and the girl behind this interesting blog is Taís, a Brazilian girl living in Ireland. She has been blogging for 7 years in Portuguese but has only recently bravely started blogging in her second language – English. She has a rather impressive personal project of doing 12 hikes this year, she has even been thinking of doubling this goal for next year! Check out her blog to read about her unique experiences which will leave you inspired to explore the world.
Neha and her husband are based in the city of Pune in India, but they love to keep travelling on weekends. Nehir loves to explore lush green valleys, watch serene sunsets, enjoy local food, relax, read books on beaches and, like me, she likes to understand the traditions and cultures which change every few miles as she travels. Her blog especially features top advice on where to go and what to eat in parts of my favourite country in the world – India. I will certainly be trying some of her recommendations next time I go!
Ben and Jess are an English couple exploring the world. They used to live the normal routine life, however they decided that this life wasn’t for them and they chose a different path; a life of adventure. They even declined their offers to university and in November 2015 they bought a one way ticket to South Africa where their adventures then began. Check out their blog to read all about their adventures in South Africa and Australia!
My 11 questions to my nominees:
- Where are you from?
- Where are you currently living/ travelling?
- How many countries have you travelled to?
- Where is your favourite place you have travelled to and why?
- What is your scariest moment when travelling?
- What is your number 1 travel advice?
- What inspired you to start a blog?
- Where was your first ever holiday to?
- Where are you travelling to next?
- What is the most amazing meal you have had whilst travelling?
- Have you ever had any travel disasters? If so, what happened?