I am thrilled that The Holidaymaker’s travel blog Dream Plan Experience has been nominated for the Liebster Award 2019! This award is aimed at new bloggers. A way to promote other people’s blogs from all genres. The award is given to bloggers by other bloggers. In German, liebster is an endearing term of affection that means sweetest, kindest, dearest, loveliest, or beloved. Such a fitting way to describe this wonderful blogging community where everyone has been so incredibly supportive and, well dare I say it, liebster!
If you have nominated and you choose to accept it, there are certain rules that must be followed for you to be eligible.
You must write a blog post and include the following:
- Thank the person who nominated you
- Describe what motivates you in life and in blogging
- Answer the 5 to 10 unique questions given to you by the person who nominated you
- Nominate 2 to 6 new bloggers
- Create 5 to 10 unique questions for your nominees
- Post these rules
After publishing, you also must provide a link for them to your post and to the official Liebster Award 2019 site.
First, a big thank you to travel blogger Erin from Curiously Erin for nominating me! Her blog helps to inspire your dream of longer travel by funding your adventures while working abroad. She is a nature and outdoor enthusiast and has visited over 30 countries in 5 continents. Impressive right? So, if you are seeking long-term budget travel you definitely have to check out her site!
I have always been a bit of a daydreamer. I was that kid who always had her nose in a book and would secretly write short stories but was too shy to ever share them with anyone.
My favourite memory as a child centered around travel. As a family, we didn’t travel out of province or out of country (Canada), rather, it meant day trips or camping or the occasional overnight stay in a hotel. But to me, it didn’t matter, it was something and it was exciting to see and do different things.
It wasn’t until high school when there was an opportunity to travel abroad to earn extra credit and I knew exactly where I wanted to go – Germany! I am half German on my father’s side and I grew up hearing the language, listening to stories and knowing the culture and traditions. My Oma would visit us in Canada every 2 to 3 years and I would excitedly receive her letters (and sometimes packages filled with gingerbread shaped hearts with Liebster inscribed on it) and at very young age, she became my special pen pal where we would exchange letters throughout her lifetime.
That first trip abroad, during which I turned 17, forever changed me. Those 3 months, being immersed in a new culture, language, people and places, was an incredible experience leaving me wanting more. The only way to describe it was, it felt like home. And, when I returned to Canada, I felt homesick, eager to return. Even to this day, I experience that same feeling of ‘home’ as soon as my feet touch the ground anywhere in Europe.
My love for travel has only grown stronger over the years. Once I have decided on a travel destination, the real fun begins. For me, planning a vacation is just as much fun as taking one. I spend hours upon hours researching what to see and do, where to stay and dine and what experiences might make for an ideal itinerary.
The idea of becoming a travel blogger was always just some fantasy I had in my head. I loved the idea of documenting my travels and getting to practice two things that I enjoy, but not necessarily good at, that being photography and writing. But, one day in November 2018, this shy introvert decided to stop daydreaming about it and hit publish!
Responding to my Nominator's Questions
#1 Have you ever traveled somewhere that didn’t meet your expectations, for better or worse?
I think the destination that surprised me the most was Venice. Don’t get me wrong, Venice is incredibly beautiful, romantic, unique and photogenic, but…is it overrun with tourists? I felt a definite imbalance, where the city definitely caters to tourism, so much so, that it was hard to tell if locals actually live in Venice anymore.
#2 Share a funny, inspiring or interesting story about your blogging journey.
I am sorry, being such a new blogger of less than a year, I don’t think I have much to offer that is funny, inspiring or interesting. But, I can say that I have been inspired by the entire blogging community. There are so many people who have been incredibly supportive and have generously shared their time as I learn from their experience.
#3 What is something memorable a stranger has done for you while traveling?
I am always blown away by the kindness and generosity of strangers while traveling and I have so many stories that I recall, but one that sticks out in my mind of a stranger going above and beyond was when we were in Portugal. Relying on our rental car’s GPS to get us to our next accommodation, Casa Modesta, it brought us to a location that definitely wasn’t the Villa we booked. Our intentionally remote accommodations in the Algarve was apparently ‘off the GPS grid.’ After driving around in circles, getting different directions from multiple people we were almost ready to give up. At last, there was one gentleman, selling oranges at the side of the road, who could not speak English but sensed our worry and frustration decided to call his son who could speak a very little English. Between the father and son on the phone they contacted the owner of the Villa and next thing we knew he came to find us and lead us back to the most wonderful, yet remote, villa. To the sweet man, at the side of the road, who decided to help the lost Canadian couple…thank you!
#4 You get accepted to participate in The Amazing Race. What kind of competitor and traveler are you? Will you win?
I think my competitive nature would come out. I would be the ultimate planner, strategist and team player! However, I would likely become easily distracted by seeing and visiting some exciting destinations that I would be torn between being a tourist and being a fierce competitor!
#5 Are there any emotional challenges you have to deal with as a traveler and how do you deal with them?
Does missing your dog back home count?
#6 What is the biggest travel dream you have fulfilled? And the one you are yet to tick off?
One that I have fulfilled – I think anywhere you have the privilege of travelling is a dream come true. One that I have yet to tick off – a one-way ticket to Paris! No, really, I am serious!
#7 What is the biggest piece of advice you would give someone about to set off on their first overseas journey?
Don’t try and see it all. The way to experience any country is to actually slow down and soak up the life and culture around you, so be sure to build in lots of unscheduled time into your itinerary. The gift of travel is that it opens you up to new people, places and experiences – so be curious and embrace the local culture.
And, don’t forget travel insurance! Click here to learn about Safety Wing Travel Insurance, an affordable choice for International Travelers and Digital Nomads.
#8 Do you travel with something impractical, oversized or purely for comfort?
Yes! Something that is oversized, purely for my comfort and is slightly impractical is my suitcase! Let’s just say, I don’t travel light!
#9 What is the best item in your carry-on bag?
Sanitize wipes! The last thing you want is to get sick while on holiday. And, I am sure I don’t have to tell you that airports and planes are a hotbed of germs.
#10 Is there a country you keep returning to? And why?
France. We went to Paris on our 15th wedding anniversary, and I immediately fell in love with that city! We vowed to celebrate our anniversary in Paris every 5 years, followed by discovering a new region in France. We have kept to our promise and no plans to break it.
- The Solo Life where a Georgia girl meets the world on her own. She started the blog because she wanted to explore new places but doing it alone had always held her back. Slowly she worked up the courage to travel alone and now wants to help you in your quest of solo travel.
- Dreams Taking Wings where a software developer living in New Delhi, India is starting to discover his love of travel. His blog documents the off-beaten path as well as tourist spots in India, perfect if you are looking for a local’s perspective on traveling to India.
- Checking it off the List where you will find this adventurous hobby blogger from the US actively exploring the world, one place at a time. She thrives on outdoor activities and experiencing life, not just living it. This is her bucket list ready to inspire your next travels.
Questions for my Nominees
- What is a tourist destination that you believe is currently negatively impacted by tourism?
- What book or movie inspired you to travel there? Did it meet your expectations?
- Where did you last travel to and how did you select that destination?
- Have you made some deliberate choices to support a more eco-friendly and sustainable approach when traveling? If so, please share 1 to 3 tips.
- If you could time travel, would you visit the past or the future? Why?
- What’s something you think every person should experience in their lifetime?
- If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future, what would you want to know?
- What’s the most courageous thing you have ever done?
- If you could live anywhere in the world, other than your current home country, where would it be? Why?
- What have you learned the most about yourself as a result of blogging?
Good luck to my fellow Liebster Award 2019 nominees! I look forward to finding new blogs and continuing to be inspired by this supportive community!