I was over the moon this morning to receive a message from one of my lovely blog readers Hue, author of The Bubbly Traveler, explaining that she had nominated Lady in a Land Rover for the Liebster Award 2017. Initially, I had no idea what this award meant but after learning more about it and reading her kind words, it has truly made my day. Thank you so much Hue for following my adventures and choosing to nominate me.
What is the Liebster award?
For those who haven’t heard, the Liebster is a fun award created by bloggers for newbies (less than 200 followers) to spread new content in the pay-it-forward manner. To accept the award, the nominee will need to follow a series of steps which may vary from one year to another. These are the rules that my nominator passed on:
- Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their site on your blog
- Display the award on your blog
- Answer 10 questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you
- Nominate 5-10 other bloggers for the award
- Create a new list of questions for your nominees to answer
- List these rules in your post
- Inform the people/blogs that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so they can learn about it
Nominee Questions from Hue
- How do you define travel?
Travel is synonymous with life-enrichment, discovery and story-telling. The instant you leave your front door and amble to the end of your garden path, an enthralling story awaits. You can simply learn and generate a story from the sights, smells, sounds that encompass you every day, whether you have stepped a mere few yards or trekked yonder to the ends of the earth. The world has many closed doors that travelling allows you to open. Since the beginning of my adventures, I believe I’ve developed a greater maturity, understanding, appreciation and outlook on life and world values. From my experience living and working in outback Australia and roaming through the many states in the back of a treacherous Land Rover, I have become a stronger individual, physically and emotionally. I have learned how to cope and find solutions in the toughest of situations; I have encountered many social, political and cultural differences that I now understand and appreciate. I feel I will one day return home with ample travelling tales and a very fulfilled life. Travelling then means appeasing your curiosity and wanderlust and encountering the little miracles and marvels that await beyond your front door, shaping this ever-changing world. (Sorry – that definition would not fit in a dictionary: still finding ways to condense it into a few words!)
2. Why do you start blogging?
I have always been devoted to writing and sharing my experiences with others… before I travelled however, I tended to muse about everyday topics and university using my other site sianlouise. The reason I started my travel blog Lady in a Land Rover was primarily for my family to keep connected with my adventures and read about all the trials and tribulations that we’d been through. The fact that my blog now reaches the eyes and minds of other readers and inspires them is such an incredible achievement for me, and it makes writing my posts even more worthwhile. So thank you lovely readers.
3. What are your best and worst travel moments to date?
This is always a tough question for any traveller because of the amount of beautiful, life-changing things you experience in a short period of time. I am now diving into the deep depths of my memory and pondering all the good, and not so good, times that I’ve had.
One memory will always stand out as the best. I recently visited New Zealand for a three week holiday, exploring the hidden wanders of the north island. One moment that I’ll cherish forever was the day my boyfriend Matt and I climbed Mount Ngauruhoe, an active volcano and more commonly known as Mount Doom from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It was the most brutal, treacherous mountain hike I’ve ever done (and I can only sympathise with those Hobbits!) but no words will ever describe the sheer satisfaction and pride once we had reached the summit, 2,291m high. We accomplished the Mount Doom hike and proceeded to cross the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, 19.4km long. We hiked a grand total of about 25k that day in roughly nine hours, and I am now determined to mountain hike more! It’s so thrilling and exhilarating, and leaves you thinking… how the hell did I manage that?! No better question to ask yourself!
I haven’t really had too many ‘worse’ moments as you learn to shake off any negative travelling experiences and look back on them as a character-enriching life lesson! We’ve undoubtedly found ourselves in some very difficult situations though that have tested our limits and patience, for example being stranded in the middle of the outback with an over-heated, oil-guzzling Land Rover and requiring the tow of an elderly Welsh man’s vehicle to carry us to the nearest outback town!
4. Do you have any other passions besides travel (and blogging)?
I am a huge bookworm and love a good moment to tuck away in a corner somewhere and lose myself in a novel. I now love mountain-hiking after discovering my sheer willpower for reaching high summits in New Zealand! I am a secret lover of the theatre, and look for any chance to marvel at a stunning stage performance of talented people – Lion King, Phantom of the Opera and Billy Elliot are my still my favourites. Finally, it’s simply the little things in life that I adore and such include coffee catch ups with friends. If you ever need me, track down the closest coffee shop and I’ll likely be there, enjoying a frothy cappuccino.
5. How do you stay healthy when you travel?
My diet at home was far more healthy; I was pretty pedantic about eating the right foods and nightly sessions at the gym! Nutrition and regular fitness are easier to control at home rather than on the road. When I moved to Australia and eventually pandered to my boyfriend’s constant McDonalds requests, my diet began to spin out of control. I tried to budget on anything that was cheap. During our wild adventures in the outback, we were living on tuna tins and crackers (thank God for John West!) We were also gorging on Tim-Tams, burgers, fast food etc. Yet when I got sick, and mouth sores and ulcers erupted over my lips, I knew it was time to give my immune system a bit of a boost and ban the junk food entirely. Now we are off the road and living in hostels, Matt and I eat a lot healthier and only buy fruit, vegetables, salad and chicken…and tuna tins. I do have a weakness for sushi as well so I do blow quite a bit of money on that! I feel a lot better in myself and find the energy to battle Brisbane’s scorching heat and humidity when I’m outside. It’s always important to drink heaps of water which I tend to forget about… that’s my next health goal!
6. What are your must-have travel accessories?
Little treasures from home are my must-haves and these include my Pandora bracelet with significant and sentimental charms on them. My passport of course is a must-have and I love the case my mum bought me from Jack Wills before I left (even though strict borders officials at the airport demand I take it out before they assess it!). Finally, my newest addition to my travel accessories are a pair of gorgeous pearly shells that I found on an island in New Zealand; we kayaked out to this sweet little shell-crusted island and I took a pair of sister shells and pocketed them in my bag. They will stay with me ever since.
7. Do you travel with guidebooks?
Google, Trip Advisor, Wikicamps and Matt my boyfriend are my guidebooks. I tend to rely on digital means and the recommendations of friends, other campers and my own boyfriend who is already familiar with parts of Australia – I shouldn’t always trust his judgement though!
8. Which city is your favorite?
I would’t consider myself a city-girl as I have always drawn more peace and comfort from being in the countryside, however my favourite city (in Australia) as it stands would be Brisbane. This may cause a bit of debate as many travellers find Brisbane mundane and admittedly, I felt this too when I first arrived! But when you stay for an extended period of time and discover all the little gems that Brisbane has to offer, you’ll appreciate it’s friendly, more intimate nature that other cities in Australia do not offer. Also, Brisbane is the only city in which the council offer a weekly Sunday session on the South Bank; you can while away the afternoon hours perched on the grass with a picnic and some wine and listen to the awe-inspiring talent of new bands and live entertainment. It’s fantastic, and I genuinely feel at home here.
9. Where are you going next in 2017?
I hope to stay in Australia for a few more weeks before jetting back over to New Zealand. My boyfriend and I didn’t get a chance to explore the South so we intend on moving there to work for a while. If that plan falls through, our next option is to see more of South East Asia as we both have a desperate need to explore Vietnam!
10. Do you have any advice/tips for female travelers?
Don’t do what I did and pack two hair straightners (don’t ask, I forgot I had packed a little mini one and threw my bulky pair of GHDs in at the last minute!) You won’t need them; glamour and appearance become the least of your concerns! I barely wear make-up now. It goes without saying but if you feel vulnerable, call someone. Never wander alone in dark areas – stay in public places and try and make friends in your hostel to travel with around cities/towns etc. Follow your gut instincts and enjoy yourselves.
Congratulations to the following bloggers for your inspiring pearls of wisdom and creativity. I have carefully nominated the following five writers for the 2017 Liebster Award that I feel deserve recognition of their work.