So… about 3 weeks ago, I receive a direct message on Twitter from Becci asking me if I wanted to be nominated for a Liebster Award .
I recalled having already seen some blogs having the Liebster Award badge on their front page and so I did some Google search to see what this is all about.
The Liebster Award is an award that is given by bloggers to other bloggers: Remember those old chain-emails you got back then in the late 90ties? You receive an email from a friend and then pass it on to some more friends… and so on? This here is quite similar and a nice way to have your blog discovered (the award is targeted specifically at those who are new to the blogging game) but to also connect with the blogging community in general.
Sounds interesting .
But first things first: A huge thanks to Becci (Becci Abroad ) for nominating me!
This blogs motto is “Getting under the skin of Latin America” and thats what you’ll have to expect here: Candid information about Latin America. Seems like for her, everything started with working in Grenada (Spain) as a hotel receptionist, and then getting infused by the latino vibe in Cuba where she studied Spanish in the University of Havana. Her articles about Argentina are a must-read .
Now, how does this work?
First, I’ll have to answer a series of questions given to me by Becci, then I’m going to nominate up to 5 other bloggers and ask them 11 questions. The Nominees have to again nominate up to 5 other bloggers and ask them some other 11 questions they can choose for themselves… and so on.
Alright, lets start with Beccis questions. So here goes…
I. Which destination has had the most impact on you? And why?
Hmm, I had to think a bit about this question, but I’d go with Cuba , which is the first country I visited in Latin America. Yes, I’ve seen some documentaries about Cuba, read some articles, but being there is a different story. Where elsewhere there is an “old town” having <19th century buildings, here the colonial buildings were dominating the view of all the cities I visited, making you feel like you have taken a trip through time (And don’t get me started about all the classic 40ties-60ties cars). Everything there makes you feel like there are several different decades mashed together. Also… there are the people living there – they “feel different” regardless of social status. Despite me seeing poverty up closer (at almost every location!) than in other countries I’ve visited, people here have a lot of pride, and try to make the best of their situation – yes, life isn’t easy here. Complaining doesn’t seem to be an option here – more the contrary – “the pursuit of happiness” which is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence is emphasized here.
II. What do you get most excited about when you visit a new city or location?
During my trips I change from “unmotivated sloth” to early bird. I cannot help but getting up early, have a walk through the new location and maybe take some photos. Early morning, sunrise, empty roads a handful people maybe on their way to work, birds starting to wake up and make noise. It’s the “making myself familiar with the location and view it at times when there is ‘less going on’ “. Well, and then, there is scuba diving of course. If it is possible there – I usually head pretty early to the next dive center to look for a dive cause I usually cannot wait till next day.
III. What is the most overrated place or city you have visited?
People from the United States tend to do some sort of “Europe tour”, visiting mostly only the countries’ capitals. I really don’t get why. In my opinion, capital cities are mostly overrated. I usually try to minimize my stay in these over-crowded cities or skip them all together. So I’ll go with two overrated places: Berlin and Athens, now pissing off Germans and Greeks alike . Both crowded with tourists, loud, annoying, stressing and sometimes stinky. Sure, there are some nice (lesser-known) areas too, but overall… I feel much more comfortable being in a small village near the beach.
IV. Bike or train?
I’m a lazy ass. Sooo you didn’t by chance mean motorbike, right? No? Then… definitely train (Though I usually tend to use busses while travelling – chickenbusses, bemos, you name it )
V. What’s your next travel destination? And why this particular one?
Next stop: Equador & Galapagos islands. Well, to be honest, I wanted to visit Vietnam first, and Ena (my Girlfriend) was interested in visiting Indonesia . I haven’t been in Vietnam, she hasn’t been in Indonesia and we showed pictures of cool locations to each other… So we were planning to go to Vietnam this March first and then have a trip to Indonesia in Fall, but I totally forgot to renew my passport (it has to be valid for at least 6 months), so everything got postponed… leading us somehow to Equador (better conditions than Vietnam during May). Ena has also been to Equador and Galapagos before, but it was an awesome experience she wants to repeat, and back then she didn’t have a divers license. So, while watching some images about the (marine) life there I got extremely hyped.
VI. City breaks, hiking or beach holiday?
Uhm, neither. Or a mixture? “Beach holiday” sounds something like “lying at the beach, being turned to the other side by a spatula to get crispy on both sides”. I’m not that kind of person that can hold still for too long. Even if you are in “paradise” . Also, I’m not that into hiking to spend my free days just trekking without doing any other activities. I really need some days at the beach to swim/scuba dive/.. .
So… yeah. Both? Both.
VII. Hotel, hostel, couchsurfing or resort?
Resorts aren’t my kind of thing. I tend to the first 3 options:
- Hotels are fine. I usually book a hotel in the last few days of my trip, spoiling myself with a huge breakfast buffet, pool and all that. It’s cool, but I wouldn’t want to have that at daily basis.
- Hostels are okayish. Well, I’m not 20-something anymore, I earn a few bucks more than back then. Why not have a good nights sleep? We all know that dorm rooms
can beare loud .
- Couchsurfing/b’n’b are my first choice when it comes to finding a place to stay… And I also like the concept of casas particulares, homestays or bungalows. You’ll get to know the locals much easier this way and get some suggestions for lesser-known attractions or things to do.
VIII. Name 3 destinations from your bucket list and explain why do you want to visit them.
- Tanzania. This country seems to have it all: Opportunities to go scuba diving (Zansibar & Pemba), hiking/climbing the highest mountain w/o any technical equipment (I really have to train some more before facing Kilimanjaro though) and watching wildlife up close in their natural habitat. Plus (Like many other african countries): A lightpollution-free sky, making you just have to spend the night photographing the sky .
- Micronesia: If there is an underwater paradise for divers, it is there. Huge parts of the islands are natural reserves, prohibiting fishermen using gillnets, so the coral reef stays healthy (Well, there are some black sheep, but still..) and then, there are all these wrecks…
- Guatemala: I was there in 2015 , but my stay was way too short. After travelling on and crossing the border to Mexico I was sure that I wanted to revisit this country. There is so much to see there.
IX. What is your best advice to people looking to start blogging?
Haha, I’m definitely not anywhere close to call myself a “successful blogger” . Soo I’m not really sure if any advice I can give is “good” of some sort.
But I’d go with: “Write what you think is important, share some genuine, useful tips for travellers about to visit the country you’re writing about and don’t do this ’10 toilets to visit in Baghdad’-thing the internet is oversaturated with”.
But then again, sadly, it is those articles that are popular, right? Well, personally, I rather enjoy reading some travelstories and traveldiaries – those feel genuine, got some personal experiences and sometimes a funny occurance.
X. What motivated you to start your blog?
I got more or less asked by relatives and friends to share a bit more about my travels. Showing some images in about 5-10min and telling a few stories after each trip was a start, but I realized when being asked about my latest trips that the momeries started to fade. So I decided to upgrade my traveljournals to digital format and kinda rekindle all the memories by doing so.
XI. Which destination that you have already visited, would you like to go back to?
Guatemala, definitely . Everything seemed so extremely “green” there, Like… there were trees everywhere! It was a short trip there, mainly to visit Tikal and then get back to Mexico. On our way to the Mexican border we talked to a Danish couple travelling with us and they got me more exited about all the volcanic lakes they had visited there. Then, Svenni, a friend asked us if we wanted to join her in a trip to Guatemala during last December, but we had already spent all our free days for the trip to Panama and Greece that year. After she came back and showed us some photos she had taken, I was completely hyped to revisit Guatemala (This time for real!).
Alright, here are my nominees for the Liebster Award:
- Walkabout Wanderer Language:
Kathy blogs about all kind of different amazing destinations! So for sure, you will be able to find something that interests you as well. I guess for me, the post about rescue animals was the impulse that made me nominate her
- The Spindrifters Language:
The couple of Charlotte & Josh are the voices behind the travel blog The Spindrifters. They exchanged the rather depressing London weather for Southeast Asian Sun . Their posts about Volunteering are worth a read.
- Moments of Yūgen Language:
The Polish/Portuguese couple Paulina and Pedro (4xP! ) has been quite busy in Southeast Asia, as they have spent 3 months travelling different countries. But you can also find some interesting Posts about places to visit in Portugal – coming from a native
- Jaunting Jen Language:
Jen’s blog is all about combining travelling the globe and enjoying nature with visiting lost of historical sites. You’ll get a view on “old stones” from a different perspective here, since Jen is also a full-time history teacher in Arizona.
My Liebster Award questions:
- How did you get started traveling? What inspired your… “wanderlust”? (damn, I hate that word)
- What is your most used app for travel?
- What was your most favourite blog post you wrote?
- Ever had an unpleasant experience during your travels that changed you? (Either in a positive or negative way)
- What’s the top item on your bucket list? And why?
- Out of all the places that you have travelled to, which one could you imagine living in permanently?
- What is your recipe for happiness?
- I got a favourite quote, “The most dangerous worldview is the worldview of those who have not viewed the world” by Alexander von Humboldt, do you also have one?
- Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? … What is your best way to kill time during a flight or bus ride?
- What is your least favourite part of blogging and why?
- What is the most unusual dish you ate during your travels?
The exact rules of the Liebster Award aren’t really set in stone. Becci used the rules she got by the person she was nominated, and these were also the ones I knew of:
- Answer her questions in a post
- Thank her in that post for nominating me, and link back to her
- Nominate about 5 new bloggers myself
- Give my nominees 11 new questions to answer
- They then have to follow my example and answer the questions in a post, tag me… and so on
However, there is this official website for the Liebster Award guidelines which states things for this year a bit differently.
Since I liked the “old” rules better, I decided to keep things simple. But of course it’s up to my nominees what guidelines they want to follow .
Such a great Liebster Award post you wrote, Mario! Really enjoyed reading along on it! And I so agree with you on Cuba!
Hey, thanks Becci
Yeah, I’ll definitely return to Cuba one day… I just home it won’t lose its vibe and turn into some tourist-circus…