I was absolutely delighted to receive the news from GetawayFever.com that they've chosen to nominate RomanticExplorers.com for the Liebster Award! Thank you so much for recognising my blogging efforts GetawayFever, I feel very fortunate to have been nominated by you!
What is the Liebster Award? The Liebster Award is a form of recognition for great blogging efforts, passed on from one award winning blogger to between 5 and 10 other inspirational bloggers of their choice that have less than 1000 followers.
Upon acceptance of the award, the new blogger has to write a blog that includes: 1. A short thank you to the blogger that nominated them for the award (as they would have carefully considered who they feel they would like to pass it on to)
2. Answers to the 10 questions given to them by the blogger
3. A list of 5 to 10 new bloggers that they would like to nominate for the award next.
It truly is an honor to be recognized in this way by others in the blogging community!
My acceptance speech :)
I very gratefully accept the award from GetawayFever and especially want to thank Larisa Lupea for noticing my work! Larisa is half of a traveling couple, she and her blogging partner Bogdan are behind the amazing blogs of GetawayFever. They share a unique blogging approach in that they prefer to discover destinations on their own, following their instinct rather than top tourist attractions that often come at high costs. Having traveled to more than 35 countries, their experiences have made them very knowledgeable in traveling in cost effective ways and have strengthened their relationship. I recommend having a look at their blog at www.getawayfever.com/travel.html
My questions from GetAwayFever and my answers are:
(1) Describe your traveling spirit in just 3 words. Romantic, Dreamer, Grateful
(2) Tell us a story from your travels when something went terribly wrong and seems hilarious now. During traveling through Thailand with a friend, I lost my passport in the middle of nowhere. Thailand was my first overseas trip and with it came a lot of insecurities - not only from my own inexperience but from the perceptions of my friends and family. Knowing now what I know about Thailand and how caring and giving the people there are, I'm really not quite sure where the beliefs came about that just because I had lost my passport I was now in grave danger of being abducted, bribed and all sorts of (now bizarre!) horrific acts.
It was dark when I finally arrived at the premises where the person who found my passport stayed. I was a bit concerned that I was meeting him at a house and not the visitor center which would have felt safer. I was invited in to sit at outside at a round table of drunk men which made my insides scramble. I was just waiting for the worst to happen, wondering how much money were they going to try and get out of me through bribery because they have my passport. Were they going to ask me to pay them with my body?
Soon, a lady emerged from the house and walked towards us with hot home cooked meals. She offered me some food but my paranoid and highly stressed narrow mind at the time, turned it down because I was scared to be intoxicated by something that would cause me to pass out and be even more vulnerable to these men I was sitting with.
The longer they took to give me my passport, the more nervous I got but I didn't want to seem rude and just ask for it straight out so that I could leave.
I finally got my passport and when I offered them money as a thank you, they actually seemed offended and even asked me if that's what I thought of them - that they expect money from me for returning my passport to me. I soon realised that they were really an honest, caring and delightful group of people. That was a cultural shock to me right there - having lived in South Africa where the crime rate is extremely high, I've been accustomed to watching my back constantly in fear of getting robbed, raped or killed.
Looking back, I can only laugh at myself for missing out on really enjoying such a priceless experience - being able to taste home cooked Thai food with locals and appreciating their genuine hospitality while seeing first hand how they enjoy their leisure time.
(3) Can you remember a stranger you have met while traveling who inspired you? Describe shortly. Being a serial entrepreneur, I'm always inspired by people who have started amazing businesses in the most beautiful parts of the world, despite not being born there or living there.
I was very fortunate to meet the owner of Jannata Resort and Spa in Ubud, Bali. He's not from Bali and lives overseas but managed to somehow build and own this resort with his wife, which is truly one of the most beautiful and romantic resorts we've ever stayed in - it would be a dream come true if my husband and I could ever afford to own such a gorgeous hotel!
The pool of Jannata Resort and Spa in Ubud, Bali
(4) Little things count the most, so can you name an ordinary thing or habit you had while adapting to another culture and now you miss the most? My husband and I are South African expats, now living in Australia. My mother is still in South Africa and I really miss our little habit of going shopping together and having lunch at spots that aren't available here in Australia.
(5) How many countries have you visited so far and what is your target for the next 5 years? I've visited 12 so far, they are Australia, Botswana, Greece, Haiti, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, French Polynesia (France), Fiji, Thailand, United States. At the very least, I hope we will cross of the following from our bucket list in the next 5 years: Visit the Philippines, experience a White Christmas in Switzerland and if we are fortunate enough to, enjoy the blue lagoon in Iceland together. (6) From all the places you've been, where would you move for good tomorrow if possible and why? From a practicality point of view, I'm absolutely in love with Australia which I'm fortunate to now be able to call my hometown. It's safe, there's amazing business opportunities, beautiful islands are easily accessible, the weather is wonderful, the people are friendly, there's no language barriers to overcome and the currency is strong enough to make my dream of traveling pretty affordable. I'm really really happy here. I moved here from South Africa just over 5 years ago :)
(7) What have you discovered about your own self while being on the move? That by being able to visit the places in the world I have, I'm already what I believed to be truly successful when I was young. This is quite a big deal for me because really I'm achieving what once seemed impossible and as someone who works extremely hard, it's the best feeling in the world to know that my efforts are paying off.
(8) Build a “Top 5” of places/moments that left you speechless and are the most memorable to you.
1. When my husband proposed to me under the water while diving in Fiji 2. Saying our wedding vows during sunset on the rooftop of Dana Villas in Santorini 3. Climbing the Holy Steps on my knees in Rome - the steps that are believed to carry the blood of Jesus Christ 4. Realising for the first time that I'm actually sitting on the beach at the most beautiful colored water of my long-time dream destination Bora Bora 5. Listening to the voice of the singer and the sound of the accordion while sailing through the canals of Venice in our private gondola
Photo by Nathan Wyatt from our wedding at Dana Villas, Santorini ~ Greece
(9) What is the country that inspired you the most? And what is the reason? (Culture, people, food, landscapes)? The country that really sparked my dream of traveling is Italy for many reasons. For starters, Italian food remains a favorite of mine anywhere in the world and so much of the country is fabulously unique - there's nothing in the world like Venice for example with it's water canals among the buildings. It's an utterly romantic place - the romance of a gondola ride with the love of your life is just one example of this. It's no wonder that the famous romantic writer Shakespeare found his own inspiration in Italy for Romeo and Juliet!
Pictured left:Romantic gondola ride waiting in Venice
(10) What is your ideal or favorite type of traveling? or in other words, what is the main purpose of your travels? (are you looking for adventure, extreme sports, culture, living locally, photography...). I'm especially drawn to unique, romantic destinations and always drawn to any form of water - oceans, streams, canals, waterfalls, lakes, pools and more :)
I hope you've enjoyed reading my responses, I would now love to nominate the following bloggers for the Liebster Award:
1. The Nomad Epicureans - nomadepicureans.com
2. Wanderlust Brunette - wanderlustbrunette.com
3. The Wright Route - thewrightroute.com
4. Creative Travel Guide - creativetravelguide.com 5. Durham's Love, Life and Travel - durhamslovelifetravel.com
My selection of questions for these new bloggers are:
1. Which couple or other bloggers do you look up to the most and why?
2. What do you think is unique or interesting about you as a couple/blogger that other traveling couples/bloggers can be inspired by?
3. Pick one of your favorite photos where you were enjoying a romantic activity, location, gift or scenery together and write a love story type description of how you felt in that moment, what made it such a special moment for the two of you.
4. How did you meet your partner and what was the first romantic location you visited together?
5. What would you vote as being the most:
- most romantic accommodation you've stayed in - romantic activity you've experienced together - and the most romantic or unique restaurant you've visited and where are they?
6. What has been your favorite gifts that you've given each other or received?
7. What relationship advice would you give to other traveling couples?
8. What is your ultimate dream bucket list destination and why?
9. Why did you decide to start blogging and what are your dreams and aspirations for your blog?
10. What is your favorite romantic travel movie?
Wishing my nominees good luck and love! Looking forward to reading your answers :)