I’m so excited to announce my first ever Liebster Award!
Thank you Eva!
I must start by offering many, many thanks to Eva of Travel the Whole Wide World for this nomination! Eva is a German blogger whose love for travel has taken her to some amazing destinations, including Malaysia, Thailand, Italy and Austria. Her experiences have allowed her to compose and share excellent and relevant content, ranging from travel guides to useful travel tips and I enjoy taking it all in! I’m sure you will too, so check out her blog, as well as follow her on Facebook and Instagram!
Eva, you are certainly an inspiration, both as a blogger and a traveler, and I look forward to your new adventures in 2017…Cheers, to checking more wonderful destinations off your travel bucket list!
So…what is a Liebster Award?
To be very honest, I hadn’t heard of the Liebster Award until I started blogging in earnest earlier this year. Once I learned about it’s purpose however, I fell in love with the idea. Imagine, an award bestowed upon one blogger, from a fellow blogger, as a show of appreciation and love for their work! #AllTheFeels
The tradition began in 2011 and has grown in reach and scope since then. Today, the rules are as follows:
- Display the award on your blog and write a post about the award.
- Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their blog. Tell the reader a little about your nominator.
- Answer the questions given to you by the blogger who nominated you.
- Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award.
- Give the nominees 11 questions to answer on their blog.
- List these rules in your post.
- Notify the nominees of the Liebster Award and ask if they would be happy to accept? If so, send them a link to your post.
1. What is your favorite place in your hometown or home country?
I’m from Trinidad and Tobago, a twin island state in the Caribbean. I live in Trinidad, the larger and more developed of the two islands…there are tall buildings, lots of traffic and a bit too much movement for my liking so Tobago has become my retreat. It’s a short 15 minute plane ride away and as soon as I catch sight of those white sand beaches from the airplane window I feel like I’m truly home. The pace in Tobago is much slower, the people are so friendly, and apart from its beaches it’s blessed with other amazing natural attractions like waterfalls and the Main Ridge Forest Reserve, the oldest protected rainforest in the Western Hemisphere!
2. How do you finance your travels?
I’m a freelance writer and digital marketer. Until May 2016 I worked full time as the Digital Marketing Manager at an ad agency but I felt like I needed to make a change in my life (at least for a little while) so I quit my full time job. I was fortunate enough to maintain a working relationship with my firm and now, between my assignments with them, as well as several writing jobs I’ve secured along the way, I’ve managed to finance one trip each month thus far.
3. Which places are on your bucket list?
My bucket list is probably too long to be considered an actual “Bucket List” so I’ll keep short and share my top 5:
4. What was the best experience that you had while traveling?
My best travel experience ever…that’s a big question…so I’m narrowing it down to the best travel experience of 2016…It would have to be bamboo rafting along the Rio Grande in Jamaica. It was without a doubt the most beautiful, scenic, relaxing, magical activity I had ever indulged in and the natural setting made it even more special. The water was calm and clear; our guide was entertaining and knowledgeable; and there were only a few other rafts on the water, a comfortable distance away. I would happily repeat this experience any time I’m in Jamaica and I strongly recommend it to anyone visiting (or living) on the island!
5. Which travel tip would you share with a new traveler?
Be flexible. Always. I’m a very big planner, partly because I like to be prepared and partly because I tend to do shorter trips so it’s important to know the must-do items versus the ones I can forego. However, even though I always have my very trusty list on hand, I’ve learned to always keep my options open. Yes, you may have intended your day, or your entire trip, to go one way, but something may come up that could take you on an entirely different, but equally amazing, path and you don’t want to miss out on that. In the end, travel isn’t about checking items off a list, it’s about experiencing whatever it is a destination has to offer in a given moment and you miss out on a lot when you’re obsessed with ‘the itinerary’. Just relax and give in to the vibe of your stay!
6. What inspires you to travel and blog?
I can’t say for certain but I believe growing up on a small but multicultural island inspired my love for traveling and experiencing new cultures. Pair that with my (amateur) photography obsession and my love of writing, and it was probably inevitable that I started travel blogging. While it is a lot more work than I anticipated, it’s also a whole lot of fun! Prior to my blog, I’d visit a new place, take thousands of photos, post a few on social media, share some stories with family and friends, and that would be the end of it. I’d have the memories but they’d be locked away in my mind…some of them guaranteed to fade over time. Now, I know that no matter how much time passes, my excursions will live forever on my blog.
7. How did you come up with your blog name?
My best friend and I were brainstorming names for a really long time. It got to a point where I felt like I would never decide on anything. One day I decided this had to happen, one way or another, so I came up with 10 different options, some of them very literally, others more abstract, and I sent out a survey to about 40 relatives and friends. In the end, one name won out far beyond the others but funny enough, that’s not the name I decided on. Only one person voted for Island Girl In-Transit but my disappointment in the results helped me realize that it was the right title for me, regardless of how poorly it tested.
8. How has your travel style changed as compared to when you just started traveling?
The more I travel the less picky I become. Once upon a time, I had to book trips months in advance and have a set itinerary of activities before I arrived. Over the past few years, and particularly over the past few months as I’ve begun to travel at least once a month, I’ve become a lot less pedantic about those things. This year I’ve booked flights 3 days in advance and arrived on islands not even sure where my hotel was! While I still thoroughly research destinations before a trip, I tend not to map out my days. Instead I talk to taxi drivers and hotel staff to figure out the best things to see and do.
9. What is the one thing that always makes you cringe when you are traveling abroad?
This past year I’ve focused my attention on exploring the Caribbean region because, despite growing up here, I’ve never dedicated much time to visiting neighboring islands. During my trips I’ve encountered a lot of visitors from developed countries and while most of them are really amazing, open-minded people who truly want to experience what our destinations have to offer, I have also encountered quite a few who seem to only take note of the negatives. It’s as if they travel to the Caribbean expecting things to be just as they are in their homelands. It’s disheartening for me to hear tourists complain about Caribbean food or our islands’ utilities and infrastructure. We may not be as developed, but we do the best we can and we certainly always go out of our way to welcome visitors with big smiles and open arms! Besides, our food is absolutely delicious!
10. What do you struggle with as a travel blogger?
Time…Time, time, time. When I’m traveling, there’s never enough time to see it all. When I’m at home, there’s never enough time to blog about it all. Plus schedule posts. Plus keep up with all the blogs I love to follow. Plus do the work that actually pays. Plus live my life outside of my laptop and smartphone. But it’s still so much fun, and even though I can’t post as frequently as I’d like, it’s always rewarding to give an article the final run through and press ‘Publish’, knowing it’s ready for others to read and, hopefully, appreciate!
Now, it’s my turn and I am very excited to nominate…
- Pamela of The African Abroad: Born in Germany, raised in London, with Nigerian roots, Pamela credits her diverse background for her desire to experience other cultures. Thus far, her travels have taken her to South Korea, Malaysia, Croatia and the United States (and then some) and she’s chronicling all her adventures on her blog so you should definitely check it out!
- Doro of Doro Henrietta: Doro’s a part-time adventurer and traveler whose aim is to inspire her readers to explore and travel more. She’s been backpacking in Japan, seen the Chocolate Hills in the Philippines and she’s captured it all in amazing photos. Visit her blog for intriguing travel stories and insightful guides!
- Suz of McVagabonds: Suz is a travel planner extraordinaire, exploring Europe alongside her husband. Their travels have taken them to Austria, Croatia, France and Germany (to name a few) and her coverage of Christmas markets has actually made this Island Girl long for a white Christmas! Fun fact: She’s recently been nominated for a Liebster Award by another blogger who also loves her work, but I enjoy reading her posts so much I couldn’t exclude her from this list! Check out her blog and you’ll understand why I’m hooked!
- Kellyn of KJ Around the World: Kellyn is a self declared “foodie mom” who loves to travel, so she combined her passions and started a blog that focuses on travel and food. Her blog is a delightful and useful mix of travel guides and tips, as well as dining guides and yummy recipes!
- Beth of Adventures of the Great Wide Somewhere: Beth’s blog grabbed my attention because each post reads like a journal entry of a specific place or activity; her thoughtful words and amazing photos take you on a virtual tour of each location. Check out her blog for detailed experiences from destinations she’s visited, including France and Canada!
- Khristina of Global Jamaican: Originally from Jamaica, Khristina is an Island Girl like myself! Her passion for travel led her to a career in the tourism industry and she is just as in love with the idea of exploring new destinations, as she is obsessed with extensively researching them. Her blog is a great resource for travel planning tips!
Finally, here are my questions for these lovely ladies:
- What inspired you to start your travel blog?
- How would you describe your travel style?
- What is one thing you absolutely can’t travel without (this can be a travel accessory, item of clothing, gadget, anything)?
- What is the most rewarding experience you’ve had while traveling?
- What is the most challenging experience you’ve encountered while abroad?
- What was your favorite destination for 2016?
- If you could choose only one travel buddy for the next five years, who would it be and why?
- Where is the furthest destination you’ve ever travelled to and why?
- How do you finance your travels?
- What destination are you most looking forward to experiencing in 2017?
- Ultimately, what do you hope to accomplish with your blog?
And there we have it…this was an insightful exercise that I enjoyed every step of the way. I do hope my nominees gain as much from the process as I did!
Happy travels in 2017…and beyond!