I’m very honored to announce Light Travels has won its very first Liebster Award!! Huge thanks to We Are Travel Girls for the nomination. After it’s creation, WATG quickly became one of my favorite travel blogs and was already my favorite female travel Instagram, so honored doesn’t even begin to describe my sentiments when hearing the news!!
Before I carry out the Liebster Award traditions, and answer the 11 following questions asked by We Are Travel Girls, I’d like to give a huge congratulations to Becky and Vanessa, the founders behind the WATG blog and Instagram for winning the Liebster Blogging Award!! They are both such a powerful example for the female travel community and have done an amazing job when it comes to bringing us all together! You both should feel so proud for transforming the female travel blogging sphere the way you have ????
Keep scrolling for my answer’s to their 11 questions, plus my 3 nominees and my 11 questions for them!
My Answers To Becky & Vanessa’s Questions:
1. When did you decide to start your blog and what encouraged you to do it?
I started my blog about a year and a half ago. My boyfriend and I travelled for a month together while I was still in college, which is when we realized how much we loved travelling- especially together!! He’s an entrepreneur himself, so he has definitely been my biggest inspiration/encourager. Seeing him being able to travel while still carrying out his business inspired me to pick up a location independent job as well, and he’s basically taught me everything I know about monetization! After starting my blog we decided to pick up and leave on a year-long trip around the world, which furthered my passion for blogging even more.
2. Have you ever travelled somewhere off the beaten track that you rarely see other travellers make it to?
Lankayan Island in Malaysia! It’s still such a hidden gem that not many people know about yet. You can walk around the whole island in 10 minutes and it’s located in a protected marine reserve, so the snorkeling was the best I had seen in my whole life! But what makes it even more special is that it’s located in the “Sea Turtle Corridor” so it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll spot multiple sea turtles while snorkeling, and even spot them laying eggs and nesting at night.
3. Tell us three facts about yourself that we wouldn’t know by looking at your blog and social media?
One thing you wouldn’t know from just knowing me through my blog/Instagram is that I used to be a TA for kindergardeners with autism. Working with people with special needs is my other biggest passion in life and a career I plan to pursue when I settle down from all my travels 🙂 A second thing is that I have scoliosis and am currently preparing to go through yoga teacher training to help my own spine health, as well as eventually help others with injuries and disabilities through yoga therapy. Lastly, I’m currently writing a book about travel hacks and how to afford worldwide travel! My goal is for it to be published in 2017 ????
4. Please share your essential photography tips, whether thats what camera equipment you use, editing tools or how to take an amazing photo when travelling solo!
My number one photography tip is to invest in a DSLR camera and Adobe Lightroom for editing. I like to take advantage of the “tone curve” in Adobe to give my photos a more vintage, styled look. Another thing that helps get the perfect shot while traveling is looking at Instagram for inspiration! I always explore photos for hours on Instagram before visiting a place.
5. Have you ever had a negative travel experience and how has this shaped any future travel for you?
When my boyfriend and I were living in Tokyo for a month, we went to a karaoke bar that caused both of our credit cards to get fraud. We thought we had made friends with all the ladies working there, but they were just trying to get us more and more drunk with “free” shots so they could charge our cards ridiculous amounts without us noticing. We were so lucky that my boyfriend had a backup credit card and that we still had 2 weeks left in Tokyo (so we could get new cards shipped to us!), or else we would of been penniless for a week! So, that was a great lesson when it came to handling money safety and banking problems abroad.
Tokyo though, in my eyes, is still one of the safest places in the world. It’s a vibe you immediately feel when you set foot on Japan. Japanese people are truly the most polite, helpful, and hospitable people I’ve ever met! So I didn’t let it change my opinion of that country. But it does go to show that you shouldn’t trust everyone you meet while traveling, no matter where you are, and to always be aware of your surroundings!
6. What is your favourite place in the world?
The Amalfi Coast in Italy! It’s so colorful, romantic, and charming with its stacked cliffside houses and beautiful ocean views! It’s also one of the first places I travelled to that made me completely obsessed with seeing the world!
7. Please share the number one experience that you have had whilst travelling.
Lankayan Island in Malaysia because I’ve been a sea turtle fanatic since I was 8! We first started the day snorkeling and witnessing, for the first time, what a healthy coral reef should look like- it had colors my eyes had never even seen before!! Then we stumbled upon 10 sea turtles and watched them feed and swam alongside them for hours. THEN, when we got back to our chalet, the staff came to tell us that one of the turtle nests was hatching!! We got to watch hundreds of baby turtles emerge from the sand and then got to help safely release them to sea while the sun was setting. The resort’s turtle conservation program is one of the only in Malaysia that is truly humane, so that made it really special too. It was seriously the most perfect travel day I could’ve ever dreamed of!
8. What is something you know now, that you wish you knew when you started blogging?
As someone that sees my travel blog as both a hobby AND a business, I wish I practiced my entrepreneurial skills in the beginning as much as my writing skills. My advice I always give new travel bloggers (without going into too much detail) is to study: Email marketing, SEO, blog monetization, and brand collaborations/networking. These skills give you such a leg up when turning your blog into a business!
9. Who is your greatest female inspiration?
My biggest personal female inspiration will always be my mom! She always has such a go-getter attitude, and she’s always looking for new skills she can learn and new places to discover. But, in terms of travel blogging, I’d say my biggest inspiration is The Blonde Abroad! She’s probably the first travel blogger I ever discovered when I first started blogging, so I often look to her for inspiration. Her photography/editing skills are incredible, her blog content is diverse and so helpful, and she posts multiple times a week! I find it really difficult as a travel blogger to balance work and travel, but she travels more than anyone it seems, and still has it all together! That’s something I really admire and am trying to achieve with my own blog.
10. Please share your one piece of advice that you would tell any girls looking to get into travel blogging.
I touched on this earlier, but if you want to turn your blog into a business, give it all you got! Accept that you’ll be working a TON (even though your friends with 9-5 jobs may not think you are) and that working for yourself takes a lot of self-discipline. Strive to be the best you can at everything (writing, photography, monetization, etc.) and always seek to learn more skills because there’s much more competition out there than you’d think. But also, don’t let the competition hold you back from networking and building relationships with other travel bloggers. I’ve gained so much mental support and knowledge from these relationships! That was more than one piece of advice????, but they all go hand-in-hand, I promise! 🙂
11. If you follow our Ladies We Love Interview series you will know we always end with, Ryan Reynolds or Ryan Gosling?!
Ryan Gosling. SO cliche, I know, but I can watch The Notebook on repeat, forever!!
Charlotte of Lulu Escapes
As a Paris resident for 2 years now, Charlotte is an expert in capturing the city in both her Instagram photos and blog posts, and the same goes for every other destination she visits! Charlotte is one of the first travel blogger friends I’ve made through Instagram and someone whos talents deserve to be seen!!
Alexandra & Michael of Couple’s Coordinates
Alexandra & Michael are fellow SoCal natives and together they share a blog that specializes in couples travel! Their couples travel guides are what first got me hooked on their blog [while I too was traveling the world with my BF!], and I became even more obsessed when I found their Instagrams!! Both of their photos and captions are constant reminders of why I love traveling so much.
Jackie of Get Lost With Jackie
Jackie is a travel blogger with a unique ability to capture the world in the most photogenic way possible (just check out her Instagram!). Plus, her blog‘s equally as appealing, with honest and informative reviews/guides that everyone needs to read!
For my nominees, here’s my 11 questions & the rules to follow…
My 11 Questions
- What’s your favorite destination in the world?
- What’s number 1 on your travel bucket list?
- What’s the most unique/memorable travel experience you’ve ever had?
- What drove you to be a travel blogger and what’s the biggest lesson it has taught you?
- What is your favorite travel blog and travel instagram that you follow?
- What’s your number 1 travel hack you’ve learned?
- Who is your favorite person to travel with and why?
- What are your goals for the new year?
- What is your favorite landscape to explore and why? Islands, desserts, mountains, cities…?
- Do you have any travel plans for 2017? If so, where?
- If you could see yourself in 5 years, where would you be in the world and what goals would you have achieved with your travel blog?
- Thank and link the blogger who nominated you in your post / Facebook / Instagram Account
- Write a post using the Liebster Award’s logo
- Answer 11 questions assigned by the blogger who nominated you
- Name the rules of accepting the Liebster Award
- Nominate a few bloggers for the Liebster Award
- Come up with a list of 11 questions you would like to ask the nominees
- Let your bloggers know that they’ve been nominated so that they can follow the tradition
Still want to learn more about the Liebster Awards? Click here!!