When I started this blog six months ago, I had two goals in mind for it. First, I wanted to document our family’s travels and show others that traveling the world with young children is not only possible, but also fun. Second, I wanted to connect with other people who love to travel. Beyond those two goals, my plan was to just see where this blog took me. So, imagine my surprise when, after less than six months of blogging, Kreete from Adventurous Trails contacted me to tell me that she nominated me for the Liebster Award.
The Liebster Award is given to new bloggers by other bloggers as a way of support and encouragement. It’s a way of “showing them some love” so to speak. I have outlined the rules for accepting the award below but first, here is a little about Kreete and her blog.
About Kreete and her blog
Kreete is a travel blogger from Estonia who currently resides in Australia. She wants to see as much of the world as possible. Currently, she’s preparing for a big trip to Nepal to hike to Mount Everest. I, for one, will be anxiously awaiting a report on what will certainly be an epic adventure, for sure! Besides her blog, you can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Liebster Award Rules
- If you decide to accept the nomination, thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog onto your blog.
- Display the Liebster Award photo on your blog post and/or display it using a “widget” or a “gadget” on your home page.
- Answer 11 questions from the blogger who nominated you.
- Nominate 5-11 bloggers/blogs who you think deserve the Liebster Award
- Create 11 questions of your own for the nominees to answer on their blogs.
- Notify your nominees and provide a link to your post so that they will know what to do.
- List these rules in your blog post.
Now that we have the rules out of the way, let’s move on to Kreete’s questions:
What is your most memorable travel experience so far?
My most memorable travel experience was living in Ecuador for three months in 2008. I was able to experience many things that I never in my wildest dreams thought I would experience. My work in the orphanages stretched me emotionally, intellectually and even physically at times when I had to spend almost 24 hours straight on shift with little sleep. I went zip lining in Baños, met a medicine man in a tiny Amazonian village, swam in the hot springs of Papallacta and explored old town Quito. Each day presented new challenges and adventures. But most importantly, it was the first time in my life that I truly realized that the world outside of my little existence was big and beautiful and wonderful, as were the people in it.
What’s on top of your bucket list?
The Galapagos Islands have topped my bucket list for some time. However, since starting this blog, I have developed a huge fascination with Croatia which has now knocked the Galapagos down to the number two slot. I’m also dying to go to Scotland to visit the town where my ancestors lived before immigrating to the United States. There is a myth that so many of my ancestors lived on the same street that the street was named after them. I want to go see if that street is still there. And of course, I couldn’t forget about London, a city that has had my heart and my eye since I was a young girl.
Do you plan your travels ahead or rather go with the flow?
I am a planner through and through. Mix that personality trait with a very specific travel budget for a family of four, we have to plan our travels fairly far in advance to get the most out of our budget. Occasionally, we will plan a trip spur of the moment, like our most recent trip to Cuyahoga Valley National Park. But in order for D to get the time off work and to make sure it fits within our budget, we plan our travels ahead of time.
Have you ever experienced a travel mishap? What was it?
We’ve had plenty of travel mishaps in our time traveling as a family. Most of them involve getting lost on the way to the airport and almost missing our flight, or not booking hotel rooms for the correct amount of days. But our biggest travel mishap occurred on our first trip to Disney World in 2014 when we ended up in the emergency room. Ladybug fell off the bed and smacked her head on the nightstand on the way down. She was awarded with a large gash and goose egg across the side of her head. Thankfully, she didn’t have a concussion and no stitches were needed. The three hour ER visit was the worst part of the ordeal for Ladybug but I still feel sick thinking about the incident.
What gets you excited about traveling?
For me, the most exciting thing about traveling is the opportunity to go somewhere I’ve never been before. As someone who struggles with anxiety, it is a concrete way to conquer my fear of the unknown and continually prove to myself that I can do hard and scary things and continually grow as a person.
How many countries have you been to so far?
At the time of writing this, I have been to six countries with plans to visit one new one this year. This number is small potatoes compared to so many bloggers but I look forward to doing a lot more international travel in the coming years. I am especially excited to take the kids to two new countries this year- their first taste of international travel.
Where is your next travel destination?
We’ve got a few fun trips planned for next year starting with our Disney cruise to the Bahamas in February. We’ll be stopping in Nassau and Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. This will be our first cruise so I’d love to glean any wisdom from experienced cruise goers.
Looking ahead later in the year, we’re planning a trip to Puerto Rico in the spring and the Seattle area in August for a family reunion with my parents and siblings and their families. While on the west coast, we’re planning a day trip to Vancouver, British Columbia. We also have a trip to Disneyland with D’s family in the works for late summer.
Favorite travel related books/movies?
After wracking my brain for longer than I care to admit, I can’t think of a single travel related book and movie aside from Eat, Pray, Love. I’m not much of a movie goer- I can’t sit through an entire movie without feeling like I need to be doing something. And with two little kids, I don’t have much time to read these days. Although I must put in a plug for the new Disney movie, Moana, which was awesome. And technically it is travel related.
How do you balance work, blogging, traveling, and everything in between?
I am, first and foremost, a mom. I am the keeper of the schedules and the one that keeps our lives running smoothly. But if I’m being honest, my job basically entails chasing Ladybug around the house all day and pulling Buddy off whatever high spot he’s chosen to climb up at that moment. (I wish I was exaggerating about Buddy, but I’m not. The kid is a climber and I’m banking on him climbing Everest one day.) Sometimes it is hard to balance being a mom and blogging. But I started blogging as a creative outlet– something for me to have outside of being a wife and mom. I wake up before the kids do to work and I use Buddy’s nap time as a work time wile Ladybug is having quiet time.
I’ve had to let go of a lot of my expectations and realize that it’s okay to not do everything perfectly. It’s okay if there are dishes in the sink for a day or that we forgot to clean up the toys before bed as long as the kids are taken care of and I have time to spend with them. Because we don’t travel full time (D only has so much vacation time) our travel time serves as my off time. I try to get as much blog stuff done before we leave so I can just enjoy the adventure. It’s a nice breather for me. A chance to refocus and relax.
If you could be any other blogger for a day, who would you be and why?
Some of my favorite travel blogs come from the UK. I love to read about all their adventures around Europe. I have been captivated by Europe since my first trip to Germany back in 2008. That first day in Munich, I knew I wanted to explore as much of Europe as possible in my lifetime. Because I live in the United States, I can’t just hop over to France for a weekend or plan a last minute family trip to Spain. I would love to trade places with any of those UK bloggers to be able to have Europe more accessible at my fingertips.
Best advice for new bloggers?
My best advice to new bloggers is just to be yourself. Don’t compare yourself with other bloggers who are in different circumstances than you or have been doing this longer. Set goals for yourself and focus on them, and only them. Don’t get sidetracked trying to achieve other bloggers’ goals. And lastly, don’t underestimate your own voice and experiences. You might look up to bloggers who have experiences that you would love to have. But realize that you also have experiences that others will look up to.
My Leibster Award nominees are:
My questions for the nominees are:
- What has been your favorite destination you have traveled so far?
- Where are you headed next?
- What got you interested in traveling?
- Share five facts about yourself.
- What are your top three bucket list locations?
- How do you commemorate your travels?
- What is your favorite part about blogging?
- Who is someone you look up to and why?
- Do you prefer the beach or the mountains?
- What made you want to start blogging or what is the story behind your blog?
- Do you have any advice for new bloggers?
Thank you, Kreete, for nominating me for the Liebster Award. I hope you all enjoyed getting to know me and my blog a little better.
Like this? Pin for later.
To see more of our travel pictures that don’t make it into my posts, follow me on Instagram.