Liebster Award: Bristolian Backpacker

LiebsterAwardIt’s been about 3 months since I made a domain name for my Bristolian Backpacker blog. So I am excited to say that I have been nominated for a Liebster Award by What Way Today – thanks guys!

How does it work? Well, the Liebster award is for newer or less high profile blogs to gain some recognition for their hard work and awesome content. Once you’ve accpeted the award, you then answer 11 questions from the blog who nominated you. Find 11 more people to give the award to, and give them 11 questions.

Awesome right? So here are my Liebster Award questions from What What Today:

1. What’s your number 1 luxury item you take on your travels?

DVDs! We try and pack light with just clothes and essentials. However, while Mitch and I were travelling around Europe we brought some of our favourite DVDs. They are perfect for those days when there are thunderstorms outside, or you just need a night in your hostel/hotel. He even brought Doctor Who to convert me to being a Whovian!

2.What’s the best travel deal you have ever found?

Travelling in low season means you can find some great travel deals. Hostel prices really drop, so try and travel during low season. You’ll be surprised how much money you can save. Similarly, travelling in China during the Chinese New Year meant hostels were quiet too. We even got a night free at This Old Place Youth Hostel in Xingping. Perfect!

3. What’s the most interesting accommodation you have stayed in?

I wish I could say I’ve stayed in some cool accommodation on a mountain top or maybe even next to sharks (actually, I’d find that scary). As a budget backpacker, I tend to stick to cheap hostels. However, I have stayed in some wonderful locations. While in Kampot, Cambodia, I had the pleasure of staying in Naga House. It was right next to the river. I would lie in the hammock and look out over the river. It was so peaceful, a real delight of Cambodia.

4.For what food would you travel halfway around the world for?

It’s not a food, but being from Bristol means that I was brought up on cider (not just cider, obviously). Lots of cider is made in the South West of England, and it’s what we might call “proper cider” – not sweetened, you don’t drink it with ice, and it can get up to about 7%. Finding this cider is rare, especially outside of England. This means that when we moved to China, we brought some with us. When I recently returned to England, I brought some back with me. I was travelling halfway around the world and it would have been rude not to bring some back!

5. Whilst travelling, what’s the best experience you’ve had that has cost you nothing?

Every place has free stuff to see and do which is why travelling is great, even on a small budget you can marvel at great architecture or take a stroll along a lake or river. We recently visited Xiamen in South Eastern China, one of the highlights is Nanputo Temple, to walk around the grounds is totally free!

6.What do you think is the most overrated destination?

Is anywhere overrated? Surely a place has attained its status for some reason. Personally, I would never tell someone not to visit somewhere – whether that’s because I think it’s overrated, too touristy or just a bit dull. Whenever you go, it will be your experience, and you will have a different opinion to others, maybe see different things, or go at a different time. It’s all about context.

 7. Have you ever been stuck in an awkward situation whilst travelling?

A few! I’m actually going to write a blog post soon with my favourite awkward/funny travel stories so stay tuned. One of the most awkward situations was when we took a night bus from Skopje, Macedonia, to Belgrade, Serbia. We were told we’d arrive in Belgrade about 9am, giving us time to have breakfast and then find a hostel somewhere. We awoke on the journey about 6am, to find the bus pulled in somewhere, Mitch went to ask the driver if this was a toilet stop.

“No. Belgrade!” the driver barked back. “Next, Budapest”

Aghhh! We quickly grabbed our stuff and got off the bus. We were tired and  disorientated. It was 6am in Belgrade and we had nowhere to go. We walked around and thankfully found a McDonalds. It was the only place that was open and it had free wifi. We found a hostel and called them. The guy said come on over and he’d have a room ready for us. Just as well Mitch woke up and needed to pee, otherwise we’d have ended up in Budapest!

8. Where have you met the friendliest people?

It’s rare that I’ve visited somewhere and people haven’t been friendly. Sure, some people may rip you off, but in the same place you find some wonderful, friendly people. Countries that stand out for me are Albania, Poland and China. Especially here in China, people are very hospitable. Once a week I privately tutor a boy from the school I teach at. His grandmother always gives me hot water and a plethora of fruit to eat. The first time they even insisted I stay for dinner. Very friendly despite my very bad Chinese skills!

9. What country would you like to live in on a long-term basis?

I’ve always wanted to go to New York, I would also love to live there for a while (never going to happen, visas are difficult I know). I loved living in London for 2 years and feel like New York would be similar. I would adore being in that buzzing city for a while, soaking up the atmosphere.

10. What’s your best tip for saving money whilst travelling?

Do some volunteering work, not only is it a great way to save money but you can also get really immersed into a country. English programmes are perfect if you are a native speaker. We did four Angloville programmes while in Europe and they saved us so much money, not only that but we made some great friends and learnt a lot about Polish and Hungarian culture.

11. What local habits/norms/practises would you like to see spread around the world?

At Chinese meals, the norm is to order lots of dishes and share everything. This is perfect! Try a bit of everything and then take home what you don’t eat.

My nominations for the Liebster Award 

When We Get Home: Dylan and Hilary have great guides for places in Europe and Asia.

Quit For A Bit: These guys have quit their jobs and are now enjoying travelling in South America.

By Land and Sea: A blog with great tips and inspiring photos, and posts which make me excited to head to the USA later this year!

Tale of Two Sisters: A blog by sisters, something I’ve not often come across! These girls share some great stories about Europe.

Adventures of Sheen: A fellow blogger residing China, with some great stories and tips to share.

Rose Coloured Reflections: Leslie is based in New York and shares her travel and life reflections.

ta ta, Cheers: Jamie has a great travel guide to New York and shares her vegetarian travelling adventures.

LA Travel Girl: Layla has some great stories about Europe, along with some lovely photos too!

Questions for my nominees:

1. Why did you decide to write your travel blog?

2. Which place is at the top of your bucket list. Why?

3. What’s your favourite type of transport while travelling? Plane, boat, coach, hitch-hiking?

4. What’s the most adventurous things you’ve done while travelling?

5. Do you prefer to travel on your own or with somebody?

6. Where is your favourite place you’ve visited?

7. Do you prefer planning or just going with the flow on a trip?

8. Hostels or hotels?

9. Who is the most interesting person you’ve met while travelling?

10. What’s the longest time you’ve ever been away from home?

11. What have you learnt from travelling?

Thanks again to What Way Today for the nomination. Thank you to all my followers and friends for supporting my blog. Happy Travels everyone.

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