Marissa in Washington, D.C.

Liebster AwardI have some exciting news to share: I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award! It’s no Pulitzer Prize, but it is a small bit of recognition to help bring awareness to up and coming blogs.

I’m thrilled to have received the recognition from two fellow bloggers: Sarah CC Bence and Tracy’s Travels in Time.

*Cue happy dance*

What is the Liebster Award?

Liebster is an award by bloggers for bloggers. The idea is to recognize new blogs with small followings, and pay it forward to other bloggers who are also just getting on their feet. The German word Liebster generally translates to sweetest, kindest, and dearest in English. The earliest instance of the award was in 2011, and it has been passed along ever since. I am glad to be able to participate!

The rules evolve every year, but as of 2016 bloggers are asked to answer 11 questions posed to them by those who have nominated them. That means I have 22 questions to answer for you guys. Major bonus points for any readers who make it all the way through!

Onto the Q&A

Tracy was the first to nominate me, so I’ll tackle her questions first.

  1. Favourite city destination and why? 
    Boston. It has a totally different energy than any other city in the U.S., and is steeped in history. The city is very walkable, and the parks along the Charles River and Boston Harbor are incredibly picturesque. The Irish, Italian and English influences give it a distinctly European feel.
  2. Beach/Ocean/Mountain or Jungle?
  3. Top 3 bucket list destinations?
    1) The karst mountains in China (the Li River)
    2) Western Australia
    3) Norway – hiking, fjords, and Trolltunga
  4. Most unusual food you have eaten around the world?
    Blood sausage in Spain
  5. Most memorable travel experience?
    Traveling through Morocco and seeing the landscape change from beach to farmland to forests to soaring mountains to deep gorges to sandy desert. Spend a day driving through that country and you will see some of the most spectacular landscapes imaginable.
  6. Favourite travel inspired novels/films?
    Probably Rome, but I couldn’t name a specific novel or film that inspired it.
  7. If you could travel with any famous person past or present who would it be and why?
    Amelia Earhart – she was so bold! And possibly Audrey Hepburn, who could show me how to travel luxuriously.
  8. Favourite season to travel and why?
    During the transition from summer to fall, when the weather is splendid.
  9. Next travel destination?
    I have a couple of weekend trips coming up, but my next major trip is to Sri Lanka in February for a little over two weeks.
  10. Favourite mode of transport when travelling?
    Train. I can stare out the window for hours!
  11. What is the best thing about travelling for you?
    Learning about other people, lifestyles, and cultures. People cease to become “others” when you have looked them in the eyes and been immersed in their lives.

Now onto Sarah’s questions:

  1. Where are you from?
    A few different places in the United States. I spent the most time outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and I now live in Washington, D.C.
  2. Why did you decide to start a blog?
    I am passionate about travel and photography, and I love to write. It seemed natural to channel my passions into a lasting record, and pass along some of the knowledge I’ve gained in the process.
  3. What top three cities would you visit in North America and why?
    1) Seattle, Washington: I have never been to the Pacific Northwest.
    2) Mexico City, Mexico, USA: The city has incredible history, culture and art. A must visit for me!
    3) Vancouver, BC, Canada: I’ve heard so many incredible things about Vancouver. I could couple Vancouver with my visit to Seattle and kill two birds with one stone!
  4. South America?
    1) Cuzco, Peru (Machu Picchu) – a bucket list destination for me for years.
    2) Patagonia (can it count as a “city” of mountains?) – because Patagonia.
    3) Santiago, Chile – I’ve passed through but would like to spend more time there.
  5. Europe?
    1) Munich, Germany and all of Bavaria
    2) St. Petersburg, Russia
    3) Istanbul, Turkey (both sides of the Bosphorus)
  6. Africa?
    1) Cape Town, South Africa
    2) Cairo, Egypt
    3) Nairobi, Kenya
  7. Asia?
    1) Singapore
    2) Guilin, China (karst region)
    3) Petra, Jordan
  8. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up, and how does that compare to where you are now?
    I wanted to be a marine biologist when I was young, specifically to work with dolphins. I do nothing close to that nowadays – I’m a consultant/account manager at a communications firm. However, I’m still fascinated by oceans and marine life.
  9. What’s the worst part of blogging?
    Staying on top of deadlines. With a full time job and a self-imposted schedule of posting new content every three days, it becomes very difficult to stay on top of the writing, photo editing, social media, and website maintenance. Prioritization is key.
  10. What’s your favorite post you’ve ever written?
    That’s a good question. I like this one about the Millennial generation’s dependence on technology because it is more thoughtful analysis of a subject. I also like this interview I did with a friend who is a pilot, because it sheds light on an aspect of travel that doesn’t get much coverage.
  11. What are you scared of?
    Being too afraid to take risks. There is no fear in my life that can’t be overcome by courage and boldness. I think the greatest threat to a happy and fulfilled life is not doing the things that you want to be doing – those things that will stretch you and challenge your beliefs and take you out of your comfort zone.There is freedom waiting for you,
    On the breezes of the sky,
    And you ask “What if I fall?”
    Oh but my darling,
    What if you fly?”
    Erin Hanson

Now for the Best Part: My Nominations

I am pleased to nominate the following blogs for the award. These badass blogesses are crafting some amazing content that will get you hooked!

  • The Travelling Sloth. Caroline has such an engaging and clever writing style (my favorite headline of hers: “Been There, Don Det“). Her local’s guide to Norway is going to be the basis for planning my future bucket-list trip to Norway!
  • Roamaroo. Collette and Scott are full-time travelers, and their blog gives me major wanderlust! Their travel guides are super informative for those who are planning trips. I also love their photography – a great benefit of traveling as a duo!
  • The Bold Brunette. Christina’s site is as visually pleasing as its content is enjoyable to read. The Bold Brunette takes a travel and lifestyle approach, much like Life As Marissa. The variety of topics keeps you engaged, from an authentic Mexican guacamole recipe to what to pack in your travel purse to where to find the best views of the Acropolis.
  • Still Stoked. Alexa’s niche is women in action sports, and her content is totally empowering and inspiring. As someone with a degree in journalism, her magazine-style approach using interviews and feature stories is particularly interesting to me. I am also learning to surf (a painfully slow process), so I got a lot of reassurance from her “surfing or snowboarding” article!
  • Not A Nomad Blog. Monica’s “career girl meets travel world” positioning resonates with me, as someone who is in a full-time job and travels as a hobby. She’s an American expat living in Germany who blends wanderlust-inspiring posts with practical travel and job advice. Oh, and her photography is outstanding!

Questions for the Nominees

Here are my questions for those I have nominated. Enjoy, ladies!

  1. How has travel changed you as a person?
  2. What do you hope you can accomplish for yourself or others through traveling?
  3. Name something you’ve experienced in a culture other than your own that you loved or appreciated, and describe why.
  4. What is the most unconventional thing on your bucket list?
  5. What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you while traveling?
  6. What are the top five places you would like to visit?
  7. What are the top three things you’d like to try one day (it can be anything!)?
  8. If you could be instantly fluent in one language, which would it be?
  9. What do you hope to accomplish through your blog?
  10. Who in your life has influenced your blog the most or been your biggest source of support?
  11. What are your professional aspirations?