Nomination for a Liebster Award

Oh, how exciting, I am nominated for a Liebster Award!

Liebster Awards

First of all, thanks Neha and Abhishek!

I’m very honored to receive this nomination. For some weeks now, I have seen fellow blogs being nominated and it makes me so happy that I can join the club now. Let me introduce Neha and Abhishek from Revolving Compass: They are, as they say on their blog, a techie couple enthusiastic for traveling which is a passion that they share. First as a couple and now together with their toddler they have been exploring wonderful places in India for over 3 years! Please keep these wonderful posts coming, I wish you all the best for your future adventures!

Now, You’ll probably ask: What is the Liebster Award?

When I started my blogging adventure more seriously and joined all these awesome groups on Facebook, I kept seeing blogs being nominated for a Liebster Award and nominees talking about it. Even though I didn’t really know what it was, I actually applied and mentioned my blog on the very first day. Now I know as it is stated on the Facebook Page:

The Liebster Award is a way of promoting and recognizing fellow bloggers, (on the internet) for their efforts and accomplishments in becoming a blogger.

Doesn’t that sound just great?! Bloggers being supportive of other bloggers is just a wonderful and generous thing. As Neha and Abhishek mentioned in their entry, the name of the award – Liebster – comes from my homecountry – Germany – and it means: The dearest and kindest. And that it just is, the dearest and kindest way to connect fellow new bloggers in the industry, to give them exposure and the recognition they earn for sharing their stories with the world.
When you are nominated for the Liebster Award, you are supposed to do the following:

  • Thank those who nominated you and link the blog in your post
  • Write an intro about the Liebster Award and spread the awareness
  • Answer the questions about your blog
  • Nominate another 5 to10 other people for the Liebster Award and inform them via social media
  • Set up a few interesting  questions for the nominees

So, here come my answers to Neha’s and Abhishek’s questions

Thanks for the great set of questions, guys! I’ll do my best answering them! It has been such a great week for me reflecting on all your questions.

What inspired you to start traveling?

Actually, I was 15 when I took my first flight and traveled to another continent, so I’d say I started traveling extremely late. All my other friends had been traveling way before that age. At the same time, I suppose that it impressed me even more than others who had been traveling a lot before. I remember sitting in the plane back to Germany (from New York City) at that time, crying because I was overflowing with emotions: Happiness because I just had so many great days and sadness because I had to leave and go back to school. That moment I promised myself to keep on exploring different countries and cultures.

Which travel destination is the closest to your heart and why?

Definitely the USA: see the story above. Also, I spent a year living in Ohio and have so many fond memories of that time. I have also visited a couple of places there already (such as New York, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland) and was always so lucky to meet great new people or catch up with old friends. When I’m there, it only takes a couple of hours and I feel at home.

What fuels the motivation behind your travel blog?

At first, I wanted to share my adventures with friends and families and the blog served as a convenient method to let them know that I was still alive whenever I was abroad on a solo trip. Then I realized that I have so many stories to share and tell with others and I decided to make this blog more public to inspire others that they can do it as well. Traveling or traveling alone is fun, not scary! I’m very passionate about the places I have been and I love to inspire and share my ideas or share my advice.
I also enjoy writing in English, even though German would be an easier choice. I’m Munich-based and I have had visitors from different countries now, which was when I realized that I should also share some tipps and tricks about Munich. It’s a wonderful city!

Where do you envision your blog a couple of years down the line?

Hopefully still going strong and maybe even stronger than now,
I want it to be filled with many new adventures, destinations and tricks for everyone out there. Plus, I’d love to be able to make people go out and travel more. I also want to keep up adding more photos because apparently the move from the free wordpress site deleted them all.

How do you combat home sickness after days of travel?

This is actually a subject that I have been thinking about a lot lately. I usually try to stay busy and go out. Take a walk, explore, calm myself down. Keeping in touch with friends and family can help as well. But all in all, I’d say that the most important part is to remember that homesickness or loneliness is a normal part of being “on the road” and that you can allow yourself to be lazy or sad or anything you want to be. It’s important to be at peace with yourself and what you feel when you are traveling.

What is the most important thing you have learnt during your travel journey?

For me, the most important thing that I learnt was and still is that you can’t plan everything. I’m a pretty organised person when I am at home and when I write my dissertation, so of course I try to be as prepared as possible when traveling. I’ve learnt over the last couple of years that I have to let go and be more spontaneous.

What was your toughest travel experience so far?

I haven’t had many bad experiences, luckily, compared to many other travelers. The toughest experience thus was probably being robbed in my dorm by the girls I shared the place with. It sucked pretty bad and almost ruined a perfectly pleasant stay in San Francisco. Plus, I felt so stupid and bad loosing all the cash.

Do you have a bucket list that you are ticking off slowly?

I do have a very long bucket list. It keeps growing and growing, especially now that I am home-stuck for a little while. Many destinations on my bucket list are far away, such as Canada, Japan and New Zealand. Other than that, I have many different cities that I want to visit for the first time or for a second time, such as Prague (going there in January now!), London, Paris, Rome or New York City.

What was the most heart touching experience you had during your travel ?

I’m always touched when I meet nice people on my trips. Since I am usually traveling on my own, these short or long encounters always make me feel happy. On my last trip I took the train from Portland, OR, to San Francisco, CA. When I entered, all window seats were unfortunately taken, but the woman next to me switched seats with me for a couple of hours so that I was able to enjoy the view. She told me that I was a guest and should enjoy my trip and that I would do the same in Germany for her. It was incredibly sweet of her!

Given a chance to travel day in and day out, would you grab it?

Probably not – to give the short answer. I love traveling, but a huge and wonderful part for me is coming home which requires having a homebase somewhere. For me, traveling is giving myself a timeout, being more spontaneous and having an adventure on my own. I’m investing a lot of time and energy into my studies which I am also very passionate about and could never give up completely!

What would be your one liner for someone who wants to start travel blogging?

It’s my favorite saying and the tag line of my blog: “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” (Confucius). In a longer version: Go out and do it, but do it with all your heart and be yourself.

Here are my nominees for the Liebster Award 2016:

1) Wading Wade
2) Abstract Heaven
3) TravelTorgeir
4) The Wandereuse
5) Little Duckie’s Adventures
6) Up&At’Em Travel
7) Island Girl In-Transit
8) Loudy’s Dream
9) Honey in the Desert
10) DreamTrip of a Lifetime 

Congratulations! I can’t wait all of your answers to my questions!

And my questions to the nominees:

  1. What is your favorite place in your hometown or home country?
  2. How do you finance your travels?
  3. Which places are on your bucket list?
  4. What was the best experience that you had while traveling?
  5. Which travel tip would you share with a new traveler?
  6. What inspires you to travel and blog?
  7. How did you come up with your blog name?
  8. How has your travel style changed as compared to when you just started traveling?
  9. What is the one thing that always makes you cringe when you are traveling abroad?
  10. What do you struggle with as a travel blogger?
A Traveler's Reading List 46/2016

A Traveler’s Reading List 46/2016

How did your week and weekend go? I’ve been really busy so that I’m just getting around to catch up with my reading list. #blogpostsaturday becomes more and more a Sunday thing for me, but I sincerely hope that that’s ok with everyone. I published one post on Thursday, as always, and I’ve been busy on Instagram sharing pictures from Pittsburgh in 2014. It’s as much blog time as I can spare each week, I guess. But let’s continue with what I started last week: A traveler’s reading list 46/2016!

A Traveler's Reading List 46/2016

#blogpostsaturday

Although I’m not sure whether I want to make my blog a business or not, I was glad to find Madi’s post. I’d love to at least earn as much as I spend on my blog, so I’ll have to get to work on some points that she is talking about!
I l loved Emily’s very honest post on why she and her fiancé stopped traveling half-way through their adventure year. I believe that it is so important to listen into oneself and evaluate what one wants from life.
Shannon reviewed google trips, which I will have to see for myself, but it sounds quite good!
Becca has been nominated for the Liebster Award (congrats!) and thus answered 10 questions about herself and her blog!
A very funny and a bit sarcastic post came from Katie with “How to Save Money For Travel – The Tricks Nobody Will Tell You”.
To read about a visit to Landsberg am Lech made me incredibly happy, because I keep telling people to go there. It’s such a cute little city!
Meg writes about first week travel blues which I totally think is a thing, it is basically what I meant with homesickness in my post a few weeks ago.
Ever heard of Boerum Hill?! I hadn’t which is why Victoria’s post cam just at the right time.
Here is a list of some travel hacks if you don’t know them already. Even though I technically do, I sometimes forget to follow them…
Another post on visiting a city in Germany: Kristine went to Trier, and it looks like she and her boyfriend had a really good time!
Ever since my trip to Thailand, I looove Thaifood (if it is not too spicy). See this post for five fav dishes to try! And this post will make you want to go to Bangkok! Which makes me want to agree with Bidisha who in her post names seven reasons to revisit places.

My blog feed

Adventurous Kate (who I have been following for quite some time and admire A LOT) writes about The Conversation. I’m sure everyone has been there, probably with different topics.

5 budget European destinations

How To Survive Being An Exchange Student In 5 Simple Steps

6 of the best art stops in Oxford, UK

Ultimate Female Packing List for Ireland in Summer (with camping tips)

How to unplug from and minimize your possessions

13 Things Every Person Can Look Forward To For Winter In NYC

On the Shores of a Pink Lake in Australia

That’s that for this weekend! Leave me a comment if you liked my list or think that I need to read something special for next weeks list!

 

My USA packing list: review

Review: My USA packing list

Some of you might remember that I spent this year’s July in the US, on a backpacking adventure along the West Coast. This trip has been my first trip without a large heavy suitcase or backpack. I have to admit that I tend to overpack, mostly because I am always worried that I might forget something or that there will be some kind of emergency. I have shared my USA packing list shortly before my trip, so today I want to review this list – with a bit of distance on what was good to pack and what I could have left at home.

Review: My USA packing list

Three months after my last trip, I review my first USA packing list. Let’s hear what worked and what didn’t. | www.travelthewholewideworld.com

 

Things that I forgot on my USA packing list

The most obvious thing that I forgot or more or less ignored during packing was my travel adapter/ charger. For some reason I couldn’t find mine at home and was totally sure that I would find one in Seattle very easily. Turned out that it cost me almost half a day to find a decent one because all the adapters that I could find at first, were for travelers from the US going to Europe, not the other way round. I now carry a tiny USB plug in my camera bag (even though I’m back in Germany) – just to make sure I will at least be able to charge my phone next time.



Another thing on this list would be a hoodie, or comfortable clothes in general. Germans don’t wear yoga pants or hoodies very often. If they do, it is mostly for working out or sleeping, so for some reason I didn’t bring any comfortable clothing along. Also, I underestimated the weather or rather wind and rain, so that I actually loved my warm hoodie and my yoga pants that I had to buy on my trip.

Things that I could have left at home

I still love my Lonely Planet books, but to be completely honest, I didn’t use them too much on this trip. I have read a lot about people having the ebooks on their Phones and I’m sure this is a better alternative than having to carry two travel guides in your backpack. Those books get heavy after some time! I plan to change that in the future – on Lonely Planet’s last sale I purchased a lot of ebooks that should last me for a while!

Against better knowledge and against every packing list’s advice, I also packed my small travel-sized hairdryer. It even almost made it on my must-pack list because I always get sick when I don’t dry my hair! Turns out that I didn’t use it very much. In Seattle that was thanks to the missing adapter and sharing a room with people who often slept in. In Portland, the hostel actually provided hair dryers (at least there was one in each bathroom) and San Francisco was warm enough to walk around with damp hair.

I also never wore that one dress that I brought or the leggings for that matter. Maybe I’m not a dress person, I rarely wear them at home and I feel uncomfortable when I am in one and have to walk a lot. And I did walk a lot on that trip. My advice would therefore be: Only bring clothes that you would also wear at home!

Most helpful things on my USA packing list

I really loved my Eagle Creek Pack-It cubes that I bought a few months before my trip. I didn’t think that I would be able to keep up being that organized, but it turned out just fine and I actually used them during the whole time. Although they were not cheap, I can now say that it was money well spent.

I was positively surprised by the travel towels that I brought. They really looked like they wouldn’t work for me, but after a few days I was very convinced. They pack small, dry fast and were easy to wash when needed. I also sometimes used them to separate my bed from the rest of the room.

Everything else on my packing list was useful as it was! I brought just enough clothes to last for a week, so that I had to do laundry every seven days. I’d recommend that to everyone, because it means that you’ll have enough to wear without having to worry but it also fit into a small carry-on suitcase. I’d probably research more on the weather, I didn’t bring a rain coat (for example) which would have been nice to have, but could be replaced by an umbrella!

How to beat homesickness

How to beat homesickness when traveling alone

Traveling can be a wonderful, mind-changing experience. It can also mess with your head and make you feel homesick when traveling alone. It took me quite a while to find strategies on how to make myself feel better when I’m alone in a hostel and need to beat homesickness.

Here are a few things that I do, so that I won’t feel lonely when I’m traveling alone:

1. Get out and explore!

Even if you feel tired and jet lagged and alone in a city that just feels different: Get out and explore your surroundings. I often that fresh air is the best for me and that seeing other people and new places takes my mind off feeling lonely. I get some coffee and start walking or I sit down in a nice café and just enjoy some people-watching!

2. Enjoy the peace and quiet around you.

Life is busy all the time. Being away from home is an opportunity to sit down, put your feet up and enjoy a few moments of silence. Choose a nice spot or use your hostel bed for that, in no case, do ever feel bad for doing so. It’s your time, and you should spend it the way you want! Make yourself feel relaxed and beat this dreadful homesickness!



3. Stay in contact with your loved ones.

Time difference and distance can be a bummer! Thanks to social media and skype you are still able to keep up with your loved ones! I find it helpful to text or skype with family and friends if I start to get homesick. Just talking about what I have seen and been doing, helps and always makes me realize just how lucky I am and how much I like traveling!

4. Step outside your comfort zone!

As a very introvert and quiet person myself, this is always the hardest part for me: Getting to know other people. I usually start by introducing myself to the girls in my dorm, making small talk and asking about their destinations. Many of them are solo travelers as well and appreciate a chat. Very often this has led to great company for dinner, a drink or even longer parts of my travel.

5. Find a good streaming service!

Most hostels and hotels provide free Wifi which often works quite well. For me, I prefer to have a streaming service such as Netflix and/or Amazon Prime Video set up on my Macbook or iPad. Netflix is great in the US, whereas when you are coming to Germany you might want to get Amazon Prime Video instead! In case that I feel exhausted or lonely, I simply watch one of my favorite shows or start a new one. You’ll often see people doing the exact same thing and there is no better way to start talking to people than about a TV show!

What are your tips and tricks against that dreadful feeling that sometimes comes up? How would you beat homesickness? Feel free to share!

How to beat homesickness when traveling alone. Traveling can be the most amazing experience, but it can also leave you lonely in an unknown place. I'll share with you my secrets of how to beat homesickness when traveling alone. | www.travelthewholewideworld.com