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Friday, February 15, 2013

The Liebster Award

The Liebster Award!!
Thanks to Chris @touristguidec, I got nominated for this blogger award.  It is really awesome that fellow bloggers started this award as a way to connect and learn from one another.  I personally have been reading so many new blogs since I received this award and they are all fantastic, I am learning so much and I am inspired by so many ideas about traveling from all of you that I nominated below.

@bridgekeeptrav: I really enjoy your point of view and reason for creating a blog, building and creating bridges weather in friendships or experiences and really appreciating all your "bridges" that you formed along the way and continue to build more over time.  I love it, very refreshing!

@PicturesqueT: I love your amazing pictures and the details of each photograph, from the camera that was used, to shutter speed, to iso settings... I love photography and this information will be useful when I go to use my camera next time, I also have a Canon.

@Bpack_Diplomacy: I read your blog about helping out other bloggers and I love it and definitely will be using that blog to share on my blog, I linked it to your name for others reading this blog.  And the name you have chosen is quite suitable, you are quite diplomatic with your approach to blogging and connecting with others, it's awesome! I will need to implement those tips you suggested.

@MalloryOnTravel & @theplanetd: You guys have been blogging for quite some time, I think a lot of bloggers can learn from yours.  I really enjoy your bio @MalloryOnTravel and all your adventures. 

@theplanetd: I love how supportive you guys are of other bloggers, you really go out of your way to share so many other bloggers posts.  And your blog is absolutely fantastic, some serious adventures, swimming with a great white shark, caving, cycling through Galapagos Islands, and so much more. I am looking foward to reading about all your other adventures.

@RunawayJuno: I especially enjoyed your post "Challenge is not for everyone" and I have felt that way at times from some of my friends in the office. There was always a question of how I get to travel so much and where do I get that money to do that? I simply tell them, I try to find the best deals, I try not to burn all my vacation days taking a personal day, I save them all, I do a lot of research, create a budget and live within it, so that travel goals are possible. 

@TTravelled: You love Berlin and I love Rome.  I am going to have to visit Berlin one of these days.

@Edgar_Vieira: I love that your blog is so dedicated to food, I get hungry just reading your blog. I am craving fish and chips right this minute.  And hopefully, I will get a chance to visit all those restaurants that you have written about.

@paul_steele: Really enjoy reading your blog and love your recent most with the hounds, they are adorable with those droopy eyes and faces.
I am fairly new to blogging, my reason for starting my blog came from my exhausted research for my trip to Italy back in 2011.  I was struggling with getting the information that I needed, I found a couple of bloggers site and I gathered a lot of useful information from tripadvisors, mostly from people's reviews of hotes or restaurants in the area, so after spending about 3 months doing my independent planning for Italy, I decided, why not share some of what I thought was extremely useful with other travelers.
So you can check out my Italy page if that is on your bucket list.
On to the Liebster Award and to echo Chris' definition, Liebster is a German word meaning "favorite, kindness, lovely, etc..) So in a sense, it is a fellow travel blogger award, which is FANTASTIC!! It is like Screen Actor's Guild award in blogger world, how cool is that?
What are the rules of the Liebster Award?
  1. Provide responses to the 11 Questions posted by the blogger that nominated you.
  2. Select 11 fellow travel bloggers and ensure that you notify them that they have been selected as your recipicients of "The Liebster Award". *note: you can not pick the person that selected you.
  3. Create 11 questions that you want your nominated bloggers to answer.
  4. Share your answers on your blog with the questions the questions and answers that you have given.
  5. Share your list of recipient on your blog as well. 
11 Questions Chris asked me:
1. Where is your favorite place that you have visited and why?
I love Italy, the history is remarkable and there is just not enough time to explore everything. The Roman Empire, the architecture, the gladiators, the city on water, the food, the house chianti, the passionate people, overall, Italy is just an amazing country to explore and see.
2. Do you have a preferred method of transportation when traveling?
I would love my own Jet :) that would be my preference but until then, I love to fly especially overseas, international flights (or should I say Asian flights) Asian airlines are just so much more fun, unlimited games, new releases of movies, ridiculous amount of food.

Malaysian airlines, Korean Airlines are the two that was feeding us every 2-3 hours (or least that's what it seem like), if not a meal, it was a snack of some sort, unlimited drinks (wine, soda, liquor) in coach, no less.  Quite a unique and fun experience versus flying on domestic flights or flying to Europe on American (i.e., Delta, United, etc.) airlines.  Although, I would also like to take a sleeper train one of these days and stop at every town and city, another reason I really enjoy vacationing in Europe, the flexibility of the rail systems, fantastic.
3. When booking flights, do you prefer to book through third parties such as Expedia & Travelocity or directly through the airline?
Honestly, a friend of mine came to me recently asking me this exact question now that I started up my traveling agency and knowing a little bit more about the ins and outs of it. I would still do what I did prior to haivng this knowledge.  When traveling to Asia, I always use an Asian travel agency as they do get the best prices for flights, meanwhile, Expedia or Travelocity, in order to make up for not receiving any commission from the airlines, they mark up these flights.  So now, instead of paying say $1300 for a flight to Vietnam or Malaysia, their pricing is double that.  As far as domestic flights, I do look at Expedia and Travelocity then I see the lowest price and go the the Parent site, aka..Delta or Usairways, etc.. and see if I can get better flight connections or time, typically, they are a couple of dollars cheaper than Expedia or Travelocity.
4. What is your favorite drink both at home and on your travels?
Hmmm.. I have so many, recent most, I love this drink that I had at a restaurant in Tampa, it's called Blood and Sand.  It is made with Whiskey or Bourbon or even Rye with Cherry Brandy and orange juice. Delicious!! You can modify this to your liking as well, we use Maraschino Cherry instead of Cherry Brandy and sometimes we just use the Cherry soda instead to cut down the alcohol.  Must try if you are whiskey, Bourbon person.
5. What souvenirs do you like to collect from your travels?
I love wood cravings and hot sauces.  The Caribbean is when I get hot sauces as Belize is the home of the best hot sauces, Marie Sharp's, the tast is very tropical, slight sweet yet so tasty hot, not no feeling of your tongue hot.
6. What are your packing techniques? What are the “necessities” when traveling?
I typically pack very light and bringing just the bare essentials.  You can see my attire in some of my pictures for my trip to London and Italy. You can also check my Italy page , what to pack for your trip to Europe or recently a quick savings/packing tips.

7. Where is the one place in the world you would travel to tomorrow if timing, finances and anything else were not an issue?

Thailand, I was there when I was little and I would love to go back, that or Rome.
8. What are your favorite sports teams and have you seen them in person?
Yankees and Steelers, I have seen the Yankees a couple of times, I have seen one Steelers game.
9. Do you have a favorite image from your travels (please share a link to this page)?

My trip to Seattle, below is a picture of the floating houses in Seattle, this is one of four neighborhood along the water.  I just love how serene this picture is and I took it with my cell phone.

10. Which social network do you prefer to use and why? E.g. Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest etc.
I am a big fan of digg, twitter and pinterest more so than facebook now.  As these social media although appears to be less personal than facebook, there are a wealth of information being shared daily whereas facebook, information being shared on there are not quite as useful or interesting, mostly people are posting about their day or what's happening in that moment. Twitter, digg and pinterest, they are all an entirely a new adventure.  I have learned so much about how to fix things, cook things, travel tips, suggestions from these 3 social media than any where else in the last month.
11. What are the determining factors on your travel plans? How do you decide which destinations you travel to?
I created a bucket list when I was 8, so most of my travel plans are around checking off that list :)
Although if I didn't have a list, I would attempt to make a list and spend some time researching the best deals for each one of those places.

My 11 Nominees are:
    @TravelEatLearn @bridgekeeptrav @Bpack_Diplomacy @MalloryOnTravel @theplanetd @JohnAllmond ‏@paul_steele @RunawayJuno @TTravelled @Edgar_Vieira @PicturesqueT
My 11 Questions are:

1. If you were to win a trip somewhere and you had these options, which one would you pick, where would go and why?
  1. All inclusive vacation in the Caribbean
  2. All paid expenses to Europe
  3. All paid to Asia
  4. All paid to Middle East
  5. A Cruise with all expenses paid including excursions
2.  If you could live any where in the world, where would you live and why?

3.  What you can not live without when you travel?

4. What is the number 1 thing you often forget when traveling?

5. If you could only take 10 items with you on a trip, what would they be?

6.  What is your most important factor for determining where you go on your next trip?

7. Your favorite means of transportation ?

8. If you could give 3 travel tips, what would they be?

9. What is the most unique place you have ever been on your travels?

10. The strangest food you have had on your travels?

11. What drives your passion for traveling and seeing the world?

Please share.