Our First Liebster Award!

This has been a great week for MVMT Blog as we’ve been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award and the Liebster Award! We are so honored and grateful to Erin at Wonderlost Travels for nominating us for our first Liebster Award. Erin and her travel buddy, Eva, blog about their travel adventures and what they’ve learned from traipsing across the globe with curious eyes. Be sure to check out their blog, and follow them on Instagram for awesome photos of their travels.

Our First Liebster Award | MVMT Blog

What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award was started back in 2011 as an online-only award given to bloggers by bloggers. “Liebster” in German means “dearest,” so we are feeling quite warm and fuzzy inside right now, having been nominated for this dearest award. The award is a way for newer blogs to be discovered and also to connect with and support the blogging community. While it was originally given out to blogs with less than 2,000 readers, this number has since decreased to 200 as the award has gained popularity.

Our First Liebster Award | MVMT Blog

At the top of Trolltunga

It’s incredible to think that after only a few months of working hard at this blog, we have had the opportunity to share so many of our travel stories with you, collaborate with fellow travel bloggers, and gain a loyal following. A big thanks to Erin for our first Liebster Award nomination, and a big thanks to all of you for continuing to come back on our site and joining us on our travels! We now have the opportunity to nominate some of our favorite bloggers for this exciting award. In order to accept, please answer the 11 questions below, and read the complete rules here.

Here are our answers to Erin’s questions:

1. How long have you been blogging?

We started blogging after our trip to Norway in late June/early July 2016.

2. What inspired you to start your blog?

After successfully hiking Trolltunga in western Norway but realizing how dangerous the hike can be for ill-prepared travelers, we decided to share some of our tips with the community so travelers can have a safe and fun experience on this awesome hike. Thus started our passion for sharing all of our travel stories and tips with the traveling community.

Interested in hiking Trolltunga? Click here to read about our tips for a safe and fun hike.

Tips for hiking trolltunga | MVMT Blog

The inception of this blog… at the top of a cliff during an 11 hour hike.

3. What is your favorite travel experience to date?

Diana: Choosing a favorite travel experience for me is like choosing between ice cream or steak – I love both but they’re impossible to compare. One of my favorite trips is my first solo trip to Europe for two weeks in 2014. I booked a roundtrip flight to Paris and had no plans prior to my arrival in Paris. I ended up traveling to Paris, London, Amsterdam, Bruges, and Barcelona on that trip, but my transportation and accommodations for each day were booked the night before. It was exciting for me to not know where I’d be the next day, and I loved having the freedom to go anywhere.

I realized on that trip how much I love solo travel. I met travelers from all over the world, and it opened my mind to new perspectives and new cultures. I also ended up taking recommendations from locals on which city to visit next, and they recommended some cities I never would have thought of. For instance, I never would have thought to visit Bruges on that trip had it not been for the recommendations of several locals and travelers I met along the way who highly recommended it. I ended up loving Bruges and felt like I had time traveled hundreds of years back in time when I was there.

Our First Liebster Award | MVMT Blog

The main square in Bruges, Belgium.

Hope: My family has been travelling for as long as I can remember, but my first time travelling to a foreign country on my own was this past summer. I spent about a month in Germany and continued on an intensive backpacking trip to Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Austria in only five days. On this trip, I also spent a week with my sister in Norway and visited Switzerland and the Netherlands.

I absolutely loved all of my experiences on this trip because I was able to consume every part of the local culture. It was a humbling experience living in a smaller city in Germany, where few people spoke English. It forced me to learn German faster and taught me to communicate through actions and other forms of body language.

4. What is your most embarrassing travel story?

Diana: This is not an isolated story but a series of incidents. I really don’t enjoy sitting around in airports, so I try to cut it as close as I can to arriving at the airport exactly on time for my flights. Unfortunately this has caused me to miss my flight on several occasions. It has gotten to the point where my family and close friends always text me “don’t miss your flight!” before my flights. One time I was traveling to Phoenix with a friend and received several texts reminding me not to miss my flight, to which I replied sarcastically that they should have more faith in me and that I don’t actually miss that many flights. I ended up missing my flight and was embarrassed to report back to those who sent me reminders.

Hope: This wasn’t so much embarrassing as it was stressful and unnecessary, but when I was in Europe, I had a Eurail pass and had made a reservation for a bunk on an overnight train from Prague to Krakow. I walked to my bunk and saw another person in it, so I went to tell a train employee that they must have double booked us. He looked at my ticket and told me that my ticket was for the next day. I realized I had booked the wrong day. Thankfully, I was still able to stay on the train in the seated section, but it was one of my less proud moments.

5. Why do you think it is important to travel?

Diana: The world we live in is so much bigger than the city we grew up in. A 26 year old female who grew up in another part of the world has lived a completely different life than me. I think if more people took the time to learn, experience, and understand other cultures, the world would be a much more welcoming place. Racism would be a thing of the past. Wars would cease. Travel is so much more than relaxing on beautiful beaches while sipping a cocktail. It can change your perspective, and it can change the world.

Hope: Every time I travel, my mindset opens more and I am able to understand more about the world. I have always loved meeting and getting to know people, and seeing people of all different cultures is a beautiful privilege. I believe that if everyone travelled more, the discrimination that exists in the world would decrease drastically and everyone would be able to love each other more.

6. Who do you enjoy traveling with?

Diana: I love solo travel. Growing up, I traveled primarily with my family (mom, dad, and sister), and as I got a little older, I started traveling with friends and peers. A few months ago, my sister and I took our first trip together without our parents. While I enjoyed all of these trips very much, nothing really compares to the freedom I have while traveling alone. I can do what I want, when I want, and not waste any time on activities I’m not interested in. If I’m tired and want to take an afternoon relaxing in the park with a book, I can do that. If I want to go out and meet locals, I can do that. It sounds a bit selfish, but everything I do is on my own time, and I kind of love that. I’ve also learned so much about myself, such as what types of people I enjoy spending time with, what types of activities I enjoy doing, and I’ve learned to be very comfortable in my own skin from trying to navigate foreign countries by myself.

Hope: I enjoy travelling either by myself or with other people who are flexible with their plans and able to remain calm. In Europe, I got to travel with one of my friends who was able to help me relax when I started stressing out because my friend remained calm through every problem that arose. I am a very spontaneous traveller and usually enjoy wandering around cities with no goal in mind, so I enjoy travelling with someone who has a similar mindset and is happy to see anything we come across.

7. What is your favorite or most exotic food that you’ve tried?

Diana: This was not my favorite food, per se, but the most exotic food I tried was probably frog legs. I thought it was chicken when I ate it, and it tasted like chicken, so I was quite shocked when I found out after the fact that it was frog legs. I will eat just about anything as long as I don’t know what it is, but once I get images of frogs hopping around on my plate, my gag reflex really kicks in.

Hope: I’ve eaten many questionable things in my life, but nothing in particular comes to mind. The most exotic thing I can think of might be escargot in France. It was a very interesting experience that I enjoyed it very much!

8. What do you enjoy doing besides traveling?

Diana: I have been playing music, both for fun and competitively, from a very young age. Other than travel, music is the one thing I cannot live without. I have a piano and a few guitars in my apartment, and these days I primarily play for fun. Nothing beats a good jam session with some fellow musicians.

Our First Liebster Award | MVMT Blog

Hope: I enjoy playing and listening to music. I play the guitar, bass, and drums, and I listen to just about every genre of music (currently in my hip-hop/rap phase). I also like expressing my creativity through other art forms, including photography.

9. What is your preferred method of transportation? (Train, bus, plane, bike, etc)

Diana: My preferred method of transportation within my city (Chicago) is bike. If I’m taking a trip elsewhere or traveling abroad, I usually prefer traveling by plane as it is the fastest mode of transportation.

Hope: I would have to say train, though I have a love-hate relationship with the Toronto subway system. I don’t know how to drive, so the TTC is pretty essential. However, it has been delayed or had other problems so many times that I’ve been late or missed many plans because of it.

10. Do you wish you could (or do you already) travel full time?

Diana: I currently work full time as an attorney in the U.S., but my goal is to find work that allows me to be location independent. While I’d love to be able to travel as often as I want, I would prefer to have a job while traveling rather than travel full time without work.

Hope: I would love to spend my entire life travelling. I’m currently a second year University student and am hoping to find a career in International Business, which hopefully will allow me to travel not only in my free time but also for work.

Our First Liebster Award | MVMT Blog

We typically only share photos from our travels, but here’s one of our roots! We are both proud Michigan Wolverines (one student & one alum), and this is the two of us at a tailgate before a football game.

Our Nominees:

  1. Le Long Weekend – This travel blog is run by Nadine, a kiwi and mom of one, who left her life of investment banking a few years ago to pursue more creative passions. Although only a couple of months old, it is full of holiday inspirations and useful travel tips for a variety of destinations across Europe and elsewhere.
  2. Jacqui Travels – A 24 year old who caught the travel bug at 18 and hasn’t stopped traveling since. She aspires to show those with 9-5 jobs that travel while working full time is possible.
  3. My Unbrielievable Life – Brie shares fascinating stories about her life, including her prison pen pal, her multicultural siblings, and her unique travel experiences. You will not be bored!
  4. Wayfaring Wanders – Genevieve quit her 9-5 to teach English in Spain and has been blogging about her adventure since. She has great tips about living in Spain, especially as an expat!
  5. Saward Abroad – Beth Saward is a 21-year-old teaching assistant, freelance writer, and travel fanatic telling stories from her travels. She is currently located in Oxford, but her adventures have taken her across the globe.
  6. Brunette at Sunset – University student Romy is a renegade that plays by her own rules. She is originally from the Netherlands but got bit by the travel bug in South Africa and has been traveling the world while going to school ever since. Her honesty isa breath of fresh air, as she shares about both the good and the bad on her travels.

Our Questions to Our Nominees:

  1. When did you take your first trip out of the country?
  2. How many countries have you traveled to?
  3. If you had to pick your top 3 favorite countries, what would they be and why?
  4. Which city/country did you grow up in?
  5. Which city/country are you based in currently?
  6. How long have you been blogging?
  7. What or who inspired you to start blogging?
  8. Do you travel full time? If not, how do you balance having a full time job and traveling?
  9. What’s the most important piece of advice you can give to new travelers?
  10. What three trips are at the top of your bucket list at the moment?
  11. Where are you off to next?

We want to get to know YOU! Tell us something about yourself in the comments below. Let us know where you’re from, where you’re traveling to, or answer any of the questions above. Happy travels!

MVMT Blog

Our First Liebster Award | MVMT Blog

Author: Diana Chen

Recently left my job as an attorney to pursue the work-from-anywhere/travel-everywhere life. I blog about traveling the world with a full time job, confronting your travel addiction, and pursuing your passions without going broke. Just got back from a month-long trip to Southeast Asia and currently prepping for Cuba.

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29 thoughts on “Our First Liebster Award!

    1. Thanks so much, Naomi! I agree – the Liebster Award is a great way to get to know fellow bloggers. I wish all bloggers would complete a survey like this, regardless of whether they were nominated for an award!

  1. Congrats on getting the Liebster Award! It’s great reading about the both of you through your answers, especially when it brings back memories of things like my favourite travel memories etc. 🙂

    1. I felt quite deceived! It was kind of my fault though. Fun fact: because there are so many homonyms in the Chinese language, I had mistakenly translated ‘frog legs’ to ‘sweet chicken,’ hence why I thought I was eating chicken. If only my Chinese were better, I would not have been fooled!

  2. Congratulations! I loved reading your answers. I totally agree about travel changing your mindset. It’s a great way to learn about how other people live and make friends all over the world!

    1. Completely agree, Cliodhna! That’s one reason I am such an advocate of solo travel – I’m found that I’m a lot less inclined to make new friends when I travel in a group than when I travel solo.

  3. Congratulations 🙂 It’s great to get to know you both better. A few of the answers made me smile 🙂 It is a good job that you didn’t wake up the person in your bunk Hope and the chicken flavoured frogs legs Diana!
    I also think it is fab that Trolltunga encouraged you to write the blog 🙂

  4. Congrats on the nomination, girls! I remember my first Liebster award. I was soooo happy haha. It felt amazing to be recognized 🙂 I also loved reading your responses because I relate to them so much. Especially Hope’s embarrassing travel memory. I did the exact same thing, except my ticket was for the day BEFORE. It was in Norway, and some guy was in my seat. We kinda argued, compared tickets, then I awkwardly sat across from him assuming it was a booking error. Then 15 min later he asked to see my ticket again and pointed out the date was yesterday… I was sweating bullets in that seat until the conductor came. Luckily he let me stay on! My friends were all in another car because we booked separately, so I was completely alone and terrified haha. Oh well, it was a good learning experience.

    1. I think we have all been there at some point, Christina! Glad it worked out for you. I’ve found that most train conductors I’ve encountered in Europe (and especially in Scandinavia) are a lot nicer than the ones I’m used to dealing with in the U.S. Always a nice surprise 🙂 Thanks for reading!

  5. Congrats on the award! Love your blog and your interview answers were interesting to read. While I love traveling by train, for me it depends a lot on the country. My preferred means is still my car. I love road trips, especially long ones to several countries 😀

  6. Congratulations on your award! That’s very cool. I enjoyed your answers – I haven’t had a booking error like that on a train. I’d be sweating hardcore. Even moreso, now that I have kids.

    Also, I’ve lived near Ohio State, so I got a kick out of you two in your Wolverine gear.

  7. Congrats on the nomination and well deserved! It’s great to see so many talented bloggers sharing their experiences. We are from Boston and work full-time, but constantly planning our next escape too 🙂

  8. Ahhh I cannot skate into the airport with moments to spare! I find it really stressful, hehe, but each to their own 🙂
    Congratulations on starting your blog though and the nomination! I think a lot of us are looking for ways to travel as much as possible while maintaining careers and lifestyles, good luck with yours!

    1. Thanks so much, Bell! Judging by my track record, I probably shouldn’t be as confident as I am about skating into the airport with moments to spare either! Hopefully missing flights is a thing of the past for me 🙂

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