We’ve just been nominated by Repeat Traveller for the Liebster Award and we are super excited as it is our first nomination ever!
The Liebster Award – What’s that?
We’ve heard of this award before as some of the travellers we follow have tweeted out their excitement at being nominated but we always assumed we were too new to travel blogging to be nominated just yet. We think it’s a great award as it’s decided by other bloggers and therefore a great way to connect, find out more about who you already follow as well as discovering new blogs. There seems to be a number of rule sets so we opted to match those used by Repeat Traveller as outlined below:
- The person who has nominated you will have answered 11 questions which is great as you get to know more about them (these will have been posed by whoever nominated them!)
- They will then have chosen five new bloggers (that’s where we got nominated!) allowing you to discover new blogs and travellers you might be interested in.
- Finally they send out 11 questions for those they have nominated to answer.
What kind of traveller are you? Laid back, stressed, well organised etc.
Claire: I would love to be the laid back kind but I find that prior to a trip I often feel quite apprehensive and verging on slightly stressed. Once on the trip this often fades away and I get to be the relaxed traveller I want to be. Am I well organised? Yes, I like to have a plan even if I choose not to stick to it!
Anthony: Depends on who’s asking – if you ask Claire, she’d say I’m so laid back, I’m horizontal! In reality, I’m not typically the most organised but always get it sorted in the end (probably the cause of Claire’s pre-departure stress and my slowly increasing number of grey hairs!).
Which destination has surprised you the most and why?
Claire: Laos. I went as part of a larger trip to SE Asia and never really gave it much thought prior to arrival. I saw it as just a few days between the countries I wanted to see. However, it turned out to be one of the highlights of the trip due to its relaxed atmosphere, friendly people, delicious food and range of places to visit.
Anthony: For me it would be the Gili Islands in Indonesia. When we first looked at going and I heard that we’d have to wade ashore, I expected to find a tropical backwater where nothing really works and you have a choice of a single meal each day. Reality couldn’t be further from this initial idea – from the wide range of bars, restaurants and activities (all with free WiFi to use that was faster than I had in the UK) to the food selection to suit even a Western palette. It’s now no surprise that this is a haven for travellers and digital nomads alike and I could easily have whiled away a couple of months in this tropical paradise.
Where was the first place you travelled solo?
Claire: I went on a trip to explore the western 10 states of the USA with Trek America and I can honestly say it was the best month of my life ever. From this point I got the travel bug so bad and have never looked back.
Anthony: I managed to arrange a school trip to Venezuela for 31 days back in 2010 with World Challenge where we carried out treks, went white water rafting and helped build a toilet in an isolated jungle village community. I remember standing and looking up at Angel Falls and realising that there is such an enormous world of wonders out there, I should go and see them!
What’s your favourite travel magazine?
Claire: Honestly I don’t have a favourite travel magazine. I find them quite expensive to purchase in the UK on a regular basis so much of the travel news I read comes from a variety of websites and blogs.
Anthony: Same as Claire.
How did you come up with your blog name?
Claire: When Anthony and I started brainstorming names, we wanted the blog to encompass everything that meant anything to us. The two most important things in the world to us were to love each other as well as life and to live life to its fullest. Hence, “ToLoveToLive” was formed.
Anthony: I agree wholeheartedly – our name is our view on life.
Where is the one place you are desperate to travel to?
Claire: I wouldn’t say I am desperate to travel to any one place unless I can answer this with “everywhere!” Seriously though, there are so many places currently on the ‘list’ that it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. I guess if I had to say then it would be Egypt – one of the reasons is because at the moment I can’t do the trip I want due to safety concerns and when someone tells me I can’t do something it only makes me want to do it all the more!
Anthony: Trying to avoid “everywhere” in answer to this! It’s almost impossible to narrow it down to any one place as I have reasons in mind to visit pretty much every country I can name. If I had to nail down one place, I’d say it would be Australia – it’s so far from home and yet has such strong links (I’ve got family who have lived there) and there’s just something magical that draws me in. Honestly though, there’s no where I wouldn’t go to if given the chance.
Where’s the first place you’ll usually go when exploring a new city?
Claire: In a European city it is often a tourist information bureau to either get a free map (I love walking round a city); book pre-chosen tours/tickets or see what discounted offers I kind find. However, when travelling round China this is often not so simple (unless you head to the nearest youth hostel which will provide a similar service often in English). When outside Europe, I usually just walk and see what I can find as it can take a while to orient yourself.
Anthony: As Claire and I are generally joined at the hip, the tourist information bureau is my European starting point too. We do often find a wander around helps us get our bearings – that and a good metro system (which we both love to use) to help us map out where everything fits.
Pick one song you could listen to for the rest of your life.
Claire: “Down in the Valley” by the Head and the Heart. I was first introduced to it whilst on my Trek America trip and it always reminds me of being on the road and travelling with not a care in the world.
Anthony: My music taste is sadly less developed than Claire’s. If asked to choose one, it would probably be “Paradise” by Coldplay. It’s simple to remember the tune and words and the video always reminds me of escaping the 9-5 and being free to explore the world.
What’s your favourite quote and why?
Claire: “You don’t choose a life, you live one.” I first heard this when watching the film: “The Way” which is about walking the Camino de Santiago. Both this quote and the idea of walking the Camino struck a chord with me that I have never been able to shake. I hope to complete this walk after my RTW trip (need to get some training in first) and I hope our blog inspires more people to live their life.
Anthony: When asked this, I immediately think about the starfish story, of someone throwing starfish that had washed onto the shore back into the water to stop them from dying. A passerby asks them why they are bothering, given that the shore is covered in star fish as far as the eye can see and they can’t possibly make a difference. The reply is my inspiration – throwing another starfish back into the water, they reply “It made a difference for that one”. It always reminds me that, no matter how small my own contribution, I can make a difference to others if I only try. It’s what inspired me to become a teacher and the reason why, for me, volunteering features so prominently in our forthcoming RTW trip.
What do you enjoy most about blogging?
Claire: The thought that I might be inspiring others to travel – especially couples like us who are taking a career break. It was a really big step to give up everything we had, to sell all our belongings and to explain to everyone who kept telling us that it was time to settle down that we were leaving. However, it is the best decision we ever made and one of the influences that helped us was reading about others who were doing it, were enjoying it and have never looked back. I hope we can be that inspiration for another couple out there about to take that leap.
Anthony: The opportunity to share our experiences with others, warts and all! To travel long-term or far from home means taking a risk and one that for too long I wasn’t able to take on my own. I really enjoy receiving emails, tweets or comments from people we’ve never met but helped them to make that leap and plan their own adventures or given them a needed confidence boost to believe they’ve made the right choice in taking that leap already. It’s why I keep on going, even when it can get a bit manic.
Are you a night owl or an early bird?
Claire: Definitely a night owl. I cannot get up easily in the morning – this makes early flights a challenge for Anthony who has to deal with a part-zombie, part-coma patient.
Anthony: In my younger years I was an early bird but frankly can’t say that anymore. I’m much more likely to be found active late at night now. That said, I can do the early bird routine when needed – an important skill as Claire’s coma-like state means we’d never be able to reach an early start otherwise!
We’ve decided to nominate the following blogs for this award as we love reading their posts and dropping in with them from time to time to see how they are getting on. We look forward to reading their answers to the questions below and learning more about them.
- What gave you the push to travel for the first time?
- Describe your blog in three words.
- Name a film, book or both that has inspired the traveller in you.
- If you could re-create any of the great pioneering adventures, which one would it be and why?
- If money were no object where is the first place you would travel to and why?
- What is the one piece of travel tech you just can’t do without?
- What have you learnt about yourself since you’ve been travelling?
- What is the most unusual transport method you’ve used on your travels?
- Thinking back to your schooling, which subject best prepared you for travel? How did it prepare you?
- What has been your most memorable animal encounter on your travels?
- Which travel destination best reflects your outlook as a traveller?