A Southern Traveler Got a Liebster Award!

I feel like I should be giving a speech in front of a huge auditorium, wearing some sort of sparkly designer gown, and start a long winded speech about thanking my husband, my parents and my fans for all their support. The reality is that’s not what I’m actually going to be doing. My first step is to write a post stating that I accept, so here goes: “I officially accept my nomination for the Liebster Award!

The Liebster Award is an online award given to bloggers, by other bloggers, that help spread the love that we all so desperately desire. The aim is to create a supportive online community where new and up & coming bloggers can gain some exposure and be recognized by others and is a nice way of valuing their work. The word “Liebster” actually derives from the German language and means “dearest” or “sweetest.”

colmancA big thanks goes out to…

Jennifer and Ed Coleman with Coleman Concierge. Their blog focuses on fun and adventurous travel with practical tips that will inspire you. They have written about many North American destinations, as well as a ton of adventures including water sports, biking, and culinary delights. Please make sure to follow Jennifer and Ed and check out their social media pages!

What is the Liebster Award?liebster award 2016

The rules of the Liebster Award state that you should thank and recognize the nominator, explain the rules of the award, write a post where you answer the 11 questions given, nominate new bloggers and ask them 11 questions of your own. Make sure that everyone involved is properly informed about it.

Thank you, Jennifer and Ed for nomating A Southern Traveler. Here are the answers to your questions:

1. What was the inspiration for your blog?

The inspiration for my blog came from watching An Idiot Abroad, believe it or not. I was watching it thinking, although it isn’t entirely reality, it was interesting to get a different perspective on travel. It made me think about when we went to Italy and waited in line for hours to get into St. Peter’s Basilica. Believe me; it was worth it, but it’s was the reality of long lines vs. what I see in pictures. Also, I always gave my friends advice when traveling and I wanted to inspire others, as well as give an honest opinion of the places we have been.

2. What is the greatest piece of advice you have been given about blogging?

The greatest piece of advice is to join Facebook groups. These groups can help you with questions that you have. You can meet people from all over the world who share your interest and get an unbelievable amount of support.

3. What is a favorite, unique travel experience? Did you plan it, or did it just happen?

My favorite travel experience was going to France, Italy, and the Netherlands over a three-week time span. I never thought I would be able to take a vacation that was that long or be able to go to three countries in one trip. I work full-time, so for me, it was a unique experience.

We did plan this trip; I can’t think of a time that I didn’t plan out my travel. I’m spontaneous once I get to the destination, but I always do tons of research beforehand.

Ps. I’m backlogged on writing about these places. I will have lots of post about them soon!

4. What has been your most hilarious/comedic travel experience?

My hilarious experience wasn’t that funny at the time, but looking back on it I laugh about it. I was snorkeling in Maui, and we had gotten pretty far out into the ocean. My friend, who lives in Maui, had taken me to an area where there were lots of turtles. So, while enjoying the turtles we weren’t paying much attention to how far we were from the beach.

All of a sudden I saw this HUGE thing coming towards us. It was massive. Probably the size of a truck or bigger. It swam right below us in a circle and then left. All I could see is the wing span of the animal. I knew for sure it was a ray of some type, but I panicked. All I could think of was Steve Irwin. It was the largest thing I had ever seen while swimming in the ocean. I will never forget trying to swim so back to the beach so fast my swim fins could barely stay on. The ray came back around a second time to check us out.

We asked a few locals after the encounter what exactly the animal was. We found out the ray we encountered was harmless. Looking back, I wish I would have just taken in the experience rather than panicking.

5. Which activity/place is number one on your bucket list?

My husband and I have a list going and Peru is one of the places on the top of the list. We want to experience the culture and the ancient ruins in Peru. This also goes back to the show An Idiot Abroad – it was the one place that wowed Karl Pilkington, so it has to be impressive.

6. What are few of your travel tips to save money?

My first tip is to keep your dates open and travel in the off-season. It’s the best way to get cheap flights as well as hotel stay. Also, you will avoid the big tourist crowds. For instance, in Costa Rica, the rainy season is a great time to visit. You might have a few showers during the afternoon, but the amount of money you save and the lesser crowds makes it worth going that time of year!

My second tip is for longer stays we always research Airbnb’s or other rentals rather than hotels. Many times they are cheaper, you get a lot more room, and you save money by eating breakfast and other meals at the rental. Also, I like the convenience of having a washer and dryer. My tips for washer and dryers abroad – bring a translation book with you. When we were in Italy I had no idea what the buttons said. I just had to guess.

My third tip is to read blogs. Find out what their experience is in the location you are going. Many times I have saved money from reading others experiences on what to buy, where to go, and how to get there!

7. What is your favorite inspirational quote/quotes?

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert. I love this quote because it’s true. You can read about places in the world and poverty in the world, but you never really understand until you come face to face with it. Travel makes you realize just how many people are in the world. And how many wonderful people there are.

8. How much of your time is spent on writing new posts, versus promotion on social media?

A lot more time than I thought when I started this blog. It’s one of the reasons I don’t have comments directly on the blog. I spend about 6 hours or more writing posts for the week. That includes the graphics and pictures for the post along with any research. I spend about 1-2 hours every day on social media. That includes Facebook groups, postings throughout the week, and responding to messages. There are days when I spend more or less time.

9. What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

The scariest thing I have done wasn’t that scary, but I cliff dove in Maui. I was scared out of my mind. But after seeing about five people do it, I figured why not. They came out alive, so I should too.

10. Tell us something we don’t know about you.

You probably don’t know that I’m a very picky eater. You won’t see many posts from me on weird delicacies that I try because it’s the one thing I just don’t do. I will try new things, but unlike my husband, I won’t be eating fish eyeballs anytime soon!

11. What do you think of our blog and do you have any suggestions for improvement?

Coleman Concierge is awesome and I think that it’s easy to find what you are looking for. I enjoyed reading about your adventures around North America. I especially like that you guys are so down to earth and like many other travelers (not nomads). Your posts on Colorado got me very excited because I love, love, love Colorado! We have been to Durango as well and it’s such a beautiful city. Your pictures are bright, colorful and beautiful. Suggestions would be just to keep at it! As we both know, blogging takes dedication and lots of support.

We hope that you enjoyed the questions and answers. We want to say thank you again to Coleman Concierge for the Liebster Award.

I’m so excited to get to share the love back to all of you wonderful new bloggers! Be sure to check out their websites for some incredible tips, advice, stories, and photos from around the world.

My nominees for the Liebster Award, in no particular order, are:
Happy Coconuts Travel Blog
Stimulation From A Broad

My Questions for you are:

1. How did you decide on the title of your blog?
2. During your travels, which country has surprised you in a positive way and why?
3. How do you handle situations when travel itineraries don’t go as planned?
4. Do you over or under pack for trips?
5. What is your number one necessary travel item and why?
6. What is the most memorable thing you have experienced in your travels?
7. What’s your next travel destination?
8. If you could go back to when you first started your blog and tell yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
9. Do you always travel to new places or are there places where you keep going back to again and again? If so, why?
10. Where would you like to go that you have not yet explored?
11. How did traveling change your life?