This is my first ever nomination and as you can probably guess it’s a HUGE deal for me! I spend a considerable amount of time reading blogs, and getting inspired by the amazingly creative spin that fellow writers manage to put on their outlook of the world, so to earn any kind of recognition for my contribution to this community makes me incredibly happy.
Massive thank you to Cindy’s Travel Diaries for nominating me. I’ve actually been a bit slow to follow up due to my posting schedule, but I wanted to take the time and give this post my undivided attention!
The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to inspiring bloggers by fellow bloggers who appreciate their creativity.
It’s also a way to engage in further conversation and find out a bit more about each other, so here are my answers to the questions from my nomination:
1. First, can you tell me a little bit about yourself?
Okay, let’s see… I live and work in London, and in my free time I explore the city or travel all over Europe. I think my love for travel defines me most of all, but I also enjoy getting utterly lost in the pages of a good book, taking pictures, painting landscapes, and connecting with wild nature through walks and treks. Music is also a big part of my life, but I’m not a professional musician – it’s just something I’m slowly learning more about.
2. When did you start blogging and why ?
I started this blog in August 2014, so it is now exactly three years old! As to the ‘why’, I think that’s a pretty standard answer, but it’s the truth – I wanted to have a way of reliving all the precious moments from my travels. Also, I enjoy sharing my experiences with others. Incidentally, my friends have told me they really liked how I acted as their guide around different cities when we travelled together, so I’d like to think it’s a win-win situation!
3. How did you choose the name of your blog?
I have a deep fascination with the English language and when I’m reading books or articles and I come across a word or expression that I like, I save it in a list that I later revisit and try to incorporate into my dictionary. The term ‘bellwether’ was one such word that I found interesting, and when I started turning it over in my mind, I realised it fit the concept of my travel & lifestyle site quite well. I added the ‘e’ as a nod to the female travel aspect of it, as the word ‘elle’ means ‘she’ in the other language I love, namely French 😉
4. What do you like the most in the blogging community?
I’m not sure which I like more – when I share my experience and someone comments that they’ve been inspired by my recollection, and that my tips will help them on their upcoming trip; or when someone has been to the same place as the one I’m describing and we immediately connect over the excitement of having shared that moment independently of each other. Both are incredibly moving for me and play a big part in motivating me to write.
5. What would be your advice for new bloggers?
Do what you enjoy! Don’t take it too seriously, or you may get frustrated if you don’t achieve stellar success overnight. Get inspired by others, but stay true to your own writing style and tone of voice. There are millions of people out there posting content on the internet every day, but your unique, genuine perspective is what can make you shine!
6. What goals do you have for your blog?
I’d love for my blog to grow into a destination for travel inspiration, with a big loyal community who all share tips as well as just fun travel stories with others. I am a massive proponent of positivity and optimism as the two main driving forces for human behaviour, so having this travel site as a hub for people who believe in the same attitude to life would really be incredibly fulfilling. I’d like to get to a point where I can organise huge meet-ups and give away travel experiences to fellow adventurers so that everyone in the community can enjoy all the amazing places our world has to offer!
7. What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you while travelling?
There have been many hilarious and even downright ridiculous moments throughout my travels, but one that stands out was when my best friend and I spontaneously decided to board a ferry to Saint Anastasia island in the Black Sea. We had left all our stuff at the beach and had just padded down barefoot to the pier to check the prices for the ferry with the intention of getting one later. However, once we got there we realised that the last ferry was about to depart in a couple of minutes. We just looked at each other without saying anything, and joined the queue by the ferry. We sneaked into the midst of a group of pensioners and boarded without a ticket – I don’t know why, but nobody even checked us two! We then arrived on the island (still barefoot) and basically had to hop around the scorching ground and get all the dirty looks from the pensioners. We even got a free tour and had some excellent fresh mussels with white wine in the island restaurant to then get back on the ferry where all the elderly ladies (who had also apparently enjoyed a bit of the wine) started singing and teaching us old songs about young love. I can’t tell you how much we laughed that day!
8. What’s your next destination?
I can barely contain my excitement – I’m going to the USA in a couple of weeks, doing a big trip around the East Coast! I’ll keep the details of the specific destinations a secret just a little longer – I don’t want to spoil the surprise 🙂
9. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve eaten during your travels?
During my trip to Costa Rica we went on a trek around the cloud forests of Monteverde. Our guide was teaching us about survival in the jungle, so he let us try an edible orchid. It’s not anything gross or even that strange, but I just didn’t expect to ever have to eat an orchid! It was a bit of a Bear Grylls moment, so it was a pretty neat experience for me.
10. What do you miss most about home when you’re travelling?
My library. I love art in all shapes and forms, and books are particularly dear to my heart. I can spend hours just reading stories or looking through books about travel and culture, like Nat Geo’s Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Greatest Trips or Taschen’s Living in Japan.
11. If you could live abroad, where would it be ?
I’ve had more than a few love affairs with different cities I’ve visited over the years. Some have been exciting and ephemeral (like Stockholm and Barcelona), some have evolved over a number of repeat visits (Paris), and others have grown on me over the course of years (my current home, London). But no other place has managed to capture my heart at first sight, and then keep it as long as San Francisco has. I truly believe that if there is such a thing as a soul home, then this is mine. I am usually a woman of many words, but I couldn’t explain why I feel that way if my life depended on it. It’s just a beautiful, creative, soulful, emotional, incredible place for me, and my short visit there was full of enough wonder to last me a lifetime. Of course, at the same time I could never get enough of this feeling, so I’d love to live there one day and enjoy it for longer!
So here are my new questions for the nominees:
- How long have you been blogging, and what’s one valuable lesson you’ve learned?
- What is one thing you love about blogging, and one thing you find hard or dislike?
- Has there been a destination that you were excited about which disappointed you?
- If someone made a film about your favourite travel experience, what song(s) would be the on the soundtrack?
- How do you get inspired when choosing your next destinations?
- Tell me about an interesting person you met while travelling.
- If you could pick one destination to visit every year for free, which would it be?
- What skill or talent would you like to master in relation to your blog?
- What is your absolute favourite meal or food you’ve had while travelling?
- If you could only take 5 things on your next adventure, what would they be?
- Share your most favourite picture you’ve ever captured and explain why it’s your favourite!
My nominations go to…
- Through the Iris
- Curious Pavel
- Little Miss Traveller
- Adventuress on the Run
- The Learning Curve
- Travel Often Adventure Always
- Audrey Writes Abroad
- Compass and Camera
And the rules…
If you have been nominated, please follow the steps below:
- Write a post thanking the blogger who nominated you and linking back to their blog and displaying the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post
- In your post, answer the 11 new questions for nominees
- Nominate 11 other blogs in turn and don’t forget to give them your own questions
- Let your nominees know they’ve been nominated via a comment or message
Thanks for reading,