Since we are moving to Europe in LESS than 2 months (insert ‘OMG I can’t believe this is really happening’ happy dance here!), our life’s been pretty hectic…to say the least. Between the packing, selling, saving, visas, etc, the to-dos just keep on coming. AND amongst all of this chaos, we also have a blog that we are trying to grow and develop. So, you can only imagine how we felt one Tuesday morning, when we woke up to find that My Thousand Worlds had nominated Surviving Europe for the Liebster award. What a great honor and a true highlight in our life as bloggers to date. Many thanks to My Thousand Worlds for keeping us inspired and working towards our dream!
What is the Liebster Award?
The Liebster Award is an award given by bloggers to fellow bloggers. To those who are just making it big in the blogging world. It is a way to acknowledge those that inspire you, to encourage and make connections with others working towards the same goal. Liebster is actually a German word that means – sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. Which perfectly explains this premise of this award.
Now, since we’re nominated for the Liebster award, we need to do the following:
1. Answer 11 questions from My Thousand Worlds (who nominated us).
2. Provide 11 totally random yet awesome facts about ourselves.
3. Nominate 5 other new bloggers and ask them another set of 11 questions of our choice!
My Thousand Worlds’ set of questions for US to answer:
1. How, when and where did you get the idea of starting a blog?
As a couple, we’ve always had a taste of travel and discovery. Even if it meant just exploring our own backyard or getting lost in a new town, we’ve always felt the most like ourselves when we’re adventuring side by side. In October of 2014, we got married (the best day EVER!). We knew that after that, we would work as hard as we possibly could to turn our passion for the world into a way of life. Thus, Surviving Europe was born!
On July 16th, we will pick up and move to Austria, traveling nonstop around Europe and seeing all that we can along the way. Right now, our blog focuses on the crazy process of moving abroad – everything from the emotional roller coaster to visas and equipment. When we’re abroad, it will be a blog and YouTube channel of our journey discovering the magic that is Europe. We want to show others like us, that you can follow your dreams and achieve the impossible. We created Surviving Europe simply to inspire.
2. Is there anything you wish you had known when starting your blog?
I think a lot of times; people don’t realize how difficult starting a blog actually is. And today’s world of social media definitely helps, but it creates A LOT of additional tasks to your every day. Making sure you identify with your followers on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+ (and the list goes on…) can be challenging. I wish I had known which social media platforms were the most effective. After a few months blogging, we’ve definitely learned, but I do wish I had known strategies for all forms of social media ahead of time. It took a while to get my head around it all, and I am STILL learning!
3. What is your favorite travel moment? (If you have a pic, share it!)
My favorite travel moment was after I spent my first month studying abroad in Merida, Mexico. I was a freshman in college, and had only traveled with family for a few weeks at a time before this trip. After the month was coming to an end, my mother visited me in Mexico for the weekend. As I was showing her around, I remember the exact feeling that I felt in that exact moment. It was like a lightbulb went off in my head. I was fully immersed another culture. I could speak the language, I could navigate the public transportation, I could relate to the people. At this exact moment, I realized travel was my passion. Not just seeing sights and taking a week here and a week there, but spending enough time in one place that I absorb the culture around me. From that moment on, I knew that I NEEDED to find a way to work that into my future.
4. How do you plan your travels? Are you spontaneous or do you have your itinerary full for the upcoming year?
I would say we’re a little bit of both. We like a general plan, but we also like to be spontaneous. If you plan too much, you miss out on everything in between the museums and historical sights. The people are what really inspire us, and you can’t plan for those interactions.
5. What do you spend most on when traveling?
Food and authentic jewelry. Food gives you a true taste of culture. Going out to dinner or dining at a local family’s home is so intimate. It’s a true peak into their culture and way of life. Jewelry is my passion. I LOVE unique indigenous jewelry. Most of the time, it’s the less expensive pieces that I find at local markets, the good handmade stuff. Twisted metals, unique gems…I love it all!
6. What is your oldest travel memory?
My oldest true travel memory was when my family made a trip to Ireland. I was only 12, but the trip was a definite eye-opener. I just remember how green and beautiful the entire country was, how friendly the people were and the sheer happiness that I felt being there. I look forward to returning there now in my adult life when I can truly appreciate and take in every moment.
NATURE. 100%. But we do love a exploring a small village from time to time.
8. Plane or hitchhike?
As of now, I would say plane. Only because, in the USA, near the cities where we are from, you would never feel completely safe hitchhiking. I am excited to experience the beauty of hitchhiking in another country, especially with my husband. BUT I would say train over all of the above!
9. What is your number one destination you have not visited yet?
Spain. The culture and the beauty of Spain fascinates me, and I have NEVER been! I cannot wait to experience this incredible country soon.
10. What is your bad habit you would like to get rid of?
Not working out! I think this is a very important habit to change, especially when we are abroad. Since we plan to do a LOT of hiking and of course walking, I hope to become more active and take care of my body physically. After all, you only get one!
11. When you do not travel, what is your favorite activity/pastime?
Crafting and making jewelry! For me, these are by far the most rewarding activities. When I create something truly beautiful that came from my own imagination, it is indescribable how good it makes me feel. Now, I am no painter and I am not good at drawing, but arts and crafts, using off-beat materials to create decorations for the home or turning an antique pendant into the most beautiful necklace. I LOVE every bit of the process!
11 Totally Random and Awesome Facts about Erin & Erin:
1. We are a newly married Mr & Mrs …with the same exact first and NOW last name…keeps life exciting!
2. We cook dinner to 40s music.
3. Before travel, all of our money used to go towards concerts and festivals – we love music!
4. Lancaster, PA is one of our favorite weekend getaways (Yes, that’s where the Amish live!)
5. The 2nd floor of our apartment has turned into a Star Wars room (Man Erin LOVES Star Wars and all things nerdy)
6. I make jewelry in my spare time – one of my favorite past times!
7. The after-party for our wedding was a forest rave until 3am (literally!)
8. Fall is our favorite season. There is nothing like its vibrant colors.
9. Sometimes we just get into a car with no destination & get lost for days at a time to unwind.
10. When we decide to settle down and start a family, we want at least 15 acres of land all to ourselves! Our own oasis, if you will.
11. Sunsets remind us that nature is magic. We’re never too busy to stop, and take a second to enjoy.
Surviving Europe’s Nominations:
1. Kristin & Shadi, Vacation Couple
2. Justine & Nick, Talk Travel to Me
3. Skeeter & Liz, Happy Travelers
4. Jenny & Tom, Till the Money Runs Out
5. Kasey, Helplessly Wanderlust
And the questions for OUR nominees:
1. What inspired you to pursue a life of travel & adventure?
2. How do you create a work-life balance in your lives as travel bloggers?
3. If money was no object, where would you go and how long would you stay there?
4. Where is your “happy place”? Tropical beach? Snow-capped mountains? Bustling city?
5. When you’re in a travel “rut” and feeling homesick, what do you do to snap out of it?
6. Tell us about the best trip you’ve ever taken!
7. Are you an adventurous eater when you’re traveling? What is the craziest thing you’ve ever tried?
8. What is the #1 thing you want to check off the bucket list?
9. Was there someone you met during your travels that really inspired you? Tell us all about him/her!
10. Where is the weirdest place you’ve ever slept?
11. Is there anything you’ve learned so far in your blogging experience that you want to pass on to those just starting?
Can’t wait to hear your answers and learn more about the blogs that have continued to inspire us aka YOU!