Allie from Bohemian Nation is a blogger I’m obsessed with. Allie describes herself as a “free-spirit, California girl, and lover of pretty, creative projects” which is reflected perfectly in her blog. Her Instagram account is super inspiring- so make sure you check that out here.
Travelling K is a fellow travel blogger is doing a modified version of living the #vanlife like me- except she is doing it in a caravan in my own country, New Zealand.
Make sure you check out both of these ladies’ fabulous blogs!
So what is the Liebster award? It’s specifically for small bloggers still starting out – given to bloggers by other bloggers. Liebster award was created to introduce, recognise and help discover new bloggers and welcome them to the industry.
Below are some questions both ladies have asked me:
Tell us about your blog
Wayfaring Kiwi is a result of my two main passions merging together: writing and travel. I also love yoga, nature, minimalism, poetry and photography. I want my blog to reflect these interests. My blog has a variety of content- there is a section dedicated to my life living in a van in Canada; I try and post some inspirational stuff and also travel advice for people planning holidays or moving abroad.
Why did you start your travel blog and how long have you had it?
My blog is about one year old. I started my blog because first and foremost I want to inspire people to travel. My best memories and experiences have all been from traveling the world, and I want others to create their own memories and experiences too.
What country has surprised you most on your travels and why?
I was pleasantly surprised by Hawaii. When I worked as a travel agent I sold many holidays there so I thought I knew everything there was to know about it. I envisioned it to be very touristy and materialistic, but I was very wrong. Sure Honolulu was just like what you see on the postcards, but I felt a sense of freedom while I was in Hawaii that I’ve never experienced before.
I have a special place for it in my heart. Hawaii was the first place where I really got off the beaten track and pushed myself mentally and physically: I hiked the Stairway to Heaven, tried Hot Yoga for the first time, climbed a waterfall, and ran up Diamond Head. You can read my posts about Hawaii here.
For someone traveling to New Zealand for a week, where do they have to go?
The South Island. In my opinion it is far better than the North. I hold a special place in my heart for an underrated area in New Zealand: Selwyn. There are two magical spots I recommend visiting, and both of these places were the scene for some major Hollywood films. Washpen Falls is a short hike to a waterfall that is virtually in the middle of rural New Zealand.
It shows the real, raw side of my beautiful country. Castle Hill is another cool destination to explore before heading on to Arthurs Pass. It surprises me Selwyn isn’t more of a tourist destination. It is quite untouched by tourists- so get there soon if you can.
What advice would you give someone about to start a road trip or live in a van?
The advice I would give everyone is to try it for at least three months. There is an adjustment period; the first month kinda sucks, but then you get a routine going and van life is actually the best. It helps you to strip away the unnecessary things in your life; possessions, toxic relationships, too much time on social media…you’ll save a lot of money, and you can put that money towards fun experiences.
Invest in a gym membership too so you can use the bathroom and have a place to shower. Always go to the bathroom right before you go to sleep, so you’re not busting when you wake up in the morning. Baby wipes are the holy grail of van life.
What has been your least favourite place to travel and why?
This was hard to answer, so I decided to list the countries I’ve visited in order from favourite to least favourite: Scotland, Hawaii, Canada, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Germany, USA, Fiji, Ireland, France, Bali, Australia, Thailand…and I guess the loser is China.
I did love China, it was my first country I travelled to alone, so it does hold a special place in my heart, however the aspects I didn’t like about China were:
- It was incredibly dirty. One hostel I stayed in had mould from the floor to the ceiling. The fish markets smelled disgusting. I got the smog (aka the China flu)
- It was incredibly crowded
- Noone spoke English and there weren’t any signs with English translation, so I fumbled my way through everything
- People in Shanghai seemed obsessed with materialism (no wonder the Shanghanese are called the little capitalists)
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt while traveling?
We are all fed the same bullshit story from society since the day we land on the planet. Obviously if some sort of order isn’t maintained in society, there would be chaos, so in some aspects the ‘rules’ society demands that we live by are for good intentions, however; one set of rules doesn’t fit everyone.
Having a great career, a successful relationship, the perfect body, a big fancy house, perfect children, a certain amount of likes on social media- trying to attain all of that is virtually impossible and you’ll drive yourself to exhaustion/unhappiness if it all doesn’t pan out how you were hoping.
I know it’s clichéd as hell, but go travel, learn who you are, decide what you want, then settle down. Travel makes you more humble, less materialistic, kinder, more understanding; travel gives you basic survival skills and then some. You have to rely on yourself to get through shit, and as a result of that it makes you rely less on others and more on yourself. Travel gives you faith in humanity; it opens up your heart. You meet incredible, beautiful people that will show you have to laugh and how to love. Travel erases regret and gives you memories to carry with you forever. It is a cure for prejudice and hate.
I don’t think people really know what they want in life until they strip away everything that society has told them they should want, and really think about what is truly important to them. Often the only way to do this is to remove yourself from these influences (your home town, for example) and learn your way on your own.
What is your favorite form of self-care?
If I could pick one it would be writing. Writing helps me to de-stress, think things through, exercises my creative vein, and helps record my memories.
What was the best dining experience you’ve had this year?
I had the best filet mignon steak I have ever tasted (sorry New Zealand!) at Kettle Valley Steak House at Big White Ski Resort. It was expensive but totally worth it.
What is one piece of advice you’d give someone ten years younger than you?
Sell all your stuff and travel the world. If I could go back and tell my 18 year-old self this, I would. Oh and don’t waste your money on clothes, make-up, jewelry, and other knick-knacks. You will either get bored of this stuff, or you will lose most of if. Spend your money on hobbies or experiences instead, and buy that stuff when you want to settle down in one place.
What are three things on your 5-year “vision board”?
Live and travel around Scotland, own a really flash camera, and have a Scottish Fold cat. Preferably all three of these things will occur in Scotland.
Which bloggers do you follow?
Aside from the lovely ladies that nominated me for this award, I follow Lauren at Never Ending Footsteps and Liz at Young Adventuress. Both these ladies are solo female travelers and strong women I look up to.
What is your favourite social media platform and why?
Lately I’ve been loving Instagram. I have a passion for photography and love capturing beautiful moments, and then playing around with the editing tools.
What advice would you give to new bloggers?
Be as professional as possible. This means doing your research on how to run a professional blog. Google has ALL the answers. Google absolutely everything, even if it sounds stupid. Work hard on your branding and ensure all your posts have correct spelling and grammar.
Remember your blog shouldn’t be all about you- you need to identify your audience and their needs and interests. You are writing 90% for them, 10% for you. Buy a domain and use WordPress.org, learn SEO, use Pinterest and Facebook to increase your web traffic. Keep at it.
You need three things to start a successful blog: 1) You need to know your subject and be passionate about it; 2) There needs to be an interested audience who are dying to read about your subject, in other words, you need to find your niche; 3) You need to ignore your inner critic and just go for it.
The Next Award Winners are…
I have chosen 5 blogs who I feel are deserving of winning this award. This was decided based on their website design, content, and message
Questions For My Nominees To Answer
1. Tell us about your blog
2. What has been the most rewarding experience your blog has brought you?
3. What is the best piece of advice you can give your readers?
4. What is your favourite travel destination and why?
5. Where would you love to go to in the world?
6. If someone were visiting your city or town, what would you suggest they do?
7. What makes you deliriously happy?
8. What is your guilty pleasure?
9. What is a difficult obstacle you have had to overcome?
10. What are you most grateful for in your life?
Congratulations on being nominated for the Liebster Award and I look forward to reading your answers!
It’s Your Turn…
Do you have any questions for me? I would love to answer them. Comment below!