Last Updated on November 3, 2018 by Soumya
On Tuesday morning, I woke up to the most amazing news in my short blogging stint. A Liebster Award Nomination! I am delighted not only because it is my first formal recognition in the blogging world but also because it comes from this wonderful blogging community that I have been part of.
Awards are always special. And when someone you adore nominates you for one, it becomes extra special! I deeply thank Couple Travel Tales for nominating Stories by Soumya for the Liebster Award 2018.
About Couple Travel Tales
Achu and Unni from Couple Travel Tales are history and culture buffs just like me. When I engaged with them for the first time, I was immediately drawn towards their love for culture. We had so much in common. Our love for cultural experiences made us the perfect blogging companions. Couple Travel Tales has been doing some amazing work with travelers from around the world in their Travel Interview Series. And my personal favorite from their site is the post on Unexplored Beng Mealea. Yeah! You guessed it right! It is an old ruin in Cambodia. Do not forget to check them out.
A Quick Overview of The Liebster Award
The Liebster Award is all about discovering and supporting new bloggers. It is a peer-to-peer award where bloggers recognize and acknowledge the good work of fresh, new bloggers in the field. In the vast world of www where a blog could disappear among a million others, the Liebster Award makes sure it brings talent to the forefront.
Rules of the award
- Announce your nomination and recognize the blogger who nominated you.
- List the rules with a link to The Official Rules of the Liebster Award 2018
- Answer the 10 questions that were asked of you.
- Nominate 5 – 10 other bloggers for The Liebster Award 2018.
- Create 10 unique and interesting questions and share them with your nominees.
- Display the Liebster Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
Questions from Couple Travel Tales and My Answers to them
1. What prompted you to start blogging?
I have always loved writing. And traveling is an all-time passion. The best way to bring both of them together was through writing about my travels. And what better to do it than starting your own travel blog.
The more I traveled, the more I realized that the world could offer so much to everyone out there. The world is full of wonders: countries, history, nature, cuisines, people! Through my blog, I wish to bring to my readers to all of this and much more.
2. What inspires you to continue blogging?
Blogging needs a lot of patience and I am only starting to take my baby steps. Needless to say, it gets frustrating many-a-time. But I believe that quality content will find its way up the value chain. And that is what keeps me going. Also, I have been part of this amazing blogging community after I started my own blog. I have found unprecedented support from my friends in the community. That is also something that drives me to blog more.
3. What is the story behind your blog name?
I don’t know why but I usually have a number of interesting anecdotes to narrate from my travels and tonnes of amusing experiences to talk about from my daily life. I like to weave stories in my head, usually with a dash of humor. And this is how the mundane becomes not-so-mundane for me. When I started my blog, I wanted to put these stories together on an online platform and bring them to my audience. That is why I called it Stories by Soumya.
As time passed I realized that I could offer so much more. My experiences, my itineraries, my discoveries, and even those special moments when my heart did a somersault at the smile of a Burmese kid. That is when I realized my passion for travel blogging. And I decided to convert my blog into a travel haven for prospective travelers.
4. What do you blog about?
I blog mostly about my travels: the places I visit, the people I encounter, and the food I eat. In my blog, you will find highlights of my itineraries, best cultural experiences, and a number of interesting adventures that I have had during my travels or simply when I am living somewhere. I also love to take pictures and showcase the true beauty of a place through them.
5. Do you have any long-term goals for your blog?
Yes, I do. I am a big history buff and culture addict. So, I want to take my blog that way and grow it more in the cultural niche of traveling. I have already started doing that in bits and pieces. Will get there soon. Fingers crossed!
6. What’s your favorite hobby other than blogging?
When I am not traveling or writing (which is quite rare actually), I am probably sitting down with a book in some snug corner of my house. This is, of course, when my 5-year-old is not driving me crazy with his questions. Lately, I have picked up a very creative hobby – paper quilling. I love working with paper as a medium of art. Below you can see a sample of my work. I would love to do more of it if I had more time!
7. Could you mention one simple way to reduce the use of plastic in our everyday life?
I am a conscious citizen of the world and try my best to recycle and reuse. The easiest and most convenient way to do so is by using reusable bags when you are buying groceries and vegetables. And this works only when you imbibe it into your system and educate others about it. The best way to spread the word about reusing and recycling is by conveying how reusable bags are better and how they have added positively to your life.
8. How does blogging make you feel?
I am usually a happy person and I like to live in the present. I do not have regrets in my life. And I owe a great deal of my positive attitude to traveling and blogging. Blogging has let me be myself and express what I feel about a lot of things in the world. My blog is a medium through which I talk to a lot of people and understand what they want. That makes me happy.
9. What are your top 3 travel destinations?
I want to visit everywhere in this world. But because I am a history buff and a culture lover, these 3 places are among the top ones on my bucket list.
- Machu Picchu in Peru – Ancient Inca ruins which have always beckoned to me.
- Pompeii in Italy – I have been to Pompeii already but I can see myself going there again and again just to feel being a part of Pompeii and the life of thousands of years ago.
- Mohenjo Daro & Harappa in Pakistan – The Indus Valley Civilization was one of the oldest civilizations of the world and yet it was one with a modern sanitation system, proper division of labor, and great economic prosperity. I am not sure if I will ever get to see these places but I surely dream about them.
And now you know what a relentless ruin-lover I am!
10. What’s your favorite topic to blog on?
My favorite topic or topics rather are history and culture. When I travel to a place, I make sure I pick up everything historical and cultural there. And the posts that I write on these topics are my favorites.
My Nominees for Liebster Award 2018
I nominate the following bloggers that I absolutely love reading.
Aux 1 Traveler: A corporate employee, Jonathan created his blog to chronicle his travels and experiences in the Philippines. He aims to make his blog an extensive knowledge source about the 81 provinces of Philippines: hidden gems and local favorites. He also wishes to inspire responsible tourism through this effort.
It’s All Trip To Me: Maria and Katerina are wanderlusters on a journey to discover the world. Apart from their mutual love for traveling, they share another common interest – learning new languages. The duo speaks Greek, French, Italian, Spanish, and English. And now they are learning Arabic. Through their blog, they inspire people with regular jobs to explore the world, one trip at a time.
Traxplorers: The Traxplorers are both travelers and explorers who are on a mission to inspire parents to travel with their kids. They believe that traveling with kids helps the kids to discover the world through their own first-hand experiences. It helps them to understand the world better.
Live To Travel: Saniya lives in India and loves to travel the world. She plans all her trips by herself and is quite active on various travel platforms such as Tripadvisor and Quora. Through her blog, she aims to help other travelers, relive her memories, share her experiences, and shine the light on all places for other travel freaks.
Returntiket: Vignesh and Sagaree live in Singapore and hop off to a new place at every possible opportunity. The two developed intense itchy feet after their first trip together. Returntiket is their riveting travel and photo journal where they share their journeys and experiences.
Jake Orpheus: A traveler at heart, Jake loves to meet people from across the world and learn about their culture and traditions. He also likes trying out new cuisines and exploring different architectural styles. He loves sailing and is a big fan of music.
Questions for My Nominees
- What is that one word that defines traveling for you? And why?
- Is there any place in the world that you think could be an alternate home for you?
- What is your best travel memory?
- Do you like going back or going fresh i.e. do you prefer to visit someplace you have already visited or somewhere you have never been?
- Do you like to think & pack or pack & think?
- Have you ever had an interesting experience with locals during your travels? If yes, what was it?
- If you had to go on a year-long trip and could take one of your favorite things, which one would that be?
- What is your favorite cuisine?
- What is the first thing you notice when you land in a new country/place?
- How do you choose your travel destination? By attractions/adventure/food/budget/anything else?
I look forward to reading your answers. You absolutely deserve this award. And once again, thanks Couple Travel Tales for nominating me.