Liebster Award & Versatile Blogger Award

I’ve recently had the fortune and stroke of luck to have been nominated for 2 blogging awards: Liebster (twice!!) and Versatile Blogger. (YAY!)


I’ve heard about Liebster Awards for a while and now, thanks to the lovely Ayla of Mrs Ayla’s Adventures AND Hayley of Rare Birds Fly, I’ve been nominated! Thank you :) I’ve been a fan of Ayla’s blog for a while now and her stories fascinate me. I’ve discovered Hayley’s blog more recently and I always get excited for a new post.

The idea when receiving it is this:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog
  • Answer the 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator
  • Nominate some other blogs you love for the award and let them know about it
  • Create 10 questions for them to answer

First thing’s first – Ayla’s questions:

1) If you lost your passport somewhere and had to be stranded, where would you choose and why?

This would easily be Australia. Stranded in the place I wasn’t ready to leave when I had to? Done. I’ll narrow this down a bit more to Melbourne – but if I’m stranded, I’d probably make the most of it and explore what I missed out on last time!

2) What is your most embarrassing travel tale?

None properly pop into mind… but maybe my experience at USA customs the first time I visited. I couldn’t remember the address of where I was staying on my landing card and thought it would be ok to leave it out… No. No, Kirsten, you fool. A confusing discussion with border control ensued and I’ve never felt more like a criminal! It all ended ok, though. Apparently being from a country in the EU, I’m not used to being denied entry…

3) Name somewhere that you didn’t like or that didn’t meet your expectations and tell us why?

I could probably tell you two… Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast of Australia and Kuta in Bali. Surfers Paradise because it just seemed to encompass the ‘yobbish’ – or ‘bogan’, to use the Aussie term – side of Australia. I had been to a lot of places with character and beauty, but Surfers Paradise to me was built up, tacky, and a little soul-less.

I had a lovely time in Bali in general, but if I was to do it over, I would skip out Kuta. What drew me to Bali was the spirituality, ruggedness and complete difference in culture of the place. I understand most places are touristy, but I was disappointed to see Kuta trying so hard to capture Westerners attention and therefore sort of forget what probably brought the majority of tourists or travellers (well – me, at least) there in the first place.

4) What is your worst or weirdest food experience?

Hmmm. I’m not much of a foodie so I’ve yet to be really adventurous with food. But I’m always haunted of that time in Egypt when I couldn’t see my food because the place was so dark. I had no idea what I was eating and I was even more picky back then.

A little closer to home, in Whitstable, I tried oysters for the first time and thought I’d love them as I can’t get enough of seafood… but oh, lord. They were disgusting and after attempting to just get through it and my mum repeating, “Just swallow it!”, I had to spit it out.

5) What’s your favourite quote?

I HAVE SO MANY. I won’t lie, I love quotes.

But the one that has always stuck with me is on my About Me page: “I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world”, by Mary Anne Radmacher. It speaks to me so personally because of my time in Australia (that takes care of the other side of the world part!) where I felt myself change as a person and I was so accutely aware of it, how, and why. It was a complete change in perception of the world, one that I’m so grateful for. So, like good old Mary Anne, I am absolutely not the same having seen the moon shine, stared at the beautiful stars, watched fulfilling sunset after sunset, played in the waves, learned, adapted, fought for myself and for what I love, on the other side of the world.

6) What one thing in your home city would you recommend others do or see?

London’s full of incredible things to do… it’s hard to pick just one. But if I must, I’d say going to Greenwich Park and the Royal Observatory to see the Meridien Line (where time began. Sort of). Greenwich is the borough I’m from and the park is extremely beautiful to spend a sunny London day in, with a skyscraper view and the 17th century Queen’s House.

This is actually Regent's Park, but whatever

This is actually Regent’s Park, but whatever

7) What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

Oh, my. I really wish I could asay bungee jumping or skydiving, but these things are still to be done. I honestly think that the most adventurous thing I’ve ever done is actually not one singular thrilling act, but rather leaving my university behind and flitting off to study in Australia. Nobody else came with me, I organised it all by myself, it was my first flight by myself, and the first time I truly had to rely on myself.

8) What’s your “normal” job or does blogging take the spotlight?

I work for a travel website – sitting in the office researching and writing about travel, where I plot my next journey.

9) What’s your favourite thing about blogging?

It has a lot of perks. Reading other blogs, meeting new people and making lovely friends who inspire me. I enjoy thinking about how to make my blog better, too, even if it gets frustrating. But I think what I love most is being able to be honest and write about what I feel passionate about. It orders my thoughts and even makes me realise things I never knew – about travel and myself. I don’t think I realised blogging could be so revealing and therapeutic.

And when people read and connect with a blog post of mine, and then tell me they do? That’s one of the best feelings out there. Seriously.

10) What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about starting a blog?

Stick to your guns. Write about what you love. There’s so much pressure everywhere to do things a certain way; blogs, life, everything. Your blog is what you create, and that’s honestly an amazing thing. If it makes you happy, sing it loud and proud.


Hayley’s questions:

1. Which country is your all time favourite travel destination?

It’s really hard to say what’s my favourite when there’s still so much to see and everywhere is so beautiful in its own way! So I’ll say where I’ve left my heart, and that’s Australia. It’s stunning, relaxed, and so diverse.

2. What are your top 3 travel essentials?

Leaving out passport and money, because that’s obvious: camera, my notebook to write in, and my iPod.

3. What’s your best travel experience?

This is too hard! I can’t possibly pick one, so a few highlights are when I visited Uluru, living in Melbourne, visiting New York, roadtripping Great Ocean Road, riding a gondola in Venice and seeing the Great Geysir in Iceland.

4. What’s your worst travel experience?

Haha, probably when I was younger and roadtripping with my parents in the Loire Valley and it just rained the whole time or was grey and overcast and we were staying in crappy hotels and I just wanted to hurry up and get to the south of France. It was still beautiful, though.

Or that time I was on the east coast of Australia with a friend and we had such different travelling styles that I didn’t get to do a bunch of stuff I wanted to, and part of it (Surfers Paradise) disappointed me anyway.

5. What do you love most about travelling?

There are so many different aspects that are so amazing, but I love the sense of wonder and awe. When something’s extremely beautiful or unlike anything you’ve seen, or it makes you think or opens your eyes to a different way of living, it stimlates your mind so much and you’re just left stunned at how much there is to see and learn in the world. It’s the most beautiful thing we have going, our world, and travel is how we can see that.

6. Which destination surprised you the most?

My recent trip to Berlin surprised me quite a bit. I imagined as a European city, it would be similar to London, but it’s a lot calmer and cheaper. The way Berlin presents its history is also incredible and moved me so much.

7. Where did your first travel adventure lead you?

First ever? Because I don’t remember, I just know it was in the south of France or Czech Republic! I’ve been travelling for a long time thanks to a family who are so keen and loving of adventure. The first one I remember though was either Turkey, where I saw Pamukkale, or Croatia. We had driven to Czech Republic to visit family (my mum’s Czech), then we set off to Croatia and just drove around and experienced its beauty. I love Croatia, I’d love to go back there soon.

8. What’s your day job or is blogging a full-time hobby?

I work for a travel website – sitting in the office researching and writing about travel, where I plot my next journey.

9. What are your top tips for travel blogging?

Same as I said in Ayla’s questions: Stick to your guns. Write about what you love. There’s so much pressure everywhere to do things a certain way; blogs, life, everything. Your blog is what you create, and that’s honestly an amazing thing. If it makes you happy, sing it loud and proud.

10. What/who inspires you to travel?

My family first and foremost. My parents are from different countries, met in Russia and spoke French to one another… I feel like my family were just bound to have the travel bug from the moment we were born. To this day, my brother and sister are always jetting off and my parents go on cruises around the world.

Books also have inspired me to travel, like Bill Bryson and Mary Shelley – her diary entries of exploring different places has left an impression on me on how travelling women have developed over time. So I guess history also inspires me to travel. And of course, the world itself. I mean, just look at it.

Blue Mountains, NSW

Thank you again to Ayla and Hayley. I now nominate…

Hayley of Rare Birds Fly (sorry, but I was planning on nominating you when Ayla had nominated me, so I’m sticking to it! Haha)

Veronica May of Confessions of a Nomad

Sophie and Alex of Saints on a Plane

Jessi of Two Feet One World

And my questions are…

1. If you had one day left on earth, but couldn’t escape out of the country you’re currently in, where would you go?

2. What’s some of your favourite music to listen to while travelling?

3. You win the lottery. I’m guessing you’ll travel – where would be your first trip?

4. Is there anywhere you’ve been that you’ve been disappointed by?

5. Anywhere that has surprisingly exceeded your expectations?

6. Give any local’s tip/recommendation for your hometown.

7. Favourite travel quote?

8. Where are you keen to return to and what would you do this time around?

9. Was there a turning point journey that gave you the travel bug? What was it?

10. If you could be any other nationality, where would you have liked to have come from?


Now for my Versatile Blogger Award, nominated by Vasudha of Traveldefined. Thank you!


So with this award, I say 7 things about myself and nominate some bloggers (I’m just going cut to the chase here and nominate those who I’ve nominated for the Liebster Award – double whammy!)

1. I’m half English, half Czech, but wish I spent more time in Czech Republic.

2. I probably get more daydreaming done in my day than actual work.

3. I love tea.

4. I’ve never broken a bone (to my knowledge), but I have plenty of scars including one on my lip and I once got part of an apple stuck in my throat. I’m quite accident prone.

5. I’ve been playing the violin since I was 5 years old. I used to know how to play piano. I’m currently teaching myself how to play guitar. I like music is what I’m getting at here, I guess.

6. My biggest pet peeve in people  is boasting and being big headed. Whether that’s to do with travel, your skills, or anything, I think being appreciative rather than showing off is a great but all too rare quality in our social media obsessed world.

7. I like big landscapes and grand places because I feel small in the world. It’s a nice reminder of how insignificant we are and how special the world is.



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