I am happy to announce that I have been awarded the Liebster Award by The Trekking Cat! Thank you so much for this nomination. This is an award given to new bloggers to recognize the result of their hard work and dedication. Beyond that it’s a great way to share upcoming blogs and get a feel for what their work represents and who is the human being behind it all. Since Traveling birds is all about sharing stories and collaborating with great people, I decided to jump ahead an play the game. Eh, why not?
So this award is one that is passed down from blogger to blogger. Once nominated, the blogger answers 10 questions s/he was given and then nominate new blogs and propose 10 new questions to them.
HERE IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN ASKED
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START TRAVEL BLOGGING?
At 5 I was put on a plane on my own to visit relatives in England and I don't even remember. Traveling is a natural thing to me, almost like an instinct, and a need. I love planning and taking on new challenges and adventures. That being said, blogging was a great opportunity for me to share these stories and mainly to push myself harder into photography, videography and storytelling. I guess it's just my natural flow, the next step into my passion.
WHAT DO YOU TAKE INTO ACCOUNT WHEN LOOKING AT ACCOMMODATION FOR TRAVEL? BUDGET? LOCATION? ETC.
If there's a will, there's a way... Right? If there's an opportunity to travel somewhere I do everything I can to make it happen, no matter how. Budget should in no circumstances be a limitation to dreams. So let me give you a few ideas on how to make it happen:
>To save on accommodation, look into Couchsurfing. But it's a tricky game, i'll tell you more about it later.
>To travel from places to places look into Car Pooling. There are several apps and/or websites (depending on countries and locations) that do the job well. It's often cheaper than public transportation, and safer than stop
>To eat for cheap, cook! No matter where you are, try to make your own food when it's possible. Might be healthier on the long run too!
DO YOU TRAVEL ALONE OR WITH BUDDIES? WHY?
It is true that having a travel companion is the safest option, and without doubts the best way to travel if it's your best friend/boyfriend/girlfriend. It strengthen the bond and makes unforgetable memories. However, traveling alone has it's charms too. If you are not scared of loneliness and a reasonably social human being, it is definitely worth it. Meeting locals is what makes the whole difference. You get to experience your adventure as a local, and that has no price.
Neadless to say I travel both ways, depending on the circumstances.
WHAT IS YOUR STYLE OF TRAVEL- BUDGET, AVERAGE, LUXURY? WHY?
Adventures before anything. Going into the wild, meeting people, getting lost, stumbling into places, etc. I'm not sure if it's a style of travel, but it's definitely a mindset!
SHARE A LEARNING OPPORTUNITY YOU'VE HAD WHILE ON TRAVEL
Now is the time to tell you about Couchsurfing, because I have learned a lot since I first signed up in 2014.
>Couchsurfing IS NOT a free hostel, it's a community of travelers
>Being active in the community is the key to making the most of it
>That means: complete a full profile, hosting travelers (and believe me it's a lot of fun), meeting up at events, connecting with other couchsurfers from your area, etc. It seems a little weird and awkward at first, but people on there are extremely open minded and non judgemental. In the end, every body is on there to have a good time and meet people.
>Active members get reviews from (and give reviews to) people. Therefore, when you travel and ask people to host you, they already trust you based on reviews and previous experiences!
>And most importantly: when contacting hosts, send super personalized messages after reading their profile. I insist on that point, because as a host there is nothing more irritating than getting general copy-pasted requests. Hosts can easily get 20-30 requests per day so be original, funny and genuine!
WHAT IS YOUR ULTIMATE GOAL FOR YOUR BLOG?
Let me make a friendly correction here, I do not consider this my blog. Although I created it and write most of the articles as of right now, I consider this to be a platform about travel and inspiration - meaning there will hopefully be other adventurers sharing their stories and/or visual material here at some point. Ultimately I'd like this to be a place of exchange and inspiration, not another self centered blog.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU TRAVEL?
Living and studying in San Francisco for the past two years and a half, I got into the routine of traveling 4 month per year (basically summer and winter break), during which I would always return home (Switzerland) at some point and travel around Europe or other places from there. However, being 2 months away from graduation, major shifts are coming up. Starting by living San Francisco definitely... Can't say more for now!
WHAT MISTAKES HAVE YOU MADE ALONG THE WAY WITH BLOGGING? WOULD YOU HAVE DO ANYTHING DIFFERENTLY LOOKING BACK?
In 2011 when blogs were starting to bloom like flowers in the tropics, I started a little one for fun. It was vaguely about photography but I soon stopped out of frustration, which was absolutely normal since I wasn't ready. But here is what I learned:
1) Know your purpose. What you are doing. What your message is. Who your audience is. If it's not clear to you, for you will it be!?
2) Dedicate all your time, mind and heart to it. This is your passion, let your blog be the mirror of your soul!
3) Planning. Organizing. Treating a blog like a business, while keeping it real.
It took me a good 5 years to renew the experience, but this time I'm as determined as Sid to get his tassel (sorry for those of you poor souls who haven't seen the Age of Ice).
PHOTOGRAPHY IS A BIG PART OF TRAVEL BLOGGING. WHAT CAMERA GEAR DO YOU USE FOR YOUR TRAVEL? ANY ONES YOU WOULD RECOMMEND?
Considering that photography is more than a hobby since it's my job as well (you can check out my fashion/fine art here) my camera is everything. It's a Canon 6D (how sexy does that sounds?) that I pair with either a 24-105mm, 85mm, 70-200mm or a 35mm. I also use it for little films, although I'm thinking of getting a gopro or little black magic at some points. Oh and there might be a drone also somewhere in the story, I'm obsessed with these. I mean Traveling Bird, doesn't the name just speaks for itself?
BESIDES BLOGGING, DO YOU DO OTHER FREELANCE WORK OR PERHAPS CARRY ON ANOTHER JOB?
Two months left until I graduate from the Academy of Art University from San Francisco with a major in photography. After that, all the roads are opened...