Tuesday, November 15, 2016

ETLR gets the Liebster

As some of you know, Eat, Travel, Live and REPEAT had been nominated for the Liebster Award by Marinel from Brown Gal Trekker .

Marinel is a trekking aficionado who is an inspiration for other travelers of both the sexes. Thanks a ton Marinel for the thoughtful nomination!

What’s Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award is a perpetual chain of nominations, where established bloggers encourage and support the new ones by promoting them through this award.  You can look at it as “pay it forward.”
The rules are as follows:
  • Post the award on your blog so everybody knows how awesome you are.
  • Publicly thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog.
  • Answer their questions about yourself, feel free to add photos!
  • Nominate 5 – 10 people with less than 1000 followers, inform them via social media.
  • Write your own set of questions for your nominees.
I was asked to answer some questions by Marinel like :

  • Name one thing that inspired you the most to compel you start a travel blog.

I started off by writing reviews on TripAdvisor primarily because of the reward of 50 Jet Privilege miles per review. Gradually, I started publishing my travel reviews on HolidayIQ and food reviews on Zomato as well. As months passed, the number of reviews increased and so did the readers’ views, which got me motivated to start off with my own travel blog. And one fine day, in the month of April 2016, sitting in my office cabin, I just began writing down my experience of my recent trip to Mussorie in a word document, refined it and published it.
The thing that inspired me the most to start off the travel blog was, the rise in the number of readers’ views of my reviews on TripAdvisor, HolidayIQ and Zomato.

  • If a reader asked for advice on where to go and what to do over a period of 6 months, what would you advise & why?

I would advise the reader to head off to the state of Himachal Pradesh and explore places like Manali, McLoedganj, Spiti Valley in the summer months; then head out to Leh Ladakh on a bike. As the temperatures start to dip, I’d recommend the reader to explore the forts of Rajasthan before heading out to Goa and Lakshwadeep Islands to relax and welcome the New Year with a bang.

  • How do you see your life 3 years from now?

Doing what I love the most, i.e. traveling and blogging about it. On a serious note, I see myself working somewhere in India or abroad which allows me to travel and explore and also sustain my travel lifestyle. I also see myself collaborating with other like-minded people on travel related things.

  • What challenges so far have you run into with your travel blog and how did you address them?

Initially, when I launched my blog, I hardly got any traction or comments, but I kept publishing and writing reviews as well, when one day, somehow I stumbled upon a Facebook engagement group, which I joined and realized the huge potential of social media which I was under utilizing. As a result of joining the Engagement groups, I started receiving the required traction and also the exposure grew.
Apart from the engagement, every other day when I read others blogs/websites, I realize that I need to amend/add new things to my blog to make it more eye-catching.

  • How are you able to financially sustain a life of traveling?

I started my travel adventure in Oct 2015 when I was 3 months into a decent paying job.I spent my birthday in January traveling somewhere new and it turned out to be a blessing, as it laid the way for me to travel to a new place almost every other month. After quitting my job because of issues with management regarding the frequency of leaves (1-2 per month), I started travel blogging full time and started working with a travel company which is able to fund my travels.

  • Name an experience that you enjoyed but will never want to experience again or wish on someone else.

After reading a lot about these group tours, I also went for one in the hills of Himachal Pradesh. Though I enjoyed as my motive was the trekking which was a solo affair, however being a group tour there were a lot of delays because of the lack of foresight of the trip manager. The frequency of delays with the bus movement was a constant irritation trigger which I don’t want anyone else to suffer. My recommendation will be to either go on your own under own arrangements or select a group tour with the highest fan base even though the price may be a bit higher.

  • What is your impression of Brown Gal Trekker’s blog and what recommendations do you have, if any, in terms improving the site?

The BGT blog has left me awestruck and motivated me to take my next hike ASAP.The Brown Gal Trekker’s blog is a source of inspiration for everyone who loves to trek and hike and to those who aspire to do so. It is sure as hell going to motivate other travelers to be able to take the plunge and explore each destination, 1 hike at a time.

  • Besides the obvious which is giving others travel advice, how else do you believe your blog is making an intangible impact on people’s lives?

I believe, in India majority of people live paycheck to paycheck and become corporate slaves in the process, and hardly travel. The youth also don’t travel that much, as they believe that too much money will be wasted. Through my blog, I believe I will be able to incite the youth (working and non-working) to properly plan their holidays and use them to travel to new places. I regularly do some pieces of budget travel to the popular cities of India and the main motive behind them, is to make people cognizant, that they can travel to a lot of places in a very decent budget.

  • What is your favorite country so far, and why?

It will be India, without any doubt, primarily because of the variety of terrains in the country. Right from the mountains of Himalayas to the beaches of Andamans, India has got it all. The natural beauty of these places is unparalleled.
Places like Kasol, Manali, Spiti, Leh in northern India have become a backpackers paradise.
The forts of Rajasthan are an architectural wonder and the history behind all the forts is indeed captivating and interesting.
States of North East India like Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, and Nagaland are not that popular because of less frequency of flights and trains to the region. The region is widely unexplored and the natural beauty is just amazing.

  • What is the most memorable trip you’ve done so far?

My most memorable trip and even the best one till now will have to be that to McLoedganj, Himachal Pradesh for sure. It was my first trip after relocating to Delhi, India and it spearheaded the urge to travel and explore. It was the perfect catalyst for my Wanderlust. It was a weekend trip after 3 months of hectic job so all we did in McLoedganj was Eat, Sleep, Relax and Repeat. The place is so welcoming to travellers with so many cafes offering cuisines from around the world and free wifi in all the cafes. I had my life’s best Pizza till now in Carpediem, McLoedganj, so yeah! The McLoedganj trip is the most memorable trip till now and will always hold a special place in my heart.

Here are my list of Nominees :
  1. Kimberly Leupo of Girl Lost in the World  is an American travel blogger currently living in Russia.She has explored around 117 countries and territories till date.Apart from sharing her experiences she also loves studying maps and learning new languages.
  2. Gonçalo Santos from The Wanderer Guy is a newbie in the Blogosphere and has a goal to travel the world.His curious nature helps him to explore new places and exotic cuisines.Being a budget traveler and that too a solo one, he prefers staying in hostels/AirBnb as five star hotels dont fancy him. 
  3. Rachel and Matt from Across Land & Sea are two Londoners, presently on a year long round the world adventure. Being mid aged travelers, they love staying at hostels and gorging on street food and at the same time wouldn't mind treating themselves with with meals at award winning restaurants or staying at luxury resorts.However, by nature they are outdoor people and love spending time on trails in forests and mountains.
  4. Archana Singh from Travel See Write is a Delhite based out in Philippines is a Solo Traveler at heart but doesn't mind people tagging along. 11 days in Ladakh that too solo inspired her to travel more explore new places at her own pace.She dreams of inspiring  and empowering people to travel more as there is no better teacher that Travel.
  5. John Kuruvilla from Escaping Life is a photographer and an aspiring mountaineer .He is an inspired traveler for whom a spontaneous vacation to the North East ignited the spark in him.Gradually he started embracing the positive vibes by backpacking, hiking, trekking, reading and cultivating new hobbies and traveling one place at a time.
  6. Sridhar from Interlude Journey manages the blog along with Sindhu and Shruti. Though they are software professionals but their passion for travel, food and photography got them together.Their photo stories aim to inspire fellow travelers to travel more.
  7. Krysti Jaims an adventure loving Kiwi started this blog as Travel and Lifestyle blog, but eventually changed it into a pure travel blog owing to her passion for travel.She is an inspiring freelance travel blogger whose biggest dream is to travel the world, experience and learn from people around the world.
  8. Randy Daquiado from World and Wild started the blog with the sole intention of spreading and sharing inspiration from his various trips and to encourage others to explore and see the beauty of Earth for themselves.
  9. Megan from The Adventurous Educator is an adventurer and a teacher.She packed her bags and moved to Malayasia in Sept 2015 and is doing what she knows best, teaching and traveling.
  10. Ashley from Late Night Missed Flights  manages the blog with his girlfriend Ornella. They met in 2014 and have been volunteering and backpacking across Asia, Africa and the Caribbean ever since.They share a common passion for world foods, drinks and cultures and this makes them the perfect travel buddies as well.

My Questions for the Nominees
Now that you have been chosen for the Liebster Award, I’m passing on the baton for you all to answer the following questions:
  1. What inspires you to travel the most and why?
  2. What are your 3 best travel destinations and why?
  3. What has been your best travel experience till date?
  4. And the worst?
  5. What is your expression of The ETLR(Eat, Travel, Live and REPEAT) Blog and what recommendations would you give to improve the blog ?
  6. If money is not the criteria and you have a month in your hand, where would you travel to and why?
  7. What is your best travel souvenir till date and from where?
  8. What qualities do you look in your perfect travel partner?
  9. How do you think you are motivating others to travel?
  10. Your 5 travel tips to fellow travelers.
Cheers to everyone ! Loved going through all your blogs and social media channels.It was a indeed a delight to visit various places through your photos.Keep the passion up and Happy traveling !

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