You might be asking, what is the Liebster Award? It’s a tool used to recognize new bloggers for their hard work and dedication to blogging. It is passed down from blogger to blogger and just goes to show how supportive the blogging community is! Once nominated, the blogger must answer 10 questions they are given. They then must nominate 5 new blogs and write 10 new questions for them. We thought this would be a fun way for our readers to check out some other travel bloggers and get to know us better, too!
Meet a friend afar: stephanie and meagan
- What was your first blog post about? We both really love maps so Meagan wrote a post called Beautifully Illustrated Maps for our very first blog post!
- What was the first international trip you went on? How old were you? Meagan: I was 17 and went to Italy! I still have my journal from that first international trip, and it’s hilarious! Stephanie: I had just turned 17 and went to Australia with my high school band. We were part of a 2000 member band that marched in the 2000 Sydney Olympics Opening Ceremony. It was such an amazing first international experience!
- What made you start blogging? Is it a career for you or a hobby? For us, starting A Friend Afar has been a wonderful hobby based on our love for travel and our careers in international development. We love sharing our favorite places and help our friends and family plan their trips, and that’s what A Friend Afar is all about!
- Where do you hope to see your blog in 10 years? We’re dedicated to becoming a great resource for the part-time traveler – the week-long and long-weekend vacation taker, the business tripper with a little extra time, and the hometown explorer.
- What is your favorite movie and why? Stephanie: I have a hard time choosing but I really love musicals, and The Sound of Music is my favorite! I love Julie Andrews and the setting in the Austrian Alps is stunning! Meagan: Oh so hard! I think I’ll have to say Midnight in Paris right now! It expresses my personality as a traveler who seeks out wonder and joy when abroad. Paris in the rain? Weather won’t ruin my trip! I also love history and the arts, and they’re the perfect pair in that movie.
- How do you manage your time when blogging? Do you have another job outside of blogging? We try to set aside time during our weekends to work on writing posts separately and then sometimes get together to work together. We schedule a “blog night” during the week where we work on “blog stuff.” Prioritization is super important to us since there’s always a to do list, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. We both work for international development non-profits (Meagan at The Carter Center and Stephanie at CARE) based in Atlanta so blogging is a part-time job!
- What is your dream trip? Where would you go, how long would you stay, what would you do? Meagan: Trans-Siberian Railway! I want to take the Moscow to Beijing via Mongolia route! I would love to take a month to be able to stop along the way. Besides looking out at the beautiful scenery, I would take a few good books and play the Ticket to Ride board game! Get it? Also Mongolia is one of the top countries I want to visit. Stephanie: I’ve been to six continents so far, so I just need to go to Antarctica! I’d love to do a cruise from Chile or Argentina and would want to stay for a few weeks. I’d do lots of hiking before the cruise and then take kayaking excursions from the cruise! I also really want to see penguins, of course!
- How often do you travel? This year we’re trying for 12 Trips in 12 Months so we typically average around one trip a month.
- What is the one item you would want with you if you were on a deserted island with no cell reception or wifi? A water purifier!
- What is your favorite thing to do outside of blogging? Travel, of course!
10 fun facts about a friend afar
- Meagan: While in Belize at a sanctuary for wildlife rescued from the illegal wildlife trade, I let a jaguar lick my face. He had a huge sandpaper tongue!
- Stephanie: I lived in the same house in the same room until I moved into my freshman dorm in college!
- Meagan: I studied Spanish in high school and Japanese, Thai, and Spanish in college at Georgia Tech. I’m about to start a Chinese class.
- Stephanie: While serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana, I hitchhiked a lot. One time a Ghana Medical Service truck stopped for me, and when I got in the vehicle I realized they were driving a woman in labor to the hospital!
- Meagan: My husband and I met in Juarez, Mexico while building houses over spring break. Travel has been part of our relationship from the very beginning!
- Stephanie: One of my travel goals is to go to all 59 National Parks in the US. Really, I want to go to all national park sites but this feels more attainable since there are 400+ of those. I’ve been to 18 so far!
- Meagan: Italy is the country that I keep going back to over and over again. I love the food and the history.
- Stephanie: My husband’s favorite place in the world is Hawaii- he’s been five times and I went for the first time on our honeymoon.
- Meagan: One of my favorite things to do when I travel is visit art and history museums.
- Stephanie: My favorite dessert is tiramisu. I really love all Italian food- pasta, pizza, gelato…
Our Five nominations for the liebster award
Our questions are…
- What’s your spirit animal (the animal that you feel fits you the best) and why?
- Of all the places you’ve visited, which place is your favorite and why?
- What places are at the top of your travel list right now?
- What advice would you give to someone traveling abroad for the first time?
- Do you have a favorite guidebook or travel magazine?
- As a child, what occupation did you want to have as an adult?
- What item(s) do you never leave home without for a trip?
- Has a book or movie influenced your travel?
- Tell us a few of your favorite Instagram accounts you follow for inspiration.
- If you had the chance to work with any brand you wanted, who would it be?
And here’s what should go in your post, nominated bloggers:
- Thank the Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog
- Link back to the blogger who awarded you
- Copy and paste the award to your blog
- Answer the questions you were given and share ten facts about yourself
- Nominate 5 blogs to receive the award (must have less than 3000 followers)
- Let them know of their nomination!
Those are our fun facts! Do you have any more questions for us? Ask us in the comments!