Travel Magazine

Liebster Award Nomination

By Elena @elenatravelgram
Elena's Travelgram: Liebster Award Elena’s Travelgram got nominated today (yay!) for Liebster Award. Thank you again, Jameela from Diary of an Expat for naming me!
Liebster Award
I have heard of it a few times before, though never participated. I think it’s a great way to discover new starting blogs and add some more inspiration (travel, photography or DIY) to your feed as you can nominate any particular blog you like.

The rules are simple as one-two-three. 

In case you’re in:

  • Mention the blogger who nominated you in your Liebster Award post. 
  • Answer 10 questions that the blogger gave you. 
  • Nominate 10 new bloggers who have less than 200 followers.
  • Let the nominees know you've mentioned them.
Make up your own 10 questions. Liebster Award seems to be like a really fun way to meet new people in the blogging community and get to know more about them. So here are my answers: What is the difference between a traveller, an expat and a tourist? Which one(s) are you?
Currently I like to define myself as a part-time expat in Besancon, France – where I spend most of my time, yet not all due to visa limitations. Being a non-EU passport holder is sad sometimes. You need visas literary everywhere. 

Liebster Award Nomination

                                                              View from Vauban Citadel Wall in Besancon

And a "traveler" is who likes creating trips from scratch, searching for cheapest travel deals and airline tickets and discovering new and new cities, countries and continents. A day trip or a few weeks extreme journey through the county – that’s what makes me happy and inspired. What did you learn "on the road" that you could never have found in books?

The world is way more open and secure place than you think. Of course bad things happen. But they can happen actually anywhere even in your own country, in your own city and apartment. It is the common sense you should always rely on and act accordingly. 
People in South East Asia smile a lot - genuinely and friendly. Way more than the Europeans or people back in Ukraine and Russia. 
And you really don't need to have a fortune or a trust fund to see the world. Just learn to be more with less and stop spending hundreds of euros on things you actually don't or don't make you happy. It is the experiences you should invest in. 
What stereotype(s) did you find out was NOT true? That the French people are rude. So. Not. True. I don’t speak French well. Frankly, I hardly speak any and been struggling to learn it for the last few month on my own with tiny progress. Every time I got lost, was late for my plane and needed urgent, was sending a parcel back home or trying to buy 3g Internet for my tablet there were people who helped me out and patiently tried to understand my all-so-horrible French.

The French are friendly and hard warming. Just be polite and always begin your conversation with “Bonjour” . A week ago, an elderly woman treated me with fresh French pastry when my train broke in a tiny town of Lure and we had a nice conversation with a mixture of English words she knew and my scarce French.

The one memory/experience abroad that will stay with you forever?
Getting lost in the jungles at the Togean Islands. At night. It’s a very long story I’m still planning to write about. In a few words, my two friends and I went trekking to the jungles one afternoon in search of a deserted beach. On our way back, the crooked path slipped from our feet and we wandered around the jungles till the dark. We’ve settled at a clearing – all dirty and cut with sedge for the night. Yet, a team from the homestay eventually found us and brought back home.

Most important lessons learnt: always take a torch, don’t go trekking to the jungles at late afternoon without a guide and stay patient no matter what J

The most beautiful place you've ever been?
Again, I’d name the Togean Islands and islet Kadidiri in particular. This is one of the most uniquedestinations in Indonesia with no wi-fi, cell phone connection and electricity at day time. Yet, there are plenty of breathtaking diving spots, turquoise water and long sandy beach. Absolute paradise!
Elena's Travelgram: The most unique destination in Indonesia

 What does Exotic mean for you, could you paint us a picture?

Something strange with an unfamiliar smell and taste, yet absolutely enchanting and inviting. Something you need to figure out to understand.
If you could give 3 pieces of advice to future travellers/expats?
Follow your dreams
Oh so trivial, I know. But absolutely true! I’ve been dreaming about visiting India since high school. Working my ass hard I’ve managed to save enough money and take a 2 and a half week around this incredible country. And it changed something in me.  Mingling with an absolutely different culture, understanding the new life values and values made me re-think of my own ones.

Elena's Travelgram: Varanasi India

Extremely contended. Varanasi, India. 

Besides, you never know where your dreams will lead you eventually and you will find. I found love in my travels, new friends from around the globe and tons of experiences that have made me a more mature person.

Don’t be judgmental.
Try to understand and accept foreign cultures and lifestyle the way they are. Don’t judge, yet try to understand why it is this way.  And for god’s sake, don’t come to a new country and try playing your own rules.
Don’t be afraid to make the big step…
…and move to a new country, buy a one-way ticket, sell the old stuff you don’t need and travel with a tiny suitcase instead.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? When do you stop travelling? I really don’t know. I wasn’t planning to move to France last year and I have no idea what life has prepared for me. If you’ve asked me a few years ago, I’d probably say that I would have occupied a top position in a huge corporation, have a huge income, work hard day and night and own a sport car. But today, these dreams don’t seem attractive anymore.

In ten years I’ll probably be married to the man I love, maybe will have kids, yet it doesn’t mean that I’ll stop travelling! Being a serial expat seems like a lucrative perspective for me right now.

And my Libster Award Nominees in no specific order:

Van from Tim from Jamie from Charlie from Ksenija from Kerri from Tina from Polly from Jacqueline from Sammy from
Questions to you guys:
1. What's the craziest travel experience did you have so far?  2. Top 3 places you'd like to visit till the end of 2014.  3. How many languages do you speak? Which one would you like to learn?  4. Imagine your perfect life. What it would be like? Or you already living it? 5.  If you could eat one type of food till the end of your days, what would it be? 6.  Have you ever lived abroad? Tell one random fan fact about the people or the country you've stayed in?  7. Whom did you want to become when you were a child?  8. What's one big life lesson learnt that you'd like to share with the others? 9. One that book you'll definitely take on a long flight.  10. Name a random quote that you particularly like or that you can relate to yourself. 
I'd love to read your responses so much and will look forward to reading them! 

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