The Let’s Go Ladies have been nominated for The Liebster Award! It’s an award given to newer bloggers to highlight their blog and welcome them to the blogging community.
Here’s how it works:
The person who nominated you asks you eleven questions. You answer them. Then you nominate eleven people and ask them eleven questions. And so the circle of life continues!
We want to say thank you to OneNomadWoman for nominating us. Here are our answers to her eleven questions:
Q & A
1- What has been your favorite travel destination and why?
Candice: So many places to choose from! I have to choose Shimokitazawa. It’s a small neighbourhood in Tokyo, and it’s essentially what Japan would be like if it were run by hipsters. Second-hand clothing shops, vegan and gluten-free bakeries, and tons of people with over-sized fake plastic glasses. It was a very artsy-hippie gem of a place that I never would have expected to find in the middle of Tokyo. For those who know a bit about Toronto (where I live) , I like to say Shimokitazawa is the Kensington Market of Japan.
Sara: Yikes, that’s tough! Of all the places I’ve been I’m torn between the Canadian Rockies (rugged Canadian wilderness at its best!) and Washinton D.C. (it’s a beautiful city with lots of history and I LOVE the Smithsonian Museums!) Hong Kong was also pretty amazing… Like I said: TOUGH!
2- If you could only carry 5 things in your backpack, what would they be?
Candice: My cell phone with local sim card (does that count as one or two?), a pair of comfortable shoes in case the ones I’m wearing start to hurt, lots of money to buy delicious food, a hand towel (many uses for this one!) and anti-histamines because everything makes me sneeze.
Sara: Wallet (For the moneys and ID and such), passport (can’t get very far without it), phone (it doubles as a camera + pocket-sized access to any info you’ll ever need!), charger (because without it the phone would inevitably be useless), and a sweater (Because I will ALWAYS find a way to be too cold, no matter where I am).
3- Do you have any funny communication gone wrong stories from your travels?
Candice: I was approached by a cute boy at a party who spoke Japanese with very minimal English. He asked for my cell phone number and I thought, why not? He later texted me in English saying “Please let’s be dating.” Apparently in Japan, “going on a date” is something you only do with a girlfriend or boyfriend. So I accidentally ended up with a boyfriend for about 3 days without knowing it.
Sara: In China, people answer the phone by saying “Wei?” I got used to it while I was living there and started answering the phone the same way. More than once I flustered my parents when they’d call me by answering in the local dialect, and even more often I got myself into a jam when I answered the phone and it wasn’t for me (my Cantonese skills were pretty terrible/non-existent!)
4- Hostels or Camping. If you had to chose, which one and why?
Candice: I already know Sara is going to choose camping, but I love hostels. They’re a great way to make friends with other solo travellers. You just pop your head into the common room and say, “I’m going sightseeing, who wants to come?” and bam, instant travel group. You get to swap awesome travel stories and pick up useful bits of local info.
Sara: Camping, camping, CAMPING! I love sleeping in a tent and I love campfires and I love being able to access more remote areas by being able to bring your sleeping accommodations with me! Being outside makes me happy :)
5- Craziest thing you have ever seen while traveling.
Candice: Maybe this isn’t too crazy, but seeing people eating vending machine soup. Literally. A vending machine that dispenses soup. I have enough problems with street meat in general, but vending machine soup is just taking it too far.
Sara: As with Candice, I don’t think this is all that crazy but I could never get over the way sheep have the right of way in Wales. I remember sitting in a car on the road, surrounded by a flock, just having to wait it out because we weren’t allowed to hurry them along to get them out of our way. I also think watching the herding dogs work with the same flocks is just mind-boggling.
6- Your greatest lesson learned from travels so far…
Candice: Always say yes! I’m actually a really lazy homebody normally, so I need to force myself to go out there and do things when travelling. It’s so tempting to say, “Well, I’m kinda tired, maybe I’ll just take it easy today.” NO. Taking it easy is not allowed. After all, these are once in a lifetime experiences.
Sara: Candice kind of took the words right out of my mouth (er, off my keyboard?) so I think I’ll say “try to learn a bit about your destination before you go”. I’m not saying that you need to aim to completely blend in or anything but knowing a few helpful phrases and cultural etiquette can help get you out of some sticky situations! (Or preferably avoid them altogether!)
7- Where have you met the most hospitable people on your journey?
Candice: For some reason, people in the Kansai area of Japan are SO NICE. Like, incredibly nice. When I nearly killed myself falling off a bike, everyone within hearing distance rushed to help me up, make sure I was okay, give me band-aids, etc. When a friend and I were too passed out drunk to even make it into the front door, a random couple stopped and helped us inside, basically carrying us to our beds. Wild.
Sara: I was always taken aback by how some of the people I met in China would all but give the shirt off their back if they thought I needed it. I can thank many of the best experiences I had while I was there to the generosity of others. In true Canadian fashion though, I’ve had some equally great experiences while travelling in western provinces like B.C. and Alberta. The folks in Jasper always make me feel like we’ve known each other for years!
8- How much time do you devote to maintaining your blog/social media each week?
Candice: I haven’t really been keeping track. Ever since we re-focused our blogging in a new direction, I’ve spent a good few solid hours every day at least.
Sara: Ditto what Candice said. I would probably say that I put more time into this particular project than many people would think (or deem necessary).
9- Have you found ways to reduce time spent on your site yet still remain productive with the content and reach? If so, how?
Candice: Having an editorial calendar has worked wonders. We’ve basically worked out the next few months worth of content, so we never need to scramble at the last minute.
Sara: Along with the editorial calendar that Candice mentioned, scheduling your own personal time is important too. We both have full-time jobs and busy lives. I find that if I don’t give myself specific time to work on my blogging then I run the risk of either not doing enough or getting carried away!
10- How do you fund your travels?
Candice: So far, my tactic has been to do HARDCORE client work (I’m a digital marketing freelancer) until I either burn out or save enough money, and then peace out and leave the country.
Sara: Save, save, save! On top of making a point to work saving into my monthly budget, my partner and I also have a “travel fund jar” – we pay for everything in cash and always bring our toonies (Canadian two dollar coins) home to put in the jar. It may not sound like much but it adds up fast!
11- Top 3 pieces of advice for anyone considering being a traveler/blogger.
Candice: 1) As a blogger, make sure you have a really good focus on what your blog is about and who your audience is. 2) As a traveller, always make sure you have an exit plan (I actually wrote a post with 6 unique tips for solo lady travellers for anyone who wants to check it out.) 3) As a travel blogger, learn to take great pictures! My one regret is that I’m not much of a visual person and I prefer words to pictures. My photos are never really that great. It’s something I know I need to work on.
Sara: 1) Write about what excites you. You’ll lose your drive and ambition if you’re not inspired by the stories you’re trying to tell. 2) Be open to new experiences. This goes for both travel and blogging! 3) Be authentic. People are going to be able to connect to the real you a lot better than the version of you that you think they’re going to like (this goes for travel, blogging, and life in general!)
1) How long have you been blogging?
2) Why did you decide to start a blog?
3) Do you write off-the-cuff or do you have a schedule?
4) How do you keep motivated to continue blogging?
5) What’s one app/plugin/application you found the most useful for your blogging?
6) Where do you like to write? (On the go? In a cafe? A special nook in your home?)
7) How do you get over writer’s block?
8) What’s one post you’ve written that you’re really proud of?
9) What inspires you? (either to write or in life!)
10) What’s one of your favourite blogs to read and why?
11) What do you love most about blogging?
Happy writing everyone!