The Liebster Award – Discover New Blogs – RaulersonGirlsTravel

Heather in Florence, Italy

Wow! RaulersonGirlsTravel has been nominated for the Liebster Award by Alison from dreamer at heart. What an incredible honor it is to be given to bloggers from fellow bloggers. Alison inspires me so much as a fellow nomad who gave up the rat race (before we were supposed to retire) to begin her life traveling and follow her dreams. She has explored Chili as a solo female traveler and recently spent a good portion traveling through France among a ton of other places around the world. So jealous of her Lavender field photos! Thank you, Alison, from the bottom of my heart for this honor you have given me.

Heather in Florence, Italy

What is the Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award is an award given from a blogger to bloggers, recognizing fellow bloggers, and promoting new and upcoming blogs. This is our chance to say, “you are doing a great job, and I recognize all the hard work you have been putting into your blog.” The award is a way to be discovered but also to connect and support the blogging community. And this travel blogging community is an amazing one to be a part of. I have met some lovely bloggers that have become great friends of mine. Even though we see each other in passing at travel conferences, it is the only community that I’ve been in that the friendship doesn’t stall out in between the times we meet. We support each other all year round and frequently meet up with each other on our travels.

What are the rules/guidelines for the Liebster Award?

If you are one of the lucky ones to be nominated and choose to accept this honor, there are a few things you have to do. First and foremost, you need to write a blog post that needs to include the following:

  • Thank the blogger that nominated your blog and provide a link back to his/her blog
  • Answer the thought-provoking questions asked by your nominator
  • Describe what motivates you in life. Why do you do what you do (other than blogging)?
  • Nominate 2-6 blogs that you feel deserve this award and have brought a unique perspective to travel blogging
  • Ask five creative and unique questions to your nominees.
  • Display the Liebster Award medallion and list the rules associated with the award on your post. (There are so many different award medallions to choose from on the official site.)
  • Submit your entry leaving a comment in the Comment Box at with a link back to your site for the judge to read your questions and responses.

Laos slow boat on the Mekong RiverAlison’s Questions for me: 

#1 “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

As a travel blogger, where and when have you noticed your “new eyes.?

  • Nothing has opened my eyes more than traveling through SE Asia and living in Thailand. I have been incredibly humbled by how little they own, but they maintain so much happiness every day. It is opposite of how I was raised in the U.S., where having more is expected to bring you joy. My new eyes have woken up and realized there is more to life and happiness than owning stuff. Simple things and being kind bring a lot of joy to your life.

#2 “A person susceptible to “wanderlust” is not so much addicted to movement as committed to transformation.” Pico Iyer

How has transformation become part of your travel journey? Is it deliberate or a subtle byproduct of your travels?

  • My journey this year as a digital nomad has been full of transformation, good and bad. Part of the transformation, I think, is a natural by-product of this lifestyle. Not being home all the time makes you start feeling a little detached from friends and family back home. You start relying on your new friends among the travel community more as they can relate better to what you are going through daily. It takes a conscious effort to remain close to those back home while you are traveling around the world. Staying close with friends is probably the hardest and the most important thing on your travel journey.

#3 “One can only really travel if one lets oneself go and takes what every place brings without trying to turn it into a healthy private pattern of one’s own and I suppose that is the difference between travel and tourism.” Freya Stark

How do you do this? What do you take, and what gifts do you leave behind?

  • I have tried to follow the quote ” Take Nothing But Pictures, Leave Nothing But Footprints” when I’m traveling. But the one thing I have noticed is that I leave a little of myself behind each place that I visit. I don’t mean a part of me is missing; what I’m referring to is my interactions with the people that I meet on my travels. I recently noticed this when I returned to Thailand after being gone for six months, and the locals remembered me. It was so wonderful to return and get their huge smiles in greeting like they just saw me instead of being gone for a while. This is what I call travel where it feels like coming home to a place and being a part of their lives to the point that they remember you. When you are in and out of a destination so quickly, you don’t get this interaction, and that is a shame.

#4 “Walking is mapping with your feet. It helps you piece a city together, connecting up neighborhoods that might otherwise have remained discrete entities…Walking helps me feel at home.” Lauren Elkin

What is your go-to method for exploring? Do you agree with Lauren?

  • I absolutely agree with Lauren. One of the first things I do is walk around a city to get a feel of the place. I turn down side streets at the drop of a hat if I see something interesting out of the corner of my eye. If you looked at my Samsung Health app on my phone, you can tell when I’m traveling as I average 15,000 steps a day compared to my measly 3,000 steps when I’m home. When I’m wandering around a city without a map (I tend to use Google Maps only as a last resort), I tend to find the most wonderful out of the way cafes, restaurants, or neat little shops that I seem to go back to many times while I’m visiting that town. I would have never found them if I didn’t put one foot in front of the other and start exploring the minute I put my bags down.

#5 “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” C.S. Lewis

It’s the dreamer over here making up the questions! Explain how C.S. Lewis’s quote applies to you!

  • I love this quote! And I firmly believe that you are never too old to change direction and set out to do something that is not the norm. Raised in a middle income, midwest family, it was expected to go to school, then college, get a job, marry, then have kids. Nobody tells you what happens if life doesn’t match what is expected of you. I did mostly everything that was expected, got good grades, finished school with multiple degrees, had a high paying job. The problem was that I wasn’t happy, and I was in a highly stressful and unhealthy situation that I couldn’t see myself sustaining for the rest of my life. So, I walked away from everything (condo, car, clothes, stable job, and lots of other stuff) to start a new life of travel, taking photos, and living on a lot less. But, I am happier than I ever was! You are never too old to start over and follow your passion wherever it takes you!

What motivates me in life, other than blogging?Dad and daughter walking in Washington DC

Traveling has been a part of me since I was little. My Mom and Dad took us on trips every year as a family. We went to Niagara Falls and Walt Disney World so many times I lost count. When the unthinkable happened, my dad passing away at the age of 46, the day before Father’s Day, it devastated me. On top of losing a great dad, this was two weeks before I was supposed to go and visit him in Washington, D.C, where he was working at the time. We had a trip planned over the 4th of July as I had never been there before. I stopped traveling after this for a long time. It took me 18 years to gather the courage to visit Washington, D.C.

When I finally made it there and was walking around the city with tears in my eyes imagining him with me, I kept seeing fathers walking with their daughters. This sign that I believe was from him, was a push for me to start traveling again. And I did! I made the most of my limited vacation time I had while working full-time. But, knowing that life is too short and that I was not going to be happy sitting in a cube for the rest of my life, I decided to make a change. When I turned 46, the same age as my dad when he passed, I decided to quit my job to become a full-time photographer and travel writer. As I have leaped this year into becoming a digital nomad, I know that my dad is right here with me every step of the way, enjoying all the new places that I’m traveling to now, and is incredibly proud of my courage to break away and do something different with my life.

I’m nominating these wonderful blogs for the Liebster Award

A Single Woman Traveling

The Poor Londoner


Travel With Mansoureh

Navigating Travel

My questions for these nominees are:

#1 “There is a greater gift than the trust of others. That is to trust in oneself. Some might call it confidence, others name it faith. But if it makes us brave, the label doesn’t matter… for it’s the thing that frees us, to embrace life itself.”– Jennifer Worth

Have you done something that others have called you brave for doing?

#2 “People who go on holidays are generally passive travelers. Travelers on longer schedules tend to lend themselves to more active participation in culture, language, and attitudes.”

How do you actively participate in culture during your travels?

#3 “ Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind” – Anthony Bourdain

Have you ever had to deal with the uncomfortable side of traveling? How has it changed you?

#4 Now for the lighter side of the questions…If Star Trek fans are called Trekkies, Star Wars fans are called Star Warriors, and Harry Potter fans are called Potterheads, what is the most creative name you would call Travel Blogger fans and why?

#5 If you knew the zombie apocalypse was to happen next week. Where would you travel to that would give you the best chance of survival? And Why?


Good Luck! Please leave the link to your posts here in the comments, so I can get to know you better.


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