Mystery Blogger Award Nomination

I was surprised and honoured to be nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by Julie from Dark Blue Journal

Julie blogs about a little bit of everything and even gets philosophical at times. Her main focus is on our environmental impact and practical ways to reduce our affect on the earth. If you care for our little blue marble and want to see it preserved after we’re gone, the Dark Blue Journal has a wealth of information for you. Go check it out, now!

What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

The award was created by Okoto Enigma. It was created as a way for blogs that haven’t been discovered to gain some recognition.

“Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.
– Okoto Enigma

Mystery Blogger Award Rules

1) Put the award logo/image on your blog
2) List the rules
3) Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
4) Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
5) Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
6) Nominate 10 – 20 people
7) Notify your nominees
8) Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
9) Share a link to your best post(s)

Three Facts About Me

So as not to bore you by rambling on about myself, I’m gonna keep my answers here short. If you need more elaboration, let me know in the comments!

1) I’m a Third Culture Adult.

2) I’m shorter and older than you think.

3) I really, REALLY hate adulting.

Julie’s Questions

What are your thoughts about the paranormal?
I believe that some people believe, but I’m gonna need some proof.

Do you think humans will overcome the climate problems, and why?
Sadly no. For several reasons, the biggest being money. People with money that have interests in industries that are environmentally destructive aren’t about to lose money over the environment. Greed is a bitch.

Aside from that, there are still too many people denying that climate change even exists. It’s impossible to take the required action when you can’t get the proper consensus.

Furthermore, even if we stopped producing everything that’s environmentally harmful and implemented clean strategies TODAY, we’d still have an impossibly large amount of waste left behind that would take years to eliminate.

I’ll still keep doing my part regardless.

What’s a story that really stuck with you?
Not so much stories, but things that I’ve seen while travelling tend to stick with me and remind me how lucky I am to be in the situation I’m in.

What’s your favorite trait about yourself?
I’m awesome! Haha, just kidding. I’m tenacious. I will keep going long after I think I can.

What is your hope for 2020?
I think you can guess what I want; more travel!

My Nominees

I nominate the following awesome bloggers who offer amazingly helpful content. Go visit them now. I’ll wait.

Britt from Alternatively Speaking
April from Rodes on the Road
Denise from Many Facets of Life
Stephen from Yule Times
Chloe from Nyxie’s Nook
Felicia from Meal Planning Easy
Alex from Roam and Thrive
Sandra from Poof, Be Gone
Ana from Goatdog Simple

Questions For My Nominees

1) Life isn’t perfect. What gets you through the bad times?
2) How many languages can you curse in?
3) Are rules made to be followed or broken? Why?
4) Would you rather be trapped somewhere with humans or dogs/cats?
5) Have you ever tried something/been somewhere and thought, “Never again!”?

My Best Posts

From a purely statistical point of view, my best posts are –
Hong Kong on a Budget
Travel to South Turkmenistan
Turkmenbashi to Baku – 3 Days on the Caspian Sea

But my personal favourite is –
Mauritanian Adventure – Coast to Capital on the Iron Train

Which one is your favourite?

Sunshine Blogger Award Nomination

K in Motion Travel Blog. Sunshine Blogger Award Nomination

I’m excited to say that I have once again been nominated by April from Rodes on the Road for a blogging award. This time it’s the Sunshine Blogger Award. The award aims to recognise positive bloggers who act as an inspiration to others.

Obviously I’m grateful to April for this nomination, but I’m also quite humbled by the fact that anyone would see me as an inspiration. To me, I’m just an average person doing what I do. Sure, some of what I do involves crazy adventures in far-off lands, but that’s nothing that can’t be done by any other average person. Go on, give it a try! ;o)

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is an award for bloggers from bloggers. It is given to bloggers who are creative, positive and inspiring. A ray of sunshine in the blogging community. People who entertain you and make you smile :o)

Sunshine Blogger Award Nomination Rules

As with all awards of this type, there are some simple rules that the nominee needs to follow.
1) Thank the blogger who nominated you in your blog post and link back to his/her blog.
2) Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
3) Nominate 11 new bloggers to receive the award and write 11 new questions.
4) List these rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and on your blog.

April’s questions

1. What inspired you to write?
I love writing. I like saying things that no one else has said, or taking something that someone else has said and making it sound better. That’s what got me through high school English!
In relation to my blog, I just love sharing some of the crazy stuff that happens when I travel. From the feedback I’ve gotten, you guys love reading it too!

2. If you’re given a chance to talk to unfortunate young children, what would you say?
*Teacher Mode Enabled* Children have an insane capacity to learn and do, if only they are encouraged. So I encourage. I push them. I let them know that they can do anything they think they can do. They might hate me now, but they’ll thank me later!

3. When you have to do an inspirational poem or message, how does it sound?
Inspirational I hope! I don’t normally have to write inspirational stuff, but I do have to motivate kids to learn every day, does that count?

4. Life hits us hard sometimes, and when you hit bottom what do you do? Do you write something about it? In what way? Journal, poem, and or song?
I spent a few years at the bottom and I’m pretty sure it’s writing that got me through it. I wrote hundreds of poems and songs. They may be shared one day. Or not.

5. Who you look up to?
People who do their own thing and don’t follow the crowd. People who are unapologetic about the fact that they are themselves and don’t have to answer to anyone but themselves.

I also have all the time in the world for people that can debate an issue that they have a different opinion about and still keep stuff civil. Embracing differences is what helps us grow.

6. Do you have a favorite book and or author that helps you positively change your life? If yes, what book and who is the name of the author?
Unfortunately, I don’t read books that much these days. When I did, I really loved reading fantasy books by Raymond Feist.

7. Blogging is not an easy task to do. So what difficulties you encountered and how you handle them?
It’s not as glamorous as some would make it out to be! I haven’t really encountered any difficulties yet. Well, except that time that my hosting company couldn’t handle a boost in traffic and my site was down for the best part of 3 days. I’m glad to say that my new hosting company really stepped up.

8. Why should readers follow you?
I hope that I can entertain people and show them that the world is more accessible than they think. I’d also like to show people that travel isn’t just for the rich. I often provide tips and guides for getting through places on a budget.

9. What inspires you to travel, and why?
The world is a wondrous place. Travel enables me to see cultures first hand and have amazing experiences that I can’t have at home. It helps me to not only see the best scenery, but also the best of people. That’s what keeps my faith in humanity alive.

10. Do you find a life quotation that can describe your life journey as a whole? What would it be?
“Life begins on the edge of your comfort zone”. I’m not actually sure that I have a comfort zone anymore, as I spend so much time out of it.

11. In what way you can help spread positivity to your community and to the world we live in?
I try to help out where I can. There are a few charities here in Hong Kong that I offer my time to when I have it.

And the Nominees Are..

Chris from Golden Bloggerz
Sonila from Mediteranean Latin love Affair
Sheri from Keto Foodification
Steve from Plumb and Lined
Nart from Cooking With Nart
Ai from Ai Made it for You
John from Business and Life Tips
Jennifer from Kinging Queen
Tamra from Nuturing Tamra
Jerry from Four Columns of a Balanced Life
Teresa from Joys, Blessings and Poetry

My Questions for the Nominees

1) If money wasn’t an issue, what would be your dream trip?
2) Cats or Dogs? Why?
3) What’s your favourite pun?
4) Are you a morning person or a night owl?
5) What’s your travel style? Plan every little detail, or go with the flow?
6) When was the last time you went to a live show? How was it?
7) You have an accident which is either going to cause loss of sight or loss of hearing; which would you prefer and why?
8) What’s something you’re super proud of?
9) What would your superhero name be?
10)Do you think that social media connects us to the world, or disconnects us from real-world interaction?
11) What are 4 things you simply cannot live without?

Blogger Recognition Award Nomination

K in Motion Travel Blog. The Blogger Recognition Award

About The Award
The Blogger Recognition Award is an award given to bloggers by bloggers. It aims to help bloggers’ get their work recognised by and promoted to other bloggers. As with any award, there are some rules for nominees –

* Thank the blogger who nominated you for the nomination and link to their blog.
* Write a blog post on your site displaying the award that describes why you started your blog
* Write two pieces of advice you have for new bloggers
* Nominate and notify 15 more bloggers

So here goes! I’m honoured to have been nominated by April from Rhodes on the Road.

April is a Hospitality and Tourism expert who provides some great tips for travelling with family, friends or sometimes even solo. She has combined her passion for the travel industry with blogging, so that she still has time for mum duties. She loves sharing her extensive experiences with travelling on a budget, especially with her family, in the hopes of helping others realise that they too can reach their travel goals.

What Brought Me to Blogging
I’d like to tell you some grand story about an epiphany that started my blogging life, but the truth is actually quite boring. When I’d travel abroad and tell people about my adventures in other countries, they’d ask for my blog address. When I told them I didn’t have one, they told me I should. It took a while, but I finally listened to them.

These days it can be hard to find accurate or up-to-date information in internet land. So now that I’ve finally started blogging, I want to offer people valuable information about off-the-beaten-path destinations on a budget, whilst entertaining them with my crazy stories. Travel is my passion and I’m currently having a blast visiting all the ‘Stans in Central Asia.

Advice for New Bloggers
I’m a fairly new blogger myself and I’ve realised that this whole blogging thing is a lot more work than you think it’s going to be. It’s almost like having a full-time job on top of your regular job. You will only see small amounts of progress at the beginning, but keep at it. I celebrate every milestone to keep myself in a positive mindset.

If you look on the internet, you’ll see so-called experts telling you not to blog about your passion, but to blog about what people want. I never really quite understood how you, being yourself and very much not other people, are supposed to know what others want? Plus, if you’re blogging about something ‘in demand’ but of no interest to you, you won’t turn out good work. Blog about what you know. Watch your stats and see which post are more popular and write more posts similar to those.

My Nominations
On to my nominations. I’ll just give you a short introduction to these wonderful blogs, so please click their links to find out more about them!

A Finn on the Loose
Laura is a Finnish woman who has lived abroad and is in love with travelling. She offers advice on the top things to do and eat in places that she’s travelled to.

A Femme Naturelle
Shirley from Femme Naturelle is a strong woman advocating for a natural lifestyle. She aims to do this while supporting women on their journey to realising their natural beauty.

Diffusing the Tension
Jen is a wellness and mental health blogger, helping to de-mystify things and create an open dialogue. She even helps others with ecourses!

Plan Act Thive
Pat from Plan Act Thrive (do you see what she did there?) is all about motivating and encouraging people to live their best, peaceful and confident life.

Winds of Jane
Jane from Winds of Jane is an avid hiker and photo taker. Her blog is full of awesome photography and useful information for hiking or travelling in different places.

Random Musings of a Naive Skeptic
As the name suggests, Mukti from Random Musings likes to blog about anything and everything, from poetry to books and social observations.

Lemons and Luggage
Nina from Lemons and Luggage is a vegan traveller who advocates for sustainable travel and is not afraid to voice her opinion on things that matter.

Our Favourite Jar
Claire from Our Favourite Jar sometimes likes to write to get her feelings. Other times she enjoys honestly documenting family life and sharing it with her readers.

The Perfect Whisk
Mansi from The Perfect Whisk found her passion was baking deserts. She shares all her baking tips and knowledge, along with mouthwatering pictures of her preservative and chemical free baking successes on her blog.

Dark Blue Journal
Julie from Dark Blue Journal is a minimalist who shares practical ways to reduce your carbon footprint while practising mindfulness.

Conversations With Lora
Lora from Conversations with Lora is a strong, independent woman who tackles issues like emotional health and offers tips for healthy living.

Greenmochila
Anna and Anthony from Greenmochila are Earth conscious travellers who love to have adventures around the world while also protecting the environment where they can.

Life Travel Soul
Fritzie from Life Travel Soul is passionate about travel and photography and aims to inspire though documenting her journey and sharing travel tips.

Fairyburger
Farrah from Fairyburger is a Medical resident by day, and probably night. Somewhere in between all that work, she blogs about life, food and travel.

Bluehill Blogger
The Bluehill Blogger is teenage blogger sharing insights into life from a uniquely interesting and often ignored, teenage view.

Couchsurfing Like a Pro

K in Motion Travel Blog. Couchsurfing Like a Pro

So you’ve registered on Couchsurfing, because you’ve heard it’s a great way to meet locals when travelling. It absolutely is, but it can be a bit daunting working out the CS system. I’m here to help you navigate this strange new world and get you Couchsurfing like a pro in no time!

Verified; To Be Or Not To Be?

In short, paying for verification will not help you get hosts or surfers in the beginning. The Couchsurfing site would like you to think that verification is the key to finding hosts and surfers, but that’s not always the case. I’ve had verified members tell me that they’ve messaged several people and being ignored or rejected every time. On the other hand, I receive a ridiculous amount of couch requests and never have problems finding hosts as a non-verified member. There are definitely other factors at play.

What will help you to start couchsurfing like a pro are references. Admittedly, it can be easier for hosts to pick up their first surfer, especially if they live in an area that doesn’t have many other couchsurfing hosts. If you host a verified couchsurfer and get a positive reference from them, you will earn a temporary verification, which can be extended by hosting more verified couchsurfers.

So you’re not ready to host yet, but want to find a couch for an upcoming trip? No problems! There is still hope. Keep reading to find out how to maximise your chances.

Couchsurfing like a Pro – Make a Kick-Ass Profile

When you’re starting out, your profile is your most important commodity, so treat it as such! Make sure that you’ve included at least one picture, but 3 to 5 is better. It’s vital to fill out every section, as this is what people will use to gauge if you’re the kind of person they want in their space. It’s where you need to let your awesomeness shine through!

In the ‘Countries I’ve Visited’ section, list all the countries that you’ve been to and update the list as you go. If you’ve been to a variety of countries, people are more likely to want to meet you. If you’ve been to a country off the tourist radar, hosts will sometimes want to meet you to hear your fabulous stories and ask you for advice about it. It’s also a commonly held belief in the Couchsurfing community that well-travelled people make better surfers, as they’re more aware of how to carry themselves in many different situations.
K in Motion Travel Blog. Couchsurfing Like a Pro

Getting References Before You Surf/Host

If your profile is your greatest commodity in the Couchsurfing world, then references are the currency. This is one of the major hurdles you need to overcome as a new member, because without references your chances of finding hosts are significantly lower. Luckily, Couchsurfing has two kinds of references; hosting/surfing references and personal references.

Any member on Couchsurfing can leave a reference for another member. So if you have friends using the platform, ask them to leave you a character reference. What if you don’t have any friends on the platform? Get yourself to a Couchsurfing event, either at home or abroad. These are held regularly in cities around the world and will show up on the website. If you hit it off with another Couchsurfing member, ask them to give you a personal reference on the platform. These are not as good as surfing or hosting references, but they can increase your chances of finding surfers or hosts.

Finding Your First Host

You’ve poured your heart into your profile and gotten some personal references, now it’s time to find a host. I have to be honest with you at this point and advice you that some hosts will flat out refuse to host some surfers. I think this is ridiculous in the 21st century, but I guess they have their reasons. If you are male, female hosts may refuse to host you, due to ‘safety concerns’. I’d strongly suggest that, unless you can see a history of references from both males and females on a prospective host’s profile, don’t send them a request.

Through the app or the website, you can do a host search by location. You can also use filters, such as date, languages, age, etc., to narrow down your search. It’s always best to search for the exact dates that you need, to make sure that only hosts that are available on your dates will come up in the search.

Couchsurfing Like a Pro – Requesting a Couch

Once you find someone you’d like to host you, you can send a couch request by pressing the ‘Request to Stay’ button. This will send you to a screen where you can type your introduction message. You need to sell yourself here. Don’t cut and paste from your profile. Pick something specific in that person’s profile that makes you think you might get on well. Maybe you both love science fiction, or you have both been to Bangladesh. Whatever it is, find some common ground.

K in Motion Travel Blog. Couchsurfing Like a Pro K in Motion Travel Blog. Couchsurfing Like a Pro

Also, let them know what you can offer them. Can you teach them a language? Can you cook some traditional food for them? Can you tell them crazy travel stories? Can you bring them a unique souvenir from your country? Can you provide them with experiences they have mentioned in their profile?

One thing to keep in mind is that you can only send 10 couch requests a month. If you don’t travel much, that’s fine, but if you’re on a bigger trip, you might be better off messaging someone first so as not to waste your requests. If the person you’re talking to agrees to host you, you can easily send the couch request through later.

Offering a Couch

This is a fairly similar concept to the one above, but this time, sell the wonders of your local area as well as yourself. Are there traditional temples in your area? Nature parks? Something different and quirky? Does it have awesome transport links? Great nightlife? Think about what amenities you would love to have in an area and how your area can provide them. Again, don’t cut and paste from your profile and try to focus on something your prospective surfer has mentioned that they like in their profile.

Couchsurfing Like a Pro – Public Trips

Another useful feature on the site is the ability to create a public trip. Your public trip can be seen by hosts in and visitors to your target area. This means that, aside from helping you find a host, this function could also help you find a travel buddy who’ll be in the same place at the same time as you! I’ve used public trips for most places that I’ve travelled to and have had unforgettable times with wonderful people.

When hosts see these public trips, they can send an ‘offer to host’ if they like your introduction and think that you’d be a great surfer. There is no limit on the number of offers someone can make to host people, so often you can end up with many offers using this function.

Final Thoughts

Couchsurfing is an amazing platform for connecting like-minded people all around the world. The knowledge of a local is invaluable and can take your trip from great to super awesome. I’ve used Couchsurfing for years and some of my most fabulous experiences, from the South Pacific to Africa and everywhere in between, have been a direct result of it.

I cannot recommend it enough! Even if it seems difficult to begin with, just stick with it! It will enrich your life in ways you never would’ve imagined. When you join up, you can find me here