While diving in the world of blogging, I discovered a lot of amazing things. Some things were exciting, some not, some even disappointing. Yes, it is the reality- blogging is not just “an endless party or vacation”. It is hard work, and sometimes tempting to give up. But the exciting part is usually too strong to let us give up, at least for me.
As I said, there were a lot of exciting things in my blogging experience. And recently, I met another exciting thing- a nomination for Liebster Award. I received it from Sydney Richardson, from A World in Reach…
Yes, I remembered that I applied for it in a Facebook group, without having any idea what actually is it. It sounded nice- receiving an award, so I just applied. And when I received the message from Sydney, I still didn’t know what exactly is this award- a title, maybe a gift, or something else. But when I read more about it- to receive an opportunity of spreading my blogging message by other fellow bloggers- I found it worth more than everything (it is maybe the main goal of every blogger, isn’t it?). So I can’t thank Sydney enough for this nomination!
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So, what is Liebster Award?
Liebster is an award from bloggers- it is a given opportunity to spread out your blog first in the blogging world, and from there- to the rest of the world. In other words- it is another way to help growing of your blog. The word “liebster” is a German word, meaning “dearest”, “beloved”, “kind”, “welcome” and many other synonyms of these lovely words. By this way, it expresses the warmest welcome by the blogging community. Although all this spreading is like a chain letter (and I personally don’t like joining chain letters), this is really helpful for us. And not only helpful, but it brings honor.
The rules of the Liebster Award
This award is great, but it also requires some action from our side. It has some rules that we have to follow, in order to make all this to work properly, because it is not just for one person, it is for many bloggers involved. Only then it can work.
So, here are the rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated you, and put a link to their blog on your blog.
2. Display the award on your blog.
3. Write a small post about what makes you passionate about blog posting.
4. Provide 10 random facts about yourself. (Optional)
5. Answer the questions from your nominator and provide a fresh set of questions for those you nominate.
6. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel would enjoy blogging about this award.
7. List these rules in your post.
The story of Journey beyond the Horizon until the end of 2018
How I reached this point? It all began many years ago when I not only loved traveling, but I realized that it needs money and time. However, if I work a “normal job”- I have money, but no time. If I don’t work- I have time, but no money. It naturally led me to the idea to turn the travel itself into a job. A few years ago I didn’t know about blogs too much. I have read many travel blogs, but I didn’t know that they can be a great way to reach my goal. I found that just recently, only a few months ago. So I didn’t hesitate but immediately started my own travel blog, with my wife, travel mate and partner Ying Ying.
When I started this new travel blog, I already had a clear idea about its name, its niche, and its goal. I needed only a guide since there was a lot of scattered information about how to start and grow a travel blog. I found various blogging courses, but the course that I most liked was Blogging Fast Lane of Adventure in You. Thanks to Anna and Tom from Adventure in You, I got a great blogging guide and now I know what I am doing and how to proceed to do.
And finally, now, I met Sydney from A World in Reach (or better, she met me) online, and nominated me for Liebster Award. She is a young student, writing in her blog mainly about the fact that the world is reachable for everyone who wants to travel. She writes how to do it, inspires with some destinations info, as well as her travel stories. And, as a Liebster Award winner, she asks 10 questions to all who are nominated.
Here are Sydney’s questions:
1. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned during your travels?
I think I have learned a lot of lessons. But maybe the most important lesson is that it really worth if it is useful. It means, if travel is only fun and relax, it would lose its meaning if it is too long. Let’s say it: if we only thinking of an endless vacation- we are lazy people. So, the only way to travel long and to make it meaningful is to make it useful- for others and for ourselves.
2. What’s your favorite part of traveling? Least favorite?
My favorite part of traveling is when the time comes to enjoy free a destination or a route. Then I just dive into the geography, history, facts, landscape or cultural environment of the place or the area. Don’t think about anything else. Or, when I am on a route from point A to point B, and I can watch the landscapes through which I pass.
Generally, if everything goes smooth, I really don’t have a least favorite part of the traveling. I enjoy everything- from the preparation for a trip, the trip itself, to the big sharing to others after the trip. But if I have to look for a least favorite part of traveling, I can find it only if the things are NOT going smooth- if a trip to a desired place fails, if I fall into a scam, if the time is too limited to enjoy a specific destination, etc. And such things normally may happen in every trip, since we don’t live in a perfect world.
3. Do you collect any souvenirs from your travels?
Usually no. I prefer to bring as less as possible luggage with me. Maybe if the souvenirs are very small, it is possible sometimes to buy something. Another reason for not collecting souvenirs is that they soon become useless after I bring them home. They would stay on a shelf and collect dust, and soon would not pay any attention to them.
So, if we talk about souvenirs, my best souvenirs are my photos and video clips that I make from a trip. I can enjoy watching them even years after the trip.
4. What is the most unique experience you’ve had with a local while traveling?
It may sound funny, but the most unique experience was when I guided a few Chinese friends in their own country, to Eastern Tibet (Sichuan and Qinghai provinces) and I, the foreigner, was their guide, knowing more about their country and the place, than them. But let me share another great experience- it was again during this trip- our meetings with the local Tibetans. They were very hospitable people, and it was really exciting to have dinner with them on the grasslands at Mt.Amnye Machin, on 4500 m altitude, eating original local food.
5. If you could travel with one person you’ve never traveled with before, who would it be?
I would enjoy traveling with someone who has the same views to traveling like me. Someone who loves adventures. Someone who would not complain if the hotel is too dirty or the area around the hotel is too messy and smelly. Someone, who would not ask me: “When we will finally arrive at our destination, why we are walking so long, why did you take me to such a difficult route? I am tired, I am boring, I want to relax, how can you take me to such places!” (honestly, in my life I have endured a lot of such complains, ha ha).
6. How did you come up with your blog name?
My blog name came surprisingly easy and quickly. I came naturally from my thinking about traveling. Journey beyond the Horizon: First, it indicates an endless traveling, since we want to reach the unseen things beyond the line of the horizon, and in the same time we can actually never reach the horizon. And second, there are horizons in our life, limiting our comfort zones, or limiting our geographical knowledge.
For example- I see how most of the people who say that they love traveling, actually stare always to only a few famous destinations, like Paris, London, Thailand, Bali, and only a few more. Many of them really don’t even have an idea, that beyond the horizon of their well known favorite places, can find an amazing world of unique places, often much better and much less crowded than their few favorite ones.
Another horizon, as I say, is the border of people’s comfortable zone. For example: “If you go traveling with children, you have to arrange as easy as possible trips, you have to bring a lot of luggage for children’s need, you have to avoid not well-developed countries or destinations”. Really? When I travel with my family, we certainly don’t think like this, we can go to some much adventurous trips, and our children are not only safe but get an amazing experience.
But, this is a horizon. We were on a trip to Tash Rabat, an incredibly beautiful place in Kyrgyzstan. And there we didn’t see any other traveling children, except our children. All other people were only adventurous trekkers and backpackers. No, actually there were a few other children- the children of locals. And our children were really happy to play with them, to ride a horse and make fun together.
7. What tip would you give to a new blogger?
We, the bloggers, know very well that our biggest problem is the temptation to give up because the first year of blogging is usually VERY difficult. So, I would advise them to not fall into depression. Sometimes we don’t do what we really have to do to manage well our blogs. It is due to lack of knowledge, lack of enough free time, or lack of understanding. I would suggest joining a blogging course. Yes, it costs money, but at least it can give you a clear direction, avoiding the problem with knowledge and understanding.
I also would advice- don’t be discouraged if you don’t see good results of your work immediately. You can work a lot, be active in the social media, in Pinterest, active in email marketing, SEO, writing a lot of articles for your blog, guest posting, etc., and a long time to not see much traffic growing. But be patient. Just keep working. You are establishing a foundation. Don’t rely on occasional high traffic for one day (it can give you a sudden high value for one-month traffic insights, but when 30 days pass, this value will drop “to the normal” and may discourage you). Usually, Google is not merciful to new bloggers. But if you don’t give up to establish your foundation, sooner or later Google will “pay attention” to you and will start showing you on its first page.
8. Is there a book or a movie that has inspired your wanderlust?
My wanderlust didn’t come from books or movies, but I have read some really exciting books. My favorite books are: “Conquering the Impossible: My 12,000-Mile Journey Around the Arctic Circle.” and “Latitude Zero” by Mike Horn. For me, the stories of this explorer are the traveling in its best. Although I am still too far from making such kind of trips, it perfectly fit my travel style- geographical exploration.
Concerning movies- I would say two films, which are not well known, but really inspiring: “The Way Back”- a movie (from a real story) about a Polish prisoner who escaped from a Soviet GULAG with a few of his fellows from Siberia, passing through Mongolia, Tibet and finally arrived to British India. And another movie was “77 Days”- about a Chinese traveler who crossed alone one of the harshest lands on the Earth- Chang Tang plateau of Northern Tibet (on average altitude 5000 m above sea level), which is much more difficult than climbing Everest.
9. What are the top 3 things on your bucket list?
My bucket list is full of places, lands, and routes which are quite adventurous. I enjoy the vastness of the Earth’s geography. I enjoy endless landscapes, where you can’t see people hundreds of miles around. I also prefer places with less human intervention- as most as possible virgin. And also places with the most preserved local culture. So, my top 3 things are:
- Vastness of Earth’s geography
- Natural as much as possible
- Best preserved local culture
From this I have the following favorite places in my future plans:
- Crossing Siberia
- Exploring Polynesia (but not Bora Bora or other famous resorts)- its less known hidden islands (like Tuamotu)
- Exploring Tibet, especially Chang Tang plateau- the third largest uninhabited area on the Earth.
10. What is your biggest travel regret?
As I mentioned above from my least favorite part of my trips, my biggest travel regret is when not only the things don’t go smooth, but also due to this, I fail to visit a desired place. Then I say: “I had such a great opportunity to go there, but it failed due to some stupid reasons. Who knows will I have another opportunity to visit it in the future!”
It happened at least a few times during my trips. Maybe the worst recent case was when I tried to reach Chola Pass in Eastern Tibet and to make a hike in Mt. Chola. We were a large group of people and we were so close to the pass. They all agree to go to this pass, but just because most of them were too lazy and slowly, finally there was no time for it, so we had to give up.
Anyway, the regret feeling quickly passed, and I quickly forgave them. I normally don’t think about travel regrets and don’t regret too much. After the moment of disappointment pass, I remember that actually everything is in God’s hands, seems He arranged the things to happen by this way.
So, now is my turn to nominate new bloggers,
and I am happy to do it.
Here are my nominees:
Dia Jin, from Here with Dia
Shannan, from Captivating Compass.
Danielle from Along for Adventure.
Amanda Mae Prechel from Amanda in the World.
Jenn from Beyond the Dacks
And here are my questions to them:
- How do you look to the travel: as a relax, or as a work?
- Do you love geography, and have you been good in geography in school?
- Which is the most dangerous situation you have experienced during your trips?
- How much is the highest altitude in the mountains that you have ever been?
- Can you tell me 5 dream destinations that you want to visit?
- What is your longest trip you have ever made?
- What is your best travel memory, which you would like to experience again?
- Respectively, what is your worst travel memory, which you would like never happened?
- Imagine that now is the 15th century. Would you join an expedition like Magellan or Columbus, and to where?
- Have you ever wanted to give up blogging, and what made you continue?
I would be happy to read your answers.
Finally, I’d like to especially thank:
Joan Torres, from Against the Compass. His blog is not only about some of the most exciting destinations in the world (for me), but reading it made me discover blogging as a job!
Matthew Karsten, from Expert Vagabond. Following his short guide, I started my blog Journey beyond the Horizon.
Anna Faustino and Tom Rogers from Adventure in You. They started an excellent blogging course- “Blogging Fast Lane”, which I joined and now I have clear guidelines on how to develop my blog.
Jamin “Lobsang” York, from The Land of Snows. His blog about Tibet inspired me to make my favorite trips- around Eastern Tibet, giving me a lot of traveling experience.
Sydney Richardson, from A World in Reach. She is the reason to get Liebster Award and to write this post now.
All the fellow bloggers from the Facebook groups. Reading their blogs gives me a lot of new ideas and experience.
My wife and travel mate Wu Ying Ying. Without her, my trips, as well as our blog, would not be the same.
And of course, I thank God, Who arranged the situations in this way, so I met all these people, run my blog and reached this point where I am now.