Sunday, 27 April 2014

Liebster Award - a black cat came my way so...

The Italian Backpacker has been nominated for the Liebster Award!

Serena of Souvenirs from a Black Cat nominated me for this interesting game award. It's a chance to get to know new bloggers (ideally under or around 600 followers)  and to exchange opinions about travelling and travel blogging.
In order to play you have to:
  • Thank the blogger who has nominated you;
  • Answer the ten questions;
  • Nominate other 10 travel bloggers;
  • Ask them 10 questions.
And now to the questions that Serena has asked:
1. How much does photography counts when you travel? If you had to do one trip without being able to take any pictures would you consider it a "wasted" one or you wouldn't care that much?
In the past I took many trips without taking any pictures, but since I've started my blog and bought a better camera I love taking pictures while travelling and I cannot imagine a holiday without my camera. I'm also trying to learn some tricks to make my pictures more interesting, and the world of editing has also helped me having fun with my pictures!

2. Always talking about photos, which "unusual" subjects do you like to picture when travelling?

I sometimes take pictures of souvenir or postcard stands, just to highlight the difference between the hyper-touristic and the more "real" side of a place.

Postcard stand in Venice

3. Which destination has made you unexpectedly fall in love even if at first you thought you wouldn't have liked it?

I've recently been to Innsbruck, in Austria, for a conference, and I totally fell in love with the town. Before leaving, I thought Innsbruck would be boring, but it's not. It's a charming town with a cute historical centre and friendly smiling people. It has a pretty decent food scene too!

4. Who is your ideal travelmate and which characteristics are making him/her so?

I've been travelling alone lately, and I have found out that I love to do so and it fits me. It's something you understand only when you try it: the thrill down your spine at the thought of your freedom, the empowerment and the great possibilities that you get from such an experience. I have however an ideal travel partner, a friend I've gone on a trip with many times in the past. She is open-minded, flexible, and good at organizing things. I think it's very important to travel with the right people, and not just with some random friends.
5 . Do you still send out postcards when travelling or do you consider it a bit nonsense nowadays?

I used to collect postcards, but nowadays nobody spends time to write and send postcards. It's such a pity! It was the thrill of getting an unexpected postcard, rather than the urge to collect as many places as possible, that made it magical. I still buy postcards of the places I visit, though.
6. Which experience have you done while travelling that you would have never considered you'd have found the courage to do?

Just recently I booked a plane ticket to Morocco, and I'm going there alone! To visit Morocco has been a dream of mine for years, but I was hesitant about going. I never thought I would take this step, but many other travel bloggers have encouraged me to do so. You will read the tales of this new adventures on my blog very soon!
7. Which is your favourite travel quote?
I think it's already a classic, but I love the following quote: “Travel is the only thing that you buy that makes you richer”. I don't care much for clothes and expensive gadgets, but I don't regret when my money goes on travelling. That and books are my passions.
8. Who is the weirdest character you have ever met when travelling?

I once couchsurfed in England and ended up staying at this guy's place together with like eight other people, some of us sleeping on airbeds, others on yoga mats in the kitchen. The guy was literally filling up his flat with couchsurfers every night, while getting drunk and stoned at the same time. His explanations about what to see  and what to do in Bath of course made little sense. He was really kind to us, though, and fun. On that occasion I met an Israeli couple that I'm still in contact with, and every now and then we still text each other. The text contains simply the name of the guy, and we burst out laughing thinking of that crazy night in Bath!
9. Have you ever made an organized tour? Which is your opinion about it?

I've never been on an organized tour, other than the occasional day trip by bus for special destinations like Stonehenge. Of course group tours don't give you as much freedom and flexibility as independent travelling, and it might impact that feeling of getting to know a place for real, but I think it's a good option for visiting countries that you wouldn't be comfortable visiting on your own. This is particularly relevant for solo women travellers. I would consider a group tour if I've ever make it to India, for instance! There are also some companies, like G Adventures and Intrepid Travel, that offer a travel style where you might feel more in contact with locals, i.e. using public transport and sleeping in small guesthouses. I wouldn't mind trying one of those in the future.

10. Which particular goal would you like to reach with your blog?
I hope to inspire people to travel more, in whichever way the like, alone or with company, with a backpack or a suitcase, short term or long term. It also gives me great pleasure to write about the places that I visit, to reflect about them and wrap up a nice story. I like to read travel stories where people observe what's happening around them, and really share their impressions on the country or city they're visiting. This blog is also a reminder TO MYSELF that I want to travel more.

And now it's time for the nominees! These writers can, if they feel like of course, answer the ten questions that follow.

Here are the questions I have prepared for you:

  1. Why did you start a travel blog in the first place and what to you wish to accomplish?
  2. How would you define your style of travelling?
  3. What kind of things excite you the most while travelling?
  4. Are there things that annoy you, instead, while travelling?
  5. Is there a destination you could keep going back to countless times?
  6. Do you ever travel alone? If yes, how does that make you feel? And if no, would you ever consider doing that?
  7. Do you believe in the distinction between traveller and tourist?
  8. Do you ever feel compelled to do certain things, like a particular day trip or activity that is always mentioned as a “must-do”, while travelling?
  9. Is there a country or a city that you have no interest in visiting?
  10. What role does photography have in your blog?

UPDATE: I have also received nominations from John of In the Loop Travel and from Lila of Foreign Feasts. Thank you both for this honour!


  1. Ooohh!! I got caught by the answers, fantasizing on you in Morocco and trying to picture the guy in Bath, when I saw my name at the end !!!! Thanks so much for nominating me !!! :)

    1. Have fun with the answers! I'm constantly fantasizing about me in Morocco! :-)

  2. We definitely have one thing in common which made me smile - I also take pictures of souvenir or postcard stands everywhere I travel to :), but I hardly ever buy them!

  3. Lovely post. :) Congrats on the nomination!

  4. So nice to learn more about you Stefania! I started giggling to myself when I mentally pictured your couchsurfing extravaganza in Bath - I can understand why only the sight or sound of his name is enough to set off a bout of laughter! Thanks for the nomination, your questions are fun and interesting!

    1. I'm happy that you enjoyed reading my answers. This was real fun!

  5. So touched by your nomination - thank you! I actually already did a Liebster Award post here:

    Your answers were great! I'm sure you'll love traveling in Morocco, and I totally agree with your blog goal!

    1. I'm off to your site to read the answers. It's so good that you were recognized twice. I love your bog, you're doing a great job!

  6. Thanks so much for nominating me and my blog, looking forward to answering the questions. Really jealous that you're in Morocco, looking forward to hearing about your adventures soon :-) Have a fab time.

  7. Thank you for your answers!!
    They've been really interesting to read. And I totally relate to some of your answers; exp #7: I really don't care about clothes or other stuff, and I just prefer spending my money on trips. And on books too :)
    I also agree that travelmates have to be chosen carefully: friendship is not enough, you have to share the same way to mean the travel, otherwise it would be a total bummer (and you might risk to spoil the friendship as well).
    The experience in Bath is surely one of those stories one will remember forever and always laugh about :D

  8. Love your answers and congratulations! Also thanks for the nomination, we are so excited! We just got our answers up and while we don't have a story like your experience in Bath we hope you enjoy! :)


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