Liebster Award Nomination No. 3

January, 2018

What an excellent way to kick off 2018 than with a Liebster Award nomination, my third so far…

This time, Aixa from Mucho Spanish has nominated me for the Liebster Award. Please check out this excellent travel blogger from Venezuela that moved to the USA some 20 years’ ago. Aixa has many wonderful stories and insights to share with you. Many thanks Aixa, for this cool nomination!

Liebster award, wordpress


My first Liebster nomination was from bilingual travel bloggers Up Up and Away, and the second nomination from Street Art Rat, which shares news in the street art world. Do yourself a favour and check both of these cool sites out.

A little background: “Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.” So this award promotes new blogs

Award Rules

  1. Answer the questions that were left for you.
  2. Nominate your favourite new bloggers (not more than 15!)
  3. Write 7 questions for them to answer.
  4. Add all the rules and be honest with your answers!

My nominees

Not in any order…

  1. Talking Thailand – Living in Thailand, Gill shows you insights around Bangkok and other gorgeous destinations in Thailand through her words and photos.
  2. Runaway Katie – Lifestyle and travel blogger hailing from far north Queensland in Australia.
  3. A little road trip – Family travel and lifestyle is a very new blog about a family of four, give them a shout!
  4. The eternal traveller – ‘Remembering past journeys, recording current trips and planning for the next one’ around Australia and the world.
  5. Oh the places we see – Follow Bert and Rusha’s adventures in Africa, USA, Europe, and Asia…so far.
  6. Roasted Romance – Another very new blog, this one is about a mum that loves to read and cherishes life with her family.
  7. De’Xventure – Two cousins that are travel and adventure enthusiasts, writing about trekking, lifestyle, photography, and more.
  8. Chow Bella Travels – Travel, food, and fashion inspiration blog.

Questions from Mucho Spanish

How do you prepare for a trip?

To be honest, I’ve never been a traveller that plans much for any trip, unless I’m constrained by time whilst working, and going on a quick jaunt.

Apart from the flight and maybe the first night or two’s accommodation booking, then that’s the extent of my planning.

I like this method of travelling as it means you’re more open to change in plans, especially if you meet other travellers doing cool things that you hadn’t thought of doing. The downside is that I haven’t researched the destination enough and I find out later that I missed seeing something cool.

I don’t like to be regimented whilst travelling and prefer the book-as-you-go approach. I remember the first time I donned my backpack back in 1985, which was to be a twelve-month solo trip leaving Australia for around the world. Only having travelled to New Zealand previously, my first serious trip overseas started in Harare, Zimbabwe (Africa). I didn’t even have the first night’s accommodation booked. Foolish? That’s a whole new post that I need to write some day…

What is your favourite travel photo?

This is a really hard question for a travel photographer with a passion for candid street shots and spectacular vistas.

I can’t really narrow it down to one shot but one of my favourite landscape shots has to be ‘Opposites Attract’, which I took at the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, back in 2011.

Four of us were on a three-day 4WD trip across the salt flats and one morning we awoke before sunrise to cross the Salar. Heavy snow had melted from the Andes and covered rendering the salt flats into a surreal lake. In some places, the water was only a few centimetres but in other places, it was ankle deep.

In this photo, we stopped for ten minutes to take photos. Our friends (Gordon and Wendy) didn’t realise I was taking sneaky photos of them and this is one result. By the way, picture this photo upside down…it works.

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia, salt flats
Opposites Attract – Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Although not a candid shot as I asked permission for this photo, I’ve named the following photo ‘Burma Smiles’ and took this in the Minglar Markets, Inle Lake, in Myanmar (Burma), 2014.

Seeing this vendor’s serene smile drew me to take her photo, which I used to advertise my recent exhibition in Cerisano, Italy. Let me know what you think…

market vendor, Minglar markets, Inle Lake, Myanmar, Burma
Burma Smiles – market vendor

What do you like to bring home from a trip?

Australians have to be very careful with what we bring back to Australia. Our customs are very strict and can carry severe penalties if disobeyed – I’m sure everyone has heard of our laws. As examples, an on-the-spot fine can be AUD$340; criminal prosecution fines of AUD$66,000 with up to 10 years’ imprisonment can also be applied. So, if entering Australia, remember to declare everything!

I like to collect a mask that represents each country I visit, whether the mask is of the indigenous people of a country, something that signifies an aspect of the country’s culture, or just an unusual mask that catches my eye. This is not always possible as the country may not have a particular mask – trust me, I’ve searched high and low, and in many countries.

The last mask I bought was a Plague Doctor’s Mask during the Venice Carnivale in 2017, which is hand made and an authentic mask, similar to the mask that the chap is wearing in the photo below.

When not travelling and back in Australia, I have a wall that I hang about twenty or so masks, which look great and is a very colourful unusual art piece. I love to walk past the masks and reminisce about each country. Sadly, these are all stored away in my garage right now.

Venice Carnivale, masks, italy
Venetian masks during Carnivale

Another thing I like to collect from a trip is a small distinct charm of the country. I have a charm bracelet, which I started over twenty years’ ago. This is much more expensive as typically, the charm is gold, although a charm is easily transportable, and not an issue with customs.

What is a food you would never have tried if you never travelled?

Crickets. Back in 2014 whilst visiting a cricket farm in Dalat, Vietnam, which breeds these insects as a delicacy, our little tour group was forced to try stir-fried crickets in chilli and garlic. This is a dish I probably never would try in Australia and not sure if it’s even available.

I didn’t enjoy the dish as the insects are quite crunchy and dry, as expected, although I liked the chilli and garlic mix. Guess it’s also the thought of knowing that you’re crunching into an insect, which made me cringe a tad.

What is one mistake you made while travelling?

Booking into the hotel El-Sol in Chiclayo, Peru back in 2011, which was one of the only hotels we stayed in during the ten months of travelling in South America. Family-run Hostels are much safer and provide better friendly service.

We left the hotel for a few hours and on our return we discovered we were robbed – it was an inside job, which even the police agreed to, but couldn’t be proved.

The thief entered our locked room, picked the locks on our backpacks, stole everything (apart from credit cards and passports, which couldn’t be used), locked our backpacks, then left locking our room.

The manager was rude and even made us pay for the two nights’ accommodation after we were robbed of all our cash, phones, laptops, and iPod. The link above is the review that I wrote for TripAdvisor and note that a management response in 2016 was posted, explaining the robbery never occurred!

Questions for my nominees should you wish to accept

I’ve centred my questions around understanding how bloggers handle their sites as I want to learn more.

  1. What are your blogging objectives for 2018?
  2. How often to you post a blog and why (daily, weekly, monthly)?
  3. What inspires you to write?
  4. Have you set any definite travel destinations for 2018 or is this an earning year?
  5. Where is your most desired travel destination?
  6. Do you get any exposure from award nominations?
  7. Have you considered advertising on your site? If so, does advertising help to give your blog site more exposure?

Thanks again to Aixa from Mucho Spanish for the continual support of my work and especially for the nomination. I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future.


If travel and photography are your passions, then check out more photos at Nilla’s Photography and many more amazing destinations for you at, Image Earth Travel.




22 responses to “Liebster Award Nomination No. 3”

  1. Dolly Avatar

    Hi there! Such a great write-up, thank you!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for your comment.

  2. tishacutie16 Avatar

    Congratulations and celebrations!! 😀 enjoyed reading your answers. May u get many more awards in future. BTW you can check out my site for some poems written by me if u have time especially the one titled “I’m waiting”. I am a beginner and need your feedback dear. Hope to see you there. 😀

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Many thanks, I hope so too.
      I have visited your site and will leave a comment on your poem for you. 🙂

      1. tishacutie16 Avatar

        Oh thank you.

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Welcome. 🙂

  3. runawaykatie Avatar

    Thank you so much for my nomination! I loved reading your answers and I am now looking forward to answering your questions in my own post. Thank you again!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      My pleasure and you deserve the nomination. Look forward to reading your responses.

  4. Liesbet @ Roaming About Avatar

    Hi Nilla! What an awful experience you had, being robbed while staying in a hotel. Incredible! And, I can imagine how helpless you felt when knowing it was an insider’s job. I hope your review kept many travelers away from that place!!!

    Apart from this, I notice a lot of similarities to my life in your answers. I rarely ever plan anything for a trip (although it has been a while since I made a “normal” trip not having my own movable house with me) – the flight and maybe the first night. I used to collect masks as well from all my travels and picked one up in most countries I visited in SE Asia as a backpacker in my twenties. I actually have a Venetian mask similar to yours, but black. I’d like to say I still collect them, but, unfortunately I can’t really. Those previous masks lived on a wall (just like yours) in my studio during my 4 years as a teacher in Belgium and, since then (2003), they have been stored on my parents’ attic! Which is where all my new souvenirs would have to go… I sometimes joke that the only reason I’d ever live in a house would be to exhibit all my souvenirs. Five boxes of them…

    No set travel destinations for 2018, as we need to work now and only visit places in our camper in between house sits. The destination that is the highest on my list as of now? South Africa.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      I’m not sure as the manager responded to my TripAdvisor review and basically accused me of lying – I cannot counter-respond to warn people off so hopefully people will take my word against his. I no longer write reviews for TripAdvisor as the reviews are very subjective and anyone can write one without even staying at a hotel or eating at a restaurant.

      Wow, there are a lot of similarities in our lives and yes, one day I’ll unpack all my souvenirs and proudly display them on a wall again. I have a darkroom I would love to set up again and re-visit processing/printing B&W film.

      I haven’t returned to South Africa sine 1985, but loved my time there. I spent two months solo-backpacking from Zimbabwe down to South Africa, and even hitchhiked for three weeks around South Africa (that part was with another Australian traveller I met).

      I hope that one day we can meet. If you’re ever in southern Italy, stop in for an Espresso, Aperitivo, or anything else; not sure how long I’ll be here for… 😉

  5. gillmorris Avatar

    Congratulations Nilla, you deserve the award, I love your stories and photos from the different places you have been to.. and THANKYOU for nominating me.. I appreciate it a lot.. have a fab weekend 🙂 x

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      You’re welcome Gill and thank you for supporting my work! 🙂 x

  6. Patty Avatar

    First all congratulations on receiving this well deserved Award!
    I love all photo’s, but that Image Earth Face (s) … BEAUTIFUL.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Patty – Burma Smiles has a beautiful face and glad I could capture the serenity in her eyes. x

  7. Roasted Romance Avatar

    Wow, thank you for the nomination! I enjoyed reading your answers and I have also eaten crickets. They serve them at our local insect museum. I truly enjoy your blog!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for your comment and you deserve the nomination!

  8. Aixa Avatar

    So interesting, Nilla. That was very interesting to read.

    We don’t like planning too much, either, also for the spontaneity. Your Opposites Attract photo is incredible!

    And once we were caught bringing back Jamón Iberico to the U.S. They got just some of it in one bag and we found out we could have been fined $10,000 USD and jail time!!! Fortunately, they didn’t find all of it (we had some in another bag 😜)

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you for the nomination!
      ‘Opposites Attract’ is a favourite with many people when I exhibit. For me, it is a very special photo.
      Ha, ha, you were lucky they didn’t find everything and that wouldn’t have happened in Australia – the sniffer dogs would of found everything! 🙂

  9. the eternal traveller Avatar

    The story of your hotel robbery is dreadful and quite scary. We like to book self catering accommodation as much as possible but I guess a robbery can occur anywhere. Your photo of the salt flats in Bolivia is simply beautiful. Thank you for the nomination.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      My pleasure, you deserve the nomination! Thank you for your kind feedback.

      I also like to book self-catering but back in 2011 in South America, this wasn’t really on offer, so hostels were a safer option. One of the only times we stayed in a hotel and the time we were robbed, unfortunately.

  10. Megala Avatar

    Congratulations ! Enjoyed reading your answers !!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you and glad you enjoyed my responses! 🙂

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