Sunday, October 25, 2015

My answers to Liebster Award nomination

A month earlier, VJ Sharma of Photo Journey nominated me and few other bloggers for Liebster Award. (Details here). The nomination requires me to answer some pre-defined questions and nominate other bloggers for the award. Whoever conceived the idea of this kind of chain awards deserves some kudos- on the front it appears as appreciation and on the side ensures that you get some links from others. (this comment is only on the concept, nothing against fellow bloggers who tagged me).

The Liebster award (or other similar memes) have no physical, financial or official recognition- it is given by one blogger to another or bluntly put, from anyone to anyone. The award was reportedly started to recognize new bloggers and welcome them. As a reader how seriously you want to recognize this is up to you. Since any form of appreciation is still an appreciation, let us consider it at its face value and proceed. Hardly anyone tags me in this kind of things and even when occasionally I am tagged, I have often ignored such tags that requires me to do a set of things (because of rules of the meme) for no apparent benefit. This time also I sat on this for a month. Then I felt the questions I was supposed to answer made sense and answers might be of use/interest to my readers

Thus I decided to answer the questions VJ Sharma asked me to answer.

1) Why do you travel?
A: I just need to. Long drive, seeing new places, capturing nature and other attractions, being able to write about them excites me, refreshes me. Travel is more fun to me than shopping, watching sports, buying gadgets or other means people usually spend time and money on. That is why I travel.

2) What is your most beautiful memory from your past travels?
Each trip is unique. The one week bike ride across Northern Thailand has been very memorable. Last year the Jaisalmer trip with Suryagarh was also very good. Interiors of Goa had its own charm. Recent Switzerland trip to Jungfraujoch, the highest peak in Europe has also been a great experience getting up close with snow. It is difficult to pick a single incident.

3) What are the things you keep in mind when you plan your travels?
There is no fixed plans or how I approach a trip. Each trips are unique. Some of the trips are weekend trips, few are work related, few may be FAM. One thing common for sure- most of my trips and time constrained- can't afford to spend unlimited time at a place, like some backpackers do, without any fixed plan or time limit. So typically I focus on 3 things- being light weight, cost aspect and optimizing time and experience. At this moment my health is good and finances are not high, so I would possibly compromise a bit on convenience if it saves some money or if I can see/do more.   Well, there are many lists that suggest you carry two dozen items when you travel- but they are not really practical- if you carry all of them you need to spend a lot more hauling it around.

4) Do you recommend that people should travel? Why?
Of Course Yes. Most of our spending is influenced heavily by society. We buy cars, house, goods more out of compulsion and social or peer pressure, than an internal urge to own them. Most of these spending you will regret later. [Read my post- buying a car vs renting it] I read somewhere that people who spend money on experience instead of things are the happiest ones. I agree with that. Money spent on travel will make you wiser and more appreciative of the world around you. Our day to day life is often confined to a small circle. There are several other things happening all around the world- culture, technology, lifestyle, people- travel is best way to get a sense of them. To quote Kiruba's word, when you turn 60 you don't want to live with regret thinking of all the things you wanted to do but never took any action towards executing. Travel a bit when you have some money and energy. Other material stuff can wait some more.

5) How do you manage your jobs, family lives? Especially if you travel often
Most of my trips are weekend ones. Few others I manage with short leaves. I had to reject several opportunities because it meant asking too much leave. Whatever travel I do is not even 10% of what some full time travelers do. Another thing is that if I go on one trip, I will have enough photos and experience to share over months, which I keep publishing at regular intervals even if I am at home. This sometimes gives people a virtual impression that I am always traveling.

6) What is your most favorite destination so far?
Bergen, Norway and Switzerland for their natural beauty. Even Chile was great.
Random photo from Swiss country side
7) What is that one place you want to visit, that you haven't visited already? Why do you want to visit this place?
A: Tough to answer. I have been to only 16 countries and there are close to 200 in the world. I am not even close to 10% and lots of countries and places to visit. London, Australia, a bit of Africa and Ice Land are some places I would like to visit at next possible opportunities.

8) What is your favorite travel song?
लंदन देखा , पेरिस देखा , और देखा जापान, सारा जग मैं कहीं नहीं हैं दूसरा हिन्दुस्तान ... (from the movie Pardes, though I am yet to explore London, Paris and Japan)

9) What is your favorite mode of transportation and why?
A: In India by car, self drive, so that I can indulge in some driving and explore places as per my plan. When abroad, I try to use public transportation as much as possible- it is very cheap that way. Of course flights are inevitable.

10) Where are you headed to next?
A: Bali, Indonesia. Personal trip with family, all self funded, courtesy Air Asia ticket booked  6 months ago.

Now comes the tough part. I need to list 10 questions and tag people. I have drafted some questions generic to blogging, not exclusively focused on travel. Sorry if these sound like a survey.

My 10 questions I would ask by fellow bloggers to answer.

1) Who inspired you to blog or what motivated you to jump on to blogging bandwagon?

2) When you read someone else's blog, what keeps you interested (example: First few pictures, intro paragraph etc) in the blog and what turns you off? (Ex: slow loading, poor design)

3) If you have to split your blog time into various blog related activities, what are the main ones and what would be % split be? (Example: 20% researching on next post, 30% time promoting the blog on SM, 10% chasing sponsors, 20% photo and video processing, 10% responding to comments etc)

4) Do you feel "I am not getting as much readers as I deserve" once in a while? If so how do yo overcome that feeling?

5) If you are earning from your blog, are you spending a part of it to promote your blog? Why or why not?

6) What is your worst nightmare w.r.t. blogging? If none, what is your worst fear about your blog?

7) Have you tried encouraging others into the world of blogging? What has been your experience?

8) Briefly write about your take on sponsored posts

9) How often do you meet your blog readers offline? How does it feel when someone complements or gives suggestions offline about your blog related work?

10) What is your take on campaigns where you need to promote the campaign all over in order to get some votes? Have you taken part in such contests/campaigns? Why/Why Not.

You can't copy these questions because of security code in my blog. Ask me on facebook if you need them for copy paste.
Ok, I am done preparing my question. Now the big question is whom do I tag. Of course I would like to tag all top bloggers and read their response to above questions, but I am sure they are all really busy and may not be keen to take my tagging seriously. I am taking liberty and tagging below bloggers, whom I have met (except Rupam) in person and who have been frequently reading my posts and writing occasional comments too, in recent past.

With the power bestowed in me via netgods, I hereby nominate following bloggers for the Liebster Award.. It is also likely that one bloggers gets nominated multiple times by many other people- in such cases they can't afford to keep doing it again n again. Feel free to skip. I am also going to keep this nomination low profile- usually people need to be told that they have been nominated. I would have them discover it themselves.

1. Niranjan Das
2. Indrani Ghose
3. Swati and Sam
4. Roohi Bhatnagar
5. Rupam Sharma
6. Bhushavali N

Not sure how this goes forward, but reaching this part of the post (having answered my questions, created my questions and done with tagging) is like a big burden off my head :). If you think this post was good, thank VJ Sharma.

D Nambiar who was also nominated by VJ Sarma nominated simply said everyone in her blog roll are nominated- an easy way to win two birds in one stone- no one is offended that they are not considered worth tagging, no one feels spammed. That blogroll lists my blog as well, so I can feel good I have been given this award not once but twice...


VJ Sharma said...

Nicely compiled post and I liked your answers. Wish you a great trip to Bali.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Sharma ji

Indrani said...

Thanks for tagging me. I came via the feed. :)
Interesting question from a travel bloggers point of view.
I may do this.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Great. Will look forward to...