I’ve Been Nominated for a Liebster Award!

Wait, what?

I’ve only been blogging for a few months, so it came as a huge surprise when Kristin In Motion nominated me for a Liebster Award! What is a Liebster Award, you ask? This award was created as a way for bloggers to promote other up-and coming-blogs within the community.

This process has been amazing and far beyond what I ever dreamed it would be because it has allowed me to connect with other people with similar interests from all around the world. Kristin from Kristin in Motion. She writes about how to plan long weekend adventures in the eastern United States on a budget to help satisfy your sense of adventure while keeping up with the 9-to-5 grind. Thanks for the nomination, Kristin! 🙂

You should definitely go check her out!

The Rules:

The way the Liebster Award works is that the blog that nominated you gives you a list of questions to answer in a post. You then you get to nominate another few blogs and come up with your own questions to ask them! And finally, link back to the blog who nominated you as a way to spread the love.

So, here are my answers:

1. What was the first trip that made you realize that travel was a passion for you?

I’ve always loved exploring. When I was really young (maybe 6 or 7 years old), I would get so excited that I wouldn’t be able to sleep the night before every time we would go somewhere, even if it was just to visit my grandparents in Ohio. I would obsess over maps and lists of places I wanted to visit someday, always planning what I would do and how I would get there.

The trip that really solidified this passion for me was the first time I traveled alone in 2016, when I skipped off to Europe for a few months after finishing school. I love traveling with friends and family and exploring new places together, but man, the first time I hit the road solo, I was blown away by the endless possibilities of what I could do.

Budapest for Solo Travel Blog
My first day of adventuring solo in Budapest

2. What is one thing you never travel without? (Besides the necessities, ie., passport, phone, etc.)

The one thing I never travel without is my Kindle Fire. It’s small, light, relatively inexpensive so I don’t have to worry that much about it getting lost or stolen, fairly indestructible, and holds everything I would ever need. (Seriously – I’ve traveled extensively with it for two years, dropped it down several flights of stairs, and put it through a lot of abuse, but the only damage it has other than some scratches from being in my backpack is a large crack in across the screen from the time I accidentally sat on it on the beach in Florida). It has my books for the long train / bus rides, and a few episodes of Netflix to satisfy my terrible habit of not being able to sleep without having the TV on because I can’t stand the quiet.

It’s also a great backup to have in case something happens to your phone because you can still get on the internet, which comes in handy when your phone gets stolen and you need to Skype your family to let them know you’re still alive. Now I travel with a laptop as well, but if you’re trying to keep your bag light and go without, this is a great alternative.

3. Do you have a crazy “You’d have to see it to believe it!” story from your travels?

Yup, but it’s almost entirely my own fault. I lost my appendix and my phone in the same week when I was in Berlin. Turns out, hostels are full of germs and a diet of exclusively alcohol and junk food isn’t exactly the healthiest. Once you get sick and it spreads to your appendix, it’s game over. I’ve still got the scars. Take care of your body while you’re on the road, kids!

And then some jackass stole my phone the day after I got out of the hospital, so that was super fun. What a week! It does make me a little sad though – there’s so much cool stuff to see and do in Berlin but it’s the one city I don’t think I’ll ever go back to since it was such bad luck for me.

Pushing on in Prague, 6 days after losing my appendix.

4. What’s your advice for someone who’s debating whether to book a trip or not?

DO IT. When you’re old and gray, you’ll always regret not traveling more than you’ll ever regret taking the leap and booking the trip. You’re making an investment in yourself – every trip, regardless of the destination or distance from your hometown will leave you with memories and incredible life experiences you may not have otherwise had. And you definitely don’t have to fly off to some exotic location on the other side of the world to do this, you can find adventure in your own backyard!

5. How did you decide to start a blog? And how long have you been blogging?

I first started a blog when I was about to embark on my first solo journey back in 2016. I wrote one post while I was sitting in the airport waiting to take off, and that was it (lol).

I got started again in the fall of 2017 when I began to consider taking the leap into the digital nomad lifestyle more seriously. I don’t really know what my ultimate blog goals were, but I started it as a way to document the process and share my story with others with the hopes of reminding my readers that there are so many people out there who are feeling stuck in a 9-to-5 and that it’s not only possible to break out and do something different, but that it’s okay not to conform to society’s expectations about what American adult life should look like.

I’ve been blogging for about six months now but only posting consistently for the last two, so I’m still super new at this. I never really expected it to go anywhere but I’ve been absolutely blown away by the fact that other people 1. not only read what I write, but 2. actually like it!?! This is all so crazy to me, but it’s really exciting and I have no plans to stop any time soon.

6. What is your favorite thing to do when traveling? (hiking/adventures, food, alcohol, sightseeing, museums, etc.?)

I really love walking tours. That’s always the first thing I do when I get to a new city. It’s a great way to get your bearings in a new place, learn about its history, hear stories of the people who used to live there, and find out which places you want to visit and know more about.

The other thing I love is just simply sitting outside a cafe and people-watching. Watching the inhabitants of each new place just going about their daily lives is an incredible reminder that while we may speak different languages or come from different cultures, we’re not that different after all.

7. Where to next?

I’m laying low in Chicago for the next three months to work on the skills I’ll need to thrive as a digital nomad, but I’ve got a long list of weekend road trips planned around the Illinois / Wisconsin / Indiana / Michigan area that I’m super excited about. After that, I’ve got a trip to the Southeastern United States (exact location still tbd) planned for August and I’m hoping to head over to Portugal / southern Europe by late summer or early fall! Lots of exciting stuff coming up in 2018.

Now for my nominations:

  1. Aoibhneas Travels
  2. Roaming Footprint
  3. No Home Just Roam
  4. Sydney Sees the World
  5. The Gypsy Professor

My questions for the nominees:

  1. If you could give one piece of advice to your former self before you started your first trip, what would it be?
  2. What’s the first thing you do when you arrive in a new city?
  3. What is your favorite travel memory or experience?
  4. How did you decide to start a blog? And what advice do you have for someone who is thinking of starting a blog of their own?
  5. What’s on your long-term travel bucket list? Do you have a place or experience that you just HAVE to do at some point in your life?
  6. What’s your travel-planning style? Do you book flights spontaneously with no plan, or do you meticulously plan every detail? What do you find most helpful when planning your trips?
  7. What’s the number one destination on your list for this year?

Thanks again Kristin for nominating me 🙂 I hope you all enjoyed getting to know me a bit better. I’m so excited to be a part of this incredible community of travelers from all over the world, and I can’t wait to read all of your answers!


Hanna (Bubu Backpacks)


P.S. – If you’re interested in following more of my adventures, please follow me on Instagram and Twitter @bubu_backpacks!

Liebster Award

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