We just got nominated for Sunshine Blogger Award 2018. Awards are special. When these come from a community that knows what it takes to do what we do, they are even more! The happiness of an acknowledgement, of recognition, simply put, is motivating. In the summer of 2018, we had just moved to our new address – an idyllic cottage in the beautiful Kangra Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India, when we got this pleasant surprise. But, what is the award about?
What is The Sunshine Blogger Award?
We are relatively young in the blogosphere and had to dig a little to figure why we, out of hundreds of thousands of others, have been nominated. The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are ‘creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community’. Wow! Isn’t it amazing to get such kind words for doing simply what you love to?
Our travelogue titled ‘Backpacking North East India: A Curious Journey’ made its first public appearance at the World Book Fair (New Delhi) earlier this year. We have been working the past year to upgrade our multi-author website in anticipation of the book’s worldwide release and the hours were grueling, to say the least. To receive this nomination when we did, was perfect timing.
Recognition – Sunshine of Life
Great content, unless it reaches the intended audience, rarely makes the cut. It took us over three years to complete the 300-page book project. That it is about the least explored North East India makes ‘being discovered’ an uphill task. However, when the reviews started to trickle in, it motivated us to continue what we do. Recognition is the sunshine of life! We express our gratitude by proudly featuring some of the book reviewers and social media influencers in The Rave Terminal™.
Likewise, when we begin our journey in the blogosphere, our URL denotes a minuscule, an almost invisible, dot on the whole worldwide web. It can get overwhelming when you see sites with thousands of subscribers and followers. So, after we have crafted the best content that we can, how do we reach out to our target audience through search engines? This is where our lovely community of bloggers comes in.
The Sunshine Blogger Award – Pay it Forward Mantra
Part of what dictates search engine rankings is when other websites mention you, and the award helps to do just that. The whole point of the award is to help up and coming bloggers get more exposure. The nominee will answer interview questions given to them by the person who nominated them. Then, when they’re done with their questions, they’ll nominate 11 other blogs and give them questions to answer. In other words, it’s kind of like ‘paying it forward’.
Anthony and Breada, The Shoestring Trekkers! Hearty congratulations and thank you for considering us! Keep up the good work, you two!
The ShoeString Trekkers Interview Backpacking Series
Why did you begin your blog?
A big part of why we started the blog is who we are – a set of contradictions and more. We are minimalists and thrive on comforts. We are perfectionists and imperfect ourselves. We are divergent and mindful of social norms. We are inventive and seek continuity too. We are intuitive and spiritual and indulge in meticulously planning the trivial. We are easy-going and anxious about life-changes. Perhaps, there isn’t a contradiction that does not reside inside of us. We fulfill our curiosity, balancing these, one at a time. Likewise, we like to settle down and explore too.
Travel enriches our conversations and social lives. We love to share our experiences. And. If there’s anything that excites us more than sharing our travel story, it is sharing yours. Hence this platform.
What advice would you give to someone just starting their travel blog?
Creating a travel blog, if you are serious about it, is a lot of work. Do not underestimate the effort to think of a name, design a logo and website, create the best content you can, work through the administrative effort of hosting, and promote it. It is indeed, as they put it – all easier said than done. Thankfully, the blogger community makes it worthwhile for you to remain inspired. The one thing we would suggest, when you are starting out, is to focus on quality over quantity.
What’s your favorite place you’ve ever been?
We have been backpacking for over 20 years. There’s no doubt every place offers something unique and meaningful and we have lots of fond memories. However, India’s North East has transformed our lives. We have since turned into travel writers.
For those who do not know, North East India comprises of eight states – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura. The Himalayas and its waters define the region’s terrain, climate, rich biodiversity, and the peculiar indigenous lifestyles her people follow. That North East India is bound by Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibet to the north, Bangladesh to the south and west, and Myanmar to the east hints at the eclectic mix of cultural, ethnic, and linguistic diversity. This is where elements of Asia come together to do what they do best – cast a spell.
What are your travel goals for 2018?
Continue to slow travel, meet more of our tribe, and curate long reads for Backpacking Series.
What’s the best meal you’ve ever had while traveling?
The one after a day out hiking!
What’s your favorite book?
The one we published – Backpacking North East India: A Curious Journey! The region’s innate charms have remained under-explored. Travelers, who figure out how to backpack in North East India, find gems such as Dzükou Valley all to themselves. Importantly, the hospitable people of the region make sure that visitors take back the choicest of memories.
Pick up your copy of Backpacking North East India: A Curious Journey. It covers over two dozen places and attempts to answer the question – what is it like to travel in the region? Give it a read and make your own choices. Buy now!
What do you miss most from home while on the road?
Thought long and hard for this one and kept eliminating stuff. The final answer – Nothing 🙂
Who or what is your inspiration?
We keep testing our abilities to adapt to uncertainties. It’s just that we prefer to call it spontaneity.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be?
What’s the one item you can’t leave home without?
Would you rather have a year of backpacking or a month of luxury travel?
We are Backpacking Series! So, that’s an easy one – A year of backpacking!
The Sunshine Blogger Award – Nuts and Bolts
There are a few rules to follow regarding this award.
- Thank the blogger who nominated you in the blog post and link back to their blog.
- Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
- Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
- Notify nominees through social media or commenting on their blog
- List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
The Sunshine Blogger Award – 2018 Nominations
Congratulations to these fabulous people for bringing out their creative best through their blogs. You deserve it!
- 52 In Kicks
- 100 Cobbled Roads
- Sneadler’s Travels
- The Tiny Taster
- Top Five Buzz
- Travelogue Connect
Backpacking Series Interviews…
- What inspired you to create your blog/website?
- What makes for a great travel blog?
- Which bloggers inspire you the most?
- If not your blog, which other platform would you choose to share travel experiences?
- What is your favorite travel book and why?
- Which is that one place you want to keep going back to and why?
- What has been one traveling lesson that you will never forget?
- If you had to keep traveling for the next two years, what continent would you pick and why?
- If you had to keep traveling for the next two years, how would you earn money?
- If you had to keep traveling for the next two years, what would you do to keep yourself fit?
- Whats that one advice to travel bloggers that you would offer that starts with “Always…”?
To the nominated ones: We wish good luck with your travels and blogging journeys and leave you with a final nudge to ‘Pay it forward’ – we look forward to learn from you. Spread the love, spread sunshine! That’s it for now. Oh, and we would be delighted if you could type in your email and subscribe to our posts!
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