Just after a couple of months of blogging, I have received my first award – Liebster Award! This award goes back to 2011 and is essentially an award to support and connect bloggers (in particular, new ones). Liebster means sweetest, kindest, nicest and beloved in German, so whoever has been nominated has to then nominate other blogs that they enjoy reading. I love the idea behind the Liebster award; as this long chain-letter continues it enables you to discover new blogs that you might have never heard of!
I have been nominated by Laura from www.eachlittleadventure.
You can find the official Liebster Award rules here.
My Favorite Blogs
I am a huge fan of Rachel Bale of Department of Wandering not only because she is a great travel writer who runs a sleek blog, but also because of how generous she is in sharing the knowledge about starting a blog, running a blog and improving your writing. She even started “Department of Wandering’s Laptop Army” where travel bloggers and digital nomads can connect, support each other and talk about the challenges of their craft and lifestyle. Thank you, Rachel, for all you do! Can’t wait to watch you rise to new heights!
Kaelene of Unlocking Kiki has build such a detailed, through and informative resource on Iceland and all the things to do there! Her blog was an invaluable input into the planning of my Iceland trip this year. She is also an incredibly likable expat, who’s story I love to follow. Congratulations on becoming a mother, Kiki!
Karisa Klee of Fliring With The Globe is just an all-around bad ass! A full-time attorney who runs a great blog is not only someone to watch in a travel blogger community but also a wonderful role model to aspire to! Keep kicking major butt, Karisa!
10 Random Facts About Me
- My real name is Polina. Since I am all about efficiency in life and travel, I had to find a better way for folks to get through my name too!
- If you like my photos on this blog, it may have something to do with having done wedding photography for over 6 years professionally. You can see my wedding photography at www.PolinaSergeeva.com
- Even though I live in LA, I have an embarrassingly low number of celebrity encounters. I once spilled my drink on Tinashe in one of Hollywood clubs (more like gave her a shower, as she is only 5’5). I also once met Stephanie Pratt from TV show “The Hills” – she was a darling in person! Annnnd that is about it for my celebrity encounters in 2.5 years of living in LA.
- My full time job is in finance. I help manage multi-asset investment products, such as target date funds – optimal investment for busy millennials who do not wan’t to neglect their retirement savings. I love my job so much, I talk about what i do all the time. Even on dates.
- I think I am hilarious.
- My dream destination is Greece… along with Croatia and Montenegro.
- My favorite travel soundtrack is probably Kygo mixes, followed by Arctic Monkeys and The Kooks tunes. See my ultimate road trip playlist on the blog.
- I speak 3 languages: English, Russian and Ukrainian.
- I learned HTML and web-design at age 12 and my first commission was a website for regional branch of the Ukrainian Military.
- My favorite writer is Ayn Rand.
My 10 Questions Answered
1. Where is the furthest away from home you’ve traveled to?
Depends on the definition of “home”. I was born in Drezden, Germany, grew up in Sumy, Ukraine, moved to Chicago, USA when I was 16 years old and currently I live in Los Angeles, USA, where I was brought by a professional opportunity in late 2014. I have spent move than 10 years in USA, it has became “home”. I think the furthest I have ever gone from USA was on my trip to Iceland in 2017. It was truly an amazing experience and I go back.
2. Name one destination you’d recommend to other travelers, and why.
Barcelona. I think it is one of the most amazing, inspiring and lively cities I have ever been to. Endless sangria, tapas, Gothic architecture straight from the insane mind of Gaudi and beautiful people (I have made an observation that even garbage men look like Robin Thick in Barcelona).
3. Why do you travel?
I haven’t taken my first solo flight until I was 22. My teenage and college years were busy with school and working multiple jobs. My first “adult” trip was a girls trip to South Beach Miami at 22. My first solo trip was a road trip across America from Chicago to Los Angeles at age 24 prompted by me moving my life to LA for a professional opportunity. My first International trip was at age 25 and the only reason it even happened is because my work sent me to London for a week and i tool a long way home across four countries. Needless to say, I was always one of those people who worked to live. Travel or personal goals were always secondary to professional goals. Now that i am 27, I finally have means and brains to travel well, travel often and travel efficiently – see as much as I can in those 3 weeks of vacation I get per year. Travel opens my mind to new experiences, stretches my comfort zone and makes me appreciate my home and what I have right in front of me every single day.
4. What is that one post made by you that you like the most, and why?
I think I am yet to write a post I would be uber proud of. I recently visited 5 countries in 2 weeks and I can not wait to share how I planned that adventure. Stay tuned!
5. Suitcase or backpack?
Suitcase. Carry on (hand bag) only. I have managed to survive for two weeks in 5 countries with a carry on suitcase only. Fun Fact: I did wedding photography for over 6 years to feed myself through college, which allowed me to meet and get to know many amazing families, learn to plan and direct weddings and, of course, witness so much love… but it also really messed up my back! for that reason, I can not travel with a backpack.
6. Which destination has surprised you the most, and why?
I was surprised how much I disliked Amsterdam. I felt like it was a dirty version of Vegas.
7. Why did you decide to create a travel blog?
My colleagues and my friends know about my love for travel and often ask me for travel advise, suggestions and ideas. Instead of forwarding the emails and itineraries i created once for myself, I wrote a blog post. That way, my friends can use it and share with their friends easily. What i didn’t know when I started was that through this process I would discovered and get to know many amazing people who also have a passion for travel or travel full-time. At the risk of sounding cheesy, the community is best part of blogging.
8. What does your perfect day look like?
This will sound silly for someone who runs a travel blog, but my perfect day is a weekend day spent on the couch with my boyfriend, eating food we cooked together and binge-watching Friends or Narcos. It’s the little things.
9. Where in the world do you always find your mind wandering?
I wonder about folks who road trip through a continent on a VW van or haul their life inside their tiny house.
10. What is the ultimate goal for your blog?
I want to share the things I learned or things I wished I knew before venturing to each destination and trying to see as much as I can in those 3 weeks of vacation days I get. When you work hard, you deserve to experience amazing things in your time off.
11. Whats next on your bucket list?
Australia and New Zealand.
Check out these wonderful bloggers and their stories! Guys, thank you for inspiring me every single day!
- Courtney of thefernwehstate.com IG @thefernwehstate
- Christine of planestrainsandchampagne.com IG @planestrainsandchampagne
- Aisling of the-escapista.com IG @the.escapista
- Veronika of departurearrivals.com IG @departurearrivals
- MG of thewanderingsuitcase.com IG @thewanderingsuitcase
- Jenny of sweetteal.com IG @thedriftingblonde
- Allie J of herpostcardlife.com IG @herpostcardlife
- Carly of austrianadaptation.com IG @carlyhulls
10 Questions for My Nominees
- Where were you born and where did you grow up?
- What is your must have travel item?
- What luxuries did you forego in order to save for your travels?
- What is the most overrated destination and why?
- What are your favorite reads about travel? Books? Blogs? Magazines?
- What do you struggle with the most when travelling? Language? Public transportation?
- What unattainable/hard to reach travel destination do you dream about?
- If you could have a dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be, why and, most importantly, where?
- What is the best meal you’ve ever had while travelling?
- What piece of advice would you give to new travel blogger starting out? Preach!
Again, Thank you so much to Laura from www.eachlittleadventure.