I am still fairly new to blogging, having just celebrated my 1 year anniversary of traveling around the world. So when Lori of Travlinmad nominated me for the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award last week, my first reaction was—Cool. But what the hell is it?

Being a researcher, I did an online search for more information and found out the award is meant to recognize the work of women bloggers.

Then I tried to find out who originally started the award. This sent me deep into the depths of the blogosphere.

The award and logo origin

I found myself back to 2011 in food blogs. I guess this award and its logo has gotten passed around quite a bit.

I couldn’t narrow down exactly who started the award. The farthest back I could find it mentioned was from Big Fat Baker.

By the time you get to this place in the blogosphere, the logo is nowhere to be found. Where did it come from?

 
 

I think it's a reference to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and it's a bit...ugly. Right?! I have no idea who created it or if it is even the original anyway. So I made my own instead. I've seen plenty of other bloggers adapt the award logo to their blogs, too. I think doing so just makes it fit better, stylistically, with each individual blog.

Even though I was not able to find the exact origin I decided it didn’t matter. The purpose of the award is for bloggers to connect and recognize each other’s work. And I’m all for that...with a little deviating, of course!

The rules—and breaking them

As I did my digging around the web for the origin of this award, I learned awards like these often come with a set of rules.

For example, these are the Sisterhood of the World Blogger award’s rules (set up along the way by who knows who?):

- Thank the blogger who nominated you
- Answer the questions they posted to you on your blog
- Include the award logo in the post
- Nominate 10 more women bloggers (since it’s a “sisterhood”)
- Ask 10 questions of your nominees

In the fashion of deviating the norm, I’m going to break the rules a bit—GASP!

While doing research on this award I discovered that THE RULES HAVE CHANGED MULTIPLE TIMES OVER like in a game of telephone.

So I’m going to nominate 5 bloggers and ask 5 questions of the nominees. While I will answer the 10 questions my nominator asked me, I'm leaving it up to them to answer as many or as few as they would like.

Deviating the norm is all about breaking the rules to move things forward. So if you feel like breaking the rules even further by not even responding to this award—well, HELL YEA! Be you. Be free. Deviate to your hearts content on this one, my blogging friends.

The nominees

Dani from Germany at Globe Trotter Girls
Dasha from the USA at Dancin' Down Dirty Dusty Trails
Evelina from Sweden at Earth Wanderess
Lisa from Australia at House of Elsie Jane
Ayano from Japan at La Voyagerie

Optional questions for the nominees

1. Share 3 facts about a group of people/a culture/a society you didn’t know before you started traveling.
2. What is the most shocking travel experience you’ve ever had?
3. Tell a story about when you were inspired by someone you met during your travels.
4. Describe your favorite travel accessory and why you love it.
5. What motivates you to keep blogging?

My answers to Lori’s questions

1. What did you do before you started your blog (and what inspired you to start it)?

Leaving USA soil to travel the world long-term was a dream of mine since I was very little. But instead of realizing that dream right away, I dove head first into my studies and building a future career.

For the few years before I started traveling and writing about it in this blog, I wore many hats: I was a graduate student in a doctoral program for Social and Personality Psychology, I worked in college administration supporting students and faculty, and I was (and still am) a free-lance web designer, graphic designer, and social media marketer for small business in New York City.

I was inspired to start my blog because I thought it would be a fun way to document my travels, spread cultural information about all the people and places I visit, and motivate others to break out of their everyday norm to do what they’ve always wanted to do (whatever that may be).

2. Who's your dream seat-mate on a long flight?

At the moment, it’s Senator Bernie Sanders. He's a USA Presidential Candidate for 2016. If you haven't heard of him yet, then you will, as he just appeared on the cover of TIME magazine. Sitting next to him on a plane is not unlikely, even if traveling in coach.

3. Where is your favorite place in the world you've been, and what’s so special about it?

I recently visited Niue—a small island in the South Pacific. It’s special because it’s so small, non-corporatized, and filled with friendly people and amazingly beautiful coastlines.

4. Who's your (rock 'n roll, literary, celebrity, etc.) idol, and what's your intro line when you finally meet them?

It’s always been Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins—and I already met him 4 times! He makes himself very accessible to fans after shows.

I first met him when I was 17 at a book signing. I think I said something like, “There’s a million things I want to say to you, but in the interest of time, I’ll just sum it up with THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING YOU.”

He complimented my hair. I nearly grew wings and fluttered away.

5. What do you enjoy most in other people’s blogs or social media feeds (and what advice would you offer on how to make a blog more successful)?

I love beautiful photos—and Lori, you have some awesome photography on your site!

I also love seeing really simplified tips or recommendations laid out in a list-like format. I’m trying to do this more. I even want to go back and update old post stories to include a list summary at the end of all the places I recommend going to that were featured in that post.

I think little summaries/lists are attractive to readers who just don’t have the time to read lengthy posts.

6. Any favorite travel or inspirational quotes?

Yes, it’s the quote that inspired the name of this blog—a quote that has defined and inspired me throughout my life:

“Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.”
–Frank Zappa

7. Tell us about the most incredible meal you've ever had. Where was it, what did you have, who were you with, and what made it so memorable?

I love food and I’ve had some damn good food in my life. My mom is an amazing cook and I’m craving her Thanksgiving cooking right now so this is extremely hard to answer. I’m going to plead the fifth on this one!

If you love food, then you should check out some of my food posts, like this one from Germany. Those were some excellent meals.

8. What’s your most treasured souvenir you’ve ever brought back from your travels?

My photos. I can’t wait to make digital prints out of them or canvas them and put them all around my home one day.

9. Who will play you in the movie about your life?

The character Nan “King” Astley.

10. What’s next? Tell us your Top 3 experiences or travels in the works or on your Bucket List, and what you hope to see/do when you’re there.

I have so many on my bucket list now: (1) Tonga where I hope to swim with whales because I didn’t get to while in Niue; (2) South Africa because I’ve always wanted to go on safari; and (3) I want to do a Scandinavian tour—particularly Iceland (again), Finland, Sweden, and Norway—to catch the Northern lights and learn more about their politics and culture.

Thanks

This was my first award for my blog. Thanks, Lori! I’m glad to be a part of the “sisterhood.”