Well, it actually happened a little over a month ago but we're so excited to share the news! We were nominated for a Liebster Award by the lovely couple over at Hey Dip Your Toes In and it was a total surprise! We love being able find out about new blogs and to see who our supporters are. Basically how the award works is that bloggers nominated other bloggers who they love (Liebster means "favorite" in German) and it's a great way to connect those of us in the community.
It goes like this. You thank the person that awarded you and answer the questions that they asked you, then you go on to nominate five other blogs and propose a different set of questions. We're so glad that HDYTI nominated us, especially because it allowed us to be introduced to their blog which is filled with black love, travel and fabulousness. We're also glad because it gives a chance for those of you to get to know our team a bit better!
Below are the answers to the questions we were asked.
What got you interested in blogging?
Sienna: To be honest, more than anything it came from an extreme desire to share stories with others in hopes of inspiring and empowering them to live a life that they truly love. I think that through blogging and specifically collective blogging (with a community) it allows for diverse stories and experiences to be shared. I think the stories of individuals are fantastic and when you can come together and curate the stories of many individuals to share with others, it’s a beautiful thing!
Danni: I just have so many feelings! Le sigh. That's not really the case. Honestly, I've always appreciated the written word and since I was a child I've written stories, lists, goals, and just plain free-verse. It wasn't until my University days of writing workshops that I started getting feedback (and positive feedback at that) that I realized that maybe someone else would enjoy my words too.
What’s your biggest challenge with blogging?
Sienna: I think the biggest challenge will always be that there are so many more people in the world that I want to reach out to. All of our audience so far has been purely organic which is something that we stand behind strongly, but there are so many other people in the world who can be interested with what our contributors have to say… it’s just finding them!
Danni: Every time that I write a blog post based on personal experiences, it's hard to a) be vulnerable b) express myself in a way that others , you know the people that live outside my head, can understand and c) accept constructive criticism. Blogging for me is as much therapeutic as it is fun; however, there's a difference between a blog and a journal and I always remind myself that I'm writing for our public too.
Which of your blog posts in recent times, holds the most significance to you?
Sienna: It's actually one that I'm currently in the works of writing on how solo travel can make you fall even more in love with yourself. I'm also a huge fan of a recent post by Glo called, 10 Tips For Dating A Girl Who Loves to Travel. Being both a traveler and entrepreneur, it’s really important that if and when you have a partner they are caring, understanding and supportive of your lifestyle. It has a lot of truths about dating not just travelers but any independent woman in this day and age.
Danni: I recently wrote a three-part series on online dating. Not only did my experiences resonate with our audience, it was great to put it all out there! When I first met my now fiancé, we joked about creating a new "How we met" story because online dating still had this air of taboo and mystery. To write in detail and with humor, about this adventure of sorts and its positive outcome was so much fun. What a relief! I hope the taboo is a little less taboo now, but I'm a hopeless optimist.
What do you enjoy outside of blogging?
Sienna: So many things. I’m also an avid photographer so I love taking time to “unplug”, explore and create beautiful things whether it be specific projects or during travels. Not just that, but I’m a complete foodie so being able to go to different restaurants and try new food is at the top of my list more often than not.
Danni: A part from blogging, I enjoy reading, people watching, trying new recipes and movie marathons with my fiancé. I love working out, taking in the Spanish sun and trying new restaurants with friends. My ideal night includes good friends, good food and lots of laughter.
If you could travel anyplace in the world right this moment, where would you go and why?
Sienna: Greece. Greece. Greece. I know a lot is going on there right now but I’ve been longing to see the islands for quite sometime. I always like to treat myself to a new experience for my birthday and I think I’ll be taking a solo trip there this fall. We’ll see!
Danni: Is Trader Joe's a place? I think I'd go there. Honestly, I'd go to Taiwan because that's where my best friend lives, and looking at his collection of passport stamps,it's a perfect home base to catapult you into the rest of Asia. I always complain that I have yet to see "all of Europe" or it's just too far, but I know if I were there, then I'd have absolutely no excuse.
What city have you fallen in love with the most?
Sienna: That’s a tough one. So many cities have brought fantastic memories for me. I recently went to Oporto and fell in love with the ambiance of the city. There is so much going on there and it's the kind of place where you automatically feel at peace, not to mention the food is on point. I also love Berlin because there is such a vibrant culture. So much art, so many cafes, so many startups it’s really my kind of city. If I didn’t love Spain so much, I could see myself living there.
Danni: I fall in love and out of love the more I travel. My first love was Oporto, Portugal; however, Nantes, France is my current lover.
What cuisine do you most enjoy?
Sienna: I’ve always been a sucker for Mexican food. If I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life, it’d probably be (chicken or shrimp) quesadillas. There is something about the spices and the freshness that lures me in every time.
Danni: Yes. HA, is that an option? Just all the foods. As a vegetarian, I lean towards Asian, East Asian, and Indian dishes because there are more non-meat options. However, I enjoy Tex-Mex, Ecuadorian, Dominican, and of course Southern Creole cooking as well. If it's seasoned, I will eat.
Which parts of your life bring you the most joy?
Sienna: That’s such a great question. To be honest, more than anything, I think that it’s the freedom to be pursuing what I feel passionately about. Being able to wake up in the morning and have the liberty to work towards my dreams instead of toward the dreams of someone else.
I also love being able to constantly meet new people, see different places and push boundaries (both one’s that I create myself and those that society tries to tell us that we cannot break).
Danni: I enjoy laughing, especially amongst family and friends — those deep, hearty belly laughs that seemingly come out of the depths of your gut. I love cooking and trying new recipes out for my fiancé. So many things bring me joy: traveling, taking unplanned naps, discovering a new artist/musician/blog, t.v. marathons with my fiancé, trying new restaurants with friends and of course, watching reality t.v. with my mom and aunt. Their commentary is better than the show itself!
Do you see your blog as a platform to do more than share photos and stories? If so, please elaborate:
Sienna: Absolutely! As I mentioned before, LMDES is more than just a story-telling platform. That’s something we pride ourselves on. It's a place for collaboration, community and experiencing a different side of culture, a different type of lifestyle that one might not have been able to do otherwise.
Danni: I absolutely see our blog as a platform to do more than share photos. We're in the business of changing lives, son! There's a market for women of color, with the same itch for travel and wanderlust, who often bite their tongue and live vicariously through blogs or instagram because their questions and doubts go unanswered. We want to be the helpful big sister with both travel experiences and resources to get you to where you never thought would be possible. We do the grunt work, so you don't have to. Then, when it's all said and done, we have a drink, throw our heads back and reminisce on how x many months/years ago, you never thought this was possible.
Where do you see your blog in five years?
Sienna: In five years?! I’ve always been bad at planning so far ahead because you never know what life will throw at you. I stop at two year plans, haha.
I know that in the future, both Danni and I would like for this to become our full-time gig. We have plans for hosting more events and collaborations not just online but in real life. We want to reach to so many more people, encouraging to take the leap and move/visit Spain. Taking it day by day but there are a lot of exciting initiatives in the works!
Danni: In 5 years, or before, this will be my full-time job.
Now for the fun part, the blogs we nominate are...
Chelle and Crystal of Brown Girls Fly
Sarah of Jet Set Sarah
Andrea and Terri of Travelista TV
Francseca of One Girl One World
Chanel of Cultural Xplorer
Our questions for you are...
1. What was your journey like from when you first started blogging to where you are now?
2. How do you tend to manage your day-to-day with blogging and other work/passions?
3. What was one of your most memorable trips?
4. What do you want others to gain from your platform?
5. If you had to describe your life in three words, what would they be?
6. Where do you normally find inspiration?
7. Blogging and creating content can normally keep us hooked to computers. What do you do or where do you go when you want to disconnect?
Thanks again for HDYTI for the award and here's to a bright future of blogging and continuing to connect the community!