re: Bloggers Recognition Award

embarrassing histories and cool recommendations

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I have been happily writing my blog for quite some time now and while you’re somewhat aware of people seeing your posts you can’t be sure of them actually being interested in reading it. It was surprising and lovely to hear that I was nominated for the Blogger’s Recognition Award by Vanessa from WanderlustPlusOne who is an incredible inspiration for the times when you feel that travelling seems impossible – if Vanessa can do it with child in tow, you can do it on your own! I’d love to be as active a traveller with my own family in the future (#momgoals) and will be looking back for many tips!

Here are the rules for accepting the award:

  • Give thanks to the person who had nominated you and a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Briefly tell how you started blogging.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award.
  • Comment on the nominated blogs and let them know you have nominated them and give a link to the post you have created.

I created my first ever blog with a friend when I was around 13. Our aim was to discuss topics on a weekly basis, either chosen by us or suggested by readers, but after writing our introductory post, we were never coordinated enough to make anything else happen. I’m putting the link here for my own reference, I’m surprised it still exists, but who am I kidding, the internet immortalises everything. Anyways, I’m glad we didn’t end up writing more than two posts, otherwise present me would have died from embarrassment (goodbye emo phase). My second venture into ‘blogging’ was a solo expedition into the world of fashion (ref: here), this is slightly less cringe-inducing since I didn’t really write anything, but nevertheless, the twinge of second hand embarrassment is felt. Ushering us all back to present day, my side bar is pretty self-explanatory (for all you desktop viewers out there), I started blogging when I went out on my year abroad to Hong Kong, but didn’t start taking it seriously until coming back to the UK where I started writing about my travels in detail.

Some advice for new bloggers?

  1. It’s terribly clichéd, but start a blog because you love writing, creating new content, sharing your creativity, etc. Don’t be too bothered about gaining millions of followers, otherwise you’ll find that writing blog posts will become a chore. I love to document what I did as another means to keep in touch with people I know and for something to look back on (probably cringe at too) when I’m older. Your memory might not always be as clear as it is now, but at least you have it written down!
  2. Explore tags and interact with others in the blogging community! I love reading about other people’s experiences with places I’ve visited and places I haven’t. It’s a constant stream of inspiration and information that’ll motivate you to keep writing and sharing. Don’t feel that you should only limit yourself to following blogs within your own area of focus either, there’s so many wonderful writers out there – where would my life be without beauty bloggers?

Here are some of my favourite blogs to read: Sorry, I’ve just included 10 as this post was getting rather long!

  1. Travelling Matters

Mel and Suan, you’ve probably been nominated for so many of these awards, but it’s well deserved! I’m always amazed by how many places they’ve been to and there’s always another trip bubbling in the pipeline! There’s never a lack for something interesting and refreshing to read, with articles exploring aspects of travel that I would never have considered.

  1. ah petrichor

I’ve only just come across Ching’s blog recently and I wish I found it sooner! She writes in both English and Chinese (traditional), which is perfect for a language learner like me, looking to improve their reading comprehension. Each post is also accompanied by really beautiful photographs. Although the WordPress app is convenient for those on the go, I’d really recommend taking the time to browse her posts via the desktop site to get the true beauty of her website theme!

  1. The Humble Explorer

Another great blog ran by YipChu and Jotina, I was drawn in by their amazing photographs and their content is equally on par. Each post is helpfully embedded by pins on Google maps, making it all the easier to track down that zoo café in Bangkok you wished you discovered. I love that we’ve travelled to a lot of similar places, yet have wildly different experiences – it’s a sign of a good travel blog that makes you want to revisit a country after you’ve just left!

  1. Jules Verne Times Two

Writing under the mysterious pseudonym of Jules and Verne (inspired by their favourite writer) comes another blogging duo I highly rate! They have a wonderful style of writing that I adore and each post is full of interesting narratives and personal anecdotes that are worthy of being compiled into a book!

  1. Stylish Wanderer

Combining fashion with reviews on travel, Stylish Wanderer has awesome posts reviewing accommodation, which can come in handy if you’re stuck for a place to stay. Her posts on Korea are full of interesting places I wish I had time to visit when I was out there!

  1. The Bellezza Corner

Amanda runs a great lifestyle blog covering a whole range of topics such as fashion, beauty and travel. As a novice in the world of beauty, her posts are filled with really useful information! A simple girl make-up wise, I especially loved her post on necessary nudes and neutrals to have in your make-up collection. Intrigued by the MAC lip-liner, I ended up going in store and purchasing a foundation too!

  1. An Aesthetic Mind

Despite running primarily a travel blog, I’m hooked on all things food, beauty and fashion. Julia’s blog is filled with lovely, clear photographs and everything she owns looks so pretty! I love the mix of travel posts, which initially prompted a follow, interspersed with posts on fashion and other aspects of life.

  1. 90s Kids Travel

Erica hasn’t posted for a while, but I hope she continues to write again! Her posts are packed full of great information and price references, which is very useful for a student like me who loves to plan and budget.

  1. Under Clouded Stars

There’s something romantic about writing poems and this blog is sure to alight a desire to visit every place that is covered. Her photographs fit the tone of each poem so perfectly and it’s lovely to see how thoughts and experiences can be clearly conveyed in just a few words.

  1. Awkward Introvert Traveler

With a blog name I can relate to, I am vicariously living through Luke and Des’ posts from when they embarked on a road trip around the US (it’s on my bucket list!). I’m just discovering how stunning America’s national parks are and their posts are just filled with wonderful photographs to highlight this. Make sure to check out their Instagram page too for more amazing photos.

re: hiking

going walkabout.

I have never been one for the gym, but this year I vowed to be more active and what better way to do it than go hiking? Fortunately Hong Kong has so many great hiking trails, some easier than others, but each providing a variety of stunning landscapes to cheer you on. I’ll admit that for me, the idea of hiking (seeing beautiful views, getting away from the city) greatly eclipses the reality of the actual workout involved. Which is why it might have been a better idea then to start off with something relatively easier than Tai Mo Shan, HK’s highest peak. But in my mind, hiking = walking, walking = easy, therefore hiking = easy! (Has psychology taught me nothing on illogical thought processes?!?)

Googling directions on how to get there, my friend and I both came across the same blog with instructions to head to Tsuen Wan MTR station and catch a taxi to a point called Lead Mine Pass, where we could start the trail (MacLehose 8). However, upon hailing a couple of taxis, it was clear that the drivers did not know of this place (or did not want to take us??). To be clear, we had the Chinese translation, Cantonese speakers and even pulled the location up on Google maps, but alas it was to no avail. Luckily, a man came to offer help and here I will relay the instructions that got us to the hike’s starting point.

  • Exit A of Tsuen Wan MTR station. Turn left and look for stairs heading up to the highway overhead.
  • Catch the 51 bus (double check that it’s going the right way!)
  • Ride 9 stops and get off at the stop County Park.
  • Walk a little downhill towards the Country Park Visitor Center for the starting point of MacLehose trail 8.

With Hong Kong’s harsh temperature drops, I was overly cautious in wearing 5 layers of clothes, which I promptly had to strip, as we were fortunate enough to be blessed with sun! It was really the perfect weather for this hike, no humidity and warm enough to wear a t-shirt comfortably. We passed some people along the trail ambling by, casually decked out in warm fleeces and sweaters and I don’t know how they weren’t overheating O-O.

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If you’re thinking of attempting this, make sure to bring lots of water (and snacks), since the majority of the hike is made up of stairs going up the mountain. Going up the hike, it may be advisable to save taking pictures until you pass the picnic area/carpark. The best views are from this point onwards and unless you want an abundance of identical photos, each increasing only slightly in viewpoint I would just save the photo-breaks until then. Here, there’s a rock a stone throw away (heh) from the main viewing point, where you’re free to take a musical interlude and act out that iconic opening scene from Disney’s The Lion King, (lion cub not provided). Another cool thing to look out for is Shenzhen! Spending most of my time on the island side, it’s easy to forget that Hong Kong is actually, physically a part of China.

After this point, you can choose to hike up to the weather observatory and carry the hike on from there. Limited by time, we chose not to hike the rest of the trail and instead re-traced our steps to catch the bus back to the MTR station. Choosing to carry on, I think you would end up in Tai Po within 1 or 2 hours. Altogether, it was a really enjoyable hike and it’s currently 01.00am and I can’t think of a witty way to end this post, so I’ll just leave you now, with the promise of more hikes in the future! (Any recommendations?)