Even If You’re Not A Winner..

The Big Blog Exchange isn’t just about the 16 winners, it’s about the amazing community of 1,173 supportive and passionate bloggers it has created. We are so proud to have been a part of your discussions and to have been featured on all of your blogs, so thank you all.

We hope that you will all continue to follow the BBE journey, following in the footsteps of the 16 bloggers – in addition to taking part in discussions on this blog. We will regularly be updating and posting on this blog about issues and topics related to bloggers, in addition to posting opportunities that might be relevant to you.

We wish we could pick you all as our winners, as you all deserve to win – but for now, we just want to thank you all for your support and we hope that you will stay with us and still take part in the Big Blog Exchange. If you’ve enjoyed this years project so far, we’d love to hear from you – and remember, there’s always next year!

Please stay tuned for our winners interviews, blogging discussions, travel related tips and guest posts. If you think you have an idea for a blog post, or would like to contribute yourself – please let us know!

Happy blogging! 

The Exchanges Are Announced!

We hope you all enjoyed tuning in for the live draw earlier today, it was so exciting watch the bloggers match up with their exchange partners, revealing where they will be jetting off too.

In case you didn’t catch it – here are the exchanges! 

Andy Andersen from Backpacking Diplomacy, UNITED STATES

is exchanging with….

Sara Rodriguez from MindfulTravelbySara, SPAIN


Kisty Mea from The Style Mermaid, SINGAPORE

is exchanging with….

Sophie Roberts from Challenge Sophie, UNITED KINGDOM


Audur Osp from I heart Reykjavík, ICELAND

is exchanging with….

Nitzan Arad from 2 BALAYLA, ISRAEL


Rosario Lamastra from Blueheaven, ARGENTINA

is exchanging with…

Katherine Kearsley from Kapcha The World, NEW ZEALAND


Natália from 360meridianos, BRAZIL

is exchanging with…

Claire from  The Green Geekette, FRANCE


Camie Juan from Wild – Spirit, PHILIPPINES

is exchanging with….

Tina from Lunch For One, GERMANY


Liesbet Maroye from Liesbet à Paris, BELGIUM

is exchanging with…

Didintle Ntsie from Swedishgarden, SOUTH AFRICA


Jeremy Fowler from Jeremy Fowler, CANADA

is exchanging with…

Chee Ching from cheeChingy.com, MALAYSIA

The Big Blog Exchange LIVE DRAW

* Apologies for the technical glitch on the world exchange map today. Unfortunately our test/example version was uploaded rather than our updated map, which displayed example bloggers, rather than the winners.

The 16 winners were announced at 7AM GMT this morning, which was a really anxious moment for all of you I’m sure. The jury had such a difficult decision choosing just 16 bloggers, as they had 1173 fantastic bloggers to choose from – each one so unique, inspiring and creative. We really hope you have all enjoyed being a part of the Big Blog Exchange, and will keep visiting us here over at the BBE blog. We have loved all of your community spirits, your discussions and your ideas – and we’d love to keep this up for the remainder of the journey. We would love to have your help, your tips and your guest posts – and to have you all as part of the BBE community! We hope you’ll continue to join us on this exciting journey! 

The Wait Is Over!

The day you’ve all been waiting for is nearly upon us! Monday, the 16 winners of the Big Blog Exchange are now published on the website at 7AM GMT for all to see! We can’t wait!

At 12noon GMT, the first of the ‘live draws’ will take place, so make sure you tune in to the website to see the exchanges announced (you will see who will be flying where!). Every 5 minutes, another exchange will be posted on the Big Blog Exchange website, it’s going to be so exciting!

Are you excited? We know we are! 

What Do You Look For In A Blog?

As you can imagine, it’s been so hard both for the jury and for us to pick just 16 winners, especially as there are SO many fantastic bloggers taking part in the exchange. It is a really difficult decision, and there has been plenty of long discussions about the winners.

The winners will be announced on the 29th, and posted on the BBE website at 7AM GMT, however until then – we wanted to ask you, if you were the jury – what aspects would you be looking for in a blog?

We’d love to hear your thoughts! 

* Remember – even if you don’t make it as a winner, you will still be a part of the BBE community all the way through, helping us to improve the project (for next year) and to share ideas about what our 16 winners could get up to.

What One Question Would You Ask?

We thought that we’d share a few more BBE inspired posts with you today, as well as posing the question – if you could ask the blogging community ONE question, what would it be?

We are planning to keep this blog running throughout the exchange process (and beyond), and we’d love for it to be a place for bloggers to come and chat about topics that are relevant to the world of blogging. Of course, this blog will document and follow in the footsteps of the lucky 16 winners, tracking their journey – however it will also be a place for discussion, inspiration and support – so we’d love for you all to be a part of it. What do you think?

So, what question would you ask the community of bloggers? We’d love to hear from you! 

Un coin de Terre libre d'école !- Big Blog Exchange Part 3 - Wishes ...

Strange Exhilaration

The Big Blog Exchange

After 45 days of voting and with 1,173 individual bloggers entering, The Big Blog Exchange has now announced its top 100 finalists. As one of the world’s largest blogging competitions in history, the success of the project has spread worldwide, appearing in global and local media.

TBBE_100 finalists!

100 bloggers from all around the globe will now be anticipating the 29th April, when the final 16 will be published on bigblogexchange.org at 7AM GMT.

An international jury will make the decision about which 16 bloggers will be simultaneously exchanging lives and blogs in June. Two of the bloggers will have the opportunity to get a wildcard regardless of the number of votes they have.

CEO of Hostelling International, Mikael Hansson says, “We have been overwhelmed by the number of bloggers getting involved in the project, and that we have been able to promote Hostelling International to around 170 countries in such a short time”.

He added, “It is going to be extremely difficult to whittle the top 100 down to our finalists. Seeing the online blogging community we have created come to life is amazing. We set out to re-ignite our mission of encouraging global interaction and this has been a real success so far”.

From bloggers who write about beating cancer, to those who blog about cupcakes, the project has generated 90,000 votes for individual bloggers, 26,000 Facebook likes and an audience of over 2,500,000 on Twitter, in just one month and a half.

The Big Blog Exchange website has gained over 164,000 visits in the short time it has been online and has been ranked as one of statshow.com’s top rising websites.

The 16 lucky winners will fly to their exchange destination on the 7th June for 10 days, simultaneously, immersing themselves in local culture whilst blogging live.

To see the full list of winners, please visit bigblogexchange.org.
If you’d like to be kept updated about the project, please visit our blog here.

Have You Written About Us?

We were so pleased to see that some of you have featured the Big Blog Exchange on your blogs, especially once the final 100 were announced – as we noticed that a lot of you were posting about who you’d like to swap with should you be one of the 16 – which is great! Amazing Moments to be in 100 Finalists of The Big Blog Exchange - youthgotravelannabeatripJust Kicking It- We are in the Top 100 - #BigBlogXVincent Quek's Blog- I mean, there's so much out there to see!- Big Blog Exchange- What a ride!Fashion Ate the World

We wanted to showcase a few of our favourites over the next few days, so if you have featured the Big Blog Exchange on your blog recently, please leave a link in the comment box below and we will happily check it out! 

Happy blogging!


We just want to say a huge congratulations to the 100 finalists! It has been a fantastic journey, and we have really enjoyed looking at your motivations, your blogs and your inspirational tweets every day. From our side, it has been so rewarding to have so many of you giving us positive feedback about the project, and we are so glad to hear that you have enjoyed it as much as we have.

The next few days are going to be tough, as our jury decide who our final 16 winners are. Even if you haven’t made it to the top 100, you will still be eligible for one of the wildcard places, and as we speak we are going through all 1173 of your blogs, taking our time to look at all your hard work.

Even if you don’t make it as one of the 16 winners this year, we hope you will all continue to follow the journeys of the bloggers and will still be involved in the project – as our 16 bloggers will be writing, photographing and filming live from all over the world – so although the first step is over, there are lots more exciting things that lay ahead!

We hope you will ALL join us for the next steps!

Please remember, we will be posting all of our updates on this blog, so if you’d like to be kept in the loop, you can subscribe and receive news by email! We’d love for this blog to be a part of the blogging community, so let us know if you have any ideas for us. 

Happy blogging!

The 100 finalists can be viewed here.

What is next?

Voting for the Big Blog Exchange has now closed, meaning you will no longer be able to add or change any votes. It has been a really exciting and educational journey for us (and hopefully you too) and we are so pleased that you all chose to participate!

Exciting (and busy) times lay ahead, as we, along with the jury, will be going through ALL of the blogs, whittling the entries down to 16 winners (14 from the Top 100 and 2 Wildcards). The final 16 will be announced on the 29th April and will published as a list on our website (bigblogexchange.org).

We would like to congratulate the 100 bloggers (25 most voted bloggers per region) qualified. Amazing guys! (Check out the 100 bloggers qualified on bigblogexchange.org) We will continue posting interesting things about the community on our blog and asking you questions. 


Thank you all so much for joining us, we hope you will all stay along for the next leg of the journey!  Happy blogging! 

1 Extra Day Extension

Unfortunately, we were attacked by a spammer yesterday – resulting in many bloggers having their entries temporarily taken down from the site (although any votes during this time, will still have been counted). Our developers were working hard to fix this problem, however it took a little longer than expected – so we have proposed to give bloggers an extension in order to get those last few votes in.

We want to apologize for this technical issue, and to all those bloggers who had been reported by this spammer. We have now removed the ‘report for abuse’ button so that this problem does not happen again, and the voting will now close on the 16th April 2013 at 12pm GMT rather than today.

1 Extra Day Extension

Unfortunately, we were attacked by a spammer yesterday – resulting in many bloggers having their entries temporarily taken down from the site (although any votes during this time, will still have been counted). Our developers were working hard to fix this problem, however it took a little longer than expected – so we have proposed to give bloggers an extension in order to get those last few votes in.

We want to apologize for this technical issue, and to all those bloggers who had been reported by this spammer. We have now removed the ‘report for abuse’ button so that this problem does not happen again, and the voting will now close on the 16th April 2013 at 12pm GMT rather than today.

Please do not worry, your votes have not been lost, your entry should be exactly the same as before.

We hope this helps, thank you for notifying us of the issue – we will reply to your comments, emails and concerns today, however if you have any further issues, please do not hesitate to contact us on tbbe@hihostels.com

Those Last Few Votes!

Make sure you get those last few votes in tonight, because voting will close tomorrow at 12 noon GMT! We will post a blog post tomorrow once voting has closed with regards to the next steps, but until then…

Good luck!

Tbbe logo white text

Please remember that ALL blogs will be taken into consideration for the exchange, regardless of votes. If you are in the top 100 (25 per region) qualified tomorrow when the voting closes, you will have a chance at being one of the 14 selected bloggers (decided by our jury). Otherwise, all blogs will be reviewed by us, to be one of two wildcards. Let us know if you have any questions at all, either by posting a comment below – or by emailing us tbbe@hihostels.com 


How Did You Hear About The BBE?

We are absolutely amazed that we have over 1100 bloggers signed up, eager to take part in the exchange! When we started this project, we could have never hoped for a better response! With bloggers posting about the Big Blog Exchange on their Twitter, Facebook’s and websites, it is no wonder word has spread so quickly – so thank you ALL for your help!


And now for our question to you! How did you hear about the Big Blog Exchange? Was it word of mouth? Twitter? Facebook? Or another blog? Have you stayed in a HI Hostel and seen one of our posters? We’d love to hear from you! 

Motivations We Love #43

It’s nearly time to start looking over ALL of your entries, whittling down 1100 bloggers to just 16! Until then, here’s a few of today’s favourite motivations!

Blou, from 360 Tree Blog (South Africa) says: 

I’ve a deep love for the tiny details, for capturing moments of magic within the mundane lens of each passing day. A stroke at 27 radically altered my life and perspective – I had to leave my career in the corporate world as my focus narrowed to learning to live within my ‘new’ body. Many gifts have revealed themselves as I embraced change and benefits of ‘the simple life’. This focus informs how I travel now too: walking at a slower pace, turning from from crowds and tourist ‘hot spots’, searching instead for the complex nuances of local secrets… where one can soak in a sense of the day-to-day life atmosphere of the place. To find the common threads which link our diverse lives, whilst celebrating the powerful mystery of ‘foreignness’. And the path of maverick and wanderer has always inspired me… To trade countries and experiences for 10 days, a brief ellipse in time and space to seek out intricacies of a different ‘life’ and weave together a tapestry of images and words to speak of it, is a unique opportunity. One I would love to apply lens and heart and hand to.

Patricia IACOB, from Patricia IACOB blog (Romania) says: 

Since I let my limits into past and I decided to open the blog I feel better cause now I am free to express myself and be me. The blog is a place were I can speak on my own language and I can feel comfortable. Now I have a team with a web designer, an it specialist and a PR and right now we are working at the blog. We will change the look of the blog and we wanna enjoy and evolve in interesting projects. I wanna travel and achieve as much information as I can because I wanna inspire other to try new things from time to time,, to take care of their look to be bold and optimistic. Fashion can change the attitude of the people and I wanna show them that is easy and everyone can be fashion.

Martina Agrì, from In Front Of The Closet blog (Italy) says: 

Hello! My name is Martina Agrì and I’m a graduate student in Fashion. I opened my blog In Front Of The Closet to share with other people my passions. Currently the blog is phase of restyling because I studied for my graduation but it will soon be available. I would like to partecipate in this project because I love traveling and other cultures different from my own. In the first page of my thesis I wrote: ” We must open our eyes to the wonderful diversity of this world.” I analizyed different cultures for time and space from the western that is shamanistic culture in Siberia in particular Yukaghir and Koryak culture. My dream is to learn through travel. I would like to see the Ocean, the Northern Lights, the milky way in the night from Africa, the great capitals of the world like New York, Honk Hong, Tokyo, Sydney and eat and live like the locals. Could be a great opportunity,I hope you believe in me. Regards, Martina Agrì

Megan Leader, from Far Far Away Blog (United States) says: 

The world is a breathtaking place full of vibrant, wonderful people. There is so much beauty to be explored and experienced that I sometimes become overwhelmed by my ever-growing “must-visit” list. Having the opportunity to swap places with another blogger would allow me a fresh perspective into someone else’s lifestyle and traditions, and that’s one of the most valuable life experiences anyone could ever ask for!