Meet Camie Juan – Winners Interviews!

wild spirit

Firstly, for those who haven’t read your blog before – can you explain to us a little about what your blog is about?

Wild-Spirit is a personal and lifestyle blog, wherein I basically just write about my life, what interests me, my personal point of view and opinions, where I share photographs and a few artsy stuff here and there.

I live by my motto of “Je ne regretted rien.” And very much like Edith Piaf, I live my life with no regrets. I take life day by day, I take risks, I live it to the fullest and my mistakes are what has shaped me throughout the years, I live my life with no inhibitions, and that is what being a Wild Spirit is all about, that is what my blog is all about.

Why did you first decide to set it up?

I’ve been a blogger for years, but I decided to set up Wild-Spirit and stick with two years or so ago during a turning point in my 20’s, a time I was growing up and starting to live freely. As a fickle teenager, I was always changing usernames/blog names, but I finally stuck with Wild-Spirit and took my blogging a bit more seriously since then.

How long have you been blogging for?

Since I was about 13, I believe! It’s been 10 years. Can you imagine? My first blog was on DiaryLand.com, you can check it out. It’s basically the same website, same interface, and design ever since I started 10 years ago. It’s quite amusing! So I’ve been on different blogging platforms, but continually kept the theme of my blogs pretty much the same: Personal and lifestyle.

How are you preparing your for your trip?

Well, I’ve been prepared for this my whole life, to be quite honest! Haha

  1. Non-stop research on Germany and places I want to visit
  2. VISA applications – I had my interview recently and will find out in a few days if I am granted a VISA! (Cross your fingers and toes for me!)
  3. Talking to my mom’s German husband for tips/do’s & don’ts in Germany (Be a smart and safe traveller!)
  4. Mentally (and emotionally) preparing myself for this trip that I just used to day dream about – I’m trying not to have all these expectations, good or bad. I want to just surprise myself once I’m there.

What are you most looking forward to?

I look forward to experiencing being in a totally different country that is the complete opposite of what I am accustomed to, without expectations of what the food will be like or how the people are. I’m looking forward to surprising myself with whatever I’ll learn and gain certain knowledge only few of us in the world have a privilege of learning through travelling. And as a history fan, I’m looking forward to learning a bit more of German history, albeit 10 days doesn’t seem enough to learn everything, it’s still a start!

As you probably know, the Big Blog Exchange is all about ‘changing the world, using the power of blogs’. How do you think you and your exchange can help change the world?

Everyone knows that Germany and one of the biggest world war events go hand in hand. The holocaust was a picture of many, including prejudice, discrimination, and racism. I already have my own notions about past and present Germany, World War II, etc. but many still go on with their lives unknowing and completely ignorant of that part of history. It’s my hope that through my exchange, I can open the eyes and the minds of these people… Even if it’s just one person. Sometimes it only takes one person, to change their mind about their views and beliefs, and that can somehow start a domino effect, and that would’ve been enough.

How do you plan to record your trip? Are you going to be blogging through video, pictures, written words or all three?

I plan to do all three, actually! Video recording, lots of photos and written words and integrate them not just through blog posts but through other social media (Instagram and twitter) as well.

If anyone knows of great prepaid sim cards with great data that I can use while in Germany, let me know! 🙂 I want to keep all social media accounts updated as much as possible!

Are you excited at the prospect of swapping blogs?

It’s really exciting! But also scary! I will be exchanging with Tine from Lunch For One, and hopefully her readers will welcome me with open arms! It’s not just me who finds the blog exchange exciting, but rather some of my readers as well. They can’t wait to see the adventures Tina will embark on during her stay in the Philippines!

Is this your first time travelling or have you travelled before?

I’ve travelled to neighbouring countries of the Philippines but never outside Asia!

Have you heard about Hostelling International before, or is this your first experience with us (have you said HI to the world yet)? Are you excited?

I actually only heard of HI when BBE started. I’m so thankful to have discovered HI, though! Now I can actually plan trips without worrying about expensive lodging. Honestly, knowing HI exists makes me happy!

Are your readers excited about your trip? Have you been blogging in the run up to the exchange?

My readers are my biggest supporters aside from family. You wouldn’t believe the vast amount of tweets, messages and emails I’ve been getting congratulating me and expressing their joy and excitement for me! It’s really sweet! It’s been two weeks since the official announcement of winners was made and I still get congratulatory messages. It’s surreal! Everything is happening so fast and there’s not much time to plan so I’ve been so busy! I’ve sort of lost track of blogging, but I’ll get back to the swing of things soon!

What tips can you give for your exchange partner? What can he/she explore in your city/country?

  1. Keep an open and adventurous mind!
  2. Have fun, but keep your guard up because it’s not always safe around, especially in the Manila area.
  3. Filipinos, in generally, love foreigners and so Filipinos will LOVE you!
  4. Filipinos are really welcoming and nice, so don’t be alarmed if you’re treated instantly like family…
  5. Much like any city, be wary of your surroundings. Don’t flash expensive products such as your iPhone or iPods because they pose a pickpocketing thread. Carry small change instead of large bills. And be careful of being scammed, sometimes cab drivers will scam you into paying more money than you should. The meter shouldn’t lie, no matter how much traffic or whatever reason they give. The meter is what you follow.
  6. The weather can get pretty bipolar, it’s scorching hot one day and raining the next, so bring lightweight clothing and a jacket for the rain. June is the start of our rainy season.

Things to explore in the city/country:

  1. The food, especially the most famous street food and my favorite, Taho, because Tina is a sweet tooth!
  2. Maybe try Balut if you’re feeling really adventurous. Alright, alright… You can skip the duck/chick, but eat the rest. It’s really not that bad, because the yellow part is basically just egg yolk. If you don’t know what Balut is, you can Google for a photo, I’ll skip posting a photo here in case you guys are easily grossed out…
  3. Bargain shopping at Greenhills or Divisoria (although I wouldn’t recommend Divisoria if you’re going alone. Not even I go alone.)
  4. Explore Old Manila with Carlos Celdran, you honestly cannot go wrong! 

Where should he/she go? Or what should they do?

  1. Spend at least two to three days at one of our famous beaches! Cebu, Boracay, Palawan! Nothing spells ultimate relaxation like crystal clear water, white sand, and the sound of the waves hitting the shore. Just thinking about it makes me want to go to the beach right now.
  2. Visit the Chocolate Hills. Our Department of Tourism recently came up with the slogan: “My Humps. More Fun in The Philippines” for the Chocolate Hills! I have a good chuckle every time I see that advertisement… I’m easily amused.
  3. Old Manila, China Town, places with architecture and stuff you don’t normally see/find in Europe!

What do you find most rewarding about being a blogger?

I find that being able to connect to total strangers and somehow affect their lives in a positive way is the most humbling and rewarding thing, especially when it goes both ways. I have a great relationship with my readers and they have helped me grow so much over the years, as much as I hope I have helped them as well. It’s a wonderful support system.

As a blogger or as a writer, I have a voice, an influence, and knowing I can use this talent for good assures me that in this life where I’m constantly trying to find solid ground as to who I am or what my sole purpose is, at least I know I’ve done something right.

Visit Camie’s blog here.

Meet Liesbet Maroye – Winners Interviews!

We hope you are enjoying the winners interviews installments, and are excited to meet all of our 16 winners. We have been amazed so far at how creative each of the bloggers have been with expressing their answers, and with Liesbet – this is no different! She has kindly answered our questions using a mix of video, images and text! Enjoy!

Liesbet will be swapping with Didi from SwedishGarden (South Africa) – you can find her blog here.

Firstly, for those who haven’t read your blog before – can you explain to us a little about what your blog is about? Why did you first decide to set it up? How long have you been blogging for?

How are you preparing your for your trip?

– I hope to exchange a lot of information with Didi, my exchanging partner!

– I already have plundered the library to get some books about South Africa.

– I will surf on the world wide web, maybe I could find something there J

– I will let me inspire by experiences from other bloggers, readers and maybe the HI crew from Hostelling South Africa

What are you most looking forward to?

Too much for 10 days. I really want to experience as much as possible from South Africa, and live a little bit the Didi-way of life …

As you probably know, the Big Blog Exchange is all about ‘changing the world, using the power of blogs’. How do you think you and your exchange can help change the world?

The fact that people read your blog means that they feel connected with you, they appreciate (or not J) what you are writing, what you want to share, they like to see your vision on the world. By sharing what I will be living, seeing, experiencing in South Africa, my European/Asian/American readers will have a glimpse on the South African culture, habits, way of life. Feeling connected with someone, knowing the person that brings the message, makes you appreciate more about the country, world … I will be helping change the world by offering a window to what I see, believe and live. And this in a – for me – totally different culture.

Liesbet à Paris

How do you plan to record your trip? Are you going to be blogging through video, pictures, written words or all three?

Text: in the beginning of my blog, I only reported by text. So, I think that will stay one of my principal expression methods.

But

I am convinced that it will be quite hard to just transmit all the influences I will get through writing. So I will certainly add some videos and pictures to pass the South African joie de vivre/couleur  locale, nature, projects, colours (!) … to my reader. I even thought of adding some “sound recordings” to make my readers sniff the ambiance and the sounds. I will also keep them updated by Twitter and Facebook, so they can ask me questions, react or suggest things while I’m travelling.

Are you excited at the prospect of swapping blogs?

Is this your first time travelling or have you travelled before?

It is not my first time that I am travelling. I adore it, it is in my blood J. If it were possible, I would spend all my days in different countries to inhale as much of their cultures and influences.  But it is the first time that I will be leaving the European region. Woohow! Until now, I tried to explore as much as possible of Europe, its diversity, its culture. Nevertheless, I had fixed myself as goal to leave Europe before my 30. And now, being 26, I have the great opportunity to turn this goal into reality. So, I would like to warn the rest of the world: Liesbet à Paris will extend her explore zone

Have you heard about Hostelling International before, or is this your first experience with us (have you said HI to the world yet)? Are you excited?

I definitely already have said HI to the world. Youth hostels are a great opportunity to get in touch with people from all over the world, who also want to meet other cultures, other places. They also offer a connection with the country you are visiting. Last year, we did a great roadtrip through Iceland, where we went from HI hostel to hostel. It was a great experience! The way how they interact with and respect nature, the places where the hostels are located …!

Are your readers excited about your trip? Have you been blogging in the run up to the exchange?

On this link, you can read everything I’ve posted in the run up to the exchange. And I will keep on posting. My readers couldn’t and will not ignore that I am participating in this competition. Once the 16 BBE’ers were chosen and it appeared I was one of them, I got a lot of facebook messages, mails and sms’s of readers/friends/family/fellow bloggers/other participants to compliment and congratulate me and to wish me luck with the preparations and the journey. And thanks for that!

What tips can you give for your exchange partner? What can he/she explore in your city/country? Where should he/she go? Or what should they do?

Belgium it has some great cities (Bruges, Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent), villages, beaches (Knokke, Ostend …) and forests (Ardennes, Oostkantons …) to get lost in. A nice way to explore the countryside and the villages, is by bicycle. So it would be great to hire a bike and to feel the wind while stepping through the fields. And you can end up with some French fries or some chocolate. Or both. In a recently posted blog, I give a quick view on the diversity and the particularities of Belgium. Of course, there is a lot to do. But, I want to be a good blogging hostess to Didi from SwedishGarden. That is why I will try to give her some personalised suggestions!

What do you find most rewarding about being a blogger?

I try to pass as much Liesbet-joy as possible to the people. When my reader gets a smile while reading my blog, when he gets a bright idea or a brain wave, when he becomes inspired. That are the most rewarding things for me. That I can show life, the world, the daily things through my eyes. Because: you only live once. So do the things when you can. Carpe diem. And remember: “nothing is impossible”. You just have to jump!

What Do You Find The Most Rewarding?

Some people blog to express their opinion, some to update friends and family and some because they love having their own personal corner of the internet. Whatever your motivation is for blogging, we think having a blog can open up a whole host of opportunities and is a really exciting and rewarding platform!

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So, we wanted to ask you – what do you find is the most rewarding thing about being a part of the blogging community? Have you had a favourite ‘blogging moment’? 

How Do YOU Promote Your Blog?

In 2013, amidst a vast technical ages, there are hundreds (perhaps even thousands) of tools and social networking sites that bloggers use on a daily basis to promote their blogs, and even their individual posts.

So, we’re interested to hear about what you do to promote your blog? Do you just promote it to family and friends through emailing, or do you use the huge social networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr to promote posts.

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We know here in the UK, that Facebook and Twitter are the most popular but we would love to know what is popular in your part of the world. We’d love the Big Blog Exchange to be live on all the world’s social networks, so we need your help! 

Happy blogging! 

The BBE Has Been Spotted On YOUR Blog!

It is so lovely to see that you are writing, blogging and spreading the word about the Big Blog Exchange, especially with so much enthusiasm, passion and creativity! We have been taking a look at your blogs over the past few days, and here are some of our favourite posts from them!

Sophie Rose HeartsBlog Mother Gaoel

exchanging blog - perfect waste of timeCraft, Clothes and Crohns- The Big Blog Exchange

- I heart Reykjavík

1 Minute Favor- Please Vote for Me in the Big Blog ExchangeMother Gaoel Blog- Follow Big Mother Support Blog Exchange- Not Just Roads Abroad

Kairyuzai N Samm- The Big Blog Exchange Competition 2013

annabeatrip

Have you written, tweeted or blogged about the Big Blog Exchange? Let us know and you could be featured next time!