Filed under Beaches, Blogger of the Month, Photography
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What better way to start our new series of Travel Blogger of the Month, than to feature not one, but TWO inspiring travel blogger/photographers.  I am happy to introduce Nisa and Ulli from Cookiesound is Travelling!

We will feature posts from Cookiesound is Travelling on the tripwolf facebook and twitter pages this month, so keep an eye out!

Cookiesound is Travelling is an Austria-based mother/daughter team.  Travel is in their blood – Ulli took off hitch-hiking to Greece at age 15 in 1970, and that wanderlust passed to her daughter.  When Nisa was born, that didn’t stop Ulli – she packed up her daughter and kept moving!  They both still enjoy each others company, sharing a passion and talent for writing as well as photography.

Nisa and Ulli Maier, 16 years ago! - Copyright Nisa and Ulli Maier

Nisa and Ulli Maier, 16 years ago! - Copyright Nisa and Ulli Maier

“We started “Cookiesound is Travelling“ in 2008 as a simple photo blog. We got really great responses on our photos and started receiving all these questions, so we decided to re-launch the site because we not only wanted to share our impressions but also our stories, thoughts and ideas.

“We try to keep our blogging style short and simple with lots of photo material in between. We’ve experiences that most people tend to look at the pictures, with only a short text. Of course, we sometimes have to dig deeper when it comes to special topics or places. These posts are mostly for those readers who are really interested [in a particular place.]

Baby Nisa in Sudan - Copyright Cookie Sound is Travelling

Baby Nisa in Sudan - Copyright Cookie Sound is Travelling

Let’s get to know you both a bit better ~ on to the ‘real important’ questions:

Sushi or pork roast? Sushi

Coffee or Red Bull? Coffee (and lots of it)

Wine or beer? Wine – we both hate beer

Suitcase or backpack? Depends on the trip.

Night train or night bus? Night train

Sleeping bag or bedding? Bedding

Window or aisle? Aisle

Diarrhea or constipation? Constipation

Malarone or malaria? Malaria

Hops or grass? Umm … don’t get this one but if we’d have to chose: grass.

tw: Why is traveling so important to you and how often do you get to take off?

CS: “Travelling broadens your mind and that why it’s so important to us to travel as often as possible. Since we both have a “regular” life with normal jobs, travelling is a great luxury for both of us. Of course we try to get away as often as possible but this doesn’t always involve a six-week adventure trip through Southeast Asia, but maybe only a weekend excursion to a European capital (which is great as well).  All in all, we’d love to see so much more of the world but one life is too short for that anyway…”

What would you like most to communicate through your blog, and why share your perspective?

“We try to visit places far away from the mainstream. For example: When India opened its Northeastern states for individual travelling in 2011, we immediately took the opportunity.  A three-week journey with amazing impressions was the result.

When people find us through the net, it may help them with their travel plans and this is why we want to share our experiences. Not only should our stories be for travellers but as we all know, there are heaps of people who don’t actively travel but prefer to read stories from their own couch. It’s a little bit like daydreaming for them.”


Finding Balance in Ghana - Copyright Cookie Sound is Travelling

Finding Balance in Ghana - Copyright Cookie Sound is Travelling

Do you remember a cultural misunderstanding that embarrassed you?

“Cultural misunderstandings can happen anywhere of course, but you can easily avoid them if you inform yourself beforehand. For instance: when you arrive in an Islamic country, one has to be extremely sensible concerning the dress codes. We’ve never had any troubles regarding this, but sometimes it’s a real shame to see Western people walking along the main roads half naked (Bali, etc.). Locals tend to be offended by this.

As a traveller you should understand and respect different cultures and views, even if you don’t understand or agree with them. This keeps you out of trouble.”

Where was the most uncomfortable night you’ve spent on your travels?

There were a few bad nights on a freighter ship from Lagos (Nigeria) to Athens (Greece), when a very bad storm hit the area around the Western Sahara.

During a robbery attempt in Niamey (Niger) at the camp ground, when some locals tried to get hold of our Diesel drums, we didn’t get to rest that much either. Luckily we slept in the back of the truck so we were able to [deter them.]

We’ve had a couple of pretty uncomfortable nights during our years of travelling all around the globe but as long as we are on vacation, all these things don’t really bother us!”

We met a Landmine Victim Phnom Penh Cambodia - Copyright Cookie Sound is Travelling

We met a Landmine Victim Phnom Penh Cambodia - Copyright Cookie Sound is Travelling

What was your most unusual means of transportation?

On top of a truck from Labuan Bajo to Ende in Indonesia: We tried to find a Taxi or Bemo but nothing was in sight and since we had to catch our flight, the truck was our only choice. You have to know that drivers in Indonesia tend to feel like little Michael Schumachers, so it was not the smoothest drive.”

Is there anything you dislike about traveling?

“We really dislike that we cannot sleep in our own beds, because your own bed is the most comfortable, no matter what.”

What was the strangest food you’ve ever eaten, and what was the best?

“Strangest food was definitely “Balut” in the Philippines. It’s an egg with an embryo chicken inside and a real delicacy over there. The offer almost made us faint, so we had to refuse.  Fried spiders in Cambodia were not really convincing either … To be honest, we don’t really eat anything that strange simply because we don’t want to get sick during our travels.

Best food is a really difficult question but we must say that the Southeast Asian simple food stalls are our favorite.”

Swimming the Ganges, Varansai, India - Copyright Cookie Sound is Travelling

Swimming the Ganges, Varansai, India - Copyright Cookie Sound is Travelling

Which three items do you not leave home without?

“1: A water kettle – that is for the morning coffee before any breakfast and a late evening tea; it helps to keep bad bellies away.

2: Camera & laptop

3: A hammock – it can help you in the most difficult situations to get a nice rest or sleep. We actually slept like babies between two traffic signs during the waiting hours for our connection flight in Brazil.”

What is your favorite place in your home country or city?

“Best place in our country is our house of course :D This is like a safety island; it’s the best feeling to come here after a long journey (or even after long working days).”

Do you have favorite travel blogs that you read regularly?

“Travelettes, Lets Be Wild, The Big Africa Cycle, Traveling Greener, The Riding Dutchman, Just Travelous […and more!]”

Beach Paradise Island, Sumatra, Indonesia - Copyright Cookie Sound is Travelling

Beach Paradise Island, Sumatra, Indonesia - Copyright Cookie Sound is Travelling

Ryan Gosling or Jude Law? We love the British accent, so Jude’s our pick.

Mountains, beach or city? Weekend trip: City. Adventure: Mountains. Relaxing: Beach

Couch-surfing or guesthouse? Guesthouse

Cockroaches or rats? Cockroaches

Skiing or surfing? Surfing in summer, skiing in winter.

iPhone or Android? iPhone

Travel tool you find most useful: A water kettle.

Postcard or emails? Postcards

How do you inform yourself about your next destination, and how do you prepare for the trip?

“Mostly the internet, books and our gigantic atlas. You find all the information you need if you’re patient.  We’re never really preparing that much before our travels. All we need are the tickets (plane, train, etc.), the rest comes as we go.”

Your latest discovery on the Internet?

“We discover new things and places all the time on the internet…One of the things we just recently got involved with was 500px. The quality of photo material is very high & appealing (we like visually appealing stuff). Who knows for how much longer this will be the case, so we try to get the best out of it right now.”

Tuk Tuk Varanasai, India - Copyright Cookie Sound is Travelling

Tuk Tuk Varanasai, India - Copyright Cookie Sound is Travelling

The best breakfast in the world is…

“A home-made Sunday morning breakfast. This includes eggs (sunny side up) from our own chickens, herbs & spices from our garden as well as a nice wholewheat bread with butter. Yummy!”

What is on your bucket list and where you will your next trip take you?

“Pakistan, Antarctica, New Zealand, Palau, Mongolia & Tibet are really high on our list. And even though we’ve been to China & India before, we’d like to see much more of these two countries (they alone would be enough for a single life time).  Also we’d love to experience a trip on the Transiberian Railway some day.

Our next (long) trip will most probably start in Pakistan, then to India and finally Indonesia (beach time) and China. Before that we’ll be in Italy for the TBU conference in April and maybe a short trip to Paris in May as well.”

If you could recommend three places our readers must visit in their lifetimes:

“Raja Ampat in West Papua: Unspoilt diving eco-adventure.

Serengeti in Tanzania/Kenya: The evening noises make this an absolute must visit. Ernest Hemingway knew what he was writing about.

Prague: One of the most beautiful cities in the world if you ask us!”

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Blogger name(s): Nisa Maier & Ulli Maier

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  1. Nisa & UlliNo Gravatar
    Posted March 13, 2012 at 3:54 am | Permalink

    Awesome!! Thanks so much for featuring us as the travel blogger(s) of the month :)
    All the best, Nisa & Ulli

  2. SaraNo Gravatar
    Posted March 15, 2012 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    Love your blog, and your photo’s are fantastic. Keep up the good work – such an enjoyable and interesting read….

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