I’ve been asked lots lately if the results of the Big Blog Exchange competition have been released. The good news is that I made the final 100! The better news is that I ranked 4th in the Africa & Middle East region!!!
Thanks for all your support! Its also fantastic that of the Top 25 blogs in the Africa and Middle East region, 20 were from South Africa. Clearly South Africa dominates the blogosphere in the region. Of the 20 Saffer blogs, I’m stoked that I managed to rank second only to the Just Kicking It blog. I can’t get too excited yet, there is still another round to go, with the judges getting to choose the final 14 who get to make up the final 16, along with two Wild Card draw entries.
Last week I wrote a post on countries that I’d like to go to should I get chosen to participate in the blog exchange. Now that I’ve had a chance to suss out some of the final 100 blog’s – check them out, they’re some gems in there – I have a better idea of who I’d like to exchange lives and blogs with should I be lucky enough to make it through the final selection. Not that I have a choice in the matter, but I guess it doesn’t hurt to put it out to there.
It was difficult to choose, due to the sheer number of blogs, their diversity, not to mention language barriers ( thanks Google Translate!) I eventually decided to focus on travel blogs – as opposed to the fashion/ foodie/ lifestyle blogs – that are personal and engaging and in a country that I haven’t yet visited but would like to go to.
In the interests of democracy, I decided I needed share the Mzansi love geographically by choosing one blog from each region outside Africa. So here are the 3 blogs that I would exchange with if I had the choice…(Hope you’re listening Hostelling International ;))
Preciso Viajar – Brazil
I would love to go to Brazil… then again who wouldn’t? There’s a heap of Brazilian blogs in the final 100 and most are in Portuguese. I like chose Preciso Viajar as its personal and I found the blogger, Fernanda’s motivation for her BigBlogX entry rather touching. She writes:
“I am loyal and constant in my love for travel, as I have not always been loyal and constant in my other loves”. I truly believe the boundaries exist only in our minds and traveling is all about that – to realize that everybody is looking for the same thing all around the world – happiness.
How sweet it that?
Miss Wierdo – Malaysia
Besides the quirky blog name and her great design aesthetic, I liked Miss Wierdo’s blog as she offers to write personal handwritten letters to her readers. Pretty awesome, right? And of course I’d love to go to Malaysia to experience the diverse cultures, the beaches and the yummy spicy food! Oh, and the blogger, Emilee is only 150cm tall and I’m biased towards little people 😉
I heart Reykjavik – Iceland
As someone who is practically allergic to winter, Iceland wouldn’t normally be my first choice of European destinations (*actually Berlin was my first choice, but there weren’t any Berlin bloggers in the top 100). The I heart Reykjavík blog made me think differently. I enjoyed the way Auður, the blogger – or travelling elf as she calls herself – expresses her passion for her city. Her blogging style is sincere and personal while her layout is visually appealing with great images. I guess Iceland is about as culturally and physically different as you can get from South Africa. More importantly, I think that an Icelander might appreciate some time in the African sun! Oh, and I’m biased towards elves too!
PS. If I could choose to swop blogs with anyone in South Africa, it would have to be The Brew Mistress blog by Lucy Corne. I’m no expert at beer, but I imagine it would be fun spending 10 days tasting beer and writing about beer travel 🙂
Only 2 days left before Hostelling International announces the winners, I’m holding thumbs! Thanks again to all who voted for me. Good luck to all the South African bloggers, I hope that more than one of us make it to the final 16. Lets represent Mzansi!