"Short stories and travel reports from my life adventures around the globe".

Leighton Travels & The Real Neat Blog Award!

Real Neat Blog Award Leighton Travels.

Leighton Travels Real Neat Blog Award.

What a cool thing to flash up on my screen a few days ago! Everyone loves a bit of recognition and I certainly didn’t see this coming. I really do have to thank the guy who nominated me, Mr. Emmanuel Eromonsele of the excellent Nigerian travel blog Ericotrips.

Emmanuel Eromonsele Ericotrips.

Emmanuel Eromonsele, Ericotrips.

Things have really blossomed recently within the blogging community. Hence I should also thank all the people that have taken the time to read, like, follow, comment and collaborate with me. You know who you are.

What will I do with my winnings? I’d like to say that I’ll donate everything to a charity of some kind. But most likely Sladja and I will blow it all on coffee and Indian food. #soaddicted

Leighton Travels Real Neat Blog Award.


Leighton Travels, Real Neat Blog Award.

So… as some of you may or may not be aware, part of the award deal is that you have to respond to the seven questions set by the blogger who nominated you. Here goes…

1. What inspired you to become a blogger?

Back in 2014 I was living in Beijing, where I worked as an English teacher. The job afforded me a heap of free time. At some point I decided to start work on a collection of short stories about my life living around the world. The blog was born from there and, over the last six years, has evolved into the site you see today. A kind of online exhibition of my life living, working and travelling the globe.

Leighton Travels English travel blogger.

2. How do you balance your day job and blogging?

Actually this is my day job now, ha! My girlfriend and I usually spend 6-8 hours a day developing Leighton Travels. In order to keep us fed and watered, we also do a few hours of English teaching online in the evenings.

Real Neat Blog Award Leighton Travels.

3. How far away from your birthplace do you live now?

This is a fun one! According to my dear friend Mr. Google, I am currently 6082 miles away from where I was born in Hammersmith Hospital, London. So yeah, I’m a long way from home, Toto.

4. What is your favourite quote?

Oh, I couldn’t pin it down to just one. I like John Lennon’s “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”, taken from his heartbreaking song Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy). Moreover, I could bring to mind a hundred choice quotes from the movies. Today I’ll plump for “Let’s never come here again because it would never be as much fun” from Lost in Translation. And the “Life moves pretty fast” line in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Life Moves Pretty Fast Ferris Bueller's Day Off

5. What is a strange occurrence you’ve experienced but have never (or rarely) shared with anyone?

Most of my weird, strange, embarrassing stuff is out there in my short stories. Thinking of one I haven’t shared (and that I’m happy to share) is a tricky one. There is one story that only a handful of my closest friends know about. It involves a fascinating/bizarre evening I had with a well known Hollywood actress in New York City. We had just finished an interview when she asked me, “Fancy a drink?” And that folks, is all I can say. #nohankypanky

6. What is one thing you’d rather pay someone to do than do yourself? Why?

I can’t bear cooking anymore. I find it stressful and time consuming. There’s also the small matter that I’m not very good at it. Honestly, I would rather clean the bathroom than whip up a meal.

Real Neat Blog Award.

7. When you joined the WordPress community, what were your thoughts? Did you have any expectations? Was there any specific reason why you chose blogging? (Apart from being passionate about writing)

I had no expectations at all. I just thought it would be cool to have a platform from which I could share my life experiences, Later, I settled on the concept of travel reports and short stories. What has transpired has been fantastic, especially the community aspect to WordPress and how you and up connecting with people from all over the world. Each with their own unique stories to tell.

Real Neat Blog Award.

With my answers out of the way, let’s get onto the really cool thing about this award. Namely, that it gives me the chance to nominate seven of my very favourite WordPress blogs. Without further ado (cough cough), I would like to tip my hat to the excellent…

National Parks With T

This is the blog that has made me put more of The USA back on my bucket list. T’s articles and photos of America’s amazing national parks are wonderful. Furthermore, it was a fun experience teaming up with her on an article exchange for Earth Day earlier this year.

One Chance To See The World

One Chance to See The World travel blog

Spending as many years away from home as I do, you’re gonna get homesick sometimes. Luckily, the talented Sam and his blog is on hand to get me all misty-eyed about my city of birth. His London photography is fantastic and there’s a pleasing crispness to his site’s design. His article Every Street Has A Story is a perfect example. Although Sam is a recent blogging acquaintance, we’ve already threatened to collaborate at some point. #intheworks

Marla on The Move

Marla on the Move travel blog.

If you like your blogs to be packed with art and history, then Marla’s your girl. I particularly like her Thursday Doors pieces, a collection of gorgeous doorways from around the world. There’s a really playful vibe to Marla’s blog, as seen in her My Feet At… articles.

The Real Neat Blog Award.


Wandering Canadians

Wandering Canadians travel blog.

Another fine outdoorsy blog comes from this adventurous Canadian couple. As you’d expect from any solid site, their content is engaging and the photos will make you want to drop everything and transport yourself into their world. Guys, I really want to go to Boston after reading your article.

Monkey’s Tale

Monkey's Tale travel blog.

It was Sladja who turned me onto this impressive blog by Maggie and Richard. These guys have succeeded in stoking our flames of desire for South America. In fact, their piece on the Colombian city of Cartagena really got us thinking about our future plans. The photography here is top notch and even a cursory read reveals a genuine love for blogging.

Lyssy In The City

Lyssy In The city travel blog.

How could I not love this blog? After all, much of the focus is on New York City, one of my favourite urban jungles. There’s all sorts here, from fitness, family and ice cream, to interior design, quarantine and “all life’s moments”. Her article My Perfect Day in NYC brings back plenty of my own Big Apple memories.


Gandafro Travel photographer and blogger.

I sincerely urge you to check out this cinematic travel blog from David Méndez. Hailing from San Sebastián and residing in Berlin, his rich photography and economy of words makes for a powerful combination. As in evidence on his article Rainy Days in Pasajes.

Real Neat Blog Award.

Finally, dear nominees, I’ll leave you with the rules for a post of your own, should you be so inclined to take part.

  1. Display the blog award logo on your post.
  2. Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  3. Please link back to their blog.
  4. Answer the questions they have given you.
  5. Nominate 7 to 10 bloggers of your choice.
  6. Ask them 7 questions.

Leighton Travels travel reports short stories.

My questions for the nominees are:

  1. What was your first blog post about? And how do you feel about it now, looking back?
  2. What has helped you grow as a blogger?
  3. A genie kindly grants you a dream home. Where would you like to have it placed? What made you choose this location?
  4. What is your best travel experience?
  5. Have you ever had a nightmare trip?
  6. Is there a blog post you’ve written that you’re particularly proud of? Why?
  7. What advice would you have for bloggers starting out today?

Leighton Travels short stories and travel reports.

Thanks again to everyone who follows Leighton Travels!

I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001. So why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.

Alternatively, for a more personalised look at my life adventures travelling the world, dip into my collections of short stories. 

Leighton Travels logo travel reports and short stories.



  • Namz

    Congratulations!! It is indeed a real neat blog 🙂

    May 23, 2020 - 3:28 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks Namz, I appreciate that. By the way, what happened to your blog? We enjoyed reading you, but it seems to be offline for the moment?

      May 23, 2020 - 3:29 pm Reply
      • Namz

        Hey…really? It’s very much online. Please try this link :

        May 23, 2020 - 3:31 pm
      • Leighton

        That’s great to see! There may be an issue from within WP reader when you click on either on Namz or

        May 23, 2020 - 3:34 pm
  • Eromonsele Emmanuel

    Congratulations again for this well deserved award Leighton! You nominated a lotta great bloggers and I’m going to check all of em out.

    May 23, 2020 - 4:30 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Cheers Emmanuel!

      May 23, 2020 - 5:16 pm Reply
  • Sheree

    Congratulations on your award

    May 23, 2020 - 5:01 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thank you Sheree!

      May 23, 2020 - 5:16 pm Reply
  • nationalparkswitht

    Congratulations, Leighton, and thanks for the nomination! Much appreciated 💜💖

    May 23, 2020 - 5:17 pm Reply
  • Anya Abraham

    Congratulations 🙂 This is a well deserved award.
    It was lovely reading your answers however, i’m itching to know about the hollywood actress. Won’t you be writing about it soon?

    May 23, 2020 - 5:48 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks Anya. Maybe one day, as a short story, with the name changed. Ha! However, there is a fair bit of Hollywood related stories already on the site. Just take a look at my series ‘Notes from The Netherlands’. And keep up the good work on your blog! We enjoy reading.

      May 23, 2020 - 5:58 pm Reply
      • Anya Abraham

        Would love to read more from you. I enjoy your posts 😀
        Have a great day.

        May 23, 2020 - 7:23 pm
  • WanderingCanadians

    Congrats on the award. I’ve enjoyed following along on all your adventures. Many thanks for the nomination 🙂

    May 23, 2020 - 6:06 pm Reply
  • The West Laine Wanderer

    This is awesome! Congratulations. I’m trying to make the same journey as you. It’s inspirational seeing you succeed! Greetings from London.

    May 23, 2020 - 6:35 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks a lot! Looking forward to reading your blog and finding out about your story.

      May 23, 2020 - 6:57 pm Reply
  • Memo

    Congratulations. Well deserved – but I can’t believe this is your first international award.

    May 23, 2020 - 8:33 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Cheers Memo! There was that ‘worst haircut’ award back in my Slovak days.

      May 23, 2020 - 8:35 pm Reply
  • Marla

    OMG, thank you! So much!

    May 24, 2020 - 2:59 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Ha ha, you are very welcome!

      May 24, 2020 - 9:46 am Reply
  • Lyssy In The City

    Congratulations!! And thank you so much, I am honored you love my blog 🙂

    May 26, 2020 - 7:54 pm Reply
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