A few nights ago I got a notification on my Twitter feed that said the following:
"It's the Liebster Award and you've been nominated."
The Liebster what??? I had never heard of this award in my life. So, I turned to my good friend, Google, and did a little digging. Turns out the Liebster Award is really a thing — it's an award created by bloggers for new(ish) bloggers! And I was nominated! Woo! :)
Special thanks to Ben and Amber of Bamber Travels for the nomination.
From what I gathered during my Liebster Award research, I now must answer the 11 questions posed to me by Ben and Amber and then nominate 11 bloggers to answer MY questions. It's a fun and simple way to expand your blogger network and connect with other bloggers over our shared love of travel.
Alright, so let's get to it...
1. What’s the most obscure thing you’ve seen abroad?
Hmmm, not quite sure what can be considered obscure. I once saw a man in a wheelchair wheeling DOWN a mountain road in Jamaica. Not sure if that is obscure, but it sure was a strange thing to witness! And I sincerely hope he made it to his destination safely.
2. Your number one necessary travel item?
Does my passport count? Besides that, my phone. I fully admit my smartphone is an extension of my right arm, but I do a ridiculous amount on it, so it stays with me.
3. Assuming money was not an issue, what is one thing you’re dying to DO?
Oh man…where to start? The short answer is travel the world nonstop — in style, of course. If I had to pick just one experience in which money is not an issue, I have this fascination with going to Japan (can I somehow fly there in Singapore Airline's first class suite?) and eating all the food, but specifically, eating at Sukiyabashi Jiro of Jiro Dreams of Sushi.
4. What’s the greatest story you have from riding on a bus?
This technically didn't happen on a bus but on a tro tro in the tiny West African country of Togo: the driver decided to squeeze as many people in the tro tro as possible, and I was not having it. Having been in similar situations during other West African travels, I decided to finally do something about it. So, as the driver let on an older Togolese woman to sit down next to me where there was, quite frankly, not enough space for the two of us, I got up and sat on her lap to show we both could not fit. The woman responded by giving me a good smack the way a mother would smack her misbehaving child. I admit I deserved it and soon apologized. Not long after, we resolved our differences and I spent the rest of the three-hour tro tro ride tucked under the woman in a tiny space half the size of my body.
5. Why do you travel?
Quite simply, there's nothing like exploring a new place, being exposed to a different culture, trying new foods, seeing what similarities we all share and learning more about myself in the process. Here's the longer version: Why I Travel.
6. What is one international food dish you love to make or want to learn to make?
There are so many international dishes I love, but one I recently learned to make that I really enjoyed was dhaltjies, also known as chilli bites in Cape Malay cuisine. I ate this dish and more during my cooking class in South Africa. I later attempted to make the dish for my family in Florida, and it turned out great!
7. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?
I love living in my current city of New York, but I also would secretly love to live in a French village where my days consist of shopping at the local market, picking up a warm baguette from the boulangerie, riding a bike everywhere and drinking copious amounts of wine with loved ones.
8. Tell us about one of your BEST travel days.
One of my best travel days was during my safari in South Africa. The entire experience was great, but one day in particular was amazing — we woke up at dawn and grabbed tea and biscuits before heading out on our morning drive. After the morning drive, we walked around the bush, relaxed by the pool, napped, enjoyed a delicious lunch, watched the animals by the watering hole and just chilled out until our evening game drive, where we had an exciting and close encounter with the king of the jungle: the lion. It was amazing! We ended the night with a fantastic group dinner around a glowing fire.
9. What can ruin a great travel experience?
Traveling with someone who has no desire to explore, or with someone who is not willing to see the beauty in things. Also, I hate complainers! I can't get down with Debbie Downers.
10. What do you feel is the most important takeaway for your readers (from your blog)?
It is possible to work AND travel! There are so many "I quit my job to travel the world" stories out there, and that's great, but not everyone is in the position to do that. I want people to know travel while working full-time is possible! Also, people should go out and explore more — at the end of the day, they will remember their experiences far more than their possessions.
11. What’s your next travel destination?
My next confirmed travel destination is Montreal for the International Jazz Festival! It will be my third time at the festival, and I'm looking forward to being back in the land of poutine and great music!
And now here are my 11 nominees:
1. Matt – Wanderlust Dispatch
2. Ali – Ali in Oz
3. Jessica – She Dreams of Travel
4. Alyssa – Alyssa Writes
5. Jenny – A Thing for Words
6. Andrew – Fly Sights
7. Kemkem – Next Bite of Life
8. Juliette – Sensitive Girl. Travels
9. Sophee - Sophee Smiles
10. Casie – A Wandering Casiedilla
11. Caroline – The Belle Abroad
And here are my 11 questions for the nominees:
1. What is your favorite part of traveling?
2. What made you decide to start a blog?
3. Who is your travel role model?
4. What is the best meal you have ever had while traveling?
5. Are you a planner or do you like winging it when it comes to your travels?
6. Where do you see your blog one year from now?
7. If you could do one trip with one person, where would you go and who would you take?
8. Solo, couple or group travel? Which do you prefer the most and why?
9. How did you come up with the name of your blog?
10. Do you or have you ever had any fears associated with travel? If so, how do/did you cope?
11. What is your favorite travel quote?
Nominees, once you have posted your answers, add the link in my comments so I can see them!