Liebster-1

What is the Liebster Award?

According to the Google machine, it’s “a fun way to recognise and promote new up and coming blogs of a good standard with less than 200 followers”.

I work in strategic communications for my day job, so sometimes when I get home writing’s the very last thing I want to do! So, imagine my surprise when I saw that the lovely Aduke (go follow her!) had nominated me for the Liebster Award. As a brand-new baby travel blogger (just over a month old!) I am so happy that someone out there is reading my little blog 🙂

How does it work? 

1. Post the award to your blog to accept nomination
2. Answer the questions you were given by the person who nominated you
3. Nominate a small group of bloggers you have discovered
4. Create 10 new questions for the nominees
5. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog

On to the questions!

1. Where is your next planned travel destination?

In April, I’m off to Mexico City for three days, and then on to Peru (Lima, Cusco and Arequipa) for ten days. Food and nature are probably my two favourite things in the world, so I’m excited to feast upon tacos al pastor, tostadas, tortas and ceviche…and work it all off by doing the five-day Salkantay Hike to Machu Picchu!

2. What’s the best thing about a travel blog?

I love sharing quirky facts about my favourite travel destinations. Yes, I’m that person with a ton of trivia that’s only really useful for the Countries category on a pub quiz. This blog honestly started out just because I thought more people needed to know about Macedonia’s absurd building spree.

Statue of Alexander the Great in Macedonia Square, amidst much other incomplete construction. The statue lights up garishly at night.
Like come on, no one needs a statue that massive.

3. When travelling what photographic equipment do you use to get those instaperfect pictures?

You’ll find a mix of photos from an old point-and-shoot, an iPhone 4, and a Nexus 5 on this blog. Of course, Photoshop is my best friend!

4. What is your best and worst travel memory?

Best travel memory: Too many to choose from! Hiking Mt Esja in Iceland and exploring the Golden Circle is a real highlight. Of course, the lamb shawarma and chips from Iskanders in Dublin comes in at a close second…

I found this tractor two-thirds of the way up Mt. Esja. How it got up there is still beyond me.
I found this tractor two-thirds of the way up Mt. Esja. How it got up there is still beyond me.

Worst travel memory: Be warned, this is going to be a rant about the American health system. I was visiting a friend in Washington, DC and fell extremely ill suddenly. I had to pay an exorbitant fee to see a doctor at a walk-in clinic, only to be misdiagnosed and had to return again several days later — and charged several hundred dollars more in fees! Getting medication was a whole other nightmare entirely! Thank god for traveller’s insurance, but honestly I can see why Americans don’t go to the doctor when they are sick!

5. Which is better, travelling solo or with friends?

Oh, I’m solidly in the solo travel camp! Now, don’t get me wrong; I’ve had many wonderful experiences travelling with friends, but there’s just something completely different about travelling alone. There’s a level of spontaneity that just doesn’t exist when travelling with others. I also find that I am much more open to new experiences and meeting new people when travelling alone.

On a broader level, solo travel can also be extremely empowering, especially for young women. Society places all kinds of bizarre expectations on women (be skinny! smile more! lean in but not too much!) and I see solo travel as a way to subvert those expectations. Solo travel is a great way to build confidence that comes from within and from ability rather than from external validation. 

6. If you could choose 1 place in the world to live where would it be?

This is kind of a cop-out, but I already live in my favourite place in the world! As a Third Culture Kid, we moved around a lot when I was a child and teenager. When we arrived in Vancouver, Canada, I hated it at first. But then it started to grow on me. I’ve lived in a couple of different cities since but now I can’t imagine putting down roots anywhere else!

Black Mountain
With views like these, how could I not call Vancouver home?

I will always want to be travelling and living in other places for short stints, but I imagine that I’ll always have a home base here to rest up in between journeys. Although during these long, dark, wet winters, somewhere sunny and beachy is starting to sound really appealing…

7. What’s your best travel tip?

Pack less than you think you need.

8. What is your number 1 travel item?

Google Maps. (Which is not really an item, but I could not imagine travelling without it!)

9. What is your favourite social media platform?

Twitter.

10. Who is your favourite travel blogger?

Recently, I have especially enjoyed Amanda‘s posts on teaching English in Azerbaijan, and Ellen‘s posts on travelling in Greenland.

I nominate: Amanda from Hey Travel Bug, Erica from Girl, Unspotted, Justine from Jusz Travel, and Chris from My Beard and My Penguin

Questions to answer:

1. When did you know that you had caught the travel bug?
2. What is your favourite travel memory?
3. How do you choose your next travel destination?
4. What is your dream destination?
5. What is your one money saving tip for travel?
6. What is the most interesting interaction you have had with someone while travelling?
7. What is your least favourite aspect of travelling?
8. If you could time travel to a different time/era, which would it be?
9. Aside from your passport, what’s one thing you absolutely can’t travel without?
10. Where are you off to next?

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