I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award thanks to Jen over at Whet Your Wanderlust! Thank you so much Jen, it really means a lot! Everyone should check out her site when you have a chance!
There are many different rules out there when it comes to the Liebster Award, so from what I have gathered is this is loosely an “award” for new bloggers to promote other new bloggers or promote bloggers with less than 200 followers! I think this is a great idea and would love to pass it on and pay it forward. Basically, what I have to do is answer 11 questions that were given to me by Jen, then I will create my own questions for the bloggers I choose! So here we go:
1. What city are you currently in as you write this?
Well, I started writing this in Hong Kong, then things got crazy – I quit my job, moved home, went back to Hong Kong for 9 days, then moved to Chicago! So, I am writing this in Chicago.
2. How many trips do you currently have booked and to where?
Right now, Colombia and Mexico! I have never been to either and through my new job I get to see these amazing places, and I cannot wait! Have a few more in mind, but haven’t officially booked them yet.
3. What do you think made you so interested in travel?
You can find the full story here, but my aunt was my inspiration for travel! When I was younger, she was living and teaching in Italy so I wanted to study Italian and move to Italy just like her. However, Italian isn’t really a language taught in Illinois high schools, so I took French, as this was the closest I could get to Italy and Italian. I was fortunate enough to go on a school trip to France during the summer between grades 11 and 12, and I was blown away. It was the first time I had ever left the USA and while walking the streets of Nice, France, I knew I was going to live in France one day!
4. What is your number one consideration when planning a vacation?
This is a really tough question – I guess safety is a big one considering I often travel solo! I try to do as much research as possible and make sure I know a bit of what to expect. The other thing when planning vacations, I make sure I plan it around holidays to maximize my vacation time. Prices may be a bit more expensive at that time, but I get more vacations out of it!
5. What’s the most unusual thing you keep in your carry-on?
I always keep a fan with me – traveling throughout Southeast Asia can get HOT! Also, not so unusual, but I carry make-up with me everywhere – and I mean everywhere. I went on a five day boat excursion throughout the islands of the Philippines and while I didn’t use it, you better believe I brought my make-up! I also brought my make-up bag to the jungles of Borneo. I can’t help it, I always have it on me in case anything comes up! Probably something I shouldn’t admit, but I am a girl and I love my make-up.
6. Have you ever left anything behind on your travels? What was it?
What haven’t I left behind? Just kidding, I have left that many things, but I once left my camera battery in a hostel in Florence. I was pretty bummed, but luckily I had a spare!
7. Have you ever taken something you knew you shouldn’t? What was it?
Ouch. These questions are showing my badside – my love for make-up, forgetfulness, and thievery! My friends and I were visiting Barcelona came across a small candy store. When inside a small store filled with a hundred types of candy, it is hard to not sample – so we tried a few and didn’t buy anything. We were young and reckless and needed sugar!
8. Who is the most interesting person or couple that you’ve met while travelling?
Another tough one…I have met some fascinating people during my travels from all around the world, but to choose just one? I guess one story that has really stuck with me to this day is when I was in Cambodia. I had just finished visiting a school that my (super cool!) aunt, whom I mentioned earlier, was volunteering at outside of Phnom Penh, and I was on my way back to PP. My aunt had hired a driver for me and I started talking to him and finding out more about him. He used to teach law at the college in PP, but teachers and professors do not make a lot of money – only around 200USD a month. 200USD for a university professor!! He had a baby girl earlier that year and wanted to be able to provide for her and his family, so he quit and became a driver because he could make much more and hopefully save up enough for his daughter to go to school one day. School in Cambodia can cost “as little as” a few dollars a month, but even that isn’t affordable for most families in Cambodia. It was such an eye opening experience and one I will never forget.
9. What’s your number one travel tip?
While you should always be prepared and do your research, sometimes it can be great to just go with the flow and see what happens! Sometimes some of the best adventures are the ones that aren’t planned.
10. What’s the most memorable thing you’ve eaten on holiday?
My friend Pete and I were traveling throughout Indonesia and we happened to be in Yogyakarta and we heard about this little place called Kesuma that served authentic Indonesian food that was owned by a French-Indo couple. We pulled up just before it started to pour and learned we were a half hour early for dinner – as in they weren’t even open yet but we had walked right in. Oops! Luckily the couple were so warm and welcoming and let us come in and beat the dinner rush, as we hadn’t made a reservation. We got to see and watch a woman make all of the food from scratch, whilst learning a bit more from the couple. The food was absolutely delicious – the best meal of the entire trip and one of the best meals I have had during my travels! We had the whole place to ourselves, thanks to the rain, until we left, which made it such a cozy and inviting atmosphere! I definitely recommend going to it if you are ever in Yogyakarta!
11. If you could visit only 1 more country for the rest of your life, what would it be?
France, definitely France! It has it all – food, cheese, wine, beaches, snow & mountains, cheese, forests, did I mention cheese?
Here are my 11 questions:
- What was the first place you visited and why?
- What is your worst/funniest travel experience?
- What is/was your dream trip and why?
- If you could retire in a country other than your own, what would it be?
- Have you ever lived in another country or wanted to? Where?
- Why did you start a travel blog?
- What is the weirdest thing you have eaten during your travels?
- How many countries have you visited so far?
- Name your three top destinations ou’ve been.
- What are your top five things you never travel without?
- Is there a place you would never go back to and why?
Now, for my nominees!
- Pete at WanderPi.com
- Katie at 321RoamWild
- Nika at NextStopAbroad.com
- Taylor & Daniel at Once We’re Young Travel.com
- Chris & Rob at 2TravelDads.com
- Courtney at JetSetBrunettexo.com
- Erica & Tara at TrippinTwins.com
- Giulia & Valter at TouristsbyChance.com
Sorry if any of you have done this before – you don’t have to do it again,! Make sure you comment the link to your answers in my blog so we can read it!