Updated: Feb 27, 2019
OMM (Oh Mama Mia!) I've been nominated for the Liebster Award!
It has been a month (give or take a few days) since my blogging journey began - and already I've made so many wonderful new connections with people all around the world who either share the same passion as me, or is such a talented writer who just wants to simply share a piece of their passion or hobby to the world.
Huge gratitude to Vancouver-based travel blogger, Forever Lost in Travel, for nominating me for the Liebster Award. If you're not already following her, please make sure to check out her awesome blog. She works full time and still finds the time to share her travel thoughts with those who are always looking for the next adventure, like the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand or how to spend the perfect day in Monaco. Thank you, Emma.
What is the Liebster Award?
The Liebster Award is an award that exists only on the internet and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome. It really is such a great way to meet other fellow bloggers and gain some more visibility in the community.
There are a few simple rules to follow:
Add a link to the Official Liebster Award page on your blog post
Answer the questions given to you, if nominated. If you were not nominated, you can answer the questions on the Liebster Award blog
Come up with five more unique and creative questions for your nominees to answer
Comment on the Liebster Award blog post with a link directly to your Liebster Award blog entry
Here Goes Nothing!
I've been given 11 questions to answer - so here we go!
1. Where was the first trip you took alone?
Being the only girl, and the middle-child, I am accustomed to doing a lot of things alone. I was 16 years old, and I asked my single mom if I could go to Hong Kong and then Ho Chi Minh over the summer by myself. I have been to both cities before, but never by myself. She replied, "Of course you can go!" to my pleasant surprise. Followed by, "As long as you take your younger brother with you" to my immediate protest. Alas, one of my first trips I felt I took alone, came with babysitting duties. I guess that was mom's way of seeing if I was truly capable of the responsibility of solo travel - so a few months after returning from Asia with my younger brother intact (sorta), I found myself setting off to see the Big Apple all by myself.
2. What’s the best tip you have received as a new blogger?
I didn't plan on being a "blogger" per se. I started this website to share my travels, and other interests and hobbies (mostly around food and decorating) of mine with my friends and family in other parts of the world. This website started because I found myself sharing the same photos and stories with different people across multiple different conversations. My good friend Jane over at Winds of Jane, studied blogging and is on a great endeavor to becoming one of the next best travel blogs online. She told me to pick one topic or niche and stick with it - consistency is key. And I can't think of another thing that motivates me more than travelling. And so I'm heeding her advice and here I am, trying to carve out my experience from my trips and vacation bit by bit.
3. What is a book that inspired you to do something different with your life?
Honestly - books are probably one of my top 3 favorite things in the world. I am nerdy-bookworm-girl to the core. So to pick a single book would be a bit difficult. I've taken so many different teachings and values from so many different books. I can truly read one book at a point in time and take one meaning from it, and yet extract a different lesson from the same book during a different point in my life. To answer this question, I would have to say Fifty Shades of Grey really inspired me to do something different with my life. And it's not what you're thinking (get your mind out of the gutter) - it is to never pick up a trashy romance novel ever again - no matter now many other women are reading it at the resort you're staying at. This might be one of my most unpopular opinions - but I'm ok with that. On a more serious note, The Alchemist is one of my favorite books, and one of the most inspiring piece of literature I own. I truly believe that if you put the intention and energy of what you really want into the universe - you will achieve it in one form or another.
4. You’re going on a long plane/train ride, what are 5 things you must have with you?
This one is easy: music, a book, snack box and a glass of wine, tissue paper, good company.
5. Tell me about a random act of kindness you have encountered or witnessed while traveling?
I was in Japan one time, walking along the peaceful forested pathway to Meiji Jingu, a Shinto shrine in Tokyo. I was admiring the trees, the gateways and arches, and was struck by a giant nosebleed out of no where - and in a white dress! Oh no! I didn't have any tissues on me (hence why it is one of the five things I must have with me from question #4). Several people walked by and didn't really have a way to help me, but showed real concern. Finally, a sweet elderly lady came up to me and gave me her entire packet of tissue paper. It may be a minuscule and insignificant thing to a lot of people, but I was really touched. We didn't know each other's language, she saw me for a split second and didn't hesitate to help me, it really reminded me of my granny who had passed a year earlier - so that memory and her kindness have kinda stuck with me.
6. What is the best gift you have ever received?
My lil fluffy marshmallow of a dog, Lola.
7. Where is a place you have traveled to numerous times that you just can’t get enough of?
The Rocky Mountains in Canada! One day - I will have my cozy cabin in the woods. I just love the wide open spaces, the fresh air, and all the different trails to hike. So much to explore! I have also been to Ho Chi Minh and Hong Kong repetitively, because my relatives are there and seeing them is always a joy.
8. If you could only watch one TV series for the rest of your life, what would it be?
If it had to be only one show then I'd have to go with BBC Earth. Not sure if that technically qualifies as a TV series though. I actually spent a lot of time considering my answer to this question. Close second was Spartacus or Schitt's Creek. My answer might change tomorrow, but let's go with this for now. 🙃
9. What food/food combination do you like that others seem to think is weird?
Remember how books are one of my top three favorite things? Food is probably my most favorite thing on earth. Now we're talking about things - so loved ones, friends, etc. are not in this category. Food really just fuels my passion for travelling. I have planned trips to certain places around the world just to eat something; like New Orleans for crawfish and beignettes, Osaka for takoyaki, and Chicago for deep dish pizza, just to give a few examples. Seems extreme - but I like to think that a healthy appetite for food also means a healthy appetite for life! That said - whether food is weird or not really depends from whose perspective you're considering food from. In Canada, my friends may find my sushi orders extreme (I love me that uni and ikura); and if I'm in Asia, some of my friends think my craving for pizza or a medium rare steak weird. I've also discovered that many people find Canadians weird for eating ice cream in the winter, this is not a common activity in the winter for many people in different parts of the world apparently.
I really try to embrace and experience the delicacies from the country I'm visiting because I think that the food is such a beautiful expression of culture. But there are definitely things that I cannot stomach no matter what - like dog meat (sadly I have seen them sold in Asia before, and I hated witnessing that and hate the fact that this still exists and strongly think it should be banned everywhere), or balut (developing duck embryo that is boiled and eaten from the egg) to name a couple.
My favorite food is seafood which some may think is gross - but I love it! In fact, if I had to enjoy my last meal on earth, it would most likely be a platter of Canadian oysters, a couple fresh scallops, fresh crab legs and lobster tail dipped in drawn butter, a few scoops of caviar and sea urchin, octopus prepared really any style, and of course, with a glass of champagne. Does that sound good or weird to you?
10. If one quote could sum up your life, what would it be?
The mind is everything. What you think you become. - Buddha
11. What is the greatest experience you’ve had while traveling/visiting somewhere new?
I've gone swimming with whale sharks off the coast of Cancun, Mexico once. That experience is definitely one of the greatest experiences for me because the ocean completely fascinates and terrifies me. Last year, we also hiked the Crypt Lake Trail in Waterton, Canada, for the first time. This hike might be easy breezy to some people, but it's not rated one of the world's most thrilling hikes by National Geographic without reason. Being able to overcome my fear of the ocean by free-swimming with giant whale sharks and other sea creatures in the middle of the ocean, and conquering one of the most difficult hikes I've done is completely liberating and some of the greatest experiences I've had while traveling.
Now It's My Turn
Thank you for sticking with me till now and reading my lengthy responses to the 11 questions given to me. Now I get the honor of nominating a few new bloggers for the Liebster Award, and in turn have several questions I'd like them to answer and share with their readers.
I'd like to nominate:
These bloggers are adventurous, witty, and refreshingly honest - if you're not already following them, please visit them and see for yourselves. The questions I have for them are:
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
What is one goal you would like to accomplish in your lifetime?
If you can time travel, which time period would you go to and why?
If you can choose only one vacation destination for the rest of your time, where would you go?
What would your slogan for your life be?
You wake up one day and you've turned into a flower, what flower are you?
You get to have dinner with someone famous, who would you pick?
What are five interesting things about you?
If you can have an unlimited supply of something for the rest of your life, what would it be?
What is the kindest thing you have done for a stranger, or what is the kindest thing a stranger has done for you?
I can't wait to read all your answers! Have fun with it and thanks again, Emma, for the nomination!