I’m very flattered to have been nominated by Tammy and Chris for a Liebster Blog Award. The award is a way for up-and-coming bloggers to give each other nods of encouragement and, it seems, to highlight embarrassing facts about themselves for all the world to see.
1. Share 11 random facts about yourself
2. Answer the 11 questions from the person who nominated you
3. Nominate 11 new bloggers and ask them 11 questions
11 random facts about me:
1. I get my hair cut less than once a year
2. For a traveller, I have a big fear of flying
3. I refuse to ever get in a London cab and once walked home over 10 km in snow after a night out
4. I’m a black belt in taekwondo
5. I’ll be 30 in June, but until this year – my first Christmas away from home – I still got a stocking
6. I have a mortgage with my best friend
7. I’ve sung live band karaoke with Mike and the Mechanic’s band
8. I love red wine and I hate vegetables
9. I never go to bed before 1 am
10. I’ve been single for over 5 years
11. I just got my working holiday visa accepted for Sydney
11 questions I was asked
1. Preferred method of travel?
Zip line! Ok, so I’m limited as to where I can go on a zip line, but they’re really great fun. I think a lot of hilly areas would benefit from adding them to their public transport system.
2. Favourite travel song?
Since I’ve just come back from the best trip of my life – 7 months in South America – I’m going to have to choose the one I heard all the time over there that has me reminiscing (and close to tears) whenever I hear it: Ai Se Eu Te Pego by Michel Telo. Why not listen to it while you read on, and tell me what you think?!
3. Where is your favourite beach?
Playa San Josecito, near Drake Bay on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica, holds some fond memories. It’s really isolated, meaning you can easily find yourself alone there. We had to take a fisherman’s boat just to get to Drake Bay, but we never would have discovered San Josecito without the help of two local boys with quad bikes. The trees behind the beach are full of scarlet macaws, the waves are perfect for surfing and skim board tricks, and the sunsets were incredible.
4. Why did you start your blog?
I was already working in the writing/editing industry, but my passion for travel was becoming more and more difficult to ignore. I wanted to move across from healthcare publishing to the travel sector, but needed proof that I was interested in it. By the time I got to South America, my blog was established and I posted regularly about my travels so that friends back home could follow my trip. Now I’ve met so many wonderful people through my blog and had some great experiences as a direct result of it, I can’t see me ever stopping.
5. Share with us a funny/unique travel photo!
I’m amazed we still had the energy to fool around, but this was taken on the final leg of the W trek in Chilean Patagonia. The plan was to click our heels to show how happy we were, but everyone decided I looked more like a weightless astronaut.
6. Most romantic place visited?
If you refer to point 10 above, you’ll see I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to get romantic abroad (seriously, drop the sympathy. I like being independent…), but if I had to pick a place where I would have liked to have been with a boyfriend it would have to be the Galapagos. Perhaps that’s why I engineered a little holiday romance with my naturalist guide…!
7. If you could meet up with any historical figure (poet, politician, activist, singer, etc) in their home country, who would you meet, and why?
Buenos Aires recently sparked my interest in Evita. I knew she’d been a well-loved public figure, but it still surprised me how much her memory lives on in the people of Argentina. There are reminders everywhere you go in the capital.
8. When overseas, what measures do you take in order to ‘blend in’? Do they work?
As if I would ever manage it. I’m a pale-skinned redhead. Aside from doing my best to follow local rules on covering up and respecting religious buildings, etc, I just look like plain old me while I’m abroad. I do find that learning as much of the local language as you can goes a long way to helping you feel less out of place though.
9. What is one job you’ve had that you would never ever do again?
One job? I’ve done telesales, supermarket checkout work, cleaning halls of residence and freshers week bar work, so believe me when I say this was not an easy decision to make, but the worst ever was working in a garden centre where half my time was spent on a conveyor belt adding stickers to potted plants, and the rest in the British winter weather riding on the back of a tractor driven by an ex-con and heavy lifting spikey bushes into a trailer.
10. What is the most embarrassing thing that happened during your travels?
I seem to do ok at avoiding accidental embarrassment, but when I volunteered to take part in Pueblo Ingles – a course in Spain where you help locals learn English – I was selected to participate in group theatre. Reluctantly, I agreed, and the next thing I knew I was being directed to ballet dance across the stage and sing all my lines opera style, before straddling a married Portuguese man while screaming ‘Take me now’ in front of 50 new friends.
11. What were the most exotic diseases you ever contracted during your travels?
I’ve been really lucky. I even got through Bolivia with only the mildest food poisoning. Unless there’s a little worm lurking I’m yet to discover, I think I’ve avoided exotic diseases – and that’s despite being bitten by this cheeky monkey!
My 11 nominees are:
Andrea from inspiringtravellers.com
Lucy from ontheluce.com
Cassie from everintransit.com
Jonathan from lifepart2.com
Antoinette from loveantoinette.com
Lauren from lateralmovements.com
Neil from backpacksandbunkbeds.co.uk
Vicky from vickyflipfloptravels.com
Nicole from bittenbythetravelbug.com
Emma from gohemiantravellers.com
Jen from jdombstravels.com
My questions for you are:
1. What’s the most daring adventure activity you’ve done abroad?
2. What’s your scariest on the road experience?
3. Where have you been that has the strictest border control?
4. Tell us about a holiday romance you’ve had.
5. Show us a photo of your favourite ever destination.
6. How many pairs of sunglasses have you broken, lost or had stolen while overseas?
7. How do you find the time to blog while you travel?
8. Tell us honestly, do you count the countries you’ve been to?
9. Tell us about your worst hostel experience.
10. Do you prefer to travel solo or with friends, and why?
11. Would you rather travel to a new place every single day or stay put forever in the place of your choice?