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Liebster Award II: The Sequel

Very exciting news, I’ve been nominated for my second and third Liebster Award, thank you very much to Ashley and Alex from In Pursuit of Adventure and Josie Harris from Seat 31D. Make sure to visit their brilliant blogs!

Update 8 February ’15: I’ve been nominated for my fourth Liebster Award! A big thank you to Kristyna from Tasting the World, it’s always amazing to hear that people like my blog. You should certainly check out her food and travel blog (my two favourite things)! 

Another update: I’ve been nominated for my fifth Liebster Award – thank you, thank you, thank you to Bez from The Endeavours of Everyday Life. Bez writes about anything and everything so make sure to hop on over to her blog!

liebsterblogaward

The rules are: thank the blogger who nominated you, answer their 10 questions, nominate your favourite bloggers and then ask them 10 questions of your own. I haven’t nominated quite so many this time as I have passed this one on before.

Questions from Ashley and Alex

1. What was the moment you decided to make traveling an important part of your life?

I can’t remember exactly the point/reason I decided to take a gap year between school and university but I know I started planning years in advance. When I finally got to do it, it exceeded my expectations and I have been hooked ever since.

2. If you had a chance to choose a country to be in born in besides your own, what would it be?

Australia- it’s chilled, everyone seems to be really relaxed and there always seems to be sun. Also I love BBQs and beaches.

3. What is your best hidden secret? (For travel, accommodations, whatever….)

Befriend a local. You’ll get to see a whole different side to whichever country you’re in. The staple tourist attractions are a must but getting to know the local haunts will show you what life is actually like, you’ll meet some fantastic people and find the best food.

4. Are there any books or movies which inspired you to travel to certain countries?

I definitely went to Ha Long Bay after watching the Top Gear Vietnam Special! Also Gladiator inspired me to spend hours squashed in the back of a car travelling to Ouarzazate in Morocco, during a trip to Marrakech.

5. What was your worst accommodations while traveling?

I’ve been pretty lucky and never had to stay somewhere awful, although I did stay in a guest house in a village in the Honduran rainforest which was infested with cockroaches. They were all over the walls and ceiling and fell into our beds. That wasn’t nice!

6. What is your biggest “Oh F***k” moment while traveling?

I’ve been pretty lucky when I’ve been travelling- there have been no disasters (touch wood) apart from getting lost, which I do often. Sometimes this turns out for the best and you find some hidden gems, other times it’s just annoying but you should at least get a good story. I was on a road trip through California when my friend and I took the wrong road and ended up lost in downtown San Francisco. Our truck was running out of petrol and no-one around seemed to speak English. Finally we got directions to a petrol station where we were approached by a guy who thought he was from Venus. As in the planet.  We made it to our final destination in the end but we almost ended up in downtown San Fran forever. True story.

7. What is the best lesson you learned from traveling?

Never say no to anything. Whether it is food you don’t really want to eat or activities you don’t think you’ll enjoy, you might be surprised and you’ll at least get a good anecdote out of it!

8. Have you ever had a moment where a country has surprised you and completely changed your perspective of it?
9. What is your favorite vacation spot (the place you go to relax)?

I recently got back from a trip to Luxor, Egypt. It was around 40°C so you could only be out in the sun for so long. Thankfully, my hotel had an amazing pool, which I floated in for hours. Between that and the amazing ruins, it was possibly my favourite holiday and, between swimming and sitting in front of the Nile with a cocktail, I was utterly relaxed.

10. What has travel taught you?

I always find it hard to sit back and do nothing without worrying about something but travelling has taught me how to relax. Sometimes there is just nothing better than taking a day off in the sun, with a book and a deckchair- and preferably a glass of wine.


Questions from Josie:

1. Why do you like to blog?

I can’t get away as much as I’d like but blogging lets me relive my travels. It’s not quite the same but I find writing about it fun nonetheless.

2. How many languages do you speak and how many of those do you blog in?

Sadly I only speak, and blog in, English. I’m in the process of learning German- but it’s a long process.

3. Do you write your blog at night or during the day?

A bit of both! I work during the week so at the moment I am blogging at night and on the weekend. I first launched my blog whilst I was studying and then it was a complete mix.

4. What is your favourite type of cupcake?

I love all cupcakes. I recently discovered the Hummingbird Bakery in London which does incredible chocolate cupcakes with thick white icing. The Angel Food Bakery in Brighton is also up there- they do Oreo cupcakes. Enough said.

5. Do you have any phobias?

Spiders. I hate spiders. Although I am trying to train myself to trap them under a glass and throw them out myself. I have previously spent about 10-15 minutes with a cup stuck on the wall, waiting for someone to come home and put it out for me. It was then I realised something needed to change. I also hate heights. Heights are also gross.

6. What were the best and worst birthday or Christmas presents you have ever had and who gave them to you?

I don’t think I’ve had any particularly bad Christmas presents. There was an awkward moment when my mum gave me a polo shirt to wear to the gym and I thought she had mistakenly given it to me instead of one of my brothers, but I have actually worn it to the gym since. I think my red electric guitar is one of the best Christmas presents I’ve had. I love that thing but don’t play it nearly as much as I should.

7. What is the most expensive thing you have ever broken?

A long time ago, my mum let me wear a pearl necklace that she wore on her wedding day. I couldn’t stop fiddling with it and ended up with pearls everywhere. I don’t know how expensive it was but it certainly had sentimental value. She hasn’t lent me jewellery since, but maybe that’s just a coincidence.

8. What are the hottest and coldest temperatures that you have ever experienced?

I went to Egypt in July this year and it was around 40°C pretty much everyday. You could only be away from the pool for a few hours at a time- not that that was a problem. I also got more burnt than I have ever been before. In fact, my foot even turned purple.

I couldn’t say for sure what the coldest was. Germany is pretty cold in the winter. I went to the Christmas markets in Aachen on a school trip a few (ok, several) years ago. We were unloaded from the bus when we arrived in the morning and made to go out on a city tour. I was too cold to be able to pay attention. As soon as it was over we all ran into Starbucks. I don’t think we bought anything, we just needed the warmth. I also went to Berlin in winter in around February/March time. That was cold. It was so cold that the wind completely dried out my lips and then swelled up. I basically went through a pot of lip balm in a couple of days in an attempt to get them to go back down again.

9. Where was the last place you visited?

I nipped over to Brussels a few weeks ago for the weekend. Although I wasn’t there for long, I felt that I got to see a lot, proving that you can see the world even when you can’t take time off work.

10. Where is the best hotel you have ever stayed in and why?

I think I can narrow it down to two. The Sheraton Resort in Luxor, Egypt, was incredible. We had two swimming pools, a twin room with double beds and views of the Nile and attentive waiters who brought us cocktails and taught us Arabic. Ettington Park near Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, was also amazing. Set in an old country house- it was like something out of Pride and Prejudice. We had pre-dinner drinks in the drawing room before being taken into the dining room. Since there was a big group of us, we were given a room to ourselves with a big, round table. It felt more like we were at home- if home was grander- than a restaurant.

11. What is your favourite form of transport when travelling? (i.e. plane, car, train, foot, hot air balloon, bicycle, skateboard, boat etc.)

Depending on the journey length then I’d have to say plane. If its a long flight then you get meals and an array of films to watch and at the end you can arrive somewhere particularly exotic. If it’s a short journey then there is nothing to distract me from the inevitable pain in my back which comes from sitting in those seats. I don’t like that.

Questions

  1. Why do you travel?
  2. Tell me about your hometown. If I was visiting, what should I do there?
  3. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
  4. Where was the last place you visited and what did you think about it?
  5. What inspired you to start blogging?
  6. What is the weirdest food you have ever eaten?
  7. Have you ever done anything whilst travelling that you never thought you would be able to do?
  8. If you could come up with your own seven wonders of the world, what would they be?
  9. What are your top three travel experiences?
  10. If money was no object, where would you go and what would you do?

Now it’s your turn

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