I’ve Been Nominated For A Liebster Award!
I’ve been nominated for a Liebster Award! What a great idea- a travel blogger is nominated, answers 10 questions and gives 10 random facts about themselves, then they nominate 10 other bloggers and give them questions of their own.
Thanks to Bryn for my nomination! Check out her blog Bryn There Done That and read about her work, travel and study abroad.
Here are my answers to Bryn’s 10 questions:
What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
Getting stranded on a riverbank during a thunderstorm because our boat sank on the way to Timbuktu.
My partner Adam and I were on a small wooden cargo boat crammed with people, spotting hippos and cruising up the river Niger to Timbuktu. On the first night, a storm forced us to moor at a tiny mudhut village, where we played chasing with the local kids before sheltering on the boat while the rain bucketed down. The next day we set off and the boat sank! As it filled with water, we unloaded the cargo into canoes and made our way to the riverbank, where we had to wait until the following day for another boat. We fell asleep on the sand beneath the stars, then woke to the sounds of another thunderstorm. We had to wrap ourselves in our pitiful bamboo mat to try (and fail) to keep out the rain.
Are you a planner or a fly by the seat of your pants kind of traveler?
Definitely fly by the seat of my pants. Even searching for flights and insurance is too much planning for me to handle! I like to land in a new place with no plan at all and figure it out as I go. I hate the thought of hearing about an amazing place to visit or thing to do and having to say “I can’t, I’ve got plans to be somewhere else”.
Who’s your favorite person to travel with & why?
It has to be Adam. He views travel with the same approach that I do, and we are both at our happiest when we’re travelling together. Plus he keeps me calm on the road by never letting the small things get to him. He is also an incredibly talented filmmaker and photographer, so I get to learn a lot from him too.
What do you think is the best part of travel blogging? The worst?
The best part of travel blogging, for me, is how much it adds to the experience of travel. Going somewhere new and knowing I’m going to write about it later means searching for new angles and finding out more about the place than if I was just visiting.
The worst has to be rejection when trying to get articles published outside of your own blog. Pouring time and effort into creating a pitch and finding where you think is the best place to send it only to hear nothing back can be really disheartening.
What’s your favorite travel song (or song that takes you right back to a place you’ve been)?
Great question! One of my earliest backpacking trips was to West Africa, where Adam and I listened to a lot of Amadou et Mariam. Our favourite track was Fast Food Senegal, with Manu Chao. Listening to it now takes me right back to bouncing through the dusty African landscape in the back of a pickup truck. And even though it’s in French I still remember all the words!
My favourite travel song recently is I Lived by One Republic. It’s about how, when you look back on your life, hopefully you can say you’ve done it all. It’s pretty cheesy but I remember stumbling across it on Spotify when I was on a bus in Argentina during a solo trip and listening to it with a massive grin on my face feeling giddy and intrepid.
What’s your dream job?
This question makes me a little sad. I teach children with autism, and always loved this job. But I decided to leave this area to pursue travel writing and filming full time. I know that I’ll miss teaching. I love the bond I have with my kids, and love watching them progress. And I love doing fun lessons with silly songs and messy play! But I’m thrilled to get a chance to travel, write and film more, and hopefully one day I’ll be able to find some combination of the two that suits me!
What are a few of your favorite things?
Travel! Writing! Photography! Filming!
Hmm, trying to think of ones that aren’t as obvious…
I love dancing. I’ve been doing Ceroc (modern jive) for years, and it’s one of the big things I miss when I’m away. It’s an amazing community with some wonderful people. I’ve recently spent a month in Buenos Aires learning to Tango, as well as trying Zouk in Rio. Hopefully the next trip will involve even more new dance experiences!
I’m also a big foodie. One of the things I love about travel is getting to enjoy all of the local food. On a recent trip to Bruges the only thing I did was eat and drink (I mean, I had to try authentic Belgian waffles… and fries… and chocolate… and beer).
What are your favorite travel souvenirs – do you have a specific thing you try to get from each place you visit?
Every country I go to, I pick up something new for my wall. Usually it’s a painting or a mask, but some of my more recent additions are a guitar-like instrument from Kenya and a set of rosary beads from Brazil. It’s all packed away in storage now, but when I eventually get my own place I’m hoping for an Indiana-Jones explorer-type feel.
Last picture you took?
I recently had the pleasure of photographing the Xavier Project’s Bongo Ball fundraiser. The Xavier Project is a fantastic organisation that provides access to education for urban refugees in Kenya and Uganda. Last year, Adam and I visited their Nairobi branch and filmed a short video about Andrew, an inspirational young refugee who wanted to tell us his story (video available here). It was great to reconnect with the organisation and to hear about their progress. I was particularly happy to learn that Andrew has fulfilled his dream of moving to the U.S., where he is continuing his education.
Finish this sentence: To travel is to……
Live! I know it’s cheesy, but if I was to look back on my life and hadn’t travelled, I don’t think I’d feel like I really lived.
10 Random Facts about me:
1. I recently celebrated my 28th birthday by going to my 50th country.
2. I once flew to Ghana and spent three months travelling back to the UK without flying.
3. I spent a summer teaching child monks at a monastery in Northern India (the highlight of which was a production of The Jungle Book).
4. I have had a drink at the most southern bar in the most southern city in the world (Ushuaia) before realising that the actual most southern bar in the world is in Antartica- that’s now added to my bucket list.
5. I’ve been a vegetarian for 13 years.
6. I swam with pink dolphins in the Amazon, and got bitten by something my guide assured me was “not a piranha, if it was, it would have taken a chunk from your leg”.
7. I am a cheesaholic. There is no cure.
8. After spending 14 years learning to speak Irish at school, I have officially forgotten all of it. The dream of speaking Spanish seems unrealistic now.
9. I recently cut off most of my hair and donated it to a charity (Little Princess Trust). Putting a braid of my own hair into an envelope and posting it was oddly surreal.
10. I am learning to play the ukulele, mainly because my fingers aren’t long enough for the guitar.
Here are my nominees for the Liebster Award. They are all travel blogs that I have enjoyed reading recently. Each nominee answers the following 10 questions, gives 10 random facts about themselves, and nominates 10 up and coming blogs (0-1,000 followers). Don’t forget to tweet your nominees to let them know. Looking forward to reading your answers!
Daniel at You Must Roam
Wes, the Teacher Travelling
Jan at Never Enough Travel
Emma at Thoughts From The Underworld
Heather and Tim from The Travel Type
Daniel and Taylor from Once We’re Young
My 10 questions:
- Where’s the most unusual place you’ve visited?
- What’s the weirdest thing you’ve eaten while on the road?
- What’s your favourite travel song (or song that takes you right back to a place you’ve been)? (Yes, I’ve stolen this question from bryntheredonethat but I want to hear my nominees’ answers)
- How do people react when you start a story with “When I was in (insert exotic travel destination here)”?
- Who’s the most interesting person you’ve met while travelling, and why?
- Do you ever get homesick?
- Have you ever had a terrible situation while travelling that ended up becoming a great one?
- What’s the scariest thing that’s happened to you while travelling?
- What’s your favourite travel quote?
- Tell me about a toilet-related experience you’ve had while travelling (weird question, but some of the funniest/ weirdest/ grossest travel stories I’ve heard have been toilet-related!).