Being somewhat new to the blogosphere, I had never heard of the Liebster Award until I received a nomination last week. It’s not actually an award – more a ‘chain’ where you’re given a list of questions by the person that nominated you, and then it’s your turn to pay it forward and nominate 5 new bloggers to answer 11 new questions. It’s a great way for bloggers to interact with each other whilst promoting new travel blogs you love reading.
Firstly, I want to thank the wonderful Geordie Traveler for nominating me via Twitter. He’s a really inspiring blogger who has made it his mission to be the first traveller with a disability to visit every single country in the world. I just love reading about his adventures.
The questions he gave me were…
1. When did you first realise you wanted to be a traveller and why?
Only very recently. I had always liked holidays, but it was only in 2015 that I realised visiting new places was what made me truly happy. That could have been down to the stressful job, the free time that comes after a wedding, the excuse for not wanting kids, but behind it all was a burning desire to escape ‘normal’ life and invest in myself.
2. Ever had a scary moment on an airplane? If so, tell us about it…
I hate to admit it but I am a bit of a nervous flyer. It doesn’t take much for me to have a scary moment! My worst experience was flying back from Cuba last year when really bad turbulence hit. Food and drink flew everywhere and I squeezed my husband’s hand so tight it nearly fell off! I’ve since made an effort to learn what turbulence is, so hopefully I’ll never be that scared again.
3. What challenges have you faced recently whilst on your travels?
The mosquitos in Cuba were a huge challenge I wasn’t expecting to face! I had dosed myself up with DEET strength repellent AND completely covered up, but it still wasn’t enough to keep the blighters at bay. Over 100 bites later, the mosquitos were victorious and I needed antibiotics and 2 different types of cream from a Cuban doctor to repair the damage.
4. Where is your favourite place in the world and why?
I adore Valencia on the Spanish coast. Last year I spent a week in the city learning Spanish at a Spanish school and had the best time of my life. The city is beautiful, the people are wonderful and the weather is always fantastic. What’s not to love? I’ll be going back in July this year and I absolutely cannot wait.
5. Where is your least favourite place in the world and why?
The first day back at work after a fantastic trip. I don’t think I really need to explain why!
6. Tell us a funny story from your travels?
In 2012, a group of friends and I were driving across Mexico in a rental car when we were pulled over by the Mexican police. They demanded to see our passports but we had completely forgot to pack them in our day bags. Clearly looking for a bribe, they forced us to open our boot, accused us of being American immigrants and threatened to take us to jail! Thankfully, we had a Mexican national in the car who eased the situation by shouting “Why the hell would they want to live here?!” and we were allowed on our way.
7. What are your travel plans for the next year?
2016 is set to be my busiest year yet for travel plans. We have a long weekend in Cambridge in March, Sri Lanka and Tokyo in April, Lisbon for my birthday in June, Valencia in July, Paris in September, Turkey and Brighton in October and who knows where else…?
8. How many countries have you been to?
According to a BuzzFeed quiz, I’ve been to 19! That doesn’t sound like very many, does it? I can’t wait to tick a few more off the list.
9. Tell us about a situation where someone has been extremely generous towards you on your travels?
Last September, Tim and I visited Marrakech to celebrate our anniversary. The hostess at our riad went completely out of her way to make us feel special. We were given flowers in our room, champagne upstairs on her gorgeous roof terrace, the most delicious breakfast every morning and some extra treats throughout our stay.
10. What do you pack in your backpack?
I always carry my camera, mosquito repellent, water, sun cream, snacks, sunglasses, a guide book and, after the nightmare in Mexico, my passport!
11. What’s your favourite mode of transport and why?
This might sound a bit strange, but my favourite mode of transport is a pirate ship! Any opportunity I get to set sail, I take it. Whether it’s a pirate party boat in Cancun or a day trip ship in Croatia, I love feeling the wind in my hair and the gentle rocking of the boat as I sip rum and imagine what it was like to be a pirate. And the view’s normally pretty good too!
I’d now like to nominate 5 brilliant travel bloggers to answer a new set of questions:
- @FindingUpendi (Finding Upendi)
- @TOTStravels(Tale of Two Sisters)
- @IBBTravel (I’ve Been Bit)
- @_OutOfOffice (Out of Office)
- @StumblingFuture (Stumbling into my Future)
If you’re up for the challenge, your 11 questions are:
- What’s your favourite thing about traveling?
- How long have you been a travel blogger?
- What was your last destination?
- Where are you headed next?
- How do you decide your next destination?
- What’s your favourite thing you’ve eaten on your travels?
- If you could travel with anyone in the world, who would it be?
- How important is it to speak the language of the country you’re visiting?
- How do you pass the time on long journeys?
- What do you miss about home when you’re away?
- What’s your biggest travel wish?