Life has been picking up pace this fall. There’s something about the end of summer that seems to push everyone forwards, back into busy routines and crazy schedules. My life has been no different but in a good, no wait, great way! Earlier this week I was flattered to find out that I’ve been nominated for a Liebstar Award by Lales Wanderlust! First I’d like to shout out a huge THANK YOU to the talented Lale for the nomination and for checking out my blog! Lale is a fellow female travel blogger listed along with me on Trover’s 6 Solo Female Travelers You Want To Be When You Grow Up! So two amazing acknowledgments within weeks of each other has got me pumped!
What is The Liebstar Award Anyways?
The Liebstar Award was created to recognize new bloggers in a chain letter/pay it forward kinda fashion. I was nominated by Lales and I must respond to her list of 11 questions about myself before paying it forward and nominating 5 more bloggers. This a wonderful idea that welcomes and promotes new bloggers like me into the community!
I had to do some research for this one and there seems to be varying rules and guidelines to follow. But since Lales Wanderlust nominated me I’ll use the format that she used, just to keep things simple.
* Thank the blogger who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
* Provide answers to the 11 questions from that person.
* Give nominations to other bloggers, who have less than 500 Twitter followers.
* Ask them 11 new questions.
* Let them know about their nominations, so that they can proceed with the award process.
My Answers To Lales Wanderlust Questions
1. Why do you travel?
I’ve always been filled with wanderlust and I think I caught the travel bug from my parents. When I was growing up we’d set off on road trips and I remember feeling such a thrill and urge to explore whenever we arrived somewhere new. My dad is an expat here in Canada as he grew up in the Czech Republic. Traveling to Europe for the first time when I was 16 to visit family really got me hooked. I think what I love most about travel is the feeling of freedom and anticipation for the unknown.
2. One amazing thing you’ve done while traveling.
Hmmm…. this one took me a minute because I feel that every trip has been filled with amazing new experiences! But if I had to choose, I’d say scuba diving for the first time on Little Corn Island, Nicaragua. I have always wanted to try scuba diving but ear issues had prevented me from taking the plunge in the past. But this time I couldn’t pass up the opportunity when my friend said he was going to try it. Being able to get so up close and personal with underwater wildlife was an incredible experience for me (I’m a nature lover, tree hugger and wildlife enthusiast!). The creatures of the sea didn’t seem to be bothered by our group and let us get pretty close to them, something that wouldn’t happen on land. And while I had a few issues with my ears, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I can dive!
3. What’s your scariest experience while on the road?
I’ve been lucky and haven’t had too many scary experiences so far. But one that does stand out, was getting ripped off by a taxi driver in Bangkok. I was traveling with my friend and it was our first day in Thailand (we were about 24 yrs old at the time and had limited experience traveling on our own). Our hotel had called a taxi for us in the morning to take us to the Grand Palace and we went sight seeing around Bangkok from there. When we were ready to return to our hotel at the end of the day we hailed a taxi and showed the driver a piece of paper with our hotel name and address written on it in English. Well he couldn’t read it and stopped a few times to ask for directions. After a bit of driving my friend pointed out a tall building with a giant billboard that she recognized from our hotel room and she said we must be close. Apparently our driver felt this was good enough and was harboring some anger towards us for making his job difficult. So he pulled the taxi over on the side of the street, turned around in his seat and starting yelling aggressively at us, demanding an outrageous price for the ride. I looked at the meter only to find that he had turned it off at some point during the drive. He was very intimidating and it was a scary experience for us, especially with it being our first day in Thailand. We really weren’t sure what to do and as we were still in the back seat of his cab, we felt a bit trapped. I knew the fee he was demanding was way more than what it should be but I really didn’t know the correct fee, nor could I convert the currency in my head fast enough while being aggressively yelled at. So we ended up giving him what he asked and got the hell out of the taxi. We wandered around for about an hour trying to find our hotel until we finally went into another hotel (where we knew they’d speak English) and asked for directions. Turns out our hotel was just around the corner! After that we locked ourselves in our room for the night and ordered room service. The rest of our trip went fine and we learned to stand up for ourselves more and not be taken advantage of.
4. Have you conquered any fears while traveling? What fears?
Why yes! I have a fear of heights (we actually just falling from them). Over the years I’ve forced myself to go zip lining, rock climbing, rappelling and I even worked up the courage to go sky diving for my 30th birthday! Even though I’m usually terrified when I look over the edge of a cliff and get vertigo climbing a ladder, I knew I’d regret not rappelling down waterfalls in Costa Rica or ice climbing on a glacier in Iceland. And I have to say that I’m not nearly as afraid of heights as I used to be!
5. Your worst traveling experience.
Flying home from India with the flu. I let myself get run down at the end of my 3 week trip there and felt a cold coming on by the time I left my hotel for the airport. It was an 11 hr flight from Delhi to Paris, 8 hr layover and then another 6 hrs to Montreal (then 2 hr train ride to Ottawa). By the time I was airborne out of Delhi my body was having aches and chills, my head was pounding, my throat sore. All I wanted to do was sleep in a bed, not be squished into a tiny airplane seat on a packed flight (it didn’t help that the lady sitting next to me had boundary issues and ignored the sanctity of the arm rest). I was going to do a quick trip into Paris during my layover but I ended up getting a hotel room for the day at the airport so I could sleep.
6. A place you still haven’t visited but its at the top of your list.
Peru! It was the first country that my boyfriend and I chose to travel to together when I was introducing him to backpacking style travel (he’d only ever been to resorts and on cruises before that). But for one reason or another, Peru always seems to slip through our fingers.
7. What’s your favorite country and why?
Hands down Iceland. I think its the most beautiful country I’ve ever been to and I just love the remoteness of it. Its a place that humbles you and makes you realize just how small you are in such a large world. Everywhere I went, I felt like I was on an expedition to discover a lost and ancient land. I love the outdoors and Iceland was my paradise!
8. Do you have a favorite travel app?
I’m completely addicted to Trip Advisor when I’m on the road and its usually the first place I look when booking accommodations. I love reading reviews from other travelers as it gives me a more intimate and honest look at a place or activity.
9. What’s your traveling style? Ex. Flashpacker, Off-beaten path
Backpacker, off the beaten path for sure!
10. 3 items from your bucket list.
1) Cage diving with great white sharks in South Africa.
2) Walk with penguins in Antarctica.
3) The Gibbon Experience in Laos.
11. Weirdest food you’ve eaten on your travels.
I have to say that this is one area where I’m not that adventurous. I love to try the local cuisine but eating crickets and meal worms just isn’t my thing. That being said, when I was in Buenos Aries, my friend and I were couch surfing with a wonderful family who put on a traditional Argentinian BBQ for us on the roof top of their apartment building one night. They eat all the parts of the animal so I tried blood sausage, liver, kidney, tripe and other parts of the cow that I wouldn’t normally eat. For the most part, it was good!
Okay, now its time to pay it forward! My nominee’s are:
What I love about this blog is the attitude that you can still have many wonderful travel adventures at home and abroad, while still working full-time and living in on place. This is my situation at the moment and this blogger does a wonderful job exploring her home in the UK on weekend breaks, but also exploring the world during longer holidays. Just because you can’t travel full time is no excuse to say that you have “No Time For Travel”!
Susan from Australia has been hooked on travel since the age of 21 and has been to all 7 continents. She’s currently blogging her way around South America, taking incredible photos and experiencing amazing adventures including becoming a certified diver! She loves experiencing new cultures, meeting new people and trying weird and wonderful local delicacies.
Marc and Derek are the American / German duo who blog about travel while still working their day jobs at home in Germany. They write about their travels both at home in Europe and abroad and offer great tips and reviews. They love the outdoors and have great stories about camping and hiking in Europe, something I’d like to do one day!
Viktoria is a 21 yr old traveler, diver, world citizen with self diagnosed wanderlust. Having lived in 5 different countries she’s always on the look out for places she’s never been and ones sh’ed like to see. She’s conquered more than 25 countries and has no plans on stopping any time soon!
Follow adventuring couple Des and Jo as they take you on their world journey! Together they’ve traveled to over 50 countries and recently gave up their lives and homes in New Zealand for a nomadic lifestyle. These kiwi’s blog about tall tales, stories, tips, tricks and traps that they encounter along the way.
11 Questions for my nominee’s are:
1. What’s your first great travel experience?
2. What’s the most adventurous thing you’d done while traveling?
3. One piece of travel advice.
4. What was your worst day while traveling and why?
5. What’s the funniest thing you’ve seen or done while traveling?
6. What’s your favorite country and why?
7. List 3 things from your bucket list.
8. What’s one thing you never leave home without?
9. What’s the best thing (food) you’ve tried while traveling?
10. What’s the one place you’ve been to but will never return to and why?
11. Where are you traveling to next?
Alright, bloggers now its your turn! Looking forward to your answers and be sure to “Pay it Forward!”