Although I have been traveling for most of my life, it is just within the last year I decided to start a blog. Through the wonderful world of Twitter, I have met some of the nicest people with whom I share common interests, first and foremost, travel. As it turns out, these clever bloggers have come up with a way to honor and further build this wonderful community; The Liebster Award. It is a great way to get to know other bloggers, hear some of their stories, and see whose blogs they recommend. For those of you who have never heard of it, here is the basic premise;
- You are nominated by a fellow blogger, who gives you 11 questions to answer.
- In your own blog, you post your answers to their questions.
- You, in turn, nominate 11 bloggers of your choosing.
- You come up with 11 questions of your own for them to answer.
And so on, and so on… Not only has it made me new friends and followers, but the perspective gained by reading about others’ tales from the road only inspires more travel and blogging! It’s a perfect little tool to make the sometimes cold and vast expanse of the interwebs a little more warm and fuzzy.
So, when my friend Rob, @Travellatte, nominated me, I felt exactly what the Liebster Award is intended to make one feel; honored.
Without further ado, then, I give you my acceptance speech for the Liebster Award, which is to say the answers to Rob’s 11 questions! Thank you so much, Rob, for including inviting me in to this wonderful group of individuals, including you!
What’s your Go To photo gear? Not what you’re hauling out for that frame-worthy landscape, but your daily blogging workhorse? Are you slinging a DSLR? Smartphone? Point & Shoot?
Truthfully only recently have I discovered the effect of a photograph on its viewers. I am a woman of many words, and will typically go all Hemingway on your ass when telling the tales of my journeys so you’re right there with me. It’s only through blogging, to which I
am new, I’ve come to relearn the old adage that a picture can truly speak 1000 words, thus shortening my blog by about as much haha. I have a Canon PowerShot that accompanies me everywhere since I received it as a Christmas present. Before that, I rarely had a camera with me on my travels, which a growing part of me regrets. Perhaps someday I will invest in more professional equipment, but for now I will continue to rely on my verbosity, and hope no one judges me too harshly for istock photos and the occasionally slightly blurry personal ones!
What is your favorite piece of travel tech (high or low)?
I am the proud owner of a Powerbag. I have a tendency to drain the battery life of my phone… it’s not like I check it constantly, or get caught up playing mindlessly addicting games whilst waiting at the airport or trying to fall asleep at night. My Powerbag gives me security, and the ability to charge my phone when I need to. While it’s good to shut off the constant barrage of information to truly enjoy certain destinations, a charged phone can be a real lifesaver in others.
Related to that, do you have a favorite travel app?
I utilize TripIt, Wikitude, Kayak and Google Translate on the road a lot. As well as Google Sky. I love to know what constellations I should look out for wherever I am. Twitter is also a valuable tool for travelers. Through its travel community, Twitter provides much more information, especially hidden gems that might not be on the front page of attractions.
Do you ever blog by device – phone / tablet?
Actually, I may be one of the few people left in the world without a laptop. I have
notebooks and good old fashioned graphite or ink writing implements. Although some times it’s difficult for my hand to keep up with my brain, a greater feeling of self satisfaction comes to me when my writing is actually written. Of course, it’s typed once I reach home, but those notebooks have outlasted several PC’s, and mean much more to me than a document saved in Word.
What should you not leave home without…and when was the last time you left home without it?
I really hate to fly. (See my blog, 66 Rowers for the reason why). Important things I must have pre-flight are Valium, Xanax and Dramamine or Bonine. I forgot Tracy’s little helpers once. Once. It was a short flight from Newark to Buffalo. My sister and I were heading to
Toronto to see Colm Wilkinson reprise his role as Jean Valjean in a limited time run of Les Miserables. It was the longest 50 minutes of either of our lives. I’m fairly certain we were on the prop plane Mrs. Phelps used to torture the team in the movie Major League, “Call the stewardess, Vaughn. I need one of those bags..” When we arrived in Buffalo, it was hours before my equilibrium stabilized again. But, it was a valuable lesson learned. Never again will I think, “Well, it’s only a 50 minute flight.. I’ll be ok, I guess.”
Who are your blogging/writing/travel heroes and why?
Before there were travel shows and Twitter, my heroes consisted mainly of authors. I’ve learned from, and been inspired by, the very real places described by authors such as; Freya Stark, Jan Morris and Ernest Hemingway. But I have also gained inspiration and imagination from fictional places set forth by the brilliance of William Goldman and J.R.R. Tolkien. Since travel has taken the forefront in many arenas, I have developed respect and admiration for many more authors and TV personalities, such as Josh Gates, Scott Wilson and Justin Lucach, or Jim Gordon and Darren Parkman. They all inspire adventure, fun, and learning about this beautiful planet, which is what I’m all about. My favorite people, however, are the wonderful friends I have met in the travel community on Twitter. Folks just like me; we have jobs that pay the rent, regular lives to which we must attend, but all have that gene inside us that makes us always eager to grab our passports and go. They inspire me, encourage me, teach me, are magnificent representations of humanity and of what we are capable. I am humbled and grateful to be in such amazing company.
What intrigues you most about travel and blogging?
To quickly define the reason I love travel is not an easy task. But for those of you who haven’t traveled much, or have yet to leave your own country for awhile, here is what I tell those in your position; experience does not come from a news station, radio personality or movie. Perspective is not gained by sitting idly by and watching the world around you from a chair in front of your computer. Judgment cannot be passed on people you’ve never met face to face, or countries you’ve never been to. It’s amazing the education that comes from traveling the world, and that far better than what one receives in a school or university.
It drives me absolutely insane to hear people arrogantly blather on about their vast wisdom and completely one dimensional view of how things really are from inside the neat
little bubble in which they reside. To many, travel is about vacation, with drinks on the beach or hot chocolate on the slopes. To me, travel is about awareness and enlightenment. It’s wonderful to see the beauty of this planet, and there is always more to see, but the effect of exposure to different cultures, lands and people should be visceral. Travel should change you. It should make you more self aware, as well as dilate your perspective.
Whether you like to travel solo or have a travel BFF, what do you think makes that great?
I prefer solo travel. I love having the freedom to sleep in if I want, or be up before the birds to head off on an adventure without having to worry about appeasing anyone but me. It is also a great way to meet new people and make friends all over the world. When traveling with others, I know I am less likely to branch out socially, unless I’m drunk. When alone, I am more likely to chat with a local in a shop or on the street. It often leads to discovering hidden places that only the locals know about, and seeing the destination on a deeper level than just the touristy one.
Destination that surprised you the most, and how so?
I’d have to say Devils Tower National Park,Wyoming. I was told to head there by a friend who knew I would enjoy it. I figured I would, as I am a geology nerd, and Devils Tower is just an awesome geological oddity. What I didn’t expect was the spiritual journey it took me on. This place has a personality, a mysterious and supernatural feel that struck me immediately. It is the original inspiration for my dedication to combining travel and learning. And I’m with Spielberg. If the aliens ever do land, I’m sure that’s the spot they’ll choose.
Favorite destination(s) or places you’ve been to the most?
I would visit Iceland and Greece over and over again. I am completely in love with the beauty of both these countries. I feel Iceland is completely underrated as an adventure destination. Its breathtaking scenery and remarkable geology make every sight a postcard. The people are among the nicest in the world, and don’t let the name fool you, there is much more to see than ice.
Greece draws me not just for its historical and even mythological impact on the world, but because its islands truly represent paradise to me. Throw in those handsome and sexy embodiments of Adonis, and you’ll understand why a single girl will keep heading back there.
Best trip ever?
This may seem like a cop out, but I have trouble picking just one trip as the best ever. Every trip I have taken has meant something special to me. I will say that my love for travel keeps growing, and I hope some of my stories will inspire others to get out there and have their own adventures. I look forward to reading them!
I’d like to once again thank my fellow traveler Rob for nominating me for the Liebster Award. I had fun sharing this information with you, and hope you enjoyed it!
I am pleased to introduce you to my nominees:
Gordon @lethers snapsandscribbles.co.uk
Aggy @dewtraveller dreamexplorewander.com
Derek @the_HoliDaze theHolidaze.com
Mariella @bridgekeeptrav bridgekeepingtraveller.com
Miret @zurichvienna flaneriefeminine.com
Adam @travelsofadam travelsofadam.com
Dave @travel_version travelversion.wordpress.com
Swim and Staci @lifeofstaci beyondthediploma.com
Vanessa @turnipseeds turnipseedtravel.com
Rachel @vagabondbaker thevagabondbaker.wordpress.com
Alan and Nancy @RealityAbroad realityabroad.com
Here are my questions for the above bloggers! Have fun! Don’t forget to tweet me when you’ve completed your blog so I can retweet!
- Tell us about when you were first bitten by the travel bug, and who or what was responsible.
- Were you ever in a “sticky situation” on your travels? What happened?
- What place do you consider to be underrated as a travel destination?
- How many countries have you visited? Which would you live in if the opportunity arose?
- How has travel changed your perception of the world and its peoples?
- What knowledge would you pass on to others regarding this change?
- Who are your travel inspirations and heroes?
- Traveling can, at times, be stressful. How do you deal with these “on the road” bumps?
- What’s your favorite type of climate to visit? Cold, warm, tropical, frozen tundra..etc?
- What’s something you’ve eaten or experienced in another country that you wish you could get at home?
- What wisdom have you gained from a culture that might be considered less advanced than yours?
Have fun and Happy Travels!