Recently, Alex and Bellinda from Wanderlust Marriage nominated me for the Liebster Blogging Award. What an honor! These two have combined their love for solo travel together and are now living life as an amazing nomadic couple. I’m really looking forward to answering their questions and highlighting others’ travel blogs. People all over the world are really writing about some envy-worthy sights!
The Liebster Blogging Award is a “pay-it-forward” blogging award. New bloggers nominate other new bloggers to share a bit more about themselves and ask each other questions. The current rules are as follows:
The Liebster Blogging Award Rules:
- Share 11 random facts about yourself.
- Answer the questions from the person who nominated you.
- Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers and ask them 11 questions
Now, onto the good stuff!
11 Random Facts about Me:
1. Before becoming obsessed with Latin America, I wanted to move to France. But then, as luck would have it, my French teacher in high school was pretty bitchy. This forced me to learn Spanish, and my life unfolded much differently than I had planned.
2. I really love Woody Allen. He is completely neurotic, overly intellectual, and it seems like he suffers a lot from his own thoughts. But the art he produces is quite magical- at least to someone with my kind of humor!
3. Not traveling will make me do crazy things, like start collecting Tokidoki toys, which later gather dust on the dresser, and then realize I shouldn’t have wasted my money in the first place.
4. I am a vegetarian trying to go vegan. However, the majority of time I have traveled, I’ve been a wimp and started to eat poultry here and there to avoid stomach aches from too much unpasteurized milk. (Yuck.) Weird things I have eaten on the road: chicken feet, frog legs, and crickets.
5. Weird people, and weird things, make me happy. Maybe that’s why San Francisco- the place where the unaccepted are accepted- is my favorite city in the world. This fetish for the weird inclines me to watch shows like “My Strange Addiction” “1000 Ways to Die” and “Fatal Attraction”.
6. If I weren’t human, I’d like to be a chimpanzee- either a regular one or a bonobo. (Should this go in the section above? Wink, wink.)
7. I really, really, really wish that I would have lived (as a teenager or young adult) in the sixties. Read Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and tell me you don’t agree. Ok, maybe you won’t. But this mind-expanding, love-giving movement and lifestyle fascinates me.
8. While my looks may tell you otherwise, I am half-Mexican and consider myself a latina. I don’t relate much to what society considers “white” culture, whatever that means.
9. I have a huge, unwavering crush on Anthony Bourdain (even though he hates vegetarians). It’s not his looks so much as how knowledgeable he is. The man knows what he wants and travels around the globe to get it. How is that not hot?
10. It wasn’t until I was 19 years old that I stepped onto an airplane (and took a flight). This was from my hometown, San Jose, CA, to Phoenix, Arizona. I was terrified and exhilarated. I couldn’t tell you now exactly how many flights I’ve taken!
11. I wrote my Master’s thesis on La Violencia in Colombia (1948-1957), analyzing the extreme types of violence and how this trauma impacted Colombian artists. The gruesome details of genocide at times made me physically ill, but the research made my knowledge and compassion expand in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
11 Questions from Alex & Bellinda:
1. What is your favourite type of food?
It’s always been Mexican food, especially if the recipe can be tweaked into being vegetarian. Indian food has lately been creeping into a close second place!
2. Where would you like to be living when you’re 70?
When I’m 70, I picture myself living in a small home by the beach with a great view of the crystal blue water. My largest room would be the library. Though I haven’t yet been to Spain, I think my elderly dream home would be there. I would be able to walk to the market, crossing the cobblestone streets with a grandchild or two by my side.
3. Preferred method of travel: Train, plane or automobile?
If I have the means, I will definitely choose a plane over anything else. It’s so much quicker and convenient. However, as a budget traveler, this is usually not the case, so I’ll have to choose the automobile. I’ve been on way too many stuffy, cramped overnight buses- with or without toilets. I prefer to be able to stop when I need to.
4. Favourite travel song?
Soundgarden’s ”Burden in My Hand”. I don’t think it’s supposed to be a “travel” song, but it is to me. When you travel, you leave behind everything that is safe and rational. You follow your passion blindly into the unknown, and sometimes you go a little crazy in the process. You connect with something that’s bigger than any human being- nature in all of its raw forms.
5. Where is your favourite beach?
Aqua water and white sand may be gorgeous, but if I can’t swim in the water, a beach is useless to me. With that in mind, my favorite is Mancora, Peru. I spent two weeks there in my swim suit, reading on the sand getting the best tan (because of its position on the equator), drinking fresh coconut water and swimming countless hours in the ocean. This little surfer town also had some pretty fun parties.
6. Why did you start your blog?
My dream career is to be a (paid) travel writer. I kept talking to people about this dream a couple of years back, and quite a few people suggested I start a blog to get my stories out into the world. Since I had previously gotten good feedback from my emails about travel, I figured this would be a good first step. Creating this blog has been quite a positive experience.
7. If you could have dinner with one person who would it be?
Dead or alive? If deceased, I would like to sit down with my late maternal grandmother as an adult and ask her how she managed to stay happy as a housewife, raising nine kids. And she didn’t even know how to drive (in case she needed to escape for a bit).
If alive, I would like to have dinner with Paulo Coelho, the Brazilian author of The Alchemist and many other books. Not only do I think he’d pick out a delicious meal, but I’d like to pick his brain in terms of travel, love, spirituality, self-acceptance, and love.
8. Favourite beer, or if you don’t drink beer, favourite drink?
My favorite everyday beer is Stella Artois. If it’s a special occasion, I like the super dark, almost coffee-like beers, such as Delirium or Old Rasputin. These can be dangerous for sure, but super yummy.
9. Share with us a funny/unique travel photo!
Here I am about to enter the Jigokudani Monkey Park in Japan, pretending to be a monkey. It shows my extremely pretentious attitude. ;-P (The Japanese macaques, or snow monkeys, are absolutely wonderful!)
10. What kind of camera do you use to take most of your photos?
I’ve stuck with the Olympus brand since I started traveling. I’m not sure what the first model was, but I currently have the FE-230. It’s really small, and with 7.1 megapixels, it takes excellent pictures. With the right cover, you can even take it underwater. When I’m not traveling, I just use my iPhone.
11. Most romantic place visited?
That’s a tough one. My lens of perception isn’t quite geared toward “romantic”, especially since I have very seldom traveled with a significant other. If I had to choose a place I’d like to revisit for romantic reasons, I’d have to say Bocas del Toro, Panama. The island is a small, friendly place with quite a few good restaurants. The water is gorgeous and there are super cute bungalows strewn about as you arrive. For daily excursions, you can take boat rides to see dolphins and lush greenery, spotted with Howler monkeys. It’s really a beautiful place- my favorite in all of Panama.
Now, time to pay it forward!
I nominate the following 11 bloggers for the Liebster Blogging Award:
1. Nika from Nika Likes Maps
2. Anne from Pretraveller
3. Amanda from Farsickness
4. Unnamed from Lions and Cows
5. Marina and Kevin from Hercules Gets a Passport
6. Krista from Bited-Sized Travel
7. Thomas from 2nd Cup of Tea
8. Diarmuid and Damien from Tales from Far and Away
9. Amanda from A Dangerous Business
10. Primie from Conscious Traveller
11. Alexandra from Fluent in Frolicking
My 11 Questions for the Nominated Bloggers:
1. Do you think that traveling is a phase in your life, or will you travel forever?
2. Luggage- what kind of luggage do you bring when you travel, and why? (I.e. suitcases vs. backpacks)
3. Do you try to learn a country’s language before traveling there and why/why not?
4. Who is your main inspiration in life?
5. Why is writing about your travel experiences important to you?
6. What is the one belonging that you cannot do without while on the road?
7. What is more important: traveling the world or getting a “proper” education?
8. What is your favorite travel book?
9. Have you tried solo travel, and would you recommend it to others?
10. Do you think that people can maintain a life of travel and a serious relationship?
11. I’d like to see your favorite animal picture (that you took). Share it!
I look forward to reading all of your answers. This has been fun! Thank you, again, Alex & Bellinda, for the nomination. They can be found at Wanderlust Marriage, or you can tweet them here. Cheers!