Just when you least expect it, someone notices all the hard work you pour into your site. I was both surprised and honored to recently be nominated for the Liebster Award by I HEART EARTH. I am a huge fan of this website, not to mention the author’s beliefs and intentions behind her travel. This only added to my excitement.
I was initially nominated for the Liebster Award in 2013 by Wanderlust Marriage. While my site and readership have since expanded, the combined recognition and humility of the award just don’t get old. It feels just as sparkly fresh as the first time. Maybe even better.
Without much ado, here are the fabled rules of this award:
- Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to his or her blog.
- Answer the 10 questions by the nominee before you.
- Nominate 10 of your favourite blogs with
fewer than 200 readers*, and notify them of their nomination.
- Come up with 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
* Since I am thankfully no longer in the >200 group, I’ve decided to further bend the rules (who, me?!) and extend this award to those who have inspired, motivated, and captivated me with their words and photographs, regardless of their following’s numeric value.
Liebster Award Acceptance: “Pay it Forward”
Thank you to Kayleigh of I HEART EARTH for this wonderful nomination. I couldn’t be more stoked. Kayleigh is an eco-friendly traveler who sails around the world for a living. She shares her experiences on her blog, including some really amazing photos. Not only has she been to all seven continents, Kayleigh has also written a book, called Manifest Destiny, which I look forward to reading. Also, she is a vegetarian and a fellow animal rights advocate. I’ve never met her, but I highly suspect that this girl would be awesome to hang out with!
Q & A
1. If you have to leave your house in a hurry and can only grab a couple things, what would they be?
If you mean temporarily, I’d leave my house with a sweater, water, cell phone, and car keys. In the more adventurous case that your refer to leaving for good, I’d grab my laptop, backpack (yes, I keep it packed at all time for potential trips- you never know!), journal, and passport.
2. What skill are you currently trying to master?
There are so many skills yet to be conquered! However, as someone aiming to grow within the travel industry, I am working toward improving my photography skills. I recently forced myself out of the “point and shoot” zone and am just beginning to work within the “DSLR” world. This also means that I am constantly challenging and (hopefully) improving my photo editing abilities.
3. What do you collect?
Last summer, before I headed off to Taiwan and Southeast Asia, I thought extensively about worldly possessions and their true importance. I then sold all of my furniture, many antique/designer toys, jewelry, electronic devices, CDs, DVDs, and (gasp!) even some old books.
When it comes to shopping, I think I have a self-discipline super power for leaving things at the store. However, everyone has their Achilles’ heel. When I started to go through my belongings, opening box after weathered box, reading title after title, flipping through yellowed page after page, I knew it. I can’t turn down an intriguing book. Be it fiction, non-fiction, memoir, travel, self-help, photography, art, religion, history, poetry, biography… I can’t help myself. I admit it. I have always dreamed about having the perfect library in my house instead of, say, having a fairytale wedding.
I collect books.
4. What would the child version of yourself tell/ask the adult you?
At age six: “I love art! There is nothing that makes me happier. I think you should be an artist.”
At age sixteen: “I hope you got into the college of your choice, excelled in each and every subject, and didn’t half-ass it. You have your PhD. by now, and are an English professor at UCLA, I suspect? What are the books you’ve written about? You’re up to at least five by now, right? What does your house look like, and what man did you end up marrying? Did you end up naming your daughter Isobel? Also, I’m going to be livid if you aren’t fluent in Spanish by now.”
5. What would the adult you tell/ask the child version of yourself?
To age six: “Don’t ever give up on art, Cristina. This is what I- what you- love. Don’t listen to any negativity. Art is much more than a hobby. It is your passion, your purpose in life.”
To age sixteen: “Cristina, there is so much you have yet to experience, suffer through, and learn. Life isn’t like school; it’s not simply a ladder you keep climbing unto oblivion. There is a thing called reality, which you haven’t yet experienced. Being alive is much more than reading Ralph Waldo Emerson for hours, or pondering what Holden Caulfield would have done.
“To answer your questions, I did go to UCLA for an English degree, and I got a Master’s degree, but I decided getting a PhD wasn’t worth it. There are so many aspects to life, aside from formal education, that you have yet to encounter. After you graduate, you will start traveling the world, and many of your previous assumptions will change. Things aren’t what they seem now; it’s not so black and white. The issue of marriage and children and a 9-5 career are something you will confront time and time again. It’s not as simple as you think.
“By the way, it may seem like Philip Roth, Jack Kerouac, and Ernest Hemingway are your heroes, but don’t follow in their footsteps. You are going to want to be a travel writer, so start composing those travel essays in your early twenties. Don’t put off your career. Also, don’t be afraid to carry around a machete and hack down your own path. Your journey won’t be like others’.”
6. If you could be any animal, what would you be?
I would be a cat. Any kind- domesticated, lion, bobcat, ocelot, jaguar. Just as long as I’m not locked up inside a zoo, circus, or some crazy person’s home.
7. When would you time travel to?
The time period that interests me the most is the 1950s, after the Korean War, when the Beat Generation was in full effect. There’s nothing more that I’d love to experience than hanging out with Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Neal Cassady, Jack Kerouac, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and Gregory Corso. Of course, most of them probably wouldn’t have wanted me around, since they were often of the opinion that females were the equivalent of domesticity’s cage. Nonetheless, I would do my best to tag along, listening to their conversations, hearing them read their poetry, and chasing the American dream from San Francisco to New York.
Since the sixties were right around the corner, I see no reason why I wouldn’t just stick around and experience the hippy movement of peace, love, and revolutionary music.
8. If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
Hands down, I would choose the power of teleportation. I could save a ton of money on flights. “Beam me up, Scotty.” That was the coolest part of Star Trek, in my opinion.
9. If your friends could go on only ONE trip, where would you tell them to visit?
I hate these kind of questions! I can’t just pick one place; there is so much to see in the world. If one round-the-world trip isn’t an acceptable answer, I’d say this: Go somewhere that’s going to make you feel uncomfortable. Somewhere that is stricken with poverty. A land and culture you are unfamiliar with, and a language you don’t speak. Go on a trip that will turn your whole world upside down, and make you reanalyze everything you thought you knew about the world. The more culture shock, the better. At times, the best destinations are the most difficult to process at first. But they are also the ones that will show you the most open honesty about the world.
10. If you could have been born with any talent, what would it be?
I wish I were more of an animal whisperer. (Is that more of a super power?) I also wish I could sing better.
Liebster Award Nominees
Will, from I Will Travel
Karla, from Traveller Soul
Brendan, from Bren on the Road
Raphael, from A Journey of Wonders
Steph, from Lady of the Zoos
Olivia, from Powered by Tofu
Jules and Christine, from Don’t Forget to Move
Sabina, from Girl vs Globe
Bob, from Piran Cafe
Shaun, from Shaun’s Cracked Compass
10 Questions for the Nominees
1. Please share a photo of yourself at one of your favorite destinations.
2. Do you consider yourself a writer or a blogger?
3. Do you have any pet peeves about other travelers/tourists?
4. Is there anywhere in the world you are afraid to visit, and why?
5. Are there any regrets you have about past travels?
6. Do you have pets? If so, who takes care of them while you’re away?
7. Do you prefer to travel alone or with someone else? Why?
8. What is your earliest memory of wanting to travel?
9. Name your favorite book and your favorite movie.
10. Who or what inspires you?