I am still thrilled to no end about this unexpected honour that Off Track Travel has bestowed on Travel on the Brain. And since it’s award season, I am presenting my very own Liebster Nominations. However, before I received their message regarding my nomination I had heard very little about the Liebster Award (shame on me, really). But it made it all the more exciting! For those of you who don’t have a clue either, the Liebster Award is a great way to get to know new blogs and show some appreciation by fellow bloggers.
As part of the nomination, I am not only to dance around out of joy (optional) but answer a couple of questions so people get a better insight into what Travel on the Brain is about and to learn a little bit more about me and my crazy travel lifestyle. I am happy to oblige and if you have any more questions, feel free to shoot them straight across to me!
1. Do you have any travel related resolutions for 2015?
So many! First things first, I will finish my original travel plans for my world trip, which include seeing Sydney, Canberra and then heading off to the land of the rising sun for the snow monkeys and a lot of sakura festivals. Japan, here I come!
Then I have some more travel ideas swirling in my head. In fact, a lot. Everything is in a messy planning stage but I will definitely hop over to South Korea (and stacking up on the latest K-Pop albums!) and visit some other South East Asian countries along the way. I am eyeing Indonesia, but who knows?
2. Where was your favourite place you visited in 2014?
Hong Kong. Oh, New Zealand?! Aaargh, such a hard decision. Ok, let me tell you my favourite day. My very first day of my world trip started in Hong Kong – my very first country outside of Europe – completely ignorant of everything and expecting chaos. Nothing of the sort happened.
Yes, I found myself on top of the mountain on Launtau island shrouded in a dense blanket of fog with stray dogs roaming about, being chased by feral cattle and meandering my way through the jungle to my hostel. But it was brilliant! And when I raced down the narrow slopes on a scarily tilted bus towards the little fishing village Tai O and found myself on a tiny vessel chasing dolphins, I knew I had made the right decision.
3. Do you have a favourite off the beaten track destination?
I don’t have a favourite destination per se. Usually I roam the streets of any place I visit and if I stay longer, locate a place that is all mine, which draws me in and allows me some peace and retreat during my busy travels. Knowing me, it is under the canopy in front of a lush forest, preferably with a pretty garden and old building nearby.
However, if I had to pick one out of those I discovered last year, it would be my hike on top of Hawkes Hill in Wellington, New Zealand overlooking the peninsula on all sides and seeing the world shrink at my feet. Nobody knew where it was, or what on earth I wanted there but my fangirl heart beat so loud it nearly echoed out the soundtrack of my favourite TV series, The Tribe.
4. What is your favourite travel related book or film?
Again, so many! (I am seriously bad at deciding.) My favourite film would be Sean Penn’s “Into the Wild” and book Elizabeth Gaskell’s “North and South”. The first one being the ultimate travel decision, never looking back to a routined life, embracing yourself in the arms of solitude within mother nature. Utterly romantic and destructive at the same time. I prefer seeing it than actually living it. Which adds another level of escapism to it.
The novel might at first glance not have much to do with travel but is ultimately about overcoming stereotypes and narrow-mindedness. Whether you cross a country or a county, you need to be respectful and have an open mind so as to understand the new environment and culture and appreciate it for what it has to offer. Intercultural experiences are a huge part of travelling.
5. What is your idea of the perfect road trip?
A reliable car, good company, the perfect soundtrack and brilliant weather with long roads and the freedom to stop wherever and whenever you want. As well as absolute spontaneity. Don’t plan everything out to a tee.
I am still dreaming about my ideal US road trip, which has been haunting me for the last 3 years. It was supposed to be a graduating present from myself to myself and I had everything worked out, roads mapped, prices calculated and mus sees noted with a local friend who wanted to show me around and then, just shortly before, she got a job and the plans fell through. But I will make it happen. Especially now that I am over 25 and the car renting prices are not as ridiculously high then.
6. Have you ever had something seriously go wrong while travelling?
Luckily not. I have had a lot of mishaps. And random encounters happen to me all the time. Then there are days when everything seemed to go wrong.
Such as when I had booked 3 bus rides to take me through England, spanning Oxford, London and Preston with sightseeing inbetween and a tight schedule. Naturally, the London underground had to broke down, which I only heard about when my train suddenly went back and everything was shut down. And then the aircon of the bus was on zero degrees, giving my already weak system a total crash and severe cold to match.
The worst thing, however, was me coming down with food poisoning in the middle of the outback with no doctor. At least I was in a camp with one phone that actually had connection to the outside world. And a nurse that put me on a dip so I wasn’t completely dehydrated. It was a close call. And the others on the tour got into some more trouble while I was left behind and dazing in and out of consciousness. I wrote about the whole adventure on my blog, if you want to check it out.
7. Where was the first place you ever travelled to?
My family holidays always involved us visiting mountains within the country, Germany, but when the doctors said that sea air would do my thousand allergies good, I finally got to go outside the country to neighbouring country Denmark.
It was exotic to me and I was slightly disappointed when it resembled the North of Germany too much. However, the landscape of dunes and raging sea was beautiful nonetheless and I particularly enjoyed walking the path of the Vikings in the typical re-enactment villages across the coast towns.
8. What experiences are at the top of your travel bucket list?
My list grows and grows, but my top 5 are all centred around big festivities and activities. I love to experience different cultures and try to better understand different life styles and world perceptions and think that trying to travel low key and like a local is the best way to broaden your mind and overcome stereotypes. And major celebrations are only a small part of this but can teach you a lot about a culture’s values (such as entertainment preferences). Enough background elaboration, here is my list:
Sakura in Japan | Hula in Hawaii | Holi festival in India | Thanksgiving in the US and Canada | Salsa in Cuba
9. What is the best food you have ever eaten while travelling?
Swedish sweets! All the way! Their main dishes might not necessarily speak of the highest cuisines (they are awesome at healthy BBQs, though) but give me chokladbollar or kladkaka any day and I am happy. I even put the recipes on my blog so I can make them wherever I am in the world! But having said that, my fave food are still German Klöße. Does travelling in my own country count to try each regions’ different takes on this side dish?
10. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you pick?
Geez, these questions are quite hard. There are so many places I have never been to and some which have a magnetic pull towards me, but the country I have always loved and that feel like home whenever I set foot on it is England. I just love the rich history (though I don’t agree with lots of it), the accents, rain and green hills. And I am a mega crazy fan of Shakespeare and Jane Austen and everything Victorian literature. Walking in their steps and seeing the old architecture just captivates my imagination.
Oh, that’s it? I could have rambled on. These were really amazing questions. Hard, but challenging in a good way. If you have any more questions, always feel free to shoot me questions. About me, or the places I’ve been to or maybe even stories. So now it’s my turn to spread the love and send my support to fellow bloggers.
I hereby present the following Liebster awards to (insert drumroll here):
- Sharing the love for Salzburg, Bec currently takes us to wintery Europe on her blog The World as Bec Sees It. But that doesn’t stop her from sharing her best tips from the US as well. With so much diversity, there is surely something for everyone.
- I couldn’t help but feel totally captivated by the amazing design that is going on on A Globe Well Travelled with the characteristic underlining and edgy font as well as interesting places from all over the world. Ashlea sure knows how to take you on a journey.
- Black Travel Bloggers are sadly under-represented in the travel bloggosphere and I really hope that The Blog Abroad will help change this. Gloria might be currently settled down in Barcelona in her expat life but will surely not lessen in continuous content and vivid photos.
- Beautifully photographed and with unique topics deviating from the standard “10 Things in…”, Frances of Little Miss Explorer from Adelaide not only manages to capture the beauty in little things in her city of choice but also take us away on her journeys throughout the red continent and abroad.
- Adding a little exotic into the mix, Marissa from Trinidad and Tobago currently whisks us away to the Caribbean and Latin vibes on MAD Travel Diaries, where she not only describes her own adventures but gives voice to fellow travel bloggers to keep the inspiration on fire.
And my questions for the lovely nominees are as follows:
1. Imagine there was one small spot the size of Switzerland left unexplored in the world. Where would you like it to be and what would you wish to discover there?
2. If you were stranded on an island and had only an mp3 player with you with solar charger, what would your playlist be?
3. If you had known in primary school that bloggers would become big influencers what would your honest answer have been when asked about your future career?
4. What made you want to become a blogger in the first place?
5. What is the weirdest comment you received when telling people you are a blogger and how did you react?
6. What niche would you classify your blog in and have you ever wondered to change it to something else?
7. If you were allowed to only ever visit one place twice, which one would it be?
8. Tent, ice pick or coconut drink?
9. What are the top three items on your bucketlist?
10. What are your travel plans for 2015?
I am looking forward to al the places these lovely ladies will take us this year and hope too read about their answer soon. No pressure, just take your time.