I started my little blog in July 2016 with the idea that recording and keeping a journal (of sorts!) about the places I was fortunate enough to visit would be a nice way to look back on trips I have taken. In setting up an Instagram account to go with the blog it was a bit of an Alice falls through the rabbit hole experience! I realised what a vast world of travel bloggers and digital nomads I had stumbled across. It really is a whole other world!
My Instagram feed now transports me from sunny beaches and tropical cabanas to snowy Skidoo trails and frozen lakes in one scroll. Through the stolen moments I see captured by other travelers I am able to add an unending list of must see places to my list. Countries I had once naively deemed too far, too expensive, too coupley, too dangerous are now unearthed and exposed for the exciting, interesting, stunning locations they really are. I really enjoy the whirlwind visual trips across Europe, Asia, seeing ice caves and deserts, snowy peaks and glistening Canadian lakes all from the comfort of my couch as I much my breakfast!
There is a whole wide world out there and adventure awaits!
Once I got into the blogging world I learned about the Liebster Award and I was so chuffed to be nominated by ispyprettyplaces! Knowing that what I am writing is useful or interesting to others is such a buzz.
Van is an expat teacher currently working in Singapore. The realness of the ispyprettyplaces blog is what drew me in in the first place. There is no shiny veneer put on the expat experience. Warts and all are bared as she navigates life and the ups and downs of living and working abroad. Her photos let me catch a glimpse of her world in South East Asia and her words show that while we are lucky to be able to travel and even relocate it is not always as rosy as it seems.
So the Liebster Award is basically an award that is by bloggers, for bloggers. It is passed from person to person to encourage connection and support within our writing community, and to aid in the discovery of new and upcoming bloggers.
When nominated, you are asked to answer the questions posed to you by the nominating blogger and to share the answers in a blog post. You then nominate fellow bloggers who, for this particular award nomination, should have no more than 1000 blog followers and ask them questions of your own.
To be precise, the rules are:
1. Mention/thank the blogger who nominated you.
2. Explain the rules.
3. Nominate 5 new bloggers with no more than 1000 blog followers.
4. Answer the questions presented.
5. Pose questions of your own.
7. Notify bloggers that they have been nominated
I love checking out the blogs of the people I follow. Seeing a city or country I plan to visit through their eyes helps me to explore before I even go and to read tips from fellow travelers. People who, like me, enjoy writing about and sharing their adventures in the hopes they can enhance the future experience of other visitors.
So to answer the questions posed by ispyprettyplaces….here goes!
1.What is your favourite type of holiday? (eg beach, city break, great outdoors etc)
Without a doubt, it’s a sun holiday. As much as I enjoy city breaks and outdoor exploration, I LOVE THE SUN! I crave it, in fact, and at least once a year one of my trips NEEDS to involve bikinis, beach towels and sun. I blame the fact that Ireland is deprived of enough sunshine hours and this feeds my irrational need for the soothing warmth and tanning heat of the sun.
2. If you could live anywhere in the world (no red tape) where would it be?
I found this one tricky to answer. I haven’t been everywhere so I can’t for sure say where in the world I would leave home and move to. Having lived in the US, Italy and New Zealand and felt homesick at some stage in all of those places I would have to say, in a very cliched tone, there’s no place like home! However, I would certainly not be opposed to spending 6 months here and 6 months somewhere hot and sunny. That I could definitely deal with!
3. Living in different places and travelling, you see a lot, so… if you could change one thing about the world we live in, what would it be?
I often wish people were kinder to each other. It sounds naive. I know. And a lot of the history and monuments and city sights we travel to see are borne from atrocities played out by humans to each other over time. But as I travel I find myself wishing you didn;t have to worry about being robbed or hurt. That women could feel safe no matter where they adventure to. That if something were to go wrong and you found yourself in a bit of a pickle that you knew someone, no matter that they were a stranger, would help you out. That you could witness kindness at play and share in it, be part of it, no matter where you went in the world.
4. Name your favourite country to visit for the food?
That is impossible!!! I love all the foods!! I want to go to Lebanon and try their falafel. I want to go back to Mexico and try real, authentic Mexican fare. India and Thailand are both on my bucket list primarily for the food! I love croissants and macaroons from France. Burrata, pizza, and figs from Italy. Saganaki from Greece and hush puppies and barbecue from the southern USA. I can’t pick just one place!
5. Name your favourite country to visit for the people?
I met some incredibly kind hearted and selfless people on a trip to Kenya and their compassion and kindness stayed with me.
6. What experience has changed the person you are today?
We all change and grow and travel is one of the real ways you can learn more about yourself. Four years ago when I left Italy, the events that led to my move home profoundly changed me. It has taken me years to put myself back together and I could not have done it without the support and love of those who care about me.
7. Do you prefer tea or coffee?
Tea, always tea! The odd time I have a coffee it is so diluted with milk and cocoa powder that a cappuccio is a loose term for it!
8. Share something on your bucket list?
My bucket list expands daily! I can’t wait to see the Northern Lights again, or maybe the ice castles in Edmonton and the frozen lakes in Canada. I want to float in the crystal clear waters of Tulum and Belize and witness gorillas in their natural habitat. I was lucky enough to see elephants, my favourite animal in Amboseli National Park and the David Sheldrick Trust and sledded through a forest in the Alps. I have been so fortunate to tick off the things I have already done but greedily I want to see and do more!
9. Where was the first place you went on holiday?
Our first family holiday that I recall was in Kerry but our first family trip abroad was to Tenby in Wales.
10. Describe your perfect day (can be in any location, doing anything!)
This question makes me think of that scene from Hot Fuzz! (Describe your perfect Sunday!) My perfect day would involve waking up to a bright, warm, sunny day. A delicious, relaxed breakfast on the balcony/terrace in the sunshine. A short stroll to the beach or pool to soak up some rays accompanied by a great book that I can’t wait to delve into. The sound of bird whistles, lapping water or faint strains of music in the background break the silence. All of this can be alone or with friends! After a couple of hours in the sun, it would be time for a stroll to get a light lunch and a back to a cool room for a nap. Yes, naps are essential. The afternoon could include an activity- I’m so chilled at this point I could go for a wander around the markets, a drive to see a waterfall or cave. I don’t mind! After more fun in the sun and plenty of snacks its time to get ready for dinner. At this point company is essential and a lively meal with friends and music, wine, and great food watching a sunset or twinkling starry sky. Man, I wish I could do that now!
With that in mind I nominate:
1. Irish_girl_travels (http://irishgirltravels.com)
Paula is a fellow Irish writer living in the UK. She captures some stunning photos of her travels and I love flitting through her ‘postcards’ from her latest trip on Instagram. She has a great eye for a shot and her unadulterated photos transport you on her her journey with her.
2. Indieandlily (http://indieandlily.wordpress.com)
Yvonne is an Irish law graduate living la vie en rose in France and her Instagram photos are absolute goals. The colour tones she uses and style she has are so classy and capture the side of France many of us have fallen in love with on visits there. Follow her journey as she immerses herself in French life and culture. Her weekend trips around France and beyond as well as lifestyle musings on her move to France are a fun read.
3. Caroline Morrow @caromorrow (http://www.carolineandacamera.tumblr.com)
Caroline is one of the most talented, young photographers I have encountered. Her skill and style are reflected beautifully in the moments she captures and stories she tells through her lens. I love seeing the beauty of the world around her that she shares on her Instagram account. Follow her for some serious wanderlust and destination envy!
4. Emma @murdockish (https://murdockish.wordpress.com/ )
All the while trying to be ‘happy, hopeful and fulfilled’ this young writer gives her accounts of navigating life in your twenties. Follow her blog and travels as she explores home and away with her frank, honest posts. Her Instagram feed opens a wondow into Dublin life for a twenty somthing. Check her out and walk in her shoes!
Eva’s blog is a trove of real expat life experience as she lives it. Her travels are documented with beautiful photos and helpful tips to help you make the most of your visit. Make sure to check her out for some holiday inspiration!
5. Sabrina @je.mappelle.s (http://www.jemappelles.com)
This young blogger’s helpful tips and detailed accounts of every aspect of her trip to Bali really brings you along on the journey, as if you were there too! Her stunning, colourful Instagram feed makes you want to be there! If you had any doubts or questions about visiting this paradise destination before let her blog posts assuage your fears.
And your questions include….
- 1. Why do you blog about your travels?
- 2. If money were no object, how long would you spend at home versus on the road?
- 3. Has any one writer or blogger influenced the way you travel/write significantly?
- 4. What’s your biggest travel-related fear?
- 5. How do you push your comfort zone when you travel?
- 6. How do you decide which country you’ll visit next?
- 7. Is there anything you never travel without?
- 8. Tell me about a destination that you think is underestimated and that more people should discover!
- 9. What experiences are on your bucket list that you can’t wait to see or do?
- 10. What is the most unusual food you have tried (or are willing to try!) while travelling?!
Looking forward to reading your replies and following your travel adventures. Wherever they may take you!