After almost three (intermittent) years of blogging I've been nominated for one of these blogger awards. My friend Audrey over at The Girl Behind the Red Door (read her stuff - she's amazing and she's gonna be famous) nominated me and I'm going for it!
Here's how it goes:
- Share 11 random facts about yourself
- Answer 11 questions given by the person who nominated you
- Nominate new bloggers to pass it on
- Write 11 question for those bloggers to answer
11 Random Facts:
1. I've recently discovered that sunflowers are my favorite flower. There are sunflowers that Dan brought me, just because, on our table this very moment.
2. I prefer beer to wine - so classy.
3. I can quote Drop Dead Gorgeous and Get Over It practically beginning to end.
4. I trained myself to say the alphabet backwards - I heard they ask you do to it if you get pulled over for drunk driving. That's never happened to me but it seemed like a fun challenge.
5. I've just finished reading Anna Karenina. The jury is still out on what I thought about it.
6. I'm hoping Hillary Clinton runs in 2016 - she's got my vote. (Sorry, dad!)
7. I watch Anne of Green Gables and the sequel once a year. Not the continuing story.
8. I drink diet coke like water. It's that bad.
9 The other day I tried to train my cats to sit on command. I used treats and everything. It didn't work.
10. Dan and I have picked up bike riding. Nothing intense just tooling around, but it's fun to do it together.
11. I hate that the past two years I've lived in a state with no Major League Baseball team. I'd even go to see the Angels play at this point.
11 Questions from Audrey:
Which country do you think has the most beautiful/interesting money?
I've only been to seven or so other countries but out of all of those I liked the India's money. Their paper money is really colorful. Plus, Ghandi is on it and he's cool.
Is there something special you collect when you travel?
It's not tangible but I go to the zoo every time I go to a new country. I've been to zoos on three continents and five countries so far.
What do you do to pass time on planes, trains, or in automobiles?
On planes I read a lot. Usually multiple books that I switch to and from because I can get bored. If I'm on a train I just like to watch the scenery go by. That was one of my favorite memories is taking the train from Northern India to Southern India. I got to see so much of the country that way. In cars I sing along with the radio really loud (Dan loves that) and we talk a lot. I get carsick if I try to read in cars.
If you could snap your fingers and be somewhere else right this moment, where would you be?
China! Or Russia! Or Ireland! Oh, this is tough. I really want to rent a car and drive all around Ireland. That's been my most recent travel crush. They are all there - those places - in the back of my mind.
Do you consider yourself a good traveler? How so?
Yes, mostly because I learn from every trip. Every trip I pack less than the trip before. I've learned to research places better before hand to have a general idea of things I want to see. I've learned to try things (mostly food) even if I'll only have them once. I'm pretty low-maintenance when it comes to accommodations and I'm not a stickler for schedules (although I do like to make them).
Post your favorite travel photo.
I took this on my second trip to India. I got a lot of comments on it from people who had seen it. The composition, maybe? I'm not a photographer by any means but I really like this one.
Imagine someone is planning a vacation to the city you live in now. What advice would you give them?
Don't do it!! Just kidding. Maybe. I would say don't come during the summer (tourist season). Come in May or September - the weather is good but there aren't as many people. Eat pizza at Mellow Mushroom. GO TO THE SERPENTARIUM - IT IS SO COOL.
Beaches or Mountains?
What's the scariest/most challenging thing you've ever done while traveling?
Ya know, I travelled from Northern India to Southern India (and back) by myself. It wasn't scary really but I did have to be aware in a way that I didn't have to when I was in a group. I was able to interact with people I probably wouldn't have had I been with others. It was an awesome experience. I really recommend doing even a little traveling on your own (be smart, of course!) - it's freeing.
One of my favorite essays in The Best American Travel Writing of 2012 is Thomas Swick's "My Days with the Anti-Mafia." How important do you feel it is to travel morally? That is to say, proactively selecting hotels, restaurants, and tours that are not supported by organized crime? Or steering clear of countries which consistently abuse the rights of their citizens, etc.?
Certainly very important. I probably haven't been as vigilant about it in the past as I should be. I think we all like to assume that people are generally good - and I think that they are - and so we operate under that assumption. However, being aware and going out of your way to be above board and supporting good over evil - that should be our priority as world citizens. Your pleasure should not come at the expense of another human.
And this one's just for me... when it comes to Hepburns... Katharine or Audrey?
Oooh tough for me. Katharine.
My 11 Questions for nominated bloggers:
1. What is your favorite book of all time - the book you can read over and over again?
2. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
3. If you had to listen to one song on repeat for an entire day which song would you choose?
4. What is your preferred species of flower?
5. If you could live in any city in the United States (you have a job that covers the expenses, blah, blah blah) where would you live?
6. What countries make your top 5 travel wish list?
7. What has been your favorite age/year so far? Why?
8. What is the best advice you were ever given?
9. Do you have any special or unique skills? Elaborate.
10. Be honest, are you going to see the midnight showing of Star Trek in May?
11. Finish this sentence: "Not a day goes by when I don't think about ___________________ ."
Brandilyn at Cats & Cardigans
Julia at Eating Stories Like Grapes
Whitney at Notes from the Darkroom
Brittany at Locks to Louboutins
Katharine at Thrifted Things
Gianna at Fuoco nelle Vene
Shelby at Thoughts of a Thinker
It's simple. As one blogger put it, "The real 'gist' of the Liebster Award is that there is no real award. There are no judges, no special rules. No website with an official team to congratulate you and hold your hand. It's mostly what you want it to be. If you receive the award, you can 1) accept it and 2) pass it along. It's that easy." Like one of those wretched old chain letters or chain emails, but without the wretched curse that supposedly clung to those unwise enough to opt out. If you don't want to participate? Don't do it! I'll still read you faithfully. No worries.