First and foremost, at this late date, I'd really like to say, “Thank you!” to travel blogger Amber Ray at Rant & Roam for nominating me for the awesome Leibster Award, an award that introduces new bloggers to the world! And sort of kicks us in the butt to get going too! I’m really touched and honored to be on her list, and will do my best to live up to the standard of my fellow yearling travel bloggers. From one small-town gal to another, much thanks to you Amber!
"Timing is everything" are the words my mother would stress upon me time and again. Alas, I take after my dad, and have always had a difficult time adhering to the practice of timeliness. Has it really been a month since I've been nominated? Hello-o-o, yes, it has + a few days. Call it laziness, but no, it's not so much that...well, maybe a little. It's also a bit of something called LIFE—there just aren't enough hours in a day! So I finally buckled down, thoughtfully answered the questions, and am passing on the torch to fellow travel bloggers.
I've researched some info on what to do when nominated, and it's kind of confusing since there are so many variations out there. So I'm sticking to what Amber forwarded to me. Guidelines for the Liebster Award:
• Thank the blogger who nominated you
• Answer their questions
• Nominate 10 other travel bloggers who have less than 600 followers
• Ask them 10 questions of your own
So, here we go! My answers to Amber's questions:
1. What’s the most useless thing you’ve ever wished you hadn’t packed?
Gee, a tough one right off the bat! Seriously! I really don’t bring anything useless, per say, since I try to pack light. If anything, I guess it would be extra clothes. I always figure I’ll wear one set of clothes for at least two days. But sometimes the weather is so nice and cool that I don’t sweat (or so I believe), so I’ll wear those clothes an extra day…or two! Then I end up packing and repacking the fresh clothes I end up not wearing at all. It's a good thing I travel solo. : )
2. What’s your biggest passion besides traveling?
Photography, for sure. I’m a late bloomer in most everything, so my love of taking pictures started later in life, which makes me sound really old, doesn't it? On the first couple of road trips, I'd snap pictures mainly to document things—love those border signs that read, “Welcome to Colorado!” that filled my first photo album—or capture something quirky or funny—the statue of a larger-than-life knight in shining armor in the town of Leavenworth in Washington State, who didn’t have a white horse and left me high and dry! Oh, I still do document with images, but I'm also looking to capture amazing landscapes, beautiful architecture, textures, close ups, trees (yes, love’em!), and the ever elusive play of light and how it falls.
3. If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would you go? Why?
That’s a toughie. Switzerland (and I might as well make it the whole of Europe!) has been on my must-go list for a very long time, and there’s also New Zealand, specifically the South Island (my last trip just took me to some parts of the North Island). But with the world’s weather shifting like crazy and changing temperatures and seasons, I’d like to visit Alaska before all the glaciers have completely melted! I’d start in Vancouver then drive all the way to the end of the road, making stops all along the way. On the way back, I’d drive the Icefields Parkway to revisit Jasper and Banff National Park. Such an incredibly beautiful area! I do want to see the aurora borealis at least once in my lifetime too. I guess that’s a lot to cover in one trip, but I am so game for it!
4. Do you have a favorite travel quote? Let’s hear it!
“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.” by Robert Louis Stevenson. I had to think about this one when I first read it. Sure, I love to explore places I’ve never been, but what Mr. Stevenson says is so true. To move…to get on the airplane and take off. To get behind the wheel and drive. To set foot on a hiking trail and walk. To get out, especially from the familiar, and breathe the air of a new location, see how far the horizon stretches and take that step into the unfamiliar…it fulfills my sense of self.
5. Biggest travel pet peeve…?
For the life of me, I honestly can’t think of a single travel pet peeve. I can think of lots when I’m home—namely, while driving on the freeways—but none when I travel… … …Oh! Here’s one! I do drive pretty fast, but there are times when I’m on the road in a new place, unsure of where to turn and kinda drive slower. Pretty soon a driver familiar with the area pulls up right behind me, intent on making me drive faster. Well, I’ll tell you, it doesn’t work! : )
6. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Sorry to disappoint, but I'll be honest and say that I'm the total opposite of Andrew Zimmern. I really can't think of one single crazy item I've had.
7. Number of hours you slept last night.
7.5 hours and I enjoyed every single minute of it!
8. Why did you decide to start a blog?
My website primarily began as an opportunity to share the pictures I’ve taken on trips over the years, and hopefully, to eventually provide a bit of income. I can dream can’t I? It was in the beginning stages of setting it up that I realized I also wanted to share the stories that went along with the images. I thought: I love travel, have been on a lot of road trips, and had begun to travel solo. Blogging could be fun too! Although I write for a living, there’s a certain tone I need to adhere to, but with my blog, I can express myself the way I want to. And yes, it is a lot of fun and I love it, but it’s a lot of work to consistently churn out quality posts. I honestly don’t know how you guys do it! My website isn't quite a year old yet and I'm finding my voice and determining what to focus on; it's still very much a work in progress.
9. What’s your favorite mode of transportation when on the move?
Hand's down it's driving a car. I love to drive, which translates to the best way to explore the world's roads—road trips! I've been on six road trips across the United States with a friend, and early on we both learned just how much I like being in the driver's seat. On our first time out, my friend thoughtfully relieved me on the third leg of our drive. The time passed and the scenery changed mile after mile. I suggested we switch, but she said not to worry. Soon the car fell silent except for the radio. I guess I must have been really passive aggressive back then. After we stopped for gas, my friend asked if I was alright. I just said, "I really want to drive." Because she doesn’t care either way, she said, "You should've said so earlier!" We were all good for the rest of that trip and have been on all our road trips since.
10. Where will your next trip take you?
I've been going solo on recent trips, but the next one will be with my mom. It's only as I've gotten older that I've really begun to appreciate our relationship. We've always traveled well together, plus she's pretty funny in a weird sort of way. Anyway, she’s never been to Las Vegas and believes she's destined to win a million dollars—hey, I'd be so incredibly cool with that! So we'll kick off our road trip there, then head out to Sedona, AZ, swing by the Grand Canyon, cruise over into Santa Fe and maybe Taos, NM, then return to Vegas. I'm excited because this will all be new to her, and I'm happy to be the one to show her just how beautiful the U.S. is. I just need to make sure I know all the good sushi places wherever we are because being born and raised in Japan, mom can't go very long without rice. I’m hoping Santa Fe has some really good sushi places because she knows when it’s fresh! Wish us luck!
Now it's my turn. Here are the next round of nominations for the Liebster Award:
• Gavin & Elwynn | @travelpeeks | www.travelpeeks.com
• Ming Lim | @onalim1 | www.on-a-lim.com
• Laura | @bunksandbeaches | www.bunksandbeaches.blogspot.com
• Andy | @travelling_type | www.travellingtype.com
• Brandon & Kelsey | @twelve365 | www.twelve365.com
• Neli | @openworldblog | www.openworlden.wordpress.com
• Benita | @thedirtyshoes_ | www.thedirtyshoes.com
• Madeleine | @madeleine92 | www.maddyonthemove.co.uk
• Drea | @travelswithdrea | www.travelswithdrea.com
• Isabela | @izzietravel | www.izzietravel.com
I hope you're all game for this! It's time to open up and share something about yourselves. Here are my questions for you:
1. Who or what inspired you to travel?
2. Share one place you've visited that has changed you in some way.
3. Describe your travel philosophy in 3 words.
4. Do you prefer beach or mountain? Why?
5. When you feel it's time to plant roots for good, where will it be?
6. What is your favorite comfort food and have you been able to find it while traveling?
7. Do you prefer fun in the city or quiet in the country?
8. What has been your biggest challenge in life?
9. Have you made plans for your next travel destination? Where are you headed?
10. What is one piece of advice you wish someone had told you earlier on in life?
Please be sure to let me know whenever you've completed your answers and have named your nominees by leaving a link in the comments below. I'd love to see your answers. Have fun guys!