A little background: Liebster Blog Awards have a bit of internet mystery about the origin, but the basic idea is that up-and-coming bloggers create 11 questions, tag 11 other new bloggers (apparently defined as less than 200 followers) and answer the questions the tagging blogger gave to them… and the chain goes on and on to help people stumble upon new blogs and gain followers, while getting to know your fellow travel bloggers and having a bit of fun!
So, without further ado, here are my answers to Jessica’s questions (and you can find the 11 bloggers I’m tagging, as well as my questions for them below!)
1. If you were to write your last blog post ever, what would the title be?
I can be a little dramatic, so I might call it “Fin.” like in the movies. I can also be a little silly, so it might also be called “Stay classy San Diego”. I hope that I don’t have to think about this for a while though!
2. Which food do you miss most when you’re on the road?
Ohhhhh. My friends will tell you this is the #1 thing I complain about. I am in love with food! I was spoiled living in Vancouver, where I could have amazing food from any cuisine in the world I wanted. I would probably say I miss sushi the most out of everything though, because it’s only done right in very few places.
3. What is one job you’ve had that you would never ever do again?
I am the queen of random jobs…I’ve been a scuba diving instructor, securities paralegal, gelato server, server, bartender, cashier, electronics sales associate, hamburger factory worker, office manager, clothing store associate, virtual assistant, chairlift assistant at a ski hill, and all kinds of other crap. I think out of that list, working on the production line at a hamburger factory is something I will never, ever do again. I didn’t eat hamburgers for YEARS after that.
4. If you had to give up either visiting beaches or historical buildings/monuments for the rest of your traveling life, which would you choose?
Tough one for me as a dive instructor!! For the most part, giving up beaches sort of equates with giving up diving, which I am definitely not prepared to do any time soon. But I am also a history nerd, and eventually I will probably get my fill of beaches if I keep leading this lifestyle… ooooooh… this is tough. But I’ll say I’d give up historical building/monuments (and just Wikipedia the shit out of them instead).
5. What is the worst meal you’ve had on the road?
I ate most of the worst meals in my life in Peru. I backpacked through there for over a month with my boyfriend at the time, and I spent nearly half the trip sick to my stomach from the food. We did a super budget trip and ate some really shady food. Day after day of greasy fried chicken and rice took a toll on me, but the worst I had was actually a falafel sandwich at Angela’s Place Restaurant in Mancora, Peru. It was nearly the size of a dinner plate, covered in some watery, white, ranch-ish sauce with rotten smelling hummus. I made it through half and went straight back to the hotel and threw it up. I also tried cuy, which is guinea pig. The entire thing was deep fried and it was naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaasty, but had a delicious peanut sauce and potatoes with it so I can’t say that was the worst thing I had.
6. What song do you blast in the car first when you head out for a road trip?
Always “Blinded by the Light” by Manfred Mann! I don’t know why. That always makes me think of the movie Blow (not that I do mountains of cocaine on road trips… it’s just a good “let’s go” song!)
7. What is the most unusual item that you travel with?
This question stumped me! I don’t know if I have anything really unusual…but I always travel with like three iPhone chargers because I’m terrified mine will get lost or broken and for some reason I think I will die without my iPhone while traveling. I also bring eucalyptus oil with me, I guess that’s kinda weird? I bring a tiny spray bottle and put a few drops in with some bottled water and spray it on funky smelling hotel sheets, or a few drops in the shower with some hot water to pretend I’m in a eucalyptus steam room at a spa instead of a nasty Central American hostel bathroom full of bugs and mystery stains. It’s also really good to smell if you have a cold – clears up congestion!
8. Do you have a favourite travel-related book? It can be a travel narrative or a guidebook.
Yes – A Year In Search of Wa by Karin Mueller. It’s a fantastic autobiographical account of a 30something woman who travels alone to Japan on a whim after an invite from a Japanese judo teacher to come and stay with his family. I love her self-depricating humor, and as someone fascinated by and in love with Japan (and therefore familiar with a lot of the traditions, customs and culture) it is hilarious to read about her bewilderment with everyday encounters.
9. What is your biggest insecurity?
Generally or while traveling/living the expat life? I’ll tell you both, cause I’m all about letting it all out at Cubicle Throwdown! Generally, my biggest insecurity is looking stupid. Which sounds ridiculous because I do crazy stupid shit all the time! But I mean I don’t like doing “activities” unless I’m good at them, because I don’t like being bad at things in front of other people. You probably wouldn’t guess this if you knew me. But it actually holds me back sometimes from doing things I want to do! And my biggest insecurity with traveling/living the expat life is that I’ll never get to the top of my game at anything because I keep changing what I’m doing so often. Also, my work uniform as a dive instructor is a bikini, so I’m always a little insecure about that 🙂
10. Do you consider yourself to be more of a planner or a flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of traveler?
I used to be a planner, now I fly by the seat of my pants! There’s pros and cons to both. When I used to plan everything, I knew that I was going to see everything I wanted to see and not miss anything, and my budget was usually spot-on. But if anything interesting came up in the meantime, I had trouble fitting it into my rigid schedule or didn’t allow enough extra money for it. When I started throwing caution to the wind, I think I had more fun and felt more relaxed most of the time, but I also wasted a lot of time when I didn’t research bus schedules and ended up paying more for last-minute tickets or hotel rooms. I also found out after coming home about things I would have really liked to see or do which is always kind of a bummer.
11. How do you keep yourself entertained during long train or bus rides?
I can’t sleep on buses or trains so I need something to entertain myself with! I am also known to get bouts of motion sickness from time to time if I read while moving so that’s out too. The number one thing I do is put my headphones in and listen to music, language lessons or a guided meditation on my iPod. I sometimes play games on my iPhone (embarrassing fact of the day: I LOVE nyancat! I also play Bookworm.) I do a lot of people-watching which is probably creepy for the other people on the bus.
There you have it!
I’m tagging the following lovely people, and I have no idea how you find out how many followers other bloggers have so if you have more than 200, sorry, you don’t have to do it if you don’t want to but I heard all the cool kids are doing it so you probably should.
1. Steph & Tony at 20 Years Hence
2. Heather at Ginger Nomads
3. Ashley at Ashley Abroad
4. Colleen at Colleen Brynn Travels
5. Dana at Our Wanderlust
6. Amanda at Wayfaring Amanda
7. Alex at Alex in Wanderland
8. Jill at Battered Suitcases
9. Brenna at This Battered Suitcase
10. Molly & Mark at Yonderblog
11. Jay at From There to Here
And here are my questions for those bloggers (and if you’re not on the list and feel like answering them, go right ahead and let me know that you did so I can give you a shout out!)
1. What’s one thing you always buy at airports?
2. Diving with sharks: yes or no?
3. How much of a foreign language do you learn before arriving somewhere?
4. Craziest public transportation story you’ve ever had. Go.
5. Have you ever drank the water somewhere that you shouldn’t have?
6. Where do you see yourself eventually settling down (if anywhere)?
7. What’s keeping you back from the next thing you want to do?
8. Best bargain you’ve ever found while traveling?
9. If I was going to buy you a present for $100, what’s the greatest thing I could buy for you?
10. What moment in your life do you wish you had gotten a photo of?
11. If Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones came up to you and asked you to join the Men in Black, would you leave your life behind and join?