LIEBSTER AWARD!

A HUGE THANKS to Not Lost Wanderer and Hobo In High Heels for nominating me for the Liebster Award: a chance for bloggers to support and congratulate other writers and photographers! It took me a bit to write this post, so I got nominated twice, which is why there are two sets of answers. Have fun learning about little ole me 😛

It works like this (thanks again to Not Lost Wanderer for spelling out the rules so succinctly! I copied yours below):

  1. Link back to the person that nominated you
  2. Answer the questions given by the nominator (find mine below my responses)
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers
  4. Create 11 questions for the nominees
  5. Notify all nominees via social media/blogs

My Responses Part One

1. Who is your one inspiration in life and why?
My Mom. I really don’t know how she works so hard, supports my whole family, and still manages to be the most empathetic person I’ve ever met. And all with a smile that rarely leaves her face!

2. If you could be any animal what would it be?
A dragon. I realize that’s a mythical animal, but dragons are pretty much kick-butt dinosaurs that fly and shoot fire FROM THEIR MOUTHS, so why not? Plus, I was born in the year of the dragon.

3. What one character would you want to be from any film and why?
Rose from Titanic. Because I would save space on that door for Jack.

4. What is the one destination you’ve always wanted to visit?
Mongolia. Because of Marco Polo, Genghis and Kublai Khan, all the Queens of Mongolia, the Eternal Blue Sky, fermented mare’s milk, and above all, the disruption and honesty of living a nomadic life.

5. What’s your favourite quote?
“It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” ~J.K. Rowling (via Dumbledore)

6.  Cats or Dogs?
Both? OK, dogs. They win because you don’t have to earn their love.

7. What is your dream job?
Travel show hostess. I would either be super weird or super fun to watch, but either way, would have a blast.

8. Why Blogging?
Because I love to write, and this is a more democratic platform from which to share my writing. Also, I love traveling and this is the easiest way to let people know what I’m up to.

9. Winter or Summer?
Winter because of the ending to The Dead:

A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.

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Winter in Boston, 2015

 

10. Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Wars, but only because I haven’t really seen Star Trek. Sorry, Dad, it’s on my list.

11. What song best represents you and why?
“Go the Distance” from my favorite animated Disney movie Hercules. The song talks about traveling to find who you are: “I would go most anywhere to feel like I belong”. I should note that I am a confident young woman, and feel that I belong in many places. Perhaps I’m just searching for lots of places to belong ❤

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“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” ~Thoreau

 

Part Two, Or Sarah Should Post her Posts Sooner

1. What does a normal day in your life look like?
Right NOW, a normal day includes working part-time at two jobs in different cities, commuting, reading on said commute, and blogging when I can. I also eat, sleep, and hang out with my friends. And I talk to my mom most days. LOVE YOU MOM!

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A Room with a View of Boston (my life right now)

 

2. What is your coolest travel story?
There was a day in Épernay, France earlier this year in which I drank several champagne flights. I met all the local old men, made friends with Brazilians, walked a poodle with my scarf, and even made it back on the train. It ended up being the wrong train, but that didn’t really matter. Delicious memories!

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“I could not live without Champagne – in victory I deserve it, in defeat I need it” ~Napoleon, supposedly

 

3. What are three things on your bucket list?
~Horseback riding in Mongolia
~Trans-Siberian (technically I’m going on the Trans-Mongolian in a couple months…I’m counting it)
~ALL THE FOOD in SE Asia, but specifically Thailand and Vietnam

4. What is your least favorite travel destination?
This isn’t a destination, but I hate ferries. Truly, completely, and with vitriol usually reserved for Ryanair. It all began with a ferry from Athens to Santorini on which I insisted that tuna in a can is raw. I blame that ferry ride for my lapse in judgment, since all ferries lead to the River Styx.

5.What place have you always dreamed of visiting?
Mongolia. Because of everything said above!

6.What is your ultimate guilty pleasure?
The problem with the phrase ‘guilty pleasure’ is that you’re supposed to feel shame in your adoration of said pleasure. I have no shame in my love for Britney, fart jokes, and hooooooorrible puns.

7. What is one of your most embarrassing moments?
I once complained for about ten minutes about having to play in a wedding. The bride’s mother was in the room…OOPS!

8. What is your favorite thing about traveling?
I learn so much about others- and myself- while traveling. I usually forget most of the history tidbits I glean from city tours, but I always remember the people I meet, and the stories surrounding their culture. This coupled with gained self-knowledge is my favorite part of traveling.

9. What is the best thing anyone has said about your blog?

Someone said it made them want to travel. Job. Done.

10. Tell me about one of the best meals you’ve ever had!
Walking down a street in Brussels, myself and a fellow traveler noticed a life-size taxidermied cow staring down a short line of hungry, hungry humans. They were waiting to enter Amadeus, which has the best ribs I’ve ever had by far. My face was covered in sauce by the end of the meal.

11. What makes you happy?
The sky. My friends. Dropping my earbud in a glass of milk and realizing how ridiculous that sounds. All the little things, and some of the big ones too 🙂 (Also traveling 😉 )

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Opera Garnier, Paris makes me happy

 

My Questions

  1. If you could be one food or beverage, what would it be and why?
  2. What is the funniest thing that’s happened on your travels?
  3. What is your ultimate guilty pleasure?
  4. What is your favorite travel book and/or film?
  5. What is the worst food/drink you’ve ever tried?
  6. What  character would you be from any film and why?
  7. What place have you always dreamed of visiting?
  8. What was your last post about?
  9. What is the dirtiest place you’ve ever been? (Choose to answer how you will)
  10. What inspires you to travel?
  11. What makes you happy?

The Nominees 

Julia from Small World This Is
Elin from Wanderlusting
Flat Tires and Slow Boats
From PC to PC
Janna from Janna Jetsets
Claire from Accidentalism
Circle to Circle
Dixie from Life’s Loose Threads
Jane & Steve from Travel Vicariously with Jane & Steve
Rekha from Oh! Fernweh
Danielle from Travels of a Broke Girl

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Have you heard? There’s a rumor in the travel world…

THIS is all you need to travel...well this, a passport, and a fearless attitude!

THIS is all you need to travel…well this, a passport, and a fearless attitude!

Half-stuck in dreamworld, I hazily lifted my limbs from their nightly repose, figuring I might already be running late. Before leaving the house I checked my phone to make sure I had all the necessary papers for the Russian visa in my backpack. I remembered to cut the photos into their proper 2×2 squares, and even ordered the documents according to the list the website advertised. I made two peanut butter-jelly-honey-cinnamon sandwiches and grabbed two of all the other snacks I required. Said refreshments perfectly placed in my knapsack, I finally left the house.

Once I arrived in New York, I made my way to the Consulate Services Agency at 1:00 pm, only to be told they were away on a technical break, which was technically lunch. I returned an hour later and sat on one of their black cubicle chairs to wait my turn. Again, I checked my phone’s screen and compared it to my documents. It told me that everything was still in order. When I heard the gentleman before me say “Spasibo”, I got up and walked to the smiling lady sitting across from me. “I’m here to get a tourist visa”, I offered politely, “I hope I have everything”. The pleasant woman took my papers, glancing at the first two for a few seconds. In this space of time, I felt the need to explain, “It was kind of hard getting everything together. I hope I did it right!” The clerk barely looked up from my papers and laughed. “An American tourist visa eez the eeziest to get. So few papers!” I hope I smiled at that.

It seemed everything was in order (as if I weren’t prepared!) so I paid the cashier, was told my passport would be mailed to me in ten days, and left. It was 2:20; in twenty minutes, my passport had been quickly gleaned for information, along with my Invitation Letter and Visa Application, scanned, and a self-taken passport photo glued to my Application, with a glue stick no less. Hours of worrying, images of myself being refused because I had cut my passport photo at an 89° angle instead of a 90° one had plagued me in the week leading up to my actual visa appointment. Comparing my expectations with reality, I chuckled to myself. The Russians didn’t care nearly as much as I had thought they would about letting me in their country. I began to think that US citizens might have exaggerated the difficulty of getting a Russian visa. And once I thought that, the whole thorny world of precautionary travel tales faded away.

On the bus back to Boston, I thought about my day’s experience. The accumula of years and years of travel advice now seemed better suited to people who had never set foot outside their neighborhood. As a somewhat more seasoned traveler, I figured I could start to ignore some of that guidance. And though you are often better safe than sorry, travel is all about turning the unforeseen into a good bar story. So I’ve decided to dismantle the hallowed halls of Trusted Travel Tales that torture your thoughts and twist your perceptions. Throw out the guidebook, forget what your aunt told you, and definitely don’t listen to those who heard from a friend whose mother told them….Just do it. Explore. Get lost, maybe hurt, probably sunburnt, sick, and scared, but most importantly, get out there. You know I am 😉