I started this TWO months ago and I didn’t get around to finishing for a number of reasons. Most rationally, I told myself that I didn’t know who to nominate. I didn’t have enough people and I’d wait until then. But since then I have met many and yet, still, I didn’t post. I couldn’t use the excuse of time. I was still churning out posts regularishly and there was still something holding be back from posting this particular draft. But in the end, I realized that it is because I was searching for the perfect answers- and they just weren’t coming to me. I do not take traveling, nor what traveling means to me lightly and it’s important to me that I give my best answers to these questions. I think part of me wasn’t sure they were good enough- but I realize now that it doesn’t matter. Because it’s my story and that has to be good enough for me. I don’t know if there is a time limit or anything, but I’m just going with it anyway. I think it’s an awesome platform to get awareness out there for bloggers! So here is my post that I started awhile back- take it or leave it:
I’ve been nominated! The beautiful Erin Rydberg from Quarter Life Wanderings nominated me for the Liebster Award! It’s a pleasure and an honor! This award is given to bloggers by bloggers. You are given a list of 11 questions by the blogger who nominated you and in turn you nominate others and ask new questions. I’m very new to the blogging scene and still getting a grasp on the whole thing, but let’s do it!
- What was the first place you visited and why?
My first international experience was ironically to the first country I have ever called home. The United States of America- or more affectionately known as ‘Murica. April 29, 1988 I arrived off the plane from South Korea. Adopted at 4 months old to the best parents and into the best goddamn country in the world. But I’m pretty sure that isn’t what the question was going for. My first international trip was the summer after my freshman year of high school. My amazing parents arranged a trip to go back to South Korea with me and discover more about the place I came from. It was incredibly thoughtful and the experience opened my eyes. Not only was I exposed to a culture so drastically different than my own, but it’s where I started to realize how good I was at traveling; at figuring things out and how comfortable I was living outside of my comfort zone- which I have talked a lot about here. My eyes were opened to just how huge this world was and I loved every second of it. I could definitely get used to this!
2. What is your worst/funniest travel experience?
Worst travel experience is when I got my passport stolen. I was in Bruges, Belgium and I had heard it was a place to watch out for pickpockets. Since I’m s0o0o clever I moved all my cash to my passport holder so in case someone stole my wallet they wouldn’t get any cash. Of course they stole my passport holder instead so I was without cash and without a passport. I went to the police station where everyone was speaking rapid fire Flemish (or Dutch? I’m still unclear about that whole thing) to and around me. I managed to fill out a report, even though they said it was probably worthless. Did I mention this was CHRISTMAS EVE? Amazingly, I didn’t cry. I swallowed my pride and emailed my parents. A few days later, I woke up early and went to the US Embassy in Brussels to get a temporary passport. As I was waiting to go through the paperwork, they called my name and handed me my passport holder. “Is this yours?” the woman asked me. I almost kissed her. I didn’t. But it was close. The cash was gone but my passport was inside. Someone had miraculously sent it to the embassy for me! I am ETERNALLY grateful for whoever was responsible for that happening. It was the most stressful few days of my life and put a huge damper on my trip but it all worked out in the end. Except the money part. I was dead broke.
3. What is/was your dream trip and why?
To be honest (and a little bit of a cop out), my dream trip is the world. I cannot choose just one. I keep a master list and try to rank, but quite frankly, it’s impossible. Since “the world” is probably cheating as an answer, I will list my top 5 destinations: Antarctica, Egypt, Southern Africa, Russia, and the Inca Trail. And Iceland. And Tibet. And New Zealand. Oh and Romania. GOD. I DON’T KNOW. I can’t choose. Don’t make me choose!
4. If you could retire in a country other than your own, what would it be?
Italy! The answer is always Italy. I’m in love with everything about it. The people, the food, the culture, the landscape, the language, the wine, the food (wait, did I say that already…? Both working and retiring there is a dream of mine.
5. Have you ever lived in another country or wanted to? Where?
Italy, Austria, and currently living in Thailand.
6. Why did you start a travel blog?
It started off as a way of letting my friends and family know details about my travels, but it turned into a nice way to journal while on the road. It has really helped me put things in perspective. I’m still figuring out exactly what direction I want to take it in, but I’m hopeful that everyone sticks with me as I do so!
7. What is the weirdest thing you have eaten during your travels?
Scorpion. It wasn’t too bad! The aftertaste is what gets you.
8. How many countries have you visited so far?
22 and counting! I have a trip coming up in February where I hope to knock off about six more and I’m hoping to make 30 by 30.
9. Name your three top destinations you’ve been.
10. What are your top five things you never travel without?
- Camera- too many unforgettable places!
- My blanket. I’m 27 and I still love having my childhood blanket around. #sorrynotsorry. It’s something that reminds me of home and it doubles as a pillow or blanket when needed.
- Sunglasses. While that doesn’t seem like that big a deal- it’s pretty rough when you don’t have them. Also, you can totally get away with staring at people without them noticing.
- WATER SHOES. These mofo’s have been my best on the road purchase to date. When you’re hiking a lot and it rains, your tennis shoes get wet. When you’ve moving around Every 48-72 hours, they do not have time to dry. They’re wet and smelly and it’s the worst. Enter water shoes.
- An open mind. This almost goes without saying. Shit happens when you travel and if you don’t have an open mind about it, it’ll ruin you. Not only that, but without an open mind to the differences to culture and life and the willingness to embrace it- you will be miserable. You won’t learn anything or take anything away from your trip. Might as well stay home.
- Is there a place you would never go back to and why?
- I don’t totally love going back to a place that I’ve already been- the world is so huge I want to get out and see it all! That being said, given the opportunity I would gladly return to everywhere that I’ve traveled before!
My 11 questions:
- Why did you start traveling?
- What was one of the biggest struggles you’ve had to overcome while traveling?
- Have you picked up any languages during your travels?
- What’s your favorite city you’ve ever been to?
- What’s the craziest thing you’ve done while traveling?
- Where is your next destination (whether it be booked already or somewhere you’d like to get to next)?
- What is your favorite cuisine from your travels?
- Have you met anybody along the way that has impacted your travels?
- What is one of your best travel tips?
- What do you miss most about home when you’re away?
- How do you keep busy on long flights, bus rides, train rides, etc.?
My nominees! Please let me know if I’ve forgotten anyone! I’ve read a lot of amazing blogs lately!
- Sarah: Sarah’s Musings and Wanderings
- Cailin: Cailin Explores Thailand
- Jess: Jessica with Jet Lag
- Bjorn: Duisburg to Sydney and Beyond
- Kaija: Take These Chances
- Britta: Britta Bottle
- Tracy: Finally Living
- Maggie: Thailand Teaches Maggie