I was nominated for the Liebster Award by Mat Lee of Nomadic Ambition. Thanks, Mat! I really appreciate it!
So the Liebster Award is not exactly an “award” as such, but a way to discover and recognise new bloggers in the blogging community. It’s a modern take on the chain letter. Bloggers nominate other bloggers, ideally newbies who have fewer than 200 followers, who then answer a series of questions before passing on the privilege to other new bloggers and so on. It’s a way of getting to know each other. Liebster is a German word which means something like Favourite, Sweetheart, Beloved, depending on the context. That’s good enough for me!
Below, I’ll answer 11 questions given to me by Mat. After that I’ve posted 11 questions of my own for the bloggers that I’ll be nominating at the end of this post.
Questions from Nomadic Ambition:
Q1. Why did you start a travel blog?
It just so happens I was participating in my first ever travel chat on Twitter, and I had two of the participants say they wanted to read my blog. But I didn’t have one! So a week later, Whet Your Wanderlust was born!
Q2. Of all the countries you have travelled to which are your top three, and why?
Ecuador – such a gorgeous country, lovely people, so many different things to see from the Galapagos, to the Amazon jungle, to the Andes to the cloud forests!
Japan – this country is so surreal. From the crazy fashion, to the high-end tech, quirky restaurants, love hotels, pachinko, vending machines selling all sorts of things from hot canned tea to used underwear. The food is out of this world, whether from a dive underground in a train station, one of their many Michelin-starred restaurants or in a food hall. They have the best beef in the world, perfectly modified fruit – square melons and the like. This is one of the few countries I have gone back to again and again because there’s nowhere else in the world quite like it.
Australia – such a massive country with so many gorgeous things to see. From the Great Barrier Reef to the rainforest to Uluru to Western Australia… I’ve barely scratched the surface but will get back there one day! Plus they have so many interesting animals and such amazingly fresh food.
Q3. What is the best meal you’ve had to date while travelling, and where were you?
I can’t recall the name of the restaurant, but one of my best meals ever was Peking duck in Beijing.
Q4. When it comes to travelling are you a planner or a winger?
Definitely a planner. So much so that I might just even plan in specific time for winging it and will likely will have thought through a couple scenarios in my head before it happens! The exception is if I’m visiting friends, in which case I let them do all the planning! In fact I’ve been spending most of my time lately planning for my next trip to Japan! I must make certain I don’t miss that local delicacy or top-notch restaurant.
Q5. Solo, couple, or group travelling, which do you prefer?
I prefer travelling in twos, though I do prefer it if I can be the one to plan what we do…!
Q6. What are the top three items you won’t travel without?
My DSLR – I will lug this heavy camera around with me everywhere, even if I don’t use it!
My Samsung Galaxy Note – it’s big enough to replace a tablet, doubles as a camera when I can’t be bothered to whip out the DSLR, I read books on it, listen to music or watch movies on a long haul flight or while waiting in transit. Use it as a notepad to capture my thoughts, usually about the places I want to travel to next!
Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 in a tub – this is my favourite lip balm and goes with me everywhere.
Q7. What are your top three travel reads?
Not a big reader of travel books, but currently in the middle of A Diamond in the Desert: Behind the Scenes in Abu Dhabi, the World’s Richest City by Jo Tatchell about the history of Abu Dhabi, which is a great read.
Q8. What has been your worst travel experience?
When I was living in India, I did a weekend trip to Udaipur and booked to stay at the famous (and expensive!) Taj Lake Palace, the hotel made famous in 1983 by the movie Octopussy. On the first night after a dinner in town, my partner and I both fell ill with food poisoning and spent the rest of the weekend between the bed and the toilet, unable to enjoy the amazing breakfast or the dinner I’d booked at the rooftop restaurant. The real low was having to order plain boiled rice and steamed vegetables from room service for dinner.
Q9. What’s one of the best lessons you’ve learned on your travels?
Pack light! My first trip abroad I packed two extra-large bags and a massive carry-on stuffed to the hilt for a three-week stay. It was hell managing the bags on my own. From then on, I’ve been reducing more and more. I’ve learned to forego the luxuries and stick with the basics – no hairdryer for me.
Q10. What are your top 3 travel hacks?
I always travel with a couple shower caps from the previous hotel I stayed at, to use as a bag, to cover my camera in the rain, to sneak some bread rolls from the breakfast buffet, to wrap wet soaps if I need to carry them with me.
I like to use large Ziploc storage bags to hold my toiletries – they’re lightweight, you can see what’s inside without emptying the whole bag, and you can throw it away once it gets too dirty.
I carry aspirin in small empty candy tins. My favourite has Hello Kitty dressed up like a crab. Got it in Japan, of course!
Q11. Where is your next destination?
Off to Japan (again) in 2 weeks for a cruise to eight ports of call around Hokkaido, including stops in South Korea and Russia. Can’t wait to stuff myself in the unlimited buffets and get some great Japanese food.
And now I nominate the following bloggers for the Liebster Award!
- Siobhan – 28 Days Travel
- Jen – One Year 75 Times
- JJ Berman – Urbane Nomad
- Violette & Antoine – Life Explorateurs
- Chris Ashton – Repeat Traveller
- Jon Lloyd – WanderinJon
- Fragments of the World
- Erin R – Quarter Life Wanderings
Here are my 11 questions:
1. What city are you currently in as you write this?
2. How many trips do you currently have booked and to where?
3. What do you think made you so interested in travel?
4. What is your number one consideration when planning a vacation?
5. What’s the most unusual thing you keep in your carry-on?
6. Have you ever left anything behind on your travels? What was it?
7. Have you ever taken something you knew you shouldn’t? What was it?
8. Who is the most interesting person or couple that you’ve met while travelling?
9. What’s your number one travel tip?
10. What’s the most memorable thing you’ve eaten on holiday?
11. If you could visit only 1 more country for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Nominees, once you have posted your answers, please add the link to your post in my comments section below, so we can all read them. Cheers!