Well, how'bout that! I have just been nominated for the Liebster award. I am super honored and chuffed that fellow bloggers have taken a shine to my corner of travel tales in and around London as well as my worldly trips. I am grateful to bloggers Dave Cole and Brianna Simmons for nominating me. I am slightly behind schedule with this post as Dave nominated me a week ago and I just received another nomination from Brianna in the inbox this morning. This is me getting my act together and properly acknowledging the honor. Thank you to the both of you.
What is this award I hear you ask? This is a virtual award given by other bloggers, but it also comes with 10 questions from those that nominate you or award you with the Liebster. With two nominations and 10 questions each, I thought to answer there questions separately than to combine them. Below are their links too. Check out Dave's treks and hikes through Ethiopian highlands and drool-inducing pictures of the Cote d'Ivoire's seaside and Brianna's exploration of some of Europe's beautiful escapes with 'Boutique Bliss' stays that may leave you green with envy but inspire you to get out there and see these places with your own eyes...
Questions from Dave Cole at Cook Sip Go!
1. What is the first travel you remember?
Travelling to Livingtone, Zambian, with my family when I was really young. I don't even remember the drive there. I just remember enjoying the time there by the riverside.
2. Which destination is at the top of your travel bucket list?
I would love to visit Vietnam's Halong Bay and tour around the beautiful seascape that covers some 1000 plus islands and insets.
3. Where did you experience your most memorable meal on the road and what was it?
Probably Hong Kong's Kowloon's food district. I loved having the variety but most of all the thin little stripes of meat you get to cook own your own table in a broth full of spices and vegetables. Simple, flavorful and a tasty experience to my visit in the city.
4. Who is your favorite travel writer/blogger?
Oh my goodness I have far too many to mention. Each one is special for their own thing. With some its their narrative for where they have been and others for their way of capturing the travels and taking you along with them through pictures.
5. Even though new destinations are fun, what is one place you could return to again and again?
I seem to return to Italy almost every year, it's an easy ride from London with plenty of beautiful spots. Unbelievably scenic landscapes and lakes that seem to be as addictive as they are a joyful escape from work woes giving me plenty of reasons to return and discover more of Italy.
6. What’s the most interesting wildlife experience you’ve had on your travels?
I respect the wildlife enough to not experience too much of it. In other words I am scared of anything with more legs than myself so there is little chance of finding me in some sort of camp with lions or tigers whether wild or rehabilitated. I love a good safari though.
7. What’s one place you’ve traveled to and have no desire to return? Why?
I haven't come across such a place yet and hopefully wont have to experience a reason that would render that place not worthy of another return.
8. What is your favorite restaurant in your hometown?
Out of all the places I eat at I think I have been to Wagamamas(Japanese) countless of times. It's that Yaki Udon that keeps calling my name from every corner of London.
9. What is the most athletic feat you’ve accomplished while traveling?
I am into rock climbing so when I can I try to incorporate that into my travels. My escape to Malta also included a day spent indulging in my love for a face-off with a rock face.
10. Have you ever attempted to cook at home a dish you first tried while traveling? If so, what was the result?
Yes, and all the time. From food I tried in Israel to some tasty vegan salads I enjoyed in the US. They dont always taste the same but enjoyably edible. The last one I attempted was a tahini lamb I had when I was in Israel. Tried it when I returned home, lets just say I wont be trying that one again.
Questions from Brianna Simmons at Casual Travelist
1. What first inspired you to travel?
I have always wanted to explore the world. Probably a trait passed down from my mother who traveled far and beyond as far as I could remember. It also helped that I got cool gifts from her travels so each trip came with a welcomed treat.
2. I explore a place through its flavors, what has been your favorite destination to eat through?
My recent trip to Israel(post coming soon). We were all over the map with that trip and passed through Jerusalem, Tel aviv, Nahariya, Shlomi, Arko, Haifa and in between while eating away through towns. It was a culinery trip as much as it was one for exploring.
3. What is your most memorable souvenir?
When it comes to travel I am not into shopping as I tend to believe that most things I need I can get in London. So among the gifts I bring back for family I collect fridge magnets one for each country or city that I visit.
4. Polar expedition or a cruise through the Amazon?
Amazon! I come from a hot country so the cold weather is not my cup of tea which would rule out a Polar expedition. After many years in the UK I have yet to welcome or get used to the rain or the super cold winters.
5. What trip challenged you the most?
My trip through Hong Kong and China, I loved the traveling around and going on solo exploration but was taken aback by people staring and few sneaking up behind me to take pictures of me or pretending to say hi just so their friend could take pictures of them with me in the background. Not something I was expecting but tried not to take offence, which then turned into a funny experience(scroll to the bottom)
6. 1 month all expenses paid, where would you go?
I would be off to the Caribbean Islands before the ink even drys on the cheque. Sashaying hips in Cuba's salsa anthems before heading to St Thomas' Jazz festivals then ferrying myself to St Vincent and Grenadines' Caribbean carnivals before finishing off in St Lucia's intensely blue seas while peering at Piton's volcanic mountains as the tropical breeze cools me down with an island ice tea.
7. Name one thing about yourself that others find surprising.
I am an unusually shy chatterbox.
8. What’s the last book you’ve read?
Oh Dear Silvia by Dawn French. I wouldn't have picked it out myself but its a laugh-out-loud type of book that left me in stitches.
9. Plane, train or automobile?
I would like to say train for short trips but that's a lie because I am dreaming about doing a train ride from Turkey through Georgia to Azerbaijan's Baku and possibly head to Russia. As long as the route is scenic then I would take the train over plane otherwise plane just so the journey doesn't eat into valuable exploring time. My upcoming trip to Scotland is via train so hopefully that's via a pleasantly scenic route with sightings of English countryside charm.
10. Where are you going next?
I am off to Scotland in July, Cowes week in August before this year's finale touring Zambia's(home) Victoria Falls, Namibia's sand dunes and Botswana's national parks before finishing with a few days in South Africa.
With all my travel plans laid bare, I get to nominate fellow bloggers for the award too!
Time Travel Plans - First hand info on voluntourism including tips and tricks.
Chasing The Donkey - She will have you planning your next getaway to Croatia's hidden beauties in no time.
Oneika The Traveller - Some 60 plus countries and still hungry for more, love the honest travel tales.
Selena Oh The Places - A fellow Londoner showcasing London with new light.
Frank About Croatia - Showcasing the best that Croatia has to offer with picturesque backdrops.
Travel Photo Discovery - Noel inspires the practice of enjoying the art of travel photography.
Gone With the Backpack - Inspired by Elena's trips around South America make me want to book a ticket out to Columbia and start my exploring.
My question to the nominees:
1. Who or what has inspired you to travel?
2. What do your friends and family think about your blogging or travels?
3. Other than your passport and ticket, what are the 5 items that you will not travel without?
4. Out of all the places you have visited so far which has surprised you the most?
5. What do you enjoy most, solo or accompanied travel and why?
6. What is the best meal your ever tasted from your trips around the world?
7. All expense paid trip, where would you go?
8. Which place is your hidden gem 'e.g a place that you loved, but is little known among other travelers.
9. What advice would you give to someone starting out on a journey of world travels?
10.Where are you heading to next?