Travel Stories

The Liebster Award!

      I had no idea what liebster meant before being nominated for this blogger award by Jess at Ways of Wanderers and Josh and Bonnie from Wild Buttercup. So, I did my internet research and googled it. Liebster is apparently a German word for lover, beloved, or sweetheart. Hmm. I suppose the Liebster award is fitting for a community of beloved travel bloggers as a way to share and encourage each other! So this is how it works. I will answer 11 questions asked from fellow awardees and then I will pass it on to 11 other up and coming travel bloggers who will answer 11 new questions and pass it on…kind of like friendship bread (man does that sound tasty right now)! So here goes.

1. What is your biggest insecurity?
       I hate feeling like I am a burden or an obligation for others to care for. Traveling has definitely forced me into facing this fear since you have to rely on strangers so often for help in navigating unfamiliar places. I have to remind myself to “get over it” and stop worrying about being an inconvenience or a hassle for someone else to deal with. After all, most people are happy to give directions or translate and I am not that important in the scheme of things.

2. Do you consider yourself a planner or a flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of traveler? 
      Both! I am notorious for looking for flights and comparing the prices of one-way tickets months in advance but I will often wait until the last minute before booking a place to stay overnight. I’ve stayed in some interesting hostels because I waited to search for options, but it usually works out!

3. How do you keep yourself entertained during long bus or train rides? 
       I’m lucky to be a pretty sound sleeper so I usually try to curl up with a blanket and pass the time with some shut-eye. This often works against me when I want to stay awake for the beautiful scenery (I missed out on a lot of Italian countryside because I couldn’t keep my eyes open)! On long plane flights I try to take a Benadryl or have a few glasses of wine to relax me enough to sleep for a few hours. Air Italia serves free wine and beer which was amazing on the overseas trip to Venice!

4. What food do you miss most when you’re on the road?
        My last travels took me to Ecuador where I ate a lot of white bread and rice with chicken or beef. Fresh fruit was abundant but meals were lacking in the veggie department. I started craving leafy spinach salads with vinaigrette dressing and homemade hummus and warm pita bread.DSCN6726                           Eating more monochrome food in Ecuador!

5. How do you deal with homesickness?
       Skype. On my last trip I finally started using this amazing contraption and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get an account. I will Skype with anyone and everyone from back home and this lessens the sting of homesickness immensely.

6. What’s your favorite animal that you’ve spotted on your travels?
       I would say the colorful Toucan in the jungle of Guatemala. After seeing this bird on so many Fruit Loops commercials I was ecstatic to see one in real life. I will say, it definitely lived up to its celebrity status!

7. Would you rather go on a safari or cruise?
      Well, I’ve been on a safari and hope to goodness I never have to go on a cruise. After watching several cruises get stranded in the ocean with no working toilets or food, I’ll take the chance of getting eaten by a lion over being trapped on a big boat.

4317_521370487877_48147_n                One of the many giraffes I saw while on safari in Zambia!

8. What’s your favorite board or card game?
        One of the most entertaining moments I’ve experienced abroad was the night my friend and I took a ferry from Italy to Greece and ended up playing a card game with some random older Turkish men. We had no idea what the rules were or what they were saying to us, but the wine was flowing and the belly laughs were rolling. We had the best time trying to keep up with them.

DSCN3663                             Waiting to board the ferry in Bari, Italy

9. If you had to choose, would you rather go without cheese, chocolate, or wine for the rest of your life? 
        Ooooh. I love all of these things! I guess I would have to say wine since I could probably be happy with drinking beer instead but chocolate and cheese are such important food groups I think so many dishes would be awful without them!

10. What was your scariest travel moment ever? 
         I’ve been lucky to have not had too many frightening moments while traveling, but the last night I was in Quito was pretty sketchy. I accidentally got off the bus at the wrong stop and had to wait with a large crowd of people to try to get on another bus. As each bus came to a stop people began the mad dash to get on, pushing, shoving, and pulling until the bus would drive away with people still hanging out the side. It was getting dark and started to rain and I had no idea where I was, I only knew I had to make it back to the hostel in time to catch my flight home later that night. I was lost and not even sure which bus to take. After attempting to shove my way on one bus and getting pushed out of the way, I finally held my shopping bags close and forced myself onto the next one after waiting for over an hour.

11. Do you have a favourite travel-related book? It can be a travel narrative or a guidebook. 
        This might be cliche, but On The Road still ignites that passion for travel and new experiences. Jack Kerouac captures the energy of the beatniks so beautifully, it’s hard not to fall in love with their America of the 50’s and 60’s.

Your turn! 
1. Stephanie from The Travel Chica
2. Britany from Stars on the Ceiling
3. Julika at Sateless Suitcase
4. Pablo over at Where’s Pablo?
5. Dalene & Pete from HecKtic Travels
6. Koty from Planes and Passports
7. Eartha at Earth 2 Eartha
8. Ash over at The Most Alive
9. Toni at Reclaiming My Future
10. Oneika from Oneika the Traveler
11. Adam from Travels of Adam

Here are my 11 questions for you. Have fun! Let me know when you answer them and don’t forget to pass it on!

  1. Do you prefer home stays or hostels? Have you ever tried couch surfing? What did you think?
  2. What’s the most unusual form of transportation you’ve used to get from point A to B?
  3. What’s your favorite word in another language and what does it mean?
  4. Describe one place that’s still on your bucket list.
  5. Where’s one place you’ve volunteered that changed your perspective on life?
  6. What do your friends and family think about your travels?
  7. What’s the tastiest beverage (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) you’ve tried?
  8. What’s one piece of important advice you’d pass along to fellow backpackers?
  9. What’s one country you changed your mind about after visiting?
  10. What’s your favorite piece of footwear while traveling?
  11. What item do you bring with you to remind you of home?
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  • Reply Stephanie - The Travel Chica March 2, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Thanks for the nomination!

    I think the stress of choosing which to give up, cheese, chocolate, or wine, would induce a heart attack 🙂

    • Reply Mariah March 4, 2013 at 3:13 am

      You’re welcome Stephanie! And yes- I agree, they are all staples in my foodie diet!

  • Reply Wild Buttercup February 24, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Im with you on wanting to go on a safari rather than a cruise. Cruises are not getting good press these days! If I had to choose between wine, chocolate, or cheese though…I would definitely choose cheese. I couldn’t live without pizza and pizza requires cheese! 🙂

    • Reply Mariah February 24, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      I know, right? I think I would get too claustrophobic on a cruise. I need freedom to move around! And, yes I agree with you. Cheese is in too many delicious foods to live without!

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