Liebster-Award-300x225OK, so I’m new to blogging and admittedly the first time I’d heard of the Liebster Award was on Jo’s blog Migrating Bird– and then she went and nominated me! Thanks Jo 🙂

The rules are (totally copied from Migrating Bird. It’s not plagiarism if you acknowledge you’re copying right??):

  • Write a blog post thanking the blogger who nominated you, and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions that your nominator asks you.
  • Nominate 10 bloggers, under 600 followers, who are awesome and deserving of this honor.
  • Create 11 questions for your nominees.
  • Display the Liebster Award logo on your page.
  • List these rules in your post.

1. What is a dream destination that you’re unlikely to ever make it to?

I’d love to make a trip into space someday. That could be tricky, but with the rise of commercial space travel, it may actually be possible late in life 🙂

2. Is there anywhere you really want to visit, but won’t for moral reasons?

There are a few countries that I would really struggle visiting, namely countries that are rife with human rights abuses and deplorable treatment of women, such as Saudi Arabia.

3. Would you ever take a group tour?

Yes, and I have taken a group tour to Egypt in the past. I think group tours have their place. Especially in an area you’re not familiar with, or if you’re not confident enough in your ability to get around by yourself. I don’t like how group tours rush you from site to site, but they can be a good introduction to a place. You can then go back and revisit areas that you wish to spend more time in.

4. What’s the longest you think you could travel for continuously?

Ah, now that I’m not sure! I read so many blogs of permanent travellers and their lives really appeal to me. But I love the comforts of home and having pets. I’m planning an initial 8-month trip in 2016 before heading back home for Christmas and reassessing. If I’m still keen to get back out there, I’ll head around NZ and Australia, Asia, South and Central America and hopefully even Africa. All that will probably take 2-3 years, so we’ll see how I go. I don’t think I could travel that long continuously, but would come back home for regular visits of a month or so.

5. Do you prefer city sightseeing or more natural wonders?

A mixture of both. I love museums and old buildings full of history which are generally found in the cities, but I also love getting outdoors and away from the noise and pollution. A good trip blends the two together.

6. If you had to stop travelling, where would you live?

That’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately – where to live when I get back. My hometown of Christchurch has seen skyrocketing house prices due to the earthquakes, but wages are stagnant. I intend to take a road trip in 2017 around NZ and Australia, in part to see if there’s anywhere besides Christchurch that I might like to live. I suspect I’ll probably just end up back here though. 🙂

7. How do you finance your travels?

Good ol’ fashioned savings! I’ll be selling my house before heading on my RTW trip, but will need to retain most of the proceeds for a deposit on another house when I settle back down. It’ll give piece of mind though to know there’s money there if needed in an emergency.

8. What’s your least favourite place?

Taking a very liberal reading of that question – public toilets! 🙂 I can’t think of any city/country that I really disliked.

9. How big is your backpack, and would you change that?

I currently travel with a small carry-on size piece of rolling luggage, along with a large purse or a little 10-litre backpack. Right now, that’s perfect. But when I get to travelling in Asia, South America, Africa etc – places with more rugged terrain – I’ll probably switch to a backpack. About 30-35 litres I think, though I haven’t yet found one I can comfortably carry for long.

10. What do you splurge on most when travelling?

I tend to splurge on accommodation. While hostels are great for meeting people and the good ones offer some great activities, I like my personal space. So nowadays I tend to split my time between hostel dorm rooms and cheap motel rooms.   I’ll also opt for a more comfortable mode of transport if the price is reasonable – for example, taking a short flight instead of a 12-hour bus ride.

11. Do you have a plan in place for your life? 

Only for the next few years. Work hard and save for the next 18 months, travel for 8 months, home for a visit, then probably back travelling again before finding somewhere to settle down. I’d like to buy or build a small home on a few acres, and maybe eventually have some sort of animal sanctuary. But I don’t really know how feasible all that is or how I’ll make money to finance it all. I’m quite happy to just go with the flow for a while.

My Nominees:

Now, since I’m a newbie, I a) don’t know how to tell how many followers someone has (is it just blog followers, or social media too?) and b) I haven’t yet found too many small blogs as the big ones tend to be what turns up when Googling. So some of these probably have larger followings than are technically allowed, but they’re the ones I love and read regularly 🙂

Young Adventuress

Restless Mind

A Little Adrift

Kiwi Adrift

NZ Muse

The Indolent Cook

Never Ending Footsteps

Never Ending Voyage

Caroline in the City

Adventurous Kate

My questions:

  1. Where was the first place you ever travelled to?
  2. What’s your preferred travel style (backpacker, flash packer, luxury traveller)?
  3. What’s one thing you couldn’t do without on your travels?
  4. What’s your best travel tip?
  5. Have you ever been homesick and, if so, how did you deal with it?
  6. DSLR, Point-and-Shoot or Smartphone?
  7. Of all the places you’ve been, which was your favourite?
  8. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome on the road?
  9. What has surprised you the most during your travels?
  10. What hobbies do you have besides travelling?
  11. Where are you most looking forward to visiting in the future?