The Liebster Award is presented to new bloggers by other bloggers to recognize and encourage those new in the ever-growing field of pouring your heart out and hoping someone will find it interesting.
What is a Liebster? It is a German word and means cute or lovely.
As part of the award, I was given 11 questions by each person who nominated me.
The 11 questions by Andi on Adventure to the Liebster Award winners:
1. If you won the lottery and money was no object, where would you travel?
I would definitely go back to Australia and New Zealand and catch anything I missed, especially Perth this time. I would also love to visit Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Amsterdam, and Italy.
2. What is one of your favorite travel memories?
Taking an hour long camel ride in the Australian Outback near Alice Springs. It was one of the most fun things I have ever done while traveling.
Definitely traveling with others. Maybe it's because I was an only child, but I don't have as much fun alone as I do with someone to share all the experiences. Whether it's traveling around the US or around the world, or simply going to concerts, it's always more fun together.
4. What are 3 things you always pack in your carry on bag?
Definitely an extra change of clothes in case the checked luggage doesn't make it, tape recorder and cassette tapes to record tours and daily activities and thoughts about each experience, and music whether on an iPod or my cell phone. I'm a terrible flyer and music helps me make it through flights.
5. What are the top 3 countries on your Bucket List?
Ireland, I have a cousin who lives in Dublin, so it would be great to visit, Italy, and any Scandinavian country.
6. What inspired you to start blogging?
One of my best friends, Margaret, passed away from breast cancer in October 2013 only a few months after being diagnosed. It hit me hard. Margaret and I were college roommates and traveled around the world in the 80s and 90s until we each married. We were friends for 30 years and suddenly she was gone. I had always imagined us sitting on a porch somewhere in rocking chairs in our 80s or 90s reminiscing about all the adventures we had together. And then I realized, there was no one else on earth I shared all those memories with. I didn't know what to do with that, so I decided a website/blog would be a great place for me to put all those memories out there in the universe since I can't share them with Margaret anymore.
But it's turned into much more than a place for my travels. I have begun to interview some great photographers, artists, and many others about life, travel, and photography. It all started with actor Parker Stevenson (from the Hardy Boys, Baywatch, etc.). I met him in Philadelphia in 2015 and we started talking about travel and photography (it has become his second career) and I asked him if he would consider doing an interview for a small, new website and he graciously agreed. And that sent the website in a whole new direction. Since then, I've had interviews with photographers Natalie Ford, Benjie Chankin, Cory Steiner, Josh Friedman, artist Bonnie Porter, Tasmanian resident Susanne with more in the works. So it's become a celebration of life and friendship.
7. What is your worst travel experience?
Being sick in Munich, Germany. Margaret and I had taken a vacation in Europe on a bus tour through Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. I think everyone on the bus was sick at one time or another. I don't know whether we were passing a stomach virus around or it was just that it was so hot (this was July) and we were going from the air conditioned bus to hotels and tours that had no air conditioning and it was affecting our systems. Poor Margaret was sick on the bus when we traveled through the Bernese Oberlands, which actually goes round and round for a while. I'm surprised I wasn't sick then. Mine came during our tour of Munich. I was sick about 3 times that day. It was awful. And we had some free time after our tour of the city and I was determined to see the Glockenspiel. My Aunt had visited years before and it was being refurbished. This time it was working and poor Margaret video taped the whole thing because I was so sick. I remember having to buy clothes before that so I would have something clean to wear. Ugh. How embarrassing. Luckily it was only a one-day bug or whatever and I was fine the next day.
8. In your opinion, which country has the best food?
So far I would have to say the good ole USA, so much variety all across the country.
9. What is the most beautiful place you've ever seen?
There are so many. Probably Halekala Crater on Maui, Hawaii when we watched the sunrise from the top. You feel like your on top of the world. But also Denali National Park in Alaska, and New Zealand.
That's so hard. Melbourne, Australia or Anchorage, Alaska.
11. What is your top tip for beginning bloggers?
Don't give up if it's something you really want to do. It's not easy and it's slow-growing and it takes a lot of time. Unless you can afford help, you will be the one learning html, Photoshop, how to design web pages, the mechanics of web hosting and trouble-shooting and promotion through social media. I think I read something like 99% of bloggers give up within the first year.
The 11 questions by Blue Planet Nomads to the Liebster Award winners:
1. What is the best place you have experienced while traveling?
I would have to say New Zealand, beautiful country and scenery and very friendly people.
2. What is the worst place you have experienced while traveling?
So far, I don't have a worst, I've enjoyed everything.
3. What was the first place you ever travelled to?
Other than locally, the first place I travelled to was Europe - London and Paris, on a trip with a college group. It was also my first plane ride. I think my Mom was a nervous wreck.
4. What is the weirdest food you have tried on your travels.
Vegemite in Australia, it must be an acquired taste. :)
5. If you were to recommend one place or experience in your home country for travelers to see/do where/what would it be?
Any National Park - Denali, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, are the some of the ones I've visited. They're all gorgeous! But there are so many from Maine to Florida to California and everywhere in between. You can't go wrong visiting a National Park.
6. Where is the most scenic place you have seen so far?
Tie between New Zealand and Alaska.
7. What is the worst journey you have endured and what mode of transport was it?
Taking the van home from JFK airport in New York after our London and Paris trip. It was so crowded and so long, ugh.
8. Why do you travel?
I want to see what the rest of the world is like, experience other cultures, see beautiful sites, learn about history. We're all different yet alike in so many ways.
9. When you are not traveling, what are your hobbies?
Blogging, if you want to consider it a hobby since it's not my "regular" job. I squeeze it in whenever time allows. I also love to write whether it's in my daily journal or working on a novel.
10. Why did you start blogging?
see question 6 of Andi on Adventure
11. What is your next travel destination?
We're deciding between Niagara Falls and Colonial Williamsburg.
11 Random Facts about me:
- I've been giving piano lessons for 30 years.
- I'm an only child.
- I have 2 kids, Charlie who is 15, and my daughter, Jodi, who just turned 13. Two teenagers. Look out! :)
- I love going to concerts. Went to see Donny Osmond on March 12. Will be seeing Rick Springfield August 19. Still like them both after all these years.
- Parker Stevenson from The Hardy Boys, Baywatch, North and South, and more, is the bees knees for kicking off this website with a great interview about travel and his fine art photography
- We have a chihuahua/yorkie (we think) named Holly.
- I've been writing the great American romance novel for a few years now. One of these days I hope to finish it.
- I like watching good old TV shows like MacGyver, JAG, and MASH.
- My love of travel came from my Aunt Rosella who made an around-the-world trip in 1966 and many other trips since then.
- Where I have free time (what's that? LOL) I like to cross-stitch and paint ceramics.
- I don't like to fly but had to take 15 flights to get to and from and around Australia and New Zealand.
- Thank blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog
- Answer the 11 questions
- Nominate 6 -11 others
- Create a new list of 11 questions for your nominees
- Choose your own nominees and inform them
11 Questions to be answered:
What is the best food you've ever had and where?
What is your favorite mode of travel and why?
Name a place you've traveled that has surprised you and exceeded your expectations.
What is the funniest thing that has happened to you in your travels?
What is the most friendly country you have ever visited? How did the people make you feel welcome?
What is the most profound experience you have had with a local in any country you've visited?
What is the most interesting historical fact you have learned in your travels and what country or city was it about?
Is travel something you've always wanted to do since you were young or did the travel bug bite later in life? What was your favorite childhood vacation?
What photography tips could you give for taking great travel photos?
What do you hope people will learn about the world by reading your blog?
Thanks once again to Andi on Adventure and Blue Planet Nomads for nominating me for this award!