“It doesn’t matter how many times you win an award, it is always very special.” – Zinedine Zidane
What’s a Liebster Award?
The Liebster Award is basically a peer award that’s given to bloggers by one another to provide new bloggers some deserving recognition and exposure to the blogosphere. Moreover, it allows bloggers an opportunity to network with each other and create new relationships. It’ a win-win for everybody.
The award requires you to answer 11 questions by the person that nominated you and in turn you pass on the fun to other bloggers with your own set of 11 questions. There’s no hard and fast rules that I can see, but loosely, nominees are meant to do the following:
- Mention/thank the blogger who nominated you.
- Explain the rules.
- Answer the 11 questions presented.
- Nominate 5-11 new bloggers
- Pose 11 questions of your own.
- Notify bloggers that they have been nominated.
If I’ve nominated you, my list of 11 questions for you is listed at the end of the post.
Thanks to Christina from Hello Guanster and Heidi from Hobo in High Heels for nominating me. It’s always nice to get some recognition especially when it’s from your peers. Since a number of their questions were duplicates, I combined their questions to get a list of 15 questions that I have to answer.
Being a bit of an introvert, knowing that my answers would be posted to the world on the internet had me feeling like my pants were at my ankles. Here’s to having my pants pulled down around my ankles!
1. What is your ultimate guilty pleasure?
My ultimate guilty pleasure would have to be potato chips. I avoid eating them as I don’t really have an “off” switch once I start eating them. I’ve been known to eat a couple of jumbo bags with a tub of dip and consider it a meal. I sometimes substitute potato chips for crackers when I eat soup. A side note: Whenever possible, I eat my potato chips with chopsticks. Perhaps a bit eccentric, but I just don’t like getting my fingers greasy.
Admittedly, during the writing of this post, I succumbed to a couple bags of potato chips. Thailand has such peculiar flavours; I just had to give it a try!
2. If you could be any animal, what animal would you choose to be?
Ah…the renowned animal question. After going through a bunch of animals in my mind like a Wheel of Fortune, I think I’d like to be a donkey. I’ve lived most of my life thinking I knew the answers to most things. I tend to over think virtually every aspect of my life. While travelling through Thailand, many Thai people say to me:
“Why do you think so much? I can see it in your face.”
Donkeys are known to be friendly, playful, and eager to learn. I’ve lost much of the last two traits somewhere between my tyke years and adulthood. So the idea of living my life like an Ass really appeals to me.
3. What is one of your most embarrassing moments?
My previous statement of “pants pulled down around my ankles” for me is not only metaphorical but literal. A prank joke pulled on me in public. I haven’t finished answering all these questions yet, so I can’t say if my “pants around my ankles” in the figurative or the literal sense is more embarrassing. But right now, it’s a close horse race.
4. What is your favourite off-the-beaten path travel destination?
I haven’t ventured into the bush or off-the-grid type places, but I love visiting my ancestral roots in Kaiping (Hoiping), China. I was lucky enough to celebrate Chinese New Year there this year. Few western tourists visit Kaiping but that’s slowly changing. I do have the advantage that I can speak the local dialect. The charm of the locals and energy of the region is distinctly different from any other part of China that I’ve been to.
5. What is one thing that you love to nerd out about?
I have a weakness for electronic gadgets. From smartphones to appliances, I can easily spend reams of hours researching and talking about the newest and coolest gadgets available.
6. Tell me about one of the best meals you’ve ever had!
I love hot pot! It’s like blue collar fondue. Hot pot consists of a large communal pot of simmering broth which is used to cook a variety of foods such as sliced meats, seafood, vegetables and noodles. Each Asian country has their own versions of hot pot. However, the best hot pot I’ve ever had was in Hoiping (Kaiping), China.
When I eat hot pot back in Canada, I use a variety of condiments and sauces at the restaurant. When I asked for condiments at the restaurant in Hoiping, the server said to me in a puzzled look:
“Why do you need sauces, the flavour from the broth cooks so well into the food?”
She was right, I was just bastardizing my food by adding condiments to the hot pot meal.
7. What is your favourite thing about travelling?
When I’m travelling, I feel closer to who I really am and want to be. I wish I was self-actualized enough to say that I’m the same person back home as when I’m abroad. I leave the Clark Kent in me back home when I board that plane; when I land, I take off those glasses and see the world through a new set of eyes.
8. What is the best thing anyone has said about your blog?
The best and most flattering thing that people have said about my blog is that they are emotionally moved by my writing as if they are alongside me. A good photographer does the same to me in their photos. I’m touched that my writing has been able to move some of my readers in such a manner.
9. I’m giving you a free plane ticket ANYWHERE in the world. Where would you choose to go?
At this point and time, I’d go to South America. Perhaps it’s all the episodes of Ancient Aliens that I’ve watched, but I’ve always wanted to see Machu Picchu and have been intrigued with Easter Island and the Mayan ruins.
10. What is your coolest travel story?
I was fortunate enough to have had the privilege of travelling back to China with my parents and visiting their childhood homes in the village of Chikan. Visiting my ancestral roots was a life changing experience that could not have been achieved through reading a history book. I found a part of myself there that I never knew existed.
11. What does a normal day in your life look like?
Currently, I’m staying in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It’s difficult writing about my travels when I was constantly on the move. I felt a bit burnt out from the first couple months of travel and felt the need to settle down. Most days, when not procrastinating, I spend working on my blog and trying to catch up on my writing.
I wake up in the morning intending to go for a run, but lately it’s feels like 30 degrees Celius at 8:00 am, so I just go back to bed. Lately, my days consist of catching up on my writing and meandering around the local neighbourhood. So currently, I’m basically a bum.
12. What are three things on your bucket list?
I’m not really a bucket list guy, but in the spirit of the Liebster, my 3 bucket items include the following:
For the foodie and traveller in me:
- Eat a bowl of Pho in Vietnam
For the sports fan and degenerate gambler in me:
- Be at Churchill Downs to place a bet and watch The Kentucky Derby
For the inner hippie in me:
- Attend Burning Man in the Nevada desert
13. What is your least favorite travel destination?
My least favorite travel destination would be Sri Lanka. In 2012, I spent almost a month in the commercial capital of Colombo city working on a new start-up. I experienced the worst case of traveller’s diarrhea in my life, leaving me pale faced and weak in the knees. The city seemed to go to sleep at around 8:00 pm leaving the casinos as my main source of nightlife. However, the up side was that the casinos offered a free buffet dinner nightly to all the gambling patrons.
In all fairness, I was in a “business” mind set. If I were more accepting and open minded as I was during my recent travels in India, I’m sure my experience would’ve been different. If I had gotten to leave Colombo and had the opportunity to explore what else the country had to offer, my experience would likely be different.
14. What place have you always dreamed of visiting?
Japan has always been a country that I’ve wanted to visit. I was there briefly with my family when I was 6 years old but I remember nothing of the country. It’s a place that’s intrigued me on so many levels and I’d love a chance to visit again as an adult.
15. What makes you happy?
Having the opportunity and ability to make others happy.
Now, I’m going to pay it forward and nominate the following bloggers to do the same and answer my 11 questions.
- Linda from Linda And The People
- Annie and Ben from Sell Up Go Travel
- Aleksei from Become A Traveller
- Charlotte from Southeastern Promises
- Nikita from Life In Transience
- Becky from Backpack Becky
- Alexa from She Tells Travel Tales
- Reka (Awesome 13 yr old blogger!) from Dreamtime Traveler
My 11 questions for you are:
- What is your ultimate guilty pleasure?
- What is the most dangerous place (or situation) that you’ve been to while traveling?
- What’s your most favourite travel hack?
- If you could give one piece of advice to the 16 year old version of you, what would it be?
- What is the one thing that you love to nerd out about?
- What place have you travelled to that’s had the greatest impact on you, and why?
- What is your least favourite travel destination?
- What’s the best street food eaten on your travels? If you don’t eat street food, what was the best meal experience in your travels?
- What place have you always dreamed of visiting?
- What is the best thing anyone has said about your blog?
- Where do you call home and what do you enjoy most about being there?
I look forward to reading all your answers!
“This award is meaningful because it comes from my fellow dealers in celluloid.” – Alfred Hitchcock