I looked in my Facebook inbox on Saturday and noticed a new notification. Erin from the amazing Wonderlost Travels nominated me for the Liebster award. Cue applause. Thank you, thank you very much (read in an Elvis voice). Erin writes extraordinarily useful information on her website from creative ways to save for travel to tripping planning for a Europe visit. I also admire the fact that her bucket list features a trip to the moon. You go, girl. So, a very large thank you to Erin.
What is the Liebster award, you ask? It’s kind of like a chain mail. You get nominated for the award and should you choose to accept your nomination (I do, I do!), you get to nominate some of your favourite travel bloggers as well. But first, you have to answer an interview of eleven questions from the nominator and come up with your own set of eleven questions. This should be fun! Are you ready?
How long have you been blogging? I’ve been blogging on Passport to Eden for the past four months. I know that is a really short time in the blogosphere, and I’m still reeling from the response I’m getting.
What inspired you to start your blog? Growing up, I was an avid reader. So naturally, there was this lingering need to see first-hand all the places that words on pages had brought to life. But, I always considered these impossible dreams. Soon, my love of reading grew into a love of writing, and my mother, who was and continues to be a huge fan of my writing, encouraged me to start blogging as well. I didn’t want to for the longest time. I thought that I would be wasting my time because nobody would read what I had to say. Then, when I was exploring the Alamo in San Antonio, I couldn’t help but think that this is a place that needs to be written about, whether anybody reads this or not. So lesson learned, mother knows best. Thanks, mum.
What is your favorite travel experience to date? I can’t say that I have any one favourite travel experience. I think that no experience is the same and hence each one has helped me grow in a different way. If I come out of a new place, having learned something about myself, I typically mark it as a favourite experience.
What is your most embarrassing travel story? I would love to say that I’m an extraordinarily graceful person who handles all situations with poise. That would be a lie. I have been in several equally laugh-worthy embarrassing situations whilst travelling, so I’ll just go with the most recent anecdote. I was strolling casually in the River Walk mall in San Antonio last September and one of the salesman looked at me and started randomly breaking out into a song. At first, I thought this was some weird marketing gimmick. It wasn’t until he started dancing in the middle of the mall that I freaked. Everyone was staring with the same blank expression that read what-in-the-world-did-you-do-to-him. I stopped, paused, and listened. He was definitely not singing in English. I kept walking by as quickly as I could, when he yelled, “How is my Hindi? Is it good? I sometimes watch Bollywood.” Hindi? I couldn’t recognize a language that I was fairly accustomed to the sound of. How embarrassing. My cheeks turned as red as a firetruck. Later, the lyrics of his song clicked in my head – Jai Ho from Oscar award-winning Slumdog Millionaire. How could I have missed that?
Why do you think it is important to travel? Travel definitely pushes people beyond their limits. Whether you are travelling in a group or solo, there is always something to learn. There are so many lessons hidden throughout travel and should we choose to learn from those lessons, we will all become richer in knowledge and appreciation. Travel is powerful that way.
Who do you enjoy traveling with? I adore travelling with my parents. My mother loves exploring off-beaten paths and my dad enjoys the traditional, tried and tested tourist spots. So lucky for me, when I make an itinerary for all of us, I stew a mix of both, which happens to be my travelling style.
What is your favorite or most exotic food that you’ve tried? Hold your stomach for this. I’ve eaten everything from steamed octopus tentacles to bean flavoured ice cream. But if I could conjure my dream exotic meal from everything I’ve eaten it would be: rice and peas served with fried plantains, goat liver, and callaloo. For dessert, I’d have a mango lassi, which even poor Andrew Zimmern couldn’t stomach with happiness (but hey, I enjoy it).
What do you enjoy doing besides traveling? I enjoy coding (this probably makes me sound super-nerdy) and learning new programming languages. I’m really into website development right now. I also love reading and writing. I’m currently reading Fountainhead by Ayn Rand and writing a few more posts for this blog!
What is your preferred method of transportation? (Train, bus, plane, bike, etc) I think walking is a great way to see a place, get some exercise, and save money. I try to walk as much as possible when I travel. I enjoy planes probably more than I should. Sure, the seats aren’t the most comfortable in the world, but it is several hours of ample solitude (most of the time). Trains are an amazing way to see rolling landscapes. The sound of the wheels against the tracks is so syncopated that it bothers me slightly, but I love the ride and watching the scenery skate by enough to overcome that.
What is your favorite song? I have too many songs in the favourite song position to count, but I’ll try. I’m obsessed with movie scores. I’m a huge fan of anything by John Williams, but Time by Hans Zimmer and Meadow by Alexandre Desplat have also won my heart. I grew up in Kingston, Jamaica, so reggae music is a genre that I end up listening to a lot, anything by Bob Marley and Aaron Silk are my favourite songs. And finally, anything produced by Tenth Avenue North is automatically a favourite.
Do you wish you could (or do you already) travel full time? I don’t travel full-time because I’m a full-time student. I wish I could, but I say that with extreme caution. I never want to travel full-time and feel that is my 9-5 job. Then, I will just fall out of love with travel and I don’t want to lose my crush on the world. Some things are just too precious.
Now, I get to come up with my own set of questions. I’m very excited to see the responses.
- How long have you been travelling?
- What sparked your initial interest in travelling?
- What is your craziest travel experience to date?
- What is one thing that you can’t travel without?
- Who is your favourite author?
- If you could visit any place right now, where would it be?
- What is your favourite restaurant?
- Do you prefer to travel solo or in a group? Or is there a special someone who you travel with?
- I believe that travel is about challenging yourself, what was the most challenging place that you’ve travelled to?
- What is your favourite movie for sparking wanderlust?
- And last, but not the least, why do you love travel?
Congratulations to all you amazing chicas!