Sunshine Blogger Award
Credit: A Lot of World to See.

A couple of weeks back, Elisabeth (or “Liz”) from A Lot of World to See nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award, which I’m honored to accept! A fellow TAPIFer, Liz is nothing short but amazing on her blog, filled with travels, teaching, and musings while trying to make it through the intricacies (bureaucratic and cultural) of French society. She also was recently hired for a job in Germany after the program ends, which is so exciting! I wish her nothing but the best for her future in Europe.

This is my second “Sunshine Blogger Award” that I’m accepting (the previous one from Rosie of La Grenouille Anglaise back in November), but all the same, I really enjoy these kinds of posts since not only do they bring all sorts of bloggers together, but also gives me a reason to let you know a bit more of myself. Thank you, Liz, for the nomination, and with that, let’s get to the rules and questions!

The Rules

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers by other bloggers who are creative, positive, and inspiring. Once nominated, a blogger is required to write a post in which they

1. Thank the blogger for nominating them and link back to their blog

2. Answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you

3. Nominate eleven other blogs and give them eleven questions to answer

4. Notify your nominees

5. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

The Questions

1. What is your favourite travel quote? 

My favorite quote is “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes” – Marcel Proust. It’s been my favorite quote for a long time, and I love how it’s about travel from the perspective of learning and growing, rather than just visiting a place for the sake of visiting it.

2. How far in advance do you plan your trips? Share some of your tools and tips for travel planning.

I usually plan my longer trips (e.g. 1-2 weeks) at least six weeks in advance. With weekend getaways, at least two weeks beforehand. I like planning early, since then that gives more choices on which hostels/flights/sites I can see, as well as pay for less!

Having traveled all over, I’ve accumulated a wealth of tools and tips for budget traveling. I plan to write a post on it in more detail, but for this post, I would say the essential things to consider for travel planning are to 1) look early, 2) compare prices, and 3) pack lightly.

3. Is there a kind of place that you always check out while travelling?

Just like Liz, I’m a sucker when it comes to good city views; I would climb those stairs, hike that hill, even scale a mountain to see the place from afar. The fact that I have to work hard to get it makes it all the more desirable and in the end, it’s very much worth it.

4. What sense (sight, taste, etc.) do you value most while travelling?

Sight, for sure. Taste comes a close second, but not all places which I’ve been to have a distinctive cuisine to call their own. I’m all about good architecture and landscapes, which can be well-preserved through photos for memories.

5. What blog-related issues frustrate you the most?

The amount of spam in my Comments section. I actually have my account set up to make sure that it gets moderated beforehand, but if a lot of spam gets through, then it’s such a pain to manual filter through all of them. One day hopefully there will be a way to filter through spam and delete them immediately, so that I don’t have to deal with it!

6. Your next trip will be to…?

Dijon for the weekend, Poland for the April vacances. Never been to either, but I’m really looking forward!

7. What makes your blog unique and what makes you proud of it?

Besides writing about my personal travel experiences, I also try to write travel-related poetry, inspired by the places I’ve been to so far. Whereas my destination posts recount what literally happened, my poems describe them figuratively. They’re more accurate when it comes to giving off the essence of how I felt when in those places, and having studied/written poetry back in college, it’s great to keep it up!

Although I haven’t posted any recently, I have plenty to share. I hope to do so in the near future.

8. What has been your most successful blogpost to date and what has been your favourite blogpost to write?

Most successful blog post I’ve written was “My Bucket List for Europe” back in November 2016 (almost 70 likes and 30+ comments). Can’t think of a favorite one, since I’ve put a lot of time and effort into them (and love them all)!

9. Which country do you call home? Why people should visit it?

I don’t think I can consider any other country home besides my own home country, the United States. Granted, I’ve lived in other countries (France, Taiwan) for some time, but deep down, I feel American through and through.

Despite its problems, the United States is worth visiting for its incredible diversity, probably one of the most diverse nations out there in terms of culture, food, and things to see. From the beautifully-preserved national forests and canyons to the lively, urban cities, the United States can satisfy any type of traveler’s way of traveling, if you know what I mean.

10. Is blogging your full-time job? If so, what does “free time” mean for you?

By no means is blogging my full-time job. It’s a dream, though!

11. Are you happy?

For the most part, yes. There will always be ups and downs, but taking it day-by-day and promising oneself that tomorrow will be better is the best way to go about dealing with it.

The Nominees

Being a rebel here and not nominating anyone in particular for this award. Instead, anyone who wishes to answer the questions I ask below are free to do so in the Comments. Help spread the love!

My Questions for You

1. Are you more of a saver or a spender (of money)?

2. If you could be a citizen of any country (besides your own), who would you be and why?

3. Do you think that there’s a purpose to life? If so, what is it?

4. What are some things you do to survive a long-haul flight?

5. Favorite food you’ve tried while traveling?

6. If you’re currently traveling/abroad, what is one thing you miss from home?

7. How do you budget travel?

8. What are three things you always pack for your travels?

9. Traveling alone or traveling with others?

10. What are three places you want to visit before you die?

11. If you were given a one-way ticket to anywhere, where would you go and why?


— Rebecca