The month of August was an utter and complete whirlwind. I’m back in LALA Land, but still whirling from the constant moving that did not stop for a month. There was packing to get out of my apartment, schlepping to Joshy’s apartment, too many emotions, and then the final schlepp to the airport which took even more out of me. Now that I’m back home, I’m suffering from major Korea withdrawals and being that emotional basket case who cries at lunch from this stupid empty feeling. Not to mention, the anxiety is mounting as my impending move date to Madrid grows nearer. I feel this ridiculous sadness as I mourn the loss of Korea, and an I-don’t-even-know what the feeling is, of moving to yet another continent with one checked bag and less than stellar Spanish in 20 days and counting. Needless to say, I’m a mumbo jumbo of so many feels and it’s stressing me out.
But, in the midst of my swirly twirly typhoon, I got nominated for a lovely Liebster Award by Courtney of Adelante! I stumbled upon Courtney’s blog when I began researching and getting hardcore legit with my move to Spain. She was featured on another blog by a past Koreana turned Spanish lass who did a low down on all of the different teaching programs in Spain. It was a natural progression to follow along with her on her journey, and not to mention, admire her stunning photography. So, thank you mucho for the nomination, I am honored and hope we can meet soon enough in España!
What is a Liebster Award, you ask?
Well, I actually had to refer to the internet because I’ve heard about it, but wasn’t quite completely in the know myself. The internet is a wealth of knowledge, in case you were curious. Essentially, the Liebster is an award awarded to bloggers by other bloggers, and in German means something along the lines of “dearest”, “beloved” and “sweetest”. It’s a bit like a chain letter, in that once you receive the award you’ve got to pass it on to other bloggers who you enjoy! Or, you can just bask in the honor and carry on with your life relishing in your adoration.
It wouldn’t be a chain letter award without rules, now would it? No one will die though if you don’t pass it on in 8453845 seconds.
- Acknowledge the blogger who nominated you
- Answer their 10 questions for you
- Nominate 5-10 blogs that you think deserve the award
- Create a set of 10 new questions for them to answer
- Notify your nominees!
So now, without further adieu:
Back to Korea, just to pop in, and then I think India. I want to go to India so badly and it’s tippy top of my list. I’m so ready to get down and dirty with my feels and frustrations in a pit of filth. The filth part is an exaggeration, as I obviously would prefer cleanliness.
2. Out of all the places you’ve traveled to, which country had the best cuisine? Which had the worst?
I’m extremely biased to Korean food, because let’s face it, I’ve become so Asian since spending the last 3 years there and it’ll always hold a special place on my palate. I think it goes without saying that Korean food is my favorite foreign cuisine, but I’m going to disqualify it because I spent the most time there. Of everywhere else I’ve traveled I’ll say Vietnam because pho, vermicelli, banh mi, spring rolls, and endless Vietnamese coffee, which is the best cup o’ joe on the planet. The worst was definitely Laos. Maybe Steph and I just consistently frequented the wrong haunts, but while beef jerky is delicious, it does not a dinner make. Nor does slosh that tastes like forest.
3. If you could live in one city anywhere in the world for the rest of your life, where would you live?
Florence, no questions asked. Both times I’ve been there I just wandered and got lost and got lost again. It is my favorite city in the world and I adore it to death, even if Papa Schaeff did get pick-pocketed by a coupla gypsies slangin scarves while we were strolling through Ponte Vecchio.
4. Is there a city or country that some people are crazy about, but you’re not interested in visiting?
Malaysia. It is the one country, particularly in Asia, that I have zero desire to visit. I’ve had a layover in Kuala Lumpur and couldn’t stand the airport. But I can say that about Shanghai’s Pudong Airport too, but I still want to go there. I also don’t like the name. I know that sounds silly, but I don’t like the sound of it and maybe that has some influence on why I don’t want to go there. Kinda like how I don’t like pork because I hate the color of it. I’m weird, I know.
5. Do you have a go-to playlist for long-haul flights? If so, what does it include?
I don’t really have any playlists on my phone, I think I’m weird like that. I usually just shuffle my songs, end up skipping past a bunch I don’t want to listen to and then go into my songs to find the one I want when shuffling proves too annoying. I’m a little ADD in that sense. However, there are a few songs that always get my travel bug bouncing, and that actually really made me pull the trigger to move abroad.
The first is Boston by Augustana. My favorite lyric comes from this song, and it’s the song I always equate with inspiring me to leave America. It’s a bit sad, but also happy in a backwards way, at least to me. The second is Dog Days are Over by Florence & the Machine. Token cliché because it’s from Eat, Pray, Love, but the words really resonate and the movie came out during the time I was applying to move to Korea, so it’s got lots of sentimental value. And last is Gypsy by Lady Gaga. This song pumps me up, and also makes me nostalgic for everywhere I’ve been and everywhere I want to go and all the people I love near and far.
6. What are three things that you can’t travel without?
A notebook, my phone which doubles as my camera (I know, I need to get a good honker already, I’ve just been a slacker), and medicine. I usually bring a little baggy of American drugs that I know I may need, usually containing some kind of stomach aide and something for feminine issues because shit gets real when you visit moist destinations. Apologies.
7. What’s your biggest pet peeve on airplanes?
Mostly just my restless leg syndrome because it takes me forever to get comfortable and I move around a lot, so I think I annoy myself maybe more than others. Oh, and people kicking my seat. Or having a middle seat. Or a more specific travel time when the flight attendant was so rude to me when I told her I didn’t eat pork and they gave away the last chicken dish (when I had specified that I don’t eat that), and she told me that I would have to deal because that was all they had left. I’m sorry. You gave my food away, make it happen. I’m flying 12 hours and hungry and paid an arm and a leg and I want to eat! This of course has only happened on American carriers.
8. What foreign language do you wish you could speak?
Since I’m going to Spain, I wish my Spanish was a million times better, though I’m hoping it’ll rush to the front of my brain ASAP. Other than that, I wish I could speak Hebrew. I used to be able to read it like a wizard, so I’d like to think that muscle memory will return if I study. I’d also like to expand my vocabulary beyond prayers and whore. Israel is on the bucket list of living, so perhaps I’ll have the chance for some progress.
9. What is your favorite movie about travel?
Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Midnight in Paris, which I guess is more arty, but has the travel and getting lost in a city element. But definitely Vicky Cristina Barcelona. I’ve seen the movie a million times, and every time I watch it I totally relate to Cristina on the getting lost in a city and culture aspect, and the added cherry on top of getting swept away by a local. It’s so whimsical and always makes me want to teleport to Europe right then.
10. What’s one destination that you are dying to get back to?
That’s a toughy because I’ve got a handful of places I’d like to hit up again. Though I’ll give Greece this one since I went in an October when it was the end of the season on the islands. They felt a bit ghost-towny, but still beautiful. I’d definitely like to return during the high season to see what the real fuss is all about. I’ve also got a reason to return since I’ll have a local Grecian tour guide who will double as the best reunion ever!
That wasn’t too bad! Now to nominate my nominees. I actually had a couple I’d like to nominate but know they’ve already been awarded. I’m not sure what the rule on that is, aside from maybe the chain breaking or them being annoyed. I don’t know! I’ll just do it because I want to and they can break it if they want to. Afterall, this is about telling other bloggers that you love them!
1. Tom of Waegook Tom. This guy CRACKS ME UP with every post. I think he’s my favorite blogger on the interwebs. I die every time. I also know you’ve been nominated because I read every post, but I guess I’m just nominating you to tell you that I love you.
2. Meagan of Life Outside of Texas. Meagan’s blog was one of the first that I stumbled upon when I was applying to come to Korea, and even though we’ve never met, we’ve virtual-talked about cool places all over Korea, and she was the inspiration for many places I visited or want to visit in Korea. Not to mention, she totally got me connected to other K-Town bloggers.
3. Nathan of Open Road Before Me. While I don’t enjoy hiking to save my life, and Nathan does tons of that, I always love reading his posts because he’s such a wonderful storyteller and paints the greatest visuals when he writes.
4. Joella of This Beijing Life. I never really had a desire to go to China, but Joella’s blog was one of the things that made China become a blip on my radar.
5. Ryan & Stephanie of Hedger’s Abroad. They always post stunning photos, and a bunch of places that I’ve traveled to in Korea and beyond were inspired by reading their tales. They’re also a super cute couple that enjoys traveling together, and I dig that.
1. What’s your most embarrassing travel story?
2. What’s the weirdest food you’ve tried?
3. What’s the worst experience you’ve ever had while traveling?
4. What song without fail will always pump you up?
5. Who was someone you met on your travels that really left a lasting impression on you?
6. How old were you when you got bit by the travel bug? Where did you go?
7. What’s the funniest place you’ve ever visited?
8. What is your preferred method of transport? Air, land or sea?
9. Have you ever gotten super sick while traveling?
10. Do you have a favorite photo from your travels?
Good luck guys! Sorry if you’ve already received the honors, but now you’re just doubly special! And once again, thank you Courtney!