I have very kindly been nominated for an award!! Many thanks to the lovely Kate at World’s Not Waiting for nominating me, and I truly urge you to check out her blog – I would even if she hadn’t nominated me for this, as it’s a great read which really resonates with me. Kate is a travel lover who has overcome being an introvert and suffering with social anxiety in order to pursue her travel dreams, and is most definitely an inspiration to us all. She’s also a thoroughly warm and lovely person. Thanks, Kate!
As per the rules, I have some psyche-exposing questions to answer, and Kate has come up with some rather marvellous ones. Here we go!
1. Who/what inspires you to travel this world?
As for the what, I’m not sure (good start to the questions, huh?) as I think I’ve always had an urge to travel, and see things and experience things that are not part of my everyday life, but which are the everyday life of someone else in another land. I find that both fascinating and educational: I think that seeing through the eyes of someone else truly opens your own mind. As for the who, I think my aunt has certainly been an inspiration. She’s always been a traveller, and when I used to visit her as a child, I’d love her house which was filled with souvenirs of her travels. My uncle wasn’t keen on travel, so she’d do it by herself. And she’d give me some small knick-knacks – I still have toy koalas from Australia. metal bookmarks from Singapore, and glass ornaments from Hong Kong, all in perfect condition. And she’s still travelling now – she’s in her eighties, and not slowing down in the slightest!
2. What is the best memory you have whilst travelling?
It’s unconventional, but I’m going to say Cincinnati Airport. No, really. As I wrote in a previous blog post , flying to Cincinnati on my way to Omaha was a big deal for me at the time – it was by far the longest flight I’d been on, and the first I’d taken by myself. Getting off the plane at Cincinnati Airport and seeing the American flag in the customs hall felt like a massive achievement, the fulfilment of something I hadn’t been sure I’d be able to do. I remember grinning like an absolute loon at the security officers, who probably got immediately suspicious of me. I floated around all the shops during my layover, feeling high on a sense of having achieved a goal. It was utterly bizarre, but it felt remarkably good!
3. What is the scariest thing you have experienced whilst travelling?
I’ve mentioned it a few times before, but it still has to be coming far too close to a terror attack in London this year. My boyfriend and I left Borough Market and crossed over London Bridge only a couple of hours before the attack there. It’s still not something I can fully write about, but it’s getting easier.
4. Name the top 3 most beautiful beaches you have visited
I admit, I’m not much of a beach person – I much prefer going for walks rather than spending time on a beach, so I tend not to seek them out. But the title of most beautiful probably goes to the Marina Piccola in Capri. I don’t think there’s a single spot in Capri which isn’t utterly gorgeous, but this is an absolute jewel. I’m travelling back to the area in just under two weeks (squee!!), so I’ll rise to the challenge of trying to find somewhere that can beat it!
Another that comes to mind is Praia Galé in Portugal – although located in an area popular with tourists, this one often gets overlooked, and you can have a good expanse of soft sand, and deep, deep blue sea and sky all to yourself. It also looks absolutely stunning at sunset!
5. Would you rather explore the deep ocean or outer space?
The ocean; I love being in water, though I’m still plucking up the courage to learn to dive! I’m definitely a water person: I’m that one person who goes on a boat, and cackles in delight when the weather is rough and the waves are fierce, usually shouting “faster, faster!”. Though space has its appeal too – the thought of discovering new planets is rather wonderful. Though I’m pretty terrible at quelling my nerves about airplanes, so spaceships might be a little too much for me.
6. If you had to pick one country to live in (not your own) for a year, which country would you pick and why?
Italy. Without a doubt. And it’s something I’ve already considered, though I suspect Brexit might make that dream rather more difficult to achieve. I just clicked with Italy the first time I went there on a trip to Rome; it feels like home to me. It feels far more like home than Britain does. And since then, I’ve taught myself the (beautiful!) language, so it’s somewhere I’d be happy, comfortable, and able to fit in a bit without expecting everyone else to accommodate for me.
7. What is the luckiest thing to have happened to you whilst travelling?
I’d definitely say the people I’ve met. I’ve met so many lovely people everywhere I’ve been, and especially in Italy, where I’ll be visiting a few friends soon! Maybe that doesn’t fit our usual definition of luck, like finding money in the street, but I definitely think it counts. I’ll take the people I’ve met over money in the street any day.
8. Which travel destination most exceeded your expectations?
Malta. It’s a gorgeous place, though scarred by periods of history, and filled to the brim with hidden gems and historic sites. Valetta is a gorgeous, ancient fort of a city, all sand-coloured buildings interspersed with splashes of outrageous colour. Mdina and Rabat are must sees, one of Europe’s best examples of a medieval walled city, twisting alleys taking you through history. Traditional fishing villages such as Marsaxlokk (no, that isn’t a typo) sell fish fresh out of the sea, whilst the luzzu boats bob up and down. And I’ve not even started on the neighbouring island of Gozo. It’s far, far more than just a tourist destination.
9. Beach or mountains? Why?
Mountains. I’ve lived all of my life in a small town by the sea in southern England, and as much as I love the seas, it’s a pretty commonplace sight for me. Mountains, however, are very unfamiliar and exciting to me! I loved the Rockies in Colorado; that’s somewhere I definitely want to go back to, and explore some more.
10. Why did you decide to start a blog?
Basically, to inspire others into travelling more and leaving the anxiety behind, and to inspire myself. Writing this blog constantly pushes me into doing and considering more travel – which I’m more than happy with! – and helps me to focus on the travel, not the anxiety. Plus I’m meeting thoroughly nice fellow bloggers!
So, there’s my answers! Time to nominate some bloggers and set you some fiendish questions, muwahahaha. So…
… I choose you!!
your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to answer the following:
1. Where is your favourite place in the world?
2. What’s your funniest travel story?
3. What would you say is your biggest accomplishment?
4. What makes you happiest?
5. Who is your role model?
6. How many countries have you visited so far?
7. What’s the best thing about the area where you live?
8. What makes you nervous? Any phobias?
9. What can’t you live without?
10. The important one – cats or dogs?
Thank you all for reading; have a lovely day! 🙂