So thrilled to say I have been nominated for a Liebster Award by Danielle from Gallivanting the Globe!!

The Liebster Award’s purpose is to help promote small or new blogs who have not yet gained a huge following or a large amount of recognition within the blogging community. Not yet anyway!

As part of being a nominee for this award, I’ve answered the following questions provided to me by Danielle. I hope you all enjoy reading and can gain something from my answers!

Tell us 11 fun facts about yourself.

1. I have 6 tattoos. 1 is the Deathly Hallows symbol from Harry Potter, 1 is a Lord of the Rings quote, and another I want to get covered up. Because it cost me 40 English Pounds when I should of been paying £100 more than that. Need I say more!!

2. I want to learn how to hoop dance and/or dance with a flow wand. Because it looks amazing!!

3. I want to become a certified yoga teacher and massage therapist.

4. I have a degree in Journalism.

5. I want to learn Spanish. Travelling and meeting people from other countries who can speak three or four languages fluently makes me realise how bad it is I can only speak my native English, and even then I don’t always speak it well!

6. I’m not always amazing at making food, but I make an incredible cheesecake. It may be the best cheesecake you will ever try.

7. I’m a hippy at heart and I’m into astrology, crystal healing and tarot reading, much to my boyfriends dismay! I don’t take it all literally but it interests me so much. I’ve always been into the more magical aspects of life.

8. Since I’ve been away I’ve worked as a waitress, a charity fundraiser, a food server in a Vietnamese restaurant, and now, as a fruit picker. It’s such a random collection of jobs that I never thought I would do in a million years, but all of them have added something of value to my life beyond money and have taught me a lot about hard work. Once upon a time I would of laughed at the idea of picking berries for a living but now I’m quite happy with it. It’s definitely taught me to take my ego down a notch!

9. I’ve been vegetarian for 8 years. I’ve toyed with the idea of going vegan but think I would miss cheese too much. When I do buy animal products I always try to go for sustainable, ethical choices.

10. Despite the fact I’ve travelled to so many incredible places, my favourite place ever is still Glastonbury Festival when it is on. It’s the most magical festival I’ve ever been to and think everyone should try to go to Glasto once in their life!

11. I’m a typical Brit in that I can’t survive without a good cup of tea!

Glastonbury 2014

Glastonbury 2014

 

What’s the longest single vacation you’ve taken or would like to take?

It depends if you count what I’m currently doing as a vacation!! I’ve been away from home for nearly a year. I am on a working holiday visa in Australia, so technically I’m on holiday, but I’m also currently waking up at 5am every day to pick raspberries on a farm for not very much money, so it definitely doesn’t always feel like vacation. I’ve worked a lot whilst I’ve been here. So, in that respect, the longest vacation would be the time I spent in Asia, prior to coming to Australia, which was about 4 months of simply backpacking around the region.

What are your favourite airlines or third-party sites for finding cheap flights?

I use Skyscanner all the time. It’s probably the most popular third-party website for finding cheap flights, but I love it.

As for airlines, I’m hardly a frequent flyer, but from my own experience, I do love Virgin Atlantic, and I really enjoyed my flight with Jet Airways, which is an Indian airline. Their the only airline I’ve been with where I actually loved the food provided! It was a vegetarian curry and was delicious.

Have you ever had a memorable surprise that totally changed your trip for the better? Tell us about it!

It wasn’t really a surprise because I knew it was going to happen, but meeting my boyfriend in Sydney airport after four months was definitely memorable and has completely changed my travelling experience in the most wonderful ways. I had been away travelling South East Asia solo whilst Chris was at home working hard to save up money. We met two days before Christmas and since then have been travelling Australia together. Its definitely added a totally new dynamic to my trip to travel with a boyfriend.

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What was the worst trip you had? What did you or could you have done to salvage it?

All of the trips I’ve taken in my life have been wonderful, but the one that springs to mind is Gambia, only because I was so ill! I went to Gambia for a week with my parents when I was 17. It’s a nice country, and I did enjoy it, but sadly the entire week I felt sick. I guess the only way I could of salvaged it would have been to be extra cautious with the food I ate and the water I drank!

If you could go back 5 years, what would you tell yourself?

Wow, what a question! 5 years ago I was 18 years old, living at home, learning to drive, and preparing to head off to university. I was basically a different person back then. I’d probably tell myself this. I’d tell myself to not worry, to keep my head up, and to carry on being me because it would all work out, and I would grow into a woman who I would be proud of. I’d tell myself to stand by my views no matter what, to not change myself for men, friendships or anything else. I’d tell myself to not let petty arguments get to me, because there is a whole world out there beyond my small, immediate world, and one day I would see it. I’d tell myself to not cry over lost love, gained weight, or grades. That all these things are just a part of life and will help me grow.

I’d also probably give myself some practical advise. I’d tell myself to stop spending money on stupid things I don’t need like another handbag from Topshop. I’d tell myself to get my ego in check, to not bitch about others. When I look back on the girl I was 5 years ago I see someone who was so enthusiastic about life, yet so desperate to love, to be loved, and to be validated. Now I realise I do not need anyones validation but myself.

What made you start a blog? Who/what keeps you inspired? Feel free to link to specific people, places, things.

I started a blog because I love to write, I always have. Ever since I could read and put pen to paper, I would write. Fiction, poems, lyrics, journal entries, anything. Having a blog allows me to express myself, to showcase my writing, and to put my thoughts out there into the public domain.

I’m inspired by so many other awesome bloggers. There are so many I could reel off so instead I will redirect you to this page with my favourite bloggers. I also love discovering new blogs. It reminds me how awesome blogging and the blogging community is. I’m also, of course, inspired by my travels and my own life. Even when I’m doing something relatively boring there is always something I can write about.

What are your passions?

My number one passion, after writing, has to be yoga. I am very into everything that yoga is about, both the physical practice and the spiritual side. One of my goals is to become a yoga teacher, and I would love to do my training in India, the birthplace of yoga.

I’m also passionate about keeping fit in general, amazing food, travel (of course!) and music (I love attending gigs, going to festivals, dancing the night away to my fave DJ’s, and discovering new bands). Basically, I’m passionate about life!

Share a story of a time when you did something out of your comfort zone. Was it a good or bad experience?

One of the things that really springs to mind is when I went canyoning in Vietnam. It was absolutely terrifying. It involved abseiling into waterfalls, jumping off cliffs, and other adrenaline-pumping water based activities. It was definitely an exhilirating experience. It wasn’t bad, it was fun. But I don’t think I would do it again. It just wasn’t for me.

Truth be told, however, the biggest thing I did that was outside my comfort zone was the decision to leave the UK. I’ve always wanted to travel but leaving my home, my family, and my friends, and basically everything I ever knew, to go half way across the world on my own was so daunting. When I left for the airport my stomach was a big knotty mess and I cried so much. I kept wondering if I should just give into my fear and stay, get a job and be with everyone I loved. But I’m so glad I took the plunge and just did it. It’s been a life-changing, life-affirming experience that has changed me for the better.

Canyoning in Dalat

Canyoning in Dalat

What features on your blog are most important or useful to you? Is it a widget, plugin, some custom feature of your theme, etc?

I really love my current theme at the moment. I think one day I will upgrade it, but for now it serves it’s purpose well. It’s simple and easy to navigate. I use Elegant Themes. It’s great because you pay to use all the themes on their site, not per theme, and there are so many options. Having said all that, if anyone has any suggestions of how I can make my site look better, please let me know in the comments!

What are your blogging goals for the rest of the year? Are you looking for a better theme, learning HTML, better implementation of SEO, etc?

My main goal is simply to gain more of a readership and good quality readers who I can interact with. I want to make this site into a space where people can connect. I want to post more often and regularly. I also really want to read up on more of the ‘geeky’ techy stuff, so that I really understand what’s going on with my blog, how I can improve on it, and so I don’t have to turn to Google every time I have a tech issue!

My Nominations

1. Brittany from The Wandering Millennial

2. Shereen from The Crazy Travelista

3. Michelle from Adventurous Andersons

4. Nicky from La Joie de Livres

5. Jessica Lippe

6. Michelle from Style Me Coco

7. Melissa from Everything I Wished For

8. Penelope from Phileas Fogg Adventures

9. Maggie from The Woven Whim

10. Camilla from Summer Isn’t Over

11. Valentine from A Waitress Abroad

Instructions for Nominees:

  • Create a blog post on your site, answering the questions that I’ve provided below.
  • In your post, be sure to link back to the blog who nominated you (aka myself/Beth of International Playgirl) with a thank you and shout out.
  • After completing the questions, add a section for your nominees. Select, list and link 11 other bloggers with under 200 followers. Provide these instructions. Finally, create 11 questions for them to answer.
  • Notify your nominees and provide a link to your post so that they know what to do.
  • Once you’re done, come back here and comment with the link to your post so I can check out your answers.

Questions for nominees

1. What are 11 fun facts about you?

2. What is your favourite social media platform and why?

3. What is your favourite travel destination and why? And what is your least favourite?

4. Any travel horror stories?

5. What’s your favourite cuisine?

6. Which blog post are you most proud of?

7. What inspired your blog name?

8. What’s the most useful or important thing you’ve learnt on your travels?

9. Where do you see yourself in a years time?

10. What are your travel essentials?

11. What inspired you to create a blog?

Thanks for reading! I can not wait to see everyone else’s posts. Remember if you are nominated to comment with a link to your own post.