A while back I received a lovely surprise from an engaging fellow blogger called Paige from Paige Minds the Gap, who had kindly nominated my blog for a Liebster Award.
I was thrilled to receive this award, so thank you, Paige!
What is the Liebster Award?
Liebster is German for ‘dearest’ and this is an award given from blogger to blogger that helps spread the blogging love. So do spare a few moments to check out ‘dearest’ Paige’s blog and the other blogs at the end of this post.
There are some rules, which have developed over time for giving and accepting this award. Here is one version of them:
The rules for the Liebster Award
1. Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to them on your blog.
2. Display the award on your blog.
3. Answer the questions about yourself, which will be provided to you by the person who nominated you.
4. Nominate blogs that you feel deserve the award that have less than 1000 followers.
5. Create a new list of questions for the nominees to answer.
6. List these rules in your post.
7. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post so that they can learn about it.
Rules can be bendy!
For those of you who know me in person or through my writing, you’ve probably guessed already that I’m not one for closely following rules. Nope, I’m bending the Liebster rules, because I wish to nominate the blogs I enjoy reading regardless of the number of followers they have or whether they are new bloggers or not.
In an age of clickbait, paid followers and social media overload the numbers of blog followers can be misleading anyway, especially when readers might not wish to click on a follow button and, instead, choose to dip in and out of reading material. It does not matter to me how long the blogger has been writing for either. I am more interested in what they are writing about.
Therefore, I prefer to nominate blogs that speak to me through their inspiring and engaging writing styles and content that I think is fun, interesting, stretching and relevant to the life I co-create with the natural world and fellow soul travellers in our remarkable universe.
My answers to Paige′s Liebster Award questions
Paige gave me 11 great questions to answer, so here goes:
1. How and when did you start blogging?
I began blogging in 2006, not long after my dad passed away as a means to come to terms with bereavement. I discovered Blogger and created my first blog on there called Shalomsplinters, where I recorded all sorts of random thoughts and experiences on spirituality, well-being, music and creativity. After that, I created two more blogs on Blogger.
My second was called Blonde Bombshell in Crises, which was a tongue in cheek take on the humanitarian aid world with slightly surreal overtones. My third was called Tall Tales from Windy Corner and became a place where I jotted down my real-time experiences of living and working in Namibia during a six-month mission I carried out for the United Nations. I no longer write on those three blogs but the content is still available in the public domain.
Now I only focus on writing this blog on WordPress, which I began in September 2015 to record my walk along the Camino Frances route of the Camino de Santiago and it has since evolved to capture my adventures on land and sea, intuitive healing work and poetry.
2. What’s the first big trip you remember taking?
Although I had travelled around the UK and Europe extensively by my early twenties, my first big trip was to Kenya in 1993, when I was 23 years old, to carry out research for my Master’s degree in Rural Resource Management along with fellow students in my class. We spent a month in a remote, semi-arid area. I was posted to a research station in Kajiampau near Embu, where I slept on the floor of a hut and walked from farm to farm each day learning about agroforestry and how the local people used different types of indigenous and introduced tree species on their land.
It was a fascinating and life-changing experience and I fell in love with that part of Africa. A couple of years later, I returned to East Africa to work as a volunteer in the refugee camps in Tanzania following the genocide in Rwanda and so began my humanitarian aid career.
3. What’s your dream travel destination and why?
I cannot honestly say that I only have one dream travel destination because every place and country I have lived and worked in or travelled through has possessed their own unique characteristics and magnificence.
The more I travel, the more I appreciate our amazing planet and peoples, cultures and nature therein. My goal is to travel around the world for as long as I am able, and these days, it is mostly with my husband Brett on our sailboat!
4. What is your most and least favourite thing about blogging?
Good question Paige! My most favourite thing about blogging is the co-creative process i.e. allowing creative ideas to flow, present them well thanks to WordPress customisable themes and my discovery that visitors in 126 countries have been reading my blog, some of whom interact with me. This is co-creation in action!
My least favourite thing is experiencing writer′s block but I try not to get hung up about this. Some days are flowier than others, so if I reach a block I go and do something else instead and then sooner or later the creative buzz surfaces again. The one thing about spending days on the ocean waves is that I have time to ponder, muse, co-create and write and without any deadlines!
5. What’s your favourite travel photo you’ve taken?
I do not have one favourite travel photo that I have taken. Each and every photo triggers memories of adventures and the opportunity to travel I’m grateful for. However, these days I’m less inclined to scramble to take the best travel photo I can than I used to be and prefer to focus on living and fully experiencing every present moment.
6. Do you travel with physical books or digital books?
Oh definitely physical books! While I can appreciate that in this digital age it makes logical sense to carry digital books to save space and basically travel with your entire library in your backpack, for me nothing beats picking up a book off the shelf and settling down to turn the pages.
I love to feel the texture of the paper between my fingers and the smell of old and new books too (does that make me weird?) Sailing around the world brings a form of book swapping, which is great fun. Sailors can often pick up second-hand books from marinas and drop off used ones for others to enjoy. I love this way of recycling.
7. How do you promote your blog?
Another good question. I do not actually spend a lot of time promoting my blog so I suppose I could do more of this. However, I do share links to my blog posts via WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, GooglePlus and sometimes on LinkedIn. I also participate in groups on social media that are looking at a particular theme or place that I have written about e.g. Camino de Santiago, sailing or intuitive healing and so on.
More often than not I pass on links to my blog during conversations with random strangers-who-are-friends-in-the-making on my travels when they request it.
8. Do you prefer to travel solo or with others?
As an introvert and fiercely independent person I have enjoyed the many years as a solo traveller, when I have travelled to over 20 countries to join other humanitarians in an emergency response situation or, in between missions, to many more countries to seek out some much-needed R&R.
Having said that I have done the odd trip in groups organised by adventure tour companies e.g. exploring Sabah, Cuba, trekking the Tramuntana mountain range in Majorca, backpacking around New Zealand, going on safaris in Kenya, Tanzania and Namibia but I am getting to the stage where I don′t really enjoy being herded around as a tourist.
Since I married Brett in 2016, I love travelling with my husband on land and by sea under our own steam. We relish the freedom sailing brings.
9. What do you like to collect from your travels?
Happy moments, new friends, sea shells, artisan crafts for our sailboat, world music and inspiring ideas! I should mention here though, that as our sailboat is our home and is the equivalent of a tiny house, I can′t collect a lot of stuff because there is nowhere to put it.
To be totally honest, being a liveaboard has taught me that I do not need many material things to be happy. Instead, my focus has shifted to my relationships and friendships, health and wellbeing and co-creating inspiring and precious experiences.
10. Which place that you’ve travelled to has had the best food?
Crikey Paige, I have no idea where to start with this one! I could write a book. France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Japan, Thailand, India, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Canada and the United Kingdom (because you can′t beat a lovely afternoon tea…) to name but a few.
11. What’s your next trip?
I’m already on my next trip. Brett and I are on an indefinite, round the world voyage on board Theros, our GibSea 42 ft ketch. We left Salt Spring Island in British Columbia, Canada on 1st August 2017 and we’ve sailed 6,000 nautical miles along the Pacific Coast of Canada, the USA, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, crossed through the Panama Canal to the Caribbean side and sailed up to the Yucatan Peninsular. I’m writing this post on the dock overlooking Marina V&V in Cancún, Mexico.
Our next leg will be Cancún to Florida, then up the East Coast of the USA to Halifax, Nova Scotia by July 2018, followed by an Atlantic crossing to Europe and beyond, so stay tuned folks!
My 11 questions for my nominees
- If your life was a poem, which poem would it be and why?
- What piece of equipment, gadget or clothing do you find the most useful on your travels and why?
- Do you have a particular writing routine or habit and if so, what is it?
- How has travel changed you?
- What tip do you have for living in an ecologically, socially responsible and sustainable way?
- What gives you the most energy in your daily life?
- If you could go back in history to any era and place, who would you choose to have dinner with and why?
- How do you take care of your own health and wellbeing?
- In your childhood, which was your favourite place to hang out and why?
- What is your preferred mode of transport?
- What dream do you have that is yet unrealised but you are working towards?
Here are my 11 nominees
I hope you have enjoyed reading the above blogs.
Peace, love and light,