Carl over at Dream Fly Discover nominated me for this award and I will be totally honest in saying that I wasn’t familiar with his blog prior to getting an email from him letting me know about my nomination.
Yes, an email.
Not a notification saying that someone has mentioned me somewhere but an actual email to my actual email address. It was nestled right in the midst of a bunch of boring “grown-up” emails from the bank and Amazon and Paypal – you know, the kind that nobody ever actually reads – and so it was such a lovely little surprise. Not to seem too forward, but I love you Carl.
Anyway, as of now I’m an avid follower of Carl and Dream Fly Discover not just because he nominated me or because I’m now in love with him but because I took a little mosey around his blog and he is HILARIOUS. His style of writing is amazing and he uses fantastically British words such as jaunt and cracking. Seriously, go over and have a read – I promise you’ll be chuckling away at every sentence.
Okay, now that I’ve finished gushing over my new found love for Carl..
The Sunshine Award is given by bloggers to other bloggers, who ‘are positive and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.’
Here are the rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award:
•Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
•Answer the eleven questions sent by the person who nominated you.
•Nominate eleven blogs to receive the award and write them eleven new questions.
•List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.
My answers to Carl’s questions:
1 | When did you start blogging and why?
Three years back when I started blogging I’d just started my Year Abroad in Italy and Spain and figured that a blog would be a great way to keep everyone up-to-date with my life back home. Do you think anyone back home actually read it? Of course not.
2 | How did you pick the name for your blog?
I’m from Wales which for anyone who doesn’t know is a tiny little land full of mountains and sheep and funny words that borders England, meaning that IT IS NOT ENGLAND. We are the country that maybe isn’t actually a country which gave the world Tom Jones, Gareth Bale and Shirley Bassey. We are the country that everyone forgets when they say “Oh yes, the United Kingdom: England, Scotland and Ireland.” And once upon a time we also provided the whole wide world with coal. So yeah, you’re welcome.
Back to the blog name… I go wherever. Wherever I feel like going, wherever someone asks me to go, wherever has good deals on flights. So I start in Wales and go to Wherever. I’m also a big fan of alliteration.
3 | How do you come up with new ideas for you next blog post?
Hm, I’m not sure really. Ideas seem to pop up at any time, and I carry a little notebook around with me at all times just in case.
At the moment I have a list of 50-something blog posts I want to write up, mostly relating to the places I’ve been and things I’ve done over the last five months but there’s so much that I want to write that it’s kind of overwhelming and I don’t know where to start!
So yeah most of my posts are inspired by things that I’ve done or seen recently, but there are also cases where I see other posts by other bloggers and I’m like “that is freakin’ brilliant!” and use that for inspiration, but obviously with my own spin on it because plagiarism is not cool.
4 | What does the future hold for your blog?
One of my September Blogging Goals was to become self-hosted with a whole new theme/design, so that’s what the immediate future holds as soon as HMRC hand over my dollar. One of my other goals was to post every day in September so yeah, the future also brings at least 23 more blog posts over the next 23 days.
In the long run? I don’t know.
I’m beginning to really love this little blogging community to the point that I don’t think I ever want to leave it! So I really do hope I’m able to keep creating enjoyable content for people to read for years and years and years to come. Maybe the blog will change over the years, as I will undoubtedly change as a person, but I hope it’s here to stay.
5 | Where is your favourite holiday destination?
Oh wow that’s a hard one.
Peru keeps calling me back despite the fact that I’ve pretty much exhausted all options of things to do there that don’t involve walking in snow for days on end. And unless your part Yeti or it’s Everest because come on, EVEREST, I don’t see how going on a never-ending walk in snow can be considered an enjoyable pastime.
I also kind of fell in love with Belize and I’m already planning my honeymoon and/or retirement on one of the Cayes off of Belize City. It’s so flippin’ gorgeous!
Then there’s India. I absolutely hate India. The culture is way to masochistic for my liking, women are often seen as objects, it’s full of creepy men who stare at you and touch you inappropriately, most of the tuk-tuk drivers are absolute cheating bastards and there are cows everywhere. But for every part of me that hates it, I love it twice as much. It’s odd.
Aaaarrgghh I can’t pick just one!
6 | Name two celebrities (one male, one female) that you would love to travel with and why.
Nobody mentioned any rules about whether they’re dead or alive so I’m gonna have to go with Bob Marley because he is my absolute hero and I don’t think I will ever love a person as much as I love him. Sorry to my future husband and all but yeah, Bob <3
He’d be able to provide 24/7 entertainment, and with the exception of North Korea I don’t think there’s a single country in the world that isn’t familiar with him so he’ll be able to get free stuff everywhere. And who doesn’t love free stuff?
Female would have to be Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones because she is hilarious and seems like a freaking awesome person who would be loads of fun in any situation. Plus if anyone was mean she could threaten to stick them on Arya’s list. Sorted.
7 | Name 3 essential items you have to pack whenever you travel.
Other than the obvious passport, money, credit card etc. I would say headphones, flip-flops and a pen-knife (assuming the luggage is check-in because I don’t take weapons on flights).
Headphones aren’t just for listening to music. They’re also for pretending to listen to music when strangers on the street or in restaurants or at airports are trying to talk to you and you just want to be left alone to introvert.
Flip-flops because when you’re sharing a shower with who knows how many people, you don’t want to get gross foot fungus or something like that. Ych a fi.
And a pen-knife (or Swiss army knife to some) because they are the most useful things in the world! Seriously. Need a knife? It’s got one. Scissors? Yup. Corkscrew? You betcha!
8 | What is your travel style? Champagne and Caviar or Hostels and Hangovers?
Hostels and Hangovers minus the hangovers (reppin’ the boring non-alcoholic losers of the world) but with a bit of caviar mixed in.
To elaborate, I’m not in any way, shape or form a luxury traveller, but I’ve also kind of left the whole hostel every night, £1 menú del dia everyday lifestyle behind me a little bit too. I work freelance which sometimes requires two things that aren’t always a guarantee with cheap hostels – good WiFi & peace and quiet. So I do a bit of both – hostel for a few nights, hotel for a few.
Wherever possible I like to stay with locals, eat with locals, live with locals, the lot. The last time I was in India for example, I stayed with friends for the whole month and saw so many amazing things, had incredible experiences but probably only got to see maybe 50% of Lonely Planet’s Top Things to Do in Kerala. But I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
9 | What’s the funniest travel story you can remember?
When I was six my mother sort of eloped all the way from the Valleys to Cardiff with my stepfather, got married and then we all went off on their honeymoon together to Lanzarote. I was young and so don’t remember much from that holiday other than one day on the beach for some reason we ended up putting armbands on my brother’s arms and legs so he was just floating there in the sea, unable to get up and he panicked, thinking he’d float away.
In hindsight it doesn’t seem that funny but I laugh every time I think about it or see the photo.
10 | What does the future hold for your travel plans?
Well, at the moment I’m in Sri Lanka but will be flying over to India for a few months as soon as I get my visa, which could be any day now. I am actually so excited I’m like a ready-to-burst balloon! My plans for India aren’t set in stone yet (but the best plan is no plan, right?) although I know I’ll be starting in Kerala, ending in Kerala and meeting a friend from home somewhere further north at some point.
Then in December I have a cute little winter weekend away in Riga with my cousin – if she ever buys her plane ticket…
And in January I’m going to a bunch of places in Europe that had cheap flights with Wizzair. Lots of plans, lots of excitement!
11 | What is the main goal of your blog?/Where do you want it to take you?
The main goal is just to share with others what I’ve seen and done, and hopefully provide some sort of reference where needed. For example, when I went to the Great Wall of China I didn’t want to go with a tour, and although there was lots of information online about how to do it yourself, none of it was particularly up-to-date, with the most recent I found being 2012. As it turns out not a lot has changed logistically or price-wise since then, but when I was reading the sites I just kept being unsure as to whether I should trust such outdated information. In writing my blog post, I’ve been able to give that little nod to people who were in my position saying “yup, this is how you do it in 2016”. I want to keep doing that.
As for where I want it to take me? I’m pretty happy with where I am right now! I like the direction of the blog, I like the plans I have for it and for the posts, and I like that it’s started to connect me with lovely people all over the world!
In short, I don’t want my blog to take me anywhere, but I will take it everywhere with me.
My nominations are:
Eat Pray Love by Lisa
La Grenouille Anglaise
The Perks of Being a Wildflower
Anywhere With Brooke
Travel and Trouvailles
Ginger Joe’s Journey
Curly Girl Abroad
Wanderlust Trust & Pixie Dust
I tried to nominate blogs that I thoroughly enjoy reading who haven’t been nominated for this award yet, and bonus point is that they all seem to be such lovely people too! No pressure to join in chicos, but realistically who doesn’t like to have an excuse to write a post all about themselves?!
And my 11 questions are:
- Where are you right now? Be as specific or as vague as you like.
- When was your first trip abroad and where did you go?
- Scones – cream then jam or jam then cream?
- Why did you start blogging and how old were you at the time?
- What has been the happiest moment of your life so far?
- What is your favourite part about blogging?
- If you could go back 5 years, what advice would you give yourself?
- Where is the one place in the world you would never go? Mine would be Merthyr. You won’t have heard of it but do yourself a favour and don’t Google it: the statistics will give you nightmares.
- If you were an animal, what would you be?
- What is the one thing (not person!) you can’t live without?
- If you could be the leader of any country, which would it be and why?
Like I already said, no pressure to follow up but if you would like to join the party I for one would not object.
And cheers again Carl, you little darling you.