I Won a Liebster Award
I've been nominated for a Liebster Award by Carmen Everwhere. Thanks Carmen! OK, maybe it sounds more impressive than it is, but it's nonetheless exciting...
Liebster Awards were created with the intention of giving bloggers more exposure. It's a platform for bloggers to support one another through nominating new and upcoming blogs. Esentially, everyone that gets nominated is a winner and must partake in answering and posing questions. Each person has to answer the 11 questions put forward by the person that nominated them, In turn, the nominee will then nominate another 11 bloggers and create 11 questions for them to answer, and so on...
Questions by Carmen Everywhere:
When you travel to developing countries, do you like to eat food from street stalls?
I live in a developing country (Ethiopia) and I eat street food now and again. I have a quick scan and gage the age and quality of the food and how many flies are buzzing aroung. Barbequed maize is a good option here!
What countries would you never go to and why?
There aren't many and I guess the answer would change over time. The only countries I wouldn't visit are those in conflict, where my safety would be difficult to guarantee e.g. Somalia and Afghanistan.
What are three overrated destinations you've visited?
I honestly can't give 3 answers to this question. I always try to manage my expectations so that I don't feel let down by a place or an experience.
The only place I can think of is Buenos Aires, but this was due to a culmination of unfortunate events that led to an unfair and biased opinion of the city... I flew into the capital of Argentina from the Colombian coast, only to find that my backpack had been left behind. I went to an ATM to take out some Argentine pesos and the bank had cancelled my card. I then took a (very expensive) taxi into the centre to change my traveller's cheques. I didn't have any pesos, so I couldn't take the bus. It just so happened to be a public holiday, so 90% of the exchange shops were closed. I managed to find one that was open and the cashier proceeded to tell me that he couldn't change my cheques because the signature on my passport didn't match the signature on the cheques.
I was fortunate to have a good friend working at a hostel in San Telmo district who could lend me money and other essentials until my bag arrived. That evening we went out together for some food and drinks. We walked down 9 de julio avenue at 7:30pm and a man runs up and rips the strap of my bag in one yank and legs it off with my bag (luckily it only contained $25 and some body spray).
Needless to say, my opinion of the city was somewhat skewed after my awful first day.
Would you quit your job to travel for a year?
I'm not sure about a whole year, maybe 6 months. Who knows what will happen in the future, though.
What's the longest time you've been travelling non-stop, and where?
I travelled aroun South America for 4 months in 2010, including Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina and Brazil (it was a big rush to get to Brazil for my flight!).
What are the three travel accessories you can't live without?
Sun cream, mp3 player + headphones and ear plugs.
What's the craziest thing you've done whilst travelling, where and why?
Haha, I don't think I can post that here, but swimming with whale sharks in Djibouti would be up there!
Do you like meeting locals when travelling? Where do you meet them?
Of course! Meeting local people leads to a deeper understanding of a place. I've had some of the most unexpected and beautiful experiences through meeting warm and welcoming locals - the kind of experiences you can never find if you stick to the tourist trail, socialising only with fellow travellers.
What safety measures do you take when travelling? Mention at least one example in a specific country.
Never travelling at night in African countries. Not only is there increased crime, but there's a huge number of drunk drivers. In Ethiopia people get away with it because the police don't have breathalysers. The weekend is particularly bad, with drunken party-goers returning from a night out.
If you travel alone and you want a photo of yourself in front of a certain monument, do you ask a stranger to take it?
Of course! I've never had someone decline.
When you travel alone and you go on a one day tour to a place in an Asian country and you have the option to go by local bus (cheap but dirty) or more comfort tourist-oriented buses (more expensive and filled with tourists), what do you choose?
It depends - if the journey is relatively short (a few hours) then I prefer to take local transport. I find it's one of the best ways to get a feel for the people of a country and it can lead to chance ecnounters. Obviously there's the chance for an awful journey as well - in Tanzania I was stuck on the roadside for 3 hours as we awaited a spare part to fix the bus.
If it's a long journey or if it's overnight, then I prefer a bit of comfort!
Questions for my nominees:
Ocean, mountains, desert or forest?
When did you realise that you’d caught the travel bug?
What’s the passport stamp that you’re most proud of?
Describe one of the crazy characters that you’ve met whilst travelling.
What’s your guilty pleasure whilst travelling?
Which country has surprised you the most, and why?
Do you try to travel ethically or carbon-consciously?
Have you tried Couchsurfing? If yes, how was it? If no, why not?
No.1 destination for good food?
No.1 destination for beautiful people? Inside or out, you decide.
If you found out that you could only visit 5 more countries in your lifetime (but an unlimited amount of time in each), where would you choose?
I'm looking forward to your answers! I hope you have fun with the questions. Readers, if you want to answer, you can do so in the comments section, below!