Nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award (4): The Touristin

The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award goes to female bloggers around the world. I was seriously surprised that I have been nominated a fourth time (within a few weeks) and this time by Maria from Travel with G. Thank you so very much for thinking of me Maria, I love to talk to you whenever we meet in the virtual world, be it on twitter or Instagram  and I hope we meet one day in the real world. It feels so special that someone in another country thinks of you right? 

As per the rules, I answered Marias' ten questions about travel, created a new list of ten questions and awarded ten female bloggers. Go and visit their blogs and please say hi.

And this is what Maria was interested in.

1. Your first trip away from home was… where?

The first trip I took without my parents was to Malta, an island in Europe in the Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast.

2. All my nominees are travellers… So I know you must have experienced downtime – that is, dead time waiting for the next plane/bus/train/ferry/donkey? How do you entertain yourself while waiting to get to your next destination? (Other than sleeping)

I love to talk to others (that may be in real life as well as on Twitter or Instagram), and also to read, write down and/or develop ideas, look at photos I took, plan projects.

3. Do you take spontaneous trips or are you more of a planner?

Spontaneous trips are the norm for me, as in what to do next weekend? Let’s go to Paris or hiking on the coast. There are two trips that were very spontaneous, even for me. I once flew to Sydney (Australia) within six hours and I once drove 720 kilometres to Lake Constance (Austria) within 23 minutes, after the idea came up.

If I go on longer trips, I start planning two or three months in advance, especially if it is going to be during peak season (not to be denied entry and/or overnight stays in a National Park).

4. Have you ever met someone while travelling with whom you still keep in touch with today?

It is always lovely to meet new people and to hear their stories, and I truly love to stay in touch with as many people as I can.

5. Do you have a packing routine? What are some of the things you must have while travelling away from home?

I have a packing routine in so far that I pack for that particular trip, and stick to it. I only pack what I really need, and always leave room in my suitcase for things I am going to buy. If I go camping I pack for that, and obviously if I go on a city trip, I pack very different clothes. I have no special clothes for travelling, and I wear what I always wear. Some things I must have while travelling are my iPhone, my camera, a scarf, and a (roomy) leather bag.

6. Have you ever gone to a place that was “highly recommended” and you thought, “Why am I even here?” ~ Where was this? Why did you not like it?

Have I ever been to a place that was highly recommended and I thought, “Why am I even here?” … Not that I can think of one really. I could say Las Vegas, and that is not true, because even long before I went I knew it is not me at all. I couldn’t help but think what a massive waste of resources this town is. 

Anyway, I wanted to see it at least once, and I booked a luxury room in the Augustus Tower of the Caesars Palace and that was a fantastic choice. The best thing for me was the drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and the trips I made from Las Vegas to Death Valley and to the Valley of Fire State Park in the Mojave Desert. So I can’t really say I didn’t like Las Vegas since there are these stunning National Parks nearby.

7. We all know that travelling can take you out of your comfort zone. Can you tell us about an experience where you overcame a fear/anxiety/discomfort?

So far I drove 40,000 kilometres through South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe and on all of these trips there were moments where I had to leave my comfort zone. 

Calculate the travel time wrong and you end up in the dark and in the middle of nowhere not knowing where to sleep, take a shower on a campground and look into the eyes of a massive spider, cook dinner over a campfire in a national park and hope the rats aren’t jumping into the pot.

These are of course moments that seem slightly overwhelming, but when I contrast these with the hundreds or thousands of magical moments I had, they outweigh these by far.

Botswana. The moment a Zebra smiles at you - priceless

8. Are there any books – even movies – that have influenced you to travel to a specific place?

If I would tell you that I have always been a massive fan of Crocodile Dundee and that is the reason I moved to Australia than that would be a blunt lie.

It probably started with Oliver Twist (Charles Dickens) that I wanted to visit London. I read Pippi Longstocking (Astrid Lindgren) and later saw the film Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman) and wanted to visit Sweden. I read Buddenbrooks (Thomas Mann) and wanted to visit Luebeck in Germany. These are examples from when I was very young, and that is the beginning of the very long list of books I read about the places I visited.

Overall these years I came to the conclusion that it is pretty fantastic and interesting to read novels/fiction (historical fiction is also great), which play in the place I am about to visit. You can learn a lot from it, and it is much better than a travel book. Try it, it opens up a whole new world, you will see things differently. I made a list of books to read before travelling to South Africa.

Luebeck, Germany

10. Right now – what are your 5 top places (or experiences) you want to see/do?

1. I visited Helsinki in summer, and now I would love to go to Finland in winter to see the Northern Lights, I imagine it to be like walking through a massive lava lamp.

2. How does it feel to be close to a silverback? I dream of visiting Rwanda to see a mountain gorilla, the king of the jungle.

3. Antarctica is sort of the only untouched place on earth, and I would love to see the king penguins and that sheer wilderness.

4. Kodiak Archipelago in Alaska is another dream destination, to see the largest bears in the world, the Kodiak brown bears.

5. I love amazing places, and that is why I want to visit the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. The name of the park means “it is amazing” in Zulu.

My nominees for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award are

Jessica from Jess is a Wanderer
Amanda from Maroc Mama 
Maureen from The Travel Blonde  
Michelle from the Blue Nose Girl  
Christina from CamperChristina  
Melanie from Rover at Home 
Nikki from Pin the Map Project
Heather from 2 Summers

My questions are:

What is your favourite vegetarian dish?
What type of museum do you like to visit?
We hear all the time that we have to live our dreams. Are you doing it?
What is the funniest thing you ever experienced?
What is your most treasured travel souvenir?
Mountains or the ocean?
Who should play you in the film of your life?
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
Did you ever dance under a starry night sky?
Your perfect vacation involves …

Can’t wait to hear from you and thank you so much in advance.

Would you like to read about the other Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award nominations?

From Berlin with love