All The Liebe

Jan 14, 2015 by

Wow! If I’ve done my math correctly (and we should never trust my mental math), this is the third time I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award. Last year, I was nominated twice and answered 22 questions in one go, and this year, Kristen from A Gypsy Breeze put me in her list of nominees. I’m going to break the rules here and not nominate anyone or come up with my own questions (only because I’ve done these relay type posts a number of times) but I will answer the questions! Just a little gratuitous rambling.

Here are the 11 questions.

1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Lord have mercy on us all right now.

I’ve lived in Canada (Winnipeg and Waterloo), and I’ve lived in Mexico (Guadalajara), Denmark (Aalborg), Spain, (Marbella & Madrid), England (Peterborough) and India (Mumbai). The thing with living somewhere is that there will always be things about a place I inevitably love (home delivery of everything in India?? YES PLEASE) and things I will undoubtedly detest (red tape and no customer service in Mexico, NO THANKS). No matter where I end up, no place is perfect, but I always find something to love. This leads me to tell you that I could live almost anywhere… at least once.

I’d love to live in Brazil, Easter Island, Nepal, Scotland, Germany, Japan, Wales, Saba, Slovenia, Italy… ummm I could go on, but then I’d really just be listing countries.

To be super realistic, if I were to resettle and move anywhere in the world to live *permanently*, I would have to choose Ireland. I have ancestral roots there and a penchant for cloudy, rainy days. I could see myself there longterm one day.

Somewhere in Ireland

Somewhere in Ireland, and oh my god don’t judge my weird outfit. This was 10 years ago. And I’d had a bad haircut only days earlier.

 

2. Do you prefer solo travel, group travel or traveling with a close friend?

Oh, I like it all. I think I’m most comfortable traveling on my own because I appreciate only being responsible for myself and because I don’t like the quibbles that can come up about deciding what to do, when and how. I like to daydream and get lost in the clouds and not worry about annoying anyone. That said, I’ve found a handful of people who can tolerate me on the road, so for that reason I’m lucky! I love traveling with my guy, my mum, my cousin Natalie, and most of all, I LOVE visiting all of my overseas friends! Traveling with the sole purpose of reuniting with friends is a major motivator for me and one of my biggest pleasures in life.

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My Danish friend Anna and me in Mexico. We studied there together for 4 months, then I went to study with her in Denmark for 4 months. Then she came to visit me in Canada, and I visited her a couple of times in Denmark. Soul sisters!

 

3. What’s the most outrageously adventurous thing you’ve done traveling?

Hrmmm… I’ve been bobsledding in Norway, midnight skinny dipping in Anguilla, paragliding in Nepal, scuba diving in Saba and Easter Island, and I’ve performed (danced!) a televised show in front of 8,000 people onstage in Chihuahua, Mexico. I don’t consider myself a super adventurous person, but I like to scare the shit out of myself sometimes… and these are examples of how I do that.

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Moments before launching myself off a mountain in Pokhara, Nepal. And a REALLY great angle. So many chins.

 

4. The scariest/sketchiest situation you’ve been in while abroad.

*cough*

I don’t like to go into these stories too much because they freak my mum out! There are a handful that come to mind; this is part of traveling. Two come out on top, however. There was that time I was stranded in Siberia (and actually started thinking about sleeping in a forest overnight). Yeah, that was terrifying. And there was that time I had to cross the border from Russia to Mongolia with no money and no plan. Yeah, also kind of shitty and terrifying.

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Siberia, you were alright… until I had to cross the border.

 

5. A place you’ve visited where you were the most uncomfortable or out of your comfort zone.

Almost 11 years ago, I went to South Korea. I was out of my comfort zone because I didn’t speak the language or understand anything, and I never knew what I was eating. It was hot and muggy, and I was constipated. I was under strict rules with the families who were hosting me, and while I was thankful for the hospitality, it was all very close quarters for me. I think this speaks more to my age than anything. At the time, I said I would never go back, but now I’ve sampled a little more of Asia, and I’m just dying to get back there!

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Again, the outfit! It was over a decade ago, give me a break!

 

6. The one item you fear losing above all else while traveling. Have you ever lost it?

My camera, or more specifically, my photos, and thankfully no! I haven’t lost it/them and don’t ever plan on it. I fear losing important things like my passport and credit cards, but those can always be replaced, but photos cannot. If, at the end of a trip, I come home with all of belongings/souvenirs/clothing gone, but I still have my photos, all is not lost.

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A couple of dorks with their cams in London, England. Yeah, it’s not fancy, but it does the trick.

 

7. What was your reason for traveling? The final straw that made you get up and go. 

I don’t think there ever really was such a straw. I always knew I wanted to travel, and I always knew I would. When I was graduating from high school, all my friends were being accepted into very prestigious schools with scholarships, and I had no flipping clue what I wanted to do. So I peaced out and went traveling for 10 and a half months. I have since completed a B. Comm (Hons) and two years of science to get into a doctor of optometry program (and I’m currently in second year). Travel and school can (and should!) co-exist. There is no greater educator than travel.

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Friends in optometry school, they will be your soulmates. We not only study a lot, but travel together too! This is my beautiful crew in Montreal.

 

8. What types of travel stories or blog posts are your favourite to read?

Lately, I really like reading about places I’ve never heard of before. From time to time, I’ll look at a map and pick a place I never knew existed and go there. Being the only person I know to have gone somewhere is kind of fun (whether a valid travel-motivator or not). So when other people expose me to someplace new, it’s thrilling!

When I went to the Caribbean in 2013 for a wedding, I looked at a map, spotted the tiny island Saba and said to myself, "I've never heard of this place. I'm going to go there."

When I went to the Caribbean in 2013 for a wedding, I looked at a map, spotted the tiny island Saba and said to myself, “I’ve never heard of this place. I’m going to go there.”

 

9. Do you have a guilty pleasure while traveling? Something you justify spending money on even when you don’t have it?

Shoes or food.

I prefer having experiences and a full belly (and brightly coloured kicks) over some silly thing called a budget.

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Obsessed with these Indian shoes.

 

10. The most useless item (in hindsight) that you’ve taken with you while traveling.

I took a money belt with me on my first big trip abroad and found it cumbersome and ugly. The key, people, is to blend in, not have to lift your shirt up every time you want to pay for a coffee, or sneak away somewhere to squirrel out some money in secrecy. Seriously, I just don’t get money belts. You’re better off going with a bag that you can sling over your shoulder, that has a good zipper and isn’t easy to pick pocket. Keep your hands on it, and you’ll never be robbed.

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Passed out, and a little bit of mouth breathing, but NOT about to get robbed. Oh hey, look, remember Anna? That’s her!

 

11. What is your number one tip for blogging on the move?

Don’t do it if you don’t want. I only write on the move when I’m inspired. Thankfully, I’m a writer, so this isn’t too difficult to achieve. Writing (and blogging) is my creative outlet. That said, sometimes, I’d rather just be in a place than write about it. I ride the waves of my moods.

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Sometimes it’s best to just frolic… even if it’s on beaches you’re not allowed to be on in Qatar.

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8 Comments

  1. I love the honesty of your responses. And hey — I think the old timey outfits are kind of cute! Especially the Ireland one. 🙂

    • Colleen

      Hey, thanks for giving me some positive feedback on the clothes. I wonder what I’ll think 10 years from now!?

  2. Shoes and food. You’ve got it right girl!

  3. Anna

    Haha! I have never seen the Picture of us sleeping. When was that taken? Going to my parent’s place? But I have a similar version of the Mexico picture. So young and fearless 😉 Btw, I have just cleaned my desk and found three Christmas cards I started writing to you and Saj. Will sent you a letter soon with an update. I am just so freaking busy these days. We are getting ready for Cameroon. Yep! We finally bought out tickets and I am about to meet my new African familly. Wup wup! I cannot get my hands down.

    • Colleen

      Brian took that photo. It always makes me laugh. It was after we visited your parents, and I remember I was so exhausted after that weekend. We did a lot! That’s really exciting news about Cameroon. Set my room up, I’ll be there asap!! 😉 x

  4. I’m a big fan of going to or reading about places I didn’t know of too! Just so exciting! 😀 I can’t believe how outfits can be such a time stamp! Love it!

    • Colleen

      Your blog post on Berat in Albania is what inspired that response. So thank you!! I’m hoping to head to a few lesser-travelled places this year too… *fingers crossed*, we will see!

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