Liebster Blog Award…

Mar 29, 2013 by


Santiago, Chile

Well friends, it looks like I’m going to go for it and answer all 22 Liebster questions. Hope that’s okay.

First, we’ll start with 11 fun facts about me!

1. I have a birthmark on my left wrist that is often mistaken for a tattoo, or henna or marker. It’s always funny when people ask me if I’ve drawn on myself with marker. I’m a fairly pale person, born into a family of people who tan simply by thinking about golfing in the summer, so my mum likes to joke that all my pigment ended up in my birthmark.


San Francisco, USA (My Hair Is Awesome In This Picture)

2. I also have a little patch of white hair on the left side of the top of my head. I’ve had it ever since I was a little kid. While once upon a time, it bothered me (after it was discovered when a girl in the playground shouted “YOU HAVE WHITE HAIR!”), I have since learned to love and embrace that white patch as something that makes me unique. Only now, little white hairs are sprouting out in other places too. Anyone else going grey? Join me, won’t you? Ah, the woes of being dark haired.


Hobro, Denmark (And My White Streak)

3. I have a business degree and am now studying to be an optometrist… and yet, my first love has always been writing. I have just never wanted writing to become a job for me or the thing that pays my bills. I’ve always wanted to keep my art, my creative, as something just for me or for whoever I want, because I choose so.


On The Train In Austria (And Journalling)

4. I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba in Canada, and I’m damn proud to be from there. It’s a great place full of great people, and anyone who harps on it as a city and on us for being from there has either never been or has never left.


Winnipeg, Canada (And The Train Tracks By My House)

5. I recently found out that the thing I’ve had my whole life that I’ve never been able to explain to another soul has a name: trypophobia. It is the fear of holes and clusters, and believe me, I know how weird this sounds. I was out for sushi with friends, and one friend passed around a picture of a fish to see if it could be identified. Only, this fish had human teeth, super gnarly, disgusting, irregularly multi-layered and clustered teeth. When I took a look at the photo, I had a strong reaction of revolt and horror, and quickly gave it back to my friend. It was then, when she saw my reaction, that she said, “Oh my god. You must have what I have.” And it was with those words, and the eye contact we shared immediately after, that I knew I found someone who understood. I knew exactly what she was going to tell me. She told me it has a name, trypophobia, and then we compared stories and experiences, and the rest of my night was consumed by thoughts of all the images and experiences that have caused me to have the same reaction as the picture of that fish. As all the images came flooding back to me, I understood why they had disturbed me and that there was a name for what I have, and someone finally understands me(!).  I would provide a link to the wikipedia page for you, but that would require me looking it up, and my friend strongly cautioned me against doing this. I will let you do that for yourself. If you have any questions about trypophobia, please don’t hesitate to ask, although I am still in the very early stages of learning about it myself. If you want to know specifically what bothers me, please please don’t bombard me with photos asking, “How about this? How about this?”


I’m not posting a picture for trypophobia. So here’s my cat yawning.

6. I love the Spanish language. Everything about it is musical, sexy and beautiful. Fact: Listening to Ricky Martin CDs in Spanish when I was 13 is what made me decide I wanted to learn Spanish, a language which has since become one of my greatest loves in this life.


Madrid, Spain (And It Looks Like Mexico)

7. I have written two poems about road kill.

8. I’ve been told I am an excellent people reader. I love this and hope very much that it is true. I’ve also been called things like a spaz (by some unkind elementary school bullies), but I prefer my sister in law’s description of me: passionate and excitable. More recently, I’ve been called “the most animated person in the group”. I’ve always thought I could aspire to being graceful and calm, but it never lasts.


Guadalajara, Mexico (Tequila On The Balcony With My Roommate)

9. Watching Sex and the City is a guilty pleasure of mine. There, I said it. It’s gotten to the point where I can lip-synch complete scenes. One of my favourite lines from the entire show is when Samantha says (about someone choosing a life of tantric celibacy), “Why? Or more importantly… why?”

10. I love love love spicy food. In fact, I’ve been called a freak by people from different cultures that regularly indulge in perversely spicy food. The rule, pretty much, is if I’m not in pain, it’s not good spicy food. I like for my nose to run, my eyes to water, my skin to tingle, my mouth to burn. Yum.


Vancouver, Canada (We Had To Sign A Waiver To Eat It)

11. One of my very favourite things ever is soup. I feel about soup the way Bubba from Forest Gump feels about shrimp. The possibilities are nearly endless.

Now let’s get to the meat and potatoes of this meal: 22 questions.

Rika’s Questions:

1. What’s one thing you always buy at airports?

This is pretty boring, but a bottle of water. Once I get past security, I always buy a giant bottle of water, especially for long haul flights. Those wee cups of water they give out on flights just don’t cut it for me.

2. Diving with sharks: yes or no?

YES! Definitely one of my dreams.

3. How much of a foreign language do you learn before arriving somewhere?

Depends. Sometimes none, sometimes a few basic words, sometimes an entire language (Spanish). If a country uses a different alphabet, like Russia or Korea, I may try to brush up on reading the alphabet if I think it would help. Otherwise, I’ll just wing it when I get there.

4. Craziest public transportation story you’ve ever had. Go.

When I was living in Mexico, my roommate and I caught a cab home at the very end of the night, and the cab driver felt the need to point out all the prostitutes. My roommate remembers none of this because he was pretty much blackout, but the best was when the cabby actually slammed on his breaks and reversed the cab to point out the transvestite prostitutes.

5. Have you ever drank the water somewhere that you shouldn’t have?

Almost certainly. I was sick a lot in Mexico…

6. Where do you see yourself eventually settling down (if anywhere)?

Hopefully Winnipeg, because I love my family and need to be near them. I also think I will need to have a home in Madrid…

7. What’s keeping you back from the next thing you want to do?

I’ve got to write a pile of exams to finish off my first year of optometry school, and then I’m free to indulge in a summer of travel, family and friends, swimming at the lake and patio drinks.

8. Best bargain you’ve ever found while traveling?

Can I be super cheesy? How about travel itself? Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer…

9. If I was going to buy you a present for $100, what’s the greatest thing I could buy for you?

I hate to say it, but $100 probably wouldn’t go very far in terms of actual things. I would ask to put it toward a new camera, or maybe you could take me out for some yummy food. Or maybe I’d get a new pair of shoes. Or from you, Rika, maybe I could put it to use diving with you!

10. What moment in your life do you wish you had gotten a photo of?

Probably the look on my face when I found out what trypophobia was.

But seriously, there are lots of memories I wish I could have captured, but I try not to dwell on it, because it bothers me if I think about it too much. For instance, I couldn’t get a single good picture of the fireworks I saw in Rio de Janeiro on New Year’s Eve in 2009. So I was forced to just accept it and enjoy what would become a memory. I was also really stingy with my camera when I lived and traveled in Europe in 2004-2005. I wish I had just bought another memory card or 4.

11. If Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones came up to you and asked you to join the Men in Black, would you leave your life behind and join?

Um, yes?

I would also gladly join the Mighty Ducks and the Three Ninjas. I totally just dated myself.

Marina’s Questions:

1. What’s the best thing you’ve ever eaten?

Tortas in Mexico.

2. What is your favorite place in the world?

I refuse to pick just one. Easter Island, Chile; Madrid, Spain; and Ireland.

3. Do you prefer to travel alone, or with a friend/partner?

Alone. That’s not to say I don’t like traveling with other people, but I’ve had more traumatic experiences traveling with friends than I have on my own. And when I am on my own, I feel more independent and less responsible for another person, their belongings and their feelings. Truly, it’s hard to find a great travel partner, and while I’ve come across a couple in my life, I’ve always been happy as a clam to bumble about by myself.

4. What’s the scariest or most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?

I was super nervous about diving when I went to Easter Island. I hadn’t practiced my skills in 2 years and when I was getting ready for the first dive, I put my suit on backwards. So embarrassing. I pretty much thought I was going to die, but I went anyway, and ended up having a blast and went back for more 2 days later.

I’m in a similar situation again as I haven’t been diving in over 3 years now (WHAT!), and I’m planning to dive when I go to the Caribbean this summer. I will probably feel like I’m going to die all over again, but that’s not going to stop me. Someone told me recently that it’s like riding a bike. I’ll blow a few bubbles and want to go deeper. I can’t wait.

5. If you had unlimited funds to plan your perfect day, what would you do and who would you do it with?

Just one day?

I would get up early to catch a sunrise somewhere on a mountain. I’d have a picnic brought to me with fancy coffee and a gingham blanket to sit on. Who would I be with? Maybe my boyfriend, maybe my friend Kyle, maybe my friend Buchi, maybe just myself. Then I would have a nice, long massage during which I’d probably doze a little. Next, I think it’s time for some day drinking by the sea. I want to smell the salt on the air and casually sip a local drink. I could even do this by myself, but it would be funner with friends. I’d follow this up with finding an open air restaurant and some delicious food. We’d eat delicate sashimi, big bowls of soups and stews, seafood, fresh bread, and we’d have all the beer and wine we could want. Next, I’d want to be at the lake. The weather would be perfect: not too hot and not too cold, with just the gentlest breeze present. I’d float around in the water and watch the clouds float by. I’d have my closest friends with me here, floating around in the water, just enjoying each other’s company. Someone would put on some music: Tragically Hip or something else super Canadian. Later on, I’d have a big family dinner with all the fixings and all my family present: all the grandparents, aunts and uncles, and definitely all my cousins. To end the night, I would rent out a bar in Winnipeg, invite my closest friends and the Winnipeg Jets, and I’d party with them until the sun comes up the next day.

Totally realistic, right?

6. If you could stay a certain age forever, what would it be?

Probably 8. 8 was a good year for me.

7. What was the last song you listened to on the radio/your ipod?

I had a friend over last night who also likes old music, so I just put on my vintage playlist of Edith Piaf, the Dorsey Brothers, Artie Shaw and the like.

8. What’s the worst place you’ve ever been to?

No place has ever been horrible, but I wasn’t enamoured with Rome. There were just far too many tourists for me to really get on board with losing myself in the romance of their history. Paris has never done anything for me either.

9. What’s your favorite season and why?

I like all seasons for different reasons: winter for hockey and getting cozy by a fire, summer for the lake time and floral dresses, fall for the colours and cute boots and jackets, and spring for the lengthening days. If I had to pick just one, I may pick fall.

10. What is the single best decision you’ve made in your life so far?

Trusting my gut. I couldn’t isolate just one instance, but my mum always told me to trust my spidey sense. I’ve worked on fine tuning that niggling feeling in my gut over the years, and it hasn’t disappointed me yet.

11. What restaurant or food do you love even though you know you shouldn’t?

Honestly, I don’t have a lot of guilt issues around eating and indulging because I generally keep active enough for it to not matter that much, but if I had to choose something, I’d probably choose bread or pie. I could eat pie every day, and the smell of a bakery is quite simply haunting.


San Francisco, USA (Kathy And The Bread Incident)

For my nominations, I’m not really paying attention to that rule about the number of readers allowed. I’m choosing people whose writing I love, whose blogs I love and who I really hope can find the time to answer my questions.

1. Natalie.

2. Hannah Margaret.

3. Christine.

4. Audrey.

5. Jill.

6. Ashley.

7. Jackie.

8. Maria.

9. Katie.

10. Kerri.

11. Alex.

Now here are my 11 questions for my 11 nominees.

1. If you could choose a super hero power, what would it be?

2. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

3. What is your favourite thing about yourself?

4. If you could go anywhere in the world for New Year’s Eve, where would you go?

5. What is the stupidest thing you’ve done while traveling?

6. How would your friends describe you?

7. What is your biggest weakness/vice?

8. Frogs?

9. If we are/were friends in real life, where should we travel together and why?

10. Describe your last dream.

11. Truth or dare?


 And if you didn’t think I could make this post even more about me… don’t forget to like me on Facebook and follow me on twitter!

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  1. Uncle Pete

    Thanks for sharing Colleen. Loved this.

  2. Wow! I don’t think I could have answered all those questions.
    Praise for your honesty, admiration for you wit in those answers.

    #1 – the birthmark – I know a man who has a dot on his wrist but it really is/was the beginnings of a tattoo and he changed his mind as soon as the needle touched his skin.

    Kudos for playing and playing so well Colleen.

    I’m honored by the nomination – Thnx!

    • Colleen

      My birthmark is actually a series of multiple freckles. I’ll snap a pic for you and the rest of the world! I used to pretend it was a watch when I was a kid.
      Can’t wait for your answers, and as always, thank you for stopping by!

  3. Emy

    I loved this post 🙂 I feel like I know you a bit more now! 🙂

  4. Thank you so much for the nomination Colleen! I’m going to answer your questions soon 🙂

    I love learning new things about the bloggers I follow.

  5. Hi Colleen, great to read about your experiences and to get to know you a bit better. I love spicy food and soup as well. I never heard of trypophobia, great to learn something new.

    • Colleen

      Hi Freya, thanks for stopping by! And yes.. it was fun for me, too, learning about trypophobia!

  6. Aw girrrrl. Thanks for the nom. I love all of the pictures and captions in here — they tell a little story all on their own. Also, I would not want to challenge you to a spicy food eating contest — you would dominate so hard.

    • Colleen

      Thanks Jackie! Can’t wait to see your answers to my questions…

  7. Congrats on the award, great to be recognised for all the hard work huh? I’m totally impressed by your diligence in answering all those questions so thoroughly. Good job!

    • Colleen

      Thank you so much for stopping by Iain! I had fun with these questions! 🙂

  8. Thanks for the nomination, Colleen! Really appreciate it. Sorry for the delayed response. I just came back from South America (had very limited Internet access).

    LOVE THIS POST. I think it has the best text on your blog. I feel like I know you since you were 8 😉 Really enjoyed your answers. Btw, I have a birthmark on the left ear… so everyone asks about the “earring” I am wearing 🙂

    • Colleen

      Great, looking forward to seeing what you do with my questions and also catching up on your photos from South America!

  9. and, yes, I had to google “trypophobia”… weird!

  10. I love this- your blog is fantastic!

  11. Haha loved it Colleen!!! I think you should definitely come diving with me, although I’m not sure you’ve totally thought that through with the newfound trypophobia diagnosis… I hope the coral won’t bug you!! And I really liked the story about the prostitutes 🙂


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