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Thank you, Mishvo in Motion for the nomination for the Liebster Award!

award

The Liebster Award is an award that is passed from blogger to blogger in order to learn more about each other’s blogs. It is really for smaller blogs, ones with less than 200 followers. If you are nominated you answer 11 questions from the blogger that nominated you, then you nominate 11 more bloggers with 11 more questions.

Here are my questions from Mishvo and my answers:

What is the scariest thing that’s happened to you while traveling?

Travel is fun in that it has a lot of scary moments–some are thrilling, some are just plain terrifying. What really scared me, was once, I went to Athens, Greece when the economy had become so bad that there was a travel advisory not to go there (I ignored it-it only made me want to go more.) In Greece, there were gypsy children running around the streets, playing instruments and walking up to people and asking for money. You might be thinking, that’s not so scary, there are gypsies all over Europe! Yes, there are, and I am not afraid of them. But what really shook to me to my core, so much that I wanted to cry and puke and run home, was the moment when I looked into one of the gypsy girl’s eyes. She was about seven years old but she held herself like a twelve year old. I had seen her running around the neighborhood in Athens before, playing instruments and putting on a care-free nature when she asked tourists for money. But this time, I was in line for Greece’s famous iced Greek coffee, and she walked up to me with a cup for change. Her spirited nature was gone and she was a shell of a child. I made the mistake of making eye contact. Her eyes were ghost-like–not hopeful, but expecting. She walked closer, maintaining eye contact, and I noticed how dirty she was, how she was wearing the same clothes all week, how she was constantly in fight or flight mode. Her hair was long and dark, and I noticed that she had all her limbs (thank god.) For a split second, I felt like I knew this girl. When I realized she was close enough to me that I could almost hug her, she shook the cup, expecting change, and I shook my head no. She stepped toward me, and her eyes became angry, bullying me to put change in the cup. This seven year old con-artist could already manipulate tourists’ emotions. And no one could really do anything about it. This was my scariest moment.

Whats is your most romantic experience while traveling? 😉

Kissing on top of the Eiffel Tower and flirting on the beaches of Portugal were tied. Travel itself is romantic.

What’s the meaning of life to you?

Wow, the question of all questions! The meaning of life to me, is to learn what aspects of your life mean to you. What do you cherish? Is it worth it? Of course, we are all on the pursuit of happiness, but what if that is something that we have already?

What’s the weirdest animal you’ve encountered?

A person.

What is your must-have travel accessory or piece of clothing?

Ahhh I can’t pick one! Of course my camera, a jacket with pockets, a pen, my journal, and in winter, a scarf.

What’s your favorite place you’ve been to?

That is unfair question! You know that they are all different! Dang you, Mishvo! But I think Barcelona was my favorite tourist destination, I love the Park Guell and all the artsy-ness of the city. My favorite off-the-grid place is Belfast, Ireland because it expanded my world and forced me to see differently. I wouldn’t go there again, but I’m glad I did. And of course I loved Jerusalem.

What foreign languages do you speak/did you try to learn?

I speak English and I teach French! I have been learning French since middle school and I learned a majority of it in Lasuanne, Switzerland. Now, I am trying to learn Spanish to honor my family heritage. And sometimes I get really inspired and play with Chinese–I can read a menu (thanks to memrise.com!)

What do you do for a living?

I teach. Teaching is incredibly underrated as a profession, in that we work day in and out and strive perfection each and every day for salaries that can’t always pay our bills. I teach high school French, and I really do learn something every day from them. (Mostly slang, sometimes a life lesson.)

Where in the world did you sleep the least and why?

Oh gosh…I slept the least at night in Spain, thanks to their crazy party culture, but I made up for it during the daytime siesta. Once, in the UK, I stayed up for 48 hours travelling from London to Belfast.

Where do you feel at home in the world?

This is such a great question! I feel at home in Switzerland. I really do. I love it so much. Everyone is a little introverted, friends are incredibly loyal, the pace of life is slow and easy, and everyone works hard doing what they love, not what they have to do. They are the home of the United Nations, so Geneva is pretty multicultural and every culture embraces it. The Swiss stick to schedules and enjoy life as it is in the moment–no rushing through a coffee, no hurrying to class, no frenzied 20 minute lunch.

What keeps you blogging?

I blog to build community and educate. We all have so many different perspectives, that most people forget the American introvert’s perspective (which seems like an oxymoron..American, introvert). I love learning new things and writing about them, and I want to hear others’ reactions or thoughts on the topic. When it comes to actually discussing things, I get a little awkward and clam up, but when I am writing about it, I can be as passionate as I want. Blogging builds community.


 

Read more: Thanksgiving in Switzerland–a Culture Clash


 

There you have it! Now I pass on these nominations (in no particular order). Answer these 11 questions below on your own blog, then make 11 questions you want to know and pass it on to 11 more bloggers!

And here are your 11 questions!

  1. What is the first thing you do when you wake up while you are traveling?
  2. What is your ideal trip?
  3. Do you identify yourself as an introvert or an extrovert? How does this affect your travels?
  4. What do you find enticing about travel?
  5. What problems do you want to solve in the world?
  6. What languages do you know? Which ones are you learning?
  7. How does your gender affect the way people treat you while traveling?
  8. What is the most romantic experience you’ve had while traveling?
  9. What is happiness to you?
  10. If you could move and live anywhere, where would it be and why?
  11. Why do you blog?
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