If you thowback to the early noughties, were chain emails a big thing here? I remember checking my hotmail account (a name which professed my love for potatoes- no joke) and being so excited when a friend would send me an email with approximately 71283+ questions to answer about yourself. Such gems as:
- “Who was the last person you texted to on the phone?” (with you Nokia 3310, of course! )
- “Describe your perfect date” (Way to make a grand assumption I had even ever properly interacted with a boy. Meanie. #scary #foreveralone #DollyDoctor)
- “Who is da best and cutest band: 5ive or NSync or Backstreet Boys?” (The answer is Backstreet Boys, duh)
I’d love finding out “secret” things about my friends. Especially when it came to that inevitable question “Do you have a crush on someone?” and they would coyly answer, “Maybe… I’m not telling”. Ahhhh, sweet memories of childhood!
So I was so excited to get a chance to do an “adult” version of this when I was nominated for the Liebster Award for this very blog! The Liebster Award is passed on from blog to blog to help the community network and discover new, upcoming blogs while learning more about its bloggers in the process.
I was happily and humbly surprised to receive the nomination from a fellow Aussie blogger, Chasing Gains. Mr Chasing Gains is wise beyond his 19 years old and writes about his financial and fitness goals and achievements. Two things I certainly do not excel at so I am very in awe of! Thank you so much for the nomination, I feel so chuffed!!
Liebster Award rules. The rules are simple:
- You are to share 11 facts about yourself so readers can get to know you better.
- Mention has to be made to the person that nominated you;
- Answer the 5-11 questions that were asked by the person that nominated you;
- Nominate another 3-5 bloggers to receive the Liebster Award and ask them 5-11 questions;
- Let your nominees know either by leaving a comment on their blog, sending them an email, calling them out on social media, etc.
First off: 11 facts about me:
1. I didn’t talk until I was 3 years old, and my mum was so worried she took me to a speech therapist. I always joke I am now making up for lost time, because as anyone that knows me now can tell you I never shut up!
2. Over the years as a kid I tried out a lot of different classes: Jazz, tap, swimming, ice skating, flute, piano. Unfortunately I was mediocre at best in all of them. But, to my credit I can ice skate backwards!
3. When I was little, my parents used to take me to a lot of demonstrations and protests. It really influenced how I think now and I still love to talk about politics to this day. Probably why I was the only one in my Primary Ed degree to take politics electives!
4. I loved my Kindergarten teacher so much that I decided from 5 years old I wanted to be a primary school teacher. Miss Honey from Matilda further cemented my young heart’s drive. Whilst I don’t want to be a teacher any more, for 18 years of my life I thought of doing nothing else!
5. As a kid I collected everything: Tazos, Smith’s chips cards, stickers, postage stamps, rubber stamps, little rubber models of food. Hilariously, I even collected patterned toilet paper (unused!).
6. I am disgustingly unfit because I am too lazy and hate most forms of movement, so if I exert myself to any extent (e.g. climb up a flight of stairs) my heart beats super fast. In an effort to address this, I have recently taken up belly dancing! Which is hilarious because I don’t have a skerrick of rhythm to my body.
7. In the past 3 years I have had to move house 8 times. No, it never gets easier!
8. I am a massive hoarder. I can’t throw anything away. I blame it on my deep sense of sentimentalism. But, but, I can’t throw it away- it reminds me of that time I was in that place I can’t really remember now. Combined with a love of gathering stuff I can forsee my future spot on one of those compulsive hoarders shows.
9. I made a little pact with myself that I would go to India one day and do some volunteer work at the most amazing school located in a very poor slum area. I was so inspired after watching this TED talk a couple of years ago, that I vowed to go! I think I have 7 years left…. https://www.ted.com/talks/shukla_bose_teaching_one_child_at_a_time?language=en
10. This is my 5th blog (unless I am forgetting any?). I have blogged since I was around 15. I only write in one other blog very infrequently now, and that blog is private and very different to this blog!
I had to answer the following, very adult, questions:
1. If you could move to any part of the world right now, where would you go and why?
Oh wow, what a tough question to start off with! I know it’s really cliche, but it’s still my dream to live in New York. Alicia Keys can’t be wrong, can she? Also, as if I need to justify it when you have pizza that amazing looking. But I’ve also heard great things about California too, so would be keen to give that a go! Scandinavia also sparks my interest- it seems like the perfect combination of rich culture, beautiful architecture, history and delicious food.
2. Favourite activity to do on weekends?
Chilling. (God I sound so cool with a one word response. Must. Leave. It. At. One. Word.). OH… GOD… I C….AN’T STOP WRITINGGGG…. Ah, screw it. I love catching up with my friends over a good meal, and exploring new places. Even though I have been here for two months I feel I haven’t been to many places in this incredible city!
3. You win $10 million in the lotto, how do you spend, save or invest it?
Based on my lottery luck so far, I’m sure the likelihood of that happening is very slim… I would invest 1/2 (ChasingGains I’ll need your help!), give a 1/4 to charity, and with the remainder go on a whirlwind trip, ordering extra sides and sauces on every meal. I would also treat my best friends and family to a holiday/presents for good measure!
4. Favourite memory as a kid?
When I was around 7 my family took a trip to Vanuatu. It was the only trip we have ever been to overseas together so I feel it was very special. My leg was in a cast, so I was limping around everywhere. I remember being sent off to the “kids camp” which was fun, but kind of scary too. Can you believe I used to be HORRIBLY shy when I was younger? I remember yummy breakfast buffets and being introduced to the traditional culture in the country by some locals. I can still recall the taste of the coconut juice cracked fresh for me! Everyone was so nice, and we got these shell necklaces. I somehow got all my family to give theirs to me, so I STILL have four of these necklaces in a box in a garage.
5. Why did you start blogging?
I started Typing to Taipei because I want a memory of this time in my life, like a time capsule of my experiences and observations not only of Taiwan, but also of who I am at this point in time. I also wanteds to keep my family and friends in the loop, but didn’t really expect anyone to actually read this. So I honestly feel really touched when anyone takes the time to read my erratic posts. Recieving positive feedback is something I didn’t anticipate, but it makes me over the moon if I can make someone laugh a bit, even if it is at me!
6. What is your favorite place that you have visited?
I’m sorry, I can’t pick just one….So in defiance, I shall pick many (does this disqualify me?)
Greater Taiwan: I was so mesmerised by the Big Buddah in Chang Hua, and the beaches in Kending were so beautiful.
Taipei: I really love Longshan Temple (though I haven’t been since my first visit a year ago) and found the grounds of Chiang Kai Shek Memorial very breathtaking.
Japan: Arashiyama for the most perfect 1 day trip, Nara and Miyajima for the cutest deer, Tokyo Disney Land, Shinjuku for its buzzing atmosphere, Fukuoka for everything you could want in a city, Hiroshima and of course, my beloved Oita where I lived for 2 years!
Beijing: Imperial Palace for encapsulating the beauty of Chinese culture and architecture, and climbing the Great Wall.
Korea: Seoul for it’s natural coolness everywhere you turn.
France, Italy, Spain: All the incredible art galleries and architecture. I particularly liked the cities of Cordoba, Florence and Napoli. In Europe I have “only” been to Paris, Florence, Rome, Bologna, Napoli, Barcelona, Cordoba, so I am dying to explore Europe further as there is still so much to see!
Singapore: There was this little, cute street next to the terrible hostel we stayed in with all these cool, independent shops- a nice break from the flashiness.
Hong Kong: Lang Kwai Fong (ahem…) and Tim Ho Wan, the most incredible Yum Cha in the world! (Heads up Sydney siders one is opening there soon!). Also, there was this giant Buddah very similar to the one I like in Chang Hua.
Vietnam: Kayaking in Ha Long Bay and mind blowing hiking in Sapa.
Australia: Shouldn’t forget my home country! I hold a soft spot for Melbourne, so I think I will live there one day! An unforgettable experience was swimming in the Great Barrier Reef, and holding a baby crocodile in Queensland. For my home city, Sydney, climbing the Harbour Bridge was a once in a life time experience!
7. If money wasn’t a factor, what would be your dream job?
I am someone who is very driven by human interactions, and I really enjoy learning something from everyone I meet. If I could travel the world, feasting my eyes on new sights, sounds and tastes, and hear the stories of “everyday” and notable people, I would feel as if I had hit the jackpot. If I had to link it with a job, I guess it would be a travel blogger who is paid to write about their observations and experiences. Alternatively, my friend (Ni hao Ian!) told me yesterday about a job which entails being flown around to sleep in luxury hotels around the world with the purpose of reviewing them. Some people have laughably good jobs!
8. What is your overall goal in life?
That is certainly a big question, but I guess it could be summarised by the following: to live my life always challenging myself, never being complacent, seeking out new experiences, meeting a wide range of people to learn from and share, if but a part of, my life with. If I can make a positive impact on someone, or something along the way, then that is more than I could hope for.
As per the rules of the award, I have to nominate some fellow bloggers! So I nominate:
G’day Taiwan: G’day Taiwan is a great insight into the best things to do and best places to go in Taipei from a fellow Aussie blogger. G’day Taiwan writes about Taipei in a very eloquent, insightful and mature way I could only dream of doing!
Cooking with a Wallflower: A collection of scrumptiously delicious recipes that anyone can put together. I love the stories Andrea includes with the recipes, and the easy-to-follow instructions that make them fool proof!
My Taiwanderful Life: An entertaining take on life in Taipei from another Sydney-born blogger based in Taipei. Be prepared to laugh!
Down to Explore: A cool take on all the wonderful places there are to visit in this world. Complete with awesome pictures and great writing, it’s a good read for those with wanderlust!
Bubbletea101: The comprehensive guide to Taipei. I don’t know how they do it, but they cover everything you’d ever want to do or see in Taipei, and on top of that, provides an interesting insight into Taiwanese customs, practices and even controversial topics.
My questions to you guys!
1. What is a quote or proverb that you find inspiring?
2. Which city taught you a lesson you won’t ever forget? What was the lesson?
3. Best travel tip that many people won’t know?
4. What type of person do you want to be by the time you’re 50?
5. How do you deal with homesickness when you’re away?
6. Is there a city or country you don’t want to visit? Why?
7. If you had the command of the world’s media for a day- what message would you want to spread?