[:en]We are the Earth is nominated for the Liebster Award! I have been nominated before, but that was before I started blogging in English too. So that post is only available in Dutch (read it here if you can :P). Now I have been nominated again and I would love to answer some question so that my English readers can get to know me better too.

The Liebster Award is a recognition given to bloggers by other bloggers. It’s a way for bloggers to help people discover new blogs and to welcome each other to the community. Upon acceptance, bloggers then pass it on to other bloggers to continue sharing the love and discovering new blogs. Nominees answer 11 questions about themselves, and then ask at least 3 new bloggers 11 new questions!

I have been nominated by Sam and Veren of Alternative Travelers. Thank you guys! Sam and Veren are a couple from New York City who are traveling the world in an – their blog names already says it – alternative way. They prefer to travel slow and on a plant-based diet. They afford traveling the world by among others housesitting. It’s not the destination they are after, but rather the journey in itself. Check out their blog!

Longy myranmar

In Birma, showing off our new longyis!

My Answers on Alternative Travelers’ questions

1 – If you had all your basic needs (food, shelter, etc) met, what would you be doing?

Starting off with a hard question. I always say I would love to be more creative. To make things myself, to draw, to do more. But now, when I’m finished working, studying and playing sports, I don’t do those things, I rather watch a series.. If I didn’t have to work or be there for my sports team, I would probably travel even more and start being creative while on the road. I would also try out more recipes of homemade, zero-waste products. But I’m into this since recently, so it will come when the time is right. I think that all these things will come when I finish studying and in the mean time, I will make a start being creative here on We are the Earth.

2 – What’s the most random place you’ve ever been to?

The answer to this question is the same as the answer to question number seven. A random hotel in a place I didn’t belong: Guangzhou, China.

3 – Ideally, where do you see your blog going?

Ideally, I would love to earn something with it (who doesn’t right), but without becoming a commercial blog. I would want to maintain We are the Earth’s personal touch, try to inspire more people and improve my writing and photography skills.

4 – Do you feel like your blog completely reflects how you live your life or are there parts you don’t include?

People do get to know me through my blog, just not the complete me. So no, my blog doesn’t reflect my whole life. I have been open about things in the last year. For example about the impact (when traveling) of my fear of medicine and about the dead of my boyfriends’ granddad. But I think that for the bigger part, positive things are shared here. Bad vibes I reflect in poetry, but I keep these poems mostly to myself. I like it this way, I don’t feel comfortable throwing everything that’s going on in my life out on the internet and at the same time I don’t think many people are interested in it. However, I have been thinking of sharing more personal notes (as in bad or lesson learned experiences), but only related to traveling, since that’s what’s my blog is mainly about.

Me and my cat Sammy a few years back

Me and my cat Sammy a few years back

5 – If you could have a pet that goes with you wherever you go, what would it be?

I have a very very sweet cat, but unfortunately, he is very old and not up to a travel adventure. Having a dog as a travel companion will be very cool I think. A best friend and protector at the same time. Sometimes I see photos on Instagram of people and their dog in a tent somewhere in the wild and that just makes me daydream. Not sure if I would ever do it though. Would you?

6 – What’s your favorite place in the world (or top 3)?

Nepal (surprising huh? well, maybe it is if this is the first time you’re on We are the Earth). I lost my heart in Nepal. I went there for the first time in 2014, doing volunteer work in a mountain village. I lived with a Nepali family for three months and it was absolutely amazing! I went back last summer (2016) to see more of the country, visit my Nepali family again and do a meditation course in a Buddhist Monastery. The Nepali people are the kindest, the food is delicious, the diverse things to do are insane and nature is breathtaking. Yep, Nepal is for sure my favorite place in the world and I’m wondering if that will ever change.

me

Our daily view in the Kopan Monastery, Nepal.

7 – Have you been somewhere you didn’t like? Why didn’t you like it?

China! haha, oh man, what a story. I’m sure I would have been (and will be) positively surprised by China, but when I went there in 2015 I sure as hell wasn’t. It would have had a three-day stopover in Beijing on my way home (beginners fault of buying a plane ticket home, so I had to go to China in order to go back to Amsterdam. I would have wanted to stay in China longer, but since I spent ‘too much’ time in other countries (according to my original planning), I decided to do only a three day citytrip in Beijing, so I could still use my plane ticket and have a free transit visa (valuable for a maximum of three days). I had figured it all out). Unfortunately for me, the customs staff thought differently about that. They asked me to come with them and by the time they finally explained what was going on (I didn’t have a visa), I already missed my connection flight to Beijing (all this happened in Guangzhou). At that time I was mostly scared and sad and didn’t really know how to explain to them what I wanted. They assured me that what I tried to do wasn’t possible and that I had to buy a new plane ticket home (good luck with that in China, where google doesn’t work and everything is in Chinese). When I had a plane ticket hours later, I was allowed to leave the airport. I didn’t want to spend any money in China since I was so pissed off and had just spent hundreds or dollars on a new plane ticket. No one spoke English at the airport except for one creepy guy who said the airport was closing at night and I couldn’t stay. He offered me a ‘cheap’  hotel for $60, but all I had was $12. He took it. I was tired, grumpy and scared and was put in the back of a taxi who drove off to God only knows where. I tried to have a conversation with the driver, but he didn’t answer and a minute later he gave me a phone. It was the creepy guy on the other side of the line, assuring me the driver was going to the hotel. I probably saw too many films and I’ve had a very very long day, but when we finally reached the hotel after driving through some dark alleys, I was relieved. The night was still horrible and the flight home wasn’t the way I wanted to end my first big trip. The only good memory I have left of this is the steward of Madagascar speaking French to me because he thought I was going to Madagascar (maybe it was the colorful headscarf I was wearing?), I answered in broken French and we continued a good conversation in English. He made my day that day. In the end, it turned out the Chinese costumes should have let me through and the insurance paid my plane ticket home.

8 – What is one thing that could improve your experience blogging?

Hmm, maybe this is a good question to be answered by my readers? I’m sure I can improve on a lot of things, but I also know I have been improving a lot in the last year. When I compare my first few blogs to the last ones, I can see a huge difference. I would love to be flawless with grammar etc. I’m super dyslexic, so I make really stupid mistakes sometimes. But what would you say I improve on? (:

Tihar festival Nepal

Tihar Festival, Nepal, October 2014.

9 – What’s one of your favorite/most memorable meals you’ve ever had?

Defiantly at Omar’s place in Thinghir, Morocco! The man who runs this restaurant was so amazing and the food was without a doubt the best I have eaten in Morocco. Read all about him on this blog and if you find yourself in Morocco, go there!
Another very memorable meal was in Nepal. When I first met my Nepali family with whom I lived for quite some time, it was the week of the Tihar festival, a festival that is celebrated with family and food. We ate out of plates woven out of leaves and had different types of spiced beans and deep fright dough. To get to know the family in this way was really special and the food was delicious too. Making the plates was a work of art in which I wasn’t skilled enough. 😛

10 – Who are some of your favorite bloggers?

Iris of The Sea is My Cup of Tea. She is a Dutch girl I have met years ago in Zarautz, Spain. She’s following her dreams and passions and that’s something I admire. At the moment she lives in Portugal after traveling for quite some time in their (her and her boyfriend) self-made campervan (how cool!?). She’s is creative, writes about her travels, yoga, natural lifestyle and plant-based diet.

Gittemarry is an inspiration for me on a zero-waste lifestyle. She switched out impulse buys, fashion week and must-haves to a zero waste and plastic-free lifestyle! On her website, she shares inspiration, recipes, and guides on how to get started reducing trash.

To be honest I just found out she has a website. Before I only followed Cassia Chloe through Facebook and Instagram. She is a visual and performance artist, dancer, philosopher, and explorer. Her photos are insane and she herself is beautiful. She is a real wild spirit and I love how she tells her experiences through images.

11 – What are your goals for 2017 (doesn’t have to be blog related!)?

My goals are to go more zero waste (you can follow that journey here!), to be more conscious about myself and others around me, to create more inspiring content, to make some crazy trips and to hopefully help others.

15056634_568110083380302_5918761973826191360_n

My Liebster Award Nominees:

  1. Jennifer of Living the Ghanaian Dream is a Dutch girl who blogs in both Dutch and English about her love for Ghana. In her blog, she writes about the history, culture, music, food and most of all; her own experiences in Ghana.
  2. Denise writes about her search for happiness and her overcoming of her depression. She only writes in Dutch (sorry guys), but by nominating her I would like to help her reaching more readers (one of her goals of 2017). Denise, you can translate the questions to Dutch if you don’t want to answer them in English 😉
  3.  Lisa of Anywhere is Perfect , is based in Dublin, Ireland, where she is following an MA in Journalism and Public Relations. The from origin German woman writes about her travels all over the globe.
  4. Melissa of The world is my Museum, is a friend of mine. She combines her passion for art history, traveling and photography on her blog. She is currently traveling South America, so check out her Instagram!

My 11 Questions for Nominees

1. What is the most special thing you have learned about yourself while traveling?
2. What is the most beautiful/most special photo you shot during your last trip and what’s its story?
3. What is the story behind your favorite souvenir?
4. What are your hobbies/study/work/anything you do besides blogging?
5. Is there a moment in which a stranger did something really touching, helpful or sweet for you and for which you are still grateful?
6. Who is your favorite travel buddy or do you rather travel alone? why?
7. Do you feel like your blog completely reflects how you live your life or are there parts you don’t include?
8. Do you see yourself living abroad? 
9. Who do you really want to meet and why? (can be anyone!)
10. What is your favorite book/who is your favorite author? (in case you don’t read books, answer the question about music)
11. Classic question: what is on top of your bucket list? (top three is allowed)

The rules:

  • Thank and link to the blogger who nominated you
  • Create a post on your blog, displaying the Liebster Award Logo
  • Answer 11 questions assigned by the blogger who nominated you
  • Provide rules/instructions for accepting the award
  • Nominate at least 3 new favorite bloggers for the Liebster Award
  • Come up with a list of 11 new questions for your nominees
  • Notify the nominees (or do this before you post in case they do not wish to accept)
  • Post your Liebster Award blog post link in the comments of your nominators Liebster Award Post

Thank you for the nominations Sam and Veren! Would love to meet you some day (: [:]