Earlier this week, Surya from Perpetually Peripatetic turned my drab Wednesday morning into a remarkable one! One of my favourite travel bloggers, she nominated me for the Liebster Award!! 🙂 Thank you so much, Surya, for recognizing my baby-blog which is just over a year old!
‘Liebster’ is a German word that loosely translates to ‘favourite’, and this award is given by blogging-veterans to new kids on the block. The goal is to discover new bloggers and their interesting blogs in 3 easy steps:-
- In a blog-post, tell the world you’ve been nominated, express your gratitude to the blogger who nominated you and insert a back-link to her/his blog.
- Answer the 11 questions that you were asked in the nomination-blog-post.
- Spread the cheer by nominating other blogs with <500 followers & ask them 11 new questions.
Now, presenting… Surya’s 11 questions and my answers:-
1. Who or what inspired you to start blogging?
I owe my start to a number of incidents and people. I created my first blog inspired by my school-friend, Vayshnavi, a gifted writer who blogs at vayshnavi-obscureyetvivid. My posts, however, were few and far between. Then came Suman, an angelic office-friend who urged me to start blogging again. He would blog regularly and tell me it’s ok to not have perfect posts, but it’s important to write.
But what really got me to create a travel blog was my interview experience at one of India’s premier business schools. I faced a panel of 3 middle aged professors who asked me about my alternate career plans. I told them I wanted to be a travel blogger because of my immense love for travel and writing. I had been traveling out of my city every month that year! The lady in the panel looked interested and asked me (with a big smile) if I blogged about my travels. My face fell when I heard that question. I cannot recall what I mumbled through the rest of the interview, and I (obviously) did not make it to that school. But that question changed me forever. When my dad drove me back home, I couldn’t help but wonder why I had never written about my trips to the various wonderful places I had been to. If I indeed loved to write and travel so much, why had I not done anything about it? What had I been waiting for? Blogging doesn’t cost a Rupee (unless you count internet charges 😛 )! I started a new blog (this very one! 🙂 ) that night, and have reserved it exclusively for travel-posts and everything related to travel. I realize this blog is not helping me get an MBA, but it brings me plentiful joy and makes me fall in love with writing and travel over and over again.
Also, Shivya deserves a special mention here, as in my initial days of travel blogging, I ran into her blog and discovered how beautifully she paints (through her words) the images of places she writes about. Knowing that there are more girls like me who share my passion for tripping and scribbling, has made me aware of a sort of sisterhood that makes me feel I’m never alone even in my solo journeys.
2. Which, do you think, is your most under-appreciated post? Link to it while answering so we all can see it!
A Day in Mysore remains the most under-appreciated post on my blog. Perhaps my writing hasn’t done justice to the countless wonders once can witness and experience in this quaint city.
3. Do you travel solo or with people? Who’s your favourite travel companion?
I travel both solo and with others. My ex has been my favourite travel companion for most of my trips. But now that he’s a part of my past, my spirit and inquisitiveness have been keeping me company (…till I have a new favourite on board, I guess 😉 )
4. Which experience was terrifying at the time, but now is a great story that you wouldn’t trade for anything?
The experience of ignoring the “No tourists beyond this point” signboard at a fort in Nashik (a blog post coming soon!! 😀 ) and trekking up a steep, scary hill in the winter with a heavy backpack was mortifying! But when I came back to the foot of the hill with my heart still pounding in my ribcage, I felt the kind of adrenaline rush only a trekker can feel.
5. How long do you think you’ll keep blogging? 😛
I shall blog as long as I live! Amen.
6. What’s the best and worst thing about having an Indian passport?
Best thing: We can visit a few countries without a Visa, or at best, with a Visa on arrival.
Worst thing: ^ Such countries constitute a VERY small percentage of the world :’-(
7. Other than India, where would you like to live?
I would like to spend some time in every country I can. And I hope we get closer to world peace and cooperation so I can make this dream come true.
8. Do you tend to gain or lose weight while traveling?
It depends, really. I had gained 10 pounds gorging on Gujarati delicacies in the winter of 2010 when I was interning in Ahmedabad. But in the summer of 2011, when I went on my first international internship to Lleida, I lost several inches walking all across Spain & Italy, despite being sold to the mediterranian cuisine!
9. What is that one exotic food you would love to eat, but are still wary of trying?
I’d love to try ‘kumis‘ (mare’s milk) which is sweeter than the regular cow/buffalo/goat-milk and has some amount of alcohol.
10. When you’re in a scary situation, what do you tell yourself to be less scared?
When in danger, I always tell myself I’m not the only or the first person to be in such a situation. Several people have faced the unknown and come out victorious. If they can, so can I! And if the situation is so scary that I don’t think anybody’s been there before, I tell myself to suck it up and tackle it head-on! If I fail, I fail. But if I survive, I’ll be an inspiration to other people in similar situations! 🙂
11. Where did you find the best coffee you’ve ever had? (This question is important to me!!)
Hmm… I’m not really a coffee-aficionado, but I can tell you that I’ve tasted the best coffee not in Coorg (the coffee-paradise) but right here in my backyard! And no, not at Starbucks, but at Costa Coffee in Powai! They have this rich, creamy coconut coffee that comes in a HUGE cup and smells just as good as it tastes! A word of caution here – if you are not a fan of coconut, you might just end up hating this coffee (and as a consequence, me 😛 )
Time for the Liebster nominations…
- Triparna Kar for Crazy Charming Reality
- Ramya Kuruganti for Ramya’s Reasons 2b Happy
- Suman Barua for The ShOemon Chronicles
And here are my 11 questions for you:-
1. Is there a story behind your blog and why you started it?
2. What time of the day/night do you find conducive for blogging?
3. Who do you write for? Your readers? Somebody special? Or yourself?
4. Which of your blog-posts is your all-time favourite?
5. Do you enjoy traveling or is it a chore for you?
6. If you had to explain ‘the meaning of life’ to a 6-year-old, how would you do it?
7. Do you write better when you are happy or sad?
8. Have you ever bunked school/college/office to do some writing? (I have 😉 )
9. What is your favourite thing to eat when you blog? Before you answer, DO you eat while you blog?
10. Send me a picture of what your room looks like as you type out your Liebster-post. (Caution: No cleaning up! Keep it candid! 🙂 )
11. If I paid for your travel, food and accommodation, would you leave your job and travel with me?
You 3 are terrific bloggers and have your own, unique style, Triparna, Ramya & Suman! 🙂 Give me a shout when you have answered all of my 11!
There couldn’t have been a better, more appetizing way to describe it… ‘rich, creamy coconut coffee that comes in a HUGE cup and smells just as good as it tastes’!! Either I find this in some other Costa, or I come to Mumbai soon!!
The last question was my most important one 😀 Glad I’ve found a strong contender!!
Haha! 😛 Would love to have you over in Mumbai!
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Thank you, Jaideep! 🙂