Flowers on a Tree, Narrows of the Harpeth

Apologies for my absence, but I have been traveling! More on that soon, but in the meantime I wanted to gratefully accept KleesButterflys nomination for the Liebster Award. I’m going to break the rules a bit though–for I say rules should go if they hinder improvement. Or, you know, my self expression at this very moment. So, I’m taking the Liebster Award rules I was given and combining them with rules I have seen elsewhere to generate my own little acceptance post.

About the Award

Blogs with under 200 followers nominate one another to answer eleven questions about themselves, and increase interaction between new bloggers. To the people I’ve nominated: the rules are that you make a post about the award; answer the 11 questions I give you; state 11 facts about yourself, life, and/or adventures; nominate bloggers with less than 200 followers; and then ask them 11 of your own questions (at the bottom of the post).


Liebster Award Badge

The Questions I was Asked and My Answers

What would you like other people to stop doing?
I’ll rephrase this to what would I like other people to start doing. I wish more people would start caring about the planet they live and rely on, being more curious, being more open to new ideas and experiences, and being thoughtful. Everyone should try to be better at these things every day!

In which city would you live, if you could choose freely? And why?
Helsinki! I have long admitted to a strange affinity for Finland that I can’t entirely explain. But to put it in the most concrete terms I can: Helsinki is beautiful, clean, a great size, interesting, smooth but with a certain edginess yet, and is in Finland. I also have many friends there and feel a certain sense of belonging that I don’t experience in many places in my native country.

Do your pets sleep in your bed?
No. Unless my dear boyfriend counts as my pet, hehehe.

Do you follow rules on dates?
Do I follow rules? Sometimes, not always. Depends on the authority and my level of respect I suppose. And who is the authority regarding rules for dates? Maybe society and the patriarchy? Yeah, I don’t respect. But actually, the better question may be: have I been on a proper date? Maybe just like one.

(EditPer the prodding of my dear boyfriend and my dear Finn friend, I should clarify that I have, in fact, been on many dates with him! When answering this question, I was thinking only of the trying-out-people kind of dates rather than in-a-relationship dates, because, well, what special rules even exist for dates once you’re in a relationship? Confusion!)

What is your next planned travel destination?
I don’t have one! There are some worldwide potential maybe hopefully possibilities out there. And I’m certainly going somewhere this year. My boyfriend and I have vague plans to road trip across much of the USA to Seattle, WA and Portland, OR later this year, and hopefully I’ll line up another large excursion even before that.

Have you ever hitchhiked? If yes, when?
Yes! In Iceland, 2010. See the related stories about my hitchhiking adventures in Akureyri and in Vestmannaeyjar.

Who is your favorite artist?
Favorite musical artist: the answer is Patrick Wolf. My love for him has been undying since 2005. Reasons for this can be gleaned from my posts about seeing him in Saint Petersburg and in London. Also, I know very little about painting but I do quite like the paintings of Ivan Aivazovsky and Caspar David Friedrich. Aivazovsky’s in particular are amazing to see in person, which I have at the amazing Russian Museum in Saint Petersburg.

Do you read while eating?
Sure, sometimes.

While traveling, do you have regularly excess baggage at airports or do you weigh your suitcase at home?
I have never had excess baggage! And I have only taken a suitcase on a few extended trips for studying abroad. Almost always, I just take a travel backpack that fits (barely) as a carry on.

What is your favorite café (indicate the city and the name, and if you like, a link as well)?
Honestly, I don’t think I have one! But if I have to choose, I’ll go with Café Andino in Huaraz, Peru. I went there multiple times while in Huaraz. It was glorious to have a nice french press after drinking instant coffee for a couple of months, and their menu is pretty nice and the café itself is really fun. There is a great balcony with an of course beautiful view of the Cordillera Blanca, and inside there is a nice selection of books in many languages.

Do you still read paper newspapers (I mean the real ones, not on the internet)?
Not really, since I don’t subscribe to any. If there is a good one lying about though, I’ll peek!

Eleven Facts

  1. On my way to Finland for the very first time, I met my high school favorite Finnish band, Disco Ensemble, in the Copenhagen airport. I think they were as excited as I was since they were meeting an American fan despite their CD only being available in Finland at the time.
  2. I’ve couchsurfed in five countries and met up and/or traveled with couchsurfers in two others.
  3. Once I took a rather impromptu trip to Burundi, during which I encountered a few so-called (by me) pee rats in our hotel toilet! (Story forthcoming, I’m sure.)
  4. In all of my travels, including to poorer and more dangerous places, I have only been robbed once–in my beloved Finland.
  5. It’s probably pretty safe to say that I was one of the youngest students in my year to graduate with a master’s degree at my large university. I was certainly the youngest person in my small college to graduate with a bachelor’s. In fact, during my freshman year, I was the only student born in the decade of my birth year!
  6. I love learning languages and have been able to speak several languages other than English (namely, Russian, Spanish, and German) quite well, at least at some point. I have also studied a bit of Finnish!
  7. Speaking of languages, I know the word for unicorn in quite a few languages, random as it is. Yes, I seek out this information.
  8. Though I really love music, I don’t play an instrument (though when I was young I played classical guitar). However, when I was studying abroad in Saint Petersburg I did work at a club as a DJ.
  9. I have run a marathon. I did this last autumn.
  10. Currently I’m cultivating some small cacti and succulents, which are quite cute.
  11. In addition to my obvious interest in travel, I’m also very concerned about environmental issues. My master’s focused on both environmental policy and international affairs.

My Nominees

Honestly, I don’t follow that many blogs with fewer than 200 followers. I am always happy to get reading recommendations, however!

Questions for the Nominees

  1. How many countries have you visited?
  2. What political issue do you currently feel most strongly about?
  3. What are some of your favorite books?
  4. What is your preferred method of long-distance travel (plane, train, car, etc.)?
  5. How long does it usually take you to fall asleep?
  6. What is one of your most memorable travel memories?
  7. Do you enjoy dancing?
  8. If you could learn one more language, which would you choose and why?
  9. What has been your favorite song of the year so far? (It doesn’t have to be a new song, just the one you’ve enjoyed most recently.)
  10. Do you like ice cream? If so, what is your favorite ice cream place or flavor?
  11. What is one thing you would really like to accomplish this year?

Have fun!

Award/meme complete. Hopefully you’ve gotten a somewhat better idea of the enigmatic person behind this blog (if you don’t know me in person, that is). Any questions, I’ll take them! Soon I will return to the schedule of travel-related posts. Now, I’m back to having fun with my friend visiting from Finland while she is still here.