Some of us are turtles, and some of us are hares, so the story goes.
Now, I like turtles a lot. I like their wet green shells. I like how shy they are with their head and feet all tucked in. (Except for snapping turtles. They are the quintessential mutant.)
But in real, rather than metaphoric, life, I’ve always hankered to be a hare. Zooming to the top of lists, ranks, payscales, polls. Being big shot enough to be all humble pie, like, “Oh, gosh another award/raise/nomination! For me? Really, I don’t deserve it.”
When I really know I do.
I am, however, firmly embedded in turtledom. It has taken me a long time to accept that I’ll always be the quiet one. The onlooker. The also-ran. The person who just keeps on plodding. Who plods until long after the winners have fallen asleep or gone home.
So, imagine my amazement when I discovered there was an award just for people like me, who work very hard at plodding.
It’s called the Liebster Award, and Michelle, who blogs at the Travel Wench, very kindly nominated me. That’s all it takes, a nomination. Now I can run around like Little Miss Sunshine yelling, “I WON! I WON! I WON! I WON!”
This award given to “talented” (Get that? Talented!) bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. Now, in the cyberuniverse, it is exceedingly difficult to have only 200 followers. This takes hard work. You practically have to erect a shield of invisibility. Especially when you’ve been blogging fairly faithfully for OVER THREE BLOODY years. Which only goes to show how extraordinarily talented I am at being invisible.
So, I’m completely down wth this award. I’m rocking it. This is SO my award. Folks, I AM the Liebster!
What I have to do now is to answer 10 questions that Michelle composed. It’s kind of like my acceptance speech. Then I nominate some other blogs that I am pretty sure have way more followers than I do, but that fall under the category of being small-ish. These are some of the favs that I follow, so you should, too. I give them 10 questions of my own, and pass the baton onto these lucky Liebsters. Got it? Neither did it, but I’ve had more time to think about it.
So-to answer Michelle’s 10 questions:
1. During your travels, have you done something that you weren’t proud, of or embarrassed by that you wish you could change?
Yes. Several times I’ve walked by or ignored or pretended not to see people who were in terrible need. I wrote about this experience in a previous post.
It’s always hard to know how to respond in these situations, especially on the spur of the moment. But the times I fell short have haunted me and challenged me to respond more compassionately in the future.
2. Has someone you met on your travels impacted you in a very positive or negative way and how?
I often think about my time with Brother Casey, the guy who lives in his car and spends his days in prayer. He was one of the most authentic and inspirational people I’ve met.
3. How old were you when you got your first passport stamp and what country was it for?
I was 22, and it was for Italy. I was also 7 months pregnant, which put the kebosh on more passport stamps for, oh, 25 years or so.
4. What is your favorite food you have enjoyed while traveling?
I’m not much of a foodie, but my daughter and I enjoyed fresas y crema (strawberries and cream) during our 3-month sojourn in Baja California. We’d look for it in every town.
5. What destination could you go back to over and over again?
Well, maybe not over and over, but I’d go back to the Anza Borrego Desert State Park in southern California. This place has campgrounds in the high desert and among palm groves–and most of them are free or nearly so. Plus, it’s beautiful.
I’d also like to go back to Alaska someday and to Baja California.
6. What is the most adventurous activity you have done while on a trip?
Honestly, I’m not very adventurous when it comes to activities. I don’t like water; I don’t ride horses; I like two feet on the ground (although I’m not particularly terrified of heights). I guess it was ziplining in Costa Rica, but that was more exhilarating than scary.
7. If you could travel with one person (present or past) who would it be and why?
My sister and nephew and I traveled to Amsterdam and St. Petersburg (Russia). We gave each other lots of space, but also had a blast when we were together. We’re planning to meet in Oaxaca soon, during which I’m sure we’ll pick up where we left off. I traveled for three months last summer throughout the Canadian Maritimes with my youngest daughter (my fresas y crema partner in crime). It was special for me to spend so much time with her in such amazing geography. I’m also planning a trip to Israel with my best girlfriend in 2015. I’m looking forward to seeing that ancient culture through her eyes. (She’s Jewish.) And I’m excited to be taking my granddaughter on a short trip to New York City this autumn.
I guess that’s more than one person. In fact, for someone who spends a lot of travel time alone, I’m surprised at how many people I’ve enjoyed traveling with.
8. What do you miss the most when you are “on the road”?
My family. Hands down. My family always draws me home.
9. What was the coldest destination you have been to?
Alaska. I remember making pancakes outside and thinking that it was very cold. I later discovered the temperature was in the mid-teens (Fahrenheit). It was the middle of August, and I was traveling with my husband and three little kids at the time. But the nothern lights that night had been spectacular!
10. Have you ever been to a country that made you feel uneasy. If so, where?
Yes. The ten or so days I spent in St. Petersberg were both fascinating and instructive. From the outside, the Russians are tough and even unfriendly. (I’m sure the picture changes when you understand the culture.) So I was super careful not to get lost or into any kind of trouble. That said, I want to go back. It was such an interesting place. I’d just want to have my ducks in a row AND a backup plan.
OK. To keep the ball rolling, I nominate:
Life is Fare, a blog about food, cooking, and allergies by my friend Marcia Davis
Accelerated Stall, a blog about…well you’ll have to figure that out for youself, by my cyber-friend Maria Falvey.
Here are the Liebster rules:
Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
Answer the 10 questions given to you by the nominator.
Nominate other bloggers for the award that have fewer than 200 followers.
Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them.
And here are your questions:
1. Tell us a random fact about yourself.
2. Why did you start blogging?
3. What do you want to accomplish with your blog?
4. Do you have a secret fear? What is it?
5. What accomplishment are you most proud of?
6. Who are your heroes?
7. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
8. What one thing do you want to accomplish before you die?
9. What is your favorite book? Movie? Song?
10, What is your favorite hobby.
Tag. You’re it.