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The Sunshine Blogger  Award

The Sunshine Blogger Award

This year has been quite a good year for my blog. The number of visitors have been increasing every month, both on my blog, my FaceBook Page and on my Instagram account, I was recently awarded a Liebster Award, and only a short time later I received not one, but two nominations for the Sunshine BlAward. Thank you so much to

Neelie’s Next Bite

and

DBucketList

for their nominations. Awards like this are really motivating and makes me want to improve my blog more and more.

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to bloggers who are inspiring and bring sunshine into the lives of their readers and fellow bloggers.

The Sunshine Blogger Award

The Sunshine Blogger Award

The Rules

1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog
2. Answer the 11 questions your nominating blogger asked you
3. Nominate 11 other blogs and give them 11 questions to answer.
4. Notify your nominees
5. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post.

My Questions from a DBucketlist are:

1. What is the most memorable country you ever visited?

Japan, no question about it. I instantly fell in love with the country and went there five times in just over four years. Now I have been to the five biggest islands and seen more of the country than many Japanese have. I just love the culture, the fod, the people. I am deeply fascinated by Japan, to say the least.

2. Let’s say you meet someone who doesn’t like the idea of travelling, what will you say to him/her?

I don’t really say much to them. People are different. Some people like to stay home, others like to travel. Of course I feel they are missing out on so much, travelling opens your eyes, lets you see the world in a new light. It is such an educational experience. But I don’t really feel like changing people, making them do stuff they don’t like to. Taking care of myself is enough work for me, I don’t want to look after others as well.

3. What kind of traveler are you?

I like to travel to cities mostly, then just walk around, explore and get to know the city on my own. I prefer to travel by myself, travelling with others can be stressful at times I think. I have a few friends I know I can travel with, without usgetting angry and annoyed at each other, and I have friends I would never travel with again. I am not a beach traveller, don’t really care about fancy hotels and restaurant. I would much rather save money on accomodation and go to the places the locals visit, get to know them, know the culture of a place.

4. So far in your life of traveling, have you ever wanted to stay somewhere and never come back home? If yes, where and why?

Pretty much every time I am travelling I guess. I am always amazed when I hear people talk about how nice it is to come home after having travelled for a few weeks, or even just a few days. I am never like that, the plane ride home is always sad. I hate coming home!

5. What was the first trip that made you love traveling?

Hard to say, I have been travelling for as long as I remember. When I was a kid my family used to drive from Norway through Europe. But the trip that probably cemented my love for travel was when I went to Australia to go to University. I did not know anyone there, all I knew was that I wanted to study abroad. If it didn’t make me love travelling, it certainly opened up my eyes for Solo Travel.

6. If you were to spend your last day of being alive, how will you spend it?

Hopefully bring all my friends and those I love to Tokyo for one final crazy night. No tomorrow! We would eat and drink out way through Tokyo and end the night at Oedo Onsen in Odaiba for an all-night drinking and hot-spring session.

7. Traveling makes us see people in different light. What is the one trait you’ve always hated before but learned to accept and understand after meeting so many people during your travels?

I have always been a bit shy and introverted. When younger I always wished I would be more extroverted, more comfortable in social settings. Now, not so more anymore. I love walking around by myself in a new and unknown city, making my own decisions, to be lost in my own thoughts. Then I can be social when I want to and withdraw into solitude when I feel for that. This love for walking by myself certainly has made me see so much more of the places I visit than I would if I always had to be part of a group. It also gives me a lot of time to reflect on how people live in different cities, how the places differ from bak home.

8. What is the worst memory you have while traveling?

Now that is a hard question. I am a very positive person and most negative experiences are really not so bad if you have the right mindset. Any bad thing happening on your travels will become a good story sooner or later. I am very good at remembering the positives and forget about the negatives. Even a cancelled flight becomes a funny story when you get home. On my way from Taiwan to Japan last September my plane was delayed for 20 hours due to a typhoon. We were checked into what was a nice hotel, but it was literally in the middle of nowhere. The only thing close to the hotel was a 7/eleven. No bars, no restaurants, nothing. But instead of staying in my room and took a long walk through the little village and it let me see a new side of Taiwan, a side most travellers probebly never have seen.

9. What was the most delicious food you’ve tried outside your country?

So much comes to mind, it really depoends on what food I am craving at the moment. So many different dishes from Japan comes to mind, but my best food experience is probably my first night in Taiwan. I went to a night market and went totally crazy. There was so much delicious food there, and all for such a small price. I would often buy a dish only to have a small nibble at it, then move on to the next dish. I really wanted to try them all and I managed to work my way through most of them. I remember having the meat sweats even when I woke up the next morning. That was truly an amazing culinary experience. The grilled duck’s head is the dish that stands out the most. It really did look a bit scary, eating a complete duck’s head, beak and all, but the taste was simply divine.

10. If you were to go somewhere tomorrow, where will it be and why?

My usual answer to this would be Japan, but my New Years Rsolution this year is not to go to Japan. Haha. I need to see other places as well. Anywhere I haven’t been really. South Korea is high up on my list right now, so is revisiting Taiwan. So if someone gave me a ticket to wherever tomorrow I guess I would flip a coin between those two countries. If you aske me next year I would probably say Japan.

11. What is your belief in life?

I am not religious or anything like that. I believe we have this life and this life only, when we die that’s it. The curtains close, it is all over. So all we have to do is to make the most of the life we have, live in the moment, enjoy ourselves. It could all be over tomorrow, I want to experience as much as I can before I die.

My questions from Neelie’s Next Bite are:

1. What is it that you like most about travelling?

I just love to see new places, learn about new cultures and make new friends in other countries. I am also a bit of a history buff and find it very interesting to learn more about the history of the places I visit. Usually, if visiting a place for the first time I don’t read too much about it, try to come with a clean plate, discover a place with no preconseptions. When I get home from a trip I dive into the history of the place I just visited which means I can keep on rediscovering a place long after I return back home.

2. What’s your favourite way of travelling and why (by bus, car, plane..)?

Most of the time I prefer planes, I like to get to places really fast and don’t spend too much time on the road. Unlike many others, I’m not afraid of flying, I am more afraid of driving. So I try to avoid cars as much as I can. My favorite way of travelling though, must be the bullet train in Japan. So fast, so comfortable. Much more room that in a plane cabin. I love getting to the station, buying a bento box and some beers, board the train and just watch Japan fly past me as the train speeds from one city to the next.

3. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve eaten during your travels?

Hmm, I’ve had a lot of weird food when I travel. I usually try every local food I come across. I did a bush walking trip in Australia where we tried bush food, live ants and stuff like that. It was delicious. So was the raw chicken I was served in Japan, a dish I certainly would never try in Europe. But I survived.

4. What’s the most wonderful encounter you’ve had with local people in a different country?

In December 2015 I went on a skiing trip with nine Japanese friends. Well, they are friends now. Back then I only knew one of them, and I had only met her twice. We rented a cabin in Niseko, Japan, and spent the days skiing. At night we would retire to our cabin, cook homemade Japanese food, drink beer, play cards or just sit around and chat. It was an amazing experience. The Japanese are so welcoming and friendly once you get to know them. That is an experience I will remember forever.

5. What travel experience will you never ever forget about?

I guess I answered this question in the question above, but there are many other experiences I won’t forget. Go-Karting on the streets of Tokyo, seeing a concert in Tokyo Dome with 55.000 other BabyMetal fans. The Crescendo Prog Festival in south-eastern France is a wonderful, intimate festival where I always have a good time. I have been there twice now. There are so many experiences I have had when travelling that I will never forget, it will take too long to mention them all.

6. What do you miss most about home when you’re travelling?

I have to admit, I don’t really miss that much. I love to travel and try to live in the moment. I guess not having my friends there to share my experiences is what I miss the most.

7. What’s your travel ritual, something you always do before or during your trip?

I can’t think of a specific ritual I have before a trip really. I pack of course, and try to clean my apartment so that I come home to a clean place. Other than that I don’t think I have a specific ritual.

8. Are you more a chilling-at-the-beach or a mountain-climbing type of person?

Neither really. I am more the city traveller. I love visiting new cities, just walk around without a plan. See what interesting places I can find, be it a cool store, a nice restaurant or a friendly bar. I’m not really such a nature traveller and at the beach I get easily bored.

9.What place do you think every traveller should have seen at least once in their lives?

This one is easy! Japan! Everyone should visit Japan. Such a wonderful country, totally different culture from the west, great food and friendly people. I always recommend Japan when people ask me where to go.

10. Do you use a guidebook when you travel or do you just wander off into the unknown?

Well, I am a bibliophile, so I always buy a Lonely Planet book about the place I am visiting, mostly just to have it in my bookshelves I guess. I usually read a bit in the guide book on my travels, but not for recommendations about restaurants, bars museums and such. For those I rather rely on local advice. I never use sites like Tripadvisor and Yelp anymore. I have found that the places listed on top at those sites are mostly overrun by tourists anyway. I would much rather have not so good food in a place visited mostly by locals, if you know what I mean. And recommendations by locals I have found to be better all the time anyway.

11. What’s your ultimate travel goal?

Ultimate travel goal, let me see. This is a hard one. I guess I just want to see the world, make friends across the globe, see as many new places as I can but aso revisit the places I love, get to know them more. My new year’s resolution is to visit at least two new countries every year. I guess that might be my ultimate travel goal. Visit at least two new countries a yeat and revisit as many countries as I can.

My nominees for the Sunshine Award are:

WhoaJennie – Finding the Way: A mother with such a love for travelling, she homeschools her kids to travel more with them

Wanderlust Vegans: A Canadian couple currently living in the UK. A blog about vegan travelling in North America and Europe

Jay Chaa: Food from all around the world

BlackBoard: Travel blog focusing on Indian travel

Adventure Catcher: A Polish girl who left her career in corporate finance to travel the world

Renegade Journeys: Trelking and outdoor travelogues of a vagabond Indian

Karate and Caviar: A Photo Diary of a Globetrotter

Travel With Him: A blog by Alexandra, a girl who likes to get lost in the world

Lost Coconuts: Great blog with lots of posts about America and Asia

Bihaye Tayo Bes: a travel blog about the Phillipines

The Trippy Voyager: compouter science engineer, digital marketing enthusiast, and of course a traveller

And my 11 questions are:

1. Why did you start travel blogging in the first place?
2. Which country would you most like to visit at the moment? And why?
3. Are there any places you do not want to return to ever again? If so, why?
4. How do you plan your travels? Do you look up and book everything before you go, or mostly wing it after having arrived?
5. Do you have any specific travel goals each year?
6. Do you have any travel apps you could not do without? Which ones? And why?
7. Do you work on your travel blog while on the road, or like me, do all the work when you get home?
8. What is your best advice to an aspiring travel blogger?
9. What is the one travel experience that really stands out? Do you have one or are there several?
10. What is the worst food you have had while travelling?
11. What is the best part about being a travel blogger?

There they are, your eleven questions. Congratulations with your Sunshine Blogger Award. I can’t wait to read your answers to them. Have fun blogging and best of luck in your travels!

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