The Infinity Dreams Award

The Infinity Dreams Award

The Infinity Dreams Award is given from bloggers to bloggers and is a great way to learn about the writer behind the blog on a more personal level.

First of all, I would like to thank Gemma from Gemma Jane Adventures for nominating me for this award! I am honoured that you thought of me.

After being nominated for this award, the rules are that you have to share 11 facts about yourself and then answer the questions that the person who nominated you has asked you. You are then responsible for nominating 11 other bloggers and creating questions for them to answer.

11 Facts About Myself:

  1. I work full-time as an administrative assistant in a federal prison with minimum to maximum security male inmates (Don’t worry, it’s not as scary as it sounds!)
  2. I graduated university with a degree in Criminal Justice and Psychology
  3. My true passions are writing, traveling and finding new ways to further simplify my life
  4. I love cats and I refer to my cat Bella as my “fur baby.”
  5. I am an introvert and although I enjoy meeting new people, I need my alone time in order to recharge my internal energy
  6. I have a huge desire to travel to Guatemala – The natural beauty of the volcanoes, mountains, lakes and jungles is absolutely beautiful, the Mayan culture is prominent and fascinating, there are colourful colonial cities, and ancient Mayan ruins of Tikal are definitely at the top of the list.
  7. I have Celiac Disease, which basically means that I am allergic to gluten/wheat/flour.
  8. I enjoy living super frugally and simply in my daily life at home, so that I can save more money for travel and experiences.
  9. I love eating a variety of fruits and vegetables and try my best to find foods that are fresh, organic and local (where possible).
  10. I absolutely love researching and planning my future travels and adventures (I spend an insane amount of time doing this and it can get a bit obsessive).
  11. I am currently experiencing a quarter-life crisis and have absolutely no idea what I want to do with my life, in terms of a job or career. There are just too many options and I have too many interests!

The Questions:

What trip/holiday has inspired you the most to travel more? 

My first solo trip to Mexico this past spring was such an amazing experience! I learned a lot about myself, met some really great people along the way, and it was empowering to know that I, as an introvert, was capable of traveling solo in a foreign country. Taking this trip has definitely sparked my wanderlust and has instilled a deep desire inside my heart to travel more.

What did you do before you went traveling/while you’re at home?

I am not a long term traveler, so I maintain a full-time job at home and travel as often as I can using my limited annual leave. I work as an administrative assistant at a federal prison.

What place would you like to go back to and why?

Honestly, I could go back to Mexico over and over again and probably never get sick of it. It’s such a huge and diverse country and there are so many interesting places to explore and experience. I absolutely love everything about it – the culture, food, people, cenotes, ruins and language.

What has scared you most while traveling?

I have never really been scared during my travels, but I tend to get anxious and fearful before I leave home. My brain likes to dwell on the worst case scenarios. In order to challenge these worries, I do very detailed research about my destination so that I feel prepared and knowledgeable. I also read the Bible to find comforting passages and pray to God for strength, peace and confidence during my travels.

If you could go on an all expenses trip somewhere, where would you choose and why?

I would probably choose Australia, because it’s one of the more expensive countries to travel to from Canada, but it would be a really awesome place to experience.

What food or drink do you miss most from home while you’re away?

I definitely miss my mom’s home cooked meals the most! Also, salads and healthy food, as I tend to not eat as healthy when I am traveling.

What is your favourite souvenir? 

I really buy many souvenirs when I travel, so my photos and memories of the experiences I had are probably one of my favourite “souvenirs.” I also keep all of my bus tickets, airline boarding passes and entrance tickets for attractions, which are great physical souvenirs.

If you could interview anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?

That’s a tough question… There’s so many people I would love to chat with and interview. The person that comes to my mind right now would be Cheryl Strayed. I recently watched the movie (based on her novel) called “Wild,” and her story of strength and courage is so inspiring. I would love to know more.

What luxury travel item do you always pack?

I pack light and minimally and don’t bring anything too luxurious with me. My iPhone 5S is probably the most expensive item that I travel with. I use it for communicating with my family at home and taking photos on the road, so it’s definitely an essential item!

What’s one thing you’ve realized about yourself?

I sometimes feel like other people perceive me as shy and weak. But I have come to realize that I have a choice whether or not to accept other peoples’ perceptions as my own truths about myself. After traveling solo for my first time, I learned that I am much more outgoing, adaptable, confident, resourceful, capable and adventurous than I ever thought I was. It was empowering to learn this about myself and to start defining myself in this way, instead of accepting other peoples’ perceptions.

What impact would you like to have on others? 

I would love to inspire other people like me – introverted women who enjoy living simply and unconventionally – to overcome their fears and worries to pursue whatever they are passionate about and do what they love, regardless of how other people perceive them and regardless of the barriers that exist between them and their goal/dream.

My Nominees:

Shane from Sea Salt Secrets

Hannah from Traveller Hannah

Taylor from Taylor’s Tracks

Karlie from Miss Wanderlust

Jessica from Yucatantastic 

Lavi from Lavi Was Here

Rachel from Trailing Rachel

Mal from Mal’s Away

Elisabeth from Sidetracked Travel Blog

Mirna from The Mindful Gypsy

Hannah from Hep Cat Hannah

My Questions For You:

  1. What’s the biggest lesson that travel has taught you so far?
  2. What are a few of your best tips for how to save money to travel more often?
  3. Do you ever get scared or anxious before traveling and if so, what do you do that helps calm your nerves?
  4. Do you prefer to research and plan your travels beforehand or do you like to go with the flow and be spontaneous?
  5. Who or what first inspired you to start traveling?
  6. What is something that you love doing in your hometown, that only the locals know about?
  7. What is the most recent book you finished reading and what did you think of it?
  8. How many times do you travel in a year, and what is the length of your average trip?
  9. Do you write in a personal journal during your travels?
  10. Where are you planning on going for your next travels? When are you going?
  11. What has been your favourite city or country to visit so far, and why?

I look forward to reading your answers to these questions and to learning more about you all!

Thanks again to Gemma for nominating me for this award!

Versatile Blogger Award

My blog has won an award! I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award recently.

the-versatile-blogger-award

First of all, I would like to thank Fabiola from the blog My Heart of Mexico for nominating me. I really appreciate your support!

Here are the rules of the award after being nominated:

  1. Display the award on your blog
  2. Express thanks to the individual who nominated you.
  3. Share seven different facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 blogs of your choice.
  5. Provide links to your nominees and notify them that they have been nominated.

Here are some random facts about myself:

  1. I have Celiac Disease, which basically means I am allergic to any products (food, drink or beauty products) that contain gluten, wheat or flour. It tends to be a genetic “disease” (I have trouble calling it that, because really, it’s an allergy) and it runs in my family, unfortunately. However, it has become easier and easier to eat gluten-free over the years due to the increasing number of people going gluten-free for health reasons, and companies listening and making more gluten-free products!
  2. I have traveled to Mexico four separate times and am going back for a fifth in about a month. Some people question why I keep going back. But I love Mexico – the culture, history, food and people – and it is so huge and diverse, it just makes me want to keep exploring more!
  3. I love watching inspirational TED Talks and documentaries. I watch them on Netflix using my iPhone while laying in bed until late at night or early into the morning sometimes!
  4. I can see myself being a crazy cat lady someday. Currently, I have a cat named Bella and she is my fur baby. I talk to her all the time and she sleeps on my pillow right beside my head at night. I love cat cuddles!
  5. I am an introvert and although I enjoy meeting new people, I can only be sociable for a limited amount of time before I need to spend some time alone and “recharge” my internal batteries. I am energized by spending time in my own company and I need those quiet times to reflect and relax or else I can become cranky!
  6. I would love to break free from the corporate world sometime in the future (sooner rather than later) and I am always searching for work that is more fulfilling, meaningful and aligned with my values.
  7. I love planning and researching my travels. That is half the fun for me! I tend to do very detailed research and I always end up overdoing it, but I still love the process and anticipation of planning a trip!

Here are my Versatile Blogger Nominees:

The Traveling Gypsy

Traveller Hannah

Road Affair

Taylor’s Tracks

The Nested Nomad

Sidetracked Travel Blog 

Exploring Alternatives

Mal’s Away

Simply Fiercely

Simplicity Relished

Thrifty Nomads

Trailing Rachel

Charlie on Travel

Sell All Your Stuff

Bodacious Adventure

Congrats to these amazing bloggers! I am looking forward to learning more about all of you!

Liebster Blog Award

I was notified recently that a fellow blogger whose blog I love reading, has nominated my blog for a Liebster Award! After receiving the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award not too long ago, and as a new blogger, I was surprised yet grateful to see that I was nominated for a second blogger award.

Thank you so much to Fabiola of My Heart of Mexico for the nomination! I am very grateful and appreciative, and I want to thank you for reading my blog and always leaving such thoughtful comments. It means a lot to me!

I have heard of the award before, and am honoured to have received a nomination. It is an award that is given to new bloggers by other bloggers, as a way of recognizing them.

After you receive a nomination, you are to do the following: express thanks to the person who nominated you and post a link to their blog, answer the questions that they have created, create a list of questions for your nominees, and post your list of nominees (comment on their blogs, so they are notified of their award).

liebster-button

Here are my answers to the questions:

1. Why did you start your blog?

I started this blog to share my experiences while traveling, to provide tips and advice for others traveling to the places I have been to, to share my journey embracing a minimalist and simple lifestyle and ultimately, to inspire others to pursue their passions, break down the barriers that are stopping them from doing so, to experience and travel more, and to experiment with minimalism in their lives.

2. How do you find inspiration for your posts?

I find inspiration from reading other blogs about travel and minimalism, and from the online articles and books that I read.

3. What do you like and/or dislike most about blogging? 

I love writing. I dislike how time consuming the writing, research and uploading photos actually takes. There is a lot of behind the scenes work that goes into one post.

4. What is your biggest challenge as a blogger? 

I think the biggest challenge for me is gaining engaged readers who come back to your site often and who find meaning in what you are writing, and figuring out how best to promote my blog to potential readers. It is also challenging to find the time to research and write, especially when you have a full-time job.

5. What motivates you to keep blogging? 

What motivates me is the support and encouragement I have been receiving from other people. I have been told by family members, friends and followers online, that they really enjoy reading my blog and that I am a good writer. This motivates me to keep writing.

6. What do you like to do in your free time? 

I really enjoy cooking vegetarian and healthy meals and baking healthy sweet treats! I also love reading and learning new things, playing board and card games, bike riding, walking and exploring new areas in my home city, and spending time with family and friends.

7. What would the perfect day for you be like? 

I have many variations of the perfect day. It could involve doing something fun with family, or exploring a new country, or reading and learning about something that interests me, etc.

8. What is number one in your bucket list? 

I don’t have a typical bucket list of things to be checked off, but instead, I have a list of things I want to truly experience, life goals I want to accomplish and cultures I want to immerse myself to learn more about them. The goal I want to accomplish next on my list, is traveling to Guatemala, taking Spanish lessons there and living with a local family.

9. Who is the most important person in your life? 

The most important person in my life is definitely my mother. She is my best friend and I love chatting with her and doing fun activities together. We are so alike!

10. What is a motto or quote you live by? 

This quote by Mark Twain – “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” What motivates me to make the most of this short life we have been blessed with, and to take advantage of opportunities, is knowing that life is short and that one day, we will regret not doing those experiences that involved stepping outside of our comfort zones.

11. What will you do when your blog makes it big?

If that happens, I would celebrate! But in all honestly, my goal is not for my blog to become famous. All I hope for, is that I write content that is interesting and informative and engaging and that people enjoy returning to my blog to learn more about minimalism, or my travels. I just hope to inspire people, even if it’s just one person.

My Nominees:

Bodacious Adventures

Life and Design

Newbie Minimalist

Yucatantastic

Minimalist Sometimes

Decluttering the Stuff

A Brave Little Blog

Roosendans on Tour

Always on The Way

Profound Unknown

Wayfarer Kate

Sadie’s Been There

It’s Tidy Time

Simplify 2Day

Simply Save

Peter K Travels

My Questions For You:

  1. What book are you reading right now, or what was the last book you read?
  2. What kind of music do you enjoy listening to?
  3. What is an off the beaten path place or attraction you have been to, that you would recommend others visit?
  4. If you could choose any country in the world to live in, which one would you choose?
  5. What are three of your favourite foods or meals?
  6. What are your favourite and least favourite things about blogging?
  7. What are some of your hobbies that you enjoy doing in your free time?
  8. What is something you’ve done or experienced once that you would never do a second time, but would recommend that other people try it once?
  9. What is the scariest thing you have ever done or experienced?
  10. What inspired you to start blogging?

Thanks again to Fabiola for the nomination and I can’t wait to see all of your answers!

Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award

First of all, I just want to sincerely thank Gemma from gemmajaneadventures for nominating me for the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award! Gemma, I absolutely love reading your blog and it is one of my favourites. I am honoured that you thought of me while nominating people, when there are soooo many amazing bloggers out there, and especially because my blog is still very new. So thank you very much! I appreciate it.

The Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award is an award that celebrates female bloggers. After being nominated by a fellow blogger, you must thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog, and answer a series of ten questions that the person who nominated you has created. Then you create ten new questions for your nominees to answer and make a list of at least ten nominees (blogs that you enjoy reading).

The Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award Logo

The Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award Logo

Here are my answers to the 10 questions that Gemma asked me. My nominations are at the bottom of the page:

1. Where do you get your travel inspiration from?

A lot of my inspiration comes from reading various travel blogs, searching for specific hashtags for photos on Instagram of places that I want to visit, and following travel bloggers on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).

2. What is your most memorable experience on public transport?

This past July, I visited San Francisco with my mother. We were on the MUNI city bus heading from Alamo Square back to our Airbnb rental in the Mission District, when this female Asian child began singing “Let it Go” from the Disney movie Frozen. As a side note, she was the only child that I saw during my entire trip to San Francisco. She sang a few different songs, all popular ones on the radio, and she had the whole busload of people listening! She was actually a pretty good singer too. You could totally tell she was a natural performer and she loved the attention! It was really funny and definitely made me smile.

3. What’s the scariest thing you’ve done?

The scariest thing I’ve done would probably be making the decision to travel solo to Mexico in May and actually following through with it. I had a lot of anxiety and fears about the worst case scenarios that I had envisioned in my mind. Saying good-bye to my mom as she dropped me off at the airport was emotional and tough, but I am so proud of myself for successfully figuring things out on my own, being resourceful and navigating a foreign country as a solo female traveler!

4. What advice would you give to a new traveller?

I would say not to over-think things and not to over-research and plan your itinerary down to the minute. I have a tendency to do this. There is such a thing as doing too much research. I definitely encourage learning about where you are going before departing there, but it is so easy to get overwhelmed from information overload. Don’t overwhelm yourself… there is always going to be more information you could read about, but you can’t read it all. Also, always leave space in your itinerary and travel plans to relax and rest at your destination. It is good to do nothing sometimes. Another piece of advice I would give would be to just go! The decision to travel somewhere and following through with booking the flight is often the hardest part. After that, it’s exciting to start planning!

5. What one item could you not travel without?

My camera and cell phone. Taking photos is how I preserve my experiences and memories of a trip and I love looking back at my photos and remembering the feelings that I had during certain experiences and moments, so I definitely would be lost if I could not travel with my camera! I also couldn’t travel without my cell phone because I use it to keep in close contact with family through Skyping and texting, as well as updating my blog and social media with photos.

6. What’s one thing travel has made you realize about the world?

Travel has opened my eyes to how interesting and diverse the world’s cultures are, as well as the history and languages around the world. I am fascinated by culture, language and history and love broadening my mind and learning more about it. Meeting people from so many various backgrounds and from different countries has helped me to realize this.

7. What’s your most memorable wildlife experience?

I was staying in Tulum at a hostel during my first solo trip, and I decided to go for a walk in the morning to explore more of the town. Tulum has a lot of stray dogs and cats and along my walk, I met a very cute little dog. I pet him and from that point on, he followed me along my entire walk through town, right at my heels! I also enjoy chasing pigeons and finding cats to play with along my travels.

8. What’s the nicest thing a stranger has done for you?

Before traveling solo, I was anxious about meeting new people in hostels and whether or not I would have the courage to approach people to start conversations and make new friends (especially being an introvert). But the fellow travelers that I ended up meeting and hanging out with during my travels were the nicest people ever, and they made me feel included! It was so much easier to meet people than I had originally thought and there were a few people whom I instantly clicked with and formed a connection. It felt like we had been friends for years! So, the nicest thing a stranger has done for me, would be accepting me for who I am. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to meet such friendly, inspiring and amazing people. 🙂

9. What do you find hardest about long term travel?

I have never traveled for a long period of time (with my longest travels being only 12 days so far). However, I imagine that the hardest thing for me would be missing my family and my cat. I am very close with my family and currently live at home, so it would be difficult for me not to see them for a long time.

10. Which country would you go back to and why?

I haven’t traveled to many countries yet, but I absolutely love Mexico. I have been three times with family staying at all inclusive resorts, once as a solo traveler, and am planning to return this November! The Mayan culture and history fascinates me, I love the Spanish language and being able to learn more of the language, I enjoy visiting small authentic Mexican colonial towns and villages, the ruins and cenotes are gorgeous, the Mexican people are so friendly and welcoming and obviously, the food is beyond delicious!

I am nominating the following bloggers for the Sisterhood of the World Blogger Award:

Talara from Newly Nomadic 

Emily from Places on Postcards

Kylie from Niknaks from our Travels

Katie from The World on my Necklace

Claudia from My Adventures Across the World

Elaina from Life Before 30

Laura from Green Goats Travel Blog

Jess from A Passion and a Passport

Erica from Girl Unspotted

Amy from Amy Wilde and Free

Lauren from Something in Her Ramblings

Sarah and Mel from Blondes and Nature

Gemma from Gemma Jane Adventures

These are my 10 questions for you to answer:

  1. Have you ever been somewhere that ended up being a disappointment compared to your expectations? Where was it?
  2. When and where was your first travel experience abroad?
  3. What has been the scariest experience you have encountered while traveling?
  4. Where are you planning on traveling to next and why?
  5. What has been your favourite type of accommodation to stay in while traveling (ie. hostels, homestays, Airbnb, etc.) and why?
  6. What are your top five favourite books/novels?
  7. Are there any countries or cities that you have no desire to visit?
  8. Who or what inspired you to start blogging?
  9. How do you fund your travels?
  10. What are some of your favourite things to do/hobbies when you have downtime?

Good luck ladies!

Brittany