I would like to thank these two amazing bloggers, Alisa Hitchings (The Windblown Earth) and Rachel Pearson (The World In A Weekend), for nominating me. It is such an honor for me to be given the privilege to answer the questions below and to nominate other amazing bloggers as well for the Liebster Award. So, thank you!!!
Shall we get on with the questions?
Where are you from?
I was born in the Philippines, but raised in United Arab Emirates (Dubai, specifically)
If you had to live in another country, which would it be and why?
I remember meeting someone who asked me the same question. I told him, “I would love to live in Australia.” He laughed at me, because he is Australian and said, “do you know just how crazy expensive it is to live in Australia? Why not just New Zealand, or anywhere but Australia?” For one, I do know that the standard of living in Australia is incredibly high, but I don’t know honestly. Maybe because of its beautiful beaches, its scenic highways, its romantic skies and its adventurous people that attracts me the most to the country.
What is the luckiest thing that has happened to you while traveling?
The luckiest that I have been (so far) during traveling was when I went to Palawan for a school tour. I am known to be such a chitty, chatter girl and a go-getter. So when I met someone from Palawan who is an experienced diver, I asked him if he could teach me how to scuba dive (with no gears). He taught me one step at a time; how to hold my breath, how to sink deep into the waters, how to surface and when to surface. We tried again and again until I was able to hold my breath for more than 20-ft deep into the water. I could clearly see the corals, almost touch them and surface on the water on my own. It was so much fun and I felt very lucky because I was the only one in our batch to have ever done such a thing. Another bucket list checked!
What is your greatest achievement so far and why?
My greatest achievement so far was when I wrote a blog about Yas Waterworld in Abu Dhabi and they recognized my work by giving me two (2) complimentary tickets to the waterpark. I cried so hard when they messaged me and it made me realize that sometimes, best things happen unexpectedly.
What has been your scariest travel experience?
My scariest travel experience was when I went on Jebel Drop. It is the highest slide in Yas Waterworld, Abu Dhabi and no one dared go on it. My mom was skeptical about me going on it alone, but I made myself believe that it was just chickpeas for me. So I walked the steps going to the top, pausing once in a while to catch my breath. When I reached the top, I realized that I was going to pee in my bathing suit sooner that I have imagined. Jebel Drop was one straight down-drop slide and it is known to be the best vantage point to see the entire Yas Waterworld. That’s how high it is, considering how huge Yas is. With nothing to hold on to, no one supporting you from behind, you’re on it alone. I laid down on my back, while I was instructed to “always keep your arms and legs crossed at all times, no matter what.” He asked me if I was ready. I couldn’t speak, so I just closed my eyes and tugged my suit as hard as I could. He pushed me and … gah. I thought I was going to die right there and then. It was the scariest slide I have ever been to. I was so scared that I uncrossed my arms and crossed them again, in fear that I might actually die. Since it was a straight-down slide and so high, you would feel as if you’re flying but standing with nothing else supporting you from the back. I was so silent the entire time that I didn’t realize I made it down safely. Water splashed on my face and on my back. I opened my eyes and thanked God I have done it. I wanted to try it again, when I got the two (2) complimentary tickets to Yas, but just the thought of going through that feeling again, just made me want to opt for the Lazy River instead. They didn't tag the Jebel Drop as the "monstrous drop" for nothing. Kudos to Yas Waterworld for exceeding my expectations again and again and again.
What travel destination most exceeded your expectations?
France. No explanations needed, it clearly exceeded my expectations.
What’s the strangest food you’ve ever eaten abroad?
I am no thrill when it comes to different kinds of food, especially if it’s not chicken, beef, seafood or fish, so I barely try those street food wherein you get to eat fried frogs, crickets … etc. No, no, no for me.
Where did you make the best friends on your travels
I am the type of person who easily makes friends, so in every travel of mine there would always be one or two persons that I still keep in touch with until today.
What made you start blogging?
Back in high school, I had a teacher who saw my potential in writing. He motivated me, inspired me and supported me every step of the way. At first, writing was just a hobby of mine. I wrote short stories, novels, poetries and articles. It was not until I graduated high school that I fully found my passion in writing. He made me promise him that someday, I would get my write ups published and make him so proud. During college, I decided to create my Blogspot so that I could share my experiences not just to him, or to my parents, but to everyone else looking for inspiration. When he died, I pursued writing even more. My drive to fulfill my promise to him is even greater than it was before. I grab every opportunity to get my write ups published in Thought Catalog, Elite Daily and in other sites as well. So far, no luck yet. But I believe, time will come.
What’s the one thing you don’t leave the house without (key, phone and purse/wallet excluded)?
Notebook and pen. It’s a must for me. You never know when the need to write something down arises. Inspiration comes in many forms and you have to be prepared for it ;)
Do you prefer traveling in large cities or smaller towns and in the countryside?
Both, honestly. Traveling in large cities and traveling in the countryside is so much different from each other. When I travel, I always make sure that I don’t miss out on the main attractions/the touristy sites. But I also make sure that I go to the off beaten path of the country. It’s my way of truly learning about the place, its people and their way of living.
How long have you been blogging?
I started writing during high school, but I set up my Blogspot account just a few years back in college.
What is your favorite travel story?
My favorite travel story would always be France. I have learnt so much about myself and about the French during my 8 days of staying there. The connection that I had with France was so much deeper than I had with the other countries that I have visited, so far. I experienced practicing my French when buying things in the marché, asking for directions, going on bus rides and when simply greeting another French on the street. One time, I was at marché buying snacks and water. I was wearing a sweater that says “Don’t take it personal”. The salesperson greeted me in French and asked how I was. I replied (in French too). He must have thought I was fluent in their language, that he started conversing to me. All I understood was “belle”, meaning beautiful. The rest, I just hope he didn’t say anything rude, because all I said was “Oui, merçi”.
What do you love most about blogging?
In everything that I do, may it be small or big, I always give my best. That is why when I receive compliments from random people that I inspire them to travel, to write, to read, to sing or to just simply go for their passion, it inspires me too. It’s amazing how one simple thing could bring joy and hope to other people and that’s what I always aim when I post my work online. I aim to inspire.
Do you prefer to camp, stay in hostels, or travel luxuriously?
I always choose hostels as much as I can. It’s a way of learning how the people in the country live and by simply connecting to them not as a tourist, but as someone who is genuinely interested to be one of them.
Why do you travel?
People are naturally curious. I am curious. The thought of being stuck in four corners makes me cringe. There is so much to see in this world. Why not make the most out of it? Plus, traveling helps you to discover more about yourself. It opens your eyes to new possibilities and even greater opportunities.
What is the one country in the world you would like to visit? Why?
Italy is such a childhood dream of mine. Hearing those thick Italian accents, eating pizza and pasta in Italy itself, exploring the unseen and falling in love with nature, structure and history, the thought of it all makes me melt. It is such a romantic place to visit with a history that is so rich and cherished. Just like France, it has the perfect blend of the opposites, and if it were a person, it would be strikingly beautiful for being so natural and carefree.
If money were no object, what would you do with your life?
Travel and give back to the people in any way that I can.
What is your favorite dish from abroad?
Chicken Shawarma and Pad Thai
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
In five years, I would be 23. Hopefully by then, I’d be traveling the world non stop, writing blogs, posting travel videos and making memories wherever I go with old people, and new people in my life.
I hope we were able to connect more through this and now (drumroll please), I would like to nominate the following for the Liebster Award:
Instructions for Nominees:
- Create a blog post on your site, answering the questions that I’ve provided below.
- In your post, be sure to link back to the blog who nominated you with a thank-you and shout out) (aka myself, Xam from (Xam Julliarde)
- After completing the questions, add a section for your nominees. Select, list and link other bloggers. Provide these instructions. Finally, create 11 questions for them to answer.
- Notify your nominees and provide a link to your post so that they know what to do.
- Once you’re done, come back here and comment with the link to your post so I can check out your answers.
Questions for nominees (and visitors!)
- Where are you from?
- What is the one country in the world you would like to visit? Why?
- What is the luckiest thing that has happened to you while traveling?
- What is your greatest achievement so far and why?
- What has been your scariest travel experience?
- What travel destination most exceeded your expectations?
- What’s the strangest food you’ve ever eaten abroad?
- Why do you travel?
- What made you start blogging?
- What is your favorite travel story?
- What’s the strangest food you’ve ever eaten abroad?
Enjoy answering and looking forward to getting to know you more!