Back in December, I was nominated by Clara at Expat Partner Survival Guide for a Sisterhood of the World Blogging Award. I am thrilled, honored and humbled by this nomination. Clara is relatively new to the blogging world but has made a huge impact on it through her many years of experiences as an expat (as a daughter, on her own and now as a spouse and mom to mini expats).
One of the things I’ve really loved about blogging, most especially through WordPress (I didn’t find this in using Blogger my first 5 years), is the people I’ve met along the way. While I’ve never met Clara in person, I feel like between reading her blog and our comments back and forth to each other, we have a connection. And I know I’m not alone in the blogging world when it comes to this new way to build relationships. It’s expanded my view on the world and connected me with fellow expats and writers in ways I couldn’t have anticipated, making it really feel like a sisterhood.
She had such kind things to say about me in her nomination post and I’m still in awe that she would consider me for this award. Thank you Clara! And my apologies for taking so long to write my response – between the holidays, kids on vacation, etc, you know how it gets!
Part of the nomination includes a series of questions to answer… so here goes!
If you had the chance, would you change anything about your life? And if so, what? Hmmmm… my life is pretty good these days. I’d say the only thing I would change would be how busy I am. While I thrive on a full schedule, I find that I just don’t have enough time to do all of the things I want to do and do them to the best of my abilities. Or perhaps I just need to sleep less…
Who would you most like to meet in a lift – and what would you ask them? You know, this one is a toughie. In fact, it’s part of the reason for the delay in my getting this post up – I just couldn’t come up with a good answer. I wanted to say someone famous but I couldn’t think of who I wanted to meet. In the end, I realized, that although we know each other quite well (I should hope), I’d like to meet up with my husband. With 2 very active kids and us busy with our jobs and life, getting to meet up with him for even a few minutes would mean more to me than meeting anyone else.
If you HAD to move to another country from the one you are living in now, which would it be and why? We’ve got a few of these on our list right now. Right now most likely our next stop will be back to the US to be with our families for at least a few years. But other countries on our short list are:
Sweden: I know, I was shocked by this one too! Go somewhere colder than I already am??? But the quality of life is supposed to be amazing. It’s incredibly safe. It has lots of green space, even in the city. And the introduction of 6 hour work days in many companies which is important for work / life balance.
England: I’ve always had a slight obsession with England. If it wasn’t for the weather, perhaps we’d be there already. It’s closer to home than any other place on our list, but isn’t the US. They speak our language and while there are still differences in the culture, it’s like being home without being home. Not to mention the GORGEOUS countryside.
Spain: But you’ve already lived in Spain you say?? Yes, but we would go back in a moment. If only the economy were better. 300 days of sunshine, a quality of life that cannot be compared to anywhere else, healthy living, safe for the kids. I could go on and on.
Panama: The cost of living is low. While the primary language is Spanish, many people also speak English. Great outdoor life as the weather is conducive to being outside – a lot! The economy is bustling. And it would give us a chance to live in a totally different part of the world.
You are given the equivalent of £5,000 for a holiday just for you and your immediate family. Where would you go? Since travel in Europe is overall pretty inexpensive, I’d use this kind of money to go somewhere outside of Europe where the costs are much more extravagant, especially for flights. I’d like to go to South Africa or Australia. And I know Josh has his heart set on Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand which are also high on my list.
Can you tell me about a couple of your favourite blogs? I read blogs every day. I look forward to my inbox in the morning to see who’s written a new post (and then feel guilty about how long it’s been since my last post). As far as my favorites, Clara’s blog of course, the Expat Partner’s Survival Guide. I follow this blog religiously – you would think that as an expat for 6 years now I wouldn’t need a “survival guide” but her blog is much, much more than that. If you are an expat or even if you aren’t – follow her! My old high school friend, Liza, is an inspiration to all. She writes about serious, thought provoking issues and her blog Marathon B4 Mastectomy is one I’ve been following for several years now. I follow from Old England to New England. I’m drawn to this blog because the author is in the opposite situation as me – moving from Europe (England) to the US and he moved to Boston of all places. I also love Janey in Mersin. She’s an expat in Turkey (with her Turkish husband) and her wit and humorous posts keep me laughing all the time. Petal & Mortar. I love Vanessa’s way with words and can’t say enough about her blog. She does what I struggle to do – gets the point across without going on and on and on and on… and I love her writing style. She keeps it personal without it being… too personal. If that makes sense. Again, something I’m working to attain. Finally, Experimental Expats – Rob and Diane are early retirees who are living in Malaysia. I’m incredibly jealous not just of their journey but also their ability to just pick up and move somewhere that’s not job related (I can’t see us having moved to Barcelona if it hadn’t been for work – I can see us doing it now after being abroad 6 years but not at the beginning) in order to seize the opportunity that early retirement presents to them.
Do you remember your first kiss – and who was it with? His name was Adam and we were in 3rd grade. I wouldn’t really call it a kiss at that age – more of a quick peck. He was my boyfriend in 1st grade (no kissing then), 3rd grade and then again in 8th grade where he actually was my first real kiss.
If you are from the UK, where is your favourite place there? If you are not, where would you most like to visit in my home country? I’m not from the UK, but I LOVE it there. We have family in Ripon and have been to visit and it’s just gorgeous! Especially the area of Fountain’s Abbey. We also really love the Cotswolds and my dream is to walk the entire 100+ miles one of these days. And of course, London. You can never have enough London!
How have you most successfully connected with other bloggers? I have to thank WordPress for this. Their system of networking is amazing. I blogged with Blogger for my first 5 years and met NO ONE. Since starting up with WordPress last year, I have “met” some amazing bloggers along the way and am always finding new ones.
In addition to answering the above questions, I’m also supposed to nominate 10 bloggers for this award and give them a series of questions to answer too. To be honest though, the ones that I listed above that are written by women are the ones that I nominate –Marathon B4 Mastectomy, Janey in Mersin, and Petal & Mortar. I know it doesn’t make the 10 “required” but these ones are my favorites that I follow the most and many of the others I follow are written by men which won’t exactly fit into the “sisterhood” blogger category. There are so many wonderful blogs out there and I wouldn’t be surprised if many of them have already been nominated. And whether or not they decide to accept the award and write a post related to it is ok – it is more about honoring them and their hard work!
As for questions to answer – this is a tough one but here goes…
- What was your favorite post you have written and why?
- What inspired you to start blogging?
- What was your top New Years Resolution for 2016 and have you already broken it?
- If given a free day with no responsibility – what would you do?
- If you could do anything for work – no restrictions on schedule, location, experience – what would you do? What is your dream job?
- Where do you think you’ll be (in life) in 25 years?
- If you could go back to high school, what would you change?
- Spring, summer, winter, fall – what is your favorite season where you are? And why?
- In 2016 – where do you see your blog going? What changes (if any) are you hoping to make?
- What made you smile today?
I look forward to reading the answers to the questions and thank you again Clara for the nomination!
Knuffels en kussen,