So a while (a shameful while) ago, Corey from Fifi + Hop (there’s a great story behind that name) nominated us for a Liebster award, which is intended as a way for smaller bloggers to honour and get to know each other better. We’ve been nominated before but Mama is determined not to let that get in the way of excited squealing and hogging the microphone.
As it happens, one of the reasons it has taken Mama a while to get a round toit and respond to this flattering tip of the hat is that she has been working on a bit of a side project. Along with 65 other travel writers from all over the world, she has been writing a story for a charity book called The Trip That Changed My Life.
And since she has been doing a little bit of editing for the book, she can safely say that her story, of how she came to be standing on Red Square in a wedding dress and how that impacted on her life, is not by any means the most exciting, the most entertaining, the most hair-raising, the most poignant or the most heartfelt either. Although her photos should be quite something. And she does explain what not to do when invited to a Russian celebratory meal.
The aim of this project, aside from providing y’all with a jolly good read, is to generate at least $5000, after production costs, for two children’s charities, Save the Children and Unbound. The money is being raised by pre-selling the book on the crowdfunding site, IndieGoGo. You can click here to find out a lot more about the project, and, of course buy the book.
It will not be available after close of play on 21st June. That’s right, there is less than two weeks to go to get your copy!
The tradition of the Liebster Award is that you answer some questions, set by your nominator. Corey of Fifi + Hop, being a travel blogger herself, had a set of travel themed questions for Mama. Mama has decided to continue this theme, and she is going to tag some of her fellow Trip That Changed Your Lifers on the grounds that it will serve to showcase the variety of writers who are taking part.
So here are Mama’s replies!
How did you get into blogging?
A friend started her own blog and I thought that looks like fuuuun…
Where do you write your blog posts?
During term time I decamp to a café between dropping the kids off and going to work a couple of days a week. During the holidays, it tends to be the kitchen table, after the kids have gone to bed (eventually…).
What is your favorite place to go to in or around your home town/city?
Stevenage Museum is pretty good. But the Hertfordshire countryside is truly pretty, especially if you have been stuck in London for a while. Cute villages too – thatched roofs, the whole bit!
What is your favorite place you’ve been to abroad?
Well, aside from anywhere in Russia, which I suppose doesn’t count, I used to really enjoy having to go to Tallinn in Estonia once a year to renew my visa. Lovely old town. A nice continental change from the monolithic classicism of Moscow and the quaint mishmash of London.
What other hobby(ies) besides traveling do you enjoy?
That would be blogging!
What has been your worst travel “mishap”?
I very nearly allowed my non-Russian speaking mother to arrive, on her own, in Moscow for her first ever visit, while I was stuck a day’s drive away with minimal phone access. Luckily, we managed to persuade the last bus driver out of the one horse town we were staying in to let us stand up all the way home…
What is your favorite cuisine?
Homecooked British and Russian dishes are pretty good and what we eat happily day to day for the most part, although I do some mean enchiladas and an equally fabulous ragu sauce. In the UK, for a change I’ll usually choose Anglo-Indian take out. In Russia, I tend to visit restaurants with food from the Caucuses.
Ocean or Mountains?
Mountains all the way! I’m not a big beach person and I get seasick if the waves are big. I like water though, so, really, lakes, rivers and mountains.
Do you plan all your trips out or do you like to be spontaneous?
Spontaneous travel is my idea of hell. It’s how my husband likes to do things though. So mostly we stay at home…
Overpacker or underpacker?
Both. I alternate. What I don’t achieve is the happy medium.
Top of the bucket list?
Tricky. But I am quite determined the get out to Lake Baikal in Siberia before too long. The only problem is deciding whether to go in summer or winter.
And Mama’s nominees are…
Hung Tai of Up, Up and a Bear. The Trip That Changed My Life is his project. He’s done a pretty impressive job of whipping us all into shape so far, and it is, frankly, an honour to be on board and following in his wake. He also has a travel blog and an excellent taste in amusing blog post titles (not to mention the name of his blog). That’s what hooked Mama onto the project in the first place, in fact. He’ll be too busy to complete this, of course, but that’s not really why we’re nominating.
Some other members of The Trip That Changed My Life team.
And their questions!
1 What was your first blog post about?
2 Where do you write your blog posts?
3 Why do you travel?
4 Where in the world would you most like to have breakfast?
5 And a picnic or at least outdoor lunch?
6 And dinner in a restaurant?
7 A city or the great outdoors?
8 What day trip near you would you recommend?
9 Favourite museum?
10 What do you do when not travelling or blogging?
11 How did you find out about The Trip That Changed My Life project?