Hi everyone! 😀
This post is actually long overdue since Valentini has nominated me for the Sunshine Blogger Award since a couple of months back. I already got some posts scheduled beforehand, so I apologize for the delay and of course, would like to thank Valentini from My Shoes Abroad for considering me as one of the nominees.
So, anyway… To give you some intro about the award itself, the Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community. It is awarded by bloggers to new bloggers to recognize their colorful efforts.
Well, there we go!
The Rules of Sunshine Blogger Award
- Thank the blogger who nominated you in the blog post and link back to their blog.
- Answer the 11 questions the bloggers asked you.
- Nominate up to 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
- List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.
Valentini's 11 Questions
So, first thing first… I need to answer the 11 questions that Valentini has prepared for me and some other nominees. Here comes the answer! 🙂
1. What people usually think about your country that is actually wrong?
It's definitely something about how Bali represents the whole country.
I mean, I know there are plenty of educated travelers out there who know about Indonesia. But then one time, I stumbled upon this travel blog who had ‘Bali' on their list of destinations along with the names of country like Malaysia, United Kingdom, etc.
And I was like, what? Don't you dare!
I mean, it's my personal pet peeves really… But I really hate it when I find something like that and I will shamelessly confront them when it happens. Bali is just a small part of Indonesia compared to the 17,000++ islands we've got in total.
So to put Bali in a list full of countries is just wrong.
2. Describe the trickiest moment you ever had throughout a trip.
I think it was one time when I was running out of money in Marmaris that the money was only enough for me to buy the ticket back to Izmir, where I stayed then. I didn't even have any money to go to the toilet. It was quite bad.
In the end, I got 20 bucks transferred to my account as I borrowed some money from my friend in Istanbul. But until then, you have no idea how shitty I felt back then. 😛
3. Which country/place disappointed you and why?
I've actually got some places listed that kind of put me off when I visited them here.
But to generate the whole place as disappointing, I think it would be hard for me to name one since I thankfully could always find something positive out of the place that I have visited. Maybe it's just the nice food that I had there or the people that I met on my journey.
So, I guess I'm glad that I haven't been to such place. I mean, I could always have a little fun wherever I go. So I think I'm alright. 😉
4. What was the most terrible action against animals/planet by humans you have experienced in your travels and how did you react/will you react if it happens again?
Every time, I would always answer this question with one thing: littering.
I notice that there are so many people out there who are still yet to understand why it is important for us to avoid littering in any kind of situation. Believe me, I'm coming from Indonesia, and I suppose there must be more people who would innocently litter than those who know that littering is just wrong.
A few times, I encountered some people who would just shamelessly litter simply because they didn't know that it's a wrong thing to do. In such situation, I wouldn't hesitate to confront them.
In fact, I'm the kind of person who would totally show it to people when I'm not pleased about something. So I wouldn't even feel sorry to confront anyone who litters or cuts the line in the supermarket.
I mean, from an Indonesian point of view, sometimes confronting them is a better way to do so that they know that it's just plain wrong. Because when you try to remind them in the softest, most polite way, sometimes people think that it's just a bluff. It's not a bluff. Littering is a serious matter.
5. What is the most amazing place you have been and why?
Many places that I've visited are amazing in their own way, but if there's any place that exceeds my expectation when I visited it, I think that would be Bangka Island.
Originally from the western part of Java in Indonesia, I never really associated Bangka with anything related to tourism. Everytime I heard something about it, it was usually some news related to mining in which I had nothing to do with.
That, until I met a roommate who comes from this small island that only takes less than an hour by flight from the capital city of Jakarta.
And the first time I arrived on the island, I just loved the ambience there that was definitely less hectic than Jakarta. I'm not a big fan of driving a car, but I could manage to drive around the island with no complain. And the fact that there are some astonishing beaches around the island, it's just a cherry on top from all the fun things I've found in Bangka.
6. Which language (not your native one!) do you like/admire and why?
If I could learn any language in the world, that would be Croatian since I've been obsessed with this country since forever. 😛
However, I got a chance to learn a few languages so far and I think Turkish would be the most interesting one. I got a chance to learn Turkish in Izmir during summer 8 years ago. And despite the fact that my Turkish isn't perfect, at least I could manage to communicate with it. And it got me far enough to get several discounts whenever I'm around the country. I mean, win-win, right?
But above everything, learning Turkish with Indonesian as my mother tongue, it has its own challenge and perks at the same time. There are so many similar words with totally different meanings between the two that I just couldn't help but laugh whenever I tried to study back in the day. 😀
For example, the word berrak in Turkish that means something like purity or clear. In my mother tongue Indonesian, the word berak means shit. Like shit, as in a verb. *lol*
That's one. The other one is the word konak, that means building or tower in Turkish. In Indonesian, it's a slang for ‘boner'. 😐
I mean, I know being bilingual could be quite difficult. But no one told me that it could be hilarious at times too. 😛
7. What is the best vegetarian food you have ever tried and where?
When it comes to food, I haven't found any place that could beat my home country and Vietnam. And as for the best vegetarian food, I think that would be spring rolls in Vietnam as well.
The last time I went to Vietnam, I joined this Ha Long Bay tour that included cooking class session as a part of the activities throughout their 2D1N tour. And the menu taught is actually a simple one, raw spring rolls with vegetables. But it's probably the best spring rolls that I've ever had! 😀
They also provide some additional options like ham and prawns, but I guarantee it still tastes great even without them.
Oh, and also I got this carrot cake for my friend's birthday. It was in Jakarta but I'm not sure where she got. But I think that's one of the best cake that I've ever tried that is not chocolate. So, that's that. 🙂
8. Mention an uncommon travel APP/website you are in love with and why!
Hmm. I'm not too sure how uncommon is uncommon when it comes to the travel app. I don't have many travel app on my phone since being a slow traveler myself, I honestly hate to install the app that I rarely use in daily basis.
However, if there's something I've learned about using apps during travel, that would be the fact that you need to choose Google map over Apple map everytime.
I am using both iPhone and Android, because I use iPhone for my personal use (you know, family, friends, hookup and stuff… *lol*) and I only use Android for any work-related matter. But whenever I need map for my travel, I also go to my Android phone because that's more accurate than that useless Apple map.
One time, my Android battery got drained and I had to rely on Apple map, just know that it took me longer to get back to my hotel because that's how useless it was to the point that I chose to buy an actual map instead.
And also, for public transportation in South East Asia region, I'm a frequent user for EasyBook. 🙂
9. What do you say to people who are afraid of traveling (but they would like to)?
I would say that traveling is not for everyone, but that they should try it at least once in their life to see if they like it.
If they do, then I'm sure they will gain a lot from it. If they don't, then at least they could experience a new place and a lesson learned. After that, they can just stop and do something that they would prefer to do. A win-win.
10. Which was the most «out of your comfort zone» place you have been to so far and why?
The one and only Saudi Arabia.
Despite the fact that I grew up in a Muslim family and my Mom is religious, my Dad is not and neither I am. Mom has performed hajj pilgrimage some time in her life, and I never really thought of doing it ever.
But then I got a job in Saudi Arabia some time in my life and now I could say that I have performed umrah just because I was around there. I mean, yolo?! 😛
First of all, I love wearing midi dress and all I could wear in Saudi Arabia was abaya. It was not a real challenge.
The real challenge was because I get so used to do everything alone. You know, I wouldn't mind eating at a restaurant alone or going for a grocery shopping by myself. It's not a big problem for me.
But in Saudi Arabia, it wasn't as simple as it is back home, because as a woman, people always tell me to avoid going anywhere alone just because. Well, I've learned firsthand that it could lead to some sexual harassment to even some random strangers stopped by just to give you his business card. But then again, you'd never know until you tried eh?! 🙂
11. How do you help the locals in less privileged countries you visit?
This might be an unpopular opinion since it's coming from someone who is from a developing country like Indonesia.
But if I could help anyone, that would be those who are in my own country. Like, why would I want to travel a thousand miles to help people when there are a million of people suffering from poverty just a few miles from home?
I understand with the voluntourism phenomenon, helping locals could be an intriguing agenda during your travel but it's not exactly my purpose. At least not for now. If there's anything I do to help the locals for every visit that I made, that would be buying a local-made souvenir.
That way, at least I know that I'm helping the economy for something that I personally like. 🙂
- Leah of Officer Travels, a 20-something nature obsessed backpacker who is currently traveling with her not quite 30-year-old fiancé, Declan.
- Valerie of Valerie Buaquen, a 26 years old woman from Baguio City, who is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) by title and profession, and also a day-dreamer and goal-getter at heart.
- Lauren and Paisley of The Adventure Diary, a lesbian couple whose blog is focusing on adventure travel to show people the wonders of the world and inspire to try new things for themselves.
- Laura of , a mom, a book-worm, a geek, a lover of good tattoos, a gym enthusiast and chronic illness warrior.
- Prerana of Inside Travellers Shoes, a little girl in a big city with dreams as large as her imagination, who refuses to be defined by labels.
- Amber of Inspired My Love, a single mom of a two-year old little girl who reminds her every day what life is really about.
- Preeti of Scenario of Life, a lifelong learner, a career woman, and a dreamer who understand and fully believe that in order to reach the top, she has to start from the bottom.
- Kiki of , an artist, amateur singer, photographer, blogger and a full-time buyer as she's busy blooming life.
- Sarbjit of Hiking Singh, a civil engineer with a passion for traveling, especially trekking.
11 Questions for the Nominees
- What's the first stamp you got on your very first passport? And why did you go there? (PS. For Lauren and Paisley, the question would be, what's the first time you got on your very first travel together?)
- Tell me one memorable thing that happened during that trip.
- What is the main reason that got you into blogging?
- If there's one thing that you've learned from blogging, what would that be?
- Do you have any favorite blog/blogger? What/who would that be and why?
- If you could write something to the 15-year-old you, what would you write?
- If you could write something to you 10 years from now, what would that be?
- What are the most essential things in your bag whenever you go traveling somewhere?
- Do you have any unique, awkward, or creepy experience when it comes to staying at a hotel or other accommodation? Where did that happen and please tell me about it. E.g. your roommates had sex while you were trying to sleep at a hostel, etc.
- If you could change a thing from your current life, what would that be?
- Imagine if the time machine is finally invented, which era would you travel to and why? If you could do anything about it, what would that be and why?
So, that's a wrap!
Now, now… Looking forward to see all the nominees' answer for each question, and cheerio!