Liebster Award

The Liebster Award


The wonderful blog community has an award called the Liebster Award that gets passed around. I was nominated ages ago, and excited to finally “accept” it and share. A nomination for the award is a way of welcoming new bloggers to the community and getting to know each other. I was nominated by Natasha of Artist Explores the World (thank you!).


The way it works is she offered up a bunch of questions (my answers are below), I pick a nominee, and ask my own. The official rules can be found here. She asked some great questions and they’re totally related to How Dare She.


What is your favorite country and why?

I thought we weren’t supposed to pick favorites?? My favorite that I’ve traveled to has got to be Peru. To be able to go to the ocean and learn to surf, head up into the Andes for their beauty and Machu Picchu, then into the rainforest of Puerto Maldonado, and to know you haven’t seen everything the country has to offer is pretty astounding. It’s so beautiful and green. The people are quite friendly and I’d go back in an instant.


Who is the greatest influence on your travels?

Ah, I can’t narrow this down to just one. More and more I see travel as this huge tiny community, and that’s my biggest influence. I see a picture of something and decide that’s where I’m going next (left Christchurch to see the Pancake Rocks), or I meet someone in the hostel and change my next destination (happened in Colombia when I met two amazing Aussies). Letting myself go into this community has been the biggest influence.


Yeah, yeah, and mom and dad and family and friends. Because the support system that you can connect with while traveling helps keep you from being homesick and skipping the travels because you’re afraid of what you’re leaving. The people who let you go without leaving them behind are setting you free.


What is your favorite hobby and how does it relate to your traveling?

Sports have always been a big part of my life, from playing them to being a raving fan. In South America last year, as the World Cup approached, I really enjoyed chatting with other travelers from all over the world about their sport, how they see other sports, etc. I’ve been torn with thinking that sports can be a frivolous post-material pit into which money and morals are tossed, but I think that might be just in some cases (we can all think of sports stars who’ve made the news in the last year). But on the flip side I think they have such a big impact on communities that we can’t look past that.


So I try to make sports part of my travels. I went to an AFL match in Australia, a rugby match in NZ and caught a U20 FIFA World Cup match there too; I watched natives play “Tuvalu sport” (I guess they’re still working on a name…) in Tuvalu, which brought all these people out to the air strip, the only real free open land in Tuvalu, together. Meanwhile, I kept up online with the US Women’s National soccer team as they won the World Cup and Serena Wilson as she continued to cement herself as one of the greatest athletes of all time.


Sports do so much for individuals and communities that I can’t help but make them part of my travels.


Favorite travel quotes?

A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for. I saw it on a meme and loved it. It also helps that I’m literally on a boat as I write this, but I like that it speaks to what we’re made to do.



Would you travel every single spot of one country for years or visit all the countries in the world for only a day? Why?

That’s a tough one because I’m stuck in the middle. I’m currently trying to visit all the countries in the world, but I don’t want to run around just ticking boxes. Is going for a day really considered visiting? In most places I would say no. But I lean towards visiting all the countries (obviously) because then you know which country you want to spend years in.


What is your favorite topic to write about?

People. They’re a never-ending pool of stories. And the good ones – the ones you really connect with – are the ones that make for the best writing. Places are great, but I think we best connect with them through the people we meet and experience them with.


Five random facts about you

  1. I like to brush my teeth before presenting in front of people or getting on an important phone call (I feel like I smile more that way and it makes a difference).
  2. I like things on lettuce, but not lettuce on things (salads are delicious, but why would you put lettuce on a perfectly good burger?).
  3. No one should do the wave at a baseball game. Ever. I won’t participate in them.
  4. If left unwatched, I would eat like a 7 year old for who knows how long – mini corn dogs and veggie chicken fingers would run out of stock.
  5. If you have a dog with you, I probably noticed it before you. If I talked to you first, it was probably to get to the dog. Especially having left my sweet dog behind for this trip, pups just have my heart.


What do you think makes you “you”?

I have a way with people, and I think that is especially important when traveling. This takes a combination of being outgoing and extroverted, smiling and patience, and most importantly, a genuine interest in other people. This might be why people are my favorite thing to write about as well, but making that connection is what it’s all about.


And my laugh. I laugh a bit funny, and everyone notices. But who could get upset at a laugh?


In your opinion where is the best place to relax?

Where you feel at home. It isn’t about a specific place. For example, I never really like hammocks, but I’ve hardly felt so comfortable as I swung away in one in Bogota, Colombia as I enjoyed time to myself. Sometimes the best place to relax is at sunset, with a glass of wine in your hand and your friends sitting across the table from you. It’s all about where you can let your guard down and truly soak in the moment.


What is one thing you’ve crossed off your “bucket list,” and what did that mean to you?

I’m going to be a bit of a pain here, but I don’t really believe in bucket lists. I just can’t imagine getting to the end of the line and thinking about the boxes I didn’t check. But I do think a lot about things that I want to do and experiences I’d like to have and one major one relates back to the sports answer earlier, but I was fortunate enough to go to not one, but two, World Series games in Arizona, in 2001 when the Diamondbacks beat the Yankees. Especially in game 7, it was electric.


There was significant concern going into the game as it was one of the first major public events after 9/11 and right before the game, we heard something coming towards the ballpark. It was a flyover from Luke Air Force Base and the crowd let out a collective sigh of release and then the biggest cheer I think I’ve been a part of. This was a time when baseball wasn’t just a game – this game meant something more than who would be crowned champions, it signaled to the nation that we should start to breathe again. And I can’t help but be thankful for being there.


What is your next planned adventure?

I’m on it! This adventure doesn’t have an end-date, which is kind of exciting, part exhausting and a bit thrilling. Right now I’m trading casual crew work on a small private yacht in exchange for a ride/accommodation around the Pacific Islands. After that I’m going to hit 10 countries in SE Asia, and then settle into Australia for a bit if I can manage to sort out a working holiday visa before my birthday.


I’m going to nominate:


Chelsea and Maddy at Redefine Real Life

Jennie at Global Love Fund

Nishaa at Making Waves

and a few vets whose answers I selfishly want to hear, even if in the comments

Ronald at Active Planet Travels

Sarah at The Five Foot Traveler

Hayley at Lovepuffin Travel Blog


My questions:

  • What is your second favorite place you’ve visited, and why isn’t it number one? (a friend asked me this and I thought it was brilliant!)
  • What is your goal with blogging?
  • How do you decide which boxes to check and what you’re ok with missing?
  • Do you travel mostly solo or with a compatriot? What do you think are the pros and cons of it?
  • What challenges you when it comes to traveling and blogging?
  • What’s been a time traveling that you found yourself surprised?
  • What is your approach to language when traveling?
  • What is a time you’ve felt really proud (preferably about yourself)?
  • If people only took a few nuggets of what you write, what would you hope it to be?
  • What’s your approach to photography when it comes to capturing the moment vs. experiencing the moment?
  • Cost-aside, what would be your ideal 2 week trip?




Founder of How Dare She, Jessica is on a mission to visit every country in the world, and bring you along with through photos, video and stories. 6 continents and 98 countries in. She has a BA in journalism and Master's in innovation and change, but her real skill is plugging in a USB in 2 or less tries (most of the time). She believes daring isn't about being fearless, but choosing to opt in, in spite of fear. She dares to see, taste, experience and meet the world as she goes.