“Liebster Award” – 11 questions answered.

I am not sure what I did to earn that but Lara nominated me on her Backpacking Asien blog for the “Liebster Award” blog meme. (Thanks!) If you understand German, you might want to go read her answers. Go ahead, I’ll still be here when you’re done.

And here are my answers to her questions:

1. Backpack or suitcase?

On most of my longer trips I used to use my old Samsonite suitcase that I had gotten way back in the 90s.
While it obviously lasted me a long time, it was not very comfortable during the trip. It does have wheels but those are so tiny that even a small pebble gives it a wobble that is very hard to handle. Enough that I usually decided to just carry that beast after about five minutes.
That was good enough for the way I travelled, though: usually I went to visit someone and had their place as a home base. I could just park the suitcase there and use a smaller duffel or backpack for further trips around the area.

Since I don’t really trust the zipper that much anymore and the wobble got on my nerves, I got myself an Osprey Meridian. It’s basically the best of both worlds: a rather comfortable backpack that has wheels – big ones, smooth and stable.

2. What has been your most interesting travel destination, yet?

Gulangyu Island

Gulangyu Island has been very different from everything I have seen before and after.

3. Which countries were the most fascinating to you as a child?

I know it’s a cop-out when I answer: all of them.
Even before I was able to read, I had a world atlas for children and the illustrations and maps with their little animals and monuments were just great. And once I was able to read, I was ready to explore the world in that way.
Since I am not always the sharpest knife in the drawer it was not always easy to know what was real and what was fiction – thanks to Stevenson and Tolkien “the Caribbean” and “the Shire” had about the same amount of reality to me for an embarrassingly long time.

4. Your favourite food on your trips so far?

I’m completely happy with a good Char Siu Mee,.
(I was that close to embedding this photo but it is too much ‘compact camera with a flash in the darkness’.)

5. Which two rather different locations would you re-visit again and again?


I am not sure if it would be the Netherlands as a whole – I don’t really know the country – but I’d hardly say no to a trip to Amsterdam. If you avoid the Woohoo!-Beer!-Drugs!-Party!-crowd it is a nice, relaxed city.

And the other place might be Singapore – I’ve only been there once, but it did leave an impression and I know I want to go there again.

6. Travelling solo or with someone else? What’s better?

Best case scenario would be a person on the same wave length. The kind with whom the problem “Person A want to sit in the sun and have a coffee and person B wants to visit some museum” is easily solvable by one person sitting in the sun and the other one visiting the museum.
This kind of travel compatibility is about as common as unicorns, though.

7. Do you speak any foreign languages?

Sadly only English. (And that one not as good as I’d like it.)

8. Who was the most interesting acquaintance you met when traveling and where did you meet that person?

I never really made many acquaintances when travelling (shame on me!) but I did have conversations with cool people – the first I can think of was the young lady from Finland who was behind me in the immigration queue at Pudong airport who was about the take the train from Shanghai back home to Finland – via Beijing and the Trans-Sibirian Railway.

9. What was the most dangerous vehicle you ever entered?

This Peugeot from my friend Jan Manuel.

10. 7 hours at an airport and the waiting time for the next flight just does not pass. What do you do?

As a big fan of airports I usually go for an exploratory walk. Usually that stops being exciting pretty fast, so I try to find a quiet place with WiFi and electricity, go online and try to sleep a bit here and there.

11. When is the trip over?

Always too early. Usually when I stand there in my apartment, thinking “ugh” while throwing the laundry into the laundry basket.

And now: you!

I’ll give the award to Dominik, Martin, Teymur and Tom.
(If it fits better to your blog, go ahead and answer with photos!)

My questions for you:

  1. Buttons or zipper?
  2. Which is your favourite travel photo?
  3. Rice, pasta or potatoes?
  4. Did you ever back one or more Kickstarter projects and if so, which one still seems to be a good idea after the fact?
  5. Is there a special place that you really need to visit (the jewel of your bucket list, so to speak) and if so, where is it?
  6. Which was the least comfortable place where you were still able to sleep well?
  7. Which city has been the most positive surprise so far?
  8. Did you have a book or a movie in your youth that still influences you now? If so, which one is it?
  9. Is a burger without a bun still a burger or just a glorified mini meatloaf?
  10. When you travel do you prefer to relax or to do some kind of activities?
  11. What was your first flight? (Bonus question: do you still remember it? (Bonus bonus question: what about it was most memorable?))

And that’s how the vir… the meme spreads:

  • Answer the questions.
  • Think of 11 new questions.
  • Nominate a bunch of bloggers to answer the questions.
  • Let them know that they are nominated. (Duh.)

This post is also available in German.

Author: Dominik Schwind

I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine.