What a lovely surprise it was the other day to wake up to a Sunshine Award from my ever-supportive and inspiring mother, Jane, who writes a beautiful blog at Candelo Blooms. Her blog is overflowing with photos of flowers, gardens, local wild life and spectacular coastal scenery. Aside from writing, she is also extremely talented at sewing and always has a new project on the go. If you are interested in gardens, crafts, home-baking, fresh produce and sustainability, I am sure you will enjoy reading her blog. I am somewhat jealous that she gets to enjoy the start of Spring soon, while Germany heads into the colder seasons. Nonetheless, I am looking forward to the Christmas markets and perhaps a bit of snow, which would be a huge novelty for an Australian like me!
The Sunshine Award is given by bloggers to other bloggers, who ‘are positive and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.’ Jane certainly writes a very inspiring blog and she is always brimming with encouragement and ideas. Thanks again for passing on the award and I hope to spread the positivity!
Here are the rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award:
•Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.
•Answer the eleven questions sent by the person who nominated you.
•Nominate eleven blogs to receive the award and write them eleven new questions.
•List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.
Answers to Jane’s Questions:
1.What inspired you to start writing a blog?
I have always kept a journal and love writing about my experiences. After every trip, I would bring back lots of journals, overflowing with stories, tickets, brochures and drawings. But, over time, they became rather heavy to carry around. Plus, it seemed a bit pointless writing so much if nobody was going to read it. So, I started a to share my travels with the world online.
2.What is your favourite thing about blogging?
I like the way that blogging is done by real, every day people. The experiences are authentic, the advice is often unbiased and you can pretty much travel from your living room to anywhere in the world! Another great thing about blogging is that you can keep all your photos and stories in one place, it is portable (all you need is a laptop and a good internet connection) and you can connect with other like-minded travellers along the way.
3.What are the most important factors for a happy life and why?
Happiness is often a matter of perspective and positive mindsets are the key. There are always different ways to look at a situation and its amazing how outcomes can vary depending on your response. If you put in positive energy, this is likely to be reflected in everything you do. I think if you enjoy what you do and are taking small steps in the right direction, then the hard things, like persistence and patience, become so much easier and you are more likely to enjoy the journey.
I also think it is really important to live by your values and surround yourself with like-minded people, who share your passions and beliefs. Sharing your happiness with others always feels better than enjoying it by yourself!
4.What is the most beautiful place you have ever visited and why?
Some of my favourite places are in Australia. I love the long, sandy beaches of Western Australia, the magnificent sunsets in the tropics, the lush green rainforests of NSW and Victoria and the expansive deserts in Central Australia, where you can look up into the night sky and see thousands of sparkling stars. Australia is pretty much the best of all worlds!
5.What is your favourite book and why?
The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns and And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. I can’t decide between them. These books opened my eyes to a completely different culture and were so powerful they made me cry. I am always impressed when a book makes me cry, because it doesn’t happen very often!
6.What is your favourite movie and why?
The Intouchables. This French movie is about a strong friendship that develops between a quadriplegic man and his carer. I love stories that focus on human relationships and this movie really highlights the good that can be done if we connect with each other in positive ways. It makes you laugh and cry at the same time!
7.What are your favourite ways to relax and unwind?
I love walking, swimming and lazing about on beaches or in a natural place, away from the sounds of people and traffic. I also love writing in a journal, reading a good book or playing some guitar.
8.Name 3 people who inspire you and say why.
As an aspiring travel writer, I was particularly inspired when I read The Lonely Planet Story, by Tony and Maureen Wheeler. I was so impressed by the way this couple went travelling around the world with very little money, started up a small travel guide on their kitchen table and then, after a long journey, expanded their business into a world-wide success! Their persistence, patience and ability to just try it out, even if it seems like an insurmountable task, is really inspiring!
I also draw a lot of inspiration from my friends and family, who are never afraid to try new things. I love the way they always live by their values and I’m so impressed with their creativity, their ability to change and adapt to new surroundings, their persistence and positivity. It’s great to have so many good role models!
9.If you could time-travel, which time period would you visit and why?
This is a tough one…the more I study history, the more I realise what a comfortable time we live in! However, if I were to have a little holiday into the past, I would like to visit Paris in the 1920’s for the fashion, the music and the dancing. Luckily for us, we can watch films that take us back to those periods of history, without actually having to travel back in time. The movie Midnight in Paris was great for this!
10.What is your favourite garden, apart from your own of course! ?
My favourite garden is in Candelo, in Southern NSW, in front of the big pink house over the river! I love the fact that it is full of flowers, vegetables and fruit trees – being self sufficient in this respect is always very impressive. From attempting to make my own small veggie gardens in the past, I have realised you really need to put a lot of time and energy into it and be very patient. But the results are well worth the effort.
On a larger scale, I love strolling around the palace gardens of Versailles (in France) or Sanssouci (in Germany), mainly so I can imagine what it would have been like all those years ago, when women wore large hoop dresses and had tea parties in Belvederes!
11.Before blogging, what did you do with your blogging time?!
I had a lot of spare time before I started blogging, which I suppose was one reason I decided to start my blog in the first place! But I suppose, I used to spend a lot more time reading and playing music. I still enjoy both these hobbies today, but blogging has filled the gap and I absolutely love it!
And my 11 Questions:
- When did you start blogging and why?
- What is the most inspirational book you have read? Why?
- What is the biggest thing you have done outside your comfort zone? How did it go?
- Name a few favourite places you have travelled.
- If you were to spend the rest of your life on a desert island, what three things would you take with you and why?
- What is your favourite way to spend the weekend?
- How have your goals and dreams changed in the last ten years?
- If you were a child again, what would you tell your adult self?
- What is your favourite food?
- How has blogging surprised you?
- How do you think the blogging industry will have changed in ten years time?
Wishing you all a sunny day and look forward to reading your answers!