Friday, 20 June 2014

Meine Lieblingsblogs

Is it Liebster Award time again? YES!

It seems that in the circles of blogging, they get circulated in seasons and one suddenly sees them and then they vanish again. Elusive. Like mongeese. 

Well, one just popped up! The last time I answered was back here, if you want to read it. Today, though, I not only get to answer some really interesting questions, but I get to introduce you to Nadia.

While I could tell you about the time in High School that I narrated a South African version of Cinderella and she starred as the Sangoma, I'll rather direct you to her blog over at Hazel Tales. She is currently in Busan, Korea, where she teaches English and shares her adventures. I'm particularly impressed with her learning Korean

Anyway, like the great Journ-graduate that she is, she posed some pretty cool questions. 

1. Why did you decide to use blogging as a way of capturing your adventures? Why not Facebook, Twitter etc?
I decided a few weeks before leaving SA that I would start a blog when we left. The fact that I regret not starting it a few months before, is evidence that it serves two purposes: to keep friends and family informed of where we are and what we're doing, and to record adventures for our own memory. 
Twitter and Facebook are both inadequate for this... a brief status or a photo doesn't capture everything I want it to, and I dislike how things get lost between junk there. With a blog, I am able to record things in as much depth as I want to, and everything stays fairly organised and logical.

b)   What was the scariest thing about leaving your country? 
Being truly independent for the first time with very little information. We'd just about figured out how to be adults in SA when we left. Coming here, we had little idea about everyday things such as how much things cost, how systems work etc. (which I'm STILL figuring out.) But more so, I found it scary that we were leaving for a minimum of 3 years, whether we liked where we were or not. 

c)    I am a student leaving University. Tell me why I should travel?
I don't think you should or shouldn't... but there are some advantages. Mainly, I found that traveling has given me
A) Perspective 
eg. South Africa is NOT the only place with potholes. Offices in SA are NOT the only inefficient ones. Buses in Germany are ALSO hot and uncomfortable and crowded. Basically, the grass is not always greener and our security doesn't come from our geography or government. 
B) Compassion. 
eg. My German isn't perfect, and I have a lot more compassion for people learning in languages that aren't their own. I also see having English as first language as a privilege and realise how I've taken it for granted. Not because it's superior, but because it's useful. 

d)   Describe a food (make my mouth water!) you have had on your travels that made your eyes water from happiness (or possibly too much spice!)?
Traveling in Germany, too much spice has not been a problem. Also, with most dishes involving bacon, cheese, onion and potato, or combinations of the above, overwhelming is not an adjective that springs to mind either. However, dessert here is great. A gazillion flavours of icecream (hey, vanilla and chocolate aren't the only flavours?!?), decadent cake with cream and fruit, fresh cherries... 

e)   Describe the moment when you knew you had made the right choice to travel?
We don't really travel that much, but living in a country not our own and visiting different cities counts, right? I think I knew coming to Germany was the right decision when I bit into the first chocolate croissant on our first breakfast with Petra. Coming to Marburg, I knew it was the right decision when people tell us that they'd been praying and then we came. I can see how God has opened doors and guides us, and slowly His plan unfolds and we see what our part is. 

f)     Solo travel or group travel? Why?
The only memorable places I've traveled to alone are Bloemfontein and Joburg. Joburg hardly counts because it was only the ride there that I was alone for. Bloemfontein, I realised I should not travel alone when instead of walking to campus, I was determinedly headed along the road heading out of town, until a sweet old lady asked me if I'm lost and gave me a ride. 
That's my only experience with solo travel, so I guess I vote group travel. I love having others to help make decisions and keep me out of danger. Also, I love having somebody to talk to about what I'm seeing, or somebody to reminisce with about it later without being the girl who is always saying things like "these macarons just don't measure up to those that I had in Paris, you know." Somehow the replacement of "I" with "we" just makes things less snobby. 

g)    How have you dealt with challenging cultural differences?
Repeat after me: Different does not equal wrong. If I have a problem with something from another culture, it's not usually the culture's problem, but a problem I have. If I get irritated that Germans, generally, don't end visits with long, lingering goodbyes, I should maybe inspect my own motives for wanting a a long, lingering goodbye before trying to change their ways. Speck vs. Plank. 

And with that, I am done. 

The rules for Liebsters are pretty blurred these days. 11 questions, 11 facts, fewer questions, no facts, tag 11 people, 7 people... does it matter? I think not. 

So, instead, I encourage you to go on over and visit some of my Lieblings-South-African-blogs :) 
(Because we're all feeling left out since SA isn't in the world cup... am I right?)
City Girl Searching (in South Korea)
Lanlettie (in the USA)
Text Sketches (she's been quiet lately, but writes beautifully)
A Home Away from Home (From the USA, in SA)
Bits of Sunshine (for deliciousness)
Hannah (A brand new blog coming soon! Her old blog, Pink Chucks is also great.)

And now I have the dilemma that they're all different genres and that makes questions hard. Rats.
Just go check them out, ok?


  1. "Different does not equal wrong" is a lesson that some expats never figure out and it makes life hard on them. I found that interesting, what you said about the desserts. Malaysia is precisely opposite--they have the most amazing savory foods...but their desserts just really aren't tasty to someone with a Westernized sweet tooth. A lot of their dessert include ingredients like kidney beans, lentils, corn, sweet potatoes and that's definitely "different" for us Americans!

  2. i agree with you about group travel being fulfilling - sure it can be nice to wander and think and do your own thing, but it can also be kind of scary navigating a new space on your own, and it's always nice to have friends to chat with and hug :)

  3. Its nice to know more about you and your life in Germany. Its not easy to live in another country but its nice to experience another culture and things that are very different from what we know.

  4. I love your perspective on cultural differences, it can be hard to remember that it is us and not them when we are in their "home".

  5. What fun! I love the Liebster award!

  6. I think the perfect chocolate croissant would be the a satisfactory indication that I've made the right choice to travel too. Although here it's more smooching my handsome husband, that's kinda the same right? Thanks for sharing the blog love! Now I'm off to do some blog hopping. xoxo

  7. I think that's a fair comparison ;)

  8. It is really interesting, one learns so much - new perspectives, new ideas...

  9. Solo travel looks good in movies, but I get lonely!

  10. That doesn't sound at all like dessert to me, but interesting none-the-less!!