Vicky--efharisto, dank je wel, merci, gracias, grazie, thanks!
The rules for the award are simple:
1) Thank the blogger who nominated you.
2) Answer the 10 questions the blogger asked you.
3) Nominate 10 more bloggers.
4) Create a list of 10 new questions for the nominees to answer.
Vicky's Questions for her Nominees (Including ME!)
1. What is your dream destination?
I’d love to charter a boat and travel to all of the other islands and islets in Greece I haven’t visited! I explain more in my post, What’s Your Dream Vacation! I just found out that Johnny Depp just purchased one, so I’ll have to stop by and say hi! The one Greek island of the thousands that I want to visit the most though is Crete! The photo below is from our visit last year to Hinitsa Bay!
I speak Greek fairly well. When my husband (who is Greek!) and I lived in Greece for a little over 4 years, I took Greek language lessons at the Hellenic American Union there, both beginning and intermediate levels. My brain has placed this information in a safe folder to be retrieved whenever we visit Greece! I think the reason for my success with this language is three-fold.
(1) The instructors spoke only Greek in the classes. If you had a question, you could ask in any other language that the instructor understood, but she responded only in Greek. For the beginning level, my instructor understood English, and my 14 other classmates (I was the only American) all spoke English. For the intermediate level, my instructor did not understand English, but did understand French. Luckily, we had a young French man in the class, and we would ask him questions in English, he would ask the instructor in French, and she would respond in Greek! (2) I was living in the country, and felt a great need to learn the language. I practiced everywhere—all of the small stores I visited, the farmers market every Friday, and especially with my mother-in-law. Though many of the people at the stores would respond in English, once they heard my accented Greek, I continued to speak my limited Greek!
(3) Though we no longer live in Greece, I visit the beautiful country often, and use my Greek! I still like it when my husband’s aunts and uncles help me with new words, or correct my pronunciation, so that I get it “right!”
I’m embarrassed to say I took 6 years of French in school in the U.S., and still would not be able to have a conversation with someone! I think when I was in school, French was just a class I needed to get through, and I didn’t really see the necessity of it! (I really wish I had stored more of it in my long term memory when we visited France for 12 days in 2010!)
I’m currently living in the Netherlands, and attempted to learn Dutch though online Rosetta Stone, but since soooooo many people speak English fluently in Utrecht, the city I’m currently residing in, I’m ashamed to admit, I’m not that motivated! That, and I probably won’t be here for more than another year! My best phrase, “Spreekt u Engels?”—do you speak English!
I would really like to learn Spanish. As an educator in Orlando for 12 years before moving to the Netherlands, I encountered quite a few students who spoke Spanish. I desperately wanted to be able to converse with them more. In April this year, when I won the uTalk app from a giveaway on North & South Nomads blog, I chose Spanish. Since I do not have the need to use it that much though right now, my current progress is very slim!
3. What aspect of your blog would you like to improve? (writing, photos, social media, etc.)
I lose track of time when writing and searching for just the right photos! I’d love to be more efficient, and I’ve definitely improved since completing Sarah Arrow’s Blogging Challenge. Read about my first round in my post, A Celebration of 30 Days of Blogging! I didn’t consider myself truly successful, since I did not complete 30 successive posts—one a day! I therefore tried a second round—did complete 30, but again, not in 30 successive days! I therefore am going to try to become more efficient and go for round 3 soon! I think shorter posts would be the answer, but I love to write and share my stories and photos, so, we’ll see if I can manage 30 in a row!
4. Have you tried any dishes that have been out of your comfort zone?
When I first tried octopus, I was a little uncomfortable, but when it is grilled just right, it is one of my favorite dishes in Greece. I have to admit, that the eating challenges in the show Survivor on TV (which I started watching with Season 1, but then abandoned when they started having All-Stars, etc.), just grossed me out, and I would never be able to eat one-tenth of what they ate!
5. Have you ever forgotten something before a trip and it caused some major headaches? How did you deal with it?
Organization is my middle name, so, I’ve never forgotten anything that caused any major headaches! Usually it was my toothbrush or nail clippers, so now I have both already packed in a small toiletry bag that I take with me on all my trips! The one thing that I didn’t forget once, but wished I had packed, was a wine bottle opener! I went for a week to Andros island in Greece, and bought a bottle of wine, thinking that the little hotel that we were staying at might have a corkscrew! Nope! Plus, in the touristy little town, I couldn’t find one anywhere! Luckily, the owner of the hotel brought me one the next day!
6. Which country or city has surprised you the most? Good or bad.
I do so much planning before any trip, that it’s hard to surprise me too much! But I will say, most of the places I visit exceed my expectations! I was disappointed when I visited Amsterdam for the first time—there was a torrential downpour right as we exited the parking lot, I hated walking through the Red Light District with all of the crowds of drunken men, and in August, I found it extremely overcrowded with tourists! Luckily, I’ve visited three other times, and have enjoyed all three of those visits, including the one below in April with my three friends visiting from Orlando.
In April, I finally visited the small town where my Oma (grandmother) was born and raised. We had planned to visit together right after my college graduation, but she died 5 months prior. Thirty-four years later, I visited. I wrote all about the trip in Happy in Heppdiel—Document Your Family’s Memories.
Definitely hot, especially if there is air-conditioning or beautiful blue waters with which to cool off! Greece tops my list (of course), but I greatly enjoy Orlando, having moved there from Maryland in 1995! I do like snow, but only to visit! I enjoyed quite a few ski vacations in my youth (!) and am hoping to get in better shape before visiting Austria for some skiing this winter! Antarctica and Alaska are both on my "must see" list!
9. If you could say one thing to your readers, what would it be?
Have fun and be flexible in your travels!
10. Did you have a favorite stuffed animal when you were a kid?
I had a blue bear that I adored. When I vomited on it, when I was still quite young, blue bear was never the same due to numerous washings! A new blue bear was purchased, but was not the same! But, bears forever live on in my home! My husband often surprises me with a new one on Valentine’s Day! I just bought one in Belgium; you can see one of the cities I love in Belgium in my post I’ll Be Back, In Bruges! My mini collection of bears resides in a window in my home office!
Alison at A Flamingo in Utrecht
Amanda from Olive, Feta and Ouzo
Bella from Ful-Filled
Eleanna from Foodaki
Jessica from Beck! What the Heck?!
Kayla from Honestly Kayla
Kate from Vagrants of the World
Lisa from Urban Travel Tales
Marissa from My Greece, My Travels
Rebecca from Life Beyond Borders
I have Greece on the brain right now—am really looking forward to my month-long visit in a few weeks! Quite a few of my nominees currently live in Greece. I love Greece so much, that I recently started another Instagram account, @IHaveThisThingWithGreekBeaches! Some of the bloggers I just nominated, I met through that Instagram account!
My 10 Questions (Some questions have two parts, so I count them as 2 questions!)
Would you rather take a cruise around the world, or live in your dream destination for the rest of your life? Why?
What’s your favorite comfort food?
What’s your favorite song? When and why did it become your favorite song?
What’s your favorite line from a movie?
What world figure would you most like to meet? Why?
What's your favorite place to visit in your home town?
What makes you happy?
I suspect everyone enjoys being recognized, and praised for a job well done. So for today’s Spiritual Sunday, think about the things that you did well this week, and give yourself a big pat on the back! Then, congratulate someone else for something they did well, and bring a smile to their face! Be happy yourself, and make someone else happier!
Once again, sincere thanks to Vicky AND Buddy for the recognition!
Oh, by the way, a great post was circulating on Facebook this week, Top 100 Travel Blogs 2015. I read through the names—lots of great blogs I’m already following, and others I need to start following. I then closed the article. Didn’t even think to search for my blog. But then on Thursday, I got a Facebook message from Lars (at BoB Around the World) telling me “congratulations on your award!” I clicked on the link, and found that I got a Bronze Award (3 stars—I’m excited)! Thank you so much Lars, Liane and BoB!
Last thing, my question for you today:
What makes YOU happy?
Let me know in a comment below.
P.S. Though I did already give you a sunset photo, here’s a bonus bench for today’s Spiritual Sunday. It’s from our day-trip yesterday to Dusseldorf, Germany with friends! Remember to carve out 10-minutes a day to pause and give thanks for all you have—peaceful benches are great places to sit and reflect!