Travel TAG (part 2)

12. Best item purchased abroad?

This is a difficult one. I’m awful at remembering things too. The only thing that comes to mind is this: we were returning from a choir trip and were traveling by bus from Spain to Belgium. After a nearly sleepless night we stopped very early in the morning at one of the service stations in France. The croissants were only just being put on display. They were still warm and I can tell you, they were the best croissants I have ever had in my life.

13. Top 3 Travel items?

Phone (& charger – come on, that’s one item), jacket (you never know what the weather is going to do and it’s good to protect you from the sun and from the cold), house keys (seriously, you should take your house keys). Oh and money is pretty essential, but you can scarcely call that “an item”.

14. Are you a repeat visitor or do you explore new places?

I used to be a repeat visitor as a comfort kind of thing, but now I do like to regularly visit new places (if diaries and funds permit it)

15. Do you read up on your destination for culture, history or safety or do you wing it?

I tend to read up as I go at the destination itself.

16. You’re leaving tomorrow, money is no issue, where are you going?

New York. Big city lights whoop whoop!

17. Favourite landmark you have visited?

The Guggenheim museum in Bilbao.

18. Beach holiday, exploring or adventure?

Exploring. I’m not the fittest of people, but I’m not one to bake in the sun all day either. Unless that beach holiday would include a lot of windsurfing. I’m all up for that! Tasting new cultures is my favourite.

19. Where have you travelled to that you would love to travel again?

Kronach, if nothing else, just to stay in the youth hostel in the castle again. That was amazing.

20. Where would you travel to just eat the food?

My favourite is French kitchen and that’s easy enough to find. I would like to travel to the US to see what the fuss is all about here in Europe about American food. So many bad things are being said about it and I can’t believe it’s that bad. I heard bad things about the English kitchen too, and they where wrong about that.

21. Is there a place you would never go again?

Maybe, but not a specific place. Not because of not liking it, but more because of time constraints. There is so much to see in the world.

22. To travel is to…

Experience! I love exploring and learning new things. I know, I’m nerdy like that.

Anyone who wants to use these questions (which I collated from all over) are welcome to them. See you next time!


Travel TAG (part 1)

1. Where are you from and where do you live now?

I’m from Belgium and I have been living in the UK for almost 4 years.

2. What’s the furthest you’ve ever been?

Egypt (Sharm El-Sheikh). It was in my early teens when we went. I remember that I really liked the hotel and windsurfing on the hotel beach. I also remember how I did snorkelling for the first time and the views in the sea where amazing. And lastly, I remember a story of how my parents and sisters woke up an entire corridor of sleeping guests one night because I had apparently locked the door (I couldn’t even remember doing that) and nobody could get in or wake me up. So in the end they broke in via a door between our room and the one from one of our neighbours.

3. Do you prefer summer or winter?

It’s very hard to decide. I love swimming outdoors as much as I love skiing. But if it’s at home, I think summer would be my favourite. In England winter tends to be pretty wet.

4. Where would you love to travel to?

Japan. It really appeals to me to see how you can be creative with very little space.

5. Are you currently saving up for a trip?

Sort of; We want to visit a friend in Hungary and the budget is going to be pretty tight the next couple of years. My hubby wants to start a doctorate in September and should go part time in his job for that (all going well).

6. Name a place in the world you would love to shop.

Paris (if money is no issue), otherwise Brighton. It’s an awesome city for all sorts of things.

7. How many countries have you visited?

17 (including the ones I live(d) in).

They are: Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Monaco, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Italy, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Vatican City, Turkey, Egypt and Sweden.

8. Where was your first plane to?

Egypt. I’m pretty sure of that. It’s the first one I definitely remember anyway.

9. Why do you travel?

Me and my hubby travel a lot to visit family. Our families live in the Midlands and in Belgium. A 3 hour and 6 hour drive one way respectively. Though I do love the discovery aspect of travel. That’s my favourite reason.

10. Favourite city?

Budapest. I have only been there once, so maybe that will change. I had the same feeling the first time I went to Paris that it would be my favourite city. It still is really high up there too.

11. Most memorable experience abroad?

The most memorable thing was looking up in the desert in Egypt in the middle of the night. We were on our way to a classic spot to watch the sun rise with lots of other tourists and guides. The amount of stars I saw that night in one go hasn’t been rivalled since, or even come close to that.

To be continued…

Reader’s Questionnaire

I found this on the BluChickenNinja blog, who in her turn found it on The Bookie Monsters. Enjoy!

1. What is your favourite book?
My favourite book to date is Foundation by Isaac Asimov. I’m not sure why. I just love everything about it.

2. What are your goals? For the year? For your life?
My goals for the year is to get a job I can enjoy. The enjoying part is really important, because I doubt I will otherwise be able to tell my anxiety to keep walking. Lifetime goals would be to travel the world and meet as many people as I can possibly manage.

3. Are you a writer? If so, tell me about your work. 
I not a writer of book or proper stories, and I could definitely not do it for a living. However, I do enjoy writing poetry and I’m having fun with this blog as well.

4. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I think I’d stay right here. I mean I love travel, but I love it so much in our little house so close to my friends.

5. What was the last movie you saw in the theatre and was it worthwhile?
I genuinely can’t remember. Is that bad or what?

6. I’m curious, are there any books that you’ve tried to read and simply couldn’t finish? This is a no judgement zone.
There are actually only one book I have no interest in finishing. The thing is that I can’t even remember the name. It’s the first book in what is at least a five part series. I bought the book over 10 years ago. It was fantasy, but the writing just didn’t gel with me. Books that I’ve had a lot of difficulty with, but sort of do want to finish because they’re classics are The Lord of the Rings and Catch 22. The last one to mention is (I think it’s called) The Winter King. The reason I couldn’t finish it is a bit silly. I started reading it and then I lost the book :p

7. Are you currently working on a new book/project right now? If it’s secret, you don’t have to tell me about it. If so, however, I hope it’s going well.
My current project (if you can call it that) is to stop doing so many things at once. I’m reading two books, I’m knitting an evening bag, I’m making a puzzle, I’m crafting cards, I’m doing a latch hooking rug, and to be quite honest, it’s a bit too much to feel like you’re doing these all at once.

8. If you could live in any of your favourite books, which one would you choose?
In the Harry Potter world with a wizard child so I can have the best of both worlds.

9. Are there any book-to-movie adaptations that you think are just incredible? That you absolutely hated?
Neither is the case for me to be honest. I can always find a few things I don’t like, but I could never say I hated an adaptation. One of my friends told me to read Northern Lights to change my mind (hating something that is). But I have yet to do that, so I withhold judgement.

10. What do you look for in a book that you want to read? What’s the first thing to capture your attention?
The title. I love words. Then the cover, then the description at the back. But yes, the title is the things that needs to make me go “hmm, I wonder what this one’s about”

11. If you’re an author, what do you do when you first get an idea for a book?
When I write poetry, it’s the emotion that comes first. That makes me want to sit down and write something about it.

12. How do you feel about different genres? Romance? YA? Sci-Fi? Poetry? Do you have any favourites? Any least-favourites?
For me my most loved, and read, genre I would generically term as fantasy, despite those potentially also being romance, young adult or adventure (but then this term is pretty broad as well). I’m not a fan of war-time novels.

13. If you could meet any writer in the world, dead or alive, who would it be?
I think Terry Pratchett, because aside from being a great author he just seemed like such a nice guy.

14. Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
I can’t say I have a preference. I used to never read non-fiction, but that changed as I went to university. I still have read a lot more fiction, and there is a lot more fiction on my to read list than non-fiction though. I tend to read non-fiction on the fly, while I take a lot more time out for fiction.

15. Are there any characters that everyone loves that you can’t stand? Or vice versa?
I don’t know (I know that’s a really lame answer)

16. What do you like to do besides reading/writing?
I do paper crafting and knitting. I also love playing video games and role playing games, with the Pathfinder living campaigns being my new favourite thing (since the beginning of last year).

17. If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
For being a really nice person, and that being nice really works.

18. What is your favourite guilty pleasure book?
I love all the books I remember reading. I don’t actually know whether there is anything in there that can be thought of as a guilty pleasure. Feel free to help me out with that: I’d say possibly the Norah McClintock books.

19. Do you have a reading goal set for this year?
I went from 6 books last year (which I did) to 12 books this year, and I’m already behind schedule :p

20. Tell me anything about yourself that I haven’t asked. Random fact. Weird human trick. Whatever.
I’m very keen to try out venison with red wine and chocolate sauce. We should be having it tonight if all goes well. I’ll report back on that in my Sunday blog.

My 2015 – a look ahead

Thanks to for the prompt.

1.What do you want the overarching theme for your 2015 to be?
Financial independence and stability.

2.What do you want to see, discover, explore?
I would love to see more of the UK, and visit Greece if we can.

3.Who do you want to spend more time with in 2015?
My friends, especially those not in the UK. It’s hard to actually visit them, so I would like to find other ways to keep in touch and spend time with them – like via email, chat or tele-/videophone.

4.What skills do you want to learn, improve or master?
I would like to improve my crafting skills, including drawing, and playing the violin.

5.Which personal quality do you want to develop or strengthen?
I want to capitalise on my social side and make it more versatile.

6.What do you want your everyday life to be like?
I would like to earn a living while still having enough time in the day to stay on top of household tasks, craft and see my friends.

7.Which habits do you want to change, cultivate or get rid of?
I want to develop the habit of keeping track of my calorie intake. It makes me much more aware of how much sugar, fat and calories are in certain foods.

8.What do you want to achieve career-wise?
I would like to find a job, be it part-time or full time.

9.How do you want to remember the year 2015 when you look back on it 10/20/50 years from now?
A great year, possibly the best year up until that time. I think it’s a good thing to try and make a year the best year you had so far, or a month the best month and so on.

10.What is your number one goal for 2015?
Find something to make a living out of.

My 2014 (part 4 – last one)

Thanks to for the prompt.

31.What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever?
I say hurray for the new hoover. It’s saves me so much time!

32.What one thing would you do differently and why?
I wouldn’t do anything different in 2014. Ok, maybe eat a bit more healthy :p

33.What do you deserve a pat on the back for?
For my great improvements in my mental health and the work I have done for it.

34.What activities made you lose track of time?
The many blogposts I read and I’m hoping to do much more of that this year.

35.What did you think about more than anything else?
School, ugh. That’s luckily gone now. Hopefully something more fun this year.

36.What topics did you most enjoy learning about?
Crafting – knitting, paper crafting, drawing, jewellery making, all that fun stuff.

37.What new habits did you cultivate?
I tidy and clean a lot more regularly than I used to.

38.What advice would you give your early-2014 self if you could?
Don’t worry about taking your time.

39.Did any parts of yourself or your life do a complete 180 this year?
No, I think I did sort of know where I wanted to go, but I didn’t dare to. I’m still not confident about it, but life is all about the climb right 😉 (I do love me some Miley Cyrus).

40.What or who had the biggest positive impact on your life this year?
Going outside more. It’s amazing how much it can get you down being stuck inside the house most of the time and how much change it can mean to step outside the door.

My 2014 (part 3)

21.What was your most common mental state in 2014?
Until about August it was probably close to a state of panic, but after that I mostly felt excited.

22.Was there anything you did for the very first time in your life?
There were a few things I did for the first time in my life in 2014, mostly regarding games and cat care – playing Pathfinder and cleaning out the litter tray are the two things that immediately spring to mind.

23.What was your favourite moment spent with your friends?
Dress shopping with my sisters for Hannah’s wedding dress.

24.What major goal did you lay the foundations for?
Getting a job this year.

25.Which worries turned out to be completely unnecessary?
How my family would respond to not finishing my masters degree.

26.What experience would you love to do all over again?
The first month with Navi. She’s so adorable, but most adorable as a tiny kitten.

27.What was the best gift you received?
My big Pooh bear for Christmas 😀

28.How did your overall outlook on life evolve?
I realise that I have much more freedom in the choices I make than I previously thought even though that can also be difficult.

29.What was the biggest problem you solved?
What to do about my masters degree.

30.What was the funniest moment of your year, one that still makes it hard not to burst out laughing when you think about it?
It’s a close call between my Stonehenge video of “the little stones and the little sheep”, “that dragon killed my Willy” in a D&D session and Mike’s character chatting up the DM’s character in one of the Pathfinder sessions.

My 2014 (part 2)

Thanks to for the prompt.

11.If someone wrote a book about your life in 2014, what kind of genre would it be? A comedy, love story, drama, film noir or something else?
A romance novel with some drama because of the stress I had for school.

12.What was the most important lesson you learnt in 2014?
Letting go does not mean giving up, it’s simply setting priorities.

13.Which mental block(s) did you overcome?
“I HAVE to do this” is less and less applicable to me.

14.What 5 people did you most enjoy spending time with?
Mike (my husband), Nicole, Sophie and Leighanne (my best friends in England) and Daantje (my new nephew).

15.What was your biggest break-through moment career-wise?
It’s ok to do what you feel good about and not what you “should” do.

16.How did your relationship to your family evolve?
It’s gradually turning into a more adult relationship where I feel like an adult as well rather than the one that doesn’t know what to do with her life and doesn’t take a lot of responsibilities.

17.What book or movie affected your life in a profound way?
Interstellar – hope for humanity even if the film is fiction.

18.What was your favourite compliment that you received in 2014?
It’s always nice to see you – read all about it here

19.What little things did you most enjoy during your day-to-day life?
Our little cat coming up to me at random asking for cuddles.

20.What cool things did you create in 2014?
The wedding album I made was very pretty, though for me the coolest thing I made is probably the little star I made for Christmas.