Not so long ago, Jenny from Travel, Adventure, Discover nominated me for the Blue Sky Tag – a lovely way to pass on a slice of positivity to other bloggers (and a nice distraction from the grey clouds gracing the skies here in the UK). Currently based in Berlin, Jenny features snapshots of life in Deutschland and snippets from her international adventures on her blog. Danke to Jenny for the nomination and before I get side-tracked, let’s crack on!
- Thank the person who nominated you, and link back to their blog
- Answer their questions
- Tag 11 other bloggers (or as few/ many as you fancy)
- Write 11 questions for them
- Let them know you’ve nominated them
1 | How were you inspired to start a blog?
I first started blogging during my year abroad in Alsace, but when those seven months as a language assistant came to an end, so did my blog. A few months down the line, following a six week trip across Canada and the USA, I decided to start up a new blog, and La Grenouille Anglaise was born. (Had I been tech-savvy at that point, I would have just changed the domain name, but I wasn’t clued up enough at that point. We live and learn.) These days, it’s the places I go, the people I meet and the blogging community that inspire me to carry on blogging.
2 | What was your most memorable travel destination and why?
Different places are memorable for different reasons, so choosing my most memorable travel destination was tough. After a lot of deliberating, I’ve gone with the Lake District, which I visited intermittently with my family growing up and have been to more recently with Laurence. Wastwater was absolutely breathtaking, and I made so many memories there – from bashing tent pegs into rock solid ground (not advisable, but needs must) and getting lost up Scafell Pike to sliding down Yewbarrow on my derrière and making friends with the hardy Herdwick sheep.
3 | Which 6 famous people would you like to invite to a dinner party?
J. K. Rowling, so I could pick her brain on all things Potter. David Attenborough, because I’d love the scoop on Blue Planet II before it airs. Michael McIntyre, as my all-time favourite comedian would be sure to have everyone howling with laughter. Rafael Nadal, so I could quiz him on La Decima. (Plus, he’s been my favourite tennis player for the last decade.) If I had the ability to turn back time or bring these giants of the literary world back from the dead, I’d also love to invite Roald Dahl and Michael Bond along to the party, as my childhood simply wouldn’t have been the same without the likes of George’s Marvellous Medicine (the inspiration behind many a potion-making session) and the Paddington series.
4 | What is your favourite food?
Dessert is practically my middle name, so I’m sticking to my sweet-toothed roots and going with cake. Carrot cake, lemon drizzle cake, chocolate cake – all the cakes. (Just don’t offer me a slice of coffee cake.) That said, I do love a good BBQ in the summer months.
5 | What do you do to overcome writer’s block?
I’m addicted to making lists – shopping lists, to-do lists, bucket lists. My love of lists (bien sûr) applies to blogging too. I keep a list of ideas for future posts, so when writer’s block hits, there’s usually an idea waiting in the wings.
6 | How do you define success?
Success for me is being happy with my lot, and I don’t think it can be defined arbitrarily – by the number of A*s one has, or the number of 0s at the end of one’s salary. Success is a feeling that comes from within, so it figures that the definition of it will vary from one person to the next.
7 | What makes you happy?
Long walks in the countryside, a wedge of carrot cake and watching David Attenborough documentaries. (And a whole heap of other things, but that would make this post rather long!)
8 | What are some of the biggest lessons you have learnt throughout life so far?
Funnily enough, I touched on some of these recently in the final post about my time in Lyon. One – sometimes, you need to trust your heart, not your head. Two – don’t be afraid of doing things alone (within reason). I think it’s also important to remember that you are the architect of your life, and if things aren’t as you want them to be, it’s up to you to make some changes.
9 | If you could describe yourself in one sentence, what would it be?
Outdoor enthusiast, bibliophile and cake connoisseur.
10 | What kind of qualities do you admire most?
While there are a number of qualities that I admire, I particularly value transparency, reliability and kindness – both in friendships and at work.
11 | How do you feel technology has changed the world we live in?
Technology, in one form or another, has existed for centuries, but I think these days we’re more dependent on it than ever. I grew up with technology, but as a child I sought much of my entertainment elsewhere: building ships from cardboard boxes for my dolls; playing sardines and hide and seek with friends; and using VHS tapes to make mazes for my class’s pet rats. While some technological developments have indisputably enhanced lives, there are others that I remain somewhat wary of.
Flâner | I’ve absolutely loved following Bola’s TAPIF journey over the past year. (Coincidentally, she worked in the same lycée as I did on my year abroad in Colmar. It really is a small world!) Her blog is full of insightful, reflective and fun posts on travel and life in general.
Lauren K Cowan | Having spent the past year in sun-soaked Spain as a language assistant, Lauren’s blog is jam-packed with anecdotes, recommendations and tales from her time on the Continent. She’s now blogging about life in Glasgow – and I for one would love to try the doughnut café she recently visited!
French Affliction | Emily’s blog is bursting with recommendations and thoughts on all things French: pastries, crêpes, books and much, much more. I’m a huge fan of her ‘Word of the Week’ series!
Questions for my nominees:
- If you could travel through time, which year (past or future) would you travel to and why?
- Tomorrow, you’re moving to Mars. How would you spend your last day on Earth?
- What makes you tick?
- Spring or autumn?
- Do you believe in life after death?
- Which book is next on your TBR list?
- What’s your favourite pancake topping?
- Describe your dream job.
- What’s your favourite thing about your hometown?
- What do you never travel without?
- Is there a philosophy that underpins your life?