I’ve been nominated for a Liebster Award!!!

I’m really excited to learn that Lucia from http://unexpectedwanderlust.com/ has nominated me for a Liebster Award!! Thank you Lucia!

What is the Liebster Award, you ask? The Liebster Award is an online award given out by fellow bloggers to new bloggers with under 500 followers to congratulate them / highlight their blog. I feel quite honored!

The Rules

  • Thank the blogger who gave it to you.
  • Answer the eleven questions they ask you.
  • Nominate eleven bloggers with less than 500 followers.
  • Ask those eleven bloggers eleven questions.
  • Let those bloggers know that they have been nominated so they can continue the chain.

1. What is it about travel that makes your heart pump?

I consider myself as a cultural tourist and I am thrilled to see art “in situ” that is, where it was made, in its original context.  There’s nothing like looking at a 600 year old fresco in a still-active church, and then walking outside to see a trees and flowers and people that look just like those depicted in the fresco.  What is comes down to is, I am a hardcore Humanist, and what really pumps my heard is surrounding myself in the highest of human achievement.

2. What is one destination you would recommend to everyone?

Rome has something for everyone: history, art and architecture from ancient times to contemporary, religion, tasty food, really hot guys [coughing, clearing throat] attractive scenery, and it’s not all that expensive.

3. What motivated you to start blogging?

After the 100th time a friend told me “You should write a travel guide” I started to think about it, and came to the conclusion that writing a travel guide was too logistically complicated, but a blog would be so much immediate and would allow me to write about art along with travel.

4. What was the first place you ever traveled to, and what was your experience like?

The summer I was 16, before internet and cell phones, I went to Italy not sure where I would live. I don’t think I ever really left.  You can read about it here.

5. What is the dumbest thing you’ve ever done while traveling?

I think the dumbest thing I ever done while traveling is not having enough food on hand.  My metabolism is nuclear powered and both my husband and I turn into super-grouches when our blood sugar is low.  I can think of so many travel situations that would have been immeasurably better if we’d just stopped what we were doing, sat down and pulled a snack out of our backpacks.

6. Who is one person you’ve met while traveling that you wish you could see again?

Oh, that’s so hard to narrow down because we’ve met so many lovely people!  Off the top of my head I would say Michel in Paris.  HOB and I took a free Paris Greeter walking tour and Michel was our guide.  After giving us a tour of his neighborhood, we asked him out for coffee.  We bonded over politics and a few months later Michel visited us in Chicago, where we took him in a walking tour of our neighborhood.  You want to know what’s fun?  Taking a rather delightfully snobby French man to a Taquería in the back of a Mexican grocery store and hanging out in your back yard trying not to laugh at him gingerly dipping chips into guacamole.   We’ve since visited Michel twice in Paris.  On our last visit a year ago we met his cherubic toddler Fleur.

7. Where are you planning on traveling next?

Gah, I am planning to go so many places!  It usually comes down to where I can find the cheapest airfare.  Most recently I’ve been looking into traveling to Romania to see the painted monasteries there.  HOB and I also want to see Cecelia Bartoli in concert at a special regional venue, preferably in Italy.

8. If you had to settle down in one place and never leave it again, where would it be?

Of course I would choose Chicago, where I already live.  Chicago is a vibrant, multicultural city–a planned city with miles and miles of parks and public access to the lakefront.  We have one of the best orchestras in the world, a superb opera company, excellent museums, an extraordinary variety of architecture, a top notch library system, enviable cable-access network television (free speech for ALL), universities, theater, and a thriving foodie culture.

9. What is the one food/drink that you’ve eaten/drunk during your travels that you wish would pop up in your hometown?

Unpasteurized cheese.

10. What is your travel theme song?

Hmmm…how about Ride of the Valkyries?  I like to imagine myself leaping from mountaintop to mountaintop shouting Hojotoho! Heiaha!

11. Do you have something that has gone with you on all of your travels?

A moneybelt, lipstick and a pocket full of puns.


Blogs I nominate:

1. I do wander everywhere

2. The Most Beautiful Places in Europe

3. The Venomous Bead

4. The Secret Life of Pandas

5. KleesButterfly – A TravelBlog

6. Christmascakeallyear

7. Irène Sharon Hodes

8.  Matt Murphy

9. Echoes of the Past

10. The Joining of Heaven and Earth

11. A Landscape Selected at Random


My questions:

1.  What types of art do you seek out when traveling?

2.  How do you communicate with people in countries where you don’t speak the language?

3.  What is your best budget travel tip?

4.  What’s your favorite conversation you’ve had with a stranger on public transportation?

5.  Where do you sleep while traveling and how do you find your room (hotel/b&b/hostel/couch-surfing, etc)?

6.  Thinking in terms of infrastructure or urban planning, what have you encountered while traveling that you wish you could bring back to your home town?

7.  When you tell people where you are from, what do the say (as in, if you’re from Chicago people go “Al Capone–bang bang bang!”?

8.  What’s the biggest tourist trap you’ve ever visited?

9.  What do you think is the most under-rated and over-rated tourist destinations?

10.  How do you afford to travel?

11.  Do you use travel guides?  If so, which are your favorite?




  1. […] to the Wife of Bath for this nomination for the Liebster Award and for her great […]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations, and well deserved, great blog!


    1. Thanks visualpursuits!


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