So… I’ve been nominated for a Liebster Award! This is actually my third one in three years, but it still surprises me that there are people out there who read my stuff lol.
A big thank you to Kyle and Briana from Married with Maps for the nomination. They run a really cool and comprehensive blog about their travels in Southeast Asia, so drop by to read about their adventures ! :)
For those who don’t know what a Liebster Award is, it’s kind of like the old FB note-tagging thing. You get nominated, answer questions, and then come up with your own questions and nominate fellow bloggers. And the cycle goes. Great way to build a network and show support for each other :)
Here’s how it works:
- Thank the person who nominated you and post a link back to their blog.
- Answer their questions.
- List the rules in your post.
- You can display the award somewhere on your post/blog.
- Write 10 random facts about yourself (optional.)
- Nominate 5-11 blogs and tell them they’ve been nominated! :)
- Come up with your own set of 11 questions for them to answer.
Here are the questions from Kyle and Briana:
1. How did you decide on the name of your blog?
I’ve been blogging since 2009 and have had loads of lame blog names; like tsez (zest spelled backwards, lol) septemberstardust, thesunburntfingers, and tacokittens.
Sometime around mid-2015, I thought of taking blogging a bit more seriously. And since I like to write about lifestyle and travel, the name Eris Goes To seemed fitting. I’m always asking myself – where to next? This blog is as much a journal of my travels as a journey of self discovery. And I hope I can share that experience with my readers and friends.
2. What is the best food item / dish you’ve tried, and where was it?
I love food! It’s hard to pick one.
I’d have to say Pork Chop Buns in Macau. Very simple – just a piece of grilled pork chop sandwiched between two buns. No veggies, no sauces. But boy oh boy, it’s so juicy you don’t even need condiments. And because they don’t have stuff like mayo or tomato to mask it, you can really taste the full flavour of the meat.
It was so good I had it everyday while I was in Macau. Sometimes twice a day. Lol.
3. What was your first foreign (or domestic if you haven’t been foreign) travel experience?
I was four when my parents took me to Langkawi, an island in Northern Malaysia. It was my first time on a plane, but for the life of me I can’t remember anything from the trip. Too young?
The earliest foreign travel experience I can remember is a holiday to Sydney. I was seven. I remember petting kangaroos and taking pictures with koalas, going to Hanna Barbera land, throwing a tantrum at the Sydney Harbour Bridge (I can’t remember why though.. they have a picture of this in our photo album at home), seeing pelicans, and…finding out that Princess Diana had died in a car crash. I didn’t know who she was back then; just that everyone in the tour bus went really quiet when they were watching the news.
4. What do you do/how do you earn money?
Right now, freelance writing. I was working at a local startup/magazine up until recently, but had to leave because reasons. Before that, I was a journalist at a newspaper.
I’m still looking for a good job. Anyone around KL looking to hire a full-time writer ? :D
5. If you could do anything (for living/working), what would you do?
Travel and write.
It’s funny because after graduating from high school, I wanted to become a cartoonist. I’m not half bad at drawing either. But I ended up taking journalism because I couldn’t afford the art courses, and my Asian parents were not having an artist in the family lol. They wanted me to be an accountant/teacher.
Come to think of it, I’m the first in my fam in a ‘creative’ field. I have cousins who are lecturers, accountants, engineers, lawyers, and doctors. I used to hate going back for family reunions because my aunts would try to outbrag each other on their kids’ achievements. Obviously as a writer, I didn’t earn as much as they did. Which made me feel quite small.
These days I couldn’t care less. So who cares if I don’t drive a big car like Cousin XX? I’m happy with what I do. It has taken me to many places and allowed me to meet people from all walks of life. I bet none of them can brag about flying in a chartered Cessna around the Petronas twin Towers before. heh.
6. What is your favorite travel experience so far?
I spent four months in the UK as a transfer student. My friends and I went to a lot of places – Manchester, Whitby, London, Liverpool… but the trip that stuck with me the most was York. It’s a medieval English city dating back to the 10th century. While in town, we visited York Minster, a 13th century Gothic cathedral: one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe. Upon stepping in, I was nearly bowled over by its beauty and architecture. People were singing hymns and they echoed all across the hall. I remember tearing up. I felt very small in the face of such splendour and history, but also grateful and awed that I was there to experience it first hand.
7. What is your least favorite place you have been/visited/lived?
I hope I don’t get lambasted for this, but I’d have to say Manila, Phillippines. E is Filipino, so we went there earlier this year to visit his mom and sisters.
KL is not the most well-to-do city on the planet, but in South East Asia, I think we rank okay (next to Singapore). There are homeless people but the level of poverty you see on the streets is relatively low.
So when I got to Manila, I was in for a shock. Kids in rags begging for money whilst carrying their younger siblings, kids sniffing glue, slum areas where you can get knifed, waste pouring down city rivers. Snatch thieves. Dirty piles of garbage overflowing from uncollected bins. The city was extremely crowded and polluted with dust and diesel smoke from jeepneys. The air was also heavy with the smell of exhaust fumes and piss. It was suffocating. The only time there was any semblance of fresh air in the city was at 2am in the morning.
Manila has its charms, but I couldn’t enjoy them to the fullest. It’s a shame for a place that was once called the Pearl of the East.
8. What is your ideal setting?
Being at home, in a sunlit corner with some fluffy cats and a good book. I’m a homebody at heart.
9. What do you hope to accomplish within the next 1-5 years?
I’ll see where the wind takes me. :)
10. What is your favorite flower?
Lotuses! I have a tattoo of one on my right shoulder. I think it’s amazing how something so beautiful can bloom from mud. I got the tatt to remind myself that no matter how hopeless things seem to be, I can always rise above the darkness.
I also really like English roses. Okay, that’s two favourite flowers….
11. What is the best advice you’ve received?
“Live life to the fullest.” Sounds cliche, but true.
This piece of advice came from my 43-year-old editor, whom I really look up to. When she was younger, she went through a bad relationship, lost money in a joint business venture with her ex-husband, and then got divorced. That didn’t stop her though. She picked herself up and went right back at it. In fact, she likes to tell me that her ‘life’ didn’t start until she was in her late 30s. She travels a lot. Despite having a bad back and leg, she hiked up an Indonesian volcano, backpacked around Cambodia, and recently went on a 16km deep jungle hike to Taman Negara. I really admire her zeal for life. And if she, a woman in her 40s, can do it, so can I.
10 Random Facts About Me
- I have a lot of beanies. I used to be obsessed with wearing beanies back in college, even in Malaysian weather lol. They’ve mostly been relegated to storage, but the last I counted, I had at least 12.
- I have a lot of books. Somewhere around 400(? estimate) My house is like a mini library. My mum says I’m out of my mind.
- I like buying pretty notebooks, even if I don’t use them.
- Back in high school, I did hand-drawn manga and photocopied them to be sold to my school friends. Even made a tidy profit out of them! They were mostly romance titles (lol). But I got busy with exams so I had to quit this side hustle. Never picked it up again after that.
- I am terrified of house lizards. I just don’t like the beady way they stare at me, or how they can detach from the ceiling and fall to the floor with this fleshy ‘splat’ sound. ugh.
- English is my first language. I cannot speak Chinese (Mandarin), because I attended a Malay school.
- Because of (6), I was bullied in high school.
- When I was younger, I had this odd habit of writing names. I’d start from A – Aaron, Abel, Abraham, Ace, Ada, so on and so forth. It was pointless but strangely therapeutic.
- I have watched Lord of The Rings so many times, I can memorize bits of dialogue.
- I like bread more than rice. Weird Asian.
I nominate –
- What was the last book you read ?
- Do you have any phobias? If so, what are they?
- What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?
- Name a 90s boy band/girl band crush.
- Your dream vacation would be….
- What do you like to do in your spare time?
- Who is your biggest inspiration?
- List 5 pet peeves.
- If it was the last day on Earth, what would you do?
- Name one item you absolutely cannot live without.