I was tagged by the lovely Jessica at Wondermentary for this World Blogger award, so I thought I’d join in on the fun!
What is the story behind your blog?
Silentlyfree started as a creative outlet for photography and writing. While there is a strong travel component to Silentlyfree, I consider it more of a lifestyle blog where I share the things that interest me. The name of my blog comes from a song called A Glimpse of Snow and Evergreen that I sang in a choir back in college. I really liked how the words felt in my mouth and how the meaning seemed to represent my life in so many ways. There are times in life when you have to stay silent, but your soul will always be free. It might be at your job, or some other social situation. It might be that your friends in real life don’t share all your interests or passions. So blogging for me represents an act of freedom and a manifestation of myself.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Oh, most definitely London! I don’t think I’ve ever left a city feeling as though I’d barely made a dent on the surface! London has this interesting vibe that combines history and heritage with a unique take on the word modern. It’s home to so much extraordinary architecture, artwork, craftsmanship, and parks that I barely know what to do with myself as I gush over this city!
What is the best piece of travel advice you’ve received?
To tape my feet when traveling. Blister free traveling is the best thing ever.
Is there one souvenir that you always get from your travels?
I like to bring back the tickets and pamphlets as I collect them. They also come in handy when writing blog posts as they contain interesting tidbits of information. I actually like to get the souvenir guides so long as they aren’t too thick, else I’ll opt for postcards instead. I also collect the Starbucks city mugs.
What is your most memorable vacation/trip?
My trip Europe has been the most memorable as there was so much to see, but I do remember a quiet moment on the train from Interlaken to Venice where I was very simply happy and content. I had been soaked by the rain while trying to get to the station from my hotel and had lost a favorite pair of shoes on the way (they were wet from the rain and I had put them in a bag and tied it to my carry on..). Well, as the train took me to Venice I saw nothing but clear skies and blue streams and I remember feeling happy with the sun shining and Venice to look forward to.
What is the one thing you can’t live without when you travel?
My camera. I’m not very shy when it comes to asking for directions, so I think I could probably manage without a map. I actually didn’t take my phone with me while I was sightseeing in Rome for fear of all the pick pockets, so I know I can manage without a phone. I don’t know that I could live without a camera. I felt like dying when I learned that photography wasn’t allowed inside St. Paul’s Cathedral. I don’t know how I’d take it if I couldn’t take photos because I simply had no camera.
Who’s your go-to travel buddy, or do you prefer solo travel?
So far I haven’t had a fixed travel buddy, but I prefer someone who enjoys photography and shares a similar sense of humor. To be honest, I don’t mind solo travel at all as it allows me to take more time with my photography and move at a free pace. I would much rather wake up early for the sake of beating the lines than get up late and stand in lines for hours at a time. That being said, when I am determined to see something I don’t mind waiting hours in line to see it. Crowds don’t bother me much as I’ve spent a great deal of time in Seoul where there are always a lot of people bustling about.
Where was the best meal you ever had?
Oooh this is a hard one as there is so much good food out there! The crispy crab curry at Saint Augustin was to die for, but the Brick Oven Pizza in Seoul was pretty damn good too! Seoul is like the city of good food, I could go on and on about it!
Are you a spontaneous traveler, or do you have everything planned out for your trips?
When it comes to local travel, I do both spontaneous traveling and planned traveling. Sometimes I’ll wake up on a Saturday and decide that I’m just going to go up to Seoul and wander for a bit. Other times I’ll pick a place to go and look up opening/closing hours, directions, and places to eat nearby. If I’m traveling internationally, I prefer to plan out my trip as I want to get the most out of trip and travel costs. I usually choose 3~4 major stops for the day and have a list of interesting things to see near each stop. I also like to look up a few places to eat in the areas that have good reviews. This being said, traveling has never gone entirely as planned. There are so many times where I’m hungry before I get to the area where I had planned to eat, or I don’t feel like eating whatever I had planned for. I always do end up spending a good amount of time wandering streets and staying an hour or so longer than I intended so my plans change as I go. The only exception is if I have a ticket for something like a musical or an observatory tower that has a fixed time.
Where are you traveling to next?
I’m actually very excited to be traveling to Jeju Island this upcoming September! My flight has been booked and I’m looking forward to spending some time at the beach! The last time I went to a beach was in 2012 so I’m pretty excited. I hope the weather will be nice and sunny as I walk along the sandy beaches looking out at the emerald waters. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
Next I’m tagging Winnie @ Diamond Canopy, Stephanie @ Sartorial Diner, Amber @ The Danish Canadian, Robert @ A Blog By Robert, and anyone else who wants to join in for the next 10 questions. Feel free to answer in a post or in the comments below :)
1. What defines you as a blogger?
2. What is your favorite travel memory from your childhood?
3. What is the craziest experience you’ve had while traveling?
4. If you were given a photography license for any one place in the world that restricts photography, where would it be?
5. If you had the option of seeing a musical, seeing the sunset from a bridge over a river, seeing a nightscape from a viewpoint, or drinking the local beer/wine at the finest pub/winery which would you choose?
6. What is the best street food you’ve tried while traveling?
7. What is the best dessert you’ve had while traveling?
8. Which country is at the top of your bucket list?
9. What do you do when it rains (pours) while you travel?
10. What do you do during a long flight to your destination?