The Liebster Award


Within me lies a rarely suppressed skeptic.

That being said, when I noticed a new comment on my bio page – the most exciting page to receive a comment on, by the way – I thought I was being conned. You may wonder, what was in the message that made it so suspicious?

Nothing, really. Like I said, I’m just a healthy skeptic.

Written in the comment I found that a fellow blogger, Dave Ply,  had nominated my blog for the Liebster Award. I’m a newbie to the blogging community, so I had never heard of it. However, within moments I was researching. To no one’s surprise save my own, I discovered that it’s definitely legitimate. When I realized this, I was stunned, honored…elated. I hope that other bloggers looking for an explanation of the Liebster Award don’t find my post first…as the title is quite misleading.

So what is it?

To borrow from Dave, “It’s an Internet based award, given by bloggers to other bloggers.  It’s intended both as a way to recognise the work of bloggers you enjoy, and by publicizing links to their blogs help others discover those blogs too.” In other words, a pay-it-forward, online, pat on the back of appreciation and camaraderie from blogger to blogger – with a  special emphasis on newer bloggers with less than 200 followers. Perhaps I’m the only one to see it that way, but there is definitely an element of building community amongst bloggers at the foundation of this award. It’s a wonderful idea! If, like me, you’ve never heard of it before, Lorraine from Wording Well was kind enough to clear up the confusion through her efforts in perusing various blogs and piecing together the evolving “Official Rules” surrounding the award.

Without further adieu, I must thank Mister Dave Ply for his nomination. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised to be nominated by one who seems far more experienced at this blogging thing – or was at least better prepared when diving in. On his blog Plying Through Life, Dave flexes his blogging creativity after a career of software design and development. Interspersed throughout his witty writings and off-the-beaten-path perspectives, are glorious photos of his journeys. Together they make for a really enjoyable reading experience, so you should go check it out!


Now, I believe I have some questions to attend to. You can go ahead and mark this post as having the highest word count thus far 😉

What inspires you?

Forgive me for answering a question with a question, but is it ever just one thing? There are a multitude of things that inspire me.

Having glanced at the questions ahead, I feel that I should clarify one thing before moving on. One word I would use to describe myself is “inconsistent.” The word by itself may hold a negative connotation, but it has both pros and cons as a personality trait. I frequently find it difficult to answer questions that begin with “What is your favorite…?”

It changes all the time, sometimes every day.  I’m not exaggerating.

A pro of this is that I move on from things very quickly.

A con is that I move on from things very quickly.

This is part of the reason I began this blog, so that in the midst of moving forward quickly I can have something to look back to.

So what inspires me?

I would say that the elements in nature have a captivating spell unlike any other in this world, however unoriginal that may sound. 😉 The graceful, hushed fall of snowflakes onto a quiet world. The all-encompassing embrace of the wind around your body. The giddy heights of mountains that strike me dumb to silence as I take in panorama views of landscapes. The glitter of the sun on on rapidly rushing rivers. There is always something vivid to find in nature, even if you’re not looking for it.

Another thing that really gets me: a good hero. Whether it is in a book, or on TV I am a sucker for a good hero or perhaps a better word would be protagonist. Someone with a will of steel, an indomitable spirit, and a vision of a world that could be better. Haha sometimes, they may not be the most realistic character, but that doesn’t matter so much to me because they inspire me to new heights.

“Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage.” – C.S. Lewis

What got you started blogging?

I haven’t taken any professional writing classes, or been to any workshops, and as I’ve mentioned, when I start something I want to be good at it. These are the things that held me back for quite a while.

Thus, I don’t think it comes as any surprise to know that moving to China is what spurred this blog into existence. The change was enough to justify sharing my thoughts despite my inexperience in writing. So, filled with romantic ideas of brimming teacups in Buddhist temples, I tried to think of something creative for a title. Something that would wow the masses and sway them to follow me on my humble pilgrimage through life. In the end I settled on “The Emptea Cupfull” because after two days that was the best I had, and if I had spent any more time thinking about it, it never would have happened. So thank you, China. You pulled this writer out of hiding.

Which are your 5 favorite blog posts?

Shamefully, I don’t read other blogs regularly. However, as the notion hits me, I find myself perusing through others’ writings…but it is seldom.

However, a recent discovery has led me to little ittys, where one can find tiny written morsels well worth reading, especially the recent title: today’s fortune.

Edit: It was brought to my attention that the question is actually in reference to my own posts. That said, I think having an answer becomes much more difficult. I don’t particularly have a favorite, however it’s the posts that I am the most worried about that usually receive the best feedback, which is always encouraging. Sometimes I worry I’m being too vulnerable or too egocentric for other readers to actually get onboard with what I’m trying to communicate. In the end, I am usually affirmed by someone else that it is something they needed to hear too. Those are my favorite. When writing brings people together.

What’s been the most rewarding part of becoming a blogger?

Again it’s difficult to narrow this down to just one thing.

However I would have to say the most important is that my mental dumping grounds are meaningful and now have a purpose other than lulling my closest friends into a bored stupor. I am an externalizer through and through, so in the past friends or family members have had to sit and listen for hours while I try to make sense of my thoughts out loud. Not to say that it never happens anymore, but writing has lessened the amount of brain vomit I dump on others. Sorry for the visual there. It is rewarding to know that others actually enjoy my musings, and that it’s no longer baggage that just weighs me down mentally. Writing in general, and blogging specifically, is it’s own reward.

Name 3 things on your bucket list.

Until I watched the movie Everest, hiking that lofty peak sat humorously on my list…but after serious reconsideration it has been removed. I’m not as die-hard as hiking into the “death zone.”

As I mentioned above…it changes frequently. However, I quite like the idea of visiting all 50 states, and I crave the opportunity of going on a backpacking trip. Serious backpacking, in the real outdoors, for at least a month. Otherwise, I’m not big on “bucket lists,” as I tend to stick to what hits me in the moment.

Name a favorite quote.

“All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us.” – Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring

This is a daily contemplation for me…

What is a favorite book or genre?

Harry Potter. Always

Name one place or person you’d like to visit.

Again with this “one” business, but I must confess that it works here. One place that I would like to visit and will visit come January, is Yading Nature Reserve on the Tibetan Plateau. Waiting there are the three holy mountains, Chenresig, Chana Dorje and Jampelyang, which have been whispering for me to come visit for months now.

It goes without saying that I will oblige.

What talent do you wish you had more of?

Talent…? I consider myself a jack of all trades, master of none. It keeps things more interesting that way. Admittedly, I could probably improve in some areas with discipline…but I seem to lack that. In all honesty, I have never been a very disciplined person. That being said, I would say that I am not a naturally gifted athlete. I have to work quite a bit when it comes to things like that, and my hand-eye coordination is terrible. My sister on the other hand is an amazing athlete, and while she works really hard she also has a streak of determination that will never compute to my whimsical mind.

What’s the coolest thing you’ve done on vacation?

Gotten lost. Serendipity, I like to think of it.

It never fails, every time I get lost it ends up topping my last travel experience. Except for that one time my friend impaled her toe on a tree stump while hiking through the middle of nowhere in Texas…

That time wasn’t a good time to be lost, without a FirstAid kit no less.

As you have seen here in China, getting lost has led me into the welcome company – and restaurants – of friendly locals, as well as meeting fellow travelers. However, the magic of going with the flow doesn’t exist only in the Eastern Hemisphere. Once while in England, getting lost lead my friend and I to hiking the hills of Bath though Jane Austin-esque woods, which was lovely.

Oh, and I’ve also been parasailing. That was pretty cool.


It is now time to pass on the torch to the next set of bloggers. Embarrassingly, when I went to check the blogs I follow I realized that there are only a few that meet the guidelines of the Liebster award. I am going to take the liberty to stretch them ever so slightly.

The Culture Blend – This one has been especially significant whilst living abroad. Here, Jerry tells of he and his family’s experience of having “expatted, repatted, and expatted again.” Not only is it insightful, but also consoling for those walking the path of life abroad.

The All of Saigon  – Humorous, candid, and brief I always enjoy seeing something new here. Despite the author residing in Vietnam there are moments when it looks identical to China. They say familiarity breed fondness…or something like that.

Vinyl Intuition – This anonymous writer, aisnotforyoutoknow, breeches subjects on global, social, and political levels. Candidly she grapples with issues we face in our world. I can relate to such a raw struggle…there is solidarity here sister.

Whew…talk about a blogging marathon. I think I’ve cashed in my word count for the month. At any rate, I want to thank each and every reader/follower. I know it’s a lot of words, and that I have a tendency of going off on random tangents, but you encourage me to continue writing!

Until next time!


5 Replies to “The Liebster Award”

  1. Thanks for all the great answers, and your blog recommendations. I’m not sure what impressed me more: the quality of your write up, or the speed in which you put it together. I struggled with my response for 3-4 days before it was ready to go.

    One comment: the question about your five favorite posts was really in regards to posts that you’ve written, rather than other folk’s posts. Sorry to be ambiguous.

    I’m looking forward to your future posts.


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