Na a you know that ain’t me. I like the dirt under my nails and my dreaded hair. I’d be fucking thrown off the red carpet if I turned up the way I look right now hahaha. It’s a good thing an outdoors man like Stick gave me the award, cuz he too prefers a trail over a red carpet, right Stick? Our red carpet is the beautiful red and yellow pattern the trees color the trails with in fall. Our red carpet is a trail carved in the rocks in remote places where no other paparazzi but our own shadow chases us. Our red carpet is the ever winding dusty snowy muddy road that brings us to places we’ve never been. So THANK YOU Chad for the award. I love to walk the red carpets of nature! (Actually I’m currently writing a post about why I blog and how -as a writer- you gotta earn your credits the hard way… So the award came just in time hahaha…. I’m not all done writing that post but I’ll try to finish it soon ;c)
Now what does it mean to accept The Liebster Award? It means I gotta answer the 11 questions Chad asked me, come up with 11 new questions, tag other bloggers and ask them to answer my 11 questions. Of course none of these bloggers is forced to answer these questions. They can either leave it or accept the award and pay it forward. As I’m not good in explaning (hell I would suck in being a schoolteacher) you better read the full explanation here. It basically is a way of recognizing/promoting other bloggers and the things they do.
So here are Chad’s questions and my answers to them:
1. What made you get into backpacking?
O well I got the classic story to tell. I kinda grew up in an “outdoor family”. My parents took us kids hiking from the moment we could walk. My sister, brother and I each got a tiny backpack and off we went. Contrary to most other kids we actually loved it. I guess also because of the fact that we did some pretty cool mountaineering stuff: crossing glaciers, rock climbing, … (Haha I remember those “friend books” we had as little girls. There was always the question “What do you dream of?” My answer as a 10year old was: “Climbing Mount Everest!”) When I was 15 my dad hiked all the way from our home in Belgium to Santiago the Compostela in Spain. That’s when I found out about the long distance trails and I started dreaming of the PCT. What followed though was a time in life where “things” kinda took over. I started studying, moved to Berlin, got married, had several jobs and even though I travelled a lot (shorter backpacking trips, long roadtrips, some longer bike trips), I wasn’t toooo happy. Eventually at the age of 29 I got divorced and I felt the need to finally start doing “my thing”, to stop living the life others wanted me to live, to start following my heart and fullfilling my dreams. So that’s what I did (I lightened the load on my shoulders and in my backpack and I flew across the big sea to hike the JMT on my own) and that’s what I’ll continue to do. Next dream to fullfill: hike the PCT in 2015!
2. What other outdoor activities do you participate in?
3. What is the longest distance you have backpacked?
The John Muir Trail… which ain’t very long: 210.4 miles/338.6 km. But I’m working on it haha.
4. What is the longest amount of time you have spent outdoors?
On trail that must have been around 25 days, off trail it’s soon gonna be a lot longer cuz we just bought a piece of land in a lonely little valley where we’re gonna live in our yurt. So we kinda live outdoors ;c)
5. What is the most interesting backpacking trip you have been on?
Definitely the JMT. Holy fuck, I totally fell in love with the Sierra!!! It’s almost 8 months now since I got back and hell I’m still so inspired that I still blog about it haha! Though I must say my trip through Guatemala and Central America was interesting too, just in a very different way.
O I almost forgot to mention the “walking by heart” trips my boyfriend and I went on. We started at a certain place (well that is kinda obvious haha), pictured us the place we wanted to go to (like 30miles away) and then -without a map or compass- would get going, just hiking in the direction our intuition would take us. Incredible crazy stuff happened on these trips. Of course there isn’t too much of risk involved doing trips like that here in Europe, we don’t have those wild places with hundreds of miles of “nothing” (kinda sad actually, cuz nothing definitely can be everything when hiking through the wilderness), so you cross roads or villages every 15 miles. Still those trips were adventures full of surprises :c)
6. Where was your last backpacking trip?
7. How much was your pack weight on that trip?
I guess about 7 kg /14 lbs. BPW around 5 kg/10 lbs.
8. What is your favorite (alcoholic) beverage on the trail?
Water water water. A sip of whisky before going to bed. O and milkshake when getting into town!
9. What is your favorite meal/snack on trail?
I don’t really have a favorite meal on trail, but when it comes to snacks: chips, twizzlers and brownies! Though if I could bring my belgian deep fryer (is that how you call it in Merica?) and potatoes, I’d be making french fries (which actually should be called “belgian” fries, damn right!!!) every evening. Too bad they don’t come in lightweight :cP
10. What is one piece of gear that you never leave without?
My patagonia houdini jacket, absolutely love it!
11. What was the worst piece of gear that you’ve ever used?
I hate dry sacks that don’t keep my stuff dry. Unfortunately my expensive sea-to-summit nano-sil “dry” bag turned out to be one of those fuckers :c( (I knew I should have gone with the good old trashbag but as a gear junky I had to try it out… I’m back with the trashbag now haha) And I hate leaking water bladders. So I basically hate everything that doesn’t keep my gear dry or that makes my gear wet! (No I don’t hate the rain! ;c)
Now it’s my turn to come up with 11 other questions and tag some other bloggers:
Here are my questions:
1. What do you love most about trail life?
2. What is the best advice you could give another hiker, no matter newbie or long time backpacker?
3. Who is your secret (or not so secret) hero?
4. What is the best descision you made in life?
5. What experience (hilarious, dangerous, totally weird or whatever) you made whilst hiking/travelling you’ll never ever forget?
6. If your life would be a book, what would the title be?
7. Why do you blog?
8. What/who inspires you?
9. What is the craziest thing you ever did? (Wait that might be the same question as nr. 4 haha)
10. Do you have a favorite trail? A favorite landscape? Or do you love it all :cP ?
11. What is your biggest dream?
And I pass The Liebster Award on to:
1. Erin Hikes
2. Marry me, John Muir
4. Stay Wild True
5. Peace Love Hike
8. Walking with wired
9. Kolby Kirk
11. Serial Nomad
Some of the bloggers I tagged are distant friends, some are people I never met (most of them actually), some are from overseas, some from Europe, some are known, some are not, some are rocking a trail right now, and some are my secret heroes (jee I’m a bit nervous and shy tagging them -hear me say that!!! cool tough Catwoman not being all that cool now…- cuz most of them are frikkin badass hikers, adventurers and crazy people!!!).