Second Liebster Award


I was surprised to wake this morning and see a nomination from Vibhu over at Tap My Toes. I’ve only discovered this site recently – I don’t recall how, but I’m glad I did. I’m really grateful for the nomination. Definitely check his site out and give him a follow.


  • Create a new post thanking the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Include award graphic.
  • Answer the questions provided.
  • Make a new set of 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
  • Nominate 10 bloggers and share your post with them so they see it.

My answers to Vibhu’s questions:

What are your views about corporate slavery?

I have been extremely lucky to be able to avoid this for most of my life but those times I’ve been in that position it’s been really miserable. I do my best work as a part of a team filled with mutual respect – and respect because of ability not because of position. And so, for the past 14 years, at least, I have worked in an environment where there was a boss, but it felt less like a hierarchy and more like a situation where my boss knew more so I would appreciate his guidance, and where I knew more, my input was appreciated. I feel like this is an ideal situation – but so often workplaces can devolve in to a toxic place where nobody treats each other with respect. I hope I don’t have to go that way again.

How do you unwind?

Reading, listening to music, and physical exercise are high on the list. All of these are ways to temporarily break any mental patterns that you may be done with. That could mean something negative like trying to quit being consumed by an argument you’d had earlier in the day, or as simple as just letting go of thinking about work and shifting gears to working on personal projects. Our minds are very good at holding on to things with the mistaken idea that thinking about something over and over again might help us solve it. But sometimes we need to get outside the pattern to figure out what needs to happen.

Travel is another way for me to unwind. I may not be able to travel the world all the time, but even just visiting somewhere new in the same city is sometimes as good as a mini-vacation.

What would you do if made the Prime Minister for a week?

Oh wow – this one is tough. I’m actually mostly happy with how our Prime Minister is doing. One thing for sure, I know I will need help – and I think every good leader is the same. So I would seek out voices and guidance. Even if I had worked my whole life to become PM, I would still not know everything about every subject. It would be arrogant to jump in and try to enact policy without good advisors.

Of course the other side of it is: the speed our government moves, one week is probably not enough to do much. The reality is I would probably go to a lot of meetings, make some speeches, and in the case of our PM, post a lot to Instagram.

What are the three most desirable things in this world?

Oh so many ways to interpret this: What do I think is desirable in others, what do I think most people desire in this world. But I’m going to go with another interpretation: What are three things I really want.

  1. An opportunity to make a positive difference. What is our purpose on this planet if it isn’t to make things better for even one person. If I’m able to help someone I feel really good.
  2. Novelty: I am someone who gets bored with the same thing every day. I know some people like stability, living in the same place year after year, going to the same job, meeting the same people. I am not that person. I want to go new places, try new things, be challenged, be somewhere that unexpected things happen. If this isn’t happening naturally in my life, I often have to introduce it through travel or seeking out new experiences.
  3. Peace: Of course on the one hand I mean this for the entire world. That’s something I would love to see. But definitely in my own life. I want to get along with people around me, have minimal drama, few arguments, and resolve conflicts intelligently rather than escalate into shouting. I think in some ways this goes back to my childhood where often this wasn’t present – little got resolved and nobody was happy, and depending on what was happening it was often scary for me as a small child. Better to just calmly explain yourself and listen to each other. I feel like as an adult I’ve managed to do this almost always and I’m grateful for that.

Which is your favorite dessert?

I have very little allegiance to one dessert and it’s so subject to context and my feeling of the day. At the moment, I feel like if someone offered to bring me any dessert, it would probably be pecan pie and coffee like I often get when I am working in Louisiana.


But the reality is that often given a choice, “Dessert” ends up being a second helping of whatever dinner was. I remember many Thanksgiving dinners with my family as a kid that would see my whole family eating apple or pumpkin pie at the end – and I would be there with a second plate with mashed potatoes, peas and stuffing on it. While I like dessert, often given the choice between sweet and savoury food, I will go for the savoury.

If given the opportunity to rename yourself, what would it be?

I probably wouldn’t take the opportunity. Back when we lived in the yurt, we were surrounded by many people who took on new names that felt more theirs than the name they were given at birth. I asked myself if I’d like to do the same and no name ever spoke to me or felt like me than the one I was given. My last name is the exception to this. The one you often see on my blog is different than the one you’ll see on my driver’s license. This is a nod to keeping my work and private lives separate. My real name feels more like a stage name I use at work.

Which is your favorite music band?

This is also so subjective. For me, the music I like and listen to is dictated by where I am and what I’m doing. If I’m riding my bike or exercising it’s going to be something with a strong beat, very energetic and probably right from the pop charts – I wouldn’t listen to it any other time. If I’m driving, it will be something exciting and loud. Somehow Steely Dan means focused work for me. And then there are songs that just get attached forever to memories that may not seem to have any relation to what’s happening. Johnny Cash’s “At Folsom Prison” album will forever mean cycling through Eastern Ontario with Daegan. Heading south from Montreal to the border was this track:

Once we crossed the US border that changed to a hip hop collection from the late 80’s early 90’s called the Def Jam 10th Anniversary Boxed Set.

If I look back on my whole adult life, I think one band has remained a true favourite that I can listen to in nearly any situation:

How many moles do you have on your body?

1-2? I’ve never counted and haven’t looked that hard.

Would you rather swim in the ocean or jump off a cliff?

Easy: Swimming in the ocean sounds wonderful. Jumping from heights, is a little scary.

How has blogging brought about a difference to your life?

Yes – it’s given me motivation to get a bit more serious about my writing – particularly on the subject of travel and food. And for me, writing about things also helps me clarify my own thoughts and feelings on the matter.


I always break this rule. I love being asked to answer questions but I know some people are not fond of being nominated. So no pressure for anyone. On the other hand, I am fascinated by people’s answers and would love to see your responses in an entry of your own or a comment or two below.

My questions to you:

  1. What is the biggest risk you would like to take? Something you’re holding yourself back from doing because you’re afraid to but would love to do it.
  2. If you could easily change your career tomorrow – to jump in to a job in a totally different field and of course know what you were doing right away, would you change it? And if so, what would you change it to?
  3. Do you volunteer your time? What do you do / where?
  4. You are granted the power to instantly become fluent in any one language you like. Which language do you choose and why?
  5. What was the biggest surprise of your life?
  6. You have a choice between a big, glitzy party and a small intimate dinner with a handful of friends, what do you choose?
  7. What is the one dish you make when you’re ravenous and pressed for time?
  8. Who is your biggest inspiration?
  9. What are you most proud of?
  10. If you could have an afternoon with any of your personal heroes, who would it be and what would you talk about?

And for fun, three more for my Hindi speaking readers:

  1. आप पिछले बार आप क्यों रोते थे ?
  2. आपका मनपसंद फिल्म क्या है?
  3. जब आपका दिमाग गर्म है क्या करें ?

19 thoughts on “Second Liebster Award

  1. I love answering questions! I’ll answer #4 and #6.

    The language I would love to instantly be fluent in is German. My mom was born there and a majority of her side of my family still lives in Germany, so I would just like to be able to communicate with them as best as I can (I try now with the little academic German that I know, but it’s not conversational–plus, I need work on my article/pronoun usage).

    As for a party, I always prefer something intimate, so I’d have to go for the intimate dinner with close friends. My boyfriend and I actually always talk about this, how if we were ever to get married, we’d rather have a small, intimate wedding over a big, glitzy wedding (which surprises me because he is the most outgoing and extroverted person I know).

  2. Really interesting and elaborate replies to the question buddy. I enjoyed reading each and everyone of them. And would try and answer those witty questions too, pretty soon.

  3. Here I am buddy, as promised to try and answer the witty and tough questions 😛 .

    1. To open up a cafe where I can help build a community feeling.
    2. Yes I would love to change my job given an opportunity. It would definitely be something related to outdoors, cycling, trekking or volunteering.
    3. Yes I do volunteer my time at my workplace and with my cycling community. It mostly includes teaching under privileged kids, grooming them and bringing smiles to their faces.
    4. My mother tongue, Hindi for it’s vast and beautiful.
    5. Getting married (just kidding 😛 ). I was actually surprised when I started getting views and followers on my blog for I was overwhelmed looking at huge follower base for every other blog I read.
    6. An intimate dinner with handful of close friends any given day without any second thoughts.
    7. I rarely cook 😛 .
    8. My Dad
    9. My upbringing
    10. My personal hero is my Dad and we talk about anything and everything under the sun. Still I would have loved to interact with a man of grit and will, Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw.

    For the bonus Hindi questions;

    1. Do not remember crying for a very very long time.
    2. My fav movies

    Top Gun
    Saving Pvt Ryan
    Pursuit of Happiness
    Lakshay (Indian Cinema)
    Prahar (Indian Cinema)

    3. Sing a song 😀

    1. These are great! Based on #1-3, and what’s popular here, I’m imagining a future in which you combine them all. I don’t know how the cycling community is there but here, coffee is often paired up with cycling with some cafe’s associated with roadies – like this one: – I’ve never gone out with them as I’m more of a touring cyclist. My touring bike weighs a lot relative to many road bikes and I end up averaging 18-22 km/hr for the ride would either be dropped or slow a nice group down.

      We share the same answer to #4. I would love to have a really good knowledge of Hindi like I do with English – to be able to figure out new words based on other words and word roots. I’m getting a bit of help with that from my teacher now but that’s a long process. And of course vocabulary is tricky. You have to use a word a few times before it “sticks” in your head so if you don’t have the opportunity to use a word often you lose the memory of it. So I’ll always be in good shape for food but if we were to try to talk politics or physics, we might have more trouble.

      #5: Your readers are less surprised than you are at the fact people are following. Keep writing 🙂

      #7: There’s a point of hunger where I don’t cook either. I’m too hungry and grumpy. Then I often pick up something at a restaurant.

      As a dad, I love your answers for 8-10. Your parents did a lot of things right for those to be your answers. I had to go look up Field Marshal Sam Hormusji Framji Jamshedji Manekshaw, though. Thanks for sending me down the Wikipedia rabbit hole. Oh the stories he must have had!

      1. I am really glad I decided to pursue the hobby of writing and sharing with others for I am coming across such wonderful, full of life people like you 🤗.

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