One of the things I love about writing this blog is that it has connected me with a huge, warm, supportive community of bloggers. Isabel, an Australian living in China who blogs over at Nanjing Nian, nominated me for The Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award, recognizing the contribution of women bloggers around the world. I’m very honored to be nominated – thanks so much, Isabel!
There are a few rules that go along with the award. I must acknowledge the blogger that nominated me (check!), answer her 10 questions, nominate 10 worthy bloggers, and ask them 10 questions. Read on!
What inspired you to start traveling?
When I was in high school, I became friends with a French exchange student named Marion. She invited me to spend a month traveling with her and her family in France the summer before my senior year. It was my first experience traveling abroad, and I loved every minute of it! Her family took me to from Amiens, to Paris, to the Alps in the south of France. I was very much bitten by the travel bug that summer, and couldn’t wait to see more of the world!
How did you come up with your blog name?
Mgeni is a word in Kiswahili meaning foreigner, guest, visitor or stranger. I might still be mgeni, but Kenya has very much become my home!
What has been your WORST travel experience?
When I was in graduate school, I did a summer internship in Tanzania. I took a bus from Dar-es-Salaam (the de-facto capital) to Mwanza (on the southern shores of Lake Victoria) to do some field research. The daylight part of the ride was actually really enjoyable! I was treated to beautiful scenery in the Pare and Eastern Arc mountains, and just as the sun was setting, I caught my first glimpse of snowcapped Mount Kilimanjaro. Once the sun went down, however, the ride became fraught with problems, from the bus door falling off (the bus driver painstakingly tied it back on with twine), to a break down that left us on the side of a dark, deserted road for many hours, to a motion-sick child… We arrived in Mwanza over 30 hours later, tired, grumpy, and a bit funky from almost two days with no shower…
What are the top three places on your travel bucket list?
In no particular order: a big tour of Southeast Asia, a road trip across the United States, and a cruise to Antartica.
What were you doing before you started blogging?
I used to work in humanitarian aid for Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders. While with MSF, I worked in Uzbekistan, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and Haiti. It is an amazing organization that does remarkable work!
What is your favorite quote of all time (doesn’t have to be travel related)?
“One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing… is what we do for others.” ~Lewis Carroll
If you could pick anyone (dead or alive) to sit next to on a long-haul flight, who would it be?
No one! I hate talking to strangers on flights… I’m so antisocial on planes, so even if I was sitting next to the Dalai Lama, I would still put in earphones and pretend to be asleep.
What is your most popular blog post?
I wrote a post about a mommy getaway weekend at Olerai, a luxury cottage on the shores of Lake Naivasha. I left my girls at home, and enjoyed a relaxing weekend surrounded by grazing zebra and giraffe. It was so much fun, I went back a couple of months later with the whole family!
What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
Years ago, my friend Lindsay passed on some packing wisdom that was passed on by her own mom: always pack your swim suit. Always. Even if you’re going snowshoeing. Because you just never know if you’ll need it!
As part of this award, I must nominate another 10 female travel bloggers. I would like to nominate these ten talented traveling ladies:
Lisa from Life in Dar
Jess from Gypsy Momma
S from towels packed, will travel
Natasha from From Philly to Chile
Naomi from Hello. Hello. Hola.
Olga from The European Mama
Sophia from Think Say Be
Sara from Outland-ish
Rachel from A Kenyan-Texan family
Jo from Freetown Fashpack
Please go check out these wonderful blogs and show them some love – they’re all amazing writers / photographers doing incredible things! And thanks again, Isabel, for the nod!
My questions are:
- What are the top three destinations or experiences on your wish list?
- What is the most memorable food you’ve had while traveling?
- When you are not traveling and blogging you are… (fill in the blank) ?
- Is there anywhere you would never, ever, in a million years return to?
- What do you enjoy most in other people’s blogs?
- What type of carry-on luggage do you have and what’s in it?
- What’s the first thing you do when you get to a new destination?
- What inspired you to start traveling?
- How did you come up with your blog’s name?
- What do you never leave home without?
This was a fun blog to write and I look forward to learning new things about each of these interesting ladies. Thanks so much for participating!