liebster award June 01


Liebster Award nomination (again).

I’m happy to announce I’ve been nominated for a Liebster award, which is basically an encouragement sent to bloggers who haven’t yet reached superstar status in terms of follower numbers, but who have some great content. It’s a way we can draw more attention to these deserving writers and artists.

liebster award

liebster award

I was actually nominated in the past, but I didn’t act on it that time. So I’d like to thank Every Day Adventures in Asia (Mostly) for the original nomination, and Thoughts From the Road for the second nomination.

If you want to see some cool blogs worth following, please don’t be put off by the Q&A sections below. You can just scroll straight down to my list of nominees if you’d like.

If I’ve nominated you, it’s because I really think more people should know about you and/or your blog. Feel free to ignore it if you like, at least the link here may drive more traffic to your blog. I do hope, however, that you’ll take the time to help return the favour to other deserving lesser-known blogs.

Here’s the rules (there are different variations, so I’ve combined the two based on what was sent by those that nominated me)…

– Post the award on your blog
– Thank the blogger presenting you with this award and provide a link back to their blog
– Write 11 random facts about yourself
– Pay it forward and find 11 other bloggers with less than 500 followers who you think are deserving of the award and nominate them!
– Finally, the award presenter will ask 11 questions which you need to answer and then you, in turn, ask your nominees 11 questions, and on it goes…

Eleven facts about myself

1. I have a serious weakness for anything with hazelnut and chocolate in it – there is no combination of flavours that comes close!
2. I am the proud son of a single mother who for a lifetime has suffered a relatively little-known about mental illness, and despite the effects of the illness and dealing with the stigma that surrounds it, has done an outstanding job of raising a son alone against all kinds of odds. I may be biased, but I think I turned out pretty well!
3. I am an all or nothing kinda person – I am passionate about the things I care about, and everything else is dead to me. What am I passionate about? Well, creativity; anything done by people that demonstrates a high level of skill and discipline or raw talent; enjoying the sensory aspects of life (great food, music, the feeling of a soft cool breeze on your skin, the smell of rain etc); justice and mercy; thinking laterally among many other things.
4. I feel that my lack of enthusiasm about sport and beer makes me a somewhat un-Australian Australian, but my core values are still Aussie!
5. I love talking about myself – I only get to list 11 things?!!
6. I have a phobia about talking to people on the phone. I’ll ride, drive or walk for two hours to talk to someone face to face instead any day.
7. I tend to start too many sentences with “I”.
8. There are exceptions to every rule people (including myself) make up to describe me.
9. I often daydream of being invisible and/or being able to freeze time – so many more great photos would result from that (and I mean that in the most innocent, non-perverted way).
10. If I got three wishes, the first would be to be able to communicate in every language and dialect ever used.
11. I often think I’m right about everything I hold an opinion on, even when I’m not. Still working on keeping in mind that even when I think I have used all the best data and intellect to reach my conclusion, I may still be mistaken.

OK, now to answer the questions asked of me (as I was nominated twice, I’ll answer both sets).

Asked by Every Day Adventures in Asia (Mostly)

1. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
Carefully slide out of bed without waking my wife up, as she works hard and needs every minute she can get. I wake up earlier than anybody ever should.
2. Last music concert – who, what, where and when?
Wow! Just realised it’s been a LOOOOONNNG time. Went to see a Taiwanese singer called David Tao in the sports centre in Tianhe, Guangzhou, China back in 2007, and haven’t been to one since. Not a lot of artists come to Vietnam, and there’s a serious lack of talented musicians I’d enjoy here in HCMC.
3. Fess up! Food-wise, what is your indulgence or culinary guilty pleasure?
Nutella. Spoon.
4. What prompts you to blog?
Just want to share my experiences and thoughts with others.
5. What is the most unexpected or surprising thing to happen to you in the last year?
When I was called up out of the blue and asked if I’d like to work as a photographer for a lifestyle magazine. Still working for the magazine – Oi Vietnam.
6. Are you a dog person? Cat person? Neither?
I love any animal, think they make great companions, but I don’t love their fur on my black clothes (seems I wear my fair share of black).
7. Who is the most remarkable person you have ever met?
Sorry, I can’t pick one.
8. What was the secret fantasy career you dreamed of as a child?
From the age of 5 to 12 my fantasy careers – in order – were zoo keeper, singer, photographer, archaeologist.
9. All-time favourite film and why?
Really can’t pick just one, but Braveheart, the Matrix and The Shawshank Redemption have to be right up there. I like films that inspire, I like good direction and cinematography, and I like innovation and creativity.
10. In how many languages can you order beer?
I don’t drink beer. But I can speak English (sometimes), Mandarin and bits and pieces of Vietnamese and Japanese.
11. Fast forward three decades, what is one thing you want to be most proud of accomplishing?
Taking photographs that let to real, postive social change.

Asked by Thoughts From the Road

1. What is the best thing you have ever eaten while traveling?
So many, but double-layer milk in the south of China is right up there. It’s like custard and pavlova got together and had a delicious child.
2. What is the worst city you have traveled to and why?
There are no bad travel locations, just some that you have to think more laterally to enjoy.
3. What is the best city you have traveled to and why?
Probably my fave spot would be Tunxi in central China – so many great historical and natural heritage spots, but most of all, the people are surprisingly honest and warm (considering a lot of tourists head through). There are still some nice “secret” spots around there too.
4. Do you prefer traveling by yourself or with others?
I don’t have a preference. With others gives the chance to share experiences and connect more closely with them, alone allows me to take my time with photos and I’m more likely to connect with locals and other travellers if alone. Now that I think of it, I probably prefer travelling alone.
5. When is the next time you are going to travel?
6. Where was the first country you went to (not counting the place you were born)?
New Zealand, but I was 3. First country I travelled to independently was China.
7. What is the one food you miss the most when you are traveling?
Whatever’s not available where I am.
8. What is the best book you have read when traveling?
Unfortunately reading is a weakness for me (I mean, I can read with no issues, but I just don’t enjoy it). I take in information visually and auditorily, I don’t think I’ve ever read while travelling. In any case, reading while travelling distracts you from the environment around you, the way I see it.
9. Have you ever had anything stolen when traveling?
My last camera. Stolen on a bus due to my and my wife’s carelessness (well, my carelessness, her lack of awareness). Shouldn’t have happened.
10. How long are most of your trips?
As I’m living away from home, I make a lot of day trips to areas surrounding whatever city I’m living in, so I do travel in short one-day installments most often.
11. Is there a place you have been that was not as great as you thought it would be?
CHINA!!! I mean, it’s interesting and well worth visiting, but I wouldn’t use the word “GREAT”. That’s probably the result of spending way too long there.

And now, my nominees are…

Ella Burnside Currently a student at Western Kentucky University studying Photojournalism and Spanish, Ella Burnside has already developed a striking photographic style, and is well worth following.
Mike Frieseman Someone who takes photos like this deserves more than 4 followers!
12 Months of Creativity You really can’t afford to miss this offering by the highly creative and insightful Sarah Treanor!
Dalia Daud Photography Dalia produces some exquisite images armed only with a cameraphone. Some amazing photos here (be sure to scroll a ways down, there’s some brilliant images you might miss otherwise).
Steve Van Hoyweghen Uncluttered and highly creative photos.
Adrian Grasso A Photo Imaging student at RMIT in Melbourne, this blog features some of his great images along with others that inspire him.
Capturing Capacity Some visually interesting stuff here.
Editorial and Travel Photographer Susan Seubert A photographer for the National Geographic Society, be sure to visit her About page for links to the many things she does.
Cornel Van Heerden Check out this blog for some striking photojournalism
[No Title] ( A great photographer currently undertaking an MFA at San Francisco Art Institute. You really should take a look at their work!
Green Youth Collective Not a photographic blog, I added this one to the list as I want to support what they’re trying to achieve in the city I currently live in. Check out their blog to find out about it!

And my eleven questions – should my nominees choose to participate – are:

1. What inspires you most?
2. What do you hope to achieve through blogging?
3. Toilet roll direction: over or under?
4. If you could take on any superpower, what would it be?
5. Complete the sentence: “This world would be a better place without…”?
6. Who do you admire most?
7. What is your greatest flaw?
8. What is the worst experience you’ve ever had?
9. What is the best experience you’ve ever had?
10. If you could go back and talk to your 16 year-old self, what advice would you give?
11. What questions do you wish I’d asked here instead?

So there it is. Now go and check out some of the above blogs and live prosperously!