Liebster Award

I’d like to thank the Academy…liebster

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Award…twice!  Thank you, Anna B. of The Misadventures of Anna & Bear Bait and Stepanie Brown of To Stand Alone.  Both of your blogs are favorites of mine!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Liebster Award, it’s a way to recognize up-and-coming bloggers.  It’s a community-building tradition that promotes visibility, aids in networking and, most importantly, lets other bloggers know that you’re really appreciating their work.  It seems as though the Liebster is circulating through the outdoor blogging community right now, and several of my favorite new blogs had recently been nominated.  Here’s a bonus shout-out to AshliLauryn and Always Wandering!

Here’s a refresher on the conditions of the award:

  1. Thank and link back to your nominator.  (See above.)
  2. Answer the nominator’s 11 questions.  (See below.)
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers with 200 or fewer followers and link to them.
  4. Draft 11 new questions for your nominees.
  5. Notify your nominees via their blogs or social media.

Without further ado, here are my nominees, in no particular order:

And, dear nominees, here are my questions for you:

  • Who was your childhood hero?
  • What is your favorite thing that you’ve made?
  • What Hogwarts House would you belong in?
  • What is your favorite quote?
  • Which is your favorite story: Robin Hood, King Arthur, or The Three Musketeers? Why?
  • If you could learn how to do anything, what would you most like to learn to do?
  • Are you more interested in the future or in history? Why?
  • What would your “spirit animal” be?
  • What is the most unusual job you’ve ever had?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • And, finally, what is your favorite blog post of yours?

Here are my responses to Anna’s questions:

If you could travel to one place, anywhere in the world, where would you go?

How long can I stay there? I’m one of those wandering souls; I don’t really travel as much as I relocate often. (My friends like to teasingly call me a drifter.) But, if expenses weren’t an issue and I only had a week or two to spend somewhere, I think I’d want to hike Mount Kilimanjaro.

What is your dream job?

My dream job would be to coordinate/manage a nonprofit in the Appalachian Mountains where teenage girls could come for wilderness therapy. Specifically, the program would target body image/recovery from eating disorders.

Who inspires you the most?

Two people inspire me a great deal, Ashley S. and Jessica S. Both of these women attended the same university that I did.

I met Ashley when she Snitched for our Quidditch team on several occasions. I admired her athleticism and dancing aptitude, but it was after she graduated that she really inspired me. Like mine, Ashley’s dreams took her away from Kentucky (she longed to dance on Broadway), and, then, like me, Ashley needed to readjust her plans because of health. She is recovering and doing what she loves in New York City. Her enthusiasm for life and her positive attitude continue to inspire me.

Jessica was my fellow valedictorian at our college. She was a physics and math double major, and — in case that wasn’t inspiring enough — she has cerebral palsy. Jessica’s never-ending strength and courage inspire me.

What do you do to relax?

I think that my default thing to do to relax is to go for a run. However, the thing that I find simultaneously most relaxing and stimulating is creating. I love to sew, do beadwork, write, photograph, etc.

What is your favorite book?

I’m going to quote “the perks of being a wallflower” here and say that my favorite book is whichever one I read last. Recently, I have loved The Secret Garden, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, Into the Wild, and Ishmael. I’m a sucker for anything by Jeanette Winterson or Tom Robbins.

Tea or coffee? Or neither?

Is it boring to say “neither”? I’m a water person, through and through. It’s a treat if I drink juice. That said, I once dated a tea connoisseur, so I know the value of a 1982 Oolong. My tea of choice would be Celestial Seasoning’s Candy Cane Lane.

What inspired you to start your blog?

My ex-girlfriend, actually. (She wasn’t the tea drinker.) She suggested that I use blogging as a way to collect and organize my favorite stories.

What super power would you like to have and why?

This one is easy. I’d love to be able to talk to animals and understand what they say to me — like Doctor Dolittle.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you like to live? Why?

Again, how long would this move be for? I’d love to live in New Zealand for at least six months, but I’d need to live stateside again. New Zealand has always captured my imagination because of its natural beauty and the Maori culture. I’d love to hike the Te Araroa at some point in the next decade.

What is one of your favorite places that you’ve traveled to in the past?

When I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2012, I fell in love with Virginia’s Greyson Highlands. The rhododendron blooms, high-elevation grassy fields (balds), rock outcroppings, and feral ponies won me over.

What one thing would you change if you had to do it over?

How about getting antibiotics when I first noticed a red rash after a deer tick bit me in 2011? I’d love not to have Lyme Disease. But, que sera sera.


And, here are my responses to Stephanie’s questions:

What is one charity you donate to, and why do you give them your money (or time)?

I’ve donated to a number of charities over the years, but the one I’ve donated to the longest and most consistently is the Arbor Day Foundation. Why? 1) I love trees. 2) I love sending their Give-a-Tree cards to friends.

What is your favorite outdoor location?

I think I’ve got to give this one to New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Those are the mountains where I learned to love hiking in 2010, when I was working at Hubbard Brook as part of an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates. They were also the mountains I called my home last summer, while I was living in my car and hiking the 4000’ers. They feel like home to me, and I love them dearly.

It’s time to wind down in the evening – what is your relaxing song of choice?

Anything by John Denver. Specifically, I love “Poems, Prayers, and Promises,” “Rocky Mountain High,” and “Wild Montana Skies.” My favorite newer artist to relax to is Passenger.

What is one way in which you try to protect or preserve the environment for future generations?

I was in the Save the Manatee Club as a six-year-old and on the sea turtle patrol soon afterward; I grew up caring about the environment and endeavoring to protect it. Most recently, I served in AmeriCorps with a land trust in Massachusetts for a year. These days, I think I try to promote environmental awareness by addressing the spiritual connection people have with the natural world. (I mean this in less of a New Agey way and in more of a deep ecology way.)

What is the most bizarre food you’ve ever tried? Did you end up liking it?

Well, until I was 21, I was a picky eater. Then, I spent a summer living in a little farmhouse in the middle of the woods with 12 other aspiring young scientists. Ours was a communal living situation, and dinner was prepared by a different pair of students every night. The program lasted 70 days, and we only repeated meals twice. Needless to say, I tried a lot of interesting foods and learned to step outside my culinary comfort zone.

If someone asks you for a reading recommendation, what is the one book you say almost every time?

A History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters, by Julian Barnes

I came across this book in a Postmodern Literature class, and I absolutely love it. It begins with a woodworm’s account of the Noah’s Ark story and just gets better from there.

What is something new you’ve learned in the past month?

What a thermometer reading of -22 degrees Fahrenheit feels like. I’ve been at home in Kentucky, helping to care for the animals on my family’s hobby farm, and it’s been ridiculously cold!

How much sleep do you need to function properly?

Before I contracted Lyme Disease, I happily got by on six hours of sleep or less each night. (I had one semester in college where I got 3-5 hours every night.) These days, eight hours is my minimum.

When was the last time you pushed yourself to do something difficult?

One of my mantras is “Earn your years,” so I consistently try to push myself and live at the edge of my comfort zone. Last month, the most difficult thing I did was work in retail during the holiday season, but my usual challenges are outdoors. My biggest challenge in the last couple months was a snowy ascent of Vermont’s high point, Mount Mansfield.

What is your favorite post on your blog? (and provide a link!)

May I list two?

Not Without Peril

On Thanksgiving and Lyme Disease

And finally, why did you start your blog?

After my ex suggested that I start the blog, while I was hiking New England’s high peaks, I decided to go for it. I’d had a great few days in the mountains and had come into town to charge my phone and enjoy some warmth.  As I was sitting next to an outlet at the post office, a little old man gave me a miniature Bible and told me that he wanted me to know that God loves me. Reflecting on all the bizarre/endearing/terrifying/exciting/touching stories from the last few years convinced me that I needed to have some place to collect my thoughts, photos, and trip reports. And, thus, Living High on Life was born.

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