Liebster Award


Apparently I have been nominated for a Liebster Award! The Liebster Award, for those who aren’t familiar with it, is basically an accolade that is passed from one travel blogger to another in recognition of their work, and is a way to build networks, show support, and gain exposure within the blogging community. I would like to thank Kyle and Brianna at Married with Maps for this recognition! They have a truly inspiring blog documenting their adventures to the furthest-flung corners of the world, and I really would recommend that you check it out!

Now, the exact rules seem to vary depending on where you look (such as this site or this one) but here is a summary:

  • Thank the blog which nominated you and recognize their blog.
  • Answer their questions.
  • List the rules in your post.
  • Display the award somewhere on your post/blog.
  • Write 10 random facts about yourself
  • Nominate 5-11 blogs and inform them of their nomination.
  • Provide 11 questions for these bloggers.

Ok, so here we go!

These  are the questions Kyle and Brianna asked me:

1. How did you decide on the name of your blog?

I started this blog age 22 as I left the structure of full-time education and set out to make my way in the world with no plans but a single goal which was to live a full and exciting life. I felt that the latin phrase “Aut inveniam viam aut faciam“, which roughly translates into “I shall either find a way or make one“, pretty nicely summed up how I was going to go about this. I wanted to be slightly more subtle about it, so I took the main part of it, reversed it, and Maiv Mainevni was born. So far only one person managed to work it out without being told, but I guess the cat is out of the bag now!

2. What is the best food item/dish you have tried, and where was it?

Probably this insane moroccan chicken I had in Tangier. We were in this restaurant up by the Kasbah, sitting on a balcony looking out over the Medina, across the rest of the city and out to the Mediterranean. Maybe it was the view, or the atmosphere… but whatever it was, it was one of the best things I ever had the pleasure of putting in my mouth. I raided the spice shop down the street in the hope of being able to recreate it at home, and while the results have been good, so far not a patch on the original. Still trying!

Either that or the massive duck fat Chicago-style hot dog I had at the Duck Inn in Bridgeport, Chicago.

3. What was your first foreign travel experience?

My parents took me to Italy when I was about 3 months old to introduce me to La Familia. I don’t remember much, but I’ve seen the faded Sony Handycam coverage, and it looks like I had a good time.

4. What do you do/how do you earn money?

I am a policy researcher. I specialise in regional integration and anything that involves moving away from the nation state as the primary unit of governance. It’s fun, honest.

But I also have commitment issues, so I like to take temporary contracts and then go on a well-deserved travel break. Or, even better, take jobs abroad so I can travel and get paid at the same time. Last year I worked in Chicago for a NGO integrating healthcare on the 4 countries surrounding Lake Tanganyika in west Africa. Right now I’m back in Scotland working for a think tank on a 3 month contract, at the end of which I’m going to Brazil for some frivolity. After that, who knows what. Something exciting hopefully.

5. If you could do anything (for living/working), what would you do?

I would like to work in the field as a researcher for the UN. Travelling the world, discovering new cultures, contributing meaningful research to international development, saving the world.  It’s a long shot, but i’m working on it.

6. What is your favorite travel experience so far?

I really, really, really loved Charleston, South Carolina. I’m kind of obsessed with the historical aspect of the golden age of piracy in the North Atlantic and Caribbean, and Charleston is kind of like a pirate nerd’s haven. The old part of the city is really quaint and there’s a lot of historically significant buildings and sights to see. Plus, the people there are so friendly, the weather was glorious, there’s an awesome suspension bridge, the beaches are nice, and there are palm trees. Take me back!

7. What is your least favorite place you have visited/lived?

Hmmm.. tough one as I’m really quite easy to please. I did live in Aberdeen for 4 years while I did my undergrad, and it’s quite grey and depressing and gets very little sun in the winter. It’s also full of oil industry executives who have infinitely more money than class. I don’t want to be too harsh because it’s a fine place, and I had a lot of good times there, but it’s not really my thing. 4 years was way too long, and I probably won’t be back (sorry). The beach is one redeeming feature.

8. What is your ideal setting?

Somewhere near the sea. I think would like to live in a lighthouse one day. When I am retired, maybe.

9. What do you hope to accomplish within the next 1-5 years?

Career-wise, see question 5. I’d like to make that happen within the next 5 years.

Life-wise, I want to continue to travel, to visit the many friends I have all over the world. I hope to write more – more often and more consistently. I would also like to go to Antarctica,  to buy a proper camera and see what I can make it do, to perfect the backflip on a snowboard, to live in a french-speaking country and finally master the language…god, there’s lots! I recently inherited my grandfather’s accordion and it would be nice if I could crack a tune or two out of that. And I should probably find a mate and pop out a kid or two at some point… but no rush, right?

10. What is your favorite flower?

I like cactus flowers. The plant is green and prickly for most of the year, then all of a sudden you’re surprised with pretty pink/red colour bursts. Such fun.

11. What is the best advice you’ve received?

don’t climb on to the roof after seven gins

I have a bad habit of ignoring advice.

10 facts about me:

I am 50% Scottish and 50% Italian

I discovered I could write by writing letters to the management of my school when I was like 10. Mostly to try and get myself out of trouble.

I only use green toothbrushes.

My accent changes depending on where I am and who I’m talking to. Sometimes I have to make a conscious effort to keep sounding Scottish.

I play the piano, but can only perform for others when I’m drunk.

I love bridges. I have based decisions to go to new places on whether or not they have a cool bridge.

My first experience living abroad was when I moved to Maastricht, the Netherlands to do an MSc in public policy and human development at the United Nations University there. It was a great year.

I have flown over the Atlantic 28 times in the last 10 years.

I like small rooms and low ceilings. My mortgage will thank me for this weird preference one day.

If money was no object I would buy and fully restore a big-ass Spanish galleon, hire a crew of scoundrels and sail the world. Probably collecting rum.

Questions for my nominees:

1. What made you want to start blogging?
2. Should we visit your hometown? Why (or why not)?
3. How do you choose your next destination?
4. If you could take a two-week blogging trip to any time period, when would you go to?
5. What is the best place you have ever been?
6. Who is your dream travel companion?
7. What 3 things can you absolutely not do without on a trip?
8. What is your favourite thing you have ever eaten when travelling?
9. What are your travel plans for the next 12 months?
10. What is one piece of advice you would give a novice traveller?
11. I find the fact that there are 11 questions a bit stressful, so is it ok if I just leave it at 10?

My nominees:

Ginger Joe’s Journey
On Top of the World
The 20 Something Detour
Focusing on Life
Rhiannon ‘n’ On
Half Nuts, Will Travel
Explore the Horizon
Luggage & Laces
Different Places and Different Faces

So that’s that, I guess. I’m looking forward to reading what you guys put! Thanks again to Kyle and Brianna for the nod.

Much love,

5 thoughts on “Liebster Award

  1. We have to check out Charleston, now!
    Also, how did you get into the field of policy research? That sounds really interesting.


    1. Yes, Charleston is definitely worth checking out! very beautiful and full of history. I never really intended to get into policy research. I started off studying Geography at University because I vague notions of wanting to be a meteorologist, but then I got sucked into the fascinating world of Geopolitics, and somehow ended up majoring in International Relations. From there I did an MSc in Public Policy with a specialisation in Regional Integration, discovered the ‘joys’ of research, and have been working for think tanks (and one feisty NGO) ever since. Tbh I still don’t really know what I’m doing but I think that’s how I prefer it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your “best advice you’ve received” and I did a double take about the green toothbrushes…but hey, everyone has that one thing, or two :).

    If you like cool bridges, come to Lagos, Nigeria!

    Liked by 1 person

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