Versatile Blogger Award nomination

March, 2017

Very surprised to receive the Versatile Blogger Award nomination from whitneyibeblog, so very humbling and many thanks for the nomination.

Please visit Whitney’s blog for daily inspiration, motivation, daily survival hints, positive thoughts, and much more.

It usually takes me a while getting around to responding to an award nomination.

The main reason is that I’m still so behind with my global travel posts and really trying hard to catch up before introducing additional posts. Also, I’m building a replacement site for my Nilla’s Photography site, which is about 6 years’ old now so looking tired and outdated.

Although, if a blogger has been kind enough to take the time to nominate me, then it is only fair that I accept and respond.

The Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  2. Link the nominees and inform them about their nomination
  3. Nominate at least 15 bloggers of your choice
  4. Share 7 facts about yourself

My nominations

  • Talking Thailand – Gill hails from the UK but lives and teaches in Bangkok, Thailand; and has a wealth of knowledge on sites, food, and experiences in Bangkok.
  • Global House Sitters x2 – Two grey nomads from New Zealand sharing their house-sitting experiences.
  • Trip Blog Post – Cool travel blog with great also posts on the Arctic.
  • 1000 Places and Memories – Beautiful global travel and photography blog. Many posts on the US and Canada.
  • La Dépaysée – An Italian passionate about food and travel.
  • Qhapaq – Great photography blog.
  • Cooking Without Limits – Wonderfully delicious food blog.
  • Future Expat – Born in Colombia, lived in the US, and on a mission to travel the globe whilst cataloguing memories.
  • A Few Moments – Many great travel posts on Australia.
  • Cook the Beans – A passionate traveller that shares travelling as a Vegan, including simple Vegan recipes.

7 Facts about me

As I’ve already written 7 facts in the One Lovely Blog Award, I thought it would be difficult to write about another 7 facts. You can see from my response that I’ve managed but have included some photos to break up the text.

Fact 1

I love to write.

Although making the transition from a Technical Writer working in IT, to a creative writer on this blog has been somewhat of a hurdle. Typically, in my profession I strip out ‘fluff’ and only document facts, without embellishments.

Although I have always kept travel journals of all my trips for over 30 years (showing my age now), it’s only in the last couple of years that I’ve been serious about an online medium, and created this blog site. I hope that writing about my trips and experiences over the years will help other travellers as that is the aim of my blog. But also to help motivate people out of a comfortable armchair or out of the “I can’t possibly do it” hurdle.

I try to write honestly and objectively whether I’ve had a great experience or a bad experience. Let’s face it, travel is not always a breeze, regardless of what some travellers may write.

Fact 2

After a year of trying to start the process for Italian Citizenship without success, I flew to Australia last September to apply for a one-year Italian Residency Visa.

Returning to Italy in October and submitting another ‘Kit’ application, another interview, I finally received my Residency card this week from Rome. Five months later, but it’s in my hot little hand and life is grand –  I am ecstatic!

Fact 3

Have you ever been skydiving?

I did a tandem skydive in 2011, which was exhilarating and I was on an amazing high for the following days.

A problem I had was that I haemorrhaged both ear drums during the short free-fall before the chute releases; apparently, this is not a common occurrence.

I couldn’t close my mouth or equalise my ears due to the pressure during the free-fall, so it was extremely painful coming down. Once the chute opened, the pain calmed down a little.

Although my doctor sent me to an ENT Specialist (Ears, Nose, Throat) after the jump and I had to take antibiotics. The main reason for this is I was flying to Morocco in the following two weeks. The specialist was worried that I if I contracted an ear infection from the water, I could then suffer from total hearing loss – serious. I took the pills.

skydiving, Australia, Redcliffe
Waiting for the airplane to arrive with my partner in crime, Savina (Photo credit: Jump the Beach)
skydiving, Redcliffe, Australia
The unnatural point of no return – rolling out of a perfectly good airplane (Photo credit: Jump the Beach)
skydiving, Australia, Redcliffe
Shrek impersonation (Photo credit: Jump the Beach)
skydiving, Australia, Redcliffe
Gorgeous Sutton’s Beach, Redcliffe in QLD, Australia (Photo credit: Jump the Beach)
skydiving, Australia, Redcliffe
Safe on Terra Firma and on a high! (Photo credit: Jump the Beach)

Fact 4

Completed the difficult 3-day trek to the Colca Canyon in Peru (2011), which is the second-deepest canyon in the world at 10,725 feet (3,270 metres).

The deepest is not The Grand Canyon but the Cotahuasi Canyon, which is nearby to the Colca Canyon.

The very difficult dawn trek from the base of Colca is about 5 kilometres as you have to zig-zag your way up; often crawling (if you’re short like me) over large rocks until you reach the top. This trek is both physically and mentally challenging. So much so that trekkers that struggle or just give up can pay for donkeys (even mid-way) to carry them up to the top.

trekking, Peru, Colca Canyon, South America
The long and winding trail – trekking down to the canyon’s basin
trekking, Colca Canyon, Peru, South America
Our trekking group Photo credit: Yudy Eliza Llanquecha Nifla (our excellent trekking guide)
Peru, Colca Canyon, South America
I’m watching you as you pass…
vista, Peru, Colca Canyon, South America
Another beautiful natural vista…
Condor, Peru, Colca Canyon, South America
Incredible Condors swoop down so close that you can hear their wings

Fact 5

Just like eating is one of my passions, cooking is also another passion.

Notice how I always comment on food in the majority of my posts?

I love to cook anything and will try almost any recipe, but mostly, throw ingredients together to create a different dish each time.

A favourite of mine is a Thai Chicken and Prawn Laksa, which is delicious. Although some purists may not combine chicken and prawn in a dish, I think together, these two ingredients take the Laksa to another depth.

I cannot buy many Asian ingredients here in Southern Italy. And if available, ingredients come with an expensive price tag, so not worth it really.

I’m learning to cook authentic Italian dishes such as Spaghetti Carbonara. Although I’ve never fancied this recipe in Australian restaurants and only made it at home once as typically, this dish is laden heavily with cream. The traditional recipe does not contain any cream and is absolutely delicious.

Spaghetti Carbonara, Cosenza, Calabria, Italy
Second go of making this authentic Spaghetti Carbonara with fresh eggs and Parmesan (no cream)

Fact 6

Starting to play the piano at a young age with an aunt as my music teacher saw many emotional moments.

I was forced to attend many Eisteddfod’s (competitions) each year in various parts of New South Wales (Australia) from a young age. This was one of the worse times of my childhood years. Getting up in front of an audience to play a piece, compete against other musicians, and be judged was incredibly nerve-wracking and on every occasion, my knees felt like jelly each time on stage.

Great musicians say they are able to tune an audience out and envisage being in a room totally alone, so that their performance is an optimal delivery. Sadly, I was not one of these fortunate musicians. Instead, being accompanied by my grandmother to many of these and her awareness to my exacerbated nerves, she would pull out a little hip-flask of whisky and give my a swig before going on stage. Remember, I was a child at the time but it did temporarily serve me well and was ‘our’ little secret.

By the time I was in year 12, I also reached Grade 7 Pianoforte and Grade 5 Musicianship. My aunt insisted that I practise 7 hours per day, whilst also attending school, and trying to study 12 Units of subjects for my HSC (High School Leaving Certificate). Not to mention that I loved and preferred to play the Blues and Rock greats of the ’60s and ’70s instead of Classical music. This was not allowed. My aunt wanted me to be either a music examiner or a great pianist – this was never going to happen in my lifetime.

Total resistance on my part brought on many conflicts between us, as you can imagine.

One day in a heated moment during one of those awful arguments, my aunt accidentally blurted out: ” if you ever fail an exam, I will never teach you again”. So what does a 17-year-old do? Purposely fail my 7th-Grade exam. And so, as they say, the rest is history!

One positive cemented from that very intense period: the love for music and belief that I cannot live without music (or art).

Fact 7

As you know, photography is in my DNA.

I particularly love film photography and the grain that is accentuated in an image, which I don’t believe is the same in digital photography.

The B&W photos I take with my digital camera seem flat, regardless of the fact that I manually expose each scene differently, just as I do with my 35mm film camera. I don’t like to manipulate my images.

I believe in taking an image with my eyes and not ‘making’ and image in post-production with Photoshop or Lightroom.

When it comes to post-production, I don’t like this part part of photography and the fact that photographers these days seem sloppy when taking a photo. The new concept is: “I’ll fix this image in post-production”.

The skill of taking a photograph is fast becoming an art of the past, and has been diminishing for some time through post-production. I have commented on this point in Social Media before only to be confronted with a barrage of opposition.

I believe there is a major different between Digital Art and Photography: both have their place in the art space and should be depicted as separate mediums.

On this note, I’ll leave you with some of my 35 film images. Let me know what you think.

Amsterdam, 35mm film, The Netherlands
The Three Arches – Amsterdam (2012) Ilford HP5 35mm B&W film
street performer, 35mm film, Circular Quay, Sydney, Australia
Street Performer – Circular Quay, Sydney (1980) 35mm B&W film
bridge, 35mm Koadchrome film.
Sunlit Symmetry – NSW, Australia (1986) 35mm Kodachrome slide film
Ilford Hp5 film, Morocco, Marrakech
Hooded Man – Marrakech, Morocco (2011) Ilford HP5 35mm B&W film
Cornwallis Poplars, Hawkesbury, NSW, Australia, sepia, 35mm B&W film
Cornwallis Poplars – Hawkesbury, NSW (1980) 35mm B&W film then Sepia Toning during darkroom processing

A parting note

Hope that my nominees will find time to respond to this award nomination as I feel that it is a great way to meet more bloggers, but also to show your appreciation of the great blogs out there in the blogosphere.

Every blogger knows that it is hard to gain exposure for your blog. Especially, when there are 74.6 million sites depending on WordPress and “6 New Posts Every Second” (2016). More interesting 2017 Internet facts to digest for our future blogging.

Keep sharing your experiences!


Visit my Nilla’s Photography Galleries for global images. More global posts at Image Earth Travel.

Khao Lak, Thailand, SE Asia
Khao Lak, Southern Thailand (2014) Photo credit: Neil Lintern

25 responses to “Versatile Blogger Award nomination”

  1. artinmanyforms Avatar

    Reblogged this on artinmanyforms.

  2. artinmanyforms Avatar

    I am just about catching up on your blog,I thank you for all your lovley words & every award that you receive is so richly deserved my best wishes always Nilla…Regards Pat

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Pat for your kind words and re-blogging my post; much appreciated.

      I’m impressed that you’ve just about caught up. I’ll have to start writing a lot more and faster! 🙂

  3. pat@alldayieat Avatar


    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you! 🙂

  4. Johne499 Avatar

    Very well written article. It will be helpful to anyone who usess it, as well as yours truly

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Many thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment.

  5. seasiangirl Avatar

    Congratulations!! and Thank you for my nomination. I am very honoured. I love those photographs. I just love B&W ones, I think it makes them rather striking 🙂

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you and you deserve the nomination!

      Depending on where you take the B&W photo, it can transport you to another century. I have my dark room equipment in storage in Australia, which I’ll set up again when (if) I ever return 😉

  6. Francis.R. Avatar

    I don’t know to play piano (although I like to play as in a game with a piano app) but I deeply admire to the persons that know to play so is fantastic to know you have such talent built by your dedication and work ^-^ Your photographs are admirable, I see the film photographs required you a different way to see, and of course as in middle of the travel the priority is to document. They are wonderful moments of life.
    Congratulations for the nomination, and very grateful for your nomination, sadly actually I am not blogging since a year ago, and as my blog is more a personal diary I didn’t use much of the social part, of course I appreciate your gentle gesture toward me. Take care so much, Nilla. Kind regards from Peru.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      I’m not sure I still know how to play the piano, especially like I did back then. Sadly, I have only played a handful of times since stopping. One day I may pick it up again.

      Thank you for the lovely words about my work. Growing up with film teaches you a different way of seeing maybe…I don’t know.
      Film is a harder discipline than Digital as film was and still is expensive at every step of the process. And so, you only take one or two shots and they have to be your best shots. With Digital however, it costs the same whether you take one or 50 shots of the one scene/subject, so the odds of taking a good photo increases greatly. I’m grateful to also understand film.

      Thank you and I totally understand. 🙂

      1. Francis.R. Avatar

        I was navigating your other link to your photographs. They are marvelous and very human at the same time. It’s a delicate aspect of you as they seem to be part of a time of medidative mood, as you say film cost more and it forces us to see more than to play. 🙂

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Thank you Francis!

        You can still play with film up to a point but it’s not as wasteful and much stricter than digital. Maybe other photographers would disagree. 🙂

  7. christie jones Avatar

    Thank you so much, again, for nominating me. It was a nice surprise, especially that there are so many millions of blogs out there LOL I just wanted to drop you a note about your 35 mm photos, they are gorgeous, each of it emanating a special unspoken feeling.. Splendid artwork!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      It was easy as you have a beautiful blog and photos!

      Wow, thank you for your kind words and glad you like my 35mm work. I definitely think there is a different mood with 35mm photos – but many would disagree.

  8. LuLu Avatar

    Congratulations on the nomination! 🙂

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Lulu! 🙂

  9. globalhousesitterX2 Avatar

    Nina, I’m not very well at the moment and will certainly reply etc hopefully next week. Infected tooth and no sleep!!! Will be in touch soon.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Oh dear, hope you feel better soon.
      Take your time, there isn’t any rush, thank you.

  10. Sartenada Avatar

    Hello Nilla.

    You deserve the award, because your blog is very diverse, interesting and full of great pictures. Congratulations. It was in 2012, when I said, that no more Awards, please. It was my decision.

    Thank You for links, which gave, I checked them. I have been using Webstastdomain to know how my blog, which presents only one country, Finland, situates in the world among other domains.

    Here is mine:

    Everyone can change his own address easily there.

    Happy blogging. Matti.

    Sartenada’s blog.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Matti for your kind words and for the link.
      The awards do take time to respond to but my blog is only a couple of years’ young.
      Congratulations on your score – very impressive ranking! I’d like to see my site do as well one day but I’m not sure how?
      Cheers, Nilla

      1. Sartenada Avatar

        Hi again Nilla.

        Sorry for delayed reply. I was Saturday shopping.

        Here is Yours:

        Two years is short time for blogging. When I started my blogs, I posted thrice a week. After two years, posted new blogs twice a week, and then I reduced my posts only to once a week. Now I have been blogging bimonthly during few years. Reason to this is that translations take time. I translate my posts because languages are my hobby. Guess, if it is easy to travel, when speaking many languages.

        If You do not have any idea about Finland and its “hidden gems”, then look at my:

        About me.

        My idea has been that About-me-page is window to my world and that is why there is my story and photos, which reveal “secrets” of my quite unknown country.

        Happy blogging.

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Hi Matti,

        Many thanks for all your insights and excellent advice, which I will try to follow.

        I did check my sight this morning on the link you provided and was disappointed with the result; and so, the reason for asking about your amazing achievement.

        I read your very interesting About page a while back and why I also love to read your posts.

        Think I may have mentioned that I’ve only been to Finland briefly once, back in 1985 and loved this spectacular country and its amazingly friendly people. Sadly, for me on Australian dollars, it’s prohibitively expensive to travel in your beautiful country. Fear not, I’m sure I’ll return one day even if only for a brief time again.

        Many thanks again for all your excellent help.



  11. mar bucag Avatar

    Time Magazine – Woman of the Year

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thank you Mar 🙂

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