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I Was Nominated For A Sunshine Blogger Award!

Thank you, ‘What A WanderFull World‘, for nominating me for a 2018 Sunshine Blogger Award!

What A WanderFull World’ can be found at:

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is awarded to bloggers who inspire sunshine in the lives of their readers. Nominees are selected by fellow bloggers.


Nomination Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you in the blog post and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

WanderFull’s Eleven Questions for Mike Pole

Question #1
WanderFull: What/Where is the most inspiring place you have ever visited?
Mike Pole: I think people inspire me rather than places. But I’ll think about it. In the meantime, an inspiring person comes to mind. It’s a woman in the far west of Mongolia who has decided to plant trees – thousands and thousands of them. Tsendsuren Deleg has set up her own nursery and has set out to (re) establish forests in this otherwise almost treeless part of the world. My team diverted to pay her a visit one day and were super-impressed.

Tsendsuren Deleg's tree nursery in Khovd, Mongolia. Yes, it looks green here - but look at the mountains in the distance.

Tsendsuren Deleg’s tree nursery in Khovd, Mongolia. Yes, it looks green here – but look at the mountains in the distance.

Question #2
Where, in your opinion, is the most beautiful place in the world?
Mike Pole: Surely the Torres del Paine of Chile, Patagonia. It’s so stunning, so fantastic, it seems like it must be unreal. Something created from a fantasy painting.

Torres del Paine in Chile, Patagonia. Can it get more fantastic than this?

Torres del Paine in Chile, Patagonia. Can it get more fantastic than this?

Question #3
WanderFull: What are your top recommendations for historical/heritage sites?
Mike Pole: The place I always go back to is the archaeological crypt at Notre Dame (No, this is not the catacombs!). You enter by descending some steps in the open area in front of the cathedral. Down there you are in a new world. Or rather – old world. You can wander around looking at the excavated basements of ancient buildings (for example, thermal baths from the 4th century) and walls (part of the 4th century walls that were built right around the Isle), and part of a port built in 42 BC. This is the very core of the city. When ever I visit the crypt I feel like I’m really in the heart of Paris. The staff are charming – on one visit I was given gold-foil wrapped chocolate coins as change for my ticket – before they burst into giggles and gave me real change as well!

The steps of the Crypt will take you down below the level of Notre Dame, and way further back in time.....

The steps of the Crypt will take you down below the level of Notre Dame, and way further back in time…..

Question #4
WanderFull: What are your top recommendations for museums/exhibits/zoos/parks?
Mike Pole: My favourite ‘museums’ are portrait galleries. I’m fascinated by all the different styles of representing a human face, but also like to see realistic representations of people from long ago. So in London the National Portrait Gallery becomes a must, and in St Petersburg I loved a huge exhibition of self-portraits. I blogged about that in my post: St Petersburg – 200 years of Russian Chick Selfies.
And no zoos for me – noooooo!

Question #5
WanderFull: What are your top recommendations for free family friendly activities/places to visit?
Mike Pole: I would have to promote my own country here, and my place within that. New Zealand has a lot of magnificent Public Access land. It’s free to walk in (although there may be restrictions on camping). Just around Wanaka you could go over Mt Iron in about an hour, and get a nice view, or up and down Mt Roy in about six hours – and get a spectacular view. Or, if you can tear yourself away from the crowds all photographing #thatWanakatree, realise that you are on Te Araroa – the footpath that runs the length of New Zealand. Just keep going (even only a kilometer!) and you’ll soon find yourself alone, in a peaceful, stunningly beautiful landscape. For free!

The view over Wanaka from Mt Iron, an easy (and free) walk for the family.

The view over Wanaka from Mt Iron, New Zealand, an easy (and free) walk for the family.

Question #6
WanderFull: What is your best piece of travel advice?
Mike Pole: Don’t plan too much – give synchronicity a chance to act.

Question #7
WanderFull: What was your most interesting or tasty food travel experience?
Mike Pole: I love Persian, Turkish and Moroccan food. And there is this grilled marrow dish served by the Swiss-Belhotel Borneo Banjarmasin (in Kalimantan, Indonesia). I got this again and again, and I could always hear it coming from somewhere in the kitchen by its sizzling and crackling on the hot plate it was served on. The young Dayak waitress chick would rush it over to me trying to hold it as far away from her as she could. But “interesting or tasty”? Well that honour probably goes to Restaurant CoCoCo in St Petersburg, which got onto my travel companions radar after seeing Anthony Bourdain’s TV show. The food was wonderful definitely interesting, and the cost was very reasonable. I blogged about it in my post: In the Footsteps of Anthony Bourdain: Restaurant CoCoCo in St Petersburg, Russia.

A Moroccan meal.

A Moroccan meal.

Question #8
WanderFull: What is your favorite part of travelling?
Mike Pole: Finding an outdoor table at a down-town cafe, and people-watching over a latte.

 Breakfast in Paris. Yes, you can do it in front of Notre Dame.

Breakfast in Paris. Yes, you can do it in view of Notre Dame.

Question #9
WanderFull: What is your least favorite part of traveling?
Mike Pole: Sitting for hours in airplanes – and knowing that by doing this, I’m part of the problem of Global Warming. I wrote about this in a blog post: When Frequent-Flying Becomes Insane-Flying.

Question #10
WanderFull: What are your favorite sources for travel research/info?
Mike Pole: There are many great bloggers out there, ranging from ones that specialise in helping you with travel details (NomadicMatt being an obvious one) to those who can inspire by telling stories, like Konstantina Sakellariou of ‘My Unusual Journeys’.  Her book ‘The Unusual Journeys of a Girl Like Any Other‘ is a narrative, starting with someone in an unfulfilling office job and and unresolved family issues, using travel to finally reach enlightenment. I also spend a lot of time on Amazon, looking for history books that can then inspire me to go and see a place for myself.

Question #11
WanderFull: What do you feel is your best travel story?
Mike Pole: The one where our team was detained by Indonesian police in Kalimantan (on one of those vague pretexts about not having checking in with the Police) and ended with them giving me a dozen bottles of Guinness and inviting me for breakfast… (:  It’s my post: Would you like a beer? – Guests of the Kalimantan Police.

Mike Pole’s 2018 Sunshine Blogger Award Eleven Nominees

(In no particular order, and let me know of any corrections needed)

1. Nisha Sanjeev @Nishasanjeev

2. Nareszci Eurlop

3. My Unusual Journeys  @TinaSak

4. Bemused Backpacker @bemusedbackpack

5. Walkabout Wanderer @KathyWanderer

6. What An Amazing World!

7. Nicolette Orlemans @Nicolette_O

8. Insatiable Traveler @InsaTrav

9. Content Catnip  @contentcatnip

10. So You Have A Food Intolerance

11. Steppe Nomads @nomads_steppe

Mike Pole’s Sunshine Blogger Award 2018 Nominee Questions

1. If you were offered a free ticket, where would you go, and why?

2. How many languages have you experienced (heard around you, and maybe had to use), and where?

3. What was the friendliest country in the world you’ve been in?

4. What’s your favourite recipe?

5. Have you noticed any aspects of a foreign culture that made you think your own country would benefit from them?

6. Have you ever discovered an enchanted place?

7. What tribal areas have you been in?

8. What’s the wildest place you have been in?

9. Have you ever travelled somewhere that totally changed your opinions?

10. What is the most ‘different’ place you’ve been to?

11. So where is the best outdoor table at a down-town cafe, where you can people-watch over a latte?!



Filed under: Travel

About the Author

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From New Zealand. Traveling the weyward path trying to figure out how the world works. I study fossil plants, past climates, travel, walk, hike, read, take photos, struggle with computer graphics and plant trees.

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