Up Close and Personal with The Baraza: An Interview with Liv White

Equestrian fanatic Katie Shaw interviews the wanderlusty, fabulous Liv White.

1. As the only Australian writing for The Baraza, how did you hear about us?

I “revived” my blog When Ideas Fail in April 2012. I use quotation marks around “revived” because up until that point I think I’d only written two posts on it. Anyway, I was tootling around WordPress exploring other blogs and came across The Baraza. I loved the idea of a group blog, especially one that featured female writers. Amber had put up a post looking for other writers and immediately emailed her before I could overthink it all and decide not to put my hand up. I believe that my application to become a writer for the Baraza had the sophisticated title “Pick me! Pick me!”

2. From what I can tell you’re quite the traveler. What’s your next destination and why?

You’re absolutely right, Katie – I’ve been bitten HARD by the travel bug in the last couple of years. I did some travelling when I was younger and then was totally boring by concentrating on saving for and buying a house – and then getting used to the presence of a mortgage in my life! In 2011, I decided that it was time to do some travel again because I felt financially comfortable to be able to do it, so I travelled to the States, the UK and Singapore for 5 weeks. Last year was Vietnam and Singapore (twice), and this year I’m planning on going to Crete (with a couple of days in Athens) and Croatia over Easter. I’m fascinated by ancient civilisations and the marks that have left on our modern society, so I’m super excited to see some amazing archaelogical sites on Crete. Plus I hear the food is awesome and the beer is cheap ;-). I’ve always wanted to see Dubrovnik and the Adriatic coast in Croatia, so that should be really fun.

For something COMPLETELY different, I am going to Oman in November for the wedding of one of my closest friends. It will be so different to anything I’ve ever experienced before, and I’m so excited. I’m hoping to get to Jordan at the same time – I’m busting to see Petra!

3. On your blog When Ideas Fail, you said that you wish you were braver. In what ways do you wish to be more brave?

Ah, Katie – you’re all about the insightful questions, aren’t you?? There are a lot of ways in which I’d like to be braver, and I think I wrote that on my blog as a reminder as much as anything else. I guess I’ve felt like I’ve been going through the motions for a few years and doing what is expected of me, but not necessarily what gives me joy and satisfaction – and I want to be braver about expressing who I am (once I’ve worked that out!) and what I want. I took a few steps last year towards being braver in myself – things like doing a few e-courses about blogging and photography, and joining the Baraza! – but it’s an ongoing process. Baby steps …

4. Charlotte asked me in my interview what I would do if she gave me an elephant. I liked the question so much, so I’d like to ask you the same.
What would you do if I gave you an elephant?

That’s easy. I’d call her Elly, and take her to work so that she could hang out with the elephant paperweight that I have on my desk.

5. Can I come visit you in Australia?

Yes! I can’t believe you haven’t already asked! That’s why I’ve got a spare bedroom at my joint. Seriously though, I love having visitors and I love showing people around my home town. I think that a lot of people who haven’t travelled to Australia don’t realise what a vibrant and cosmopolitan society we have, not to mention the natural beauty and blessedly easy way of life (for those of us fortunate enough to enjoy it), so it’s great to be able to show people that. Just one caveat though: do NOT ask to see a koala bear. There is NO. SUCH. THING. as a koala bear – they’re just koalas!! No bear involved whatsoever.

6. When did you start having a fascination with Vietnam?

About ten years ago I was flying to Paris on Vietnam Air (I know, weird choice, but the tickets were cheap!) and we had to stop over in Hanoi on the way there and in Saigon on the way home. The stopovers were a day each, and I just fell in love with those cities – Hanoi in particular. It was completely alien to anything I had ever experienced and I thought I would be intimidated by it. Instead, I completely surprised myself by absolutely loving the differences, the vibrancy and the madness. The Vietnamese are a wonderful, resilient people who have the most beautiful history and culture. I’ve got many other places that I want to see, but I can’t wait to go back to Vietnam again!