Liebster Award

liebsteraward

The fun people at our next life have nominated me for the Liebester Award. Vielen Dank nochmals! 🙂

ONL are a couple of DINKs in their mid-30’s from the USA, who have a retire early date of December 2017. They’re blogging anonymously now but are planning to reveal themselves once they retire, so it’s a pretty exciting time to jump in on their story. They’re also dog people which is a big plus in my books!

What’s a Liebster Award?

The Liebster Award is passed on from blog to blog to help the personal finance community discover new and upcoming blogs, while learning more about its bloggers in the process.

The rules are simple:

You are to share 11 facts about yourself so readers can get to know you better.

  • mention the person who nominated you.
  • answer the 5-11 questions that the nominator asked.
  • nominate another couple bloggers to receive the liebster award and ask them 5-11 questions.
  • let your nominees know either by leaving a comment on their blog, sending them an email, calling them out on social media, etc.

11 facts about me

1. Due to lifestyle choices (travelling, studying), I didn’t start my career until I was 30.

2. Freelancers in my field make literally 3x as much as I do. One day I plan on freelancing too, but for now I’m still gaining experience and building up my network.

3. I’ve moved to Germany twice. Once in 2009 and again in 2010. But I don’t count my first stint, because I was only travelling. It was my second move that really felt like a move.

4. My German is terrible. But I’m learning.

5. I’ve been vegetarian since I was 13, and on my 30th birthday, I finally went vegan. Within the first 5 days of being vegan, I knew it was the best decision I had ever made. For the animals, for myself, for the environment, for my health, and even for my relationship. Once you cut out animal products completely, you see how senseless it is to ingest and use animal products to begin with. Plus, your body thanks you!

6. When I was doing my undergrad, I worked 1-4 jobs to put myself through school while taking on a full course load. I ended up graduating debt free, and with a healthy 5-figures in the bank.

7. When I was in grad school, I landed a ‘real job’ before graduating. So it took me 3 years instead of 2 to finish my Master’s. While it was doable for me to work so much in my undergrad, it was really really really hard for me to do the same in grad school.

8. I’m a woman of colour. My ethnicity is Chinese. Germans tend to find me interesting since I look Asian but speak with an American (Canadian!) accent. I don’t bother telling them that there are millions of me in North America. 🙂

9. My favourite city is Paris, and I’ve been there 7 times. I also love London and have been there 5 times. In total I’ve been to 25+ countries.

10. Mr. German and I met in Canada while he was passing through. We then had a long distance relationship for the next 3.5 years, before I moved to Germany (twice – see #3). We’ve been together for a while, even though we’re newlyweds.

11. Dogs. I’m a crazy dog lady.

dogs_working_together

Answers to our next life‘s questions

1. Describe your dream day once you are able to retire early. My dream day is pretty much this picture:

campervan

Waking up in an RV that’s parked on a beach. Doing some yoga, eating fresh fruit, then getting my surf on.

2. Once you’ve reached financial independence, do you have any creative trades or hobbies you want to pursue? My hobby is [trying to] lead a healthy life. Mostly my career hinders this, as I spend a disproportionate amount of time sitting and staring at a light bulb (computer screen). I try to be as healthy as I can given these constraints, but working can really cramp my style. Once I reach FI, I’d like to quit and devote my time to being healthy. Eating tons of fresh fruits and veggies, surfing, hiking, biking, yoga, etc… As for creative outlets, I play the piano and had a hard time deciding between science and music as a major. (I chose science) It would be great for my soul to spend more time music making.

3. Where are you most eager to travel once you have time to travel slowly? I’m most eager to do a Great Canadian Roadtrip from coast to coast!! I haven’t travelled much of Canada yet, so it’s about time, eh? After that, I’d like to slow-travel and maybe set up a second base in Asia. I’m partial to Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Mainland China.

4. What’s the biggest sacrifice you’ve made to further your fi/re goals? Moving to Germany! And then actively choosing to live in a blue-collared city to drastically reduce our costs. Of course when I moved to Germany, I was in my 20’s and drunk on love with a hot German guy. Now I’m in my 30’s and drunk on love with a hot German guy, but I can also see the benefits that living here brings. Financially I earn less than my Canadian and American friends, but the cost of living here is very low compared to where I’m from. Culturally, it’s also easy to be frugal here because Germans are also frugal, which I appreciate a lot.

5. What financial advice do you wish you could go back and give your 20-year-old self? Sell your Nortel stocks, stat! Yes, I was a holder of Nortel when it was $100+. I had inherited them when Nortel broke off from its parent company, which I was a shareholder of. In general I would also encourage my young self to take charge of her finances by learning how to invest, and to not bother wasting time ‘thinking’ about real estate. In my 20’s, I had always assumed I would invest heavily in real estate, but turns out, that’s the worst investment for someone like me who prefers NO maintenance investments. My 20 year old self didn’t need much financial advice though. She needed to love herself more, to enjoy life more, and to ditch that guy who kept disappointing her!

My nominees

Now I’d like to pass on the Liebster Award to Insider Accountant and Chun Yi at Smart Kohle. Insider Accountant is a 32 year old who works in finance and shows us what it’s like to reach for FI in Australia. He also likes shopping at Aldi! Chun Yi is an Engineer, Singaporean, and fellow ex-pat living in Germany, who may or may not like shopping at Aldi. He aims for FI and writes the very helpful Smart Kohle guides for confused expats like me. While his site is more information portal than blog, I’m still nominating him in case he wants to participate.

I really like Chasing Gains’ questions in his Liebster Award entry, so I will pose most of them to my liebsters too, if CG doesn’t mind:

1. If you could move to any part of the world right now, where would you go and why?

2. Favourite activity to do on weekends?

3. You win $10 million in the lotto, how do you spend, save or invest it?

4. Is your partner on board with FIRE?

5. Why did you start blogging?

6. What is your favourite place that you have visited?

7. If money wasn’t a factor, what would be your dream job?

8. What is your overall goal in life?

Viel erfolg!

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8 thoughts on “Liebster Award

  1. Wow, a liebster award! Dankeschön! Ich wünsche dass mein Deutsch besser war, aber diese ist alle dass ich kann für nun Denken zu Schreiben!

    To be honest I didn’t even know what a liebster award was until about two weeks ago, but now that I know a little bit about it I’m very happy to be nominated. Thanks!

    Like

  2. We love your answers! So great to get to know you better. And WOW — five figure savings after college. That’s incredible… we had five figure debt! 🙂 Sounds like we have much in common, though… the focus on health, the dreams of extended RV trips, the vegan diet (for one of us, anyway). Look forward to continuing to track your journey.

    Like

    • Thanks for the kind words. Sometimes I think if I were to do it over again, I would choose to graduate *with* debt rather than do what I did. I used to grocery shop after midnight because I had no other time. I also lived with a roommate in a very shitty apartment that had mice. Ahh, memories. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad you thought my questions were interesting ! 😀
    If you don’t mind me asking, is it hard finding food being being vegan ? My mums a vegetarian and has trouble finding places to eat especially overseas so I imagine being a vegan would be a tad trickier !

    Like

    • I don’t mind you asking. 🙂 Depending on where you’re travelling, it can be hard to find vegan food (e.g. France!). However, vegans tend to do more food-research beforehand so can make the vegan restaurant a part of the destination, which is always fun. I also prefer to book an Airbnb apartment to have access to a kitchen. It saves tons of money and I get to eat what I want to eat, plus do things that locals do like going grocery shopping. Your Mom can try using happycow to find vegetarian restaurants around the world. They also have a happycow app!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Liebster award | The Insider Accountant

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