blogger spotlight :: zoe from life-gazing and wild strawberries

Trust me when I say this - Zoe is one of the loveliest

bloggers you will ever "meet". I discovered her blog through comments that she left on WTW, that were more like little messages - they always make my day and leave me feeling so happy! Her blog, Life-Gazing and wild strawberries, is beautifully written, created and curated, and you will fall in love with it in an instant. She's quite the globe-trotter and is always adventuring, and she documents it all in her wonderful and unique style of writing that I enjoy and admire. 

But enough from me, here are a few words from the lady herself!

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1 :: Tell us a little bit about your beautiful blog - what made you hit publish for that first time, and what do you love to write about?

Well, I started my blog at a time when I was truly interested in Anthropological Design. Weird term, I know, but a great field of study! I thought it could be a place where I shared my observations while also highlighting my own projects - a kind of portfolio I guess. But it quickly developed into something else altogether. Truthfully, I was involved in an awful teenage relationship, which at that time, was sucking all the joy from my life. My blog became my very own pair of rose-coloured glasses, and through my camera lens I found those parts of life that were beautiful again, even if they were only as simple as a yellow daisy. That first year of blogging certainly shaped my thought patterns, and since then I have continued to focus on the small details of life, whether they are found in the reflections of puddles, or in the patterns of a Spanish tile. 

2 :: You do a lot of travelling, which has me living vicariously through you with equal amounts of envy and excitement! Your recent post about the Grand Canyon had my jaw dropping to the floor. Which place in the world have you loved visiting the most?

Yay! I am glad you loved the post about the canyon! I had a lot of fun photographing it, trying to capture both the vast space and the tiny details that surround it. As to your query, this has to be the most difficult question this side of Mars (maybe I shall go there next?)... I have traveled a lot since leaving on a study-abroad exchange, and every single place has had it's own special charms. If I were held under gunpoint though, I would have to say... Spain! No, wait, Italy! Both those places were filled with vivacious and wonderful people, who could party like it was nobody's business and yet relax down to a three hour meal with ease. Sigh.

3 :: Your All That Jazz post is wonderfully written. What kind of music do you enjoy listening to?

I do love jazz music, although I don't think I quite understand it yet. Oh, and if anyone out there does love jazz, and good movies, I would highly recommend watching 'Whiplash'! As with everyone, I go through phases of musical adoration, and recently I have been listening to the most beautiful 60's songs. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young have these songs that make me want to braid my hair with spotted feathers, and live in a green leaf wigwam, while Simon and Garfunkle remind me of a rainy day. And if you throw in a bit of Afropop, some of Paul Simon's Graceland hits, and Vampire Weekend, you pretty much have my playlist. 

4 :: I also love your recent post on friendship. Do your friends know about your blog? Are you open or shy about writing online?

My wonderful friends do know about my blog - I think it would be a little hard to hide it, seeing as I take so many photos of ordinary situations (and food), with a giant DSLR camera. At first I was a little shy about the whole thing, but I have become more open about sharing my blog. It is often surprising and somewhat exciting to hear from the people I know that have been reading my blog. It has also been a great way to keep my nosy mum in the loop while studying and living overseas ;) (hi mum!). 

5 :: That Washington Library you visited really does remind me of Harry Potter! Which leads me to ask, what are your 3 top favourite novels of all time? 

Ah, you know the way straight to my heart Miho! I do love a good book, or five. I actually have my own reading log (do you remember those things from high school), and I have made it through about sixteen classics so far. My two favourites so far are: 'Moby Dick' and 'A Tale of Two Cities' - both had such revelatory endings, with many metaphorical ponderings. They really made an impact on my mind. But, my all-time, forever-and-ever favourite is, and will always be, the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Call me a nerd, but I read those books every year, and I will be starting this year's reading in a few weeks! Excitiiiiinngg!!

6 :: You're from New Zealand, which feels like a whole world away from here. Which parts of your culture and upbringing are you most fond if?

I am originally from the South Island of New Zealand, and I am totally biased towards it (South Island rules!). New Zealand is relatively tiny in size, and population, with around four million of us kiwis scattered across the surface. In fact, some of my foreign friends never even knew where NZ was, until I explained it to them. There seems to be a rumor going round that it is based in Europe. Despite all that, I am ever so proud! I especially love kiwi humor - where else are you going to get paunchy blokes in small shorts making wise cracks about sheep? No, seriously though, the people are amazing, and the land is beautiful to behold.

7 :: Your American Supermarkets post is hugely entertaining. When you were in the UK, what did you find were the weirdest things you discovered about the Brits?

Tehe, shall I really say? I felt I was going out on a limb with that American supermarkets thing, seeing as most of my readers hail from the States. But then again, we can all laugh at ourselves, right :)? So, the UK, you say? Well, I could not suppress a grin when I discovered that one of my Edinburgh professors was actually wearing... suede elbow patches! And not even with irony! He also liked to wear oxford shoes, and sweater vests, and he chuckled to himself in such a swanky manner. Oh, and the tea drinking was off the charts, but I loved it!

8 :: You're clearly a creative person, with your unique style of writing and the photos you take. What or who inspires you to pursue these passions?

It's funny, I think I may be the black sheep of my family, being the creative type in a sea of doctors and scientists and mathematicians. Yet, in saying that, I think my mother truly inspires me. Not because of her medical work, but because she has allowed me to be the person I am, no questions asked. She takes an interest in what I do, and has always believed in my abilities and crazy ideas. Ultimately though, my inspiration comes from everywhere - from every sight, every sound I consume, every movie I watch, every place I visit, every other beautiful thing that has been written or created. I am paying homage to them all.

9 :: Describe your perfect day! No limits to budget, distance or anything in between.

I had to think of this one for a while, as so many situations sprang to mind! Bungee-jumping again? No... Maybe strolling through Paris, popping into small galleries and patisseries? Tempting... But truly, the perfect day for me would be this: 

To finish a 3000 word essay and actually hand it in on time, at 10:00 am, feeling a sense of accomplishment. Then to make my way to the botanical gardens, any gardens or forest would do, and I would wander around freely to my heart's content. And finally, going home to a huge mug of hot chocolate, and an old book to read in bed. That, for me, would be perfection. 

10 :: What do you love most about blogging, and what do you find are the challenges of being a blogger?

This is a more serious question, and one I have thought about a lot over the past three months. I put a lot into my blog, and I aim to get out of it only pure enjoyment. The blog-o-sphere is a place of wonder, excitement, inspiration and community. I have just begun to discover that last one, as I comment on other people's work, and interact with those bloggers I love the most. 

In the same breath, I have to say that the blog-o-sphere is a dangerous place: one which can lead to comparisons between lifestyles, bodies, friends, and talents. There is a lot of pressure placed on the blogger, to look great and seem amazing while also amassing page views. I see a lot of posts these days geared towards 'growing your traffic' and such. But was this really our goal in the first place? I feel that we have to keep our means and ends in order, to continue to create beautiful and original content, and to be our own people. Those are the challenges, but I navigate them and continue to be inspired by peoples such as yourself, with their witty words and beautiful pictures. One of the reasons I love your blog so much Miho, is that your images are so unique: realistic and artful, with the familiar colours of our world. In that way, blogging is a round circle: we can inspire and be inspired.

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 I would like to also say a huge thank-you to Miho - for reading the peculiar posts that I put on my small blog; and also to anyone out there who managed to get through all those words up there! I hope you have enjoyed it, and that you are filled with an insatiable desire to click on over and have a look. 

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I absolutely loved reading Zoe's answers, and hope you did, too! She's a sweetheart and you should hop on over right now and say hello.

Zoe's links :: blog // bloglovin' // pinterest

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