20 Things About Me

Leanne at Hanauma Bay in Hawaii.

I’ve been blogging for a while now and I think it’s about time I really introduce myself here on this platform. You’d think writing about yourself would be easy, but it really wasn’t for me! This took months to write out for some reason, but here it is! You should get to know the person behind Countries To Go, right? If you want to get a rundown you can go to my “About Me” section. Here I’m getting more into specifics as me as a person. These are 20 things about me.

I Was Born In Hampton, Virginia But Raised Elsewhere

No, not this Virginia. The concrete mess that is Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach, over there. The picture? That’s western Virginia.

I didn’t spend very long in Hampton at all. I’ve lived in a couple of different towns in Maine for a total of 10 years, not consecutively. I moved away and moved back a few times. I lived in Washington State for 5 years. I lived in Florida for 1 year. I’ve lived in Virginia a total of about 2 years, but again, that’s not consecutively. I moved away and then moved back. Now I’ve been living in Hawai’i a little over a year.

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I Took AncestryDNA and 23andme Test and Got Different Results

My results from Ancestry DNA were

  • 63% Great Britain
  • 26% Finland/Northwest Russia
  • 4% Ireland
  • 3% Europe West
  • 2% Iberian Peninsula
  • 1% Middle East (Asia West)
  • <1% Asia South
  • <1% Native American
  • <1% Africa North
  • <1% Asia Central
  • <1% Asia East
  • <1% Italy/Greece
  • <1% Caucasus

My results from 23and me were

  • 34% British and Irish
  • 21.8% Finnish
  • 20.5% Scandinavian
  • 2.3% French and German
  • 17.4% Broadly Northwestern European
  • 1.3% Broadly Southern European
  • 1.8% Broadly European
  • .4% Southeast Asian
  • .1% Native American
  • <.1% Sub saran African

I knew I had British DNA but these numbers are completely different, one says I’m 2/3 British while the other said I’m 1/3. That “broadly northwestern European” is probably British, at least that’s what Ancestry said. Ancestry didn’t even mention my Scandinavian DNA, but 23andme was like, “Yeah, you’re a 1/5 Scandinavian.” They both said about the same for my French ancestry, it’s there but there isn’t much DNA in me. For broadly southern European that probably comes from Portugal and someone in my family was either Greek or Italian. I did the traits with 23andme and it says the length of my toes is from the Italy and Greece region, so that makes sense. 23andme didn’t show any Middle Eastern in me, but Ancestry did. This is surprising because my great-grandpa was Lebanese. Also, we found out we had a black person in our family somewhere but Ancestry DNA didn’t find them, I was starting to wonder, but that little <.1% proves they existed! Have you done these tests? What were your results?

I Don’t Drink Coffee or Alcohol

I just don’t like the smell or taste of either of those things (then again, never actually tried either of them but they smell nasty). Right now in the US I’m underage so I use that as an excuse when people ask me about alcohol. However I know as soon as I turn 21 people are going to be all over me about beer. I still don’t like the smell of it so no to that one. To be honest, I feel like a coffee addiction is a serious problem a lot of people have. I know people that need 5 cups of coffee every morning in order to function. That’s not okay but we tell them it’s okay because everyone else drinks coffee too so they’re fine. Right? Right.

I’ve Been Trying to Learn Swedish For Years

When my sister was in middle school, she had a teacher from Sweden who taught her classes some Swedish phases and words for fun. My sister started teaching me some phrases and all of this was when I was 8. I haven’t gotten very far. I do have some Swedish ancestry as well, but I found that out later. At one point I hope I can be near fluent in Swedish. Even if 99% of all Swedes speak perfect English, it’ll be a great “secret language” to have with people–until someone comes along knowing Swedish.

I’ve Been To 40 States As of Right Now

The states I haven’t been to yet are Nevada, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Iowa, Alaska, Tennessee, North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. They’re all on my list of places I want to visit though! If you’re from one of these places what are some good cities and sites to see while I’m there?

Hayao Miyazaki is My Favorite Director

The first movies I watched from him were Kiki’s Delivery Service and Spirited Away. I’ve seen several other of his movies since then (Howl’s Moving Castle, Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke, Porco Rosso and others). I plan on watching every movie he’s ever made, they’re all so beautiful in their own way. I hear he’s coming out of retirement too!

I Don’t Really Have a Sense of Smell or Taste

Most food is just texture to me. I can taste meat, hence why I’ll never be a vegan or vegetarian. I forget certain things have smells since I almost can’t smell anything and every once in a while I learn the smell of things. I only learned recently that cheese and broccoli have terrible smells. Until I was a preteen I thought most people pretended to smell things like I did. None of this stuff bothers me. I’ve never had these things to miss so therefor I don’t. Although, this is why I won’t do food reviews on my site of restaurants around the world since I can’t taste most things anyway. It’s also why I’ll probably never become a foodie.

I Prefer Cold Over Hot

If I had to choose between being too hot or too cold I’d choose too cold. While living in Maine once before going to school I forgot to wear my gloves. When I put my hand on my steering wheel my skin froze to it. It was a fascinating experience and once I got to school I found out it was -24 degrees F outside. Having my face burn when I go outside was always something that I liked. Melting in the heat or burning in the sun was never fun for me. I tried to get into tanning once but I never liked that either. Right now I have tan lines from merely being outside in sunlight but eventually those will go away again.

I Also Prefer Mountains Over Beaches

This is at Waimanalo Beach Park. I spent a good 20 minutes looking at the mountains before heading to the sand.

Maybe it’s because I grew up around the Cascade and Olympic Mountains. By the time I lived in Washington I had mostly forgotten what New England looked like. We went to go visit New Hampshire for a while when I was 12 and we went to see Mount Monadnock. After seeing mountains like Mount Rainier and Mount Baker it paled in comparison. Even now it looks like a large hill to me. The closest beach to me in Washington State was all rock, before this I thought beaches could only be sandy. Why did I move to Hawaii if I don’t like heat or beaches? I wanted to see what it was like here.

I Actually Like Dresses and Skirts But You’ll Almost Never See Me Wearing One

I want to pose like this confidently in a dress someday.

The number one problem is chaffing. I’m hoping once I get down to a smaller size this won’t be an issue anymore. Usually I’ll wear shorts under it which is another layer of clothing to wear (meaning overheating becomes more of an issue). I bought two sarongs recently and I do really like them and would like to gain enough confidence to wear them regularly. Once I’m thinner over time I’d like to change my wardrobe to mostly skirts and dresses but for now, pants and shorts it is.

I Love Winter

You can’t tell me this doesn’t look beautiful.

No one else seems to. Even in New England they’re all ready for winter to come in October, November, and Christmas but when New Year’s is come and gone everyone hates it and starts counting down the days to spring. Other than making the roads more difficult to navigate, I loved it! I know I live in Hawaii now but seeing all of these fall pictures online from my New England friends makes me miss it!

I Once Dyed My Hair Red With Kool-Aid

This is how it came out.

When I was 12-years-old I read a recipe in the Double Daring Book for Girls on dying your hair with kool aid. It was a temporary thing, it only lasted until you washed your hair. I’ve always loved being blonde but the other hair color I really like is red. I decided to try this out. They said the longer you leave it in the better so I had my hair in a shower cap overnight. As you can see it worked! The lighter your hair the better, and it really worked on me. In fact, it worked so well my hair stayed pink for nearly a year. In the darker parts it faded faster but where my natural highlights were it stayed pink for about 10 months. At one point I tried dying it back using yellow kool-aid. It didn’t work. Other than that, it was great!

I Like the Idea of Eating Outside But I Hate Doing It

Sometimes I just hate wind.

It’s beautiful outside, so sunny, the weather is nice, let’s go out there and have a picnic. The wind is the worst part. Hair gets all in the food and in your mouth. You have to have things weighed down so they don’t fly away. If it’s in the sun then it can get hot very fast. If you’re in the shade trees drop things on you. Bugs are everywhere. I’m psyching myself out just thinking about. The idea sounds nice, but then in reality it’s actually awful. I’ll just stick to eating indoors.

I Have a Midwest Accent But Have Never Lived in the Midwest

Even though I claim New England to be where I’m “from” I’ve always noticed I don’t really sound like people from there. Sure, I say “aunt” like they do and a few other words but that’s it. I made a video once and someone said, “Are you from the Midwest at all?” It surprised me since, no, I’m not at all. Later I watched this video of a woman explaining accents from around the world and when she does the one from the Midwestern United States I thought, that kind of sounds how I talk. I asked someone about that, why do I sound like I’m from the Midwest when I’ve never lived there? We concluded that since most of my recent ancestry is from Nordic countries (you saw what was above) and since most of the time they immigrated to the Midwest, that became the Midwestern accent. My ancestors just happened to move to New England instead, making their descendants have the same accent.

The Number 1 Reason I Don’t Wear Make-up Is Because I’m Lazy

She looks great, but how long did that take?

There was a time when I got into the routine of wearing make-up but it seemed kind of pointless because 99% of people wouldn’t even realize I was wearing any unless asked. Although, if I put on enough make-up for someone to really yell I was wearing it then I felt even more self conscious and clown-like. Not wearing make-up saves me a lot of time, and it’s way cheaper. When I do buy make-up I usually just get it at the grocery store but recently it’s been pointed out to me that most women go to a make-up specific store like Sephora. I thought $6 eye-liner was pricey, when it can be way more than that at those places. It’s also less stuff for me to carry while I’m traveling. I do like lipsticks, but it gets on everything and fades really fast so you’ll probably never see me wear any.

My Second Favorite Season is Fall

Or Autumn, whichever you prefer. I love the cooling weather and how beautiful the trees look. Maybe I’m just missing it because I don’t live in New England anymore. The crisp air feels amazing and everyone is gearing up for winter and is happy it’s coming. Remember when I said after New Years everyone is over it? Before Halloween everyone is ready for it to come! The ground gets harder. Bugs disappear. It’s a great time of year!

I Hate Chick-Flicks

In case you don’t know what a chick-flick is, they’re romance comedies. I find them quite annoying and they tend to have all the same plot. Girl bumps into boy (usually physically). They hate each other on the spot for no reason. Guy admits he starts having feelings for her. Girl secretly admits it as well but still decides she openly hates him for no reason. She starts falling in love with someone else but the guy is persistent. She finally gives into guy, and that usually happens at the wedding where she’s going to marry someone else. They’re all the same, also, I’m glad this has a name now but girl seems to always have Manic Pixie Dream Girl Syndrome, as in she can’t function like a normal human. If they go against the normal plot they can be okay, like in The Proposal or Monster-in-Law.

Elsa is My Favorite Disney Princess/Queen

Mostly because I like winter and she creates it for goodness sakes. So the day after Thanksgiving in 2013 my family was like, “What should we do?” “How about the movies?” “Okay, what’s playing?” I looked it up and there was this movie called Frozen. I saw the little short with Olaf and Sven before almost a whole year earlier but I hadn’t seen anything else about it. We decided, why not? We went up to the Regal cinema in Augusta with those fully reclined seats (Those need to be everywhere! I’m telling you, they’re amazing!). None of us realized the movie only came out like 3 days before this or something like that so the theater was packed. Let me tell you, as soon as I saw Elsa making that ice palace I was like, “This is it, this is the song everyone is going to love about this movie.” I loved it so much that I saddened I couldn’t find much information about the movie online afterward. By Monday (it was a Friday I watched the movie) everyone was in love with the movie and it became this amazing spectacle which by December was deemed “overrated.” That didn’t stop everyone from singing though. I think if I saw it later I wouldn’t have liked it as much since by then everyone had overhyped it.

If I Hear Someone With a Foreign Accent Long Enough I Start Thinking In Their Accent

I noticed this phenomenon with myself when I was a teenager and my parents hosted two French exchange students for 2 weeks. I was constantly surrounded by a French accent or even the French language on a regular basis for those 2 weeks and started thinking in a French accent unwillingly. We hosted another group for 2 week a month later and by then I convinced myself I actually picked up some French. It’s happened many time since then. If I watch a British tv show or youtuber before I go to bed I dream in a British accent. While going to school here in Hawai’i most people are Asian and have different Asian accents and I found myself thinking in their dialect many times. Does this happen to anyone else? Now before I go to bed I make sure I watch someone with an American accent so this doesn’t happen.

I Love Photography

If you haven’t noticed already, I love taking pictures. My first camera was one of those ones where the picture printed out automatically and became a sticker. I still find some of them sometimes while digging through my stuff. I got my first digital camera for my 12th birthday and it was so amazing! I took pictures with it regularly until last year at this time because it slowly died on me. I think it’s because I smacked it against the ground when I fell at Acadia National Park August of 2016, and it took a few months before it died right after I moved to Honolulu. Now I have a DSRL camera…not the one in the picture but it’s a start.

What are some things you want other people to know about you?

About Leanne

Leanne got the inspiration to travel the world at 12-years-old when her family moved from Washington State to Florida. Although she still had to attend 7th grade she used her time to gain inspiration from travel bloggers. Now, 7 years later, here she is! Today she’s living in Honolulu, Hawaii and preparing herself both physically and mentally to travel the world. Come join her here on Countries To Go!

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