Alright, it’s time to get up close & personal again. Last week I received the Liebster award from fellow blogger Juliana (thank you!), a blog tag for bloggers new to the blogosphere. I had planned to do a personal post already this week so I figured, why not put the two together in one post. I’ve put a little twist to the tag. Just do a personal post answering ten questions about yourself, any question you can think of. Here are my questions (and answers). Brace yourselves, let’s go!

1. Who are you? My name is Igrien. I am twenty-eight years old (ouch that’s old!) and I was born and raised in the Netherlands. I have two younger sisters. I am of Chinese descent. I speak and/or understand Mandarin, Hokkien, Cantonese, Malaysian and a little bit of Indonesian. I’m an avid reader, although I don’t read that much anymore. My greatest love is film. I can drown myself in hours of watching films. On other days, I like painting, drawing, writing, photographing, singing and playing the piano.

2. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? I’m very much an introvert to the outer world, but at home, I wreak havoc.

3. How long have you been blogging and why did you start? In 2005 I started a personal blog, My Cup of 茶, where I wrote short columns about love and life. When I picked up photography in 2008, the blog transitioned into a photoblog called The World According to Igrien. In 2013, I knew I wanted to combine both writing and photography on one blog. And the blog would be about all things that interest twenty-somethings like myself. Fashion, food, film, travel, art. I wanted to write, photograph and inspire. That was the start of THE|AVANTGUARDIAN.

4. What is your greatest passion? Telling stories, moving people. I’d love to give that a go one day.

5. Where would you want to live one day? New York, London, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Chicago, anywhere on this list.

6. Where do you see yourself in five years? Somewhere far from here. Sometimes I wonder what it would feel like if I would just jump ship, pack my bags and start a life some place new. These past few years, if anything, I have realised that I don’t need much to be happy. I would be okay, traveling the world with my laptop, writing and photographing from and about places all over the world. It’s not freedom I seek, it’s a life of being captured in passion I’d want. Having something you want to do every minute of the day, striving to be the best in your field because you can’t think of doing anything else. I don’t know, sounds awfully vague, but isn’t that what life is all about ultimately? Living?


7. If you were stranded on an island, name one thing you’d want with you the most? I don’t want to sound cheesy, but I’d say K, my boyfriend of (now) almost fourteen years. Or Keanu Reeves.

8. What do you fear the most? Waking up one day and realising my life has just been normal, ordinary. That I didn’t dare take any risks.

9. What is your favourite food? Oh this is a tough one because I love to eat. But if you really want to make a girl happy: otoro nigiri, wagyu beef, anything from Momofuku Ko (my best restaurant experience so far), 70% dark chocolate, Malaysian love letters, Taiwanese purple spiral taro root paste cakes (don’t know the official name), ice cream mochi, green tea frappuccino, green tea cheesecake, green tea chocolate, earl grey, avocado, mozzarella, xiao long bao, my mother’s jiao zi, my old housekeeper’s jian bing, KFC’s hot wings, BK’s twister fries,.. I’m slightly embarrassed now because I don’t think there’s an end to this list.

10. One piece of advice you’d give anybody? Be yourself. It’s the shittiest advice anyone can give and yet the best advice you’ll ever receive.

I invite my fellow bloggers to do a personal post as well: Vivien from August Reign, Rachel from Her Head in the Clouds, and Justine from EatSleepDress! Happy (personal) blogging!