2011: A Fresh Start

Good riddance, 2010. Sure, you had your moments. Colombia was fantastic. You can sign me up for another couple of weeks there.

Moments from the Yellowstone roadtrip will forever live as legend. And we proved once and for all, that neither tornadoes, nor torrential rains, nor wind-whipped snow can hold us down (or keep us from sleeping in a tent).

My baby brother graduated from college (what?!). Jeff and I celebrated five years of marriage. We rallied for sanity by going to an insane rally. We watched friends wed and celebrated new life with other friends.

We traveled, not nearly as much as the year before, but to places both familiar and new. I drove over 8,000 miles in Kentucky in the name of research for a new guide book. We began to get to know Durham and the state of North Carolina.

2010, overall, was good to us.

Yet, to be honest, 2010 was a challenging year for me. I felt unmoored. Certain questions hung over me all year. Who am I? Who do I want to be? When we left for our round-the-world trip, we threw off the bowlines. Goodbye job. Goodbye home. When we came back to the U.S.,  I found that I wasn’t certain where I was supposed to tie up.

Did I want to be a writer? And what did that mean anyways? Novels, short stories, travel articles, marketing copy? Did I want to be an editor? Did I want to be a teacher? Did I want to throw in my hat to the travel blogging ring? I had no idea. I hemmed and hawed. I flitted back and forth. I tried this and that. I did a lot of things but not very many of them well. I lacked focus. I’d decide that I didn’t want to do something and then I’d read about someone else succeeding at it, and pride would have me back at the thing I’d just decided against, because if they could do it, well, so could I. I often asked myself “What do you want?” or “Who do you want to be?”, but I didn’t really take the time to answer that, at least not honestly.

In some ways, this blog was that indecisiveness personified. I neglected it. I brought it back. I re-designed it. I ignored it. It crashed. This blog was begun as a round-the-world travel blog, and just as I couldn’t figure out how to redefine myself post-RTW-trip, I couldn’t figure out how to redefine Lives of Wander either.

But I think I’ve figured it out. Both what I want to be and what I want this blog to be. As for me, I want first to be a fiction writer. That’s priority number one. Then comes making a living, which I would like to do through editing (at least until I show up on the NYT Bestseller List or get one of those genius grants!). I love comma splices (or more accurately, I love correcting them). What can I say? And also on the priority list is travel writing. Though I’ve tried to talk myself out of it about 8,372 times this year, I just can’t escape from it. I love to talk travel, read travel, write travel, and just flat out travel. And that’s where this blog comes in. You see, as the title says, this blog is about my life of wander, a life that did not begin nor end with our round-the-world trip, and thus Lives of Wander lives on, though in a new, updated format. I hope you like it. I hope you take the time to explore. I hope you come back and join in the conversation, because even when I haven’t known anything else, I’ve always known that it’s the people that make the journey worthwhile.

[Thanks for your patience and encouragement through this topsy-turvy year. I’m still working through some of the glitches of re-launch, including re-sizing photos and correcting the text that got messed up during the transfer from one host to another. Fingers crossed that by Monday, January 22, I’m up to speed with new, exciting posts about travel and the places life takes me.]