I’m a displaced (or is that misplaced?) Kentuckian, currently residing in Durham, NC. I’m a voracious reader, an avid consumer of cheese, and a lifelong fan of the L.A. Dodgers. I love summer and could easily do without winter. I went to Rice University on an engineering scholarship and came out with degrees in German and English (as well as a boyfriend who is now my husband). In addition to German, I can manage enough Greek to tell a cab driver where to go, and I’m working on my Spanish. I love food and am hugely annoyed by picky eaters. I’ll get up early to watch the World Cup, and I’ll stay up late for extra innings, but the NBA bores me to tears. I love the outdoors. I’ve rappelled down waterfalls, rafted a few incredible rivers, and I’m sure I could catch more bluegill than you (though my husband Jeff is the piranha catching champ).
I’m a whole lot of things, but if you’re here, reading this blog, you’re probably most interested in me as traveler, writer, and editor.
Where other people put “M.D.,” Ph.D.,” or “J.D.” after their name, I’m thinking of putting “Traveler,” because, hey, that’s who I am. In 2008-2009, I became a round-the-worlder, traveling through Central and South America, Africa, and SE Asia on a one-year journey. My heart is still somewhere in Africa, and I’m hoping to make it back there soon to try to reclaim it. (Though I’m not sure it has any intention of leaving.)
My adventures didn’t start or stop with my RTW trip, however. Prior to it, I’d done a high school exchange to Ireland, studied abroad in Freiburg, Germany, and taught English as an HAEF Fellow in Athens, Greece. Since the trip, I’ve continued to put my passport to good use as well as to explore my own home country. You can check out the Destinations section of this blog for more about the places I’ve been.
As for what kind of traveler I am… I think the “flashpacker” designation is a semi-good fit though not an exact match. I’m certainly not a luxury traveler, but I’m not an honest-to-God backpacker either (though I do often carry a backpack). I’m not afraid to stay in a hostel, though I prefer private rooms and private bathrooms, and I flat out love to camp. I like to try the local food, but you’ll find me doing so at the market and not the white-tablecloth place. I don’t get the point of going somewhere just to hang out with other travelers, but I do enjoy getting to know adventurers of similiar ilk. I fall squarely in the budget category, but I’m not afraid to splurge when I think the experience justifies the price (Galapagos Islands cruise, gorilla trekking in Uganda, microlight flight over Victoria Falls…)
Mainly, what I am is a curious traveler, someone who tries to be open and engaged, traveling to gain new perspective and become a more connected member of the human race while still having a good time.
When I was little, there were three things I wanted to be: an astronaut, President of the United States, and a writer. I’ve since crossed two of those off the list (physics, ugh!; all that vitriol, yikes!), but I remain committed to the dream of being a writer, and I’d say that I’ve had a little bit of success with it.
I’ve written two guidebooks, Moon Take a Hike Washington, DC, for which I hiked nearly 500 miles in one summer, and Moon Kentucky, for which I drove 8,000 miles in the name of research. I’ve also published articles in magazines and newspapers, including National Geographic Traveler, The Boston Globe, The San Antonio Express News, the Christian Science Monitor, Brave New Traveler, and Perceptive Travel. I’m always interested in new assignments, so if you’re an editor looking for a writer, please visit my professional site to check out my clips and view my resume.
I’ve been writing here at Lives of Wander since October 2007, but I’ve been blogging since 2003. I enjoy the community that comes with blogging, and I encourage you to leave comments. I read each and every one of them and try to respond to them as well. While travel is the main topic here at Lives of Wander, I’ll occasionally detour onto another topic. After all, as the title of this blog says, my life is a wandering affair.
Though there are some people in the world making their living from their travel blogs, I’m not one of them, and I’m 100% okay with that because I have a day job that I really enjoy. Perhaps you don’t find comma splices and parallelism to be that fun, but I do. I love the details, the nitty-gritty. I love helping others improve their writing, whether it be through substantive editing, copy editing, or proofreading. I take on a wide range of projects, but I specialize in travel, art, history, and museum publications. My rates are fair (I didn’t say cheap; I said fair), and I’m impressively fast and fine-tooth-comb thorough. Check out my professional site for more information on my editing services.