Since I was a little kid my favorite types of books have been stories of adventure. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne is probably my all time favorite book (granted the first time I read it it was the Great Illustrated Classics children’s version). But regardless, Captain Nemo, Ned, and the rest were on a true adventure: meeting new people, surviving scary encounters, and discovering long lost mysteries and far off places. I couldn’t take my nose out of this one, it seemed like a new experience each time. And it was an experience I was sure could only happen in a good book.
Well, I recently decided I don’t only want to experience these adventures in a book and in my imagination, I wanted to make them happen for myself.
We were never a family of travelers, only a few vacations as a kid and a few trips taken with friends, but I was always more than happy just laying in the park reading a book or riding my bike around the neighborhood. The more I read and the older I get, the more I want to experience all the stories I’ve heard first hand: foreign lands, new cultures, ancient history, different foods, and everyone else’s favorite books.
I never thought travel could happen for me. I had a big girl job, responsibilities, and probably not enough money. But that couldn’t have been further from the truth. I am making it happen: taking a grand adventure and all the while reading new books and sharing favorites with everyone I meet.
My home base (and all my books) will always be in Chicago, but I was lucky enough to spend 2016 living and traveling in Southeast Asia. I spent 10 months living in Sukhothai, Thailand, where I was a high school English teacher. After our term ended we spent about 12 weeks traveling through Laos, Cambodia, and Indonesia, having the absolute time of our lives. I spent eight weeks back at home in Chicago at the beginning of 2017, but left again for a new adventure in South America mid-February. As of March 1st, I am a resident of Valledupar, Colombia – with a Colombian ID and everything – living and teaching in the SENA vocational college. I will be here for the better part of 2017, so let’s see what this adventure brings and where I might head to next!