My Life: New and Improved as a Travel Writer

We’ve all seen the phrase “new and improved” countless times. It’s on everything from cereal boxes to cosmetics. No doubt someone in a lab somewhere tweaked the latest wrinkle cream and declared it new and improved.

I think I should have a “new and improved” tag on my life—it has certainly had some tweaking in the last few years!

Not long ago my Monday through Friday consisted of getting up, getting dressed, going to work, coming home, sleeping…then getting up, getting dressed, going to work…you get the idea. I spent anywhere from 40 to 60 hours each week sitting in an office at a computer working on accountings and tax returns.

One day I participated in a personality evaluation to assess my working style. My results read something like this: “The worst possible thing you could do for your personality is to sit in an office all day working on detailed projects.” I already knew that, but seeing it in print really motivated me to do some tweaking of my own—it was time to follow my passion.

Since childhood I have always loved traveling and sharing stories of my adventures with friends. Becoming a  travel writer has given me the opportunity to take those adventures and stories to a new level.

In the last few years I have traveled all over the United States, Belize, Guatemala, Ireland, Peru, Norway, Canada and Germany—and I’m just getting started!

I swam through ancient caves, harvested cacao and rode horseback through the jungles in southern Belize. I stood under a volcano-fed hot waterfall in Guatemala and danced to the rhythm of Garifuna drumming in Livingston.

In Norway, I hiked through the woods with a celebrity chef picking mushrooms…which I later enjoyed for lunch. I cruised through fjords gasping at the beauty of the dramatic landscape as it unfolded around me.

I fished for piranhas in the Peruvian Amazon and conquered a terrifying canopy walk through the tree tops of the jungle. I dined beside an ancient pyramid in Lima and hiked through the ruins of the Incan civilization surrounding Cusco.

On Lake Titicaca in Peru I walked on the floating islands of the Uros tribe and spent the night with an indigenous family on Amantani Island.

In eastern Germany I witnessed the impressive restoration of communities since the fall of the Berlin Wall. I also sampled the spectacular wines of Saxony—a region with an 850-year-old winemaking history.

Road-tripping across the varying landscapes of the United States yielded stories of cowboy adventures and hometown heroes.

What I love most about travel writing is the opportunity for adventure and interaction. I have learned more about the history, culture and geography of this world from traveling than I ever learned in school. And, I am having more fun than I ever thought possible.

It is hard to imagine spending all my work days in a stuffy office. My “new and improved” life is so much more gratifying.

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