I like to travel, and I like to write. I love to write about my travels.
This passion for travel can be traced back to a geisha doll my uncle presented to my parents upon his return from Japan in the 1950’s. Many years later, I stared at that doll for hours, imagining what kind of life she lived and why she was dressed in that outfit. It seems as though it was from then on that I obsessed about travel. My parents signed up for a National Geographic map/sticker book especially for kids so each month my sister and I received maps with a booklet about specific countries and stickers that could be placed on the appropriate pages. I remember imagining what these places were like.
It was at an early age that I developed a passion for travel writing. We traveled a lot in the USA and I documented every single detail in my journal: what animals we saw and how many of each, where we slept, what we ate, what we did, what we saw, what I thought … These journals are the precursor to my blogs. And I still have them. My grandma, Eva Lof, wrote about her trips, too. I have her diaries chronicling her trips to Florida, Arizona, California, the US Northwest, and Cuba: what they ate, how much they paid for it, how many miles to the gallon they got for their gas and what they paid for it. Apparently, traveling and then writing about it is in my blood.
Others who are responsible for my passion for travel are my cousins Terry/Eileen. Soon after college, Terry moved to Beirut, then to Greece (where he met and married Eileen), then to Brazil, then to Singapore, and then to Vietnam. It made it easier to visit a distant place when people were there to meet me so I started traveling to SE Asia to visit them as often as I could. They are excellent hosts and have taught me so much about picking up and going somewhere! I soon learned how to travel on my own. Thanks to Terry/Eileen, I gained the confidence needed to travel by myself. But we’re never really alone as travelers…
My first international trip to Singapore/Japan/Indonesia in 1992 marked the beginning of a future of international travel: 1996 Hong Kong/Korea/Singapore/Thailand; 2000 Vietnam; 2002 Vietnam, then Germany/Switzerland/Liechtenstein; 2006 Singapore/Vietnam; 2007 China/Tibet/Vietnam, then Liechtenstein; 2009 Argentina/Antarctica; 2010 Japan; and 2012 Morocco/Spain/Turkey.
One day as a kid I received a fortune that said, “You will travel to faraway places.” And I took it to heart and kept the fortune and made it happen. And the original fortune sits in my keepsake box.