Seeing the world, one country at the time

My love of writing began when I first got a hold of my Mom’s pens and pencils and began to record my thoughts and impressions in Technicolor on her books, record covers, walls and photo albums.
From there it blossomed into a way to express myself despite my shy nature. It was something I always did on the side, from short stories to poems and letters. Especially letters, as my constant moves to new countries required correspondence to maintain friendships on distant shores. I wrote often, though I doubt I wrote much of substance or quality. It was writing for writing’s sake.

Then came school with all its formal, structured assignments that took all the fun out of the writing experience. With that came all the self-consciousness and insecurity that made writing a private, rather than a public, affair. But as everyone who writes knows, it’s something you can’t get out of your system – it’s with you always, like the travel bug. So what better way to combine two passions than to do travel writing? As a result, I’ve become the in-house travel writer during our trip, because the writing will happen anyway. It’s a love-hate relationship. I love to create a story, playing with words and stringing sentences together into pictures and stories. I love it, despite hating the endless hours, research, tedious fact-finding and careful note taking involved. Travel writing inspires me most because it combines two activities that I am passionate about and that to some degree come naturally to me.

A writer friend once told me “to be a writer you have to inconvenience yourself”. Well, if being on the road and changing homes every few days, writing on every surface of every form of transportation at all hours and then having all your work stolen from you isn’t an inconvenience, I don’t know what is. I don’t know if the experience and the practice has made me a better writer. At times I am only trying to record it all, the endless stream of information and impressions flowing through my eyes and into my brain. There is barely enough time to reflect upon it, turn it this way and that, and mold it into a cohesive story. For now it is, nevertheless, the story of a year and a half spent discovering much of the world and that, for now, will give it the roots from which to grow.