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March 13, 2017

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How I Know I Was Born to Be a Travel Writer

I was kind of a weird kid.

Can any fellow travel bloggers relate to these childhood quirks?

To begin with, this is how I spent many of my weekends: I’d pick a country, go to the library, and play a “game” trying to fit as many facts as possible about that country on an index card. The winning card was the one with the most (teeny, tiny, nearly illegible) words stuffed on it. Oddly, none of my friends ever wanted to play.

In a small town, my research hobby was newsworthy. πŸ˜‰

Afterward, I’d ride my bike around, keeping a creepy eye on all my neighbors, writing down what they were doing. I loved to observe, I found other people fascinating, and I firmly believed that absolutely everything was interesting enough to be recorded.

Whenever I visited my grandparents, I’d touch the outside of the airplane before stepping on board. Somehow I’d come to believe that, through touch, I could take a piece of all the exotic places (and not-so-exotic places) it had been and keep them for myself.

I was eager to travel anywhere on Earth and beyond!

I was also the world’s smallest and most annoying poet. My 3rd grade teacher surely regrets her poetry unit, as this prompted me to write 3-5 poems a day, insisting she read each one and provide feedback.

My favorite “toy” was a typewriter, and later a word processor my mom used when she went back to school.

I wrote a weekly newsletter about the pets in my neighborhood.

Typical headlines:

“Peaches and Junior Battle at Dawn”

“Cats Complain of Unfamiliar Dog on a Walk”

I wrote a series of horror stories about haunted puppets.

I loved everything about words. I loved how they could rhyme. I loved how they beat out their own rhythms and patterns. I loved how they’d create any emotion out of thin air. I tried to teach myself French so I could enjoy even more words. (Also France was my absolute DREAM destination at the time – no surprise it was my first solo trip as an adult.) Then I tried to develop my own language.

One day at the beach, I spent the entire afternoon trying to literally dig a hole to China.

Now I am 31 years old, teaching English in Thailand. Last year I was in Guangzhou, China. I am always traveling, and my stories are collecting. Not much has changed since I was a child; I still firmly believe that absolutely everything is interesting enough to be recorded, and I’m ready toΒ do it.

Tell us – how did your childhood foreshadow who you became as an adult?

 

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