“I’m not lost, just wandering.”-Adele, Hometown Glory
I am a member of what the New York Times calls a “generation in limbo.” Highly educated college graduates who are working jobs well below or outside of their skill sets, just to get by. I graduated from College of Charleston in May 2010 with a degree in political science, but an interest in writing. I interned and did some freelance work with the Charleston City Paper, where I covered everything from aerial yoga to drag shows to cougar bars. I then interned with the now defunct Sunday Paper in Atlanta while working at a cafe.
This is about the time that I decided that I was sick of “just getting by,” working at a job I didn’t care about and not being given a chance to do any real writing. So I packed my bags to spend the year on a working holiday visa in Australia, in what I’m calling my quarter-life walkabout. In that time I worked at a hotel in Sydney, road tripped down the Great Ocean Road, slept in the dirt in the Outback and went scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. Not a bad year.
Growing up, I traveled all over the USA with my family, to New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Miami, Washington DC, Chicago and Philadelphia. We took our first trip to Europe before my freshman year of high school to see Paris. Since then, I’ve hit up Italy, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, England, Ireland and Croatia, as well as Mexico, Canada, The Cayman Islands and Thailand. Sometimes with family, sometimes with friends, sometime alone.
I’m now a contributor to Her Packing List and I have also written for Matador Network, The Lost Girls and Flight Centre UK, among others. I’m currently working on a new website about traveling to the Southern United States. I also organize semi-monthly tweetups for travelers and travel bloggers in the Atlanta area called Atlanta Travel Tweetups.
As my dad likes to say, I “can’t be rushed,” which is probably why I’ve never done one big round-the-world trip. I’m a huge advocate for slow travel, spending two weeks (or a year) in one place, getting to know it, instead of crossing items off a list. I’m not nomadic or adventurous, just taking my time around the world and documenting through blog posts, journals, photos, videos and scrapbooks. So read on as I do my best to navigate the “real world.”
Still don’t know enough about me?
• I collect a lot of odd nicknacks: postcards from every country, ticket stubs from every movie or concert, vintage cameras, maps, political buttons.
• I love Mexican food more than pretty much anything. And margaritas. I have a talent of finding Mexican restaurants in every country.
• I keep journals like crazy, taping receipts and such from my travels.
• My favorite cities in the world (so far) are Charleston (my home for 4 years), Sydney (where I lived for one year), Montreal and Split.
• Travel has left its mark on me, literally. I have a funny looking scar on the top of my left foot from my cruise to Cozumel in 2009 when I jumped off a water trampoline and cut it on the coral reef.
• I’m scared of heights, but I’ve been bungy jumping and plan on going skydiving.
• I’m an awkward dancer. Think Elaine Bennis.
• I’ve learned Italian in school, but the only time I’m comfortable speaking it is after a couple of glasses of wine when I’m not nervous about mispronouncing things.
• I’m terrible at saving money unless I have a specific goal in mind, or most likely a destination in mind. That’s why I keep pictures of the place handy to keep me motivated.
• I have a terrible sense of direction. I quite frequently get lost, even with the help of my GPS. It’s kind of ridiculous, actually.
• As much as I love to travel, I really hate airplanes. I get antsy and can never sleep. If scientists need someone to test teleporting, I will be the first to sign up.
• I have zero desire to work a desk job. I think my ideal job would involve me working from home in my pajamas in front of my big screen computer, editing photos and writing.
• I’ve had a total of 15 roommates in the last 5 years. I probably learned every odd life skill while dealing with other peoples’ living habits. You name it, I’ve seen it. Door slammers, alcoholics, complete slobs, crazies and people who became my best friends. Perhaps that’s why I fare so well at hostels.
• I get majorly geeky at art museums. I can name most of the artists and periods.
• I am neither “Sweet Caroline” nor “the reason for the word bitch.” Quoting either song gets you nowhere with me.
• Julia Roberts called me a cute baby.
• There’s nowhere I won’t go.