There is so much to the world. The more I travel, the smaller it becomes, and the more infinite.
I’m that silly person who moved back to the same area where she grew up. Maine doesn’t look like that big a state on a map, but it takes about four hours, driving in any direction, to escape it. I love my state (cold and all), but it has the tendency to think it’s all there is. Stay here long enough and you start to forget how much else is out there. My dad was in his twenties the first time he went out of state, and we still have the rare few who never get that far.
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, that’s not for me. In a few more weeks, I’ll be in South America for the first time. I’ve been to Europe three times. I’ve spent a few months living in Japan. I love traveling. Even as a painfully shy little kid afraid of her own shadow, I wanted to see the world. The idea was big and scary (bigger and scarier even than becoming a writer), and it was the first big scary thing I didn’t run away from.
I’ve been incredibly lucky to have the chances I’ve had. I’ve been a privileged, spoiled brat at times, too. At least I know it.
I’m a little obsessed with the ideas of getting out and escaping, of what makes home and family, of facing fears and what it means to be truly strong. You can find them all in just about every one of my stories.
Stories and travel have a lot in common. They both allow perspective — different ways of interacting in the world. They teach you other modes of life. At least in my experience, they can help you discover who you are.
I am going to Ecuador to see my sister. We met in high school when I talked my dad into becoming a host family for a few weeks, and we adopted each other. I promised her then I would someday visit. Ten years later, I’m finally making good on that promise. I can’t wait!