I’m back!! After a 3 1/2 year journey!

After a very long hiatus to give full attention to the building our family’s forever dream home, I am back to my writing, most importantly the writing of my travel blog.

But what a journey it has been. The home build was a year in the design process and another 2 1/2 years in the construction process. As much as the home build was a labor of love, it became a full time commitment in the final 18 months and I chose to put my writing on a temporary hold to give the build my full undivided attention.

In those 3 1/2 years I’m sure I logged enough road miles to earn AAA elite status – if there is such a thing! We chose to build on top of hill – but to accomplish our desire of building a one level home we had to excavate 25 feet deep from the highest point of the hill to the lowest point of the foundation. But after 6 plus months of digging, and exporting over 1200 truckloads of unusable material (325 of those were boulders alone), we had our flat lot. Now we can stay here until we are old and can race up and down the hallways with our walkers with no worries of stairs!

Luckily I somehow managed to fit in some very special trips during this busy time!

My last post was May of 2015. The following places are where I’ve been since then: Big Sky and Billings, Montana; Sedona (twice), Scottsdale and Wickenburg, Arizona; Napa Valley (twice), California; Vancouver, British Columbia; 4 different trips to Brooklyn and Manhattan, New York; Palm Springs, California; Sao Paulo, Angra dos Reis and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and a few other jaunts betwixt and between these amazing trips.

I will also reprise my monthly food blog. My need to fill my foodie desires never wavered during the home build project. Had to keep that strength up!

As much as I love to travel, there is no place like home and nothing like coming home. Especially when home allows me views that equal any I’ve ever experienced in my travels. Rugged red mountain ranges, hawks soaring through the open skies, lush green golf courses and orchards dotting the saguaro laden desert landscape, owls and coyotes making their presence known in the dark of night with their hoots and howls .

But…this is a travel blog, and there are many more amazing destinations on my bucket list to see and experience. So time to get back to my nomadic living and narrate!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Staying power! Happy One Year Anniversary to Nomadic Narrator!

Who woulda thunk it? As of this week, I will have one year of writing my travel blog in the books, or in the blog-a-sphere as the case may be. The key to success for me was to choose a subject(s) I was/am passionate about – and in recent years I have taken two lifelong passions of travel and writing and pulled them together to create this blog.

Because I was not looking for financial gain, I had a freedom to take my time and learn and research as I trekked along this journey. My main goal was to gain confidence in my writing. To find ‘my’ writing ‘voice.’ A year later I am still perfecting that voice, which I believe will be a never-ending search as I evolve with living an exciting day-to-day existence.

The big challenge was how to set my blog apart from the other gazillion travel blogs out there. A challenge I am still furtively fighting, but as time goes on and I receive feedback from readers, travel with a different eye now that I have a deeper purpose attached to travel, and see what has worked for other travel writers, I feel I am gaining headway on setting myself apart.

I also started this blog to practice my writing skills – a glorified writing exercise. The fact that I have had over 3,800 hits, dozens of followers (even if several of those are family and friends 🙂 and have received comments of favor from complete strangers, has done wonders for my confidence in the writing arena.

My story is different in that I don’t travel for a living, my living takes me traveling. There are certainly some trips I take that are for no reason other than to see and experience a new destination, but more often than not I am brought to each destination because I am visiting a family or a friend, going on a business trip with my husband or trying to keep up with my daughter on her travels.

My husband and I enjoying a glass of fine wine at Joseph Phelps winery in Napa Valley

My husband and I taking in the expansive view from Joseph Phelps winery in Napa Valley

My daughter and I enjoying a foggy moment on a crisp fall day in Portland, Maine

My daughter and I bundled up on a foggy, crisp fall day in Portland, Maine

The title of my blog was born out of accuracy: Nomadic Narrator. My friends and extended family have for years called me a nomad as I am always on the move, to the extent they rarely know where I am. With my memory I can hardly remember where I am! Traveling between two different home fronts and to see kids who are many miles away from us and from each other adds to the confusion and challenge.

Father and daughter taking a breather from the heat of summer at 1,401 feet below sea level at the Dead Sea

Father and daughter taking a breather from the heat of summer at 1,401 feet below sea level at the Dead Sea

My son and I ready for wienerschnitzel challenge in Vienna

My son and I ready for a wienerschnitzel challenge in Vienna

For those of you old enough to remember the show, the “Flying Nun” I have been dubbed the “flying housewife.” The subtitle of my blog: Literary Luggage of a Life in Motion – is an anthem to my life on the go. The crazy chaotic nomadic existence of my family is beyond the norm, but for us this has become the norm.  My kids are 21 and 23 and the last time we lived together as a family was in 2007. My husband and I have been the proverbial two ships passing the night, with no end in sight until he retires.

Today’s technology is obviously a huge element of keeping our family connected – between phone calls, text messages and Skype we see each other and talk to each other more than most people who live with each other. It’s easy to take for granted your time together, just like it is easy to take for granted all the great travel opportunities right in your own backyard. How often do you have someone come visit and ask, “Have you been to (such and such) a place?” And generally the response is, “No, I haven’t. I’ve been meaning to, but just haven’t gotten there yet.” My son and daughter live 2,000 miles away from each other, but have more quality chats than if they lived across the hallway from each other.

Father and son enjoying a dinner outing at our family favorite Mastro's in Scottsdale, AZ

Father and son enjoying a dinner outing at our family favorite Mastro’s in Scottsdale, AZ

The lesson for me and for my family is that we have come to rely on quality versus quantity and that has created bonds within our family that I know will serve us a lifetime. Because all members of my family love to travel, my opportunities for travel will continue to abound, and I will continue to write about these adventures, get better at chronicling them with higher quality photos and dig for those deep unearthed nuances that make each trip a unique experience.

My goal for year two is to search out ways to keep my blog fun and fresh, informative and inviting, thrilling and thought-provoking. One new element I am adding to this years blog posts is to have “guest bloggers” write of a recent or memorable travel experience they have shared with me and I in turn would love to have them share with you, my reader.

And as they say – no time like the present, so next week I will be presenting my first guest blogger, my daughter Allison, who just returned from a trip to St. Petersburg, Russia. I will provide an introduction and then turn the page over to my darling daughter.

I was initially content to write this blog for my eyes only. To force me to commit to a regular standing date with working on my writing skills. But you, the reader, have filled me full of hope, a new desire and a deepened passion to push even harder to take my writing to the next level of getting formally published and oh, do I dare dream it – to actually get paid for my writing one day! Anything is possible, and I do dare to dream!

A round of applause and a wealth of gratitude to you my reader for your support of my writing by reading my blog! A special thank you to a select group of friends – you know who you are – for your undying love and support!

And:

The family matriarch - my mama - thank you for your unwavering unconditional love and support of my writing life!!

The family matriarch – my mama – thank you for your unwavering and unconditional love and support of my writing life!!

The family patriarch - oh mine papa - sharing a bonding moment with my daughter over what else - a book! Thank you for pops for instilling in my my love of reading and writing!

The family patriarch – oh mine papa – sharing a bonding moment with my daughter over what else – a book! Thank you for pops for instilling in my my love of reading and writing!

The immediate family enjoying a weekend brunch in the Big Apple! Without you there would be no me, and very little to write about! I love you all!

The immediate family enjoying a weekend brunch in the Big Apple! Without you – where would I be? Sitting at home, bored, with very little to write about! I love you all!

Traveling to find the hidden stories

With so many people traveling to the same highlighted travel destinations, my challenge is to find a way to make my blog and my travel stories stand out from all other travel travails. There are three ways I implement when I am setting up my next trip.

1. Realize some of the best travel stories are in your own backyard. You don’t have to travel thousands of miles to find the most amazing interesting places to visits. Every place is thousands of miles from some place else.

2. When traveling to an area new to you, hire a guide or book a tour with a live guide (versus a headset guide.) Guides have the inside scoop and the most entertaining anecdotes to the places you are seeing. Consider it a bonus to get a guide that is actually from the area of interest, versus a guide that works for a global travel company and is sent all over. The ‘hometown’ guides have stories to share that no guide-book could offer, especially in countries where family histories can go back for centuries.

3. Steer away from to the same highlighted destinations everyone else treks to. There are a multitude of unknown gems with access as easy as all the star travel attractions.

In my Global Gallery I have added pictures that denote the use of all three forms of finding that unique travel story. In the coming weeks I will attach a travel story to each picture. Look for these on the Monday of each week. Enjoy!