The older I get (which yes, I realize, thirties, and early thirties at that is not in any way old) the more I realize just how far and wide the fates have scattered the people that I love across the map, and as of late, across the globe.
And I love it.
I get to see their parts of the world through thier eyes, and it’s amazing. One of the women that I grew up with is living in the U.K., currently, and is just as passionate about exploring, writing, and photography as I am, and I am SO STOKED that she said yes when I asked her if she wanted to share her travels (and life) by writing for Cook.Eat.Explore.
I’ve often been described as a gypsy—that eccentric, excitable, restless girl from high school who has since refused to settle down. In reality, I’m just curious, and I’m easily distracted by all of the shiny things this big world has to offer.
My latest adventures have taken me to England, where I’ve set up a little home in the postgraduate dorms at the University of Kent. Nestled in the medieval town of Canterbury, on Britain’s east coast, I’ve found myself in the perfect spot for my chosen field of study: Medieval and Early Modern Europe. My research has a lot do with witchcraft, herbal healing, and female archetypes, so be prepared for some spook.
The only excuse I have for my relentless wanderlust and quickly changing mind is a realization I made as a teenager: Life is about exploration and experience
Academically, I’ve journeyed from a Los Angeles film school—earning a shiny degree in Film Production and a stint at a major film studio—to a Liberal Arts college in the Pacific Northwest , whose English degree granted me the opportunity to teach World Literature to uniform-clad teenagers at a Southern Arizona prep school. How I made the jumps from Film to Literature to Medieval History is a question I’ve yet to answer definitively, but they seem to coalesce quite nicely.
Personally, I’ve found myself on solo adventures in South Korea (sleeping on the floor of a Buddhist temple or getting lost in the streets of Seoul), living alone in a little apartment in Paris (trying to find the motivation to do something other than binge Netflix and eat cheese), spending a frigid night inside a flimsy tent in the middle of the Sahara Dessert, or skydiving over Hawaii with a partner who claimed that he “forgot to pack the parachute” (bad time for a joke, Dave).
The only excuse I have for my relentless wanderlust and quickly changing mind is a realization I made as a teenager: Life is about exploration and experience, and I want to soak up as much as I can so that I can tell my stories later. I’m also on a quest to figure myself out, which I’ve come to realize is not a unique journey (no matter how “settled” someone may seem to be).
So, sparse and uncomfortable as my current dorm room may be, it affords me endless opportunities for exploration in 1,000-year-old archives, across cobblestoned streets, and through the English countryside—not to mention a quick hop to continental Europe, which is convenient as I’m in the throws of a wanton love affair with France.
I don’t claim to have any answers, but I do enjoy searching for them in the nooks and crannies of history, or in the dark and warm corners of the stories we’ve told for centuries. And writing is my way of massaging the details, kneading the common threads in order to coax out the bits that may just satiate my gypsy heart.