In a few short weeks I will be releasing Notes of a Naive Traveler, excerpts from travel journals and emails I’d written while volunteering in Kathmandu and backpacking through Nepal and Thailand. This journey also served as the basis for my first novel, a travel thriller entitled Down and Out in Kathmandu.
My plan was to volunteer in Nepal for four months then backpack around Southeast Asia for another six. Things didn’t quite work out that way…
Traveling is an amazing adventure, one that can transform your world view – if you let it. Yet it can also be quite scary and lonely when you’re so far from home, especially the first time.
When I decided to set off from Seattle to Kathmandu, I was a twenty-six-year-old computer geek who didn’t have a passport because I’d never left the States. This first trip abroad ignited my wanderlust. This journey led to another and another, and after having traveled much of the world, I settled in the Netherlands and reinvented myself as an art historian.
Long-term travel and the expat experience are topics near and dear to my heart. To celebrate the impending release of Notes of a Naive Traveler: Nepal and Thailand, I’ve asked six incredible authors, travelers and expats to share their stories.
Every Monday and Friday during the month of March, I will be featuring fascinating articles by Jill Dobbe, Melissa Burovac, Beth Green, Anne Hamilton, Annika Milisic Stanley and Pamela Allegretto – as well as an article I’ve written about claiming your place in this world – on my blog.
I hope you enjoy learning more about these incredible women in the coming weeks, in particular their expat and travel-related experiences and the influence it’s had on their life and writing.
See you Friday!
“The ride back to Kathmandu was comfortable and relaxing. There were more overturned trucks (the gas-powered ones seem to tip the most, I’m surprised there weren’t more explosions), goats being herded across the highway by ancient women, children playing games in traffic, private cars and buses alike pulling over in the most inconvenient places for a picnic or public bath, and best of all the suicidal overtaking maneuvers (or what we would call ‘passing’) by our bus and others while going downhill at incredible speeds or around hairpin turns uphill with absolutely no power left to actually get around the other vehicle.”
Trek with me through the bamboo forests and terraced mountaintops of Eastern Nepal, take a wild river rafting ride in class IV waters, go on an elephant ride and encounter charging rhinoceros on jungle walks in Chitwan National Park, sea kayak the surreal waters of Krabi and snorkel in the Gulf of Thailand. Join me on some of the scariest bus rides you could imagine, explore beautiful and intriguing temples, experience religious rituals unknown to most Westerners, and visit mind-blowing places not mentioned in your typical travel guides.
This travelogue also provides insight into the experience of volunteering at a Nepali school and living with a traditional family during a long-term homestay, where religion and ritual still rule daily life.
A touch of self-discovery is inherent to this kind of journey, one spurred on by a young woman’s attempt to figure out what she wants to do with her life.
Notes of a Naive Traveler is a must-read for those interested in learning more about – or wishing to travel to – Nepal and Thailand. I hope it inspires you to see these amazing countries for yourself.
Front cover artwork: ‘Folly in Divinity’, acrylic on canvas by Don Farrell
Release date: May 13, 2017
Pre-order Notes of a Naive Traveler: Nepal and Thailand now on iBooks, Kobo, Amazon, Barnes & Noble NOOK and Smashwords for 99 cents and have it delivered to your eReader the moment it is released!