I was born traveling. Within the first 10 years of my life, I’d been to Los Angeles, Singapore, Japan, and Taiwan. Instead of memories filled with chasing down ice cream trucks in the neighborhood, I held onto the time I floated on a crocodile floatie in a pool in Singapore or the time I ate wonderful sweet treats from a stick on the street in Taiwan. However, like many things, I wasn’t able to appreciate it until I realized it was missing from my life.
Come sophomore year in college, I was feeling a bit tied down, physically and spiritually. On one of (too) many nights browsing the internet, I stumbled onto my first travel blog. Before you ask, I don’t remember who it was… just that it was one of the first of its kind. It was then that I was determined to travel… and document it while I was at it!
The amazing Melanie Fontaine nominated me for a blog hop about the blog-writing experience for travel bloggers! She says she doesn’t dream of being a travel writer anymore, but I call it a lie!; she’s already doing it Anyways, although I now write about whatever I can these days (desperate times), I like to think that I still qualify as a travel blogger. Please check out her take on this here!
1) What am I working on/writing?
Man, what aren’t I working on? If you check out my drafts page, you’ll find about 200 drafts for each published post. For a while, I was in a kind of writing funk that probably came from feeling overwhelmed at how many posts I had to catch up on. At first it felt like a bit of a pain… until I realized it just meant that I had a lot of new experiences. And when are those a bad thing?
I’m still pretty overwhelmed these days… especially when I realize that there are still GERMANY posts to catch up on. But Michelle, when were you in Germany? Well, supposed new reader, I was there for winter break last year! That means I’m almost a FULL YEAR behind. But thanks to a handy thing called wandersick (when you’re homesick for the road, © me right here, right now) it’s about time to revisit these wonderful memories.
I’m also thinking of starting a series called When I Don’t Miss France. And that series is empty because I always miss France.
2) How does my writing/work differ from others of its genre?
It changes as often as the COLORS OF THE WIND. Which is always, as Pocahontas taught us. I went through many phases before finally settling on my Funny Storyteller one: HLB phase, the lifestyle blog phase, and the journal phase (not fun because who wants a book of mundane stories when you can have a chapter of a funny story?).
But now, I like to think that my take on travel is more on the humorous side. Moments that made me laugh, which grew more and more often the longer I’d been solo on the road, is shared with cynical retrospect. Any moment that sticks out to me as unique, be that fascinating, awkward, embarrassing, or awesome is also shared. I think during the early years of travel blogging, the fact that people were living their lives on the road was enough to distinguish themselves from other bloggers. Now we all need a “niche,” or so the blogging gurus keep telling me (and I keep ignoring).
3) Why do I write what I do?
Recently, a coworker left work to get lunch and returned 30 minutes later. And then he turned to me and asked, “Michelle, HAVE YOU BEEN LAUGHING THE ENTIRE TIME I’VE BEEN GONE? I left while you were laughing and when I got back you were STILL laughing!”
I blog because I’m the girl in the office that always has more than enough embarrassing stories to keep everyone laughing. I blog because my brain can’t stop seeing the hilarity in things, even when it means losing all my valuables or dignities while on the road.
4) How does my writing process work?
Even though slapstick and situational humor comes to me easily in person, it’s a bit harder to bring that to life through my writing. What I’ve been trying so far, successfully or not, is to get the basic ideas down without the humor. Afterwards, I would go back through and insert some humor.
While I was still in school, I would take my exams, go through them haphazardly and then turn it in. I was always the first person to turn in an exam but rarely the person who got the highest score. How does this relate to my writing process, you ask?
I don’t really edit.