Since I was a child, I’ve been entranced by two things: books and faraway places.
Though I didn’t leave the country until I was 15, I explored as much as possible without going anywhere. I read stacks of books. I took my red wagon to the library. I called an empty closet my ‘travel room’, where I pasted up a world map and stacked shelves with my parent’s old National Geographics.
I’ve always been a bookworm, delving into worlds I’d never know — from Tolkien’s Middle Earth to the American prairies of late 19th century. But as I grew older, I became increasingly interested in the world outside my Midwestern bubble.
The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, one of the sites I most wanted to see as a child
Once I became a teenager, I traveled as much as time and money would allow. I backpacked the Andes and lived