I was an unwilling traveler for a long time. I was seven years old when I got my first passport, but I wouldn't have gotten it had my great-grandmother not been dying in Ireland. The next time I flew internationally was the result of moving to Germany during the 1987-1988 school year, about a year and a half before the Berlin Wall fell. I was too young to make decisions about travel for a long time, but once I became older and could make decisions for myself, I began to enjoy traveling: My most recent trip to Europe was my 10th, and I've traveled to 17 countries.
Until a few years ago, it hadn't occurred to me to write about my own travels, but during the past couple of international trips, I began blogging. My travel writing experiences focused on specific places I've visited, even keeping a separate blog that allows me to document where I've eaten and what I ate.Though the extent of anyone else's interest is negligible, blogging helped me remember my experiences and allowed me to centralize my memories and photographs. When my husband and I went on our honeymoon to Iceland, I specifically created a blog that I decided I would maintain and update the more we travel. It's been the personal ties to specific European countries that have drawn me to specific aspects of travel writing; having cousins, aunts, and uncles in Ireland - and dual American-Irish citizenship - means I have a connection that others might not. Having been speaking (albeit ungrammatical) German for 27 years means I have a linguistic backup in Europe. (And it means that I'm not dismissed as an American who can't speak another language. )
I gravitate towards personal accounts of travel writing; I'm interested in what people have seen, what they've eaten, the people they talk to, and the historical and geographical background of a country. In broader terms, I'm interested in cultural, historical, culinary, religious, and musical aspects of travel writing, both in terms of reading and experience. And while nature isn't something in which I had been interested previously, landscapes that are different from what I'm used to hold an interest.
But my interest in nature is a recently developed one, the result of a trip to Iceland. The first picture is ofhttp://www.thingvellir.is/english.aspx Laufskálavarða, a lava ridge located between the Hólmsá and Skálmá rivers, close to the road north of Álftaver. All travelers tossing the desert of Mýrdalssandur for the first time were to pile stones to make a cairn, which would bring them good fortune on their journey. The second picture is taken at Logberg ("the law rock") at Thingvellir National Park; during the Icelandic Commonwealth period (930-1262 CE), this was the hub of the Althing meeting.