Announcing a Guest Blog Series: Travel Memories!

“We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world…”

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the above words long ago, and while I cheered at Treasure Island as a kid and chilled reading Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as a teenager, it’s now as an adult that I reflect most upon that single statement among all the works of the celebrated author.

RLS and me.  You can just  tell  how much we have in common.
RLS and me. You can just tell how much we have in common.

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been to Cairo, Egypt or Kokomo, Indiana (I’ve been to both).  Whether you’ve tasted the finest foie gras in Paris or your Grampa’s famous secret-recipe fudge (both for me again).  Whether you’ve camped at the base of Mount Everest or in a tent in your backyard (okay, I’ve only done the backyard on that one).

At the Pyramids near Cairo.  At the lake near Kokomo.
At the Pyramids near Cairo. At the lake near Kokomo.

It doesn’t matter because – we are all travelers.  And our shared travel experience, of course, is called life.

A mixture of little adventures, funny foibles, mundane moments, tragedies and joys – it’s those life-travel adventures between me and my daughter Lulu that serve as the essence of my upcoming book, Because I’m Small Now and You Love Me.  I believe it will be richly relatable and one that we can all appreciate.

Buy my book please!
Buy my book please!

So! In the spirit of celebrating travel, I am delighted to announce my new Guest Blog Series:  Travel Memories!

Starting in February, I will be featuring essays from authors, bloggers, editors, and other amazing fellow travelers in this adventure called life.

I already have commitments from dear friends and a couple of accomplished authors like Harper Collins mystery writer Laurence O’Bryan (click here to check out his latest book) and Scribner’s international thriller writer – and veteran CNN anchor – Kitty Pilgrim (here’s her latest offering).  And it’s not too late for you!

I would love to receive an essay from you about a travel memory you may have.  Funny or poignant; from an exotic locale or the municipal pool; with photos or not.  Please email me at GinaLondon@gmail.com with your story of 500 words or fewer.  I can’t commit to posting every one, but I will commit to writing back to everyone who sends an honest, heartfelt submission.

Lulu and me in the field

Buon viaggio fellow travelers!

Grazie!

Gina

P.S. please email me asap with your travel memory. I look forward to reading and sharing!

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Yes! It’s a Thankful at Thanksgiving Time Post!

All righty, fellow Americans, it’s that time of year again to gather around the table to give thanks.

Even if you’re not American, you’ve probably heard of it:  It’s our fun-and-family-filled (do these two really co-exist?) annual event in which we all eat a little too much and perhaps drink a little too much:  Thanksgiving!

Tradition has it, it started waaay back in the 1600’s when the Pilgrims gathered in Plymouth, Massachusetts; thankful for a bountiful harvest. But for us,  when the dozens of us – Mom, Dad, Grannie, Grampa and assorted aunts, uncles and cousins arrived at Aunt Neatie and Uncle Dick’s house in Fish Lake, Indiana – we thought less about any harvest and more about eating, playing and, of course, football.

Here’s Aunt Neatie and Uncle Dick serving up the turkey at a family Thanksgiving… 😉

But, in the spirit of Thursday’s holiday and because it’s the obvious hook for this week’s blog, I am hereby going to tell you a few of the many things I am thankful for.

First, the most obvious: Family.  They say you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your family.  Maybe they also say something about your nose, but that’s gross.  Anyway, I am so grateful for my family. I have a mom and step-dad who have steadfastly loved and supported me over the years. We haven’t agreed on everything – but we always have kept the concept of “unconditional love” in the forefront.

Here’s our little family – before Lulu when we lived in Egypt.

My sister Andrea and my brothers Brad and Jayson all get along.  We have completely different lives and we don’t talk every day. But I know that if I ever were in dire need, they’d do whatever they could.  I’m confident they are assured of the same from me.

My husband, Scotty, is my best friend and partner.  In our seven years together, we have lived in Denver, Cairo, Seattle, Paris, Baltimore and Tuscany.  That’s more than some couples do in a lifetime!  And, of course, there’s Lulu.  I never knew what I was missing all those years before she came along.  What a joy. Frustrations too, but mostly, mostly joys.

I’m thankful for family

Health.  Second, or maybe even tops on the list, has to be health. You can have everything, but without your health to enjoy it…  this year has been a trying one for too many of my friends.. battling illnesses or dealing with the fallout from the struggles of family members.

Humor.  That’s it. The third and final thing I’ll list here today, next to health, is humor. The number one thing I believe your must have to fully experience well-being.  I don’t mean the ability to tell a great knock-knock-joke or leave ‘em crying at a comedy club; but the grace to find a silver lining or funny moment in the midst of despair.

Life’s short.  Soon we’ll be back around the sun again and looking inward at yet another Thanksgiving time.  Maybe we’ll have remembered to spend more of the trip being thankful the rest of the year too!

Okay, now who’s going to be in the big football match-up this year?

(Not that I’ll be watching from here in Tuscany, mind you!)

But happy Thanksgiving y’all and hug your family!

Ciao!

P.S. We’ve all got something to be thankful for, right? Share it!