I am a writer.

Today I officially “claim” that sentence as my own. Sure, in years past I could have said that I write for a living (in a public relations capacity) but I never claimed the “writer” label, instead using it to describe my dream of one day becoming one. The pipe dream that I could cling to in the hopes that one day it would come true.

Funny it took a hurricane, nay a super storm, some may even say the perfect storm to bring it to fruition.

Enter Sandy.

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What a Difference a Year Makes

A little over a year ago, an event occurred that changed my life. Or at least it changed my writing life.

The New York Times Travel Show, the veritable institution of journalism excellence brought together the best and the brightest from the travel industry to share with commoners (like myself) and members of the travel media (of which I aspire to belong). Sitting in the travel media sessions, learning about cultivating your persona (or brand) online, I realized that my first foray into blogging didn’t really seem to have a strong purpose and direction. Sure, it was fun to write stories about my life in NYC, but it was a bit insular and only of interest to its participants (but dang, it was funny).

Sitting in the basement of the Javits Center, listening to noted travel bloggers and writers talking about their websites and online “presence”, I was inspired to begin anew. This time, focusing on my love of travel and writing. It seemed easy enough. Thanks to WordPress and some creativity I had a place to begin. Or so I thought.

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Confessions of a Slacker

I can’t believe it’s December 9th and I’ve gone eight days without a single blog entry.

It could be due to the lack of a 30 Day challenge or the immense amount of work on my plate, but I find I’ve missed it. A lot. And to add to it, reading “Truth & Beauty” by Ann Patchett, which is all about writing and relationships, I feel admiration for the writers who are devoted to their craft and simultaneous guilt for not making it a priority.

I miss the feeling of sitting in front of my computer, the cool glow of a blank Word document staring at me waiting for inspiration to strike or writing until it does. So instead, I’m on my iPhone attempting to use the WordPress app as NJ Transit hurtles us towards Red Bank. It while it may not be much, it’s a start. And sometimes the smallest endeavor is all it takes to be the start of something bigger.

So here’s to the exercise and the creativity that follows…

The End…Or the Beginning?

Today is the last day of the 30 Days of Indie Travel Project and I find myself sitting here reflecting on what I’ve accomplished this November. I’ve certainly been prolific (30 posts in a month compared with my average of two), but some pretty stellar things happened along the way. I fell in love with writing again, got out of my endless editing loop, strengthened my writing/blogging voice and, most importantly, accomplished a goal that I intentionally set…in writing (something I’m told is rare – thanks Dave Ramsey).

And while it will make me sad that a BootsNAll prompt will not arrive tomorrow, I’ll take with me the experience, the bloggers I’ve met along the way and create my own system to keep writing and telling stories.

So here goes, for the last time…

Day 30: 2012 Ticket

Where are you going in 2012?  Why is that place great for indie travelers?  

The British Virgin Islands.

This is my first BIG adventure of 2012. Not only will it be my first trip to the Caribbean, but I’m going with friends, who are avid sailors and have rented a catamaran to take us through the islands. Just thinking about it, the trade winds blowing through my hair with nothing but the jeweled tones of the sea shimmering underneath my feet, makes me want to pack my bag tomorrow and camp out at JFK until they assign a gate number.

This is the ultimate indie experience, or at least it is to me. Off the beaten path, charting our own course — the metaphors of travel are literally built-in to the trip and are in and of themselves the activities we will pursue. I’ve yet to buy a Lonely Planet to see what awaits me. I know December will be jam-packed with research, planning and day-dreaming — something I haven’t done in a long while, and can’t wait to start.

And before I know it, there I’ll be, Moleskine and pen in hand, taking in the sights, sounds and faces around me. Just think of the stories waiting to be told…can’t hardly wait.

For the Logophile in All of Us

Today’s prompt is the ultimate exercise in brevity so I find my usual introductory comment doesn’t really apply (although it’s killing me just a little bit).

Day 29: One Word

What does travel mean to you in one word?

won•der \ˈwən-dər\

Defined? A feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.

This is the gift that travel gives all of us. A sense of wonder at this beautiful, enormous and diverse world we live in. A world of infinite possibility. Whether the site of the Duomo in Florence takes our breath away or aura borealis makes us ooh and ahh while we tug on someone’s sleeve, like a child watching fireworks on the 4th of July. It’s getting lost in the world, open to the experiences, the people we encounter, the memories we make and the indelible impressions it imprints on our souls. It’s this feeling we crave and leaves us daydreaming of the next destination just beyond the horizon.