I always wanted to live in a well-traveled family. When I was younger, friends would go on amazing vacations: Hawaii for surfing one year, Disneyland for the rides for winter break, and Killington for skiing. I didn’t grow up like that, but I have made an attempt at traveling as an adult. My favorite destinations have turned out to be the ones that connect with my love of history and literature.
When I visit a place with historical or literary significance, it gives me a greater sense of understanding, and I always come home with ideas for stories. When I sat in Robert Frost’s living room, it felt like his poetry made more sense to me. When I met the four dozen cats living at Ernest Hemingway’s Key West house, I understood the draw that kept Hemingway there and the vibrant energy of the town itself. And when I stood on the North Bridge in Concord, where the “shot heard around the world” was fired, I felt more connected to my country and to my history as an American.
Writing is a Solitary Profession
As writers, we understand that ours is a solitary profession. We accept that we create alone. We know that our coffee pots and our cats are oftentimes our only companions while we compose. But we also recognize that when we write, we write about people, about the human condition, and about human nature. We write about the conflicts we experience: within ourselves, with nature, with our world, and with each other. We know that we must understand people and the world to be able to write about it. We may write alone, but we live with others.
So, What is Coming?
In the coming months, I would like to share some of my recent literary and historical travels with you. Just before the pandemic, I visited Earnest Hemingway’s house in Key West. This summer, I visited the homes of Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau in Concord. And before that, I sat in Robert Frost’s living room, where he wrote “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”.
My historical tours have taken me along the northern path of all five Great Lakes, where we got to stop at the very point where my great-great-great-great grandfather entered the United States and never returned to Canada. I got to visit the wonders of the west, including: Highway 66, the Grand Canyon, and the Joshua Trees. These places helped me to make connections between human development, the changing landscapes, and the consistencies of the human condition.
Creative people tend to be curious people. I hope you enjoy the stories to come in the new year. And I hope you are able to carve out a little time to leave your desk now and then and observe the world up close.
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