The Journey Begins

I’m keeping the prompted title that WordPress gifted to me on this first post. I can’t think of a better one. “The Journey Begins.” Journey, as a noun, is defined as an act of going from one place to another. Because that is exactly what this blog is intended to be about. Traveling. Hence, Natalie’s Travels.

Obviously: my name is Natalie. That’s all you need to now for now. I am currently 31 and have a passion for traveling and exploration. (Cue Bilbo Baggins dashing out of Bag End. I’m going on an adventure!) I reside an hour or so north of San Francisco, in the heart of California’s wine country. I’d get more specific; but if I told you, I’d have to make you disappear. State secrets and all that. Shhh.

Cue the silence. Crickets. Throw in a clear night sky with twinkling stars, then you and I sitting on a large blanket, gazing up at the heavens. We’re talking about ways and means and far off places and, maybe, we’re sipping on mugs of tea.

“Since you live in wine country, why not write about something wine related?” You wonder aloud. An owl flies overhead and we pause mid-conversation to watch.

Fair question. The answer? Wine related topics will definitely merit the occasional mention. I mean, come on. I live in wine country. But this blog will also be about non-wine adventures I’ve had, near and far. People I’ve met. Places I’ve explored. That kind of thing. I want you to experience things the way I did. Live vicariously. Get your own ideas of places to go. Enjoy my adventures as much as I did, and then go have your own!

When I was little, my parents would always take my sister and I on their anniversary vacations with them. My dad would take my sister and I camping, too. Road trips, holiday trips. And it was all so glorious and gave me a thirst to see more more more! I had to get out there and experience life.

You know what also fueled my wanderlust? Reading about all these cool places in my history and geography books. Places like Stonehenge, the Eiffel Tower, Mount Rushmore, and the pyramids at Giza. (Spoiler alert: I’ve been to three of those places. They were glorious.)

That’s part of the reason I’ve started this blog: I love to travel and…drum roll…I love to write. When I was a kid, I would always be writing little stories and plays and such. But it was reading the Harry Potter series that really made me want to go for more than the just the little stuff. I wanted to be a writer. I had to. I felt it in my blood. Thanks for giving me that thirst, JK Rowling.

Long story short, I began writing Harry Potter fanfiction, way back in 2003. Then I branched out into other fandoms and, eventually, original fiction. But that didn’t pan out (maybe in the future). So, I thought: let’s switch genres. I like reading travelogues. Bill Bryson never fails to elicit a laugh. Cheryl Strayed made me want to hike a freaking mountain. If those two can do it, why can’t I?

Dude, I mean… I like to travel. I like to write. Why not combine the two?

And there we have it.

Natalie.

IMG_7977(Photo taken by yours truly, at the Marin Headlands.)

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