My narcissistic mother took me to Europe when I was eleven years old. Living in Italy for three years offered me an expansive vision of who I might be as citizen of the world and it transformed my life. I returned to America older than my years, dreaming of a lifetime of travel: a career as an interpreter for the UN or even a position in the foreign service... a player on the international scene.
Naturally, my life evolved into something different than I had imagined; I took a long detour from college, I married and became a mother at the tender age of 19 before I got close to my dreams… After many years of suburban living, of school field trips and baking brownies, I eventually resumed my education in the late 70's, commuting to San Francisco to get a degree in Creative Writing, a Masters in Comparative Literature, and a certificate to teach English Composition. As a college teacher in San Francisco (and later in northern New Mexico) I found my authentic self. I had the chance to have my voice heard and to feel the excitement of opening doors to young college students.
I also began to travel in the 70’s and beyond, and as I traveled I chronicled my adventures in numerous journals. I began by going to Europe – England, France, Italy, Spain, Germany. I would eventually leave the stability of my marriage and pursue travel to such remarkable places as Burma, China, Guatemala, Cambodia, India, Bhutan, Kenya, Costa Rica, Cuba, and the Galapagos. All these journeys drove me to write, so that I might understand not only other cultures, but myself as an adventurer. As I got older I realized that I needed to create something larger from these experiences and fragmentary scribblings. Thus, my memoir Bowing to Elephants, was born. Over two years in the crafting and revising, this recording of my travels is one of my proudest achievements, right up there with my children and grandchildren.
The principal loves of my life are these: my family, both human and animal, friends, my grandmother’s piano, beautiful paintings, meditation, great music, lovingly created food, books, writing … and of course – travel. I believe my aspiration has always been to understand how we humans learn about ourselves in alien and exotic landscapes, how we find communion with our fellow beings, develop some sort of spiritual path, and how we heal ourselves from childhood wounds by becoming part of the larger world.