Summer Update: The Non-Traveling Traveler

by Britta on October 12, 2010

in Alaska Escapades,The Cookbook Project

I realize this is in fact a travel blog, but since I haven’t been much of a traveler lately, it’s just going to be about life, which, since life is a journey, is a travel story anyway. Also, a few people have asked me about my next post, and, to be honest, I was surprised that anyone cared. I thought this was just an indulgence of mine, but as it turns out, people actually read it! Thanks to all of you;  I’m honored and humbled—and writing my next post RIGHT NOW!

Turnagain Arm

Turnagain Arm on a rare sunny day

A roundup:

Passage grew. Family visited. I worked. Summer slipped by.

The details:

I think I was waiting for summer all summer and then suddenly, it was fall. I missed it. Or summer missed us. Alaska, that is. It was beautiful when I arrived back here at the end of May, and still beautiful in early June. A couple of days of sun here and there after that, but from mid-July onward, it rained. Some days it poured. We didn’t see the sun again until late August, and then only for a couple of days before it became fall. Which happened over the weekend. It was sunny for a while at the beginning of fall, which I think Mother Nature owed us, but sunny with a temperature drop. Now there is a distinct snow line on the mountains, and it’s getting lower every day.

With the new family addition this summer, we had a lot of visitors. And, everyone who came to visit Passage stayed with me. It was like the first year I lived in Hawaii: Hotel Britta. I didn’t get as much work done when they were here, though to be fair, I didn’t get as much work done once Passage was born, either. (They also accused me of monopolizing all of the Passage time—can you believe it?!)

A Curious Passage

A Curious Passage

Passage is now four months old. He has just discovered his hands. He’s smiling and rolling over and cooing regularly. He was my charge for the month of September, and, not surprisingly, I really enjoyed my nanny job. We played together, we went on walks, we visited Mommy at lunch, we read books and told stories. I also changed poopy diapers, wiped off spit-up, and listened to ear-piercing screams when I waited a second too long to heat the milk. Most days, the rocking chair put me to sleep, not him. But, bodily fluids aside, I wouldn’t have traded my time with Passage—I’ll still be on fairly often this winter, too—but I also wouldn’t trade my auntie status, either. No spit up to clean once I get home…

What I do have to clean when I get home is a sink full of dishes. It’s ironic: I’ve never really considered myself domestic, and yet what I’m finding joy in these days is decidedly that. In addition to my time with Passage, I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the kitchen, experimenting and creating. One of the things I really missed when I was traveling was the ability to spend the evening inventing a meal. I ate out often, sampling lots of different forms of local and ethnic cuisine, but that wasn’t always the best option for the budget when on a long trip. So, when I cooked for myself, I usually went with the old travelers’ standby of pasta, leaving behind half-empty (or half-full?) jars of marinara sauce on the free shelf in the hostel fridge when I moved on.

pasta

Pasta: A Variation

Not being able to cook left me feeling unhealthy and disconnected from myself. Which then gave rise to my latest idea (I swear, anyone else sitting in the little Norwegian cafe when I thought of it probably saw the cartoon light bulb go on over my head): a cookbook for travelers. Not a cookbook of recipes I discovered on my travels—there are plenty of those—but a cookbook that travelers can take with them and use when they find themselves stuck in an out of the way hostel, or in a bare-cupboards vacation rental, or when they’d rather spend their money on another night of accommodation instead of a restaurant meal.

I’ve been combing through all of my cookbooks for good starter recipes that I can modify and change according to my cooking traveler’s criteria, and I’ve been cooking my resultant recipe creations, throwing some out and dancing around the kitchen over others. I’m putting together an ebook, and maybe a real book later, and I’ll be posting about my progress here.

I’ve also been working on my freelance web design business as well. Working on clients’ websites, and working on making an actual business out of it, one that provides me with my whole income. It is my goal in life to never have a real job again. Ever. The thought of working in a cubicle again gives me a rash. So I’ve been spending my time marketing and trying to get referrals and writing blog posts and articles and newsletters in an effort to up my client intake. I sent out a direct mailer, and I even did a round of cold-calling (well, technically it was warm calling, since I was calling the people I had direct-mailed, but it felt like cold-calling), which resulted in a few inquiries but not much else. Clearly, cold-calling is not the wave of the future.

So, an update on my life. Exciting, yes? I’ll be posting again soon about my cookbook (I’m really excited about this project—can you tell!) and I’ll continue to post these life-as-travel updates.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bethany October 12, 2010 at 10:41 pm

BRITTA! I love your writing!!! So…. i want to pow wow with you about the details and your rates to put together a professional web site for my tattoo business…. I definitely need one! :) you should have my email now, or you can call me.

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Pat Perry October 12, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Nice update – thanks – I needed a fix! We had a guest here this week at the B&B, a social worker transferring to Alaska. She shared some about her life – 42 and an adovate for diabetes – she has type one and very good at monitoring herself. Possible avenue for you, she wrote a travel book or booklet for “Lonely Planet” geared to diabetic travelers. I thought immediately about your and your venture – “Lonely Planet” might be a publishing means for you to consider. Should you need to contact her for connections or editor leads – we could make that happen. Just a thought…..

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