For all of you podcast lovers out there like myself, you’ve got to listen to Elizabeth Gilbert’s Magic Lessons. The author of Eat, Pray, Love is the host of this podcast series, where she helps aspiring artists all over the world who are struggling creatively.
Every episode brings a different person who feels stuck. They seek Gilbert’s guidance and she talks them through their issue. She encourages her guests to face their fears, conquer their doubts, and get their project out there, whatever it may be. She shares her gentle wisdom, expertise on the writing world, and beliefs on living boldly, and brings in her friends to help the individuals as well. Special guests have included Humans of New York founder Brandon Stanton, comedian Michael Ian Black, author and life coach Martha Beck, and one of my favorite people at the moment, Glennon Doyle Melton.
On June 7th, one of my best friends/travel partner forever Rachel and I will be leaving for a world trip! First stop: DUBLIN, a city I have loved for a long time.
We are beyond excited to be making one of our biggest dreams come true. We both feel so thankful to have received such support and enthusiasm from our family, friends and colleagues. Despite how tough it is to leave everything familiar behind, we’ve known since studying abroad together in college that long-term travel is something we feel called to do.
Part of the research I’ve been doing for this trip has been listening to and taking notes on travel podcasts. Recently, I decided to search for podcasts on one of my role models Jedidiah Jenkins (who I’ve written about before). To me, Jenkins is the perfect intersection of traveling and writing, from his adventurous bike trip to Patagonia to his uplifting and eloquent Instagram posts.
Not only did I find an amazing podcast episode of Jenkins sharing travel advice, I also was lucky enough to discover Branden Harvey.
The other day I was reading through the final essay I wrote for my Travel Writing class during my semester in Rome back in college; we were assigned it just a week or so before all of us left Europe behind to travel back to America. The essay was supposed to capture our emotions and thoughts as this huge part of our lives came to an end and also chronicle how we felt we had changed. In my intro paragraph to the essay, I wrote:
“I have prepared myself a cup of hot chamomile tea and opened my Macbook Pro, a device that suddenly seems too shiny, too bright, too high tech in this traditional, small Italian kitchen. This was how I felt as soon as I stepped off the plane delivering me to Rome, Italy: a fast-talking American girl from the city with a love for learning and travel, limited patience, and an extremely heavy carry-on.”
Four years later and I can say that this description still rings true for how I felt when Rachel and I landed in Zurich – our round two abroad experience, this time as adults.
Lately, I’ve been really into submitting as much of my written work as I can to as many online publications possible. Ever since I was fortunate enough to have a travel piece published in the beginning of September (MANY thanks again to the Philadelphia Inquirer for the feature), I’ve learned a seemingly obvious lesson: your work won’t go anywhere if it doesn’t leave your desktop. And even if you don’t hear anything but radio silence or get a full on rejection email, at least you’ll know you put yourself and your words out there.
I recently submitted a poem I wrote to an online magazine whose next issue theme was “Clarify.” I, too confidently, also included an intense, detailed cover letter to the publication dictating why my piece was “perfect for your theme, Clarity.”