I’m not braggy by nature, but let me tell you about some things I’ve done that I’m proud of. It will give you an idea of who I am.
Thanks to a series of columns I wrote for AOL, I got to interview Commander Hadfield, the Canadian astronaut who used social media to make the world fall in love with space again. It was a standing room only crowd and the best day ever.
(Also, two astronauts have responded to me on Twitter FROM SPACE.)
For my 50th birthday, I played a barn burner rock and roll show with my band The Castaways, for our CD release party. I’m not allowed to say I have stage fright anymore.
While working with a Vashon Island based tour company on their content and social media plan, I went to Antarctica. I get seasick and I don’t like boats, but this… I was changed.
I’ve won two Solas Best Travel Writing Awards, one for a story I wrote about Antarctica, one for a story about trekking in the Himalayas. I wrote them both for this blog, originally, and they’ve both since been published elsewhere.
Given the choice, I would write about travel full time. But I need to make a living. So I also do a lot of work on the technical side of the web — UX, documentation, strategy… It’s made me fearless when confronted with new technologies and yes, my site works beautifully on mobile, though sometimes, I break it while trying to do new things. Oops.
In 2008, (I THINK it was 2008) I spoke about travel blogging at the mega media conference SxSW. This stuff’s everywhere now, and I’m not a “I got here first” competitor, but, heh, I got here first: I started blogging in 1997. I’ve done a bunch of speaking gigs since them, but I started with the big dogs. It. Was. Terrifying.
I’ve worked on guidebooks for Thomas Cook (Hawaii, British Columbia) and while I know I did good work, I never want to do it again. Guidebook writers are a special creature and I’m not one of them.
My reputation as a travel writer comes mostly from his blog. It’s been the source of all good things in my career. I’ve picked up all kinds of work because editors somehow found this blog, liked what I wrote and wanted me to write for them.
Because I love good writing and words used well, I really enjoy teaching people how to use the (sometimes) technical tools to get that stuff out into the world. I’ve been teaching at conferences for about seven years now and while I love to talk about what I do, I prefer to teach others how to do it. I got an email recently from a student I taught three years ago; he wanted me to see his work. I love that.
The educational, diplomatic, political, and historical nature of traveling drives me. I do not think you can be out in the world without questioning your prejudices, challenging your mind (and sometimes your body), and returning with a bright world view. For me, travel brings you to that magical scene in the Wizard of Oz over and over and over again when Dorothy awakens and the world is in color.
Get in touch.
Email me at pam (at) nerdseyeview (dot) com. And hey, I’m on Twitter – nerdseyeview, of course.
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