"You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings." Elizabeth Gilbert
Yes, I have read the book that has inspired many to promptly drop everything and travel, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I have also seen the movie version of the book multiple times. It is naturally my go to travel inspiration story. So, it was inevitable I would one day find myself in Southeastern Asia.
I am less on a quest to literally eat, pray or love and more on a quest to discover, learn, grow, and make connections with others. For the next few months I will be living in Thailand, passionately pursuing the nomad writer life with other writers at the Content Castle. I will be collaborating, growing my craft, making friendships, and experiencing a new culture in an intensive writer's boot camp retreat.
I have been writing about travel full time for almost two years. While I have been passionate about travelling most of my life. Writing professionally about my travel experiences is new to me. For ten years I planned and led youth groups on pilgrimage to France, Spain, Maine, Scotland and Alaska. Personally I have travelled to three continents, seventeen countries, and thirty-three US states.
When I need inspiration for how to navigate this nomad writer's life, I look to other travel writers. These women, whose passion for travel and honest sharing of their journey have led me to Thailand:
@lesleyannemurphy I initially started following Lesley because I am a Bachelor Nation fan but I have stayed because she is a jewel among travel bloggers and photographers. I have become captivated by her honesty, enthusiastic spirit, community outreach and storytelling.
@jess_ismore I love that Jess never fails to respond when you reach out to her. She is adventurous and daring. She inspires me to take chances when I travel.
.@glographics I recently started following Glo on Instagram and I have already learned so much about how to make this writer life marketable.I love her willingness to teach us, newbies, her charismatic personality is contagious and I haven't even met her yet.
@whereintheworldisnina Nina was my inspiration for trying to live this nomad writer's life. In fact, she is an alum of Content Castle and how I heard about this opportunity. Thank you Nina! I just spent two days in Bangkok using one of Nina's Thailand guides. She has written about so many places and offers great tips on working abroad and living your best life as a writer.
Will I have any pivotal Eat, Pray, Love moments in Thailand? I'm sure I will eat some pretty tasty culinary specialities. And I've already met my" Ketut;"his name is Uncle Odie. Uncle Odie was my tour guide in Bangkok. My tour of the Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha turned out to be a private tour because no one else reserved him at the same time. So, Uncle Odie took extra care chronicling the history of Thailand and sharing stories about this country's kings and Buddha. Uncle Odie is also a farmer who lives in a three-story tree house that he built in the forest's in the lush countryside North of Bangkok. He grows crops and has lots of chickens. Uncle Odie shared words of wisdom from his Buddhist teachings. He told me that if I am slow and steady in the pursuit of my dreams, I will achieve them.
He said, "Gina keep smiling because you have such bright smile, it bring people to you heart and then you have many friends here in Thailand."
Im looking forward to living in Thailand and being a part of the Content Castle writing community.