An interview with Geraldine: “The Everywhereist”

Not too long ago, I was reading Forbes.com and came across their 2011 Top 100 Websites For Women. It was on this list that I discovered a gem of a blog: “The Everywhereist.”  The Everywhereist is written by Geraldine, a former copywriter that now explores the world alongside her husband as he travels (a lot) for work.

The Everywhereist Geraldine and Rand Fishkin - San Francisco

Geraldine’s blog is packed full of impeccable tourist attraction and restaurant reviews, entertaining anecdotes from her travel mishaps, and an always honest and oftentimes wildly amusing look into her life.

“…even a miserable travel experience can make a great story. When things go awry, I remind myself, “This will be funny … eventually.” And I’ve found that most things are.”

The Everywhereist GeraldineI was thrilled when Geraldine accepted my request to participate in an e-mail interview.  Read on as we discuss her life prior to The Everywhereist, her most memorable travel experience, and what we can all learn from her journeys.

Andrea:  I’ve read that you were a copywriter prior to starting The Everywhereist. How would you describe your day-to-day life and career prior to your blog?

Geraldine:  I actually had a remarkably sweet gig before I was laid-off. I was a content creator at a game company, and I worked on everything from preschool toys to trivia board games. I’m lucky to live in Seattle, where corporate culture is incredibly relaxed in a lot of offices. We wore jeans, played games (it was competitive research!), and basically had loads of fun every day.

Andrea:  What prompted you to travel around the globe?

Geraldine:  I didn’t have the revelation that so many people do – that they needed to get out of their cubicle, immediately. I really and truly liked my job. Heck, I didn’t even have a cubicle. But after I was laid-off, I really didn’t have anything better to do, and when my husband invited me along on one of his work trips, I jumped at the chance. It seemed a favorable alternative to sitting at home and watching reality TV (which has its merits, I’ll admit).

The Everywhereist Geraldine and Rand Fishkin

Andrea:  In your blog, you share it all: The good and the bad moments. What is your most memorable travel experience?

Geraldine:  I’d prefer to wait until the statute of limitations has expired. I kid! I kid! Apparently the statute of limitations never expires for that sort of thing.

In all seriousness, I truly enjoyed visiting Roosevelt Island just off of Manhattan. I found the place entirely by accident. I was peering at a map, and saw that there was some sort of sky-tram that would take me there (Remember the old Universal Studios theme park ride, “Kongfrontation”? Well, the ride was based on that tram). I hopped on the tram, saw some truly amazing views of the city, and then found myself on an island between Manhattan and Queens.

Tip of Roosevelt Island and Manhattan

It was totally remote – I stood in a field full of weeds and bramble and grass, listened to crickets – and yet, just across the water was the Upper West Side.

View of Manhattan from Roosevelt Island

I could still hear the cabs honking from the city. It was truly incredible.

Andrea:  How has international travel changed you?

Geraldine:  My family is quite international. I’m the only one in my immediate family born in the U.S., and my mom moved to America just a few months before I was born. I grew up speaking Italian in my home (my mother’s parents lived here for many years, but never learned English). My dad lives in Germany and has for most of my life, and I have a half-brother who’s English. So when I started traveling internationally, I actually got to feel closer to my family members. I saw the village in Italy where my grandparents were from; I got to wander the streets of Rome, where my mom grew up; and I see my dad every time I go to Germany. Suddenly, I knew where they were coming from – both literally and figuratively.

Andrea:  What is the most important lesson you’ve learned from your travels?

Geraldine:  That even a miserable travel experience can make a great story. When things go awry, I remind myself, “This will be funny … eventually.” And I’ve found that most things are. Lost luggage, stolen bags, con-artist cab drivers – I’ve laughed at all of these mishaps. I just needed a little time before I was able to.

The Everywhereist Geraldine - II

If you have not yet visited “The Everywhereist,” I encourage you to do so, but be prepared to get lost in her writing. Geraldine’s posts are addictive. There’s a reason she was featured in Time’s “Best Blogs of 2011.” You may also end up with a sudden urge to travel…everywhere. Reading about her experiences is unbelievably inspiring.

***

“Stories that Inspire” highlights extraordinary people living inspiring lives. If you or someone you know has an inspiring story to share, submit it for consideration to andrea@imwaytoobusy.com or send me a “tweet” @imwaytoobusy. I’d love to hear your story!

 
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