Happy 40th Birthday

Travel. It is my passion of passions. (Besides my passion for dogs, but that is a completely different blog). I think my love of exploring the world began when I was “knee-high to a grasshopper”, exploring the wooded wonders of the Appalachian mountains where I grew up. Never content to sit at home, I was out and about by any means possible, whether that meant on foot, my pony, bicycle or dirt bike. As I crossed that threshold into my teens, my world became bigger, with more thrills and dares to take.  Boyfriends with fast cars or, better yet, motorcycles were coveted. (Used? Maybe.) I occasionally even resorted to using my thumb as a way to oppose my parents and meet my transportation needs.

With independence came true wanderlust, and now in my filthy’s (uh, fifties), I’ve had the good fortune to experience many countries around the world. I’ve got album upon album of the trips I’ve taken, the photographs carefully culled and filed within a week upon return. Along with pictures, I have journaled most of these trips, the good, the not-so-good, and even the ugly, and have been pouring through these for inspiration for a travel piece I’m working on.

So I’ve decided that I have enough fuel to fill my blog for awhile, and am going to start posting some of these trips here on JulesRules. I’d love you to comment on my blog, letting me know the places you have enjoyed, your experiences, questions, just whatever comes to mind. So go grab a latte, tea or glass of wine, sit back, and lets hit the road! I hope you enjoy the trip!

This first segment of Hit the Road is a collection of totally random shots that have little connection, they are a basic “introduction” for you.

Hitting the road w/ my BFF- age 12

Rome, age 15

Italy was my first international destination. I was with the Harlan Musettes, an all-girl singing group that won GOLD in the International Choral Festival. We sang for the Pope. I quickly realized that group travel was NOT my bag. Here I’m plotting how the hell to break away and enjoy the boys and some Italian vino.

Ticket to Ride

Remember when passports and driver’s licences looked like mug shots?

 Here I’m thumbing a ride on the Pan American Highway after we had to ditch the horses near Banos, Ecuador.

Galapagos Islands 1995

  This was my first skydive jump, in Wanaka, New Zealand, one of THE most beautiful places on earth!

Machu Picchu, Peru 1996

Sailing with Chance

Some of you know that  I have recently begun writing a children’s book. This is new to me, as the focus of my writing in the past has been centered around travel–travel memoirs, product reviews, how-to’s and the like.  I am editor of the European Travel Site over at Bellaonline.com and also contribute to a couple of other online sites.  I actually have a VERY rough draft for my crazy, off-the-wall travel memoir stuffed under my bed. I just lost interest.

You may also know that recently, well, about 6 months ago, I became a foster failure and adopted a new doggy-member into our family, making a total of 3 dogs.   Our home has been so full of life these past months, and Chance has brought new life to my oldest dog, Kismet, who, at almost 13 is slowing down a bit.  It is heartwarming to have 3 dogs cuddling on the couch with me, running to the door upon my arrival (even if I’ve just gone to the mailbox), and yes, sharing the bed with HK and me. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So a while back, I started toying with the idea of incorporating Chance into my children’s book.  Originally, my main character was Willy and the Boyz, but, after tossing that around in my head, I figured kids might not be able to relate to a napkin holder too well. Kinda hard to warm up to, ya know?

But Chance, now he’s another story altogether. He’s already got the personality, I just give it a voice.  And it’s fun! Children’s books are a completely different genre for me, especially since I never had kids.  I’ve been spending lots of time in book stores and at the library, getting a feel for wha’t’s popular. I think the main thing is that I’m feeling enthusiastic about this new project. So we’ll see where this goes. Wish me luck, and I’ll keep you posted.