About Me

I was born in East Middlebury, Vermont as the ’70s fizzled and died.

I spent my early childhood wandering in the woods behind our house and exploring things low to the ground–worms, flowers, sandboxes.  After my parents’ divorce I split time in Vermont and Massachusetts.  As I grew, I developed a passion for photography (and, apparently, the racing sheet) …

…and travel.

I was an exchange student in Kenya for part of my junior year in high school and studied in Chile in college, traveling the length of the country and up into Peru (that’s Machu Picchu above).  Any excuse to travel, I went to Mexico with a family I babysat for, visited my high school boyfriend at his home in Japan (where I found myself hospitalized for a kidney infection after three days of 105 degree fever delirium), and searched for ways to incorporate travel into my future career.

In college, I worked for Let’s Go Travel Guides, contributing writing and editing to books on Mexico, Central America, Spain, Chile, and Australia.

And everywhere I went, I took pictures.  I also developed a love of writing, and declared after college that I wanted three things out of life: to write, to travel, and to make enough money to survive comfortably.  In each of my jobs, I’ve been able to have two out of three.  When I took a job at NPR after college I was able to write (radio scripts) and make enough money to have an apartment and eat out occasionally.  And when I quit to write one more travel guide (Australia) and then backpack around Southeast Asia, I was writing and traveling, but making no money.

So.  Back to public radio.  I spent three years in Los Angeles, directing the public radio program Marketplace, and doing the long distance thing with a Welsh guy I had met backpacking in Thailand.

To make a long story short, in 2007 I moved back to Vermont to host a new public radio show on VPR. That Welsh guy, Adrian, became my husband, and he moved to Vermont too.

We got a dog, Ollie, who is quite possibly the most spoiled and doted upon dog in the history of North America.

And we bought a house in the small Addison County town of Monkton. And so here I am.  I feel like I’ve come full circle, moving back to my childhood home, a state I never thought I’d live in as an adult.  And I’m happy.  But that happiness still comes with some soul searching and some old desires that are hard to let go of.  I’ve still got two out of three: enough money to survive and the opportunity to write for a living.  But what about travel?  What about wanderlust and the ability to pack up and move to a new city, a new country, and have a new adventure?

That’s where this blog has come in.  I’m working to find adventures in my own backyard, exploring and relearning about nature and the world around me.  I’ve learned that each day can be full of tiny discoveries if you look hard enough for them.  That acknowledgment, and the practice of writing these experiences down on “paper” have helped satisfy my need for movement, exploration, and learning.

Thank you for being a part of my adventures by reading and commenting!

20 Responses to About Me

  1. Steve Mease says:

    Always the great storyteller. I love the expression on your baby face. And taking photos of the ponies with your Fischer Price camera. If VPR knows what’s best for it, it will allow you to take care of your wanderlust without having to lose you to the world. There is still a lot to explore in the Green Mountains.

    • Thanks Steve! I loved that blue plastic camera. I can still remember what it felt like to advance the film. And the thrill of using one of those flash bulb strips that made a small but brilliant fuse-blowing sound when you snapped the photo. I think they came in strips of four or five.

      Luckily for me, I’m rediscovering the love of taking photos of things low to the ground! And it’s definitely doing wonders for my need to travel and explore. Maybe not completely satisfying the urge, but definitely lessening the pressure to run away!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Just connected to your blog through a FB post of Megan Humphrey’s. Thought I’d share this quote by Wendell Berry. It’s really been resonating for me this past week, perhaps it will for you too!
    “And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our own feet, and learn to be at home.”

    Happy travels both near and far! Love your show and now love your blog!

  3. Karl says:

    Wanderlust – overrrated. Permanence, stability, Vermont – good. Being near people who love you – good.

    (Your dad took you to the race track? What kind of dad would do that?)

  4. Jeff says:

    It has been nice meeting you in the ether, Jane. We’re neighbors! We should compare notes sometime on a fair number of overlaps. I love your instagrams! Blog on,
    Jeff.

  5. Barbara McQueeney says:

    So glad your proud Mom shared your blog with me. I will now pass it on to my daughter who shares many of your traits. Good for you to follow your dreams, and lucky you, for achieving a balanced life that incorporates most of them. Your photos are lovely and your writing should inspire others to pursue their goals. Enjoy Vermont – it is a fabulous place to end up.

  6. Magnus Danckwardt says:

    Through Rita, I´ve followed you round the world..and it has been a pleasure.. twas a pleasure reading this too! wishes for an ongoing adventure for you and your near and dear!

    Magnus in the middle of Sweden

    • Hi Magnus! Nice to hear from you and thanks for following me through Rita all these many years! I do hope someday to make it to Sweden and maybe we can finally cross paths in person.

  7. Greg says:

    So – travel, photography, Chile (which I’ve visited for both leisure and business). The “two out of three” bit. I understand it intuitively as a former “Indiana Jones” type (or so I’ve been jestfully dubbed by others, but I didn’t carry a whip). Nonetheless I’ve found peace in Vermont and I hope you do too, slowly recognizing that it was a chapter of my life that is probably over but that new ones have unfolded. Although I often work too hard, I’m happy too.

    • Greg, I’m glad my thoughts and experiences resonated with you. It’s hard to reconcile a wandering spirit with a more sedate life in Vermont, but I’m enjoying the small adventures and having fun writing about them. I’m glad you’re happy here too!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Jane–you are hardly common. Hugs. Your #1 fan.

  9. Pamela Righter says:

    Hello Jane, Barbara McQueeney sent me your blog. Wanderlust and the love of nature are also my passions. Birdwatching which has taken me to the far corners of the world but just watching the natural world in my tiny garden in Buffalo or walking through the woods in the Adirondacks noting the small creatures, lovely wildflowers, and feeling the power of the trees connects me to the mysteries of Earth. Marcel Proust said, “The real journey of discovery consists not in the new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

    • Hi Pamela! Thanks for taking the time to browse the blog and send m a note! Isn’t it great to be able to find awe in your own back yard? I think that’s one of the things that traveling does–it actually helps you see things more clearly on the small scale.

  10. cara says:

    Hi, I love your blog and all your pics! I nominated you for the beautiful blogger award. Check out my latest blog post for more information.

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