Writer Wednesdays – Jill Dobbe
I’ve got exciting news! Today’s travel writer is Jill Dobbe who wrote “Here We Are & There We Go: Teaching and Traveling with Kids in Tow” and if you are interested in reading her memoir today is the last day to get it for FREE at Amazon!
Writer Wednesdays would like to introduce you to Jill Dobbe
I am Jill Dobbe and I am an overseas educator and author of a travel memoir. I have been teaching and traveling overseas for 16 years now and have lived in seven different countries. I currently work as an elementary principal in Honduras. Prior to Honduras, I lived in Egypt, India, Ghana, Singapore, Guam, and Mexico. I have two grown children and my daughter is now an overseas teacher herself, and my son is about to start his medical school rotations. Last year my husband, Dan, and I felt we needed something in our lives to take care of now that our children were adults so we adopted a Yorkie-Poo named Mickey, and he now travels everywhere with us. Besides traveling, I am a voracious reader, am making efforts to learn Spanish, and have now begun writing a second travel memoir.
One of the must have travel accessories which I bring along on every trip, is a journal. During my family’s first couple of years overseas our children were very young. I knew that they would never remember our life on Guam or in Singapore so I began to document our adventures in a journal. My first memoir came from that journal and I still bring one along with me on every trip as I continue to write about what I experience, what I see, who I meet, and how I feel.
Traveling has always been a big part of my life. I enjoy everything about it, the packing beforehand, the long waits at the airports, and even the unknowns that await me. I most enjoy living with different cultures, exploring fantastic sights, and shopping for indigenous arts and crafts. I enjoy the shopping so much that my husband has often told me he thinks I see the world as just one big shopping mall! I do admit though, that I love the handmade crafts that indigenous cultures produce and I have bought Honduran Lenca pottery, Ghanaian Kente cloth, Guatemalan and Indonesian textiles, Tibetan singing bowls, and Persian rugs and carpets.
Our longest overseas adventure was Ghana, West Africa, where we lived for five years. My husband and I taught at the American school there and my children completed their elementary school years. During that time we got to know the country well as we traveled often to the neighboring towns and villages and to the coast. My children made friends with classmates from around the world and we grew to love the friendly Ghanaian people. Living in Africa was the ultimate experience and one that has stayed with my family fourteen years later. Every country that we visited or lived in had its own uniqueness, but Ghana is the place that will always be near and dear to my heart.
After I wrote my first memoir I began to search out other travel memoirs and authors. I don’t have any specific author that I enjoy more than any other, but I do prefer to read female authors as I can relate to them better. Memoirs, especially travel memoirs, are my current books of choice and ones that I can immerse myself in. I have heard that the more you read the better author you become and I know that I have learned a great deal from reading the travel memoirs of other authors. My travel memoir, HERE WE ARE & THERE WE GO: Teaching and Traveling with Kids in Tow, took me about two years to write from start to finish. I completed it in April, 2012, and when I flew home that June, my publisher was there to meet me at the Barnes & Noble where she handed me my galley.
Since I began writing about my travels, I have learned to be much more aware and mindful of my overseas experiences. My sense of humor has gotten better and I now can laugh more at things I used to find annoying, like the horrible drivers that exist everywhere in the world. At the present time, I am trying to find the humor in the fact that I have lived in Honduras for three years and I still can’t understand what people are saying. There are definitely times when living as an overseas educator has its downside, but during those moments I just get out my journal and start writing knowing that those good and bad times will eventually turn into (I hope) another interesting and entertaining memoir.