Writer Wednesdays – Meet Savannah Grace
From the moment I stumbled across Savannah Grace on Facebook promoting her new book (the first volume Sihpromatum – I Grew My Boobs in China) I was intrigued. First off, who wouldn’t be with a book title like that and then through following her page I came to know this young, talented woman, brimming with life and full of the wisdom of an old soul. I was hooked! I knew I had to read her book. It was full of honest real life experience of a growing teenaged girl embarking on a whirl wind tour of the world with her family.
Writer Wednesday would like to introduce Savannah Grace
My name is Savannah Grace. I am a Vancouver, Canada born author currently living in Holland. I am the youngest of four siblings. The most significant thing that happened in my upbringing was my Mom uprooting the family to go backpacking around the world for a year… Well, that somehow turned into an epic 4-year adventure taking through nearly 80 countries! I’m now the author of a travel memoir series (the retelling of our family adventures) called “Sihpromatum” which includes “I Grew My Boobs in China”, “Backpacks and Bra Straps” and the forthcoming title, Volume 3, is “Rusty Tracks and Booby Traps”.
How many countries have you visited?
Now age 24 I have visited exactly 100 countries!!! I do not count stop-overs as “visited” or disputed territories such as Hong Kong, Macau or Western Sahara. I also consider Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England as only one country when doing the “country-count”.
For interests sake, I have included the full list below.
Canada, U.S.A., Mexico, China, Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, India (10), Sri Lanka, Maldives, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia (20), Ukraine, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia (30), Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia, Switzerland, Germany, Jordan, Egypt, Belgium, Morocco (40), Ireland, U.K., Spain, Malta, Mauritania, Mali, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau (50), Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo (60), D.R.C., Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Malawi (70), Zambia, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, The Netherlands, France (80), Luxembourg, Austria, Lichtenstein, Italy, Monaco, San Marino, The Vatican, Slovenia, Andorra, Portugal (90), Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Greece, Turkey, Jamaica, Suriname, Dominican Republic, Mauritius, Cape Verde (100)
What is your favourite place and why?
There are far too many to choose from!! “Favourites” are always the hardest. One of the recent highlights was Mauritius. I expected it to be beautiful but was still blown away when I arrived. We went for my 23rd birthday and were lucky enough to swim with a pod of 300 wild dolphins, have a private walk with two young lions, pet a zebra and cheetah, ride segways, tour around the gorgeous countryside, visit a waterfall and relax at a beach resort. Absolutely stunning trip! Highly recommended.
If you could describe your method of travel in one word, what would it be?
What is your most memorable travel moment?
I would have to say meeting my partner in Africa. Long story short, I was a 17 year old girl going through a really tough time having just backpacked through West Africa, one of the roughest areas in the world to traverse. We were in Liberia and I was dreaming about my future prince charming and decided (very randomly yet determinedly) that I would meet “him” in Ghana (a few countries to the East) and he would be wearing yellow flip-flops…. sure enough in Ghana I met my prince, but it wasn’t until a while later that I realized he wore yellow flip-flops. Despite having my eyes wide open in anticipation for this mystery man, he still managed to catch me completely off-guard. Probably because he was more than twice my age and many other things I never would have expected. More than 6 years later we are still together and happier than ever.
What is your dream destination?
I think I’ve already been to a few “dream destinations” and most often, I come to realize this after I get there, not before. I would still love to go to Antarctica because I think it isn’t like anywhere else on earth.
How has travel changed you?
There is one thing for certain, I am an entirely different person as a result of our trip. I sometimes shudder to think what my life would have been without it. I learned so much about the world, people, cultures, history and most importantly myself and my family. I discovered my strengths, pushed myself to achieve goals I considered impossible and learned that dreams are worth following! This is a world full of possibilities.
I learned to appreciate and be grateful for the things I have, which is something I try not to lose. I realized that I don’t NEED all those things I thought I needed when I was living with millionaires’ kids in Vancouver, Canada.
Travel has taught me to be more open minded, and to be appreciative of the things I have. People are nice everywhere in the world, and we all have the same basic wants and needs. A world considered to be wrought with hunger, despair, corruption and danger turned out to be one full of love, family values and respect. Ironically, it seems that the less people have the more willing they are to share. I think it takes travel to learn and see that through firsthand experience.
As a writer do you feel you see the world and approach travel differently than if you didn’t write?
Absolutely. Sometimes I think I miss stuff because I am always busy making notes, but when you write it down, you analyze and re-evaluate everything you see and do.
How long did it take for your first book to come to fruition? (From concept, writing to published)
From the time it was a mere idea in my head to being a published work took 7 years!!! Wow. That’s crazy. I dreamed about it every day for that many years, and still dream about it today. I always loved to express myself through writing, and to be able to do it on this scale is truly a dream come true. The books themselves have both taken 2 years from starting the first draft to having it available on Amazon.
Yes! I’m deep in the works with my big travel memoir series “Sihpromatum” which will cover my entire 4-year global adventures with the family. The first book is “I Grew My Boobs in China” and covers the planning and departure of our trip and our time in China and Mongolia. The second was just released YESTERDAY and is called “Backpacks and Bra Straps”. The second instalment takes the reader through Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, through Western China and Tibet, and finally, to watch the sun rise over Mount Everest in Nepal.
My next project will be volume #3 “Rusty Tracks and Booby Traps” where I will take the reader through The Maldives, Sri Lanka and months of adventures in colourful India.
Do you have any upcoming trips? If so, to where?
My boyfriend and I are hoping to go on a 4-6 month South East Asia trip in 2015. Despite my vast travels, I have never been anywhere in South East Asia and would love to go. We plan to visit Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Japan, Korea and I’d like to revisit China. The trip is far from planned, but I’m looking forward to it and all the new things we will discover.
What is your must have travel accessory?
It really depends on the kind of trip I’m on. On our family trip we didn’t have a computer or any kind of electronic aside from one camera, and in that case I would say I couldn’t live without our deck of playing cards or my journal. These days, I would say camera or computer to upload photos and keep notes.
What is your favourite travel book?
Ironically, I’m not a big travel book reader… I love to read while I travel and always pick classics, “Gone with the Wind” being my absolute favourite. Hands down. I really enjoyed Sarum, and the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon is wonderful. Anyone watching it?!?! If you haven’t heard, they finally turned it into a TV series (though of course, the book is always better!)
What is your favourite travel quote?
“Life is a journey best done on the road”
“A traveler sees what he sees, a tourist sees what he’s come to see.” – G.K.Chesterson
The title of my book series is “Sihpromatum” which means “A blessing in disguise” and I think the attached photo describes that concept wonderfully. “Sometimes the bad things that happen in our lives put us directly on the path to the best things that will ever happen to us.”
But again, there are so many I love.
When Savannah first emailed me accepting to participate in my Writer Wednesday series I was in shock and am so thankful that she shared her time, her experiences and her love of travel with me and my readers!
And if you’d like to purchase her first book Sihpromatum it’s available on Amazon and if you already have read it – she’d love it if you’d review it on Amazon too!
BUY IT or REVIEW it now!
PLUS!!!! Just released Sept. 30th (yesterday) Savannah’s newest Backpacks and Bra Straps
Get it now!