Posts with Category This Writer’s Life

A reader shares "My Journey from Cambodia as a Sweatshop Worker"

The other day I got an amazing email from Sina Li, a Clothing Design student at University of Minnesota who was born in Cambodia.  She read WAIW? and enjoyed it, which thrilled me.  Her sister works at a garment factory and Sina almost did before coming to the United States.

I asked her to tell her story and she did so in the comments of this post, but I thought I would share them here, too.  Thanks for Sharing Sina!

My journey from Cambodia as a sweatshop worker

This is for Kelsey asking me to write on his blog. Well it started when I was about 13 years old when my life was so close to no choice but to work at a sweatshop factory in Cambodia Phnom Penh. Every body…

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Notes to Aspiring Writers

Tomorrow the Midwest Writers’ Workshop kicks-off in Muncie. It was there that I met my agent two years ago. (Here’s a recap of the 2007 conference.) This year I’ll be a junior member of the faculty. I don’t think they actually have junior members, but my duties are light.

Here’s my schedule:

Thursday: I’ll be lingering all day, attending sessions and eating cookies, but I’ll officially be schmoozing  at

3:45-4:15 Social Time / Book Signings; coffee

Friday:

4:15-5:15 pm [1]…

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I hope someone remembered to pack the baby

I used to travel light…besides my cultural baggage.  I’d throw a pair of underwear in my backpack and hit the road.  I didn’t write the book on Travelin’ Light, but I did used to write the column on it.

But now that we have a baby in tow/in car seat/in jogging stroller/in arms, the packing list has expanded exponentially.  Could someone tell me why a 17-pound baby requires 500-pounds of gear?

Annie, Harper, and I are in Michigan on vacation. It’s supposed to be a beach vacation, but sweatshirt weather has dictated otherwise.  It took half the morning to pack all of our stuff into the four-door car, Pontiac (don’t get me started) G6 that we bought when Harper was on her way.  We bought the car knowing that we would…

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A thousand words: Batman is coming to town

I’m leaving soon to pickup my brother, Kyle, and his wife, Jenn, from the airport. In honor of their visit, here’s a picture of Kyle.

Lookout villains of Muncie! Batman is coming to town! (Note to villains of Gotham: run amok with reckless abandon. Live it up!)

Kyle is Batman

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iPod giveaway update

iPod giveaway update

Don’t forget the second step of the contest where you have to email some friends about the contest and cc me.  You’re not eligible to win the iPod unless you do both steps.  I’m getting a big kick out of the submissions so far.  Here’s one from Matt Barhorst  that about made me pee my pants laughing:

By the way, where did you get that shirt? That is the ugliest shirt I’ve ever seen. You look like you’re wearing a shirt that was destined for either the Beach Boys or Peter Brady.

So, maybe you’re dancing to Kokomo, or When It’s Time To Change (look up Peter’s rendition on Youtube)

And I guess, it’s time to change that shirt.

Here’s the video Matt is referring to:

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Book signing vs Book Club

This video is based on true experiences (even the bra lady!) at book signings and book clubs.  If you have a book club, I would love to come visit it, especially if you’ll be discussing any or all of the following: strawberry pie, cheesecake, margaritas, beer, and (oh, yeah) my book.  I would prefer to come in person, but if the distance is too great, maybe I can be there virtually (Skype, chat, phone). Email me: kelsey@travelin-light.com

(a big thanks to the book club cheerleader for this video’s inspiration)

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The Official Relaunch

This video discusses why the heck I’m relaunching the site 6 months after the release of my book.  It also covers some of the new features, and most importantly discusses how you can win an iPod.

Plus, there’s a very special guest star — little Harper Willow Timmerman.  When I watched this video, I barely paid attention to what I was saying.  Instead I just stared at Harper.

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A big thanks to BootsnAll

Since early in 2007, BootsnAll.com has hosted this blog for free.  Today all that changes.

In high school and college I never knew anyone that had or even wanted to throw a few possessions in their backpack and head out for a few months to a foreign land.  Call me sheltered, but at the time I wondered if people even did this sort of thing.  When I started to float the idea with family and friends, most of them never knew either.

Enter BootsnAll and their community of friendly travelers. Their message boards are filled with like-minded folks who are happy to lend help with an itinerary or packing list.

I’ve always felt indebted to the community Sean Keener and Chris Heidrich have created.  They helped me…

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Interviewed by Budget Travel

JD Rinner at Budget Travel recently interviewed me.  I need to take the photo of me in Honduras off the photo page I send to media folks.  They always choose that one. When I use the photo in presentations I accompany it with, “Come on. Would you let that joker into your factory. The fro…the T-shirt… Really?”

The cool thing about the interview is that they asked some travel related questions I haven’t been asked.  Have a sample:

Q: What’s your best tip for travelers going to foreign countries—like really foreign countries?

A: Trust someone you meet, but be weary of anyone who approaches offering help.

Q: How do you make sure you’re experiencing a place as a local would?

A: That’s easy. Experience a place with a local by your side. Make…

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