Traveling Through Life

As a kid, my family didn’t travel much. We spent most days at home - at holidays or in the summer visiting my grandmother who lived along the Wisconsin River not far away. 

In my teen years, I would work and travel little. 

It was mostly through books that I learned about the world. I wouldn’t see much of the United States until I’d be in my 20s. 

But through the pages of my fiction and non-fiction and even textbooks, I learned much and dreamed a lot in those formative years. Writing also transported me. It took me to places I couldn’t access but still could feel in the corners of my imagination. 

Writing and publishing brought me to new people and friends - all across the United States and even overseas - without spending as much as a tank of gas. 

About two years ago, I left the county I spent most of my life in to move north. Until then, this was only an area I’d pass through or sometimes vacation in for a long weekend or so. I’d always wanted to live in the lake towns here. In many ways, it was a dream come true. In many other ways, it was terrifying. 

I had to start my life over, mid-way through life, with nothing but a pile of books, pages of manuscripts of my own and my cat. I had no friends here, no roots. 

As I prepare these last few weeks to move yet again - this time to a place I’ve only ever visited and never once dreamed of belonging in, I again find myself turning the pages of books and scribbling in my notebooks and laptop to process all the upcoming change. All the fear that comes with travel and the unknown.

Those pages are my one main constant. The books and my writing travels with me, no matter where I go. It IS my blood, my stability, my core, my soul. I also have my writing friends, because we have established true roots with each other as well. It is these things I rely on as I again hit the blacktop to start over once again. 

The truth is, we never know if those miles will be the best of us or the worst of us. Had you told me two years ago how in love I’d become with this place - the towering pines, the sunsets across the lake, the mist off the creek in the morning, the towns firmly set 40 years behind the rest of the world, the friends I’ve made, the pages I’ve written, the words I’ve lost and gained - I’d never have believed it. 

So I’ll pack a bag again. With those same books I’ve had since I was a kid. And a teen. And a young woman. With a few new ones I’ve gained here the last two years. 

Who knows what words await me there? 

Happy Reading!

AM Bostwick


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