Dating back to the 18th Century, Benjamin Franklin is credited with writing the very first zine. A zine ( zeen; short for magazine or fanzine) is most commonly a small-circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images. The primary intent is to advance the views of the editor rather than the profit of the editor, since the time and materials necessary to create a zine are seldom matched by revenue from its sale. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zine)
Because I was asked to write a short article/chapter for a zine, entitled "Grey" by Karen Phillips Miller. In a brief Facebook message to me she described it, and I'm paraphrasing, as a series of articles/chapters written by senior women who are breaking the stereotypical mold and challenging themselves, beyond their years, in a variety of ways.
Ms. Miller said, "You're inspiring people with your travels, and that's the kind of thing I want to see in 'Grey.' One of the reasons I'm writing it in a zine format is because I'm hoping that young people will read it and change the way they think about older people."
Ms. Miller expects it to be available at the Jacksonville (Florida) Library and in a variety of locations in Amelia Island (FL) in January, 2017. I'm so honored to be a part of "Grey." When she sends me a mock-up, I'll be sure to blog it, because I know you'll want a copy for yourself and maybe for a friend!
Meanwhile, please read my approved submission below and tell me what you think in the comments section at the end of this blog. Are you a "Grey," too? Maybe you know "Grey"...tell me!
Diann Schindler, Ph.D. Solo Traveller
In January of 2016, after selling my house, my car, and all my worldly possessions, save my guitar, tennis racket and a few pieces of clothing that fit nicely in a medium-sized suitcase, I began my lifelong dream of traveling the world.
The travel bug had latched onto me as early as the fifth grade when we studied Chile, the land of extreme terrain, a brilliantly colorful culture, and tremendously homogeneous people. The bug bite remained secure despite my choice to decline, albeit reluctantly, an opportunity to work overseas for the Federal Bureau of Investigation after high school graduation.
That insidious, but subtle, gadfly-like bug nagged me throughout my career in higher education administration. In an attempt to alleviate its hold, I took brief tour through Europe; savored three weeks as the guest of a host family in Kyoto, Japan; golfed a few days in Bermuda; and escaped, frequently, to Central Mexico. Those highlight a few outstanding jaunts over the years. However, my trip to Istanbul and Cappadocia, Turkey was the ultimate tipping point.
My tenacious travel bug was transformed into a sweet, enthusiastic companion that confirmed my free spirit and passion for adventure. I not only embraced it, I nuzzled and nourished it!
My journey began in January, 2016, in Madeira Island, Portugal and stretched throughout Europe and Morocco. I quickly came to know my minimal assemblage of belongings was undoubtedly too much. I purged even more. My choice to travel with less saved both money and wear and tear on my body.
Over ten months and throughout ten countries, I hiked the volcanic mountains of Madeira Island, traversed the incredible cliffs of Costa da Morta (aka “Death Coast”) in northwestern Spain, climbed the rocky Grand Atlas mountains of Morocco, cruised the serene Danube River in Austria, sang and played my guitar in Spain and Italy, attended the French Open Tennis Tournament in Paris and the Italian Open Tennis Tournament in Rome, road a cooperative camel in Morocco, attended stunning opera performances in Italy and Austria, walked the sacred grounds of Auschwitz in Poland, played exhilarating tennis on the red clay in Spain, and much, much more.
I learned more about myself, specifically, that I simply must work, produce and engage in projects. To that end, DiannAbroad.com was born. At minimum, my website includes a blog and a pictorial gallery chronicling my experiences. I also completed the manuscript for a first novel with the working title, “Just A Girl."
Finally, I’ve seen phenomenally beautiful and inspirational historical sites, as well as breathtaking cities and romantic villages throughout this first leg of my journey.
Most important, however, was the opportunity to meet warm and loving people from a variety of countries and cultures, and in all walks of life. I was graced with wonderful acquaintances and blessed with extraordinary relationships that I’m confident will endure forever. And, that has made all the difference.
Dr. Schindler celebrated her seventieth birthday on June 27, 2016, at her birthday party with musician friends in Oliva, Valenciana, Spain. After a brief return to the USA in late 2016, she resumed her journey and travelled to Chile, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina, and Columbia. She also accepted a year-long volunteer internship at The American University in Kosovo. Further, Dr. Schindler was granted multiple travel opportunities throughout Europe during her 2017-2018 tenure at the University.