First ever interview 24.3.17 – with Miriam’s update
Blogging seems to have taken a back seat as 2019 gets underway. I still love it as much as ever, in fact when I’m away from writing and reading for a long period of time I feel like a coffee addict that’s been deprived of her fix! Still, life sometimes demands that we give our attention to other things.
I’ve been in and out of hospital, both with my thumb surgery recovery, and supporting my sister. Fortunately my hand is healing well and finally I can use both of them again. It’s amazing the things we take for granted.
Daniel, my son, just turned 18 and we had a weekend of celebrations with family and friends last weekend. This year will be a big one for him as he completes Year 12, his final year of schooling. Tomorrow we’re taking off for a week’s holiday along the South Australian coast and I’m looking forward to a bit of chillaxing by the beach. No other definite travel plans yet for this year but I’d love to visit New Zealand and go back to Tassie. Canada and Iceland are also on the bucket list but they might have to wait for a lotto win!
For me and my writing this year the focus is on being open to new opportunities and taking steps to achieve my dream. As you know I’ve now got my own travel column in On the Road magazine which I still have to pinch myself about sometimes. I also contribute regularly to a number of other travel magazines. I’ve been successfully freelancing since 2011 (when I was in my part time marketing job) but now it’s a full time career. When people ask me what I do I’m no longer uncertain or embarrassed of my reply and I’ll happily answer them with “I’m a writer”. I take nothing for granted and still get excited when one of my articles appears in print. I achieved my dreams of being a successful freelancer and now I’m ready to take it a step further.
It’s interesting looking back. When I was in primary school I used to create travel brochures. Even back then I was mesmerised by beautiful pictures and places. Maybe it’s my Italian blood. In secondary school I was co editor of our class magazine and at La Trobe University I co-founded and edited a social Newsletter. I was the regular “day tripper”. Everywhere I’ve gone the allure of magazines has followed me. Do you think the Universe has been trying to tell my something?
My dream now is to create my own travel and well being magazine and it seems only right that it should be an offshoot from my blog “Out and about – loving life on and off the tracks”. The plan this year will be to take steps towards making it a reality. Don’t ask me for details, the hows and whens and paths will be created along the way.
I’ll be continuing to blog, to read others inspiring blogs from our awesome WP community and I’ll still be writing articles as I juggle roles of mum, wife, sister and friend. Oh and I’ll be travelling and camping of course.
Life’s to be lived and we only get one shot at it so I figure let’s make the most of it.
Miriam blogs weekly and intends to start a magazine soon …
Miriam’s natural warmth and friendliness appealed to me on glancing through her posts but the one that really caught my attention was her post about meeting up with a couple of other bloggers in Melbourne. She is a published travel writer and photographer whose posts often have a ‘moral’ or more shared from her open heart. The comments following her posts are genuinely like relaxed catch-ups with old friends in this café called “Meet the Bloggers”
Please share some details about your life – where you were raised, family, education, etc?
I was raised in Sale, a large country town in Victoria. My parents’ had emigrated to Australia from Italy so I grew up in a large friendly Italian community. I was the youngest of three siblings and had a fairly happy ‘normal’ childhood. At 22 I moved to Melbourne having been hit by the travel bug after returning from a trip to Europe. Both my sister and brother live here too. I lost my dad nearly 19 years ago and my beautiful mum last August, after a long painful battle, which left a big void in my heart.
I now live on the edge of the Yarra Valley about an hour from the city and surrounded by vineyards and orchards, artists, quirky cafes and galleries. Our home is on quarter of an acre and behind us is another three acres of creek land. I love it here and think I have the best of both worlds, with easy access to the city as well as being close to nature. It makes getting away for day and weekend trips so easy.
I always wanted to be a journalist but deferred my university studies years ago and never went back to it. Instead I worked for a law firm, travelled and eventually moved from Sale to Melbourne where I met Doug and continued to work, write and pursue what I love. It’s funny how my life has come full circle. I now travel and write and my articles have been published in a number of travel magazines so I consider myself blessed to be doing what I’ve always loved.
I’ve been happily married to Doug for nearly 25 years (in December) and we have two beautiful children who I’m equally proud of but who are polar opposites. Tash, nearly19, has finished school and is finding her way in the agricultural and equine field. She loves all things animals! Daniel is 16 and quite the IT expert, he’s my resident tech guru and fixer of all things computer and phone related. He’s into all things geeky!
Travel is close to my heart and, as you’ve probably gathered from the name of my blog, any chance I get I’m out exploring. Whether it’s the beach, mountains, bush trails or river camps, even a night away makes me feel refreshed. Doug and I share a love of the outdoors and spent our honeymoon in the Maldives and then Penang so we were always destined to travel widely. Our next big trip is to the Red Centre of Australia in June this year, which I’m super excited about.
Can you tell me something about how you started blogging, what you enjoy and learnt?
I started my blog back in February 2015 at the suggestion of my (then) 14 year old son. He’s always been hugely supportive of my writing and out of the blue suggested that I start my own blog and share my travel and camping stories. To be honest I knew nothing about WordPress and very little about blogging and so it was a huge learning curve for me. For the first eight or so months I posted very little.
Initially I thought it would be a great way to journal my travels online. I didn’t think too far ahead or what I was trying to achieve. But once it started and I began interacting and reading other blogs I began to understand that it was more than just about my writing.
I absolutely love the connections that I’ve made on my blog. I had no idea when I started that it would open up a whole new world, particularly at a time when I was feeling unsure, very overwhelmed with life and saddened at the journey that my mum was going through. It became a safe place for me to open up but it didn’t happen overnight. I was unsure about putting myself out there initially.
I’ve learned so much in my two years. Not just the intricacies of WordPress – of which there are many and which I’m still learning about – but just how many inspiring and supportive fellow bloggers are! I can’t think of too many places where we can laugh, cry, motivate each other, share our deepest thoughts, entertain and inform through our common passion of writing. It’s a pretty special and unique community in that respect and I’ve made some very real friends here. To me there’s nothing better.
What’s your favourite post?
That’s a hard one. My birthday post last year was a lot of fun to put together and it shares a bit more about me for some of my newer followers [this shares some more personal things]
Or this one, which kind of sums up my blog with all things camping
[I grew up camping, as part of a big family it was the only way we could afford holidays]
Or there’s this one about my forgetfulness and the importance of photos and memories.
[Miriam’s point about stress interfering with our memory is crucial and her remedies are smart]
Which is your most popular post?
Clip Clop Meditate – although it didn’t generate the most likes, it was shared and had the most views of any post I’ve written. It was a camping trip with a difference behind a Clydesdale and one that I’ll never forget.
[as an avid cyclist my best trip ever was along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, that sense of really being there to see, smell and feel each kilometre … my body knew about it because I lived in the outback then so the climbs and curves were a new sensation!]
Please share something funky or what most people don’t know?
Three things come to mind. Firstly, back when I was at school I used to forge mum’s signature on notes to get out of school swimming carnivals. I couldn’t swim and I was always terrified. I eventually learnt when I was 23. Up until a few years ago I used to bite my finger nails, really badly. Even today I’m still tempted! And finally, my secret music dreams. I always wanted to learn how to play the drums and to be a professional dancer. For a long time I also harboured a secret fantasy to be a world class guitarist and singer. I love to play and bang out a tune, even today, today, but Adele I aint!
Anything in italics is my, calmkate’s, questions or comments …