I’m a baby boomer. Yup, over 50… and proud of it. The text clip above? Well, I had just finished my follow-up exam from my orthopedic trauma surgeon (Yikes! Read how I survived my nearly fatal car crash in South Africa!) and was waiting in line at the reception counter to check out. I got bored and opened the file the doctor had given me to take up front. I saw the line above and my face split in a grin from ear to ear.
“Look what he wrote!” I said to the receptionist. “Go ahead and take it,” she said, smiling. I tried to give a tip with my co-pay, but apparently that’s not allowed.
In some ways, I’m not so different from other “boomer women” – we’re healthy, active women; we make 75% of the travel decisions for our households; we are empty-nesters who have the freedom, discretionary income, and inclination to travel.
We rock. We seek adventure, savor local cuisine, explore historically significant sites, pamper ourselves at spas, love walking on the beach, and enjoy engaging with locals. We sometimes travel solo, other times with family, friends, or significant other. We don’t stay in hostels but we do eat street food.
I’m a little different in that I’m more of an adrenaline junkie than most other boomers. If there’s an adventure to be had, I’ll find it.
It’s all about lifestyle. I’ve traveled to most of the United States and around 50 countries and islands. To see where I’ve been, hover your mouse on the “Go Here” tab above and select the location that interests you. The funny thing is, every time I take a destination or activity off my bucket list, I seem to add two new ones. I’m so pumped about my travel schedule!
I live a charmed life.
“I want your life!” people say to me. They could have it if they wanted it, wanted to do the things I’ve done to get here.
My life’s motto is “Above all, life should be fun!” Fun doesn’t just happen – you have to make it happen.
Here’s how I made it happen.
1. I’m not one of those sell-everything-and-travel-the-world-with-just-a-backpack types. More power to them, but I like coming home to my really nice house that I own by myself, hanging out with my large group of friends, and spending time with my sweet man, Kary Kern (who is also my part-time photographer).
And I like to stay (physically) connected to my two amazing kids, now all grown up and no longer live at home, but within a relatively short drive.
2. I was a lobbyist for 10 years. It’s true, politics is like watching sausages being made…you really don’t want to know what’s in it. My picture was on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and I won the “Unsung Hero Award” which came with a $25k check. Yeah, one of those giant photo-op ones.
There are a lot of different ways to travel and write – none of them right or wrong, this way is just right for me.
3. Around 2011, it occurred to me that I might be able to fund my wanderlust by combining my two loves: travel and writing. Seriously, it was the proverbial light bulb over my head. I’d already been published in several magazines revolving around my political activism, so I thought, “Why not try to get published writing something people actually want to read?” I did a bit of online research and went to a traveler writer’s workshop, and submitted my first story to International Living Magazine. And they accepted it!
4. I began writing for a series of publications, some paid while others gave me the exposure I needed to get perks, FAM trips, and self-guided press trips. My picture has been on the cover of The Barefoot Writer magazine. To see where I’ve been published, click on the “Published” tab above.
5. I spent the next couple of years gaining bylines with a lot of print and online publications, and then started blogging in 2013. I really love blogging because I get to use “my voice” instead of adhering to specific editor’s guidelines.
6. I speak at the American Writers and Artists annual travel writer’s conference, put on by their Great Escapes Publishing division. It’s held in a different U.S. City every year. I love helping other aspiring travel writers find their mojo.
7. I haven’t monetized Luggage and Lipstick yet. Maybe when I hit 10,000 page views every month…..
8. I wrote an e-book called “Girls Go Solo: Tips for Women Traveling Alone. You can get it for free right now when you sign up for my postcard (see right column).
9. I’m very active on Facebook, but I use my personal profile to post travel stuff, not a “fan” page. It was a difficult decision, but anyone who is my “friend” can see my travel posts. Now that Facebook has changed it algorithms, only about 5% of people who “liked” your page will see your post unless you pay to “boost” it. I think I’m better off with my 4000 friends seeing my posts….
I’ve already won numerous awards for my blogging:
Best Female Blogs to Follow in 2016 (Credit Donkey)
Top 50+ Travel Blogs to Follow (Hello Travel)
24 Baby Boomer Travel Experts Reveal their Favourite 3 Destinations (Faces & Places)
Top 5 Mexico Travel Blogs (Asher Ferguson)
Twipper of the Week (TWIP: Travel With Interesting People)
Movers & Shakers (TravMedia)
Sisterhood of the World Bloggers (Nomad Women)
Media Maniac (Women’s Toolbox)
So that’s how I roll.
“Where’s your favorite place?” people ask me, all the time. “That’s like asking me which of my children I love best,” I say.
But I’ll let you in on a secret…. my favorite place… is always the one I’m going to next. That’s the one I’m most excited about.
Want to work with me? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can reach me at email@example.com.
Patti has over 100 bylines featured in:
- ITWA (International Travel Writers Alliance)
- ITWPA (International Travel Writers Professional Assoc.)
- AWAI (American Writers and Artists, Inc.)
- Intrepid Travel
- Media Kitty
You can also follow my adventures on: