Day 4 baby!! We are now half way through our 8 days of incredible authors. I don't know about you, but I am loving getting to know these authors on a more personal level. Authors are people too, awesome people. Plus they put up with random people like me, so that is a complete bonus.
Speaking of putting up with my randomness, allow me to introduce you to today's fantabulous author. This author I met not that long ago through a mutual friend. I actually picked up Bailey Ardisone's first book, Sweet Oblivion, (which is FREE by the way) and read it before I met her. Now let me say that I didn't just read her book, I fell into her book, her world, and her characters. Yup, head over heels in love. Then I met her on..... yup, you guessed it, Twitter! Yay for Twitter! I swear this is not sponsored or an ad for Twitter. It is just a testament to how many awesome people are out there waiting to meet you. So, I met this author when discussing her awesome book with another blogger, when she joined our conversation. I believe we were discussing one her awesome book dudes, Mycah. Yea, that sounds about right, a bunch of girls sitting around chatting about guys, Ha. Sure it went something like that. We have had many conversations like that since.
Of course we have had a ton of other conversations too. Like how we both are nerds and are obsessed with Legolas, Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit. Who isn't? And of course I continued to devour her books, then I reviewed her books and Bailey and I connected again over my reviews. She brought out the writer in me. We have had many conversations since that first conversation, pretty awesome one's too. But there is one in particular that I will remember forever and ever. This summer I traveled to Florida for a work training and Bailey drove some 2 hours to see me!!!! That's right, she drove to see ME! I was completely floored by it. How can you not love a person like that? And let me tell you, if you meet Bailey, virtually or otherwise you will love her. You can''t not love her. It's impossible. She is the sweetest, most adorable, and kindest person. I no longer cared about anything else, I was going to actually get to meet one of my favorite authors. *cue fangirl music here*
I was so excited to meet her that I paced my hotel room until I finally got to give her a hug! That afternoon we went to lunch with her awesome and talented husband and had the most amazing time. I wanted to keep her, but unfortunately her husband wouldn't let me and she wouldn't fit in my bag. She made my trip the best ever and one I will never forget. If there is anything I regret, it's forgetting to capture the amazing moment on camera. I was so in awe I completely spaced getting a picture. Pluse it was like I had known her forever. Now if I can just convince her to move to New Mexico I can see her anytime I want.
While on our lunch I did learn a little something about Bailey. She loves to travel. And I mean LOVES to travel and boy has she traveled. So, today Bailey is going to tell us a little about her traveling passion and some of the places she's been.
One Ticket Around the World, Please
by Bailey Ardisone
"Do you even comprehend how massive Earth is?" --Mycah Nightly, Sweet Requiem (Sweet Series #3) by Bailey Ardisone.
I'm reminded of that one sentence a character of mine says when I sit and try to think about what to write on traveling. But more than that, it's the feelings that accompany the action. Heart pounding, adrenaline pumping, nerves zapping down to your toes and back up again...This is what traveling is for me. Excitement. Pure and utter excitement. The opportunity to see new places, cultures, and trying new foods is one of life's greatest treasures.
The smell of air that is brand new to my senses, or the feel of the sun when standing closer to the equator than I'm used to...even the different textures of sand that my feet sink into...it's all part of the love of traveling to a variety of places. And yes, I really do love every second of it.
There's something about stepping out of your comfort zone, opening your mind up to new experiences, and freeing yourself to the world that can't really be explained without doing it yourself.
And...I think I'm addicted.
I've seen most of the middle to eastern half of the United States - everything except a few states such as Louisiana and Alabama. I'm dying to see the western half. I've been to Las Vegas and Arizona, which I absolutely loved, but one of my dreams is to see Wyoming, Montana, and Utah. And of course California.
The thing about traveling is that the Earth is so diverse; it's crazy just how much. It's hard to even fathom all there is to see and all the different places to go...not to mention the insane amount of cultures, languages, and foods. It can be overwhelming just thinking about seeing it all. And not many people get to travel that frequently. Heck, a lot of Americans don't even leave their hometown.
But if you have the opportunity to pack a few essential items and get your butt out that door...then DO IT! You won't regret it. There's nothing like seeing things for yourself, because although I can tell you Hawaii is drop-dead gorgeous, it means nothing until you experience the intensity of the setting sun over the deep blue ocean while digging your feet into the cool sand for yourself - a memory and feeling I'll never forget, nor can I put a price on.
You don't even have to leave your home country if you don't like flying. If you live in America, another one of my characters said in Sweet Oblivion (Sweet Series #1) "...we could check out all the states here, like drive cross-country, that sort of thing. Then after we've seen all there is to offer from our home country, we can visit others." (If you couldn't already tell, I poured my love of traveling into my books).
That is actually a dream of mine and is something my husband really did say to me a long time ago (and still says to this day). Because North America is gorgeous. I would love to see it all, and I do plan on doing so one of these days.
But maybe you CAN leave your home country...which is where my love truly lies. There seriously is nothing like visiting new and completely different countries. The taste of freshly baked pastries in Paris while you walk the million steps to the top of the Eiffel Tower, or the feel of the cobblestone beneath the soles of your shoes as you explore the beautiful streets of Prague, the artsy walls everywhere you go in Berlin, or the hills that really do seem alive in Austria...it's all so priceless.
Sometimes it's never what you expect, either. Which can be just as beautiful. You may never have known that when the traffic lights turn red down in Brazil, the locals run back out onto the streets and resume their intense football (soccer) match. Oh, the light turned green? They grab the ball and wait for the lights to turn red again. It's incredible to see how much that sport is a part of their lives...they eat, sleep, and breathe football because they love it so much.
Or how drivers could be zooming down the roads in the Bahamas, but if there is even just one pedestrian on the sidewalk facing the street (even when nowhere near a crosswalk), the driver immediately slams on his breaks to allow the pedestrian to walk across. Whether that pedestrian intended on crossing or not, it doesn't matter...the driver is going to stop for them anyway. :)
And even though Canada might be your next-door neighbor if you live in the United States, don't expect their culture to be just like ours. Besides the country being breathtaking and so extremely diverse, Canadians have many ways of life that differ from ours, but every bit as amazing.
Sure, you can expect the rainforests in Brazil to be unequalled, the mountains in Germany to be unreal, the architecture and history in France to be unsurpassable, but never forget the things you don't expect to find in a new place when traveling is where the true magic happens.
It's what I live for. Because, yeah, like I said...I'm addicted.
Places I've been:
Wow Bailey! Great post, now I want to pack my bags and travel. Too bad I can't, sort of hard with 5 rugrats. Guess I will have to continue to travel through books. Thanks for sharing.
Today we have two giveaways! You already know Sweet Oblivion is FREE, but you are going to want to devour the next two so make sure you enter to win them below!