Bedouin tour 032


I’m a beer swilling, cheese-curd-chomping Midwesterner who grew up in Wisconsin and now lives in Minnesota. As much as I love the Midwest, I love leaving it even more. I leave physically by travelling as often as I can. And I leave imaginatively by reading books—loads of them. My mountains of books partially make up for the flat lands in which I reside. This blog documents my adventures, past and present, in reading and traveling. Many of my posts are about books. They will be categorized, though, under the geographical region in which they are set, rather than by author or title.

P.S.  I will also occasionally include posts on movies, tv shows, food, short creative writing attempts, and anything else that strikes my fancy.

63 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello Debra am leaving this “comment” here rather than in its appropriate spot on your blog mainly because I think it might be hard to find the right post. I wonder if you have met your commitment for doing stuff? I kind of managed my aim in cycling in Europe but not quite the plan. Flew to Prague from NZ, bought a bike, and cycled to Berlin, but instead of heading for Sweden – I was assured it would be pretty expensive and I have to watch my pennies – I took the European Union cycle route R1 from Berlin to Arnhem in the Netherlands and from there headed for Amsterdam. Sadly my beloved bike was stolen in Utrecht, on the last day of my planned route. At least it was the last day.

    The R1 is the best cycle route I hage ever gone over, especially from Berlin to Hoxter on the far side of the Harz mountains. It is so good I thgink I will do it again, staying longer or for the first time in places I just skimmed…1100 kms of fun fun fun.

    You should do it.

    There you go.


    • Good to hear from you, Steve. Sounds like you had quite an adventure! How frustrating to get your bike stolen. ugh.

      I did complete my 1000 miles of biking, although it took me until early October to do it. (That darn work got in the way of my biking pretty often.) As for the 100 miles of hiking, though, I abandoned that goal. For the first six weeks, literally every time I planned to hike, it rained and rained and rained some more. After that, my physical therapist wanted me to try some jogging to see if my knee could take it…and it could. So I switched to light jogging instead.

      Overall, I enjoyed the biking. Having a goal definitely made me bike more than I otherwise would have. By the time August rolled around, I probably would have stopped biking for the season if it weren’t for my goal.

      Welcome back!

  2. Oh, god, now my own book mountain is going to grow even higher if I get involved in your reading challenge. Your bio parallels mine to an enormous extent … I was even recently planning a post on matching books with my trips! I’m sure many of us are bloggers who read and travel, but being beer-swilling Midwestern females who read and travel has to be a bit more unique!

  3. Pingback: Two weeks down, Nano Poblano, time to hop in and volunteer | markbialczak

    • I do have a NOOK (the Barnes and Noble version of Kindle) and I do buy a lot of books with it. But I still buy paper books as well. The NOOK is great for travelling and for immediate gratification when wanting to buy a book. (This is both good and bad!)

      Thanks for stopping by and following me!

  4. Thanks for the follow and I shall return the favor. Love “My mountains of books partially make up for the flat lands in which I reside”, you clever girl you. Look forward to hanging out with you.

  5. Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and for the follow. I’m usually much more active, but I’ve been rather ill, lately. Hoping to get back to it soon. I look forward to following your interesting blog. Hope your day was a good one.:)

  6. Hello Debra, Thanks so much for following ‘From Ethiopia, with love’ we really appreciate it and it’s introduced me to your blog which is fascinating. As we packed for the move to Ethiopia we included picture books and stories for our girls but didn’t have room for any books for the grown ups in the family. We’re now getting e-books when we can and your site will certainly prompt a few new selections I’m sure. All the very best, Salli

  7. As a former resident of South Dakota and Minnesota, I completely understand your “escape” through literature. When I was too poor to buy books, the library was my haven and saved my sanity for seven winters. The rest of the year I spent outdoors reading. I feel fortunate to have found your blog hope that you will follow me, as well, so that I can read many more of your posts.

    • Thanks for visiting my blog, Patricia. It’s nice to connect with fellow Midwesterners/English professors! I have indeed started following your blog and look forward to reading it! Keep in touch.

      • Indeed, my life would have been impoverished if it hadn’t been for the Bookmobile which visited our school once a week where I discovered Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables, and many other adventurers . Students were sent down one at a time. Looking back and seeing myself as a child standing in that darkened bookmobile parked on the playground, I can still feel the awe, the mystery, the solemnity, the sacredness of being surrounded by books and holding their treasures; to walk home with my new library book began a journey and a mission that continues six decades later.

      • I don’t remember a bookmobile in my childhood, but we did have an actual library! I loved going there so much that my mother complained that I always had my “nose stuck in a book.” I still do.

  8. Debra, Your Sub-Saharan tale could also be the Moroccan tale, especially in its souks. You captured the walk of the alien encounter. In less than five steps or two steps bemused discomfort followed by the search for safety replaces cultural intrigue.

      • Debra, In Ourzazate, Morocco, I went to my hotel recommended by Trip Advisor, and I heard a knock on my door, glad to be there after being followed and spoken to for ten minutes by two men selling flowers. I did not answer it because I did not want to acknowledge this was my room. After a half hour, I went to the hotel desk, a desert hotel, and told the clerk he had told my room number to a Moroccan man who was knocking on my door! It was my best guess, and I was correct. The clerk buckled. I asserted that I would inform Trip Advisor if my privacy was invaded again.

        Later the hotel clerk referred me to a “good restaurant” where I did enjoy a good dinner; however, when the owner came out with tea and good English, engaging me in charming conversation, I finally relaxed from the flower men. However, soon a servant carrying a tray of silver jewelry to sell appeared. Once again I felt the anxiety. I left my dirhams on the table, went back to the hotel, and called my fellow teachers in Casablanca to inform them of my hotel and problems. I left early the next morning without speaking to anyone. I’ve always regretted not buying the silver jewelry, but my thought was I would die before morning and my teacher’s paltry purse would be stolen.

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