How fitting that I introduce my Ms Traveling Pants blog and myself as I sit on my way to London with laptop on the tray table with hopes of a bearable in-flight movie on yet another journey in my adventures of both near and far. So that you have further insight into who I am and why I write the way I do, please let me tell you a little story about my beginning…….where everything started?

Believe it or not, I am from a small, unincorporated town in Wisconsin called Centerville. Located on the Mississippi side of Wisconsin, I grew up in very rural setting on a hobby farm. You may say, what is a hobby farm? Well, amongst various neighbors that made their living by raising cattle or milking dairy cows, my family had a farm as a hobby. When I think of it, I don’t believe that would rank high on my chosen pastimes, but my parents did. My father a college professor and my mother at that time an antique dealer and inspired Shepherd, decided that a 20 acre farm with sheep, a couple of dogs, and cats nestled in a quaint valley surrounded by apple orchards, corn fields, and wild pastures would be an ideal place to raise a child. That is where I come in. I might say that it was a great place, safe place, and my place to grow up OR at least until I grew out of that stage.

My parents did not know whether I would be a boy or a girl so they thought Heath Claude if I were to be a boy or Heidi after the novel if I were I girl. Knowing how kids and teenagers can be ruthless with names, I am very happy that luck was with me that day, as I am Heidi. How fitting that my parents would have a herd of sheep and a little girl named Heidi.

As an only child, you tend to explore your world with imaginary friends, pets, and in a fantasy world. My stories and playtimes always were in fantastic far off places. It only seems fit that I too would be going places far far away to explore other cultures, music, food, fun, and most importantly people.

Around the age of 9 or 10, I took my first trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. It was for my father’s Spring break vacation from the university, but this was just one of many seasonal getaways that have shaped me into who I am today and who I will become. There I was a kid from Wisconsin seeing the powerful ocean and experiencing warm weather in the middle of winter, both unfamiliar surroundings.  On top of those items, it was in another language! However, I loved it and I was sold. It was there that I began my thirst of language with simple flashcards in Spanish and later expanded through school with pen pals, telenovelas/soap operas, and further exploration of Mexico…that is until I went to college and was encouraged to study abroad…Ok no one needed to encourage this young traveling bug to explore her horizons.

At the age of 20, I packed two large duffle bags with peanut butter, enough tampons for a year, and all the things I thought I could not live without as I shipped out for Madrid, Spain. It is crazy to think I packed such things….there are many better things to eat than peanut butter in Spain AND they did and continue to sell tampons there.

So sorry to interrupt, but the laptop battery is saying save or lose everything; plus, I am beginning to smell the oh so familiar chicken or beef lasagna dinner cart coming my way…..mmmmmmmmmmm buen provecho Heidi!

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