I’m Amanda. Or Mandy. Or Mimi. I’m a writer, a teacher, a traveler, a dancer, and probably some other things, too. I live in northern California, I’m from Chicago, and I like to go to places I’ve never been before. I’m sort of a gypsy: I’ve moved 10 times in six years, to three different states in two different countries. You should probably write my address in pencil.
I’m also a little bit country, a little bit rock and roll.
And words. I’m big on words.
I am a Jill-of-all-trades: I work as a freelance writer (editor, proofreader, content writer…you get the idea) and also sometimes teach English as a second language to adults and at the university level. I write creatively and I adore performing my writing in front of an audience. It’s pretty much all the therapy I need. I’ve performed at RUI: Reading Under the Influence, a monthly reading series in Chicago I co-created with several other raucously talented writers, as well as for 2nd Story, WBEZ Chicago Public Radio, Lit Gangs of Chicago at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, Quiet Lightning, and more. For five years, I was the Assistant Artistic Director of the phenomenal Story Week Festival of Writers, before I moved to California. I also did a glorious writer’s residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. I’ve written lots of articles about both Chicago and San Francisco nightlife, all for metromix.com. You can read more about my other writing on my page, aptly titled, Other Writing.
This isn’t a traditional travel blog. I define travel as any time you are doing something new, any time you do something that scares you, any time you discover or realize something you didn’t know before – which encompasses a lot. So this blog is about traveling outside my comfort zone and doing things that scare me (but like the good kind of scared, not the scary kind of scared) and within that beautiful combination, finding the essence of life — being a witness to what is happening now. Which really, is all there ever is.
I hope you like it.
I have an awesomely nerdy love of writing haiku poetry. I even have a blog for them – although, admittedly, only update it when inspiration strikes. You can read them at haikumandy.blogspot.com.
Speaking of awesomely nerdy, if you’re into learning about my teaching history and education (in ESL and composition), I have a portfolio of my teaching and research experiences at amandaellensnyder.wordpress.com.