The Story, My Story.

“Who owns the story, the person who lives it or the person who write it?”

-Roxana Robinson, “The Right to Write”, New York Times

I came across this article yesterday while reading other opinion pieces in the New York Times. The question was largely in context of nonfiction writers taking on a topic outside of their personal experience: the writer of a war novel who never experienced battle or a Caucasian woman writing on predominately African American culture. It was assumed in the article that the writers performed extensive research in order to write about each new topic, taking pains to write as truthfully and honestly as they could. But the question remains. Do these writers own their stories and if in doing so, do they take ownership away from those they interviewed and studied, those who had lived the words on the page?

These questions, as a blogger, stay with me. I am now the very proud owner of the domain name www.twelvetoedtraveler.com. This is my public outlet for my personal story. Here in this magical Internet world, I share my thoughts and my experiences with anyone willing to indulge me for 20-600 words. I wonder about my own legitimacy to share my stories and to includes others who may not have asked to be written about or illustrated in detail. I worry about the way my motivation may be portrayed: truthful expression or creative license for exploitation?

photo (16)Austin was incredible; the city is filled with sun, incredible food and wonderful company. One evening Billy and I were seated at the patio outside Uchi (which would go on to be the best sushi experience of my entire life) waiting for our table when a waitress came to bring us drinks. The three of us began chatting and the waitress told us she was planning a solo trip to Europe–one way ticket to Copenhagen–and we immediately exchanged contact information while I rattled off a number of places I knew she would love. I remember feeling incredibly excited for her, embracing another continent to explore the world with some hard-earned cash. I was confident that it was going to be one of her big life changing experience. And then I realized,

she was me.

One month from today, I will be in Geneva, Switzerland starting my own solo tour of beautiful, historic countries I’ve only seen or read about in travel books and Facebooks. I have my countries in order: Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Greece, Turkey. I have begun to (roughly) chart my expedition across these foreign lands: the places my parents honeymooned and my friends have beached and bathed. I have one month and I am totally overwhelmed.

 “Who owns the story, the person who lives it or the person who write it?”

But I think about my alternative. The alternative being not going. The alternative being someone else writing my story.

My motivation for traveling and for writing  is self discovery. It is meant to be neither self-indulgent nor abstract. I write because there are places I’ve been and people I’ve met who deserve to be recognized; these people and experiences have changed me. I write because I don’t want to choose between living my story or writing someone else’s. I want both.

—-

P.S. I want to give a special shout out to those people from Northampton, my old job, and others who have recently begun following my blog. Thank you for your support as I start out of these very exciting and scary chapter of my life. I’ll be bringing each of you with me as I roll my suitcase and write my words.

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10 thoughts on “The Story, My Story.

  1. hey! whats up? i’m loving this recent post of you.
    I have also blogged about some 10 good reasons why traveling is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

    here’s what my recent post is all about…
    http://talkaboutbeauty.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/10-reasons-why-traveling-is-the-only-thing-that-makes-you-richer/

    What can you say about it? would be so nice to hear from you! 🙂

    All the best! xx

    deanna ( http://www.talkaboutbeauty.wordpress.com )

    1. Great post!

      I already commented but think it’s so important that everyone (9-5 job, young, old, woman, family, poor, wealthy) travels outside their state lines and mental boundaries. There is so much to see, to do and to learn about yourself when faced with a new and exciting journey!

  2. Katelyn,
    Wishing you well on this journey, with gratitude you are taking us along via your writing!
    You are the sort of person that others will love to encounter, and that bodes well for what is in store. Carol

    1. Thank you Carol! There is something scary in the unknown but I’m hoping there will be wonderful amazing people like you who I encounter along the road. Your support means so much.

  3. Always nice to follow your stories Katelyn. May the Twelve-Toed Traveler find adventure, self-discovery, and excitement in her next chapter.

  4. Kate,
    I was in Croatia in 1959…and just received a CD from my BFF of the slides we took on that trip. Mine have been long lost. I loved Yugoslavia (which
    it was known by then) and know that you have included Dubrovnik on your itinerary…don’t miss it. I also hear that Zagreb is becoming hipper. 🙂

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