Carole Terwilliger Meyers
What is the first country you visited? Who with and why did you choose it?
After I graduated from college I took off on a grand tour of Europe. The first stop was England—London most specifically. I traveled with a dear friend, and we chose London because it was the happening place in the ‘60s and he knew someone to stay with. His friend had a fabulous rental flat overlooking Hampstead Heath park. I’ve returned to London many times and have almost always made the trip out to Hampstead again to revisit this sweet village.
When did you start a travel lifestyle? What inspired that change?
I started really traveling and slowly turned professional travel writer when my first child was born. He had colic and I discovered that car travel soothed him. We took many short car trips, and because I was a very organized elementary school teacher I could not restrain myself from taking notes and organizing my adventures. I wrote about the trips for other parents in a newsletter for parents that I edited in the San Francisco area. I wound up becoming an expert on travel in my area, Northern California, and was hired to write a newspaper column for the San Jose Mercury News and wrote numerous guidebooks, including nine editions of “Weekend Adventures in San Francisco & Northern California”.
Do you have a base you travel from? Or is it continuous travel? And why do you choose that style?
I travel from my home in Berkeley, California. By choice I spend more time at home than on the road because I need to reconnect with my “regular” life and also because I do most of my writing at home base. As I get older I find I want to do less jumping around when I travel and spend more in-depth time in one spot. Sometime soon I’d like to do a villa/rental stay with my children and grandchildren. Preferably on an island in the Caribbean. Wouldn’t that make a great story?
How do you fund your travel lifestyle? Is it something you do when traveling or are you a saver?
I dip into saved family funds when my husband and I travel together, and I also take press trips and low-priced association trips when they are of interest. Fortunately, my husband has always had a good job, so I have never had to worry about the basics of survival. However, until just recently, I did always pull my own weight with freelance income from writing articles and books. I do not work on the road to earn money as I go.
If you could tell yourself one tip before you started your travel lifestyle, what would it be?
Go for it! Just do it! Everything will fall into place.
What does 'Living The Dream' mean to you?
I feel like I am living the dream when I take an exciting trip to someplace I want to go, and most especially when I am back home writing about it and reliving my travel at the same time. I love to organize my adventures into published pieces. That is one reason I now am a blogger and website curator/owner—it allows me to write until I am done. I remember a while back there was an article in some big publication that said travel writers were envied more than rock stars! Take THAT, Mick Jagger. :) And that segues nicely into the factoid that I really lived the dream in a video with Mick, directed by my son (the colicky baby), in which I was an extra in the elevator scene.