Hi, I’m Leah, the heart, soul, brain, and fingers behind this blog.
I began my first written masterpiece at the early age of 7 years old. It was a spiral bound journal with a hunter green marble-y cover and I would write in it every time something interesting happened (which actually turned out to be just once or twice a month). As you might guess, that little book is filled with minimalist descriptions of cat-shaped chocolates, angry accounts of “the worst babysitter in the world,” and bashful pondering about living happily ever after with any boy who happened to look in my direction. (You’ve got to start somewhere, right?)
I enjoyed writing for myself though childhood and adolescence, but my itch to write couldn’t hold a candle to my itch to travel.
How does that desire to go to strange new places first find a person?
I suppose it’s different for each traveler… A book, a film, a story, a postcard can fill your imagination with dreams of climbing every mountain and walking every back alley in a foreign land.
I was a young teen when I first made up my mind that I would someday go somewhere abroad, but it wasn’t till I was 20 that I made my first big escape from Flagstaff, Arizona to spend a summer working in England and the following two semesters studying in the Netherlands. It was a life changing 13 months, full of the highest highs and the lowest lows; the worst mistakes and the biggest grace; the littlest amount of money in my pocket but a heart filled in way that money can’t buy.
I was hooked.
I returned to Flagstaff to finish up my degree in Elementary Education at Northern Arizona University and determined to move abroad again as soon after graduation as possible. I’ve failed at many things, but this resolution to emigrate was a success. I graduated from NAU in May 2011, and by July 2011 I was taking a CELTA certification class in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
In August 2011 I moved to Bratislava, Slovakia with the promise of a job at a language school and the work visa application process already underway. When I walked out of the main train station (which, by the way, is notoriously ugly) and took my first look at the city, I had plans to stay for two years before moving on to a new adventure in a new place…
Fast forward to 2016 …
I’m married to a Slovak guy named Erik (the most friendly, generous, and cuddly Slovak guy I could find, and he can cook!) and together we have a little girl named Hanka who loves watching Peppa Pig on the laptop and eating other pigs at the dinner table. We live in a village just a few kilometers outside Bratislava.
Now that I’m a wife and mother in a land that’s still a little foreign to me, I’m well aware that my life doesn’t have the same glamor as it did when I was young and fresh and could fit all my possessions into one big bag to pick up and move somewhere new at any time. We do more daily grind than day-long excursions. But though the glamour of that freedom is gone, I’m still looking to live a life that has some shine to it. And since I know that shine is not going to come from a clean floor in my home, I’ll be looking for metaphorical glimmers of it in the years ahead with Erik and Hanka, friendships with people far and near, and in the lessons life throws our way.
So what will you find in this blog?
Here you’ll find travel stories from my wild and youthful days (meant to inspire you), posts about being in Slovakia with a toddler (meant to inform you), and a portfolio of other things I’ve written (meant to convince you to hire me as a freelance writer).
You can find my “published work” on a blog which boasts a whole 15 followers and was last updated less than 2 years ago: makingtheworldalittlesmaller.blogspot.com