I write about travel and history, and the intersection of the two. I’m fascinated by the theater of humanity.
Hi! I’m Jen Nilsson and I’m a writer who finally started actually writing in June of 2018.
For years I talked about writing but, in reality, my journalism degree gathered dust while I worked in politics, government and sales. I let my dreams of writing a book and of traveling the world fade away while I worked long hours and wrapped my identity around my career.
And then, on Feb. 14, 2018, my fiance was diagnosed with stage four esophageal cancer. He died on June 4, 2018, not even four months after he was diagnosed. I wrote this post one day later and I really haven’t stopped writing since.
Even before his diagnosis, Jeff showed me how to love more freely and how to trust more completely. After his diagnosis, he showed me how to seek joy and to live for every moment.
When Jeff died, I quit my job, packed a suitcase and dusted off my laptop. This blog is full of the stories and life lessons that I’ve gained while traveling the world.
Thank you for reading. I am honored that you are here.
My Travel Style
I don’t visit places just to check a box. I like to stay awhile and get to know the people that make the place hum. My minimum stay is generally five nights, but I tend to stay longer.
Village life is more my speed these days. I used to travel only to major cities but now I seek to get off the tourist trail as much as possible.
I am a mid-range traveler in terms of budget. Nowhere near a luxury traveler, but far too old for bunk beds.
Sustainable travel may sound like an oxymoron given all of the flight miles that fuel a nomadic lifestyle, but I try. I’ve given up plastic water bottles entirely and, in general, I’m proudly plastic-free.
I am writing a book about life on the demarcation line between Nazi-Occupied France and Vichy France during World War II. In the Loire Valley, the line of demarcation was really just a slip of water called the River Cher. It cut communities in two; it sliced farms and vineyards in half; it separated school districts and divided families.
This pivotal river taught the people in the Loire that the distance between life and death is often narrow and arbitrary. The real-life stories of courage, betrayal, and love in the face of war are captivating, and I hope to capture some of those tales in my work of historical fiction based in the town of Saint-Martin-le-Beau.
Thank You for Reading
It’s been a winding, rocky path, but every step of my journey has taught me something new. I’m grateful to all of you who have read, followed and encouraged me along the way.