A Year of Yes: Letting my writing lead my travel

Iceland has been on my list of place to visit for a long time. I’m so excited to be able to bring that gorgeous landscape and natural history filled with mystery into the world of my next Emerson Page book (along with my magical trip to Ireland earlier this year.) I spent the majority of my time outside. The open air restored my spirit and I stuffed my eyes with beauty at every turn.

What I love most about travel, is that I get the chance to be exactly who I am moment to moment without the requirements of labels, titles, and actions. I’m not my job or my projects. I’m just me, and there is newness everywhere.

Whenever I come back from a trip, my heart and mind are filled with mixed emotions. I love being back in New York with my friends and my sweet dog, Phineas. I’m grateful for the adventures I had, and I miss the freedom that travel affords to shake off responsibilities and to-do lists. The difficulty of re-entry is a real thing, even when I’m away for just a short time.

To get through that, I start thinking about a new adventure, some time from now to some place I’ve never been before. On the plane home from Iceland, I came across an article in a travel magazine about the Azores (an autonomous region of Portugal), an archipelago in the mid-Atlantic that’s a nature lover’s paradise. São Miguel, the largest island, has lake-filled calderas and a huge tea plantation. Pico, another island, is home to the 2,351m Mt. Pico and vineyards sheltered by boulders. It’s also known for its beautiful birds, stunning waterfalls, whale watching, volcano roots, and hiking.

The Azores are calling and I must go. If you’ve been, I’d love recommendations!


A Year of Yes: A bit of a day…

Yesterday was a bit of a day, as Lin-Manuel Miranda says. Some tough, some good, a lot confusing. In other words, it was a Monday. I ended the day by celebrating a dear friend’s birthday. That friend and I will be in magical Iceland 3 weeks from today and that’s enough to get me through.

And don’t worry. Between this blog, my Twitter, and my Instagram, I’m taking you all with me. I can’t wait to show you around and introduce you to all the sights, sounds, and wonders we’re visiting. Get ready for the trip of a lifetime!


A Year of Yes: Iceland in 3 weeks

I’ll land in Iceland 3 weeks from today! My mom told me my Grampy, Alfonso Francis Lupinacci, dreamed of going there. He read all he could about it in National Geographic magazines. I didn’t know that when I booked this trip. He died on my 6th birthday without ever seeing Iceland so I’m taking these pictures of us with me to show him around. I hope that somewhere along that path I feel his presence and that we get a chance to share a moment, standing in awe of that beautiful landscape together, after all these years. And I hope I can be the tour guide he always wanted to have.


In the pause: Iceland’s beautiful Christmas Eve tradition of books and chocolate

Iceland has the most lovely Christmas Eve tradition. There they give books to each other on Christmas Eve and then spend the night reading, usually curled up under a cozy blanket while eating chocolate. This tradition is the reason for the word Jolabokaflod, or “Christmas Book Flood”. It signifies the time between September and December when the majority of books are sold in Iceland in preparation for Christmas giving. 1:10 Icelanders is an author, and they buy and read more books per capita. What a country!

Now that Emerson Page is out in the world, I’m going to have to figure out how to get her to Iceland, in book two and into Jolabokaflod. I’ll be glad to tag along to see what she finds.

Wishing you a cozy, comfy December 24th filled with books and chocolate.


In the pause: Planning for Iceland

This weekend I started sketching out my second book about Emerson Page and her travels are going to take her to the Land of Fire and Ice—Iceland. Next month, I’m going to take a long weekend to go to Iceland, poke around, take a lot of pictures, and do some writing. I would love to get any recommendations about where to go, what to see, where to stay, and who to meet while I’m there. Cheers and thank you, or rather skál and Þakka þér fyrir!


Wonder: Happy Jolabokaflod, a holiday for books & chocolate a la Iceland

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy Jolabokaflod! Jolabokaflod? It may be my favorite of all holidays. In Iceland, people exchange books as Christmas Eve presents. Then you spend the rest of the night in bed reading them and eating chocolate. A holiday for books and chocolate? Sign me up! Jolabokaflod means ‘The Christmas Book Flood’. Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country and sells most of its books between September and November because of Jolabokaflod. May you read well, eat well, and smile a lot during the next few days and always. Happy everything!