Who is Liesbet?
Liesbet, a writer and memoirist I met in November 2015 on my blog, visited our home last week with her husband Mark and furry “daughter” Maya:
A teenager when a world map captivated her attention, Liesbet has pursued her dream to roam the world ever since:
- Native of Belgium, gaining American citizenship in 2019.
- Travels with husband Mark, whom she’s known since 2004.
- Has been writing a memoir of their nomadic life, including an eight-year sailing adventure, which took them from the Chesapeake Bay all the way to Tahiti, where they sold their floating home.
- Since the summer of 2017, have lived in a 19-foot Mercedes sprinter Westfalia camper named Zesty.
- Blogs about her itinerant life and her writing process regularly on Roaming About.
Since it’s January, I served them a hearty menu for lunch: chili with sour cream and shredded Cheddar, French bread, broccoli & cabbage slaw, a relish tray, and strawberry, lime, & mango sherbet for dessert.
A Valentine table decor seemed called for. After all, how many couples can survive (even thrive) together almost 24/7 for sixteen years. Wow!
Besides, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.
Liesbet and I enjoyed a 4-hour visit, catching up face to face. It didn’t seem like a first encounter at all because I had already perceived her personality and aspirations from our online conversations.
When I met Liesbet at the door with hugs, the first words out of her mouth: “You look exactly like your picture!”
She did too, but I didn’t realize how tall she is. (She and Mark are both quite tall!)
Maya, who contentedly snoozed in the sunny lanai, took a walk in the preserve with us after lunch.
Then, we got a tour of the compact camper, which includes all the necessities. A 360-degree inspection of their RV, revealed living space (driver and passenger seat swivel into living room chairs), kitchen with sink and tucked-in refrigerator, shower, toilet, and lots of storage–over, beside, underneath–quite efficient!
Environmentally conscious, they’ve equipped their dwelling with solar panels.
Liesbet and Mark live on a very tight budget, which she summarized in a recent blog post: https://www.roamingabout.com/expense-report-2019/
Perhaps their willingness to forgo luxury for the common goal of savoring a life less ordinary is one key to their success.
Comparatively speaking, Liesbet is still young and has lived a life chock-full of many exotic destinations, her heart’s desire. Lover of adventure but also as writer, she ponders, “What should I include in my memoir? What slice of life? What theme should I focus on? (The rigors of travel on a budget? My relationship with Mark?)
Her take on the conundrum of memoir writing came through in a comment over two years ago on my blog from November 5, 2017 shortly after I met her.
Transforming the story you want to tell in a neat, attractive and compelling package must be the hardest thing!?! The more I read about memoir and the more I am trodding along with mine, the more I feel like I will need some professional help at some point. Not so much with creating the stories, adventures and highlights – that is what my life is about after all – but with the right angle, format and all that good stuff.
What aspect of Liesbet’s life would you be interested in reading about in her memoir?
How would you answer some of her questions about memoir writing?
A question or comment for Liesbet?
Where is the farthest you’ve traveled in the world? A favorite destination?