I’m a multi-genre writer who lives and travels in different parts of the world.
I’ve been poisoning the poetry landscape since I was a teenager, adding essay and fiction throughout my undergraduate years at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where I obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English. During my time there, I was fortunate to be influenced by a couple incredible professors and writers, and received a couple writing awards.
I obtained my MFA in Creative Writing at Chatham University, majoring in Nonfiction with a concentration in Travel Writing.
WHY I USE “TRAVELING MARLA” FOR MY WEBSITE
Aside from it being easy to remember, and aside from writing about this life of travel, I use the moniker because it was given to me by a woman I adore, my 95-year-old friend, Ida Lee, of Los Angeles. She just decided that was me, and kept using it. I like to pretend my other L.A. friends use it as well. They do not.
In other words, I’m MarLa. I travel. I do things, live places, meet people, ruminate and write about it.
Currently I live in South Africa.
And write about it.
WHY I’M SO “STRANGE”
I like to say I’m the punchline of a joke…
What do you get when you cross a banjo-picking, coal-mining Appalachian family with an ancestry of ruminative, classically trained educators?
In other words, I’m just another product of rural western Pennsylvania.
WHERE I TRAVEL & WHAT I WRITE
My own wanderlust began in summers with my dad in the southwest, still one of my favorite regions of the States. I have lived in various parts of America, and now abroad. I find something to love and something to write about every place I’ve been.
Of course I have favorites: dune bashing in the UAE; lunching with monks on Marble Mountain in Việt Nam; climbing St. Paul’s Cathedral in London; sleeping under the stars at Furnace Creek in Death Valley; chasing twilight and donkeys into the hills of Addis Ababa; 2a.m. searches for glowing plankton in the Maldives; and seeing my first honey badger in the wild in South Africa (honey badger really, really “don’t care.”)
This website is a way to connect with my readers, to give you a glimpse into the daily life around me, both at home and wherever I go in the world.
If you would like to follow along with my adventures, or receive updates about my latest published work, please enter your email address in the box near the top right of this page. I never spam, and I never send more than one email per day.