Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Guest Post: how travel influenced the PJ Mouse series

Oh, what a treat for you today. Tomorrow I am posting a review of Travel Adventures of PJ Mouse and I'm also going to have a giveaway for it. The book is geared towards young readers, I'd say ages 7-10 and my second grade son (age 7) was able to read the book to me with little difficulty and he really enjoyed it. But you'll read more of our review tomorrow. Today though, I have a guest post from the author, Jane Page. She'll give us some information about her love of travel and how that influenced her adorable book series of PJ Mouse.

Why My Love of Travel is Such a Big Part of the Series by Gwyneth Jane Page
I lived in quite a few places as a child including: Boston, USA; California, USA; England; St. Lucia; Peru; Vancouver, Canada; Montreal, Canada; and finally Victoria, Canada. Living in different places gives you lasting memories. I can't really remember much of daily life when I was just at elementary school in Vancouver. I can remember some things obviously, but not compared to how much I remember from years when we were away.
I can remember sitting on the bar as my mom cleaned the pub they owned in Boston when I was about 2 years old. When I was 4, I can remember learning to swim and row a boat when we lived in St. Lucia. When I was 8 we lived in Peru, and I can remember visiting Machu Picchu. I also went to an all-Spanish speaking Catholic girls school. I did not understand a word. I spent 3 months just listening and then suddenly started speaking Spanish. After a year I was fluent. I can still speak some Spanish. It was a great way to learn a language.
I also recall visiting some of the poor areas, where we bought some hand-made Peruvian items, and seeing the kids playing. It struck me that just because these people were poor did not necessarily mean that they were unhappy. Our western culture demands that we have a house, car, endless activities for our kids, etc, to be happy. When I saw these kids playing in their village, on dirt roads, and laughing and having fun, I realized, even at the age of 8, that happiness is not conditional on our western society assumptions. We do not all need to be the same or have the same things. Sometimes travel can open your mind to new ideas or ways of seeing things.
Travel also provides adventure and experience that you otherwise would not have. There is so much beauty in the world and such diversity. Yes, going places can involve some risk, but there is also risk just walking out your front door in the morning. I would rather go and try something or somewhere new and be wrong than never try.
Finally, you never know whom you are going to meet, people that would not otherwise cross your path. I have friends all over the world. I love meeting new people on a trip and then staying in touch and meeting up again later, maybe somewhere else.
I hope kids will be inspired by my books to live their lives, to discover new places and people, to enjoy the world around them and to look after it. 

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