I have always been interested in my family's roots in the Old Country (Poland, Germany, Italy, Ireland) so Europe has exerted a magnetic pull on my soul for as long as I can remember. I had my "grand tour" of Europe with Sr. Mary Frances and Miss Ambrister as a high school student and then got to live in Poland for two whole years in the 1990s as a graduate student. The process of "post-communist transition" (to what, no one can be sure) is, to me, the most compelling political and social transformation of our time. But, that may have a lot to do with the fact that I am an ardent Slavophile. I can't seem to get enough of reading and watching films about the myriad ways Slavs have suffered, starved, censored, tortured, exiled, and murdered but also created, danced, ate, drank, persevered and survived for the last thousand years. It's an incredible history.
My geographic interests are shifting eastward over time from Poland and Central Europe into Russia, Eurasia and China. I am LOVING learning all the ways "the East" has shaped the world in ways that few of us "Westerners" realize.
I feel fortunate to live in a time where there is an endless supply of podcasts, audiobooks and the 24-7 news cycle so I can never be without something to plug into while I hike with my dogs, work in my yard, or clean my house.