I'm an intrepid traveler, a spirited shutterbug, an insatiable bookworm, a fearless adventurer, a perpetual daydreamer, a creative spirit, a curious epicurean and a wannabe superhero.
I've been a wide-eyed dreamer all of my life. As a kid, I could either be found with my nose in a book or a sketch pad in hand, imagining of far away places and fairytale castles. I was fascinated by the Egyptian pyramids, Spanish Flamenco dancers, the canals of Venice.
When I was growing up, we moved around a lot, so perhaps that's when I started to develop my keen sense of adventure. I've always loved discovering new cities and meeting new people.
After high school, I moved to the Tampa Bay Area on a whim and I never left. I was the first in my family to go to college, graduating with a BS degree in Education from the University of South Florida. I continue to support my alma mater as a Lifetime Alum and a proud member of Women in Leadership and Philanthropy, an organization dedicated to promoting the educational and research endeavors of women throughout the university system.
My first job out of college was with the YMCA where I served as a Program Director for two facilities, managing fitness and cardiac rehab programs. Then, as a lifelong lover of books and learning, I transitioned into the academic publishing industry where I led a 20 year successful sales and editorial career.
In the ongoing transition from print to digital, the academic publishing industry has grown increasingly volatile. After a series of disruptive layoffs, I've decided to move away from corporate America and get back to my creative roots, using my professional editorial expertise to guide my sail.
My mom's dad was a colorful character. He traveled to over 100 countries, training workers how to use large industrial weaving looms. He spoke seven languages and would send amazing postcards and snapshots from all over the world. And he told the most outrageous tales of his far-flung adventures.
When I turned 21, my grandpa flew me to Holland to stay with him and my grandmother. It was my first time traveling out of the country and my body tingled with nervous excitement. After only two days at his house, he decided we would pack up his beat-up sedan and embark on an impromptu multi-country road trip. For two weeks, he hauled me from place to place at a dizzying and exhaustive pace. We climbed castle keeps in Germany, wandered the damp, dark tunnels below Luxembourg City, rode tiny mopeds down tree lined streets, ate stinky cheese in small French villages.
My grandpa, in his thick horn-rimmed glasses and loud plaid pants, was a madman and a fervent conversationalist. He would talk to anyone, anywhere, about anything and everything. His deep voice and roaring raucous laugh always commanded attention from strangers and passersby. He had a deep curiosity about people, places and culture and an insatiable appetite for off-the-wall adventures. It was on that trip, I finally got to see the world through his eyes and soon realized, I had inherited his wanderlust gene.
And now, years later, I'm excited to share my very own oddball adventures with you!
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Kristin Cunningham - All Rights Reserved.