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The Traveler Behind the Blog

I haven't done a good introduction blog in a long while, so today you get to learn all about me. I should not be as excited as I am to talk about myself because I know that's totally self-centered--but we all have to give into our self-centered indulgences every once in a while, right?!

So, hi! I'm Natalie. I'm the captain of this travel blog. And despite what the below picture might tell you, sitting on a sand throne is not nearly as glamorous as it looks. I guess that's a hazard of the job that I'm willing to endure.

Being the supremely weird unique person that I am, I have interviewed myself so that you can get to know me a little better. Let's delve into all things Cosmos Mariners, shall we?

Interviewer Me: Hello, Natalie. I'm so excited about this interview. You're quite wonderful, aren't you?
Answerer Me: Um, yes. Yes, I think I am. 

Interviewer Me: I'm pretty great, too, but I guess that's not the point. Let's talk about your blog.
Answerer Me: I've run Cosmos Mariners: Destination Unknown for about four years now. It started out as a tiny little thing so people could read about the early years of my marriage. I'm pretty sure that my parents and my in-laws were the only people who read it then. 

There's definitely always more room to grow, but I've found an awesome community of bloggers in the years that I've been working on this site. About a year ago, I rebranded to focus more on our travels as well as our adventures here in Charleston--I've loved all of the opportunities and friends that have come out of that change. 

My sister--one of my original readers--and I at Disney World in 2008.
Interviewer Me: Where have you traveled?
Answerer Me: All over the place! I've been on every mile of I-95--it runs all along the eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine. Besides the eastern seaboard states, I've been to Louisiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and California. I really want to see more of the U.S.! I've been to Disney World 25 or 30 times (we have a serious addiction); my first trip ever was to Disney when I was 2.

Outside of the U.S., I've been to several of the islands in the Bahamas (Andros, Grand Bahama Island, and New Providence), St. Martin/St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Mexico (the Yucatan Peninsula), Canada (Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island), Wales, England, Scotland, and France. I'm hoping to add Jamaica, Haiti, and a few European countries to that list in 2015!


Interviewer Me: Why are you wearing that intensely orange shirt in that picture if you at the top of the page?
Answerer Me: I've got to represent my alma mater, Clemson University! I graduated from there with a B.A. in Literature. (And then went on to the rival school, USC, for my M.A. in Post-WWII British Gothic Literature--but we don't talk about that.)

We took our love of Clemson all the way to the Trossachs, Scotland!
Interviewer Me: Were you indeed on the Clemson Quidditch team?
Answerer Me: Sadly, no. But I'm still waiting on my acceptance letter to Hogwarts! I'm going to be their first non-traditional (read: old person) student. While I wait for my owl to bring the letter, I've been absorbing as much as I can about the Wizarding World at Universal Studios and the Leavesden studios. 
Diagon Alley, Warner Brothers Studios, London

Zonko's, Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Orlando
Interviewer Me: Where's your favorite place to travel?
Answerer Me: I'm up for anywhere once, but if I had to go one place over and over again, it would be the UK. I've been there four times: once in 2003 with my parents and sister, in 2005 to study abroad, in 2011 with my husband, and in 2012 with a family I tutored. I'm an Anglophile through and through. 

Melrose Abbey, Scotland
Interviewer Me: Why don't you travel all of the time?
Answerer Me: If I could, I would! However, my husband works in a very location-based job (retail banking), so we try to travel as much as we can together when his work schedule suits. I'm not above traveling with my toddler, my parents, or my sister if there's somewhere I just have to go. I could totally be one of those nomadic travelers, but my other half would hate that, so we've found a good travel compromise. 

Indian Shores, Florida
Interviewer Me: What in the world makes you think you're qualified to blog about traveling?
Answerer Me: I love it! I really and truly love going to a new place, meeting new people, and trying new foods. I hope that passion comes across in my blog. Beyond that, I talk A LOT about the literature and history of the places that I visit, and that's where all of that college and grad school work come in handy!

Rodin Museum and Gardens, Paris
Interviewer Me: Where's home?
Answerer Me: Charleston, South Carolina. I tried for a very long time to get away because I wanted to live somewhere else after growing up here. Fate intervened and the only job offer I got was right back here in Charleston. I've been back for about four years, and I'm very excited to raise my daughter here in between our other adventures. 

Tradd Street, Charleston, South Carolina

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Hopefully, you know a little bit more about me than you did! Want to know something else? Ask away!