My name is Jordana Manchester, welcome to my little corner of the digital universe. I’m a new mom, wife to dirt-bike, hockey-playing, tech geek, and I’ve been a Canadian-based online writer for just over 10 years.
Writing has been an outlet for me since I was 7 years old. My poetry was even published in a couple of local newspapers, but I didn’t really pursue it as a career until I was older…
Fast forward to 2008 when The Urban Xenophile was launched. It was founded out of a profound and insatiable obsession for self-discovery, and a desire to learn and proselytize about our similarities as a human species and explore cultural differences. I had no idea when I began this blog that I would end up traveling around the world, subsequently spend four years doing an anthropology degree and fortunately, turn my writing into a career. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy! But as my travels grew, naturally, I began to focus more on travel articles, and ended up spending more time lending my voice to other publications, letting this little dream fall to the wayside. I lost my way a bit, and it’s time to come home.
On the personal side…
I could say it was the passage of time, or the renewed desire for a creative outlet is what inspired me to refocus on this blog, but it was really only one thing; Motherhood.
Becoming a mother was the catalyst for a creative awakening deep in my soul. Which is ironic because I have less time to sit down to be creative. But watching him discover the world, one touch, one giggle, one tumble, one irreplaceable moment at a time, has enlivened my need to be a better human.
So I’m going to tell stories. I’m going to write about the far off places that changed me for the better (and worse). I’m going to talk about the struggles of being a travel blogger in a space that continues to value followers, likes and the power of influence over authenticity, imperfection and truth. But also stories about the hilarity of being a new mom; Stories about attempts to balk about society’s incessant pressures to be perfect; Stories about quiet hobbies and loud dreams. Stories about complete and utter fall-on-your-face disasters and (in my mind), soaring, can’t-believe-I-did-that successes. Human stories.
On the business side…
I’m definitely not what the kids would call an “influencer”. I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about my social media following. My Instagram is a disorganized, mishmash of everyday life, sometimes I forget I have a Twitter page and my Pinterest, well, let’s just say it probably needs an update. However, I am an avid albeit, slow, travel junkie. And full disclosure, while this blog is a space to share my life, it is also a platform I use to support my family, along with my travel consulting business. With that in mind, you will find affiliate links to products and experiences that I feel are worth mentioning to you, my readers. For travel deals, hosted tours and cruises and things of the sort, feel free to visit my Travel Consultant Facebook Page. And if you’re interested in working with me in a literary capacity, visit my work with me page (Coming Soon!)
What’s in it for you?
In short, if you’re searching for a travel(ish) blog written by a bonafide travel professional, that also includes stories about being a highly fallible mama careening through life one spilled coffee, disastrous road trip, fuzzy photo and random observation at a time, The Urban Xenophile just might be your new favourite online space.