My name is Jordana Manchester, welcome to my little corner of the digital universe. I’m a mom (fur and human), wife to dirt-bike riding, hockey-playing, tech geek, and I’ve been a Canadian-based online writer for just over 10 years. But first, a little background.
I’ve been writing since I was 7 years old. Adventure tales, poems, and my absolute favourite, ghost stories. Stephen King was my muse, Edgar Allan Poe my hero and Margaret Atwood my addiction. Three authors that couldn’t be more opposite, yet had a profound effect on my writing and the way my imagination worked. Unfortunately, I never did much with my writing, and eventually, it fell to the wayside until much later in life.
Fast forward to 2008 when The Urban Xenophile was launched. It was founded and aptly named for a number of reasons. Firstly, because I was on the on the verge of chasing the love of my life around the globe for nearly a year. I was a city girl actively seeking the discomfort of life on the road, an existence amidst strange new cultures. I had no idea where my journey would take me. I had no idea that I would get to chase lions across African grasslands, or watch a baby organtuan play with my camera bag in the jungles of Sumatra, or get hopelessly lost on the road to the Costa Verde in Brazil. I could not have foreseen that my travels would inspire me to throw every last dime I had (and some of the government’s) at a degree in anthropology only to end up back in the travel and travel writing industry.
But here we are 10 years later. I decided it was time to stop letting life get in the way, and do what I’ve always loved doing. Telling stories.
I could say it was the passage of time, or the renewed desire for a creative outlet was what inspired me to refocus on this blog and hopefully, turn it into a successful aspect of my business, but it was really one main factor; Motherhood.
So 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. I’m going to tell stories about the hilarity of being a new mom; Stories about my failed attempts to balk at 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.
My goal with this blog is many things. I want to have an honest conversation with my readers about the places I’ve been and the places I want to go. If I can inspire even one person to consider a destination, a life change, to ponder a new idea, or feel moved enough to strike up a conversation about something you’re passionate about, I’ll be able to sleep at night. I hope to one day support my family with this blog by sharing my knowledge as a travel professional, a traveller, a student of the arts, a new mom, a woman of colour, a Canadian, a fellow human being.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, and welcome to the Urban Xenophile.