Admittedly, I have very little wanderlust. I don’t care if I ever see the Eiffel Tower or the Grand Canyon. I can suffer from jet lag without even leaving my original time zone. With that said, I have great respect for wanderers like my hero Peace Pilgrim and Rita Golden Gelman, author of Tales of a Female Nomad . What can I say? I love free spirits.
Turns out those two wanderers are not alone. I have this incredible friend, Tammy Winand, who keeps her friends updated on her wanderings (she has met the Dalai Lama multiple times—can you imagine?!) . Tammy is the author of 3 books; Everyday Exile, Haiku in Exile, and Monsoon Madness; Calm Before the Storm. I’ve read and enjoyed her works, and find her unusual lifestyle fascinating. On Facebook she’ll post things like, “In 2 weeks I’ll be in the Himalayas.” Boggles my mind!
Tammy is also a fantastic photographer. Check out her page to view her gorgeous photos.
Tammy graciously responded to interview questions I sent her, which I’ve posted below. If you find her as amazing as I do, I urge you to check out her writings and artwork.
Q: When did you begin living such a unorthodox lifestyle?
A: I guess the best answer is that I began doing seasonal work in
national park concessions in 2007. Contracts generally run 3-6 months, so
you always need to find a way to get through the off season.
You take the funds you saved and go where you can afford to w/o working…which usually means
a country where cost of living is extremely low
I also have a few streams of online income which most months is below $300 USD
Q: How do plan where you will go next?
A: which way is the wind blowing???
tbh I am most drawn to the Himalayan region. I have spent 4 of the past 9 yrs in northern India in Tibetan exile settlements where
HH Dalai Lama resettled after fleeing the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1959. He still lives in McleodGanj and the Tibetan community
and govt offices are located there. From here, to the north and east, inc other parts of India and Nepal, there are a huge number of
Himalayan Buddhist cultures
Q: What did a young Tammy want to do when she grew up?
A: Until my early teens I mainly wanted to be a ballerina, gymnast or ice skater.
My high school plans leaned toward linguist or literary translator, which I have not made a paid career, but I do a lot of anyway in my
everyday life!Q:Where do you see yourself in 10 or 20 years?
A: Metaphorically speaking, hopefully in a better financial position. I def want to still be traveling, studying, learning,
chronicling my adventures
I would ideally have established myself as a cultural documentary photographer by then, put out some photo books, etc
I am 50 now, so hopefully sooner rather than later!