Welcome to Chasing the Unknown!
I’m Marbree, a former lawyer who walked away from a settled life in the U.S. to explore the world. This site began as a blog to keep my family and friends abreast of where I was and what I was up to. I never tried to promote it or find a following, I just wrote for the love of it. As far as the blog goes, that’s still true. I write when I have something travel-related I want to share. I’m not one of those travel bloggers who walks around taking photos of herself and everything she sees, eats, and does. Sometimes the blog is personal although sometimes that goes on Medium. Sometimes I write with the intention of helping other travelers; sometimes I simply tell a story.
Travel changes lives. It makes them better. Long-term travel is not for everyone and I’m not trying to sell anyone on it but I do think everyone should take short trips, even if only to a town two states or provinces away. If I inspire even one person to take a trip somewhere they haven’t been, to get out and see the world, then this blog is worth the labor of love that goes into it.
I caught the travel bug at 15 when I first went to Europe as part of a People-to-People Student Ambassador program. My first job after earning an undergraduate degree was as a travel consultant. And until the events of 9/11 changed the world, I loved it. The pay was terrible but helping people travel was so rewarding that I didn’t mind. Ok, the perks of being a full time travel agent in those days weren’t bad, either. A few years later I wound up in law school, setting out on a career path I hadn’t foreseen.
As a lawyer, I lived for my vacations. Getting away from the office and out into the world made it possible to work the hours I did. In time, I recognized that practicing law wasn’t for me. So I quit without a clue what I’d do next. Not long after, Chasing the Unknown was born and I set out to travel. That was 2013 and I’m still out here, refusing to return to a conventional life. My style of travel continues to evolve based on where I am and what I wish to experience in that location. Sometimes I stay put for a month or two and take day or weekend trips; sometimes I hop in a car and spend a month driving around and camping. As of mid-2019, I’m based in South Africa and am less likely to sling my backpack over my shoulders and let the wind take me. Although I still have at least 2 months of pure travel on the books for the year and that’s after two trips to Europe and one to the US. Even when I claim to be sitting still, I’m not. I don’t do large group tours but I will hire a guide for a day or take a guided tour of a specific location. I’m all for independent travel but sometimes having a guide can make a world of difference.
I believe that experiencing cultures, lands, and ways of life different to our own opens our eyes, minds, and hearts. Travel connects us to other people and teaches us about ourselves and those we encounter. If done properly, it can have the same positive effects on those we meet along the way. It can help us understand our planet and the role we play within it. Getting out of our comfort zones and into the world can inspire us, energize us, and send us home with new perspectives, ideas, and dreams.
This blog doesn’t make me any money. I earn that working with a London-based boutique tour operator for whom I design and sell bespoke trips to Borneo, Malaysia, the Philippines, and arrange beach and dive holidays in the Cayman Islands. I also do some copy and travel writing. Piece by piece, I pay the bills and trust that my income will grow.
Whether you’re here to read blog posts, look at photos, or because you want help planning a holiday or with a writing project, I hope you’ll find something here that helps you. And if you do, please share it!
Where I’ve Been
U.S. states I’ve visited
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