Amanda is a writer and veterinarian who lives in Holland and writes at Poppies and Ice Cream. She writes about her adventures in travel, food, and reading, and her blog is light and airy and fun. I found her by reading Lauren's blog, and was thrilled when she mentioned that she'd already read Not Intent on Arriving after seeing some of my comments there. Great minds think alike (and love Lauren)! After reading this interview, I hope you'll hop on over to Poppies and Ice Cream and see what Amanda is up to!
Who are you? I am a Mexican-Swiss girl living in Holland with my adorable husband and (much awaited) 17-month old little girl. I am a veterinarian / biologist who loves baking, reading, going to places, jumping around like crazy and red dresses. I love ice cream, reading, traveling, finding new parks, taking long walks, experimenting with new recipes, learning about new cultures and lately sitting in the couch staring at space.
Where can you be found online? Do you have a blog or other online receptacle for your work? I write a blog at Poppies and Ice-Cream. It is a place where I document my thoughts, rants, adventures. Things I want to remember. It is also a place where I process the hard stuff. It is a bit random, a “cajón de sastre” as the Spanish saying would put it, meaning a “tailor’s cabinet”, that place where all the bits and pieces are scrambled together; there is a little bit of everything: recipes, reflections, some book reviews, travel anecdotes.
What inspired you to start writing? When did it happen?
I started writing in the Summer of 2011, when I was actually going through a difficult period (I was struggling with unemployment, adjusting to living in yet a different country and discovering the monster that is infertility). When we were wedding planning I discovered a bunch of blogs written by smart, fun people and I thought it would be fun to try myself as well. In a deeper way it also started as an exercise in finding the positive things of everyday life, as a means to push through what was a little bit of a hard period and in that sense to practice gratefulness, to be aware. It was not that premeditated and intentional at the moment but I see now that I needed to focus on the good things and that it helped me find my place, kept me afloat.
Why do you write? I write to keep track of life, writing also helps me organize my thoughts. I guess I write to journal, to remember, to understand, to put things in place.
Your writing inspires me. Who inspires you? Wow, thanks so much. I love the writing (and photography) of Cara of Peonies and Polaroids. I am also at awe at how Lauren from Better in Real Life has a way of turning the simple stories of everyday life (like a conversation with her husband or a trip to the supermarket or how it feels to be a teenager) into a whole meaningful story to which you can relate, also she is often funny and profound at the same time. I wish I could write magical stories like the ones of Julio Cortazar, how he saw the extraordinary in the most common situations.
In keeping with the admittedly loose travel theme of Not Intent On Arriving, if you could have an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? Ha, this a hard one because I want to go everywhere. But I really am curious about the temples in Cambodia and I would also love to see Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia… I would make a trip exploring South East Asia.
What is your favorite place on earth? The first place that came to my mind is Barcelona, so I guess that would be it. As soon as I set foot on the city the first time I felt a strong attraction and connection to the place. It has everything: sea, mountains, culture, hidden little corners (like the Biblioteca Nacional de Catalunya… a library that used to be the hospital where Ramon y Cajal made his discoveries on neurons), nice food and weather, friendly people, lots of parks...
Anything else you'd like us to know? You can also find me at Tartas y Pinceles. After much pondering I took the plunge and started a business creating custom-made hand painted cakes. It is still tiny and slowly growing, but it is a fun exercise and a challenge. I never thought of myself as a creative person (I always had a strong penchant for the sciences) and they always scored my creativity low on psychometric tests.