Who is the Traveling Mandolin?

Olympic National Park, 2017
Hi! My name is Lisa, and thanks for stopping by my corner of the Internet.

I was born in Missouri and raised on a steady diet of long walks, good books, playing in the woods, singing songs, and fighting/playing with my three siblings. When I hit adulthood I started interning as a writing tutor and doing freelance writing work, as well as teaching classes at a local learning center, performing as a “living history” character in my hometown of St. Charles, and generally trying to juggle way too many things at once. I randomly decided I wanted to start traveling, and quit some of my jobs so I could start gallivanting around the US.

After a few years of chasing whatever opportunities popped up— volunteering on a blueberry farm in Washington, babysitting for a family in Wyoming, making beds at a hostel in Florida, visiting second cousins in Arizona, couchsurfing to the Grand Canyon in an RV, and more— I left for a month-long tour with the indie band Insomniac Folklore. Along the way, I met a guy named Zach who walked fast and had gorgeous curly hair. A year and a half later, we were married.

Zach and I spent the summer of 2014 hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada, a 2,660-mile trek that I’ll never forget. After that we bought a house in the beautiful Frenchtown neighborhood of St. Charles, and I became the secretary for the Historic Frenchtown Association. 

After a few detours (like a three-month gallivant around the west in 2017), we put our energy into creating a permaculture haven in the middle of our suburban city. Our property is now home to a sheet-mulched backyard, a whole bunch of fruit and nut trees probably spaced way too close together, random tomatoes and oats growing everywhere, and five mischievous chickens named Pirate Buffy, Fluffy Buffy, Izbushka Mayfeather, Artemis Mayfeather, and Bobbie Dylan. My current goal is to grow more of my own food, share knowledge as I learn, and build community.

Although I started this blog to talk about my travels, it’s really just a melting pot of anything that interests me: eco-friendly living, simplicity, travel, budget, gardening, permaculture, animal rights, community-building, homestead updates, random thoughts, and lots of pictures of chickens. 

If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment or send me an email at TheTravelingMandolin(at)gmail(dot)com.