About Julie - The Dirt on the Lady

Julie in Paris, May 2002.

I love this picture of me - and it's not particularly for the way I look (God help that hair!). I suppose it's just a memory of a day. Isn't it amazing how your thoughts often drift back to one year or one day or even one hour of your life? Well, on this particular day I was in Paris. And while I know it's cliche to quote Hemingway, he put it into words better than I ever could .... 'If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.'

Before setting out on this trip we decided to interview people along the way. It all started with "ten questions" that were actually quite boring on the surface. But simple questions often lead to deeply personal conversations, and that was what we hoped for. Just how often do you get to know someone in the most basic sense? How often do you stop to ask someone ...

1. Where are you from?

Sedona, Arizona located just south of the Grand Canyon. But like most Arizonans, I'm not really from here. I'm a Midwestern girl in heart and soul. I was born in La Crosse, Wisconsin, raised in Milwaukee, and educated in Madison. Like so many Midwesterners I was attracted to the west. Nigel and I moved to Sedona to be near his family and soon fell in love with it. We've spent the last five years here in this sleepy little red rock town we fondly call home.

2. What is your occupation?

Taking a whole year off required a clean break from my job. Coming back to a quote-un-quote normal life required a swift re-entry. Sedona isn't exactly a hub of opportunity so I consider myself one of the lucky ones - first because I have a job, period. Second because I look forward to going in to work each day. I work for a small educational software company doing web site design and online sales and marketing.

3. Do you enjoy it or would you rather do something else?

I've always enjoyed working for small companies because I can get my head around the entire operation. It feels exciting at times to turn "a little something" into "a little something more". But like so many 20/30-somethings, I'm always thnking about the next exciting thing. At the moment this is to become a documentary filmmaker (cool, eh?) Starting next month, I'll be taking weekend classes at a local film school to learn a little more about it.

4. Have you ever been out of your country?

Well that's a no-brainer considering this entire web site is dedicated to flaunting our travels. However, prior to this trip I had traveled very little. Now I can say I've been to something like 20 countries! Heh heh ... funny how we like to rack up those numbers.

Traveling around the world had been a dream of mine for years. And I'm so glad that I did it. If you have the desire and the means to see the world, as I presume everyone does on various levels (the desire that is), then you should just do it. It's something you'll never regret. And no matter what people say, it's never too late to set off on a trip like this. I truly believe that - it's all a frame of mind.

5. Tell me about your family.

Nigel and I formed our own little family by tieing the knot a few years ago. We'll be keeping our family small -- just the two of us and Dizzy our cat -- until further notice. It's fun this way, really Mom!

My Mom is a middle school English and Literature teacher and my Dad is a hotel manager. My older brother John and his wife Lynda are parents to Paige, the apple of every Clappier family member's eye (including mine). And my younger brother Brian goes to the University of Wisconsin and will soon be working toward a law degree.

I became a Snowflake when I took the plunge and said "I do" - and then made the decision to change my name from Clappier to Snow. I inherited a sister Nicole and a second set of parents who are tremendously dear to me.

6. What is your favorite food?

This one is just silly. It just depends on the day. Chocolate. Thai green curry. Deep dish pizza. Don't get me started. It's not very interesting for me to elaborate on this since I have access to a wide variety of foods, unlike so many of the people we met on the trip and asked the same question. So my diet is not particularly "regional". Although it is certainly American.

7. Why are you here (wherever you happen to be at this moment)?

I'm at my computer in my apartment in Sedona, Arizona listening to the Rolling Stones. Why? Because I enjoy sitting around in my pajamas.

8. Do you have access to the Internet and do you like it?

Why yes of course! I still can't get over the fact that Myanmar is totally disconnected. How ever do they survive?

One of my Dad's favorite memories is the time I told him that , "I hate computers and will never have any use for one." Well somedays I still feel that way. But the internet has come a long way since then and I don't really know what I would do without it now.

9. Where did you study English and why?

One of these days I'll go back to school and learn this language properly.

10. What do you do for fun?

Now that I'm home and not traveling, sleeping in a different bed every night, and sporting the same pair of underwear every other day, my idea of fun is this. Stay home, maybe do some cooking, read a magazine or surf the web with my cat on my lap, and daydream about my year seeing the world. Some days I go back to our pictures and journals to reflect on what I was doing exactly one year ago that day. I contemplate what we saw. I read what others think of the same thing. This is half the fun for me. I think to myself, wow, for the rest of my life I'll be able to recall these fantastic places and moments. I have a so many memories and they're all stored in my little head (and an 80 GB hard drive). I suppose that's the value ot travel - you carry a treasure trove of memories with you for the rest of your life.

Sedona, AZ



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