Last month, my biggest, lifelong dream came true.
My first book, Tell Them My Name, was released by Aussie publishing house, the Kind Press.
I’ve honestly been waiting for this day since I was a toothless, pig-tailed six year old geeking out in the school library…
The book tells the true story of what happened when my French husband and I travelled with my elderly Nepali ‘parents’ from the Himalayas to Paris so they could explore Western culture.
It’s an uplifting, real-life tale about a bunch of strangers from different continents who can barely communicate… but we adopt each other as family and travel through six countries to try and understand each other better.
This journey changed my life, and the lives of several families I love, forever. I’m so happy I can now share it with the world…
So far all the feedback I’ve had from readers is that it’s a happy, inspiring, heartwarming, “can’t put it down” story that makes you laugh and cry and think differently about the things we rarely stop to think about at all.
Basically, it’s a great book to read to remind you that humans are kind and the world is a nice place when all the war, tsunamis, fire, flood and pandemic chaos seem to indicate otherwise…
If you haven’t read it yet, I’d be so grateful if you would support a newbie author and grab a copy of the book. It’s available to purchase from Booktopia in Australia, Book Depository in Europe and Amazon in the USA and the rest of the world.
Some things changed, some stayed the same…
So I’ve made the transition from aspiring writer to published author and so far it feels… pretty much the same.
I still turn up every day to work with my clients online, I still binge-watch way too much Netflix (just finished Inventing Anna 🤯) and I still fart a lot if I eat too many grapes. Life’s pretty normal…
It’s just that now, sometimes, I’m also being interviewed on TV, radio and podcasts. Or I’m standing up in front of large groups of people to talk about the words I put together and shuffled around.
We’re still living in the bus in Australia and we’re preparing to head off on a three-state trip to promote the book and take a much needed holiday after all this madness.
Then our lives will undergo a massive change.
In six weeks time, we’ll park and lock up Maurice the House Bus — which has been our home for over two years since before the pandemic started — and we’ll return to living from a backpack.
I’m actually quite anxious and terrified to take this next step, but it’s time for these nomads to hit the international road again…
Where to from here?
At the end of April, David and I will fly back to Nepal to see our Gurung family in the Himalayas.
It’s been four years since we last visited them in the village and we can’t wait to give them a huge hug and show them the book I’ve written about our friendship and adventures.
Seven years ago, I made them a promise that I would share our story with the world and I’m so excited to finally be able to celebrate this moment with them! There will be a lot of awesome updates and images coming from that trip so if you want to come along, make sure you sign up to my newsletter below and follow me on the socials @ Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter.
Then after a little over two weeks in Nepal, we’ll jump back on the plane and head to Paris. When we return to our other home in France, it will be the first time we’ve seen our French family in over three years.
For the rest of 2022, we’ll be living in France and travelling throughout Europe (maybe in another house bus?) spending time with the people we love who we’ve been separated from for far too long.
I’ll continue working online with my clients, business as usual, and I’m excited to get cracking on Book #2.
So that’s where we’re headed!
Which is all subject to change, of course, due to war, pandemic or whatever else the universe decides to throw at the world next.
The fact that I’ve been living nomadically with no fixed address for over 20 years does not mean that this level of change, upheaval and uncertainty comes easy to me. Especially after being forced into a hermit state within Fortress Australia for the two years of the pandemic.
I’m ready to leave and excited at the idea of travelling again, but also quite terrified about globetrotting back into a world that has changed a lot since last time we met…
I’m also worried about whether the language-learning part of my brain has completely atrophied while living in Australia and I’ll no longer be able to communicate with my loved ones in France and Nepal.
But let’s see what happens…
So what does all this mean for you?
You may have noticed that I’m a fairly crappy blogger.
My last post was almost two years ago and I simply “haven’t had time” (read: made it a priority) to write more regularly because I was laser focused on finishing the book and getting it out into the world.
Here’s the thing:
I like writing but I miss blogging like we used to do back in the 90s and early noughties.
I miss writing an actual “web log” of my life, which is where the term “blog” originally came from. Like an open diary…
I used to have a blog back in 2010 where I just told stories from my life and travels and I loved it. And so did the handful of people who enjoy reading my writing.
But then in 2015, I started working with an entrepreneur who literally made millions of dollars from blogging… and I wanted in on that. Until then, my blog had only ever cost me money but now I saw there could be another way.
As I learnt his method for building a blog-based business over the years, I understood that the best way to earn an income from blogging was to find a niche and write helpful blog posts, using story as a tool, to impart information other people want to learn.
So I shut down my blog and tried to do that with a new website/blog called The Magic of Everything.
But it turned out writing with an agenda felt a bit icky… and it was also really fricking boring.
Which is probably why I never do it. Like anything, wanting a certain outcome isn’t enough. You also have to want to do what’s required to achieve that outcome.
So now I’ve rebranded and rebuilt my website so it’s plain and simple at www.lauramaya.com . I’ve abandoned my millionaire blogging dreams and now plan to return to the humble 90s weblog…
Twice a month, I’m going to write something. Anything. I’m going to (try to) commit to a regular blog practice.
If I don’t feel like writing or I don’t have time, I’ll still write a few sentences to explain I can’t be arsed this week.
Sometimes I’ll write 100 words. Other times 10,000.
I might add pictures, but probably not.
It’s possible you’ll learn something, but maybe you won’t. And that’s ok.
I am done with following the blogger rules that sucked all the fun out of blogging for me. I don’t want the pressure of knowing my writing needs to be educational, inspiring or insightful.
I just want to write.
Particularly this year as I navigate my newfound authorhood, take my book on the road for one last trip in Maurice the House Bus, break the pandemic bubble and fly to Nepal, trek back into the Himalayas then dust off the dormant French in my brain and move my life back to France.
Phew! That’s a lot!
So if you want to follow along for all this chaos, please sign up to my mailing list at the bottom of this page and my stories will land right in your inbox.
Now… FREE STUFF!
To celebrate the launch of my book, very soon I’m going to be doing a big book giveaway!
One lucky winner will get a gift pack with my favourite memoirs and travel books (including Tell Them My Name, of course).
I’ll announce when the competition launches in one of my new fan-dangled regular blogs…
Thanks so much for being here and coming along for the journey.
P.S. That link again to pick up a copy of Tell Them My Name is lauramaya.com/books
Thanks for your support!
Laura Maya is a writer, coach and culturally curious “digital nomad” who has spent over 20 years wandering slowly through almost 60 countries. She is the author of Tell Them My Name, an inspiring true story about two indigenous Nepalese farmers who travel to Paris on a quest to explore Western culture (2022, the kind press).