Elizabeth Lane confesses to being born under a Wandering Star and talks about the siren call of faraway places.
Like the Lee Marvin character in “Paint Your Wagon,” I was born under a wanderin’ star. Although my roots are firmly planted in Utah where I grew up, the itch to roam emerged early. As a solitary three-year-old I loved to take off on my own and go adventuring. Luckily we lived in a small town. People knew whose little girl I was and would return the “lost” child to her frantic mom. (Heck, I wasn’t lost. I knew where I was the whole time.)
I married another wanderer. We moved 30 times in 20 years and lived in Guatemala, Panama, Germany and several places in the U.S. To make a long story short, I emerged from the marriage in 1984 with three beautiful children, some great travel memories and few regrets.
In later life, I’ve been fortunate enough to visit places I’ve always dreamed of. The Himalayas were at the top of my list. I knew I had to go while I was young enough to make the rigorous trek, so I traveled to Nepal with the Sierra Club in 1997.
It took me another nine years to get to the second place on my list—East Africa. My sister and I made the trip together. We spent two wonderful weeks on safari in Tanzania, seeing elephants, lions, antelopes, zebras, giraffes—so many animals! Such great memories.
I combined numbers three and four into one trip. The lost Inca city of Machu Picchu took approximately 100 years to build. The invading Spaniards never found it, but at some point its inhabitants moved away, leaving its stone buildings in perfect condition. No one knows how its huge stones were moved and fitted together seamlessly, with no mortar. No one knows what the place was used for
I left my heart in the Amazon Rain Forest. The peace of that huge flowing river, the towering trees and bursts of color from birds, flowers and butterflies just sinks into your soul. We even saw pink dolphins in the river. Even as I write this, the place is calling to me.
I researched my last book, HIS SUBSTITUTE BRIDE closer to home—in San Francisco. My daughter, who lives in the Bay area was my guide and had a great time exploring. The last time I was in Golden Gate Park I was three years old. In the Japanese Tea Garden I turned around to stare at a beautiful red pagoda and tumbled backward down a steep flight of stairs. Of course I had to find the spot again. Here I am—the stairs have been redone, a railing added, but they’re just as steep, and the pagoda is just as beautiful, as ever.
Elizabeth Lane loves the tempation of farway places and her novels reflect this. Her latest Harlequin Historical, His Subsitute Bride is set in 1906 San Francisco.