At its best, travel transports and transforms us. It makes us pay attention, and leaving home—and our comfort zone—carves out space for new insight. Think of a memorable trip that you’ve taken. What longing or ambition or heartbreak set you in motion? Did you stumble on a new understanding of the world or your place in it?
“Though we can’t do much traveling right now,” notes instructor Erin Van Rheenen, “this turns out to be the perfect time to mine past trips for meaning. Recently I heard the story of a woman who published a travel essay in 2012 about a trip she'd taken in 1969. She’d been sitting with the experience for 43 years. It’s never too late.”
In this half-day intensive, you will explore experiences from your past and generate new material. Focused prompts will help you to re-enter and re-imagine your trips, and to think about how the journey changed you. You are invited to collect any journals, letters, sketches, or photos related to the journey you want to explore, and to consult them as you do in-class writing.
“Those who feel ready will have the opportunity to share work with the group," says Erin, “and we’ll set aside time to build on writing generated earlier in the class session. We’ll pack a lot into this high-energy, fun class, and you’ll leave with some great material, along with strategies on how to take your story even further.”
About The Writing Salon's Remote Classes
Due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19, The Writing Salon is running all classes in a remote learning format. You will be able to participate in live class meetings via Zoom videoconference. To attend classes, you'll need a phone, tablet or computer and access to the internet. You can participate in the class from wherever you'd like, whether on your living room couch or in your office. Before your class meets, you'll receive an email from The Writing Salon with more information about Zoom and your remote class. If you have any questions about remote learning, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Erin Van Rheenen has written about the power of place for Atlas Obscura, the Los Angeles Times, Southwest, The Sun, and NPR. For more than two decades she has also taught students at every level, in colleges, high schools, libraries, and at the San Francisco Women’s Jail. She earned an MA in Creative Writing and American Literature from City University of New York. Erin has spent many years living abroad, and is the author of the best-selling guide, Living Abroad in Costa Rica, now in its fifth edition. She now lives in San Francisco.
- Live Zoom Meeting: Saturday, February 13, 2:00pm-5:00pm
What really stood out about Erin's teaching style was the way she gave herself to us students. The word generous comes to mind at first. Then nurturing. Erin provided some much needed direction while still being supportive and encouraging. The resources she emailed throughout the week kept the creative juices flowing. I felt like for the five weeks of the class, she was like the North Star. It was really tough to say goodbye to this group!