Our camper surrounded by bison at Yellowstone National Park. It’s the teeny-tiny white Scamp travel trailer as seen from our friend’s vehicle.

Curious who the person behind the books is? Here’s the short story:

I’m a writer who lives in a teeny-tiny camper with my husband and an imaginary cat named Simon. The great thing about imaginary cats is that they don’t shed. The bad thing is that they’re, um, imaginary.

My cozy mystery series, The Mollie McGhie Sailing Mysteries, features a reluctant sailor turned amateur sleuth and draws on my own sailing adventures. Fortunately, I don’t stumble across dead bodies like Mollie does.

My romantic comedy series, Smitten with Travel, is inspired by my travels, including my own “happily ever after” eloping to Denmark with my now-husband, followed by our honeymoon in Paris.

I blog here about writing-related topics, our travel adventures, and other fun stuff. You can also follow along on my Facebook page.

What? You want to know more about me, like how I ended up on a sailboat and a teeny-tiny camper? Are you sure? Okay, if you insist. Here’s the long story:

Once upon a time, we started dreaming of sailing away into the sunset.

Whoa. Hang on a minute. That’s not how it happened. My husband had been bitten by the sailing bug while we were living in Scotland. He came back from his first sailing trip in the Mediterranean as excited as a little kid on Christmas Day. To be honest, I just thought it was a phase. Turns out it wasn’t.

Oh, cool! You’re Scottish! Does your hubby wear a kilt?

Uh, no. We’re American. I grew up in Cleveland and my hubby is from North Dakota. Kilts aren’t really a big thing in North Dakota, so he doesn’t have one.

Scotland Collage
Scenes from Scotland. Don’t you just love how green it is?

How does a girl from Cleveland meet a guy from North Dakota?

On an archaeological dig in the sugar beet fields in Michigan, of course. Isn’t that how everyone meets their future spouse?

Not long after, we eloped and were married in Copenhagen, Denmark. No white dress, no flowers and no wedding pictures. Instead, we wore blue jeans and hiking boots and celebrated with a bottle of cheap red wine afterward. And with all that money we saved not having a “proper” wedding, we were able to backpack around Europe for a month, which was the perfect honeymoon for us.

By the way, this all took place back in the dark ages back when people used pay phones and cell phones were only something you read about in sci-fi books.

PDX Collage
Portland, Oregon – possibly one of the coolest cities on the planet!

So you’re an archaeologist? That’s cool!

No, don’t be silly. I don’t like having dirt under my fingernails. But I do have an undergraduate and a graduate degree in anthropology and have taken a number of archaeology classes in my time.

Have you ever found that life takes twists and turns you didn’t expect? We ended up moving from Michigan to Portland, Oregon, and I found myself working in organizational development roles in corporate la-la land. It was hard to say no to health / dental insurance and a decent paycheck.

So you got a normal job with a regular paycheck. That doesn’t sound too bad.

You’re right. It wasn’t bad. In fact, it was pretty awesome. I really loved what I did. But here’s the problem with 9-to-5 jobs—they expect you to turn up to work regularly. The two weeks of vacation a year that you get in the States just doesn’t cut it if you want to do some serious travel. And we love to travel.

As luck would have it, my company transferred me to Scotland at the end of 2001. Not only were we living in Scotland (how awesome is that?!), but we also had tons more vacation time and flights were relatively cheap. Fancy a long weekend in Paris? Sure! Want to grab a last-minute deal and head to Tunisia for a week? Why not! Things were good.

NZ Collage2
Scenes from New Zealand – one seriously gorgeous country!

Wait, I’m confused. What happened to the whole sailboat thing?

Hold on to your horses. I’m getting to it. After seven years in Scotland, it was time to move on. I think we’ve always had a nomadic spirit—it was just quashed after years in corporate la-la land.

When I got a job offer in New Zealand, we didn’t hesitate for a second, and in 2008 we moved to Auckland—the City of Sails. After spending several years cruising and racing in Europe, it was time for my hubby to start his “Let’s go live and travel on a sailboat!” brainwashing campaign in earnest. We chartered boats in the Bay of Islands, my husbands got hooked into the racing scene in Auckland and, before you know it, we bought our first sailboat and spent all of our spare time out on the water.

Boats & Camper Collage
Our tiny homes over the years – our 26-foot sailboat in New Zealand (Rainbow’s End), our 13′ camper (Scamper), and our 34-foot sailboat in the States (Tickety Boo).

So then what happened?

Wow, I’m surprised you’re still reading this and want me to continue this story. In 2013, my role was made redundant, which basically means I was out of a job. This was a very good thing. By this time, I was tired of the rat race and we wanted to do more traveling. This was our opportunity.

We spent a season living aboard our boat in New Zealand and exploring that gorgeous country from the water. Then we moved back home and spent some time with family before buying a 13-foot Scamp travel trailer. We traveled around the States enjoying the incredible scenery and quirky small towns along the way.

Eventually, we ended up in Florida where we bought our current sailboat, a Moody 346 named Tickety Boo in 2015. We alternated between cruising in the Bahamas and working on boat projects. We’ve now sold Tickety Boo, moved back into our camper, and are on the road again.

Well, that’s enough about me. I can hear you yawning. If you have any questions or want to know anything else, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line at ellenjacobsonauthor@gmail.com.